The Spectacle Blog

PA Pay-Raisers Booted

By on 5.17.06 | 12:40PM

Read all about it: Pennsylvania's liberal Republican leadership suffered serious losses in primaries yesterday, in a backlash against those who voted themselves unconstitutional pay hikes last year. Among the losers: Senate Majority Leader David J. "Chip" Brightbill, Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Jubelirer, and 12 House members.

Jubelirer denies that the pay hike was to blame. He said, "It's everything," including the Iraq war, gas prices, and immigration. I'm going to go out on a limb and say politics are a bit more local than that.

The War on Contraception?

By on 5.17.06 | 12:35PM

Huh? Hillary Clinton just sent out a campaign email claiming "There's a quiet war going on in America -- against the most basic rights of Americans to make their own personal decisions about family planning."

Whoa. Sounds ominous. Surely legislators are banning contraception sales, or calling for the courts to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut?

Nope. It is just that the Deficit Reduction Act of last year allowed states to cut back coverage there. It is no longer guaranteed.

So the battle cry, "We must be outspoken and determined to support every woman's right to make her own decisions about family planning," rings hollow. It is fear mongering.

Women still can make this decision. Hillary just wants the federal government to help them choose contraception.

Re: What Would Reagan Do?

By on 5.17.06 | 5:55AM

Jed and Wlady:

If Bush had said, "First, we need to get control of our Southern border," and then had put forth a program that would do it, the American people would have forgiven him everything else. And it's a reasonable thing for even a semi-dove on immigration to do. Reasonably: You can't develop any kind of domestic immigration policy until the flow is legal, and under control.

Little Man Hate

By on 5.16.06 | 9:16PM

U Penn selects Jodie Foster to deliver commencement address. She attempts inspiration by quoting Eminem.

Too late for graduates to receive full tuition refund?

Re: What Would Reagan Do?

By on 5.16.06 | 7:53PM

Wlady: I agree. We can't just write them off, and they won't go away. That's not my desire or my idea. We have to assimilate most of them and toss back those who are guilty of crimes other than crossing the border. But - and this is one heckuva big but - I still say we have to close the border to more before we can do anything else.

Re: What Would Reagan Do?

By on 5.16.06 | 6:15PM

Jed: I don't believe I said the choice comes down to either shipping all illegals home or doing nothing. My basic point, again, is that our expanding economy will continue to create demand (and opportunity) for cheap labor. Who will fill those jobs if our borders are "closed" -- a condition certain to stymie economic growth as well. Immigration can be controlled, but it can't be shut off. And I think we'll have to do better than simply dismiss countries from which illegals come as "ratholes." The point is that most are in our neighborhood, our sphere of influence, and as such we share a certain history with them -- which is one huge reason we have this illegal problem in the first place. They're not going to go away just because we try to write them off.

Re: What Would Reagan Do?

By on 5.16.06 | 4:16PM

Wlady: Tancredo isn't a leader. He is, as you say, a single-issue obsessive. We need the president to take a harder stand. The pool of illegals will increase. But don't we want to limit it? We are a nation of over 300 million. One estimate says that the Hagel bill will allow immigration by as many as 100 million. Neither our economy nor our security can withstand that. I'm not for deporting them all, as I've said and written many times. But the choice you pose isn't real. The choice isn't between shipping them all home and doing nothing. I insist that there is another choice, which begins with taking whatever action is needed to close the borders. Unless we do, we may as well just let everyone and anyone in. There's no way to solve any problem without going to the source. We can't solve the internal problems of every rathole nation that people want to flee. But we can make it much harder - almost impossible - for them to come here. And we must.

Unabashed Liberals

By on 5.16.06 | 3:39PM

Some liberal Democrats are tired of hearing that their party has no ideas, no agenda. So they're stepping out with their own.

Our Values:
• quality public education
• universal healthcare coverage
• fair taxes and responsible social policy
• corporate accountability
• good jobs, living wages and secure pensions
• civil and human rights
• a clean and sustainable environment
• clean elections laws

The 21st Century Democrats' agenda is not innovative -- it's a return to all the issues liberals have long known and loved.

But what is markedly absent from their website's sections on "vision" or "issues" is some sort of overarching philosophy. The whole project belies its stated intent: they say they're presenting "bold ideas and a vision to lead America forward in quantum leaps" (press release), but only offer the typical amalgam of liberal issues.