The Spectacle Blog

War Warning, Part 5, in haste

By on 7.16.06 | 11:53AM

1. The fighting in Lebanon is the opening to the September-October attack by Iran. (See War Warning Parts 1-4)

2. The United Nations Security Council is divided along continental lines. Russia and China refuse to endorse Chapter 7 for North Korea. Russia and China refuse to endorse Chapter 7 for Iran. North Korea is an agent of Iran.

3. Iran knows that Jerusalem is the weak point in the US defense. Iran will attack Jerusalem.

4. The Gulf States have been told that they will burn if they assist the US. The Gulf States will assist the US. They will burn.

5. Iran wants the US attack on its facilities to begin by November. Iran knows the winter months of cloud cover are poor for tactical air strikes because it will make it hard to avoid civilian casualties.

6. Iran knows the price of oil is panic. At $100-110 per barrel, the US economy will stagger.

7. The end game is a grand bargain in which the US will quit Iraq in defeat and Iran will assert itself as the regional hegemon.

8. More soon.

Everybody Loves Justice!

By on 7.15.06 | 1:56PM

Via Reason's Dave Weigel we learn of this Madison Record story which begins thusly: "To spiff up its image, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America is considering changing its name to the American Association for Justice."

One respnse to the potentially triumphant new name:

"If a shark called itself a kitten fish I would still not put my daughter in to play with it," said Victor Schwartz, president of the American Tort Reform Association.

Sharks, apparently, need a new PR agency. When you're being compared to trial lawyers, it's fair to say the image has taken a bit of a hit. Conversely, I also believe kitten fish should stop whining and learn to snag their own multi-million dollar settlements.

More Voting Wrongs

By on 7.14.06 | 4:07PM

As the story in today's WSJ by the excellent David Rogers notes, the just-passed House bill extending certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act doesn't MERELY extend provisions; it actually adds to the old law. (Passed, it must be noted, after Speaker Dennis Hastert came down like a ton of bricks against conservatives of his own party, as is becoming increasingly his habit.) And what it adds makes things even worse. For one thing, the bill tries to effectively make an end-run against the Georgia v Ashcroft decision that helped put limits on the enforced racial segregation of voting districts. What the House bill does is re-establish a form of electoral apartheid, and tries to guarantee election outcomes by assuming that all minority voters have readily identifiable "preffered candidates of choice." The "right" to elect said candidates is then assumed to be sacrosanct. The great conservative lawyer Ted Olson has criticized this new provision, and Rep.

RE: Obnoxious

By on 7.14.06 | 4:07PM

Quin, Jack Kemp has thought for some time that he is morally superior to the rest of us on the right. Recall this exchange between Kemp and Al Gore in the 1996 vice presidential debate:

Drug Bill Not As Costly

By on 7.14.06 | 3:52PM

The CMS this week reported that the cost of the Medicare Drug benefit is

now projected to be $34 billion lower over 5 years (2006-2010) than in the President's Budget, and $110 billion lower than in the Mid-Session Review one year ago. The average Part D premium is almost 40 percent lower than had been projected a year ago as a result of strong competition.
Now, before everyone pummels me for supporting Part D, understand that I'm not. Rather, I'm pointing out that government programs that rely on the market to operate work better than those that do not, as the Medicare Drug benefit.

I suppose the success that Part D is having is why the Drug Bill Debacle is no longer one of the headlining blogs over at TPM Cafe.

Making Cents of Wilson-Plame

By on 7.14.06 | 3:51PM

Byron York today reports on the economic incentives possibly motivating the Wilson-Plame gang, particularly now that Valerie's book deal has gone kaput.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post's in the tank coverage of the Wilson-Plame press conference this morning makes much of the possibility that discovery in any court case could embarrass Administration figures -- without citing a word about the possibility that discovery could be hugely embarrassing to the Wilsons themselves.

Re: Happy Bastille Day

By on 7.14.06 | 3:28PM

Wlady: Hauteur is ok in someone who can back it up. Like The Babe said, it ain't bragging if you can do it. Other than make cheese and wines (and you need to rethink your defense of French wine which, for the second time in as many tries, was soundly thrashed by American wines judged by Brits and French in a blind tasting) just what do they do that makes them worth putting up with their unsupportable arrogance? Hmmm?

Our Point Exactly!

By on 7.14.06 | 12:45PM

There has been much talk on AmSpecBlog about the communications efforts, or rather lack thereof by the Bush administration, in putting the "war on terror" in perspective for the American people. But Victor Davis Hanson in today's Chicago Tribune wins the gold medal.

Re: Happy Bastille Day

By on 7.14.06 | 12:37PM

Sorry, Jed, but however obnoxious or worse it seems, France remains the most wonderful spot in Western Europe. Whereas we are told ad nauseam that we should worry about what the rest of the world thinks about us, the French couldn't care less what others think of them. Au contraire, for them it's always been axiomatic that the world should worry about winning their approval. It's no accident that hauteur is a French word. Of course, that comes with a huge price. Last Sunday not a single non-Frenchman backed France against adorable Italy.

Nonetheless, July 14 remains a special day.Thirty-nine years ago I stood along the Champs Elysees across from President Charles de Gaulle as he reviewed that day's military parade. The highlight naturally was the flyover by the wonderfully named Mirage jets. (Sure sounds better than "stealth," no?) Eternal France may not last till the end of time, but there's a reason the term took root. If I didn't live here, I'd want to live there. And it has nothing to do with the food or even wine, however superior it remains to those California pretenders.


By on 7.14.06 | 12:08PM

Speaker Dennis Hastert, Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, and the rest of the "House GOP leadership" (an oxymoron if there ever were one!) all deserve major demerits -- or perhaps major bonus points for political hack-ery, whichever way you want to look at it -- for their behavior yesterday on the extension of the supposedly temporary portions of the Voting Rights Act. Meanwhile, my longtime hero Jack Kemp, writing on the same subject, went as far as outright obnoxiousness, stooping to cheap political name-calling of his fellow Republicans, and wholly undeserved name-calling at that, obviously forgetting Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment" in the process.