The Spectacle Blog

San Francisco Democrat

By on 12.2.05 | 12:24PM

How serious is Hillary about 2008? Plenty, if this San Francisco Chronicle report is on target. All of it centers on her pending appearance December 20 at "a benefit for the Bar Association of San Francisco's charitable programs." Before 3,000 at the Masonic Auditorium, she'll chat with Jane Pauley, in an informal format that will showcase her "warmth and sense of personality."

Notes conservative Bill Whalen: "She's avoiding a speech because when she does that, she often goes into a mode that can best be described as 'ex-wife from hell' " -- which the Chronicle characterizes as "a strident, formal tone that particularly rankles male voters."

One thing Hillary doesn't want to do, Whalen tells the Chronicle, is "get into a conversation about the troops, about the impassioned San Francisco-Cindy Sheehan view" on the war in Iraq. If she can pull that off, she's home free.

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Re: Back to Alito

By on 12.2.05 | 9:59AM

Jed, Postie Charles Babington reported that the Specter meeting is a "sign of Republican nervousness." Sen. Specter's a party man when it's convenient for the party's opponents.

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By on 12.2.05 | 9:56AM

Sen. Bill Frist, in his economic briefing, just said the Senate will focus on spending "like a laser beam." With fiscally responsible Republicans like these (yes, Frist called the budget "fiscally responsible"), who needs Democrats?

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Re: New Jobs Numbers

By on 12.2.05 | 9:49AM

I (temporarily) withdraw carping about the White House's PR effort: the President is scheduled to celebrate the strong economic performance in the Rose Garden at 10:45 -- in 10 minutes (our clock is fast).

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Back to Alito

By on 12.2.05 | 9:28AM

Having had their ears pinned back on Iraq by the president's speech at the Naval Academy, the Dems are oscillating back to the only other issue they care about: abortion. In this case, the cause du jour is the 17-page memo on Roe that Judge Alito wrote in 1985. Why, thunders Ted Kennedy, didn't you mention this when you answered the Judiciary Committee's questionnaire?

Alito's memo outlined a strategy to whittle away at Roe instead of attacking it head-on. Which, regardless of anyone's strategy, is the likely course of events. State after state will, as the New Hampshire parental notification law did, take pieces of the abortion issue and return it to the states' legislative processes. More and more of them are likely to be upheld by the Roberts court, and almost assuredly would were Judge Alito to become Justice Alito. Which is why the pressure on the Dems to filibuster the nomination is growing daily.

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New Jobs Numbers

By on 12.2.05 | 8:59AM

The Labor Department reported this morning that American payrolls grew by 215,000 jobs and unemployment held steady at 5 percent. Today would be a great day for a good-economic-news White House PR offensive. For more on the baseless economic pessimism, see TAS economic editor Brian S. Wesbury's column in the Wall Street Journal. Daniel Henninger makes similar, though more general, points about the White House's failure to communicate effectively.

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A Favorite Author

By on 12.2.05 | 8:38AM

Though two letter writers in today's Reader Mail may give you a different impression, our Tom Bethell is very widely admired. Check out Sam Karnick's gushing comments, which he's posted on his (and Jay Homnick and Hunter Baker's) excellent Reform Club site.

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‘Career’ Is Code Word for Liberal Democrat

By on 12.2.05 | 7:47AM

The Washington Post has outdone itself in disingenuous reporting. Today's front page, above-the-fold headline "Justice Staff Saw Texas Districting as Illegal" is the one of the most agenda driven news stories of the year. Dan Eggen only finds news at the Justice Department when career employees complain about decisions made by their political appointee superiors. Funny, these stories never appeared when the Clintons were in the WH and Janet Reno was opening day-care centers and stopping FBI criminal agents from talking to the intelligence folks who could have clued them into terrorist plots. Why? Because the majority of "career" employees at DOJ are Democrats who agreed with the radical liberal Clinton policies and who are opposed to all things Republican/conservative. And the Civil Rights Division is the worst of the lot. It is populated with the most activist, liberal Democrats in the federal government -- acolytes and former staff of John Conyers, Henry Waxman, Pat Leahy, Ted Kennedy, etc.

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Re: 390-HP Lawn Ornament Contest

By on 12.2.05 | 7:45AM

The competition has been energetic, and methinks it's gone about far enough. We'll post the finalists today for a vote. (And, no, I've NEVER had that much hair.)

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