The Spectacle Blog

Bernanke to the Floor

By on 11.16.05 | 11:39AM

Ben Bernanke's nomination to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board passed the Senate Banking Committee today.

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Your Courageous Republicans

By on 11.16.05 | 11:37AM

For the record, here's who voted no on the Warner amendment yesterday:

Republicans: Jim Bunning (Ky.), Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Isakson (Ga.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), Sessions (Ala.), John Thune (S.D.), and David Vitter (La.).

Democrats: Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Ted Kennedy (Mass.), John Kerry (Mass.), and Pat Leahy (Vt.).

Not everyone on this list voted no for the same reason (the far left group who voted yes for the Democrats' amendment), but those who opposed both resolutions should be singled out for their commitment to victory in Iraq. This group included all the Republicans as well as Sen. Conrad.

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Kiss the Pig

By on 11.16.05 | 9:44AM

This morning CNN's Miles O'Brien tried his hand at Anderson Cooper-style righteous indignation with middling results during a segment about how Wal-Mart was responding to Robert Greenwald's much heralded documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, currently being flocked to by similarly indignant yuppies and college freshman with no homework.

In a mocking tone O'Brien sniffed that Wal-Mart had "hired a big fancy PR firm."

"In other words the response to what seemed to be some substantive concerns about wages and how workers are treated is public relations. Trying to put a little lipstick on a pig maybe. Is Wal-Mart going to succeed?"

Ironically, the voice of reason and journalistic balance turned out to be not the supposed moderator O'Brien, but his guest, a correspondent for a business magazine who tried to explain that both Wal-Mart and those trying to unionize the store were engaged in a political campaign-esque battle of which PR was a component. O'Brien wasn't having any of it, though.

"One way to stem the tide would be to perhaps treat workers better," the anchor said. "Or is that just an anathema?"

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Tricky Dick

By on 11.16.05 | 9:34AM

Just received this email from a friend:

"Dick Durbin said on 'Meet the Press' that Alito's pro-life stance would disqualify him. Durbin, like Al Gore and Dick Gephardt, was vehemently pro-life in the 1980s when he was in the House and switched to pro-choice to make himself a more viable Senate candidate (the other two switched, of course, to be more viable presidential candidates)."

Here's the Durbin quote about Alito, and here's his pro-life record from the 80s. Unbelievable.

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Bob Woodward: Plame Affair is “laughable”

By on 11.16.05 | 9:22AM

That's what Woodward said on NPR this summer. His grand jury testimony, detailed today in the Washington Post, gives context to that quote, and adds a new layer of confusion to a "scandal" that looks more and more hollow. Woodward learned Plame's name from a senior administration official who "casually" mentioned it; Woodward didn't consider the information classified; the information was so unhot that when Woodward himself casually mentioned Plame's CIA identity to a fellow reporter that reporter, Walter Pincus, says he can't remember the conversation.

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French Republicans

By on 11.16.05 | 7:44AM

The Senate's action yesterday, requiring the president to pressure Iraqis to compromise politically, to provide quarterly reports (as if body counts are like price/earnings ratios on financial statements) and to, "explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq" was awful on any number of levels.

As I said on the O'Reilly Factor last night, the formulation of questions on the war are wrong so long as we speak only about Iraq. And if even Bill O'Reilly says, as he did last night, that we'll never defeat terrorism everywhere, our mindset is wrong. We can't and won't defeat terrorism everywhere. But if our nation is going to survive, we need to defeat the terrorist ideology and convince its adherents that they are defeated. If we quit before achieving that goal, they will keep fighting until we are defeated.

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Take on Roe

By on 11.16.05 | 7:39AM

For political reasons, I understand why Chief Justice John Roberts had to bow to Roe v. Wade. Harriet Miers would have to honor it in the same way. And now Judge Alito is disavowing his 1985 memo denying there is a right to abortion in the Constitution. I'm all for avoiding the question for the sake of expediency, but it's a sad day when tough legal scholars like Alito are forced to obscure the truth. I'm with Tim Carney on this one: it's time to fight back and argue that Roe is bad law. And as ammo, we have a long and distinguished list of jurists, legal professionals, and other public figures including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Larry Tribe, Will Saletan, Alan Dershowitz, Cass Sunstein, and Kermit Roosevelt.

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Anglicans Breaking Away

By on 11.16.05 | 7:27AM

The split in the Episcopal Church, which Thomas Lipscomb detailed here Monday, widened this week when South Riding Church in Loudoun County, Virginia, left the Virginia Diocese and placed itself under Ugandan Bishop Benezeri Kisembo. The Bishop of Virginia, Peter Lee, supports the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop. Over the weekend, the Bishop of Washington, John B. Chane, had condemned conservative agitation in the church. This is the same bishop who called the Resurrection "conjectural."

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A Clean Sweep

By on 11.16.05 | 7:15AM

The U.N.'s attempt to wrest control of the Internet from the U.S. was defeated yesterday in international meetings in Tunisia. Efforts had been led by such paragons of free speech as China, Iran, and Cuba.

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MLB’s New Tough Steroid Rules

By on 11.15.05 | 6:55PM

I like what I see in new rules that players and owners announced today: 50-game suspension for the first offense, 100-game suspension for the second offense, and a lifetime ban for the third.

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