The Spectacle Blog

Re: The Rise of Boltenism

By on 3.30.06 | 8:54AM

Bob: I think we should be grateful to the Senate Dems who blocked the nomination of John Bolton to the UN ambassadorship. The fact that the president used a recess appointment to get him into the job increased his influence rather than decreased it by showing the Turtle Bay crime family that Bolton has the president's confidence.

That confidence was not misplaced, as Bolton proved yesterday with his tough words on the Iran nuclear program. Not only did he say that we expect full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but he pushed aside the Chinese attempt to put the UN's position in the hands of the feckless IAEA and proliferation apologist el-Baradei. Bolton said we were prepared to be back to the Security Council on the 31st day if Iran wasn't completely forthcoming. The clock is ticking, and -- fortunately for us -- the official timekeeper's name is Bolton.

Oh, Happy Day

By on 3.30.06 | 7:16AM

Jill Carroll was released today.

House of Card

By on 3.29.06 | 6:01PM

Belatedly, here is my full take on the "shake-up" at the White House: It's a good thing that there is a mild, evolutionary change there, and it would have been bad if there had either been no change or a huge, revolutionary change. (The Post, by the way, used the evolutionary/revolutionary contrast in its headline, but I had already used it in my interview with the Post's Peter Baker and other interviews yesterday.) Andy Card was not the problem, but having him step aside, after good and faithful service, might be the beginning of solving the problem. Aside from Card's rumored responsibility (in large part) for the Miers nomination fiasco, I know of no other reason to believe that he was anything other than an honest broker who was well organized (although EVERYBODY'S competence was called into question by Katrina) and well liked.

Leaky Ship

By on 3.29.06 | 1:34PM

The folks at Media Matters are mad at employees for leaking internal emails to Wonkette. How do we know? Because of an internal email leaked to Wonkette.

Slight correction on Andy Card

By on 3.29.06 | 9:45AM

The estimable Peter Baker of the Washington Post is a very solid reporter, but a story today on Andy Card stepping down, to which he contributed, had the effect of misrepresenting what I said. The problem is in the first line of the paragraph: Some conservatives are glad to see Card go. Quin Hillyer, executive editor of the American Spectator magazine, offered a "friendly good riddance" to the chief of staff. "This White House is justly criticized for its insularity, and this little bit of shake-up may help break up that insularity just a little," he said. "Without saying anything bad about Andy Card, it's a good opportunity for the White House to get a new start."

Night Falls On Knighthood

By on 3.29.06 | 9:00AM

Behold Sir Tom Jones. As a song like "Sex Bomb" seems an increasingly quaint and embarrassing relic, so too does the title bestowed now upon the man who belted it. In Britain, pop celebrity has been the tube feed in the monarchy since "Goodbye England's Rose" (turn speakers on). How long, in America, until celebrity itself needs life support? Not-quite-celebrity writer Kurt Andersen considers; I counter-consider here.

Amnesty Disinformation Campaign

By on 3.29.06 | 7:52AM

If you had any doubts that the Specter-McCain-Graham bill creates and amnesty for illegal aliens, listen how carefully its namesakes are parsing their words in support. And listen to the NYT editorial of today that says, of course it's not amnesty. And then goes on to show how it is.

No matter how many smoke grenades Mr. McCain tosses - his arguments on tv have degenerated to "I can read the dictionary, and this isn't amnesty by that definition" - he never address the main point. Illegal aliens now here are made qualified for US citizenship by this awful, destructive bill. No matter how many puffs of powder or coats of lipstick you put on this pig, it's still a pig.

Not Working Hard is Apparently Hard Work

By on 3.28.06 | 1:15PM

I just heard Chris Burns reporting from Paris on the vainglorious student protests for CNN. Burns fawning reportage suggests he's gone native and may start chucking rocks at French police himself at any moment, but this bit caught my eye in particular.

***

[French businesses] want to see someone proving their worth. However, I guess, if you put your mind in some of these youth's minds…they study very hard for very long. They have a degree. And they would like to get a job. They would like to get a job with security. And what is being offered to them is a low-wage job with absolutely no security, no guarantee. The boss can fire them no questions asked in the first two years of that contract. That's absolutely outrageous to a lot of these students who think it's just an insult.

A Riot Of Protests

By on 3.28.06 | 12:15PM

Which is worse for the rule of law: protesters who hurl rocks at cops or protesters who storm the freeways? L.A. and Paris have themselves a competition: is it easier for the USA to control its borders than for France to step an inch toward at-will contracts? The non spirit has gone establishment. The lesson to us -- face your problems before it's too late, I think.

RIP CW.

Tip of the Cap

By on 3.28.06 | 10:57AM

I'm late for a meeting, but word just came that the great Caspar Weinberger, Reagan's Defense Secretary, has died as well. I'll write more on him later, but for now I'll just say: His was a life well lived. The United States is in his debt. What a terrific man.

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