The Spectacle Blog

Re: Agenda

By on 11.14.05 | 12:10PM

Prowler's point about Rockefeller's private venture into pre-war diplomacy is one we need to keep firmly in mind in the coming months. On FNC yesterday, Rockefeller said:

"I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11."

Now think about what was going on in January 2002: (1) we were still trying to get the UN Blixiecrats to do their job in inspecting Iraq, and were doing what little we could to get Iraq to cooperate; (2) we were performing intensive intelligence gathering and analysis to determine whether Saddam's WMD programs were ongoing; (3) we were dealing with Britain and the Axis of Cheese to try to get the UN set up to deal with this; and (4) President Bush was talking to the same arab heads of state that Rockefeller visited, asking for their help.

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Re: Class of the Irish

By on 11.14.05 | 12:06PM

Dave: I'm glad the new Notre Dame behaved itself during and after the Navy game. But there's one thing that bothers me about Notre Dame playing Navy -- the talent gap. Did anyone for a moment think there Navy stood any chance of winning? While other teams play serious league schedules, ND pads its independent schedule with games against easy prey. I'm all for sportsmanship, but in this case it was risk-free. If next year I see the ND and USC bands getting along, I'll know there's something to this display of genuine sportsmanship, South Bend style.

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New Schonborn Article on Evolution

By on 11.14.05 | 11:45AM

Get ready for the January First Things. Fr. Neuhaus writes at the journal's blog that Christoph Cardinal Schonborn will answer Stephen Barr's October article defending evolution.

Also, don't miss another installment on the intelligent design controversy by Dan Peterson in the December/January TAS.

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The Class of Irish and Navy Football

By on 11.14.05 | 11:37AM

Though a Notre Dame football fan from my younger days of donning a Ron Powlus jersey and pestering my family with my game day enthusiasm, I had never attended a game until this weekend. Saturday's contest between the Irish and Navy's Midshipmen exceeded all my expectations.

While enjoyable, the game itself wasn't the real treat. Navy's run offense was a fine display of a well-executed wishbone. They capitalized on their strengths of precision and speed and reliably pick up three or four yards each play with the sweep option.

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Priest in Trouble

By on 11.14.05 | 11:21AM

Speaking of Howard Kurtz, his column today confirms what Mark Corallo laid out here last Tuesday -- Dana Priest could find herself in legal hot water for her reporting on the CIA's "black sites."

Typically, Kurtz, Priest & Co. try to ignore the gravamen of the matter by playing up criticism from the left for the Post's not having revealed more in its report. Evidently the paper thinks it deserves a Pulitzer for not revealing the names of the countries hosting the alleged sites -- information that became easily obtainable once Priest provided all the necessary clues.

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MoDo and Crew Selling Well

By on 11.14.05 | 10:00AM

Finally, we see some numbers for TimesSelect, the New York Times' subscription-only online content. Howie Kurtz reports this morning that the Times has sold 135,000 subscriptions at $50 each. Plenty of folks have howled about the Times killing its op-ed writers' relevancy with this move, but it appears they're paying their salaries well. The free content/paid advertising model really isn't sustainable unless your traffic is incredibly high. Even destinations like the Washington Post website have trouble meeting those numbers and run their web operations at a loss.

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Hollywood Knows America

By on 11.14.05 | 8:57AM

Another sign that the Left Coast just doesn't get it. Not happy to just make a good TV show -- and a dubious show at that -- big time Hollywood producers are making a superhero show where all of the bad guys are oil companies or businessmen or "polluters" in general.

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Agenda

By on 11.14.05 | 8:43AM

Sen. Jay Rockefeller has a lot of explaining to do given his comments over the weekend that he was traveling around the Middle East back in 2002 telling Arab governments that the President had already made up his mind to go to war with Iraq.

It isn't clear -- as in other situations -- that Rockefeller may have leaked national security intelligence materials, but it is clear that he was working against the interests of his own country for what sounded like nothing more than an opportunity to strut around on foreign soil like a big-time politico.

Last week, according to a Republican staffer on Senate Intelligence, Rockefeller's personal office called in committee staff associated with the Intelligence commitee to measure just what, if any, damage they might be dealing with in a full investigation of the "Black Site Scandal." They must be getting nervous.

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Matthews Revisionism

By on 11.13.05 | 10:28AM

Seeking to justify the Dems newest use of their Vietnam Playbook -- saying the president lied us into Iraq the same way LBJ lied us into Vietnam -- Chris Matthews said this morning that the attack on US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin never happened. The Tonkin Gulf resolution, passed by Congress and authorizing military intervention in Vietnam, has always been used by the party of George McGovern to condemn the Vietnam war. The problem that Matthews, Dean and the rest have is that the Tonkin Gulf attack - and the threat of Saddam -- weren't fiction.

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Zawahiri and the Queen

By on 11.13.05 | 7:46AM

We can't prove a cause and effect relationship between the two events, but al-Queda's condemnation of Queen Elizabeth as "one of the severest enemies of Islam" comes only a few days after Tony Blair's parliamentary defeat on one of his proposals to toughen Brit law on terrorism. The message -- in a videotape of UBL's #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is viewed by Brit security as a direct threat to the Queen.

The timing of the message is worth thinking about. Parliament - faced with Blair's proposal that terrorist suspects be held for up to 90 days without charge -- quailed. Because the July London bombers were all apparently Brit citizens, something has to be done to increase police power to interdict terrorist attacks, and to keep suspects in custody who would otherwise certainly flee or carry out attacks. Blair's first big attempt to do that has failed. In response - perhaps - comes this threat to the Queen. We hope al-Q lacks the power to attack the Queen, but whether it does or not, this whole exercise is a propaganda coup for al-Q at Britain's expense and - ultimately - ours as well.

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