The Spectacle Blog

How Low Can It Go?

By on 3.2.06 | 12:02PM

According to this Bloomberg report, a new Quinnipiac poll puts the Prez/s support down to 36%. The earlier CBS poll, derided as it should have been for weighting Dems' opinions more heavily, may have been close to the mark. But the Quinnipiac poll is much more worrisome: it reports 52% disliking the president's handing of terrorism and 60% opposing his Iraq approach. What's to be done?

President Bush needs to be out there, visibly leading on the miost important issues. There's much damage to be repaired. And much action to be taken. Speeches are important, and the president needs to be making them to the people, not to the press. And he needs to do it all around the country.

Newsflash: Soviets Tried to Kill JPII

By on 3.2.06 | 11:10AM

Talk about behind the ball -- an Italian investigation reports that the Soviets were behind Ali Agca's assassination attempt on Pope John Paull II in 1981. I know the Italian life is leisurely, but this is ridiculous. (hat tip: Icarus Fallen)

UPDATE: I should mention that Marek Jan Chodakiewicz has an excellent article detailing the Soviets' secret file on JPII in our March issue. But you'll only know if you subscribe -- a digital subscription is a measly $19.95 a year. And knowing's half the battle.

Fukuyama, Iraqarama

By on 3.2.06 | 10:04AM

If you want to see someone pick apart Hitchens' strong argument, consult The Washington Realist; after reading both sides, see Robert Kaplan at the Post writing with a seriously level head about the uniqueness of Iraq and the need for a fresh stabilization of order. It's an editorial everyone should be able to agree with, yet it also speaks forthrightly and accurately. I editorialize on it some more here.

Katrina: Over the Top or Under the Radar?

By on 3.2.06 | 9:03AM

We're hearing from some sources on Capitol Hill that the AP's big story this morning on President Bush's pre-Katrina briefing (with both a video of the conference call, as well as documents that were leaked to the AP), was pulled together and leaked by Democratic staff on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which has been holding hearings on the matter.

In speaking with White House sources, they say the video of the conference call between the President (who was at his ranch in Texas) and FEMA and Homeland Security officials was made available to Government Accountability Office investigators for their report, which was made public earlier this year. The White House believes GAO officials shared the video with Democratic staff.

As seems to be an almost weekly occurrence, the fellows over at Powerline take apart the so-called "explosive" report about the videotape and the leaked materials. Basically, the AP reporters have taken apples and oranges and attempted to make lemonade.

Re: Dubai-Bye-Bye Baby

By on 3.2.06 | 8:38AM

Bob Novak also explores the Clintonista-Dubai connections in full today.

Dubai-Bye-Bye Baby

By on 3.2.06 | 8:13AM

As we reported last week, the Financial Times is reporting this morning that former President Clinton was involved in steering the Dubai port operations firm on wrapping up its deal.

Where our reports differs with the Financial Times is the timing. Our sources tell us that Clinton's assistance -- and payment of his fees -- came much earlier than two weeks ago. Likewise, so did the fees paid to the Albright Group.

Now, more Clintonista names are being floated: former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart was apparently being floated by his former colleagues for PR assistance. And we're also hearing that former Clinton best bud Vernon Jordan was nosing around looking for a bite of the apple.

Sen. Hillary Clinton's office should be pressed hard on a timeline of just when she was aware of the port deal, and what her husband was paid by the UAE government and other entities involved in the deal. We're hearing there is more to come on this story. And it won't be particularly helpful to anyone on any side of the issue.

Be Catholic, Just Not Too Catholic

By on 3.2.06 | 6:41AM

Catholic Charities in Massachusetts is under pressure to allow gay adoptions, especially because of the state's antidiscrimination laws. Seven board members, apparently previously confused about what kind of Catholicism they were working for, resigned yesterday in protest. But the state's bishops and Catholic Charities are taking a stand. It appears that Gov. Mitt Romney is assisting Catholic Charities through these shoals: he thinks they should be able to continue their mission and stay faithful to Church teachings, but cannot create an exception through executive order.

With potential implications for his potential presidential run, Romney's spokesman declined to say whether the governor also opposed gay adoption -- but a home with a mother and a father is the "ideal setting." Pressed for more, he said, "I'm going to let the 'ideal' statement speak for itself." Look for reporters to pose that one more directly to the governor.

Fashioning the World?

By on 3.2.06 | 2:41AM

In an interesting and disturbing post, InstaPunk looks at the designers who seem to be contemplating the surrender of the West on the runways of Paris.

Attention NYC Freedom-Lovers

By on 3.1.06 | 5:26PM

There's a solidarity rally at the Danish Consulate in Manhattan at noon on Friday, along the lines of the DC event last week. Details here.

Hitchens on Fukuyama

By on 3.1.06 | 1:58PM

Worth a read. We discussed Fukuyama here last week.