The Spectacle Blog

Fitzgerald’s Words

By on 4.7.06 | 10:57AM

This is what Fitzgerald's filing says:

"During this time, while the President was unaware of the role that the Vice President's Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser had in fact played in disclosing Ms. Wilson's CIA employment, defendant implored White House officials to have a public statement issued exonerating him. When his initial efforts met with no success, defendant sought the assistance of the Vice President in having his name cleared. Though defendant knew that another White House official had spoken to Novak in advance of Novak's column and that official had learned in advance that Novak would be publishing information about Wilson's wife, defendant did not disclose that fact to other White House officials (including the Vice President) but instead prepared a handwritten statement of what he wished White House Press Secretary McClellan would say to exonerate him."

Again, let's recap: President didn't know. Vice President didn't know. Let's move on.


By on 4.7.06 | 10:54AM

More important, is the document filed by Independent Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald, which on page 27 informs the court and the public -- if press would only report it -- that neither the President nor the Vice President had advance knowledge of the leak of the name of Joseph Wilson's life.

The President is allowed to declassify materials. In fact other senior members of an Administration -- the Secretaries of State, Defense and the Attorney General, for example -- can declassify materials. And what the President apparently declassified was something that was to be made public within days of his actions.

So let's recap. Not an illegal leak, but merely an early release of a declassified document.

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


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.


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.