The Spectacle Blog

Aren’t the Secret Prisons a Good Thing?

By on 11.9.05 | 10:36AM

Instead of teaching a silly ethics course at the WH, how about a primer on warfare for our esteemed members of Congress? While the Dems reacted to the news of the latest leak probe in their usual knee-jerk fashion, crying politics from the start, some of the usual suspect Republicans couldn't stop themselves from joining in the Democratic chorus. This from Senator Lindsey Graham took the prize: "Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. The real story is those jails."

Huh? Lindsey ol' buddy, aren't you forgetting something? When last I checked, we were engaged in a GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM. As captured terrorists are not POWs entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions (to do so would be to legitimize their insidious brand of murder), and as revealing the location of their captivity would endanger the people who guard them and any innocent civilians by making them defacto targets, isn't it a good idea to keep that information secret? Do we really want al Qaeda to know where KSM and Ramzi bin-Alshib are passing the days?

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Hitch at FRC

By on 11.9.05 | 9:14AM

It's a sign of the Armageddon. Christopher Hitchens is speaking in one hour at the Family Research Council on "Jefferson's America: An Enduring Vision of Democracy and Freedom" as part of the Witherspoon Lecture Series. I'm heading over for a bit of an old friends moment (I was a Witherspoon Fellow last fall). I'll have a recap afterward. In the meantime, learn more about the Witherspoon Fellowship.

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CIA Referral

By on 11.9.05 | 9:09AM

With the news this morning that the CIA has requested that the Department of Justice investigate real leaking of classified material, the "Black Site Scandal" is in full swing.

Those media types that think this is just tit for tat over the Joe Wilson scandal, miss the point. It doesn't matter if the highly classified material was leaked to the media, to an al Qaeda operative, or to Senator Kennedy's water spaniel, Splash.

The Washington Post -- clearly working and coordinating with Human Rights Watch (that is another matter that should be discussed) -- had the right to publish the information once someone gave it to them. After all, it was news.

This investigation is not about the media, it's about the people who undercut our national security by leaking information that helps our enemies.

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PG Celebration or Ashton Maduro

By on 11.9.05 | 7:37AM

John: Though the Ashton Cabinet #2 is a truly fine cigar, I must dispute your contention that it is a perfect election night smoke. The perfect smoke to enjoy whilst awaiting returns depends on the final polling numbers. If you expect a win, but expect it late into the night, the PG Celebration is the best at about 9.5 inches long it lasts about 3 hours. I'd put the Ashton #2 behind it, barely. If you expect a loss (or the election of a Clinton, any Clinton, to any office) your cigar must match your black mood. Which brings us to the Ashton or PG or Avo maduros. (Ashton used to make a small maduro, panatela size, that was my fave. Haven't seen it in years.) And in either event, you must have just one wee dram of whiskey. In the event you expect to lose the presidency in '08, better have a PG Maduro Celebration on hand. It's powerful, but should not matter in that circumstance. Your head will be buzzing anyway.

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It’s Over

By on 11.9.05 | 2:46AM

The AP has called Prop. 74 and Props 76-80 as defeats. I'm sure they'll do the same with 73 and 75 soon; both are trailing, and a majority of the precincts we're waiting on are in three counties (Los Angeles, Alameda, and Contra Costa) where the propositions are losing by large margins.

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San Francisco is Different

By on 11.9.05 | 1:51AM

"Voters approved ballot measures to ban handguns in San Francisco and urge the city's public high schools and college campuses to keep out military recruiters Tuesday."

The gun ban was opposed by the San Francisco Police Officers Association, and may be struck down by the state Supreme Court.

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Not Looking Good

By on 11.8.05 | 11:14PM

Propositions 76 and 77 (spending restrictions and redistricting reform) are losing even in some heavily Republican precincts.

Propositions 73 and 74 (parental notification and tenure reform) are narrowly ahead, but with nothing counted in LA and San Francisco that spells doom. Prop. 75, requiring public employee unions to get their members' consent when they use union dues for political contributions, is only doing a little better; passage is possible but unlikely.

Putting these issues on the ballot all together, rather than focusing attention on one or two, was a huge blunder on the part of Arnold & Co.

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The Minor Propositions

By on 11.8.05 | 10:59PM

78-80 (prescription drugs and electricity regulation) are losing almost everywhere in early returns.

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