The Spectacle Blog

Webb Not Quite Ready for Primetime

By on 5.19.06 | 1:43PM

Maybe national Dems are looking forward to a Jim Webb upset over George Allen in the fall. (The conventional wisdom predicts a Webb victory over Harris Miller, his Democratic opponent, in the primary next month.)

One very active Democrat friend, a Dean supporter who is working on a liberal Senate campaign this year, said this week in an email, "George Allen's got a fight on his hands" if Webb gets the nomination.

After seeing Webb in action at Shad Planking, I have my doubts. He hung back drinking with his small cadre of supporters. In any race, a good candidate mixes with the crowd -- even folks from the other party. George Allen has mastered that skill. Without it, I would predict that Webb lacks the temperament to win.

Da Vinci Decoded

By on 5.19.06 | 12:57PM

Since the film version of The Da Vinci Code is out today I thought I'd link to two hilarious takedowns of the much-heralded story. First, Mark Steyn on "bad writing for biblical illiterates." Here's the opening graph:

It's a good rule in this line of work to respect a hit. But golly, The Da Vinci Code makes it hard. At the start of the book, Dan Brown pledges, "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." It's everything else that's hokum, beginning with the title, whose false tinkle testifies to Brown's penchant for weirdly inauthentic historicity. Referring to "Leonardo da Vinci" as "da Vinci" is like listing Lawrence of Arabia in the phone book as "Of Arabia, Mr. L," or those computer-generated letters that write to the Duke of Wellington as "Dear Mr. Duke, you may already have won!"

And then there's Tim Cavanaugh on taking in a bestseller by osmosis. A taste from the middle of a brilliant piece:

New Orleans Blues?

By on 5.19.06 | 11:05AM

My friend Deroy Murdock has a warm and moving story out on NRO today about the current state of my home city of New Orleans. Well worth a read.

Google and Smut

By on 5.19.06 | 9:30AM

Two days ago, the Christian Coalition announced that it was joining with Google to support regulation of the Internet through what is called "Net Neutrality."

There was talk among Hill lobbyists that the Coalition was promised as much as $50,000, and it isn't clear that any money has yet changed hands. But money could be the only reason the Christian Coalition would sell its soul to get into bed with companies that get into bed with the Chinese government and facilitate profits for pornographers. Now, there is is this story out of South America. No one can blame Jack Abramoff for this one.

House fails again!

By on 5.18.06 | 10:25PM

Every time I look up, Congress is doing something else bad or failing to do something good. The failure of this attempt to lift the ban on offshore drilling is an atrocity. I mean, this should have been easy. First, it only applied to natural gas, not oil, and natural gas evaporates anyway so it doesn't cause oil slicks, etc. Second, all the lifting of the ban would do is let states have the choice to opt out of the ban. So under the proposal, if Florida still wanted its precious little ban in place, it could keep it, even if the proposal passed -- but Virginia, which does want to let gas drilling occur, would have that option. What's so wrong with giving the states the option?!? This just infuriates me.

Facts as Obstacles

By on 5.18.06 | 8:24PM

BellSouth is upping the ante on the NSA phone record story, calling for USA Today to retract it.

My money says that won't stop Pat Leahy from using the USA Today as a prop in the Hayden hearings.

SS for Illegals?

By on 5.18.06 | 5:00PM

Mary Katherine Ham has the report, here, on a flabbergasting vote in the Senate: Illegals will NOT be barred from collecting Social Security benefits. See for yourself.

Kos Stalks Lamont

By on 5.18.06 | 4:30PM

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (he of Daily Kos) appears in a new Ned Lamont ad. Like he's stalking him or something. The screen shot captures it, but watch the ad if you want more.

Hot Air got creative with some overdubbing.

Monkey Media

By on 5.18.06 | 3:58PM

The White House press corps is a joke. They spend their days being fed questions and information from left-wing special interest groups so that they can zing the President and Tony Snow, and they don't take the time to understand the people and the issues that they cover. How do we know? Why, their White House pool reports, of course. Special thanks to Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan, who with a fine eye for the important facts filed today's pool report from Air Force One, and noted that while most folks in Washington and elsewhere were watching the confirmation hearing of Gen. Michael Hayden, the White House press corps onboard was watching ... "King Kong." But you know what? Those press guys will almost certainly have thoughts on Hayden's performance, and they will certainly expect the President and his his advisers to be on top of every little factoid from the hearing.

Today on Kudlow & Co.

By on 5.18.06 | 12:48PM

Larry Korb and I will go at it again. The CIA mess and the Hayden confirmation. About 1730 EDT on CNBC. See ya there.

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