The Spectacle Blog
Duane Patterson, one of the evil geniuses behind the Hugh Hewitt Show, picked up on the idea of using my new car as a lawn ornament. If you are adept at photoshopping, and want to win a Crosley Solo radio for your imaginative entry, check out the contest we're running on RadioBlogger.com. Some of these are pretty funny. Duane will pick the top ten and post them separately for a listeners' vote to pick the winner. Have at it, folks.
In about 20 minutes, I'll leave my desk for minor shoulder surgery which will put me in a sling for a few weeks. How I'll manage to type, which is life itself for me, I don't know.
So a last blog note before going under. On Yesterday's "On Point" broadcast on NPR, host Tom Ashbrook introduced a show about what he called "a sickening culture of corruption" in the Republican party. I do not sympathize with bribe-takers like Randy "Duke" Cunningham, but I do want to remind Mr. Ashbrook of an earlier Presidential administration. Maybe three names will do the trick: Mochtar Riady, John Huang, Ron Brown.
Now that "Top Gun" has flown the coop, the interesting stuff begins.
Republicans in the House we are talking to say that the Cunningham exit will be the first real test to see how much influence Leader in Limbo Tom Delay actually still has.
Duke Cunningham had a seat on House Appropriations, and now that seat is up for grabs. The thinking is that another California Republican will get it, but word out of leadership office is that that seat is not necessarily a lock for a Left Coast heiney. Appropriations Committee chair, Jerry Lewis, a Californian, has told other committee members that he intends to fight hard to keep Cunningham's seat in California's grips.
Acting majority leader Roy Blunt is said to be pushing to give the Approps seat to a loyal Republican not necessarily from California, though no names have yet been floated. Obviously, Appropriations seats are some of the most coveted in the House.
Put aside the indictments, scandals, and tearful confessions for a moment. "Cute" is not usually a word attributable to almost anything here in DC. But today, the Tai Shan countdown begins. And "cute" is merely one adjective for this newest resident of Washington. D.C's pandas-on-loan from China have paid off in PR, if not in tax dollars, for Washington. Tai Shan (meaning "peaceful mountain" -- yes, yes, the name has evoked lots of chatter in the capital), our little panda, was born to proud parents four months ago, and he will make his inaugural public appearance next week. What an auspicious, harmonious, prosperous, and blessed event this Inauguration will be, for who can possibly hate a little panda?
To see a pre-public video clip, click here.
I must say I am encouraged by the backlash I sense this year against the nutty, runaway trend in our society whereby the term "Christmas" continues to be replaced with the word "Holiday." From the protests against Wal-Mart, to Speaker Denny Hastert's laudable recent order that the Capitol Christmas Tree -- re-named the Capitol Holiday Tree a few years back -- be restored to its proper name, to FNC's near-obsession with the issue, it's just nice to see that not everyone is willing to tolerate this nonsense anymore.
Sure we've got a long way to go on this one, but at least the creatures are stirring, so to speak...
I'm subbing for Hugh again today, 6-9 p.m. on Salem Radio nationwide.
We'll be talking about the daily stuff, but this one takes the cake. Our fave Promise Maker -- Sen. Ernst Stavro Spectre -- is now saying that Terrell Owens is being treated too harshly by the NFL. Republicans seem tolerant of his, ah, flexible compliance with the promises he's made on everything from judicial confirmations (several of which are held up in Committee and between Committee and the floor) and he's apparently holding up the reauthorization of the Patriot Act by his single refusal to sign the conference report.
Those actions directly conflict with the promises he made to get the committee chairmanship. Bad enough, no? But now he's interfering with the NFL. This man has to be stopped.
Sen. Joe Lieberman's piece in today's WSJ is both right on the substance and enormously important. He is right in saying we can't cut and run, and explains why quite well. The piece is important because it shows that there still are Democrats who aren't giving in, as Jack Murtha did, to the vast majority of their leaders who believe the only answer to Iraq is to create another Vietnam.
But Lieberman's money quote is not on those central points at all. At the end of the article, he quotes past of a conversation he had with a Marine commander:
Does the indictment and resignation of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham confirm that, as Nancy Pelosi et al. would have it, the GOP's culture is one of corruption? The L.A. Times today finds a leading conservative who might agree:
Conservative activist Paul Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Foundation, said he thinks the Democratic charge may stick. "Frankly, Republicans are held to a higher standard, mainly because they are the ones who always preach morality," Weyrich said. "I think voters are going to punish them over this.
Perhaps voters should also be informed that Carol Lam, the U.S. Attorney who nailed Cunningham, is, as the L.A. Times story also reports, a Bush appointee.
Michael Powell's Washington PostÂ review of the new Darwin exhibition at New York's American Museum of Natural History is generally praiseworthy butÂ Darwinists won't like his singing offÂ key late in the piece: "...in its eagerness to declare the grand evolutionary questions settled, the show takes its lone stumble. Only four decades ago, most paleontologists rejected theÂ theory, now broadly accepted, that comets and volcanic eruptions delivered mass extinctions and so played a key role in speeding evolution. Nor are scientists clear on the mechanism by which one species evolves into another; curator Eldredge and the late scientist Stephen Jay Gould crafted the once heretical theory of punctuated equilibrium, which holds that species sometimes evolve in grand leaps."
Then Powell notesÂ that oneÂ prominent scientist, Simon Conway Morris, is now arguing thatÂ "even very distant species share structural similarities and journey toward inevitable complexity. This suggests to himÂ that evolution adheres to an architecture."