The Spectacle Blog

Lew Soloff, R.I.P.

By on 3.8.15 | 7:37PM

Jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff passed away this morning following a massive heart attack after having dinner with his family in New York City. He was 71.

Soloff was a musician's musician playing with the likes of Gil Evans, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Marianne Faithful and Art Garfunkel. But Soloff is best known for his tenure with Blood, Sweat & Tears playing on five of their albums and on their major hits "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die".

Soloff's daughter, Laura Solomon, paid tribute to him on her Facebook page:

My dad was amazing. He could drive me f#*king crazy, but that didn't make him any less essential to my life. He loved his grandkids. He loved my sister and me. He was one of the greatest trumpet players in the world and I'm so proud to be his daughter. I'm so happy to carry on a fraction of his musicality in the now rare moments that I pick up my violin.

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Lindsey Graham Is Confused By This Series of Tubes

By on 3.8.15 | 6:10PM

This weekend, the presumptive Republican Presidential candidates kicked off what will be the longest leg of their pre-campaign careers: the endless slog through farm-centric events in flyover country in a vain effort to win over Iowa's caucus voters who haven't actually selected a viable Presidential candidate in at least the last three contests. 

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“Texts From Hillary” Emails, Avatar Now Missing

By on 3.8.15 | 5:44PM

Remember that iconic "Texts from Hillary" Associated Press photo, where Hillary Clinton is seen scrolling through her Blackberry on a military transport to Libya? I hope it's burned in your mind, because as of this morning, the photo, which was Hillary Clinton's Twitter avatar, has been removed

After getting some heat for her Twitter avatar featuring the iconic photo of her staring at her Blackberry while heading to Libya, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally changed it.

While some were critical of her for keeping it after the email scandal surrounding her, Clinton didn’t say she was changing the avatar because of that, but instead, to draw attention to International Women’s Day.

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Obama Blasts Voter ID Laws in Selma Speech

By on 3.7.15 | 9:30PM

In his speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, President Obama took aim at state voter ID laws

And with effort, we can protect the foundation stone of our democracy for which so many marched across this bridge – and that is the right to vote. Right now, in 2015, fifty years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote. As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood and sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, stands weakened, its future subject to partisan rancor.

Obama went on to characterize voter ID statutes as "voter suppression laws".

I defy President Obama to name me one person who has been denied the right to vote as a result of the passage of any state voter ID law. The states that require a photo ID have gone to great lengths to ensure its citizens receive their IDs free of charge. 

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Why Madison Might Become The Next Ferguson

By on 3.7.15 | 2:10PM

Last night, a police officer in Madison, Wisconsin shot and killed a 19-year old black male named Tony Robinson sparking protests.

It is not known if Robinson was armed. At this point, I am inclined to give the officer the benefit of the doubt. However, if information emerges that the officer did not act in self-defense then so be it. Let the chips fall where they may.

Alas, I strongly suspect the protesters in Madison are no more interested in the truth than the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri were. They simply wish to pillory the police and no doubt feel emboldened to do so by the Obama Administration.

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Harve Bennett, R.I.P.

By on 3.6.15 | 8:44PM

TV and movie producer Harve Bennett passed away on March 4th. He was 84.

Bennett was one of TV's most successful producers during the 1970's with hits such as The Mod Squad  (co-produced with Aaron Spelling), The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. He also produced the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man which launched the career of Nick Nolte.

In the 1980's, Bennett took over as producer of the Star Trek movie franchise. Bennett persuaded Leonard Nimoy not to drop out of the series when he proposed that the Spock character be killed off and also got Ricardo Montalban to reprise his role of Khan resulting in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He would also produce Star Trek III: Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.



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DOJ to Bring Charges Against Menendez or What Happens When You Cross Obama

By on 3.6.15 | 3:11PM

In what could be Attorney General Eric Holder's last act in office, the Department of Justice is planning to bring corruption charges against New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez.

Senator Menendez has been under federal investigation for nearly two years concerning his alleged advocacy of the business interests of a Miami based ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. The DOJ is preparing charges against Menendez because the statute of limitations on these charges are near their expiration date. Needless to say, Michael Warren of The Weekly Standard is calling shenanigans:

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White House Knew About Clinton Emails in August

By on 3.6.15 | 12:41PM

You know you're in for a rough time when the White House, which responds to literally nothing that constitutes an actual scandal, is trying to tell you that something needs to be done. 

Last August, the White House found out that Hillary Clinton had been using a homebrew email server to handle all of her State Department communications and warned Clinton that the "oversight" could have a serious impact on her political future. The Clinton team was, of course, already aware of what was going on and didn't think it was a big deal. And so, defeated, the White House gave up and acquiesced to Clinton's wishes

The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.

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Hillary Clinton Tells State Department to Release (Some Of) Her Emails

By on 3.5.15 | 1:17PM

Hillary Clinton has finally addressed her email problem. In 140 characters. On Twitter. And her apology and commitment to transparency is approximately as believably authentic as Kim Kardashian's platinum blonde Paris Fashion Week locks.

But we're going to play this game anyway, because it's Hillary Clinton and, in the words of the great S.E. Cupp, none of this matters because she's too big to fail. So this is all merely a bump in the road she needs to address and dismiss in order to put it behind her. After all, what, pray tell, is anyone really going to do about it? Announce their support for Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden?

Harf said Wednesday that the personal emails Clinton provided to the department will from now on be subject to every FOIA request it receives.

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