The Spectacle Blog

The Reviews Are In

By on 3.21.06 | 5:36PM

First Rush at the top of his show, now the Republican National Committee is playing up acting CBS anchor Bob Schieffer's reaction to President Bush's performance this morning. In its "What They're Saying About the President's News Conference" release from late this afternoon, the RNC leads with two quotes from Schieffer, including Rush's favorite line, "I must say, this is about as close to the George Bush that one sees off camera as I have ever seen."

I guess it's a great line coming from Schieffer. But what does it really mean? Did Bush really seem any different? After all, he steadfastly refuses to give his administration a facelift!

Spiteful Spitzer

By on 3.21.06 | 4:58PM

Eliot Spitzer, the poster child for anti-business and anti-individual liberty tactics using and abusing the power of his office of Attorney General for the state of New York, has done it again. Angry because H&R Block refused to cede several tens of millions of dollars in settlement with him, Spitzer has sued the tax preparer for $250 million. Why?

Because Block offers IRA savings programs for small and first-time savers. Apparently New York's "Attorney General for the Little Guy" doesn't like the "Little Guy" to have the freedom to invest in small IRAs. (For more, see "Spitzer's Rotten Call" in today's New York Post.)

Re: The Next (Bad) Dubai Deal

By on 3.21.06 | 4:50PM

Jed, for what it's worth from the peanut gallery, I'm not sure that the Doncasters buy is a problem. How will they have a view inside the Joint Strike Fighter program?

The Post's report on it earlier this month explained what Doncasters specializes in:

Doncasters' expertise is in forging, fabrication, machining and alloy production. The company owns a plant that makes aerospace turbine blades and components in Farmington, Conn.; a turbine and generator plant in Rincon, Ga.; a steel foundry in Springfield, Mass.; and a metal-rolling plant in Groton, Conn. The company's Web site says the Georgia and Connecticut plants manufacture "engine ready airfoils," for aircraft, helicopter and tank engines.

I'd really like to learn more about this, because my impression from this article is that Doncasters manufactures and fabricates the steel parts for aircraft engines.

The Next (Bad) Dubai Deal

By on 3.21.06 | 3:50PM

I wasn't happy about the Dubai ports deal, given my lack of confidence in the Department of Homeland Security. But now I'm really upset that the Brit aerospace company - Doncasters - is about to be sold to Dubai.

Doncasters is - according to this FT report -- a supplier to very sensitive programs including the Joint Strike Fighter. I'll check with DoD and other sources. But I'm almost positive that we can't risk security by enabling Dubai interests to get a view inside programs such as that one. We cut the Israelis out of JSF as a penalty for their sales to China. I don't favor letting any nation into JSF or other weapon system programs if we can't be entirely certain of maintaining security. With Dubai, that's just not a good bet.

The Wonder of It All

By on 3.21.06 | 3:33PM

CJ -- Back in high school, we had various nicknames for people lacking various traits, whether physical or character-related: "The XXXX-less Wonder." Some were typically adolescent, but one example that's still repeatable is that we'd call somebody the "spineless wonder." Well, this President Bush is quite clearly the Vetoless Wonder. And that's one reason he has lost so much clout on Capitol Hill: because the solons there have no fear that he'll actually stop them from doing just about anything they darn well please. And from the sorry looks of things, they're right.

Re: Reason Not to Veto

By on 3.21.06 | 3:14PM

Could someone please help me understand what sort of "benchmark" the McCain-Feingold legislation met for this president when he signed it in 2002?

Is "Constitutionality" not among these "benchmarks"?

DeLay the Socialist

By on 3.21.06 | 2:20PM

Okay, that headline is a bit of an exaggeration, but the truth is that there is NOTHING in the past several years to show that the House leadership, including the supposedly conservative Tom DeLay, had a fiscally conservative bone in any of their respective (and sometimes corpulent) bodies. Hastert and DeLay gave the spenders (in this case, not the Appropriators but the Transpo guys) cover because the leaders themselves had their snouts buried in the slop tray. Frankly, it's been this way since the Fall of 1998, when Gingrich himself ordered the conservatives to tank on spending in order to hold the RINOs in line on the rules concerning the impeachment inquiry. I repeat that more than half of the congressional GOP members are utterly worthless -- or worse. Frankly, the entire Beltway GOP establishment, at both "ends" of Pennsylvania Avenue, has gone native. A pox on all their houses and their Houses.

Goin’ Down the Highway

By on 3.21.06 | 2:11PM

The situation is even worse than Quin and Dave have discussed. In private meetings with both House and Senate leaders before the notorious "Highway Bill" reached markup status, senior White House officials, and perhaps even the President, made clear that they expected a bill to come in at around $256 billion.

"We made it clear that if the bill did not come in at that level, then the President would veto it," says a former legislative lobbyist for the White House. "It was an outright threat."

So what do the House and Senate leaders do? They ignore the White House. Why? "Because we had made the threat before and never once followed through. They knew they could roll us. And they did," says the lobbyist.

One of the problems with raising the limit was that Congressional leaders Frist, Hastert and DeLay went back to the White House with the numbers. Perhaps had chairmen of the appropriate committees been required to go tell the President his spending limits were being busted, things would have turned out differently. But when someone is giving you cover, it's easy to do what you want to do.

Re: Ford Boycott

By on 3.21.06 | 1:47PM

Dave: When they stop making SVT Mustang Cobras, then I'll join the boycott. And not a millisecond before.

Ford Boycott

By on 3.21.06 | 12:21PM

Ford Motor Co. is funding pro-gay marriage groups again, so social conservatives have launched a boycott, reports Human Events.