The Spectacle Blog

Reason Not to Veto

By on 3.21.06 | 10:07AM

Bush says he hasn't vetoed a bill because "they met the benchmarks we set."

That's false by any common sense understanding of truth.

The back story of the highway bill is that the White House moved the goalposts. It set a benchmark for the highway bill at $270 billion. When it was clear Congress would overspend that, the White House moved the benchmark to $284 billion. Bush said he would veto any bill exceeding that cost. The highway bill exceeded even that higher spending ceiling, and President Bush signed it anyway.

Political Capital?

By on 3.21.06 | 9:50AM

"I'm spending it on the war." Has it cost Bush elsewhere? He says he just listed 12 points on his agenda. "Social Security -- it didn't get done. You'll notice it wasn't on the list." He seems mostly to blame Congress.

Bush Lists Accomplishments

By on 3.21.06 | 9:40AM

The war on terror, Patriot Act, tort reform, Supreme Court justices, slight cuts in discretionary spending, and the energy bill.

Cleaning House?

By on 3.21.06 | 9:38AM

Would Bush benefit from staff changes? "I'm satisfied with the people I've surrounded myself with. We're a remarkably stable administration."

Burns Out in MT?

By on 3.21.06 | 9:32AM

The Helena IR reports that the word on the Montana street, er, highway is that Conrad Burns may drop out of his Senate race by Thursday's filing deadline. Rep. Denny Rehberg could be his replacement.

Helen Thomas Gets a Question!

By on 3.21.06 | 9:30AM

This is an ingenious strategy: let the kooks spout.

Re: The Poor Woman’s MoDo

By on 3.21.06 | 9:24AM

Well said, Jed. Counteracting op-eds like these is starting to feel like a chore. But it does bear mention that the fashionable characterization of the "feminine" attitude in politics deploys a stereotype that used to be its own worst nightmare. Those female talents of compromise, caring, and nurturing sound terribly like the inscriptions we once etched at a woman's feet, back when we put her on a pedestal.

The fatal irony is that the female sexual ethos pushed by the anti-partriarchy is as uncompromising and unmotherly as you can get. Those hip values of feminine politics turn out to be garbage where social justice is concerned. Suddenly, femininity is defined by a radical independence and radical sexuality that destroys the ability of any girl to become the sort of nurturer Ruth Marcus desires. Instead, she gets woman-children with broken sex and broken families -- for whom restraint and introspection become incomprehensible, and only self-doubt remains.

Bush Press Conference

By on 3.21.06 | 8:49AM

We'll have it for you here at 10 a.m. EST this morning.

Don’t Weep for the GOP, EJ Dionne

By on 3.21.06 | 8:11AM

E.J.'s tears are useless. He spends the bulk of today's column weeping for retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, that elusive liberal Republican, and pining for the Rockefeller, middle of the party. How bland: yearning for something neither here nor there, the vague middle. The good Catholic boy from Gonzaga should know milquetoast has few takers.

As TAS readers know, when a liberal columnist lauds a Republican, it's because he's done something liberal, is a liberal, or can be used for liberalism. Boehlert's long been a favorite of Dionne's, first appearing in his column in 1998:

The Poor Woman’s MoDo

By on 3.21.06 | 7:41AM

WaPo’s Ruth Marcus – the poor woman’s Maureen Dowd – takes a shot at Prof. Harvey Mansfield’s book, “Manliness,” this morning and like MoDo assumes the posture of the hilarious by working so hard to prove men unnecessary by condemning the White House.  Her point, natch, is that manliness is ok so long as it’s under the firm control of what Marcus says this country could use: “a little less manliness -- and a little more of what you would describe as womanly qualities: restraint, introspection, a desire for consensus, maybe even a touch of self-doubt.”

Here’s the cri de coer – er, money quote:

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