The Spectacle Blog

Dark Horse picks

By on 4.5.06 | 2:45AM


Nice piece on the Masters. Watch for Tongchai Jaidee, who has the most fabulous short game I've ever seen, and Jeff Ogilvy, who is poised for greatness.

Years ago, I won a betting pool on the Masters. You were required to pick three players; if your players finished cumulatively the best, you won. If your players missed the cut you were out. I picked players I was sure would make the cut (like Jay Haas) and won the pot on Friday.

Free John Green

By on 4.5.06 | 2:23AM

I'm only now able to get around to writing about something that's bothered me for some time: the suspension for one month last Friday of an ABC "Good Morning America" producer named John Green for something he wrote in an e-mail EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO critical of President Bush and almost TWELVE MONTHS AGO in an e-mail critical of Madeleine Albright. To its credit, the New York Times got around to reporting the story only yesterday, three days after the dutiful Howard Kurtz wrote it up in the Washington Post.

The Bishops’ Fight

By on 4.4.06 | 8:25PM

I won't touch the merits of the Catholic bishops' involvement in the immigration issue, but would that they showed this much mettle when it came to abortion legislation. While reasonable and faithful Christians may disagree on immigration, abortion is a morally unambiguous mass murder. When's Cardinal Mahony then?

Re: John Tabin DeLay/Delay

By on 4.4.06 | 6:57PM

As I noted back in January, Shawn, Republican leaders on the Hill more or less took my advice months ago. DeLay's retirement is just the coda.

Happy to Help, if Welcome

By on 4.4.06 | 3:53PM

Wal-Mart says it's building 50 new stores in "struggling" (read: poor) urban areas. This isn't exactly new, but the aggressive initiative is: they're intentionally placing the stores in high crime/unemployment areas, on environmentally contaminated sites (cleaned up by Wal-Mart), and in vacant buildings. To head off criticism that the corporation kills small businesses, Wal-Mart will give small businesses grants and free advertising.

South Side Chicago would already have a Wal-Mart in a blighted neighborhood if the city council hadn't stopped it.

Another New Low

By on 4.4.06 | 1:02PM

Just when you think depravity has reached a peak, some lunatic has to attempt to scale even higher. This is just terrible.

John Tabin DeLay/Delay

By on 4.4.06 | 11:46AM

What? Did Tom DeLay just get around to reading Tabin's September web piece last night?

End of an Era

By on 4.4.06 | 10:29AM

When Tom DeLay leaves the House of Representatives shortly, it will essentially complete the disappearance of the Republican leadership team that orchestrated the historic congressional election of 1994 and the brief, shining light that was the Conservative Revolution of the 104th Congress -- Dick Armey, Bill Paxon, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Bob Walker, Bob Livingston. Unfortunately, not only are they all gone, but tragically so is the conservative philosophy that used to undergird the Republican Party.

Short Tutorial

By on 4.4.06 | 9:58AM

The new high-speed torpedo the Iranians are testing to much fanfare is apparently a variant of the Russian "Shkval" supercavitating weapon. I wrote about supercavitating weapons four years ago here. The piece is bit dated, but the supercavitation tutorial it contains ain't.

Wilsonians vs. Endgame Cons: The Debate Continues

By on 4.4.06 | 9:54AM

Today's installment is in a Wall Street Journal piece by the director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, Peter Wehner. He takes on William F. Buckley and George Will for saying that the war in Iraq is lost, and Francis Fukuyama for saying the president's agenda for spreading democracy in the Middle East is dead. Here's the money quote:

Critics of the Iraq war have offered no serious strategic alternative to the president's freedom agenda, which is anchored in the belief that democracy and liberal institutions are the best antidote to the pathologies plaguing the Middle East. The region has generated deep resentments and lethal anti-Americanism. In the past, Western nations tolerated oppression for the sake of "stability." But this policy created its own unintended consequences, including attacks that hit America with deadly fury on Sept. 11. President Bush struck back, both militarily and by promoting liberty.