The Spectacle Blog

Sickening Pandering to Sharpton

By on 7.28.06 | 12:10PM

Yesterday, the Washington Times boosted the case of those of us who have complained about aspects of the extension of certain counterproductive portions of the Voting Rights Act by noting that President Bush himself opposed those provisions while governor. Today the Times runs a photo that makes me sick: Karl Rove shaking the hand of and laughing with the (not very) Rev. Al Sharpton at the South Lawn ceremony at which Bush signed the extension. It's bad enough to pander to political correctness by passing and signing a bill that is quite arguably unconstitutional and certainly unfair and bureaucratically unwieldy. It is even worse to pander to today's ridiculous double-standards by including Sharpton, of all people, among the guests invited to the ceremony. Sharpton is a well known and well documented fomenter not of racial harmony but of absolutely dangerous, indeed deadly, racial discord. Even worse is the timing of effectively honoring Sharpton, through this invitation, at the very time that Israel is engaged in pitched battles with terrorists. What does Israel have to do with it?

I Believe Landis

By on 7.28.06 | 11:54AM

Because I'm not a scientist, I was afraid to say this even though everything I THOUGHT I had read would seem to back it up, but...the one seemingly obvious flaw in the whole case against Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is that one day's boost of testosterone (unlike, say, blood doping, which actually increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the human body) should not be able to noticeably improve performance, but the spike in testosterone from a deliberate attempt at cheating would be easily and automatically detected in testing, SO: What sense would it make for Landis to have even tried cheating, for one day only, by use of a testosterone patch, knowing how closely the testing was being done? The guy had been tested throughout the Tour, with no noticeable signs of testosterone abnormalities, so he clearly had no long-term cheating program underway. One would have to believe the guy unbelievably stupid to think he would cheat in such an easily detectable way for almost no benefit.

But since nobody else brought this up, I thought maybe I was mistaken in my understanding of the science.

Primate On Primate Violence, Daily Kos Edition

By on 7.28.06 | 11:17AM

From the standpoint of cultural anthropology, it might be said there is a form of violent tribalism, alternatively called neoconservatism or the religious right, loose in America. So try to keep in mind, when you hear someone from the right parroting talking points that climate change is invalid or that Iraq is going swell, it's not so much an argument made from ignorance that can be corrected with information: it is a tribal chant.

Yes, but the real question is, can ignorance be corrected by comparing those with a different political outlook to the Taliban? DarkSyde at Daily Kos attempts to find out. (Get it? "Dark" + "side" with a "y" equals edgy!)

The rest lives here.

War Warning 6: Lebanon Front

By on 7.28.06 | 2:09AM

From NYSun column today FRIDAY 28: addend confirm on SA-18s. What this all creates right now is an Iran that can and will continue to resupply Hezbollah on the Lebanon front with arms, ammunition, special forces, sophisticated logistics, an intelligence apparatus, and the long-range Katyushas and missiles that pepper Israel. Supply routes from Iran to Syria are not only air lanes but also overland trucking on tribal routes through Turkey and Kurdistan. Turkey knows this and knows this is tacit support of Hizbollah and Syria. More striking is that the Kurds in northern Iraq, ostensibly America's strongest ally in the liberation and democratization of Iraq, are openly cooperating with the Iranian military convoys. The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan. The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also as a transportation artery to get their oil to market.

Time for a Defection

By on 7.27.06 | 7:12PM

Once Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox now heads off into the MSM sunset (or is it -rise?) as Time's Washington Editor.

"You can only write three-sentence posts for so long before you start to crave the comparatively literary world of newsmagazines," she tells Reuters, poking the pajamanimals in the blogosphere prison whose secret jealousy will no doubt manifest in some nastiness.

The only question that remains, it would seem, is to what lofty perch Dave Weigel shall now ascend.

We REALLY Need New Leadership

By on 7.27.06 | 6:50PM

Club for Growth has the tallies on 19 anti-pork amendments put forward by Jeff Flake in the House of Representatives. Guess how many our fearless GOP leaders, Majority Leader John Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt, voted for?


Big donut hole for nineteen.

That's pathetic.

Abortions Yes, Tans No

By on 7.27.06 | 4:55PM

The juxtaposition of the following two stories would be pricelessly ironic if it weren't so dadgummed disgustingly sad. At the same time that Senate Dems are pulling low-blow shenanigans (the procedural move described really is cheap politics, petty and vindictive, which is why almost never used) -- even after apparent passage of the bill -- to block a bill merely protecting minor girls from forced or pressured abortions over state lines without parental knowledge, Gov. Corzine in New Jersey -- a state that does NOT require parental consent for minors' abortions -- is signing legislation that DOES require parental consent for the use of tanning beds. (Hat tip, by the way, to Southern Appeal for noting the tanning story.) What's wrong with this picture?

Re: Chicago

By on 7.27.06 | 3:28PM

Clearly, the city council has fallen into the hands of maniacs. The "living wage" nonsense is only the latest in a series of laws in which they've stuck their noses into every aspect of life. (Hat-tip to Hit & Run, where they've been on top of this stuff for a few days.)

RE: More on judges

By on 7.27.06 | 12:04PM

Quin: I think the problem goes beyond judges. It is the tired, worn out GOP leadership in both Houses of Congress. They do not seem to understand (or they don't care) that issues like tax cuts, spending cuts, and judges are ones that fire up the base. Futhermore, there are some good health care bills that are languishing, that could attract some swing voters if Congress would pass them (or, they might attract some swing voters if at least the GOP would make a stink about them and then campaign on them in the Fall.)

Thank goodness Bill Frist is retiring. As for Dennis Hastert, I think a coup is in order.