The Spectacle Blog

Onion Layers

By on 10.11.06 | 10:38AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments on the gangland slaying of journalist Anna Politkovskaya are sort of telling in a funny/sad way, methinks:

"We have information, and it is trustworthy, that there are people hiding from Russian justice and nurturing plans to sacrifice someone as a victim to create a wave of anti-Russian sentiments worldwide," he said through an interpreter. "(Politkovskaya) had minimal influence on political life in Russia. This murder does much more harm to Russia and Chechnya than any of her publications."

Duh, world! Look at the evidence! Politkovskaya wasn't important enough to kill!

The Population Blurb

By on 10.11.06 | 10:22AM

Today's New York Times editorial on America's imminent 300 millionth person spends a good deal of its word count refuting claims in the recent Pat Buchanan book by insisting, "if you take the longer view of our nation, you will see that it has been fed and nourished by immigrants, and has an iron stomach for seemingly undigestible newcomers."

I'm closer to the Wall Street Journal than Pat Buchanan on immigration, certainly, but if the New York Times is going to argue effectively in favor of immigration liberalization, shouldn't they try to couch their descriptions of immigrants in more, um, digestible language than seemingly undigestible newcomers? "You're going to need an IRON STOMACH in the New America!" isn't exactly the most tantalizing pro-immigration argument I've seen.

Cafferty Addendum

By on 10.10.06 | 5:23PM

UNBELIEVABLE. Cafferty just did a mail call, reading e-mails sent to CNN in response to his earlier commentary. ALL FIVE e-mails he read were harshly critical of Allen. Not a single one said anything positive. So not only did Cafferty get to shoot his angry load at Allen, but he got to reinforce it with five more loads of the same sort.

Mr. Cafferty: You are a louse. At long last, sir, have you no decency?

Jack Cafferty is Horrendous

By on 10.10.06 | 5:08PM

I just watched CNN's Jack Cafferty, on Wolf Blitzer's "The Situation," do one of the most despicable hit jobs I've ever seen. He ripped into Virginia's Sen. George Allen as if Allen were some sort of David Duke type. He intimated that Allen was lying about having only recently discovered that his mother was Jewish as a child. He made Allen's stock option kerfuffle--a perfectly believable misunderstanding: after all, the options haven't been worth a dime under current pricing--sound like a major ethical violation. Cafferty all but said that Allen is a raving racist. And he said it is unbelievable that such a lout could possibly still be leading in the polls. And so on.

Question for CNN: When, oh when, will you ever let a conservative do such a hit job against a liberal in a commentary during what otherwise is (supposedly) a straight news hour??? Do your producers have even a sliver of character themselves? How can they possibly claim to be fair when they so consistently skew things in the same direction?

Re: 7 to 30

By on 10.10.06 | 1:00PM

Notice the slick expectations-management on the part of NRCC bigwig Tom Davis:

"If you are a Democrat, you have to like the atmosphere," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), a top campaign strategist for the GOP. Davis said Republicans could lose as many as 30 seats if conditions worsen.
As Davis must know, conditions would have to "worsen" quite a bit to make that prediction plausible; as of now a loss of around 25 seats looks like the absolute worst-case scenario. But no matter how bad the GOP is doing, reporters are always eager to believe it's doing even worse, so it was no problem getting the Post to play up a possible 30-seat loss. Now, even in the face of an election night disaster, GOP strategists like Davis can still claim that Republicans have exceeded expectations, and all thanks to the brilliant work of... GOP strategists like Davis.

An Offer China Can’t Refuse

By on 10.10.06 | 12:37PM

Cliff May makes a good point about perhaps the one bit of leverage we have over China:

“If you won't stand in the way of a nuclear North Korea, we won't stand in the way of a nuclear Japan. Continue along the present course and soon, you will face an Asia where your adversaries are armed with nuclear weapons.”

David Frum touches on this as well in a column for today's NY Times. America certainly would have a partner in Japan's new hardline Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.  

Forget Jimmy Carter

By on 10.10.06 | 11:55AM

Here's an example of how you get real diplomatic results. In light of this momentus development, Simple Life season seven should be filmed in the Korean Demilitarized Zone with Paris and Nicole each assigned a nation and the ultimate goal of peace.

If Paris Hilton is busy, I thought Doug Bandow's thoughts on the Korean conundrum were pretty good, too, though.

7 to 30

By on 10.10.06 | 10:55AM

That's how many House seats "Republican campaign officials" expect to lose, according to an article on the front page of today's Washington Post. As far as the debate over whether Republicans would learn their lesson by losing and show a renewed comittment to limited government, the article makes this seem unlikely. Rather than attributing the GOP's bad prospects to abandoning small government principles, the article cites "sustained violence in Iraq and the page scandal involving former GOP representative Mark Foley."

Socialized UFOcare

By on 10.10.06 | 10:40AM

Following the news that a German lawyer plans to sue the government for compensation on behalf of people who say they've been abducted by aliens, I couldn't help but think that the government would save a lot of money were it to purchase UFO abduction insurance. It's only $19.95 for a lifetime policy!