The Spectacle Blog

God Bless Texas

By on 6.19.06 | 3:18PM

Okay, there was a gang shooting in N'awlins last weekend and Nagin is already naggin' for troops to restore order. Houston had 11 inches of rain last night, and is suffering Katrina-like floods. And what are the Texans demanding? Nothing. Nada. They're taking care of bidness, and will let us know later. Can we just annex Louisiana as part of Texas? Or is that too cruel to the Texans?

Zoellick Out

By on 6.19.06 | 3:18PM

The loss of Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick should not be overestimated. It isn't clear that Zoellick was being put to good use by SecState Condi Rice, which was one reason Zoellick began looking outside of the State Department about four months ago, if not a bit earlier.

We hear that Zoellick lobbied for the Treasury Secretary's job, which ended up going to to the boss of the shop where Zoellick is now going, Goldman. When it became clear that Zoellick wasn't in line for that job, he began looking outside of the administration. There has long been talk that Zoellick felt he was being underutilized and, when he was being utilized, utilized poorly. Instead, Rice was turning to career State Department hack Nick Burns (he being the face of the Clinton administration-era State Department).

Zoellick should go down as one of the key contributors to what successes the Bush administration had related to expanding free trade around the world. He was a classy, disciplined and innovative thinker on the global scene and he will be missed.

Rumors are now flying that current deputy Treasury Secretary Bob Kimmitt may be in line for Zoellick's post.

Sad Times for the ECUSA

By on 6.19.06 | 3:13PM

As you may have heard, the Episcopal Church General Convention elected Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori as its presiding bishop this weekend. Major media is playing up the sex angle, as she is the first woman to lead a church within the Anglican Communion.

But the real story is how her election further divides a fractured ECUSA by continuing along a radically unorthodox path. The American Anglican Council lists major concerns, including her vote to consecrate Gene Robinson as bishop, her support for the church to bless same-sex marriage, and her vote against a resolution affirming basic tenets of Christian doctrine.

Her election sends a clear message to the Anglican Communion that her leadership will continue the revisionist agenda of the Episcopal Church.

The Ethanol Farce

By on 6.19.06 | 11:24AM

Ethanol isn't the answer, the WSJ reports today. In fact, it is inflating gasoline prices now that 10 percent is added throughout most of the country. Since its adoption as an additive, its price has increased by 65 percent to about $4.50 a gallon.

"We'd probably have retail gasoline prices between $2.30 and $2.40 a gallon if not for ethanol," estimates economist James Glassman of J.P. Morgan.

Why is ethanol suddenly more expensive? Two major reasons: 1- The ethanol market is facing artificial constraints. If ethanol must be mixed at a fixed proportion to gasoline, its price will closely reflect gasoline's price. The normal rules of supply and demand don't follow. 2- Ethanol costs more to produce because it requires gasoline for transportation. Yep, we're burning fuel just to produce and add a more expensive commodity to the fuel supply. Poor economics make a poor product.

A Grim Thought

By on 6.17.06 | 12:02PM

The blog Dvorak Uncensored tells the story of how the Chinese have started using a mobile execution van here. No, they don't have a soldier with a rifle inside; they've started using lethal injection. Presuming the Chinese are still selling organs from executed prisoners, this means they have found a brew of lethal chemicals that, unlike what is used in the U.S., do not ruin organs for transplant.

Competition for McCain and Schumer

By on 6.16.06 | 7:04PM

Back in February the folks over at MediaBistro demonstrated their powerful command of the obvious by reporting Little Miss Gun Control's fondness for the camera in a piece entitled, "Chuck Schumer, Media Whore." It's long been known in Washington that one can be injured by standing between Schumer and any open mike or uncovered lens. John McCain ain't much better.

Now that Karl Rove has been declared outside of Patrick Fitzgerald's inquisition, Mr. Schumer may have competition for the title of worst media whore in Washington from Joe Wilson.

Ms. Plame's hubby, clearly terrified at the approach of the irrelevance he so richly deserves, is now proclaiming his expertise in dealing with the terrorists in Iraq. In one report, Wilson said -- at the same conference Vichy John Kerry called for a firm date to withdraw from Iraq -- that we should be negotiating with the terrorists directly. Here's the money quote from the report:

We Don’t Teach Economics in Our Schools

By on 6.16.06 | 5:20PM

The School Board in Stoneham, Massachusetts decided to pay for health insurance of school cafeteria workers by raising the price of school lunches from $2.00 to $2.75. The result:

In an apparent backlash against a 75-cent price increase on the cost of lunch, student participation in the program dropped 22 percent in the 2005-06 school year, Connelly reported.

A $160,000 anticipated deficit can be covered with funds from other accounts, Connelly said, but the board needs to go back to the drawing board to address the problem for next year.

The committee had agreed to raise the cost of a school lunch from $2 to $2.75 last year, in the hope that it would raise $150,000 to offset employee health insurance costs. Instead, the mass student defection from the program wiped out any benefit from the increase.

You see, if you raise the price of something, people will demand less of it. It would be a good lesson to teach the kids. Which is probably why they won't.

One Can Hope, But…

By on 6.16.06 | 1:43PM

Over at Opinion Journal, Michael Barone wraps up his analysis of the Plame affair with:

The pursuit of Karl Rove by the left and the press has been just the latest episode in the attempted criminalization of political differences. Is there any hope that it might turn out to be the last?

Answer: Fat chance. The left has succeeded in dirtying up the White House (as evidenced in Bush's low poll numbers) by criminalizing political differences. A similar strategy helped oust the effective Tom DeLay.

As long as criminalizing political differences is an effective tactic for the left they will continue to use it, no matter how morally bereft it is.

Pages