The Spectacle Blog

Democrats’ Worst Nightmare

By on 4.6.06 | 2:13PM

It's blacks voting Republican, of course, and Michael Steele has them sweating:

An internal document prepared by a top Democratic strategist warns that a majority of African American voters in Maryland are open to supporting Republican Senate candidate Michael S. Steele and advises the party not to wait to "knock Steele down."

The 37-page report says a sizable segment of likely black voters -- as much as 44 percent -- would readily abandon their historic Democratic allegiances "after hearing Steele's messaging."

"Governor Ehrlich and [Lt. Gov.] Michael Steele have a clear ability to break through the Democratic stronghold among African American voters in Maryland," says the March 27 report by Cornell Belcher, polling consultant for the Democratic National Committee, which bases its findings on a survey of 489 black voters in Maryland conducted last month.

Re: Katie After Dour Dan

By on 4.6.06 | 1:31PM

Jed: I've already had more fun with Katie Couric than I can stand. One look and I knew she was the second coming of Angela Lansbury in the original Manchurian Candidate. Matt Lauer is one lucky, liberated man.

Hopefully Theocon

By on 4.6.06 | 11:19AM

Ross Douthat thoughtfully explores (sub. req'd) the accomplishments and failures of religious conservatism and its place within the larger movement today. No longer is it the alienating fire-and-brimstone version of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They want to change culture at a deeper, yet subtler level:

Re: Katie After Dour Dan

By on 4.6.06 | 9:13AM

Tony DiP, Ned and Roger: guys, c'mon. We can have soooo much fun with this. The only thing better would have been replacing Dan with MoDo. And I didn't watch CBS with Dan, except for times when I'd expected him to be melting down with bias. I won't be watching Katie any more often. At least when Brit has the panel on.

More Control, Less Free Speech

By on 4.6.06 | 8:13AM

In other late night shenanigans, the House passed a 527 regulation bill that capped the individual donation amount to a political 527 at $5000 and to a partisan voter registration group at $25,000. The bill enjoyed wide Republican support because they expect it to limit most Democratic groups. So, as the Post points out, the parties switched arguments on campaign finance and the Democrats argued that it would hamper free speech. In this case, the Democrats are right: it does, just as campaign finance legislation usually does.

Immigration Compromise

By on 4.6.06 | 8:01AM

It's certainly an improvement on the McCain bill, but it looks like the Senate decided to get tough on just a sliver of the illegal immigrants and exonerate the rest. And that sliver of one million (out of 11) who would have to go home and then apply for temporary guest worker status? I doubt the federal government will lift a finger to send them back.

John Tabin Superstar

By on 4.5.06 | 10:04PM

Frequent AmSpec contributor and, by my lights, one of the best conservative journalists out there, John Tabin, received an Honorable Mention in this year's Felix Morely Journalism Competition. Scroll down and check it out. It is, without doubt, a richly deserved honor. Those so inclined should send some congratulations this way.

Katie after Dour Dan

By on 4.5.06 | 7:17PM

Did CBS choose the most annoyingly perky woman in America as over-compensation for Dour Dan? The man who never hinted at a smile unless he was driving a stake through the heart of a Republican?

The whole exercise reminds me of a scene out of Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." You may recall that Prince John, tired of bad news, ordered the Sheriff of Rottingham to give him bad news in a good way. Can't wait to see how Katie handles the first earthquake.

Augusta Who?

By on 4.5.06 | 4:33PM


It's like that every year. I remember the year Tom Kite did not qualify, for some reason; he was at the time the leading career money winner in all of golf. And how many years did Jumbo Ozaki get invited, only to blow up on the weekend?

The rap against the Masters has always been a weak field. That's partly its heritage; it's an invitational. And it's partly the strange selection criteria used to create the field.

I'd like to see Camilo Villegas there, on the basis that the latest, newest hot player ought to get a shot. By other criteria (the top ten money winners), he just missed by a whisker.

Long time before you came on board at TAS (December, 02), I wrote a column you'd like on the Masters, here.


SHILF is Born, Jihad World Prospers

By on 4.5.06 | 3:30PM

1. West Beirut Liberation (read, terror by any other name) Conference, late March, 2006. Attending was Meshal of Hamas, Nasrallah of HizbAllah, also chiefs of PFLP General Command, Zarqawi's now regional command, Moslem Brothers from Cairo, and deputies Syrian and Iranian Intelligence.

2. Two tracks: the public discussion was about political party formation on West Bank, in Egypt, in Iraq. The private discussion was what is to be done about Israel and the United States.

3. Critical resolution was that the defeat of Israeli occupation on the West Bank and in Southern Lebanon and in Syria (Shebaa Farms, Glan Heights) and the American occupation in Iraq is now considered the same struggle. One contest, with unified command structure.

4. No confirm of a follow on meeting in Tehran by Iranian and Syrian intel chiefs to sign off on proposals from West Beirut.

5. New SHILF: Supreme Headquarters Islamic Liberation Force, likely at Damascus. Syria will now go Jihad World to accomodate. Watch for al-Assads in full desert dress.

6. You bet they're cocky.