The Spectacle Blog

Re: Jack’s Three Hats

By on 6.30.06 | 1:04PM

Dave, the simple fact is that Kingston has been infected by Potomac Fever. He not only enjoys spending Other People's Money, he also thinks that he knows what's best for the rest of us--witness his recent "Fuel Choices for American Security Act."

I, along with James Dellinger, have written about it here. In brief, Kington's bill decides the "right amount" of ethanol that the U.S. should use and the "right amount" of money that needs to be invested in electric/gas hybrid technology. Kingston likes to say that this bill gives the market a boost. At one of the press events promoting the bill (photo here) I asked why, if the ideas in the bill were so good, why wasn't the market already doing these things? I might as well have cracked a loud fart at a funeral.

Great Man, Good Man

By on 6.30.06 | 11:05AM

In the course of my normal web travels, I learned that Ed Capano, longtime publisher of National Review, is retired effective today. When I was just starting out in New York, I got to know Ed and will never forget how kind and helpful he was to me.

NRO has some great tributes up this morning.

God bless you, Ed. The movement is in your debt.

Jack’s Three Hats

By on 6.30.06 | 10:03AM

Jack Kingston fires back at conservative bloggers who questioned his commitment to eliminating wasteful pork and shrinking the size of goverment.

His press secretary implies that I thought he should "hide under a rock" and not expose sunlight. I meant that hiding under a rock would be in his best interests. Clearly, the taxpayers and conservative press benefit from Kingston being so blunt in his unwillingness to practice true fiscal discipline.

Just Which Year Is This?

By on 6.30.06 | 9:47AM

For all the EUnuch ignorance of history, and all their appeasement of terrorism, I'd thought that though it is 2006 here, it was 1937 again in Europe. I still think that's right, but it may soon be 1982 again in Britain.

Thanks to the Argentines, that is. According to this Daily Telegraph report, Argentina is reasserting its claims to the Malvinas Islands. Which, of course, the rest of the world calls the Falklands. In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands and claimed it as Argentina's territory. Britain's Maggie Thatcher would have none of it and sent the British fleet, albeit at diplomatic speed, to solve the problem. The war that followed included the spectacular sinking of the pride of the Argentine navy, the General Belgrano, by a British submarine.

This round may be different. There's no Maggie Thatcher in England. Soon there won't even be a Tony Blair. I'm betting the Falklands become the Malvinas in a year or two.

Stiff Webb

By on 6.29.06 | 6:02PM

Responding to the post below, a reader notes how awfully stiff the candidate is. Our American Spectator intern, Maggie McGlynn, and I had a chance to catch Jim Webb and Mark Warner this afternoon in Alexandria for a very brief press availability.

It appears someone has given Jim Webb a good talking to about presentation. His hands, feet, and face are fixed, as he gives short, controlled answers. Having Webb next to Warner reminded me of bumbling Linc Chafee next to John McCain in 2000 as Chafee ran for his late father's seat. Not a pretty contrast. Ms. McGlynn and I noted that when Webb was asked about supporting a possible presidential run by Mr. Warner, Warner literally grabbed Webb by the shoulders (in a friendly but awkward way), apparently to control any outbursts. Webb is a man on a tight leash.

More on Voting Wrongs

By on 6.29.06 | 5:21PM

My successors at the Mobile Register agree with my earlier post and a post by Dave Holman about a provision of the Voting Rights Act that, in contrast to the excellent rest of the act, really ought to be jettisoned. The Register adds a few facts I didn't know and haven't earlier reported. And one point I also did not make is that the sheer expense, in man-hours and paper and rigmarole, of the provision, at both the state and federal levels, is highly burdensome. Here's hoping Congress gets the Register's message.

Guilty in Alabama

By on 6.29.06 | 4:46PM

The Mobile Register reports that former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been found guilty on multiple counts, including bribery, in a long-running trial. Finally. And deservedly. The man has shown dishonesty again and again and again. The very first time I ever saw him in person, he looked directly into my eyes and told me a whopper of a lie. Good riddance to him.


By on 6.29.06 | 1:17PM

I haven't read the decision yet, and have no immediate plans to do so (it's 185 pages, and I'm busy with a long feature for a different magazine). But as with the McCain Amendment, I wonder if the effect of extending Geneva protections to al Qaeda won't be to encourage rendition of al Qaeda detainees to less scrupulous countries. That would be an unhappy result (from both a humanitarian and a strategic perspective), though without digging into the opinion I can't say if there might be a legislative or other policy remedy to the problems the case raises.

Hamdan; First reactions

By on 6.29.06 | 12:33PM

Dave: I don't read the Hamdan decison quite that way. First impressions (wading through the damned 185 pages) are that the Supremes:

1. specifically do not rule on the issue of Hamdan being a POW with rights under the Geneva Convention;

2. say that the urgency requirement justifying military tribunals in the field aren't present here, so the president lacks legislative authority to convene these tribunals; and

3. and most bizarrely, they say that the "non-signatory" provisions of the Geneva Conventions apply to al-Qaeda. That they do this, Stevens's opinion brushing by the point that al-Qaeda fails to comply with the terms of Geneva in any respect, is simply bizarre.