The Spectacle Blog

Collateral Damage?

By on 6.7.06 | 9:42AM

It's a wondrous thing to awake to the New York Times. Especially on the web for those of us who refuse to line Pinch's pockets. Today is an especially good day.

One of today's headline stories is about how some Senate Republicans -- read "Senate Liberal Republicans" -- are worried about the ideological bent of issues being raised, such as the gay marriage ban. Whines Lincoln Chaffee, "I'm collateral damage."

What LibLink forgets is that collateral damage, while unfortunate, is sometimes unavoidable. In his case, it's not unfortunate. Grade it desireable.

California-50 Stakes

By on 6.7.06 | 9:40AM

NPR reported yesterday morning that if Bilbray won the special election, the Senate's version of immigration reform would be dead in its tracks. I wonder if they'll revive that story line again today?

Mickey Kaus declares it a victory for the House enforcement version.

Native Hawaiians Debate Today

By on 6.7.06 | 9:12AM

Senate Republicans have scheduled three hours of debate for Native Hawaiians today following the marriage amendment.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports (linked above) that two Republicans are still on the fence: Susan Collins, and one surprise, Sam Brownback. If Brownback in his wildest dreams hopes to be treated seriously as a presidential candidate, he will vote against cloture.

Re: Results Tonight

By on 6.7.06 | 7:10AM

Looks like Bilbray has edged out Busby, 49.49% to 45.24%, with 90% of the precincts reporting. Bilbray said, "I think that we're going back to Washington." Busby is expected to make a statement later this morning.

And the Pearl Jam/netroots-backed Jon Tester won over John Morrison for the Democratic Senate nomination in Montana.

Re: Results Tonight

By on 6.7.06 | 2:28AM

No link yet, but I'm hearing that local news out west has called for Republican Brian Bilbray in CA-50.

UPDATE: This report might have been wrong, as in someone misheard the TV; it's been an hour and I can't find any indication that anyone called the race. But given the way the count is going -- 56.6% of precincts are in as I write, and Bilbray has been at least 4 points ahead every time I've looked -- it will be quite surprising if Bilbray doesn't come out on top in the end. (LATER: It's official, Bilbray wins.)

Senate to Vote on Racist Bill

By on 6.6.06 | 6:27PM

Ed Meese and Todd Gaziano, both of the Heritage Foundation, have an excellent article up at Human Events today on the Native Hawaiians bill.

The term "racist" is too often tossed around in politics, but it should be reserved for pieces of legislation like this.

Though the Supreme Court already rejected a similar scheme in 2000 that Hawaii had instituted, Daniel Akaka still wants his way: the Native Hawaiians Government Reorganization Act would create a separate, race-based government.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights considers (pdf) the legislation discriminatory on the basis of race.

The amazing thing is, as Mary Katherine Ham reports, a vast majority of Hawaiians are against it. Polls of Native Hawaiians are about split. Daniel Akaka and the Senate may impose this race-based system on Hawaii against its will.

The Line Between Reporter and Entertainer

By on 6.6.06 | 5:12PM

Is oft crossed by Dana Milbank. On a chat Friday, he mocked Omaha for receiving increased Homeland Security funds while D.C. and New York saw theirs decrease: "In fairness, Omaha has an excellent stockyard. I understand they plan to build a moat around it like they did to protect the Washington Monument from truck bombs."

A Mediabistro reader caught the error: Omaha's stockyards closed in 1999. Mr. Milbank, Google can be a reporter's best friend.

Today’s Elections

By on 6.6.06 | 5:07PM

There is another round of primary elections today in eight states. The Fix has a comprehensive roundup here.

My erstwhile home state of Montana's races feature substantial action on the Democratic slate: they're picking their challengers to both Sen. Conrad Burns and Rep. Denny Rehberg. I suggested to my old man that he pick up the Dem ballot if it is an open primary. He says he did his best to wreck havoc on their frontrunners.

Also, he tells me of a local mill levy measure to fund "services to the elderly in Missoula County." He says, "The signs around town say, 'Vote for seniors," or "vote for open space.' Well, I have no problem with seniors or open space, but put the other word on there: tax."

Changes the meaning a little, voting for a policy instead of for a person or an abstract notion, no?