The Spectacle Blog

Shadegg and the Spirit of 1888

By on 1.16.06 | 1:38PM

Let the balloting go on and on and on for the leadership posts in the GOP on February 2. Five ballots at least, perhaps a dozen: let the haranguing and back-stair deals climb and climb. Why? Because a secret ballot and the release of all pledges by the second ballot ensures that the best man will win out on the basis of his vision, his temper, his nerve.

Look at the example of the surprisingly spirited 1888 Republican National Convention at Chicago, long before the so-called state primary contests -- which are truly national media gabfests voted upon by a fraction of the party in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other small states -- had made the delegates irrelevant. The 1888 delegates arrived in need of a candidate to go up against the strangely protectionist and obstuse incumbent Grover Cleveland, who had beaten the railroad machine candidate of James G. Blaine in 1884 after the infamous "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion" quote late in the contest.

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NYT Photo Props

By on 1.16.06 | 1:29PM

The New York Times is playing fast and loose (hat tip: Michelle Malkin) with photo captioning. I demand a comprehensive review of all Iraq photos in the Times since the beginning of the war!

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Re: So Far…

By on 1.16.06 | 12:56PM

Paul and Jed: I don't agree that "24" is a soap opera prime time drama. One thing I like about the show is the lack of "romance." Nonetheless, the occasional "love" subplots are compelling because they force the characters to confront moral dilemmas. For example, "Do I save my (insert word) wife, daughter, girlfriend, other family member, or do I save (insert word) the president, millions of innocent civilians, or coworkers?" Makes for interesting choices and motives throughout the show -- keeping in mind very few "24" characters are not expendable. And although Jack may get involved with a coworker (or two), he is not so "into them" to not do his job, and in the end is not above being rid of them -- permanently, if need be.

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Gore Doesn’t Know About the Internet!

By on 1.16.06 | 12:28PM

"Forty years have passed since the majority of Americans adopted television as their principal source of information. Its dominance has become so extensive that virtually all significant political communication now takes place within the confines of flickering 30-second television advertisements."

I could have sworn he took the initiative in creating something to fix that. (He must have forgotten about the "digital Brown Shirts.")

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Read Along With Al

By on 1.16.06 | 12:16PM

Drudge has the text of the speech that Gore isn't even done delivering.

UPDATE: Apparently, the speech as written doesn't have enough assurances that Gore is shocked, appalled, etc. He keeps ad libbing extra sentences to that effect.

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Gore, Continued

By on 1.16.06 | 12:13PM

Gore just mis-defined that unitary executive theory, unsurprisingly. The unitary executive theory does not say that executive power is unchecked by the other branches of government. It says that executive agencies should be answerable to the President. Does Gore not know the facts, or just not care about them?

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Gore Speaks

By on 1.16.06 | 11:50AM

Boy, did we dodge a bullet in 2000.

One more time: We don't know the technical details of the NSA program, and for good reason. Those technical details may, and probably do, make FISA inapplicable. James Risen's sources leaked information not because they were concerned about FISA, but because they thought the program was questionable under the Fourth Amendment. The caselaw isn't with them on this: A national security-related "border search" simply isn't an unreasonable search. If FISA is inapplicable, Article II warmaking powers, which certainly include spying on the enemy, are applicable.

All of Gore's screaming about "disrespect for the law" is entirely off point.

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Re: So Far …

By on 1.16.06 | 10:17AM

Lady G: I thought when you wrote "hell hath no fury" you might be alluding to these poor viewers in South Carolina, who missed the last 10 minutes of 24 due to the station switching to the local news at 10:00 (the NFL game that preceded 24 ran long).

Of course, it wouldn’t be modern America/>/> without one jilted viewer opining that he found the station’s screw-up “disrespectful.” No, just incompetent.

Jed: Along with the soap opera element, the other real stretch of credulity is all the inside jobs and moles, in every season. This season, we already we have a presidential chief of staff in on the scheme (whatever the scheme is), and past seasons have seen infiltrators galore, right up the chain of command.

There are plenty of bad guys in the outside world to do the trick just fine, thank you.

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Re: So Far…

By on 1.16.06 | 9:55AM

Paul and Lady G: Yes, "24" is off to a rocking start, and -- fortunately -- the soap opera aspects have yet to make their tiresome appearance. That's what turned me off to the show a year ago. For professional anti-terrorist operators and analysts to be so consumed by the who's sleeping with whom intra-office jealousies was too much for me. Maybe that's what makes good tv, but I'da fired the whole lot of 'em and replaced them with people who could keep their minds on their work. They could solve that with a name change. Instead of calling it "24," how about "As the World Burns?"

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