The Spectacle Blog

Iran’s Wargames

By on 3.30.06 | 10:34AM

There’s no need to wait thirty days for the Iranian response to the UN’s demands. They’ve already rejected complying with UN requirements to stop enriching uranium. And now, Tehran/>/>’s military has announced wargames in the Persian Gulf/>. The money quote from Mostafa Safari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps navy:

The revolutionary guards corps navy and air force in collaboration with (Iran's regular) army, navy, (the volunteer militia) Basij, and the Iranian police will start a manoeuvre from 31 March until 6 April in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman…The exercise will cover an area stretching from the northern tip of the Persian Gulf all the way to the port city of Chah-Bahar in the Sea of Oman extending 40km into the sea.

Re: The Dems’ “Real Security” Plan

By on 3.30.06 | 9:20AM

Dave: One curious note in that "plan." The Dems say they will "eliminate" Osama bin Laden. Not that I wouldn't personally pull the trigger (more than once) given the opportunity, but does this mean that the Dems would annul EO 12333? As I recall, that's the one that prohibits assassinations. I wonder what "eliminate" means in the Dems lexicon. Would they go so far as to exclude him from the amnesty being granted illegal immigrants? I doubt Hapless Harry would ever be that harsh, judgmental or exclusionist.

The Dems’ “Real Security Plan”

By on 3.30.06 | 9:01AM

Even the L.A. Times' Ron Brownstein is underwhelmed: "...leading Democrats on Wednesday released a plan that promised to strengthen America's security but offered few details about how they would achieve their sweeping goals."

Re: The Rise of Boltenism

By on 3.30.06 | 8:54AM

Bob: I think we should be grateful to the Senate Dems who blocked the nomination of John Bolton to the UN ambassadorship. The fact that the president used a recess appointment to get him into the job increased his influence rather than decreased it by showing the Turtle Bay crime family that Bolton has the president's confidence.

That confidence was not misplaced, as Bolton proved yesterday with his tough words on the Iran nuclear program. Not only did he say that we expect full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but he pushed aside the Chinese attempt to put the UN's position in the hands of the feckless IAEA and proliferation apologist el-Baradei. Bolton said we were prepared to be back to the Security Council on the 31st day if Iran wasn't completely forthcoming. The clock is ticking, and -- fortunately for us -- the official timekeeper's name is Bolton.

Oh, Happy Day

By on 3.30.06 | 7:16AM

Jill Carroll was released today.

House of Card

By on 3.29.06 | 6:01PM

Belatedly, here is my full take on the "shake-up" at the White House: It's a good thing that there is a mild, evolutionary change there, and it would have been bad if there had either been no change or a huge, revolutionary change. (The Post, by the way, used the evolutionary/revolutionary contrast in its headline, but I had already used it in my interview with the Post's Peter Baker and other interviews yesterday.) Andy Card was not the problem, but having him step aside, after good and faithful service, might be the beginning of solving the problem. Aside from Card's rumored responsibility (in large part) for the Miers nomination fiasco, I know of no other reason to believe that he was anything other than an honest broker who was well organized (although EVERYBODY'S competence was called into question by Katrina) and well liked.

Leaky Ship

By on 3.29.06 | 1:34PM

The folks at Media Matters are mad at employees for leaking internal emails to Wonkette. How do we know? Because of an internal email leaked to Wonkette.

Slight correction on Andy Card

By on 3.29.06 | 9:45AM

The estimable Peter Baker of the Washington Post is a very solid reporter, but a story today on Andy Card stepping down, to which he contributed, had the effect of misrepresenting what I said. The problem is in the first line of the paragraph: Some conservatives are glad to see Card go. Quin Hillyer, executive editor of the American Spectator magazine, offered a "friendly good riddance" to the chief of staff. "This White House is justly criticized for its insularity, and this little bit of shake-up may help break up that insularity just a little," he said. "Without saying anything bad about Andy Card, it's a good opportunity for the White House to get a new start."

Night Falls On Knighthood

By on 3.29.06 | 9:00AM

Behold Sir Tom Jones. As a song like "Sex Bomb" seems an increasingly quaint and embarrassing relic, so too does the title bestowed now upon the man who belted it. In Britain, pop celebrity has been the tube feed in the monarchy since "Goodbye England's Rose" (turn speakers on). How long, in America, until celebrity itself needs life support? Not-quite-celebrity writer Kurt Andersen considers; I counter-consider here.

Amnesty Disinformation Campaign

By on 3.29.06 | 7:52AM

If you had any doubts that the Specter-McCain-Graham bill creates and amnesty for illegal aliens, listen how carefully its namesakes are parsing their words in support. And listen to the NYT editorial of today that says, of course it's not amnesty. And then goes on to show how it is.

No matter how many smoke grenades Mr. McCain tosses - his arguments on tv have degenerated to "I can read the dictionary, and this isn't amnesty by that definition" - he never address the main point. Illegal aliens now here are made qualified for US citizenship by this awful, destructive bill. No matter how many puffs of powder or coats of lipstick you put on this pig, it's still a pig.

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