The Spectacle Blog

Tantrum in the House

By on 11.18.05 | 7:07PM

Read the AP report to catch up on today's back and forth on the Murtha resolution. The highlight:

The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.

"He asked me to send Congress a message - stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.

Democrats booed and shouted her down - causing the House to come to a standstill.

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Murtha Mush

By on 11.18.05 | 6:41PM

John Murtha just appeared with Chris Matthews on Hardball, and said so many things that are factually incorrect, reckless and - I'm sorry to say - irresponsible, I hereby refuse to defend the man further. Just because you are a war hero doesn't permanently immunize you from on-target criticism. Just ask Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy.

Among the whoppers Murtha was peddling are that: (1) all Iraqi troops are at the lowest readiness rating; (2) Iraqi troops work only three out of four weeks; (3) there was no terrorism in Iraq before we went in (news to Abu Nidal, who headquartered in Baghdad for years); (4) Iraqis won't tell us where the insurgents are (Pentagon sources say Iraqi cooperation and intelligence given our troops by Iraqi civilians is very good and growing daily); and (5) the tired old argument that we didn't go into Iraq with enough troops to win.

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Re: More on ID

By on 11.18.05 | 4:57PM


I don't even think that there's a recognition that there is a debate. For many, as Dr. Krauthammer taps his medical degree and invariably tries to end the discussion. Many think there's an immediately reconcilable edition of Darwinism that will cater to those who don't wish their religious ideals to obfuscate their arguments; sort of a Rawlsian relapse into arguments about private reason vs. public reason. Because Darwinism is so poorly understood, it winds up misrepresented in such a way that even Wilson feels it's being sold short.

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Re: More on ID

By on 11.18.05 | 4:49PM

J., if you mean that there's an unwillingness to see evolution debated among the right, you're correct. Is this what you're arguing?

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Iraq Showdown Live

By on 11.18.05 | 4:45PM

They're at it already, tho proceedings stopped when a freshman congresslady from Ohio (Schmidt?) read an e-mail from a constituent that may have violated House rules on decorum by implying Murtha is a coward. While they sort this out, all the momentum building toward fisticuffs has been lost. If memory serves, we haven't had a real fight in Congress since just before the Civil War.

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More on ID

By on 11.18.05 | 4:34PM

From a reader:

TAS -- I beg you to stop with this ID nonsense.

Maybe George could comment, but one thing that I've noted since I got started here at the Spectator is a desire to doggedly pursue arguments to their philosophical ends. Many thought the Spectator was just beating a dead horse by reporting on Clinton; but if the magazine was trying to score political points and make itself look good, it would have eventually rescinded its stories or pretended it never happened, tucked its tail in, and headed back to Bloomington.

What Dan Peterson did in his article was simply provide a basis for debate; before reading it, even I was not yet annealled into the fold of critics of Darwinism. ISI put out a very good book on the topic, called Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing. There's a reason they refer to intellectuals here.

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Kerry: Stop “Swift Boat Attacks” on Murtha

By on 11.18.05 | 4:26PM

John Kerry's still smarting from losing last fall. This email just went out:

This is our moment of truth. You and I have to make it absolutely clear that we won't stand for Republican "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.

Yesterday, an extraordinary congressman, former Marine Drill Sergeant and decorated Vietnam veteran, spoke out on the war in Iraq. He didn't come to that moment lightly. He spoke his mind and spoke his heart out of love for his country and support for our troops. No sooner had the words left his lips than the vicious assault on his character and patriotism began.

Today, in a statement on the Senate floor, in interviews with the national media, and in this message to you, I am seeking out every opportunity to defend a brave American hero that the Republican attack machine has set their sights on.

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Johnny Cash Review Roundup

By on 11.18.05 | 4:12PM

I know, you're dying to see the new Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line, as much as I am. It's received largely positive reviews, most of which I've read (out of my Johnny Cash excitement), so you don't have to.

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Evolution, ID, and Faith

By on 11.18.05 | 3:23PM

Mr. James G. Poulos, a contributor to TAS Online, takes issue with my post earlier today challenging Charles Krauthammer apoplectic and ill-reasoned column.

After considering my quick summation of ID, Poulos comments,

But it's one thing to say "maybe God did it" and quite another to say "therefore--." In unravelling the basic secrets of life on Earth, we should be none too surprised by a lack of clear evidence as to how mitochondria or the human eyeball eased into being over billions of years. The theory of evolution is on weak empirical reeds because it's being pushed beyond its brief: today bird beaks on the Galapagos, tomorrow the world, past, present, and future.

While he acknowledges evolutionary theory's lack of evidence, he seems to understand ID as concluding that without the evidence of evolution, God therefore created. From a strictly empirical standpoint, we cannot say that either God or blind, random chance is responsible for creation.

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Iraq Showdown: 7 pm

By on 11.18.05 | 2:56PM

Finally, some Republicans are willing to go to the mat, and play hardball politics the way it should be played. There's a vote now scheduled for 7 pm in the House, to force Dems to say we should or shouldn't pull out of Iraq. Stay tuned. Pelosi and Co. are gonna try to wiggle past it, and the Repubs may yet cave, but right now every Dem thinking of running in '08 is carpet-chewing mad.

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