The Spectacle Blog

Economy Booming

By on 12.1.05 | 7:21AM

We neglected to note this here, but the Commerce Department revised upward third quarter gross domestic product figures yesterday -- 4.3% growth instead of 3.8%. Naturally, the WSJ is bullish (sub. req'd): "We interrupt your daily doom-and-gloom programming with a word from the economy." Now if only the President would tout this as loudly as his predecessor did and let Americans know it.

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Managing The New Alito Document

By on 12.1.05 | 7:11AM

The new abortion ammo for/against Judge Alito probably will not substantially hinder his confirmation. He weathered the 1985 Justice Department application release well, thanks to the White House's successful message control under Steve Schmidt. Schmidt convinced the press and most moderates that Alito must be evaluated as a judge, not a political job-seeker. Schmidt's already working from that successful playbook on this newly released memo:

"Judge Alito should be evaluated on his 15 years of jurisprudence as a federal judge where he has authored hundreds of opinions," Schmidt said. "On some of those cases, he has upheld abortion rights. In other cases he has not. To leap to conclusions and try to infer future decisions from 20-year-old memos borders on the silly."

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Re: Letter from Toyota

By on 12.1.05 | 6:56AM

Glenn Reynolds says Holman Jenkins is wrong to be so dismissive of hybrids. He says his Highlander "gets double the mileage in town."

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Global Freezing in History

By on 11.30.05 | 6:51PM

Jed, the Gulf Stream has shifted before, north, in the middle ages. It caused a major global power realignment, because it brought the great codfish schools with it -- and moved that source of national wealth marginally out of reach for the vessels of Spain and Portugal at the time. England and the cities of the Hanseatic League benefited, to the extent that by the mid-1300s, the League had taken over global control of the salt fish trade.

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Global Freezing?

By on 11.30.05 | 5:42PM

Another wonderful EUnuch day comes to an end. The first face transplant (partial one, at least) was accomplished surgically in France. And those who are the most ardent supporters of the Kyoto global warming treaty, inevitably, are now facing the prospect of a -- wait for it -- mini-Ice Age that could engulf Europe.

From the Department of Stuff We Can't Make Up comes the report that the ocean current that gives Europe its balmy (atmospheric, not political) climate is failing and may create another ice age on the Continent. The (intemperate) money quote?

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Re: Charlie Brown

By on 11.30.05 | 5:37PM

Wonderful points about the wonderful Charlie Brown Christmas special, Dave, but you inadvertently make the point about how impoverished current productions are. CB was made in 1965. That's the TV equivalent of re-running "The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show," to name only one of that era's unabashed TV Christians.

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Penn. Pay Grabbers in $300K+ FL Homes

By on 11.30.05 | 5:08PM

It sure pays well to be a Pennsylvania state legislator. So well, in fact, that two key players in approving the recent unconstitutional pay raise, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Cappy and Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer both own Bonita Springs, Florida, homes in the same gated country club community. Cappy's Florida home is valued at $333,000 and Jubelirer's at $317,000. Those homes are in addition to their Pennsylvania homes.

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Straight Talk From Toyota

By on 11.30.05 | 4:29PM

Still enchanted with the Prius? You'll reconsider after reading Holman Jenkins' fine column today, which doubles as the letter from Toyota that'll never be written:

...Let us assure you that the Prius remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the road. Toyota applauds your willingness to spend $9,500 over the price of any comparable vehicle for the privilege of saving, at current gasoline prices, approximately $580 a year.

And should the price of gasoline rise to $5, after 10 years and/or 130,000 miles of driving, you might even come close to breaking even on your investment in hybrid technology.

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Dem Disarray

By on 11.30.05 | 2:30PM

So just a couple of hours after Vichy John Kerry was trying to convince us that the Dems really weren't calling for withdrawal from Iraq, up pops Mizz Pelosi to say that Cong. Murtha was right, and we should begin pulling out of Iraq as soon as possible.

This, so far, is a pretty good day. It's the first one in a long time that it must be more frustrating to be a Dem than a Republican.

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