The Spectacle Blog

Viva Italia!

By on 7.9.06 | 8:39PM

That headline, being so appropriate to so many occasions, isn't 100% accurate today. The French lost the World Cup Soccer match to Italy with a lot of help from the amazing Italian team. But however valiantly the Italians played, it was the French being themselves that was determinative.

Zidane - whose name we'd never heard before today and will likely never hear again - is (was?) the best of the French players. And he performed perfectly, head-butting an Italian player and earning ejection from the game. It's all too sweet. Viva Italia!

Liberal Christianity

By on 7.9.06 | 9:49AM

Check out the superb op-ed by Charlotte Allen in today's LA Times, "Liberal Christianity is Paying for Its Sins," here. Concluding graf:

"So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology and national meetings that rival those of the Modern Language Assn. for their potential for cheap laughs. And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program - ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth - or die. Sure."

The Smallest Violin

By on 7.7.06 | 3:40PM

Regina Owens of the Washington Citizen Action group complains about the new ID requirements for signing up for free health insurance, aka Medicaid:

Starting this month, when you apply for Medicaid, take your passport along with you. Thanks to federal legislation passed in February, if you need health insurance, you're going to have to work hard to prove you're a citizen.

This represents a big change and a big burden. A passport costs almost $100, not a small amount for anyone. As an alternative, you can buy a birth certificate ($28) and a state identification card ($20) -- and bring along proof of your limited income.

Boo hoo. The fact is that the taxpayers subsidize Medicaid, and it is reasonable to ask recipients to endure a few more minor inconveniences to ensure that our tax dollars are going only to people who are here legally.

Then there is this gem:

Stem Cell Honesty

By on 7.7.06 | 11:07AM

Michael Kinsley should have read Robert George and Eric Cohen's op-ed on stem cells in the Post yesterday before he weighed in today.

Kinsley's article is a self-parody of his third-way liberalism. He compliments pro-lifers "as that rarity in modern American politics: a strong interest group defending the interest of someone other than themselves." Be careful: when a columnist lays on such heavy compliments, he is softening his target for the sucker punch.

He delivers in the next sentence:

Powell Ill

By on 7.7.06 | 10:59AM

Hmmm. Maybe former Secretary of State Colin Powell is more conservative than he knows. Perhaps Powell got ill from something he ate with former President Bill Clinton. We'd like to think it was simply Powell's untapped conservative constitution's allergic reaction to being in the man's presence.

Wall Street Bombing Rumors

By on 7.7.06 | 10:06AM

The New York Daily News report this morning about what appears to have been an al Qaeda supported plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York in order to flood the Wall Street financial district is drawing a lot of attention in the blogosphere on the heels of the New York and LA Times' leaking of highly confidential intelligence tools that the U.S. was able to use to track terrorist financing. Why?

Because apparently al Qaeda had promised the purported lead plotter based in Lebanon financial support. Other plotters scattered around the world - some presumably in the U.S. - would have been in need of the funds to purchase explosives, to finance travel, etc.

We've been talking to a few folks inside DOJ, the FBI and Treasury this morning, and things are a bit unclear. But this what we're being told.

7/7: One Year Later

By on 7.7.06 | 8:58AM

In the year since the 7-7-05London bombings, the British have devoted much more thought than action to the issue of domestic terrorism.  Why?  This editorial from today’s Daily Telegraph sheds some light on it. Here’s the money quote:

In contrast to what happened after the admittedly much bigger catastrophe in New York on September 11, 2001, there has been remarkably little panic. On this side of the Atlantic, we are perhaps more inured to terrorism. The bombers may do their worst but life goes on. Londoners, to their credit, have taken 7/7 in their stride.

Senate Comedian

By on 7.7.06 | 1:36AM

Yesterday's report that Sen. Joe Biden put his big feet in his mouth again showed Joe not only displaying his characteristic smug bonhomie but yet again lifting material from someone of genuine stature. Watch the tape of Joe declaiming about the need to have an Indian accent to enter a 7/Eleven or Dunkin Donuts in Delaware and tell me he's not doing his best Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) imitation.