The Spectacle Blog

Monkey Media

By on 5.18.06 | 3:58PM

The White House press corps is a joke. They spend their days being fed questions and information from left-wing special interest groups so that they can zing the President and Tony Snow, and they don't take the time to understand the people and the issues that they cover. How do we know? Why, their White House pool reports, of course. Special thanks to Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan, who with a fine eye for the important facts filed today's pool report from Air Force One, and noted that while most folks in Washington and elsewhere were watching the confirmation hearing of Gen. Michael Hayden, the White House press corps onboard was watching ... "King Kong." But you know what? Those press guys will almost certainly have thoughts on Hayden's performance, and they will certainly expect the President and his his advisers to be on top of every little factoid from the hearing.

Today on Kudlow & Co.

By on 5.18.06 | 12:48PM

Larry Korb and I will go at it again. The CIA mess and the Hayden confirmation. About 1730 EDT on CNBC. See ya there.

Hayden’s Statement

By on 5.18.06 | 10:16AM

Just got the opening statement Gen. Hayden will deliver in his confirmation hearing today. As with any confirmation statement, it's cautious. And it isn't something that will discomfit the CIA bureaucrats. Money quotes:

Over the past few years, the Intelligence Community and CIA have taken an inordinate number of hits, some of them fair, many of them not. Yes, there have been failures, but there also have been many great successes.

...Internally, I would regard it as a leading part of my job to affirm and strengthen the excellence and pride of CIA's workforce.

This is troubling on any number of levels. Have the failures been balanced by the successes? Hard to see how. "Strenghen the excellence and pride"? How about raising the standard of excellence?

Hayden will be confirmed. But he seems a very unlikely candidate to clean out the Langley version of the Augean Stables.

Corporate Social Responsibility

By on 5.18.06 | 4:26AM

The America's Future Foundation is hosting a debate on that topic in Washington, DC tonight. Frequent TAS contributor Sean Higgins is moderating. Occasional TAS contributor Ivan Osorio is on the panel. Details here.

Re: Good Fences, Neighbors

By on 5.17.06 | 10:33PM

Quin: You're entirely right. Jeff Sessions is terrific, keeps turning up at the right place with the right ideas. Gotta keep an eye on him.

And what will tomorrow bring? Gen. Hayden has his day in the Senate, the Intel staffs and members are probably already leaking what they were briefed on today to the NY Times, and the CIA is getting ready to welcome in a new boss who will defend the bureaucrats' turf against all comers. You think it's bad now? Just wait'll tomorrow.

End of a Great Mystery?

By on 5.17.06 | 6:43PM

Aw, c'mon, if they find Jimmy Hoffa, we'll start to run out of mysteries. Next thing you know, Saquatch will come out of hiding and the unicorns will all emergy from the shadows. And one day they'll even find girls that disappear in Aruba. Then again, that's a sad story that long ago ought to have been solved already.

Grover’s Good Idea

By on 5.17.06 | 5:17PM

Captain's Quarters reports that Grover Norquist has a really interesting idea to put term limits on membership on the Appropriations Committees in Congress. At first glance, it makes sense. It probably will make sense no matter how many glances one gives it. As a former staffer of the House Approps Committee, I tentatively approve. Go, Grover!

Good Fences, Neighbors

By on 5.17.06 | 3:39PM

Wow -- Jed will be pleased. Alabama's Jeff Sessions (a great guy, by the way) was just successful in getting a border fence through the Senate. This is a bit of a surprise (that it passed so easily), but it should mollify conservatives at least a bit. He noted that good fences make good neighbors. That wisdom is usually correct. Some say it will always be thus.

Inconvenient Uncertainties

By on 5.17.06 | 3:24PM

Ronald Bailey of Reason turns his able scientific eye on a few of the apocalyptic claims in the new Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth, putting Bailey somewhat at odds with the film's tagline, "Nothing is scarier than the truth." (And, no, this frightfest isn't a new adaptation of Love Story starring Al and Tipper. It's a movie about global warming, which, incidentally, is one thing Gore is proud to say he didn't invent.)

Re: The Tony Snow Show

By on 5.17.06 | 12:45PM

Everyone agrees that Tony Snow is one of the nicest people in public life. But just to remind him who's boss, the Washington Post today, alongside Dana Milbank's useless story on yesterday's first official televised briefing, runs three of the most hideous photographs it could concoct of Snow in action. You can get a sampling of at least one of them here. Put three of those in a row, and the effect is purposely, vilely grotesque.

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