The Spectacle Blog

One More Clinton Question

By on 3.3.06 | 4:17PM

There is a federal statute that requires that anyone -- even a former U.S. President -- doing political or public affairs work on behalf of a foreign principal (country, official, etc.), must register as an "Agent of a Foreign Principal" with the Department of Justice.

Has former President Clinton done so? If not, why? His spokesman today confirmed "one phone call" that Mr. Clinton received, and by way of doing that confirmed that the former President was doing work for the United Arab Emirates on the Dubai Port Deal.

With Young, Not Restless

By on 3.3.06 | 4:08PM

I could accept Young. He wouldn't make me restless at all. Thanks for the info, Prowler.... can I hold you to it?

With the No. 2 in the 2006 NFL Draft …

By on 3.3.06 | 4:02PM

The New Orleans Saints select ...

Vince Young, Quarterback, University of Texas.

That's assuming Houston doesn't trade with NYJ for their 4th and 29th pick (assuming Denver deal goes through).

That allows Tennessee to pick Leinert.

The Prowler Knows

By on 3.3.06 | 3:55PM

My gosh, this Prowler guy knows EVERYTHING. If he's right about the Jets trade, that's big news. But now here's a REAL test: Since I'm from New Orleans, I want to know who the Saints will pick with the second pick in the whole draft? Or will they trade it to the Jets? If the Prowler can accurately tell me the answer to that one, I'll really be in his debt!

Gridiron

By on 3.3.06 | 3:50PM

First of all, most of the players cut in the past seven days would have been cut regardless of the current uncertainty. Even Pro Bowl players like Miami's Sam Madison are 31, due to make millions, and not worth a new contract that almost certainly would have required 3 years, with perhaps a third of it upfront as a signing bonus. No team in the NFL is going to sign a 31-year-old corner for three years, 27 million with 9 million in signing bonuses. Except maybe Danny Snyder.

Second, increasingly, NFL agents are locking their clients into five and six year deals, with slightly lower signing bonuses, but more "guaranteed" money built into the contract. The twist on the bonuses is that while they are guaranteed, and pro-rated throughout the life of the contract, they accelerate and penalize a team if you cut them before the contract expires. That's why it's going to be difficult for a player like Terrell Owens to find multiple takers for his ridiculous Eagles contract.

Yes and No

By on 3.3.06 | 3:11PM

Wlady -- You make a good point, except that one reason people like Mike Anderson are being released now is specifically because the salary cap will NOT rise this year if the labor agreement isn't reached -- so for this year only, the failure hurts the players most directly. But in return, the players know that if there is no agreement, then the cap will disappear entirely next year, and they think they can rake in the dough then. As for the guaranteed contracts: Most contracts in the NFL are not guaranteed (because injuries take such a toll, etc.), but the signing bonuses ARE guaranteed. The players and their agents are smart enough to see that a guarantee in the form of a signing bonus is a pretty darn good deal in a game where wear and tear is so extensive.

Tierney, Hayes, Saddam Tapes, WSJ

By on 3.3.06 | 3:07PM

The lead editorial "Open the Iraq Files" in today's WSJ identifies Bill Tierney and his Saddam Tapes work as well as Steve Hayes of Weekly Standard and his work on DOCEX and HARMONY as two parts of the effort to learn the facts about Iraq's WMD and prewar connection to Al Qaeda and other terror cults.

Underline especially that the WSJ confirms that the DNI and his kindred of non-cooperation are no longer offering substantial reasons to withhold the documents and analysis. The DOD knows all this stuff but does not concern itself with unclassified material about past events. The DNI has all this stuff and now wants to replace the antique idea that "unclassified" means available with the newspeak idea that unclassified means "unavailable."

Re: NFL

By on 3.3.06 | 2:34PM

Quin: So the legacy of Pete Rozelle is no more? On Any Sunday no longer applies?

I would, however, defend the players and their supposed appetites for gazillions. From what I can tell those big contracts they sign aren't worth their weight in fool's gold. How else to explain the many stars and starters teams are currently in the process of placing on waivers in order to create salary cap room? So, for instance, we have Denver's leading running back getting dumped, along with the many millions he was scheduled to earn in coming seasons had he remained on the team. Are these players too dumb -- or too exploited -- to insist above all on guaranteed contracts?

Re: Michael Brown and the Katrina Mess

By on 3.3.06 | 1:49PM

Lady G is right in saying D'OHS should be dismantled. But neither FEMA nor D'OHS can be fixed by bureaucratic reorganizations. The problem reaches down to their roots, and there it has to be solved.

Chertoff, Brown and the rest -- with very few exceptions -- don't have any experience or training in the myriad issues they have to deal with. We need to assure that real experts -- and there's a host of grumpy old colonels and generals who have the experience, the training and the ability to command in crises -- run these agencies. As I've written before, amateur hour should be over. We need to remove the top two or three layers at D'OHS and most of its component agencies and replace the people with others who can find their heads if permitted to use both hands.

No matter which cabinet department or independent agency controls, nothing will get better until people who know what they're about are put in charge.

DHS and WH communications

By on 3.3.06 | 1:36PM

By the way, Lady Godiva is right on target with her comments, below, about the White House Communications shop (despite having SOME excellent people) and about the Department of Homeland Security. The new department was always a bad idea; rather than helping ward off disaster or deal with disaster, the department itself IS a disaster.

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