The Spectacle Blog

Turning Tides

By on 4.7.06 | 10:37AM

In a close vote, New Hampshire kills a bill to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. They'll be living free and dying at the old tavern tonight--and if you don't like it, head on over to one of any number of establishments that have voluntarily gone smoke-free instead of coddling your inner Nazi. Coercion isn't charity, my friends. It isn't even nice.

Uniting GOP on Immigrants

By on 4.7.06 | 10:37AM

Okay, if the congressional GOP has even a tiny smidgen of collective intelligence (which is highly questionable), it will rally around, and make a HUGE political issue out of, an amendment to the immigration bill that the Democrats oppose. I quote today's Washington Times: "A remaining sticking point is that Democrats still don't want certain Republican amendments considered, including one that would prohibit from obtaining U.S. citizenship illegal aliens who have been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors or refused a court order to leave the country." THIS IS FLABBERGASTING! Not only is the Senate talking about what amounts to amnesty, but the Dems even want citizenship for those who break OTHER laws of our country (in addition to the immigration laws themselves). Citizenship for felons?!?! Or for repeat-offender misdemeanants? Especially those who are here illegally in the first place?!? This blows my mind. What a ready-made issue to highlight one of the few remaining differences -- that of law and order, which Republicans favor, vs.

Insuring Controversy

By on 4.7.06 | 10:18AM

My piece on Massachusetts (almost) universal health coverage is cited today in this very worthwhile read over at Classical Values. On a related note Reason's Kerry Howley has a wonderful exploration of medical insurance issues in Reader's Digest, subtitled, "Think you insurance has you covered? Just wait until you need it most."

The Masters, CW and Potential Winners

By on 4.7.06 | 7:05AM

Quin,

All right, Jaidee was always a long shot. But, contrary to the CW, as always, there are quite a few more than five players who could win the tournament (ignoring their first-round scores for the moment).

Allenby, Appleby, Ames, Bjorn, Beem, Browne, Bryant, Cabrera, Campbell & Campbell, Clarke & Clark, Howell & Howell, Choi, Couples, Crane, DiMarco, Curtis, Furyk -- you get the idea. Though Mike Weir would not have been picked when he won, he was not really a surprise when he did. And Len Mattiace was in the playoff with him!

On a one-time basis, other sporting events can beat the Masters for viewing interest and excitement. The Yankees-Red Sox divisional series two years ago, a France-U.S. Davis Cup final where Yannick Noah coached a two man French side, Henri LeConte and Guy Forget. But year in year out, the Masters is the best.

Larry

Belittling the Little

By on 4.7.06 | 1:18AM

In my Thursday bit I praised Little People, Big World for its lack of exploitative qualities. So I was doubly interested to come across this piece by Dan Kennedy, making the exact opposite argument--from the perspective of an average-sized parent of a little person. It's worth checking out and I'm definitely going to pick up his book on the subject.

Anent Immigration Deal:

By on 4.6.06 | 7:52PM

Dear compromised Senators:

Lemme get this straight. If I have been a criminal for more than five years, it's welcome to the family. Two to five and I have to go back and take a running start. Criminal for less than two and it's "get outta here."

Plame Leak: More Nonsense

By on 4.6.06 | 7:50PM

Before we get too carried away with glee (as did the New York Times) about Scooter Libby's reported testimony that he was authorized by the president to leak classified information, let's remember one non-trivial fact: the executive branch is the part of our government that has the authority to classify -- or declassify -- information. So, as we've talked about before, the whole Libby case should fail. For any number of reasons. Not the least of which, as Libby's lawyers arued last week, Fitzgerald's appointment, by which he was delegated all the powers of the Attorney General, is improper. And a violation of the Constitutional advice and consent provision. Can't delegate the AG's powers to someone who hasn't gone through that wonderful Senate confirmation process.

Citizenship for Sale

By on 4.6.06 | 5:53PM

That's the Human Events take on today's compromise immigration bill.

McKinney Update

By on 4.6.06 | 4:32PM

Rep. Cynthia McKinney's apology for her actions related to her alleged assualt of a Capitol Hill police officer was based on a draft apology prepared in the office of Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to Democrats we spoke to on Thursday. The draft was passed along to members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday, and versions of the draft were bounced around after several conversations with McKinney herself.

"She did not want to say 'I apologize for x or y or z,' which is why the statement is worded the way it is," says a Democrat aide. "The Black Caucus put a lot of pressure on her to to make the statement. We were joking that they were surrounding her during the statement not to show solidarity, but to make sure she didn't run away."

Larry’s Column

By on 4.6.06 | 4:27PM

Larry, I was out of town overnight, so just now saw your post with the link too your earlier column on The Masters. Great stuff!!! I loved it. Meanwhile, my choices Leonard and Love got off to rough starts, Love double-bogeying the first hole and Leonard opening bogey, TRIPLE-bogey (and that, on a par 5!). Ugh. Love has recovered and is now even par through 8, with Justin at +2 through 16. Mr. Jaidee, I regret to tell you, shot a 78. Maybe we both should have picked Ben Curtis, right now at -2!

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