The Spectacle Blog

Bense a Bust

By on 5.10.06 | 2:51PM

Florida House Speaker Allan Bense has announced that he will not challenge Rep. Katherine Harris for the GOP Senate nomination. This virtually assures the GOP of a lost opportunity down in Florida.

Harris is a disaster, but fundraising sources we've talk to, who know Bense's thinking in the matter, say that his decision had less to do with the mess that Harris has made of the race against Sen. Bill Nelson, and more to do with Bense's concerns in general about the state of the Republican Party nationally.

Bense's public statement cites family concerns. But we're hearing that Bense was also concerned about the Republican Party's commitment to pushing him over the top, and then challenging a well-financed and well-rested Nelson. "You got the sense that the RNC thought that Allen would run and that they could leave him alone to fight this out successfully," says one source we talked to earlier today. "Coming into the race this late, he would have needed a lot more help. It wasn't clear given all the other things Republicans are trying to do nationally and in other races that he would have gotten the help he needed."

Toyota, and a loss to the judiciary

By on 5.10.06 | 1:52PM

Toyota stock is down marginally today, because, along with reporting that 39% profit increase, the company predicted decreased sales in the quarter and year ahead. Also this, from Dow Jones News Service: JUDGE LEAVES 4TH CIRCUIT FOR BOEING JOB Judge J. Michael Luttig, one of the country's most prominent conservative jurists, has resigned from Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., to become senior vice president and general counsel for Boeing. Shares edge higher. Remember Judge Luttig? Prominently mentioned for the SCOTUS? Guess he's taking himself out of the game.

Clinton and RU-486

By on 5.10.06 | 12:54PM

Immediately after taking office, he aggressively promoted the approval of RU-486 in the U.S., admininstration documents show.

Toyota Price Gouging?

By on 5.10.06 | 12:51PM

I attended a Business and Media Institute panel this morning on gas prices at the National Press Club. Our own Quin Hillyer moderated.

Cato Institute's Jerry Taylor had pointed and frank comments on just about every topic, but particularly price gouging. In short, either it exists everywhere or it doesn't exist at all. Consumers expect Congress to "do something" when gas prices jump, but say nothing about increases in the prices of T-shirts, cars, or beer at the bar. Why is gas different? It shouldn't be.

Usually the politicians and demagoguges (like Bill O'Reilly) hang their case on the large profits oil companies are seeing lately. A few strong points here: 1- Long term, the oil industry is not a smart buy for investors. Most years are tough, and these "windfall" years are important for the tough years. 2- The profit margins are slim compared to many industries. BP has a 6.8 percent profit margin, while Fox News makes 10.2 percent profit, and other media companies even higher.

Re: New Republic vs. the Left

By on 5.10.06 | 2:20AM

Quin, this fellow Jonathan Chait may now be alarmed at the wacko left's "paranoid, Manichean worldview brimming with rage," but in many ways he's the Dr. Frankenstein of this operation. Remember his groundbreaking piece back in the Sept. 29, 2003 issue of TNR that began with this sentence (which will forever remain the most memorable thing Chait ever wrote), "I hate President George W. Bush"? And lest you thought he hated only Bush's policies, he added for good measure: "I even hate the things that everybody seems to like about him....I suspect that, if I got to know him personally, I would hate him even more." Adult liberals have been throwing hissy fits about Bush since at least Florida 2000. Now they're surprised that the kids and punks took them at their word. Sometimes you deserve what you sow.

Re: GOP — Are You In Or Out?

By on 5.9.06 | 10:07PM

Quin -- all this seems to redound, to me, to the moral-victory benefit of conservatives. On what issue have the Congress and the President failed by doing the conservative thing? I can't think of a one. The victories have been conservative, like tax cuts and John Roberts, and the victories snatched from the jaws of defeat have been conservative, too -- like Harriet Miers. Bush's losing issues -- even on the left -- come courtesy of stances no conservative loves: No Child Left Behind, the guest worker program, Katrina policy, a flotilla of other domestic programs and half-programs. And Congress has gone right along for the ride on them all.

Re: The New Republic vs. The Left

By on 5.9.06 | 2:19PM

Quin, Rich Cohen in the Post had a fine column today along similar lines. When he said that Stephen Colbert wasn't funny, the lefty blogosphere turned its vitriol on him. Talk about friendly fire.

Re: ABA’s Racket

By on 5.9.06 | 1:49PM

Dave: That's why a lot of conservative lawyers, myself included, have long since quit the ABA. I refused to pay dues to an organization that was working against what I stand for. Though it may act like one, the ABA isn't a union operating in a closed shop. No conservative lawyer should be a member.

Treasury Rumors

By on 5.9.06 | 1:29PM

Here we go again. Talk in some quarters of Wall Street is that the White House is looking at Martin Feldstein as the next Treasury Secretary.

This would obvisouly be a coup for the White House, given Feldstein's ties to the Reagan Administration as the President's chief economic adviser.

We still say Josh Bolten was the best man for the job, but in absence of that, Feldstein has the Street Cred and fiscal cred to pass muster.

New Republic vs. the Left

By on 5.9.06 | 12:09PM

Today, Jonathan Chait of The New Republic offers, in so many words, the same critique of the Lefty blogosphere that I offered in a column here a couple of weeks ago. Chait's best line is his description of the Lefties' outlook: "It's a paranoid, Manichean worldview brimming with humorless rage." Hear, hear!! Meanwhile, in an earlier column about why the crazy Left is wrongheaded for trying to beat Connecticut's U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in a primary, he offers this other terrific passage: "In the end, though, I can't quite root for Lieberman to lose his primary. What's holding me back is that the anti-Lieberman campaign has come to stand for much more than Lieberman's sins. It's a test of strength for the new breed of left-wing activists who are flexing their muscles within the party. These are exactly the sorts of fanatics who tore the party apart in the late 1960s and early '70s. They think in simple slogans and refuse to tolerate any ideological dissent." Again, hear, hear! HEAR, HEAR!!!!

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