The Spectacle Blog

News That Doesn’t Matter

By on 10.17.06 | 10:44AM

One would think it would be an important story when the leader of the party that is seeking to take control of the Senate on the basis of being an antidote to the ruling party's "culture of corruption" is forced to ammend four years of ethics reports to account for a shady land deal and to reimburse his campaign for using political donations to pay Christmas bonuses to the staff or his ritzy apartment complex, but to the Washington Post it only deserves to be on the bottom corner of page A4.

Maybe She Wanted an Interview with Matt Lauer

By on 10.17.06 | 8:35AM

Hey everybody! The elementary school in my community now has its very own female teacher child rapist! And she carried out the dirty deeds in her own classroom during school hours. Not only that, but get this: She also had an affair with the victim's father! How very proud schools like ours must be to earn this kind of attention, gaining notoriety because they are incompetent to protect children in even the broadest of daylight hours.

But I'll betcha almost all the parents will still keep their kids there. Can't blame all the teachers and administrators for one bad egg, you know.

Meanwhile, on a near-daily basis we are reaffirmed in our decision years ago to homeschool our own children. Any threat will have to beat down our front door and climb over my wife's dead body to harm our kids.

Obama and 2008

By on 10.16.06 | 5:37PM

Joe Klein has a mostly fawning article in Time about Barack Obama, that, nonetheless, explores how the Senator's desire to find common ground could hurt his presidential prospects:

An old-time Chicago politician told me Obama's thoughtfulness might be a negative in a presidential campaign. "You have to convey strength," he said, "and it's hard to do that when you're giving on-the-other-hand answers."

A lot of Americans are frustrated by what they see as a nasty tone to politics, and it's easy to see why they would be drawn to Obama. However, to be an effective leader, eventually you're going to have to say and do a lot of things that will anger people. I think Obama would be making a huge mistake by running for president in 2008. He would be much better off running for governor first, and gaining some experience in an executive capacity.   


The Wrong Cure?

By on 10.16.06 | 1:58PM

Via Ezra Klein's blog, I found this new survey about health care in the U.S. Lot's of interesting findings, and this is what Klein has to say about the respondents' views on why health care costs are rising:

N. Korean Nuke Test Confirmed

By on 10.16.06 | 12:34PM

The explosion may have been relatively small, but it was nuclear, according to U.S. intellegence:

Air samples gathered last week contain radioactive materials that confirm that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte's office said Monday.

In a short statement posted on its Web site, Negroponte's office also confirmed that the size of the explosion was less than 1 kiloton, a comparatively small nuclear explosion. Each kiloton is equal to the force produced by 1,000 tons of TNT.


Re: Mehlman on The Elections

By on 10.16.06 | 11:28AM

Quin summed up the major points that Mehlman focused on, and obviously Mehlman's job is to stay on message, so he kept coming back to those points throughout. He also said that the RNC anticipated a challenging environment and "We have planned for this environment for a very long time." There haven't been surprises as far as the races that are competitive, he said. On the turnout front, he argued that there's no evidence of a surge in Democratic participation and cited that in 36 of 39 Democratic primaries this year, turnout was lower than it was in 2002. Republicans, meanwhile, have still been volunteering in large numbers. He also was more confident about the Senate than the House, which shouldn't surprise anybody, but he said that Republicans would maintain control of both chambers.

Mehlman on the Elections

By on 10.16.06 | 9:47AM

There will be plenty of time today for lots of people to blog about Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman's discussion this morning at the American Spectator's monthly newsmaker breakfast, but for now, before I run off to a meeting, here are a few highlights: 1) The election must be framed not as a referendum, but as a choice. When the question isn't "are you happy now?" but "who do you want, going forward, to handle taxes, national security, and judges, the conservatives or the liberals?," then the conservatives (and, by extension in most cases, Republicans) do better.

Now-What Conservatism

By on 10.15.06 | 2:14PM

Sundays were once held back for contemplation. Now anyone thinking too hard -- meaning at all -- or too long -- meaning five seconds -- is faced with a portrait of conservatism at a crossroads. "Conservatism" itself means nothing if we don't agree on what must be conserved -- if we don't even agree on who "we" are. And yet these are the public conversations, swirling wild-eyed around a world, a nation, a culture, that by all accounts is going wrong. Somehow.

Opening steps, then, in the quickening moves of this fall formal dance -- toward an understanding of what's required of the conservative in postmodern times.