The Spectacle Blog

Cheney Speaks, Press Still Bitter

By on 2.15.06 | 1:19PM

I just caught the ABC News top of the hour report on the radio: White House correspondent Ann Compton couldn't resist pointing out that while Cheney is speaking to the press, it's only one interview and not with a member of the White House press corps. They won't be satisfied until he gives a press conference.

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Asbestos Bill Slain

By on 2.15.06 | 11:22AM

By a filibuster, at least for now. I understand the temptation to take these settlements out of the hands of the trial lawyers, but the asbestos bill would have been more surrender than victory. As detailed by Human Events last week, it would have removed asbestos claims from the courts into a no-fault administrative process. Private companies would then "contribute" (involuntarily) to the trust fund.

The Heritage Foundation has found many flaws with the bill: claimants would show asbestos exposure "merely by filing an affidavit saying that they have been exposed'; the trust fund would award settlements to patients whose types of cancer "have not been clearly shown to be related to asbestos exposure"; and claims are automatically paid to claimants if they are not decided within 180 days. With such loose controls, $140 billion may not be enough to fund this trust fund.

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Yeah, Just Like Chappaquiddick

By on 2.15.06 | 10:48AM

David Ignatius goes for broke and takes the media tantrum over the Cheney hunting accident to new heights today.

Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. That story, and dozens of others about the Kennedy family, illustrates how wealthy, powerful people can behave as if they are above the law. For my generation, the fall of Richard Nixon is the ultimate allegory about how power can corrupt and destroy. It begins not with venality but with a sense of God-given mission.

Ignatius really should have left out the Nixon link -- it gave away his motive as singing of the press's glory days. Ah, when we took down a national official who disdained us. If anyone here has the "sense of God-given mission," it's today's arrogant press corps.

But Chappaquiddick? Seriously? Let us list the differences:

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Playing Pelosi

By on 2.15.06 | 10:21AM

So how tenuous is Rep. Nancy Pelosi's hold on the House minority leader position? Right now it's unclear. But plenty of members of her caucus want her out sooner rather than later.

Word up on Capitol Hill is that there have been a few folks nosing around out in California and elsewhere, researching the business transactions and investments made by husband, Paul, and they aren't Republican opposition research types.

Recall that Democrat National Committee sources have said that their boss, Howard Dean, had extensive research done on Sen. Harry Reid's ties to lobbying. Could it be he and some of the others on the far left are now looking to help Pelosi out of her leadership post too?

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The Muhammad Bomb T-Shirt

By on 2.15.06 | 10:11AM

Hark -- a line is being crossed in the printing-up of the M-Bomb cartoon on t-shirts available, not free, to all. One of the drawbacks, as Spectator readers know full well, of being a "South Park Conservative" is a chronic lack of taste, and the conservative outfit who has turned a free-press issue into an immeasurably less noble one does us all a disservice by doing so.

I have been among those sticking up firmly for the right of the Europeans and others to print the cartoons right in the face of vicious and aggravated blackmail threats of damage and kidnapping. I see no need and feel no desire to extend this cultural endorsement to a guy (I'm sure he's a dude) looking to get rich quick on the mortal issue of the liberty of political speech. Thoughts freely expressed in full here.

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Eating Their Own

By on 2.15.06 | 10:00AM

Never mind that Sen. Chuck Schumer and his pals on the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee stuck a shiv in the back of Democrat Ohio Senate candidate Paul Hackett.

Or that Democrat Party Chairman Howard Dean is trying to do the same to Democrat Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Or that Rep. Steny Hoyer is conspiring to help fellow Democrats in the House to throw leader Nancy Pelosi over the side sooner than she would prefer.

Democrats are going after their own all over Washington at a surprising clip. In fact, the only Democrat who seems to be focusing on the team is Reid, who, according to Las Vegas sources we speak to, has been telling business leaders there that Republican incumbent Sen. John Ensign is in big trouble politically. Reid has been pushing businesses to fall in line behind his party's candidate, a Jimmy Carter chip off the old block.

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Chinese lies; GOOG apologizes

By on 2.15.06 | 9:41AM

The hired apologists for GOOG and YHOO and MSFT cannot and will not explain why they are doing business with Chinese bullies and torturers; however, it is worth while to hammer the masters of the internet when they try to rationalize their blind greed.

Note the lies that the PRC puts out: "Chinese state media quoted one official today as defending the controls, saying that they block only a 'very few' sites, mostly involving pornography or terrorism."

This is a lie, this is a lie times ten, and the apologists for GOOG and YHOO and MSFT know it's a lie. Let the trio tell Congress and the American people that this is a lie: then we can begin again with candor.

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Chinese people mark their destroyers: GOOG

By on 2.15.06 | 1:24AM

Note to Google and Yahoo and MSFT and kindred of Cain appeasers in Silly Valley and other virtual palaces: the Chinese people will mark their destroyers and punish them in time; the Chinese people will remember longer than the lot of you that they have options to exercise. The IBM that cooperated with the National Socialists in the 1930s is back again, new name, same reptilian vision for profit, same preening tech mastery of betrayal.

GOOG: Think ahead.

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Chinese internet secret police in US

By on 2.15.06 | 12:11AM

Spectacular report from Forbes Magazine source on the 40,000 internet police in China: several new software designers have bested and defeated the goons. One called "Tor" constructs an underground railway of virtual tunnels that makes it exhausting and expensive to follow a user in China who dials out to the free world. Another called "Psiphon" creates a proxy system (if I understand correctly) that is closed to the outside but open to members of a family both inside and outside China.

Critical news is that Falun Gang is most active and skilled on the internet, recruiting Chinese Communist Party members who reject the Party online once they learn the facts of the brutality of their masters toward the spiritually hungry and long-suffering Falun Gong members. To renounce the Party is sensational heresy in China. The leading province for renouncing Chinese Communist members is Heilungjiang, on the Russian border, where a recent chemical factory fire caused a poisoning of the Songhua River: importantly, the local Party members are enraged that Beijing permitted the province leadership to lie about the spill.

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More Saddam Tapes: creepiness

By on 2.14.06 | 11:06PM

More Saddam tapes from intelligencesummit.org: ABC News will preview again Wed 15 on World News Tonight, and then will present special broadcast of Nightline with Brian Ross at 11 pm eastern, Wed 15, on the Saddam tapes -- approximately 12 hours of outtakes of Saddam Hussein's meetings over many years about WMD and so forth horrors with his own cabinet and staff.

Saddam "Chin" Hussein -- the Vinnie "Chin" Gigante-like figure strolling Koran in hand into his own trial in Baghdad -- ordered these tapes made to record his genius over many years to deny and deceive the UN inspectors looking for WMD in Iraq.

Revelations include discussion of a WMD attack on the United States sometime in the late 90s.

Revelations include calling on the expertise of a prominent member state of the UN Security Council in order to conceal WMD and weapons systems.

Revelations include discussions of assassination plots against prominent world leaders, none of whom will enjoy hearing his or her name mentioned once the tapes are played.

Revelations include a nightmare scenario that will not surprise readers of AmSpecBlog.

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