The Spectacle Blog

CIA Rumblings

By on 5.8.06 | 6:04PM

We're hearing what others are hearing: that almost certainly if Gen. Michael Hayden survives confirmation that his deputy will be former CIA deputy director Stephen Kappes.

Kappes resigned rather than deal with the Porter Goss's deputies, particularly Dusty Foggo, who resigned earlier today.

If not Kappes, then the White House will turn to other longstanding CIA hands who have left recently. You get the picture. Why is Kappes high on the list? His ties to the human intelligence networks the CIA had been building up over the past four years.

BTW: This Foggo story will not be going away any time soon, but Democrats should be very careful where they tread. This one may be the story that turns the public opinion tide on them.


By on 5.8.06 | 4:32PM

Reader Fa'ul bin Qatiq, a.k.a. Paul Kotik, writes that our TV coverage is a little thin:

After all that chatter about the President living in a bubble, I'm surprised TAS is missing the opportunity to, uh, comment upon an actual man living in a bubble. He's been in a  transparent bubble filled with water for the last week, on the public plaza at Lincoln/> Center/>/>, NYC. The lunatic magician David Blaine. UBL's sister and numerous A-List Hollywood celebs have come to worship. Seems the Left admires some people who live in bubbles. It's a huge media event -- buzz is it killed Tom Cruise's opening of MI  III here in Manhattan/>/>.

At Last

By on 5.8.06 | 4:06PM

Another bird-flu-pandemic skeptic besides our own brilliant Tom Bethell. (Okay, I'm sure there are a few more out there, but they are rare.)

Catholic Censorship Envy?

By on 5.8.06 | 3:54PM

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin, George Mason law prof, claims that Catholic cardinals have censorship envy over the Da Vinci Code:

As senior Conspirator Eugene Volokh has warned, one of the dangers of censoring "offensive" speech is "censorship envy." If one group is given the power to suppress speech offensive to it, others are likely to press harder to get the same privilege for themselves. As Eugene points out in the post linked above, many of the European Muslims who sought to suppress the Mohammed cartoons were partly motivated by the fact that many European countries ban Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic speech.

Fund On Target, GOP Out?

By on 5.8.06 | 2:49PM

John Fund's column this morning at OpinionJournal is right on target: Republicans are at serious risk right now of losing their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but they may, just perhaps, be saved by the obnoxiousness of the Democrats who would replace them. The American people may have tired of Republican rule in Congress, but that doesn't mean they are eager for rule by the Democrats.

The following paragraph from John, repeating a widely reported story, sets the scene for why the Democrats may yet bail out the GOP:

Babbin on Kudlow

By on 5.8.06 | 12:13PM

Our very own Jed Babbin will be on Kudlow and Company on CNBC at approximately 5:30 p.m. today to discuss the General Hayden appointment.


By on 5.8.06 | 12:05PM

The Hayden nomination is interesting on a couple of different levels.

First, assuming that Negroponte and the President firmly believe that the CIA should be a "provider of services" to the broader intelligence community, then a Negroponte deputy should do a good job of keeping the CIA blowhards in career middle management in check.

Second, folks seem to forget that if anyone understands CIA culture its new chief of staff Josh Bolten, whose father was a career CIA employee. No doubt Bolten understands what is happening out in Langley better than most in this White House.

Portrait of Patrick

By on 5.8.06 | 11:35AM

Now that Patches Kennedy is off to the tank to dry up, the media navel gazing is beginning. Howard Kurtz this morning was wondering aloud why the media ignored Kennedy's seemingly endless run-ins and personal problems during his time as both a state legislator and Congressman. Of course, it was because he was a Kennedy. And more important, he was a liberal Democrat. Non MSM entities covered Kennedy, and we didn't need to lower ourselves to the rumor mongering that constantly swirled around Kennedy on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

Kennedy wasn't just a mediocre Congressman, he was an incompetant, a boob, a Congressman in name only. The only job of significance he undertook was serving as his caucus's chief fundraiser during the early '00s, and he was so bad at it, that then-House Democrat leader Dick Gephardt couldn't remove him because it would only highlight how poorly Democrats were doing under Kennedy's activities.

Hayden’s Opponents

By on 5.8.06 | 9:07AM

The Republican opposition to Gen. Mike Hayden's coming nomination to the top CIA job has picked up the theme the CIA praetorians produced in yesterday's WaPo and NYT. They don't want a military man.

I wonder if they'd be on that theme if the prez was about to nominate Anthony Zinni or one of the other Rumsfeld bashers.

Big Enough for Two Apples

By on 5.8.06 | 7:01AM

Apple Computer is victorious in the U.K. suit against Apple Corps over the use of the logo for iTunes.