The Spectacle Blog

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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Re: GOP Surrender

By on 11.15.05 | 3:18PM

Dave: You are dead bang right, and Morrissey couldn't be more wrong. These Republicans are distancing themselves from the president and the war, setting it up so that if things aren't politically calm next year -- and I'm here to tell ya they won't be, here or in Iraq -- these guys can cut and run. Maybe even agree with another Levin amendment to set a time table for withdrawal. The text of the Warner amendment isn't the problem: what it sets up for next time is.

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Bethell on the Birds

By on 11.15.05 | 2:18PM

AmSpec senior editor Tom Bethell takes on the avian flu scare in the Washington Times today. Bethell's rightly doubtful of the hype, including from the Bush administration, surrounding bird flu, considering only 60 people have died worldwide.

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Wardrobe Malfunctions

By on 11.15.05 | 2:13PM

Adam Gopnik's New Yorker piece on C.S. Lewis will be the first of many attempts this winter to put the Christian apologist in his place now that his work, in the form of a Narnia movie, enjoys a new round of popularity. Gopnik's condescension is only exceeded by his ignorance. Gopnik tells us what is and what is not valuable in Lewis's work: his Christian work, bad and inept; his imaginative work, as long as it was freed up from his Christian prejudices, good. Gopnik in know-it-all mode even sketches out what he considers a better animal than a lion to use for a Christian allegory -- a donkey. Gopnik reveals his cluelessness early on when he attributes significance to a criticism of Lewis as a Christian apologist by a "former Archbishop of Canterbury, no less." The "no less" added at the end suggests that Gopnik isn't aware that Canterbury archbishops are about as interested in the actual meaning of Christianity as he is.

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Whiplash at the Times

By on 11.15.05 | 2:06PM

Google News cached a New York Times article a couple hours ago with this headline: "Democratic Effort to Set Iraq Timetable Is Easily Defeated"

Click on the story now, and it's changed into "Senate Votes to Demand Regular Iraq Updates From White House."

That must have really spooked them at 229 W. 43rd -- for a minute there, it looked like they were going to have to report good news for Bush. The horror!

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No GOP Surrender?

By on 11.15.05 | 1:56PM

Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters sees the Warner amendment as pretty benign:

It isn't unreasonable to have Congress call for some accounting from the White House on the status of Iraq, given the 150,000 troops currently deployed on a police mission there. It doesn't have to be a net negative for Bush to come to the Senate to present his side of the story; as the events this past week have shown, the President can use that kind of platform to correct many distortions of his record and the state of the effort in Iraq. Given the frustration many in the GOP feel with the White House in communicating all the good that our intervention has created, it sounds like a very good idea indeed, one that might be cast as a long-overdue bullhorn.

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