The Spectacle Blog

A Favorite Author

By on 12.2.05 | 8:38AM

Though two letter writers in today's Reader Mail may give you a different impression, our Tom Bethell is very widely admired. Check out Sam Karnick's gushing comments, which he's posted on his (and Jay Homnick and Hunter Baker's) excellent Reform Club site.

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‘Career’ Is Code Word for Liberal Democrat

By on 12.2.05 | 7:47AM

The Washington Post has outdone itself in disingenuous reporting. Today's front page, above-the-fold headline "Justice Staff Saw Texas Districting as Illegal" is the one of the most agenda driven news stories of the year. Dan Eggen only finds news at the Justice Department when career employees complain about decisions made by their political appointee superiors. Funny, these stories never appeared when the Clintons were in the WH and Janet Reno was opening day-care centers and stopping FBI criminal agents from talking to the intelligence folks who could have clued them into terrorist plots. Why? Because the majority of "career" employees at DOJ are Democrats who agreed with the radical liberal Clinton policies and who are opposed to all things Republican/conservative. And the Civil Rights Division is the worst of the lot. It is populated with the most activist, liberal Democrats in the federal government -- acolytes and former staff of John Conyers, Henry Waxman, Pat Leahy, Ted Kennedy, etc.

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Re: 390-HP Lawn Ornament Contest

By on 12.2.05 | 7:45AM

The competition has been energetic, and methinks it's gone about far enough. We'll post the finalists today for a vote. (And, no, I've NEVER had that much hair.)

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IL Pharmacists Refuse to Fill Contraception Rx

By on 12.1.05 | 3:51PM

Gov. Rod Blagojevich was making a good deal of noise about going after conscientious objector pharmacists in the spring. Looks like he did, and East St. Louis Walgreens employees are taking a stand. Good for them.

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Worthwhile Canadian Election

By on 12.1.05 | 3:06PM

The Liberals got a no-confidence vote earlier this week, and it looks like the Tories have a real shot at forming the next government up north. Good news: It means that the US-friendly Stephen Harper, whom Colby Cosh introduced to TAS readers during the last election a year-and-a-half ago, could be Prime Minister.

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Tonight on Fox

By on 12.1.05 | 2:44PM

I'll be on with David Asman (who's subbing for John Gibson) tonight about 5:30, talking about the Pentagon plan to have US forces do reconstruction. Do we need a Colonial Office? Methinks not.

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An Acceptable Discrimination

By on 12.1.05 | 2:20PM

Like Patrick O'Hannigan, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus takes issue with Will Saletan's assessment of the Catholic Church's new document on the ordination of homosexuals at the First Things blog:

Contra Saletan, the Church pastorally cares and prays for people who struggle with disordered desires. But she should not jeopardize the mission of the priesthood by ordaining those who are thought likely to succumb to such desires.

Cardinal Grocholewski, head of the dicastery issuing the instruction, puts it this way: "It is not discrimination, for example, if one does not admit a person who suffers from vertigo to a school for astronauts." More precisely, it is discrimination, although not in the pejorative sense of the term. I suppose it is possible that somebody with a transitory, or even deep-seated, problem with vertigo might be a successful astronaut, but as a matter of policy you don't want to put the possibility to the test.

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Roe Nibbling?

By on 12.1.05 | 2:15PM

That's what Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick accuses the Supreme Court of in hearing arguments in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood yesterday.

Just to be clear about what's happening today: No one is talking about reversing Roe v. Wade. But I can't count five people willing to apply the holding in Casey to these facts either. Instead most of the court is doing constitutional loop-the-loops to try to save the New Hampshire law, even though they are almost all bothered by the lack of a health exception. Mostly they try to graft a health exception back on, whether or not the New Hampshire legislators wished to have one. The larger point is that New Hampshire nipped and tucked the so-called right to an abortion when it passed this law, and most of the court thinks that is just fine.

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Tina’s other Mother

By on 12.1.05 | 1:18PM

Wlady: I am indeed listening, but all I'm hearing is an echo. The Chris Matthews mantra -- Tonkin Gulf was a fraud, so is Iraq's WMD -- is a liberal chant now popular among the more fevered antiwar types.

Even more interesting is Hillary's forced recalibration. Preparing to throw her broom into the ring for '08, she has been wisely running to the right of her party on the war. And, as a result, she's been bashed by the Cindy Sheehanite wing of her party. She can't get the nomination without their support, and the Sorosbucks that come with it. Two weeks ago, the Clinton machine was bashing Cindy Sheehan. Now the Sheehanites are reining her in.

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