The Spectacle Blog

Stan Freberg, R.I.P.

By on 4.7.15 | 11:23PM

Comedic genius Stan Freberg died of pneumonia today. He was 88.

Freberg was known for his satires of The Lawrence Welk Show, Dragnet, Banana Boat  not to mention his take on the history of The United States of America ("Life, liberty and purfuit of happineff.")

He also enjoyed a successful career in advertising as with this Geno's Pizza commercial featuring The Lone Ranger & Tonto.

In the early '80's, Freberg did a TV special satirizing the federal debt featuring author Ray Bradbury and M*A*S*H star David Ogden Stiers. Take a look. It'll make you both laugh and cry.

The Fatal Flaw of the Westboro Analogy

By on 4.7.15 | 10:28PM

Jeff Lord tries to explore Rick Santorum's question whether a gay owned business should be forced to print "God Hates Fags" signs by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church. Specifically, Jeff inquired if Congressman Mark Pocan's sign business (which he runs with his husband) would do just that and indeed they would.

But let's say Pocan refused to serve the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps Jeff and Santorum might scream hypocrisy. Yet that would assume a) Pocan is declining their business on religious grounds and b) declining their business solely on their anti-gay stance.

Which brings me to the fatal flaw in Santorum's question and Jeff's thesis. What they fail to take into account is when the Westboro Baptist Church deploys these "God Hates Fags" sign they do so at military funerals accompanied by signs such as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers". Isn't it possible that a gay business owner could refuse service to the Westboro Baptist Church because he or she finds their behavior towards our military odious?

MSNBC: Trump Beats Rand Paul, Chris Christie in Poll

By on 4.7.15 | 6:42PM

Kentucky Senator Rand poll announced for president. Yet two hours earlier — before his announcement?

MSNBC had this headline

Donald Trump beats Rand Paul, Chris Christie in poll

So what to make of this poll from Monmouth University?

The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is wide — and I do mean wide — open. In this corner it appears that there are two sets of candidates: Insiders versus Outsiders. Insiders? Think Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Outsiders? That would be Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and yes, Rand Paul and others.

Equality Promotions: We Would Serve Westboro

By on 4.7.15 | 3:53PM

Responding today to my piece on Equality Promotions is Philip Frank, the co-founder of the company. I had asked for an answer to Senator Santorum’s question from the weekend, which was this:

“Tolerance is a two-way street. If you’re a print shop and you are a gay man, should you be forced to print ‘God hates fags’ for the Westboro Baptist Church because they hold those signs up?”

Mr. Frank’s response is as sent to me, in full:

Hi Jeff,

Sorry I couldn’t get back to you yesterday. We were out of town helping our mother move.

We will print for anyone, as we don’t discriminate. However, it appears your story was going to be written as you intended regardless. We expect you will correctly represent our response promptly in an updated version of your article.

All our best.

Philip Frank
Budget Signs & Specialties
2225 Industrial Drive
Madison, WI 53713

Planned Parenthood Completely Lost Its Mind Over Rand Paul Today

By on 4.7.15 | 3:04PM

It's notoriously difficult to make hay out of initial reactions to a Presidential campaign announcement. I'm still skeptical, but overall, reception for Rand Paul has been generally positive, the speech was good, and as far as God's concerned, Rick Santorum probably needs to hang it up, since His choice is fairly clear: as Rand was announcing his triumphant plan to retake Washington DC, the lights went out across the District and Northern Virginia, including at the White House. 

Obviously, I'm kidding. God is clearly a Mike Huckabee fan. He's got the sweet chops on that bass.

Anyway, there's at least one organization on Twitter that isn't crazy about a Paul Presidency: Planned Parenthood. Who, despite keeping its collective ladymouth shut during Ted Cruz's kickoff, lost it's ever-loving mind on Twitter this morning, issuing Tweet after mildly hysterical Tweet about what a President Rand Paul would do to Planned Parenthood's precious business model. This one is probably my favorite:

A Thought on Schumer’s Demand That Congress Have a Say in Any Deal with Iran

By on 4.7.15 | 1:07PM

Chuck Schumer is saying Congress should have a say on any nuclear deal with Iran.

If they haven't already done so, I'm sure the White House called Schumer and asked, "Remember Bob Menendez?"

In which case, the White House's next call is to the DOJ.


Man Who Closed Deal With Iran Lectures Scott Walker on Foreign Policy Naivete

By on 4.7.15 | 12:16PM

Gov. Scott Walker commented, a few days ago, on President Obama's apparent unwillingness to accept the reality of dealing with Iranians, noting that, if the current "deal framework" becomes a current "deal," and somehow manages to pass Congress over Sen. Chuck Schumer's currently veto-proof majority, that Scott Walker himself, should he be elected to our nation's highest office, would immediately reverse the deal and send the Iranians packing. 

The One Good Thing About Rand Paul’s GOP Presidential Bid

By on 4.7.15 | 12:15PM

Emily might like his swag, but I am not so easily impressed. I don’t think Rand Paul is presidential material.

Mitt Romney Won March Madness

By on 4.7.15 | 11:45AM

I should have known that my bracket would be completely busted the second that President Obama revealed he had matched my choice of Kentucky to take it all. The man hasn't picked a winner, in basketball or anywhere, since 2009.  

But were you following in the footsteps of Obama's 2012 opponent, you would, right now, be in the top 0.1% of brackets in the country, according to Mitt Romney not only correctly predicted the Final Four, he selected Duke to take it all. 

Mitt Romney on Monday night found himself once again in the exclusive club of the 0.1%.

This time, though, Romney's elite status has nothing to do with his multi-million dollar fortune, and everything to do with the results of the NCAA tournament.

Romney's bracket ranked 6,326th out of the more than 11.5 million brackets filled out on, meaning he scored better than 99.9% of all entrants. A Romney source shared this weekend the former presidential candidate's bracket with The Huffington Post.

Rand Paul Launches Campaign With Awesome Swag

By on 4.7.15 | 11:16AM

About an hour ago, Sen. Rand Paul launched his Presidential campaign website, announcing that he plans to seek the Republican Party's nomination for the nation's highest office in 2016.

It's hardly a surprise; he released this video on his website on Sunday, touting his intention to run as a "New Republican Leader," but like everyone in the field, he has to finaly name it to attempt to claim it. He'll make the formal announcement around noon, EST, at a rally in his home state of Kentucky, and then he'll embark on the traditional early-primary state tour, swinging through New Hampshire and Iowa, where his dad won the primary in 2012, and finally through Nevada, where the Republicans are a tiny bit more libertarian than most (seriously, I met one once, at FreedomFest, that had a wolf as a pet. A wolf).