The Spectacle Blog

Nancy Goes to Church

By on 12.14.05 | 3:28PM

Nancy Pelosi's office just sent out a press release commending the Jim Wallis-led protest against the "immoral Republican budget." First, I'd like to thank whoever added me to this list. I'm giddy. On to the release:

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Zogby’s Year-End Polling

By on 12.14.05 | 2:54PM

Has some very interesting numbers. The new poll samples just over 1000 Americans, with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

The numbers are worrisome for Republicans. The generic 2006 Congressional election question has Democrats favored over Republicans by 48 to 40 percent. When you break that down into Bush's 2004 red and blue states, the reds break for the GOP by 46 to 43 percent, a tiny edge compared to 54 to 34 percent for the Democrats in blue states.

Zogby also finds low numbers for Bush: a 38 percent job approval rating. But that's not all. If Bush endorses a candidate, 40 percent of voters are less likely to vote for that candidate, compared to about 30 percent more likely. Zogby has those numbers for a variety of endorsers: Vice President Cheney: 26 percent more likely, 45 percent less likely; Hillary: 36 percent more likely, 39 percent less likely; Bill Clinton: 42 percent more likely, 36 percent less likely. The big one is John McCain: an endorsement from him would make 54 percent more likely to vote for his guy, and only 18 percent less likely.

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Re: Why Now?

By on 12.14.05 | 1:30PM

Wlady/Lawrence: I don't doubt that Ahmadinejad means everything he says. We do need to take our enemies at their word when they say they want to kill us. But that's not why I raised the issue.

The issue is, why is he making this much of a row now? It has to be connected to something, probably external, that Iran is trying to do. The question is, what?

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On Deck

By on 12.14.05 | 1:18PM

Now that Tookie Williams has been executed, there is great concern among anti-death penalty advocates over who is next in line. Turns out to be a 75-year-old blind diabetic -- who was convicted of ordering the shotgun killing of three unfriendly witnesses 25 years ago. The story in today's Sacramento Bee about him and others on deck bears a creepy resemblance to stories that handicap the chances of likely candidates to fill a vacancy on the high court and analyze the political calculations that are likely to influence the chief executive in reaching a final decision. We're all postmodern now, which isn't a bad way to avoid serious thinking about murder and retribution.

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Understanding Ahmadinejad

By on 12.14.05 | 1:11PM

Jed: Today on NRO, R. James Woolsey wrote:

Words and beliefs have consequences, and totalitarians are often remarkably clear about what they will do once they have enough power. Many brushed aside Mein Kampf when it was first written but it turned out to be an excellent guide to the Nazis' behavior once they had the power to implement it.

The Iranians do make feints to ploy the West (remember arms for hostages?), but I don't think this is one of them.

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Re: Why Now?

By on 12.14.05 | 12:53PM

Jed, John: Why not? The key to understanding Iran's president probably lies in his apocalyptic religious fanaticism, as Patrick Devenny will explain on our main site tomorrow. There is indeed every reason to think he means every word he says.

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Little Moments of Bias

By on 12.14.05 | 12:02PM

Media bias comes in packages large and small. ABC News' The Note (certainly no partisan outfit) notes a very telling moment last night:

Last night, in the very New York Hilton ballroom in which the annual Inner Circle dinner is held, Bill and Hillary Clinton showed up to raise a little money for her Senate campaign. He spoke first and introduced her.

But before that, Democratic Party major fundraiser Alan Patricoff's para-stirring introduction of the spouse/FPOTUS included the applause-generating line "he's still our president," which required no explanation or qualification for the assembled Blue group.

Now, for those of you who see no liberal/Democratic bias in the media: imagine Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States in 2008, and in 2009 at a massive Houston fundraiser for a GOP candidate, the Republican equivalent of Patricoff introduces George W. Bush and says about him "he's still our president." What kind of press coverage do you think that that would get?

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Re: Why Now?

By on 12.14.05 | 11:57AM

John: It's just my nasty suspicious mind that makes me wonder what they're trying to take our eyes off while we ponder the latest rant against Israel. They gain nothing from international opprobrium that comes with these statements, so there must be another reason for the timing. My guess is that they're trying to conceal something else with the minor kerfuffle that this is.

Is this the critical time for their nuke plans when they achieve some milestone they believe is irreversible? Is this the moment when they choose to do something bigger and worse in Iraq? Or is ol' Mahmoud trying to cover his political tush because he's in trouble for something at home? Or is there another event, which is entirely possible, that we aren't aware of and haven't forseen? I'm not going to lay awake tonight worrying. But I'm one of those people who do not believe in coincidences, and I wonder.

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Shocker

By on 12.14.05 | 11:43AM

Watching Mel Karmazin promote Howard Stern on satellite radio is like finding your defrocked priest selling condoms on a street corner.

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