The Spectacle Blog

Obama Admin Will Lift Ban on Negotiating With Terrorists, Replace It With Endless Bureaucracy

By on 6.24.15 | 5:28PM

The Obama Administration is looking to lessen the restrictions on American families who want to communicate directly with terrorists holding their relatives.

Defying the longstanding mantra that we "don't negotiate with terrorists," the White House is maintaining an official distance from any actual transactions involving Americans and certain disreputable stateless organizations, but will decline to prosecute those families who wish to engage in negotiations on their own, or who send American money overseas to terrorist organizations and drug cartels to ensure the safety of their loved ones.

The Obama administration was accused Wednesday of giving terrorists an incentive to kidnap as it unveiled a hostage policy overhaul allowing families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom -- and allowing the U.S. government to help families communicate with captors. 

Is Boehner Retaliating Against Another Conservative?

By on 6.24.15 | 4:58PM

John Boehner is on a rampage against Republicans who dare defy him. Sounds more like what I'd expect from Nancy Pelosi if not Vladimir Putin.

While most of the retaliation has been in the form of removing uncooperative Republican House members from particular committee assignments or chairmanships or the whip team, the latest rumor is that Boehner is trying to orchestrate the removal of Colorado Representative Ken Buck as president of the House's freshman class.

(Full disclosure: I supported Ken in his run for Congress although I've been critical of him in the past. I think he's one of the good guys even though we disagree from time to time.)

Ken Buck is a former county district attorney and a graduate of Princeton (which I do hold against him a bit).

I do not know whether there is any validity to claims by Boehner's pawns in the freshman classs that Rep. Buck's leadership of the 2014 class has been inadequate.

But the timing of this rumor stinks of retaliation. And Ken Buck thinks so too, saying "I voted against ObamaTrade. Now they're trying to impeach me as class president. Sure smells like retaliation."

Chris Christie to Declare Next Week

By on 6.24.15 | 4:14PM

I'm really ready for some good news, guys, like that Nick Offerman has permanently become Ron Swanson and that he's running for President on the "build your own damned American dream" ticket. I can't take any more of these half-considered declarations. 

Chris Christie, who MSNBC has been trying to pin a bridge SNAFU on for close to two years, is looking to take his New Jersey circus on the road, so after much consideration and a few low-fat cupcakes, Chris Christie has decided that he will declare his intention to seek the GOP nomination for President later this week or early next

Chris Christie is in the final stages of preparing his 2016 presidential bid, with a formal announcement possible as soon as next week, according to several sources familiar with the discussions.

Peter Brimelow Pulls an Ann Coulter on Me

By on 6.24.15 | 3:33PM

Last night, I took Ann Coulter to task for telling the world that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is “an immigrant and does not understand America’s history.”

Although Haley’s parents are from India, Haley herself was born and raised in South Carolina.

Well, my criticism of Coulter didn’t sit too well with Peter Brimelow at VDARE. He calls my post a “pompous account.” Unfortunately for Brimelow, however, he ended up pulling a Coulter on me. He claims that I am an immigrant:

(Ask Goldstein, who does not disclose that he is himself an immigrant, why TAS has not yet reviewed or even mentioned Adios America! Ask TAS here).

Bad News For Dems: Kay Hagan Won’t Run For Senate In 2016

By on 6.24.15 | 2:33PM

Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan won’t run for Senate in 2016, disappointing Democrats counting on her to unseat Republican Richard Burr in what will be a major swing state race.

Hagan was unseated by Republican Thom Tillis in 2014 after one term in the Senate, and has struggled in the polls since, but was the obvious pick to challenge Burr. She’s been calling donors and supporters to inform them she won’t run, reported Roll Call.

Hagan performed relatively well in an election where Republicans secured big majorities in the House and Senate, and supporters figured she could unseat Burr with Hillary Clinton on the ticket and the typically larger voter turnout in a presidential election year.

Bobby Jindal, a Republican Governor Who Actually Cut Spending

By on 6.24.15 | 2:19PM

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, will officially announce his run for the White House this afternoon, joining the ever-growing Republican field. Jindal hopes his experience cutting state spending and shrinking the state’s workforce will help propel him to the presidency. However, like the other governors whose records we have highlighted, Jindal’s fiscal record is not without faults.

The “Wrong” King v. Burwell Ruling Would Help Tens of Millions

By on 6.24.15 | 2:14PM

A ruling for the challengers in King v. Burwell would have benefits that swamp other effects of the ruling, including:

Salon Columnist Claims Fox News Was ‘Aiding & Abetting’ Charleston Shooter

By on 6.24.15 | 1:27PM

The Fox News Channel has been the bête noire of the Left for the past two decades. But Salon columnist David Palumbo-Liu, who is also a Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, takes the cake in his “critique” of FNC’s coverage of last week’s Charleston shooting

But while we might wonder about Roof, there is no doubt at all that for its commentary on this horrific, hate-filled crime Fox News should be indicted in the court of public opinion for its role in this and other racist acts. The network surely was conscious of what it was doing in aiding and abetting; it surely planned to furnish Roof with an alibi regarding the exact nature of his heinous crime.

WaPo Concerned that Bobby Jindal is Not Really Much of an Indian-American

By on 6.24.15 | 12:57PM

If you ever wonder if a degree in politicial science is a worthwhile endeavor, consider that, while it may be a fast track to a byline on the Washington Post editorial page, it does not guarantee that you'll be viewed as anything resembling "intelligent." 

I say this only because the Post carried an opinion editorial yesterday penned by a well-known professor of political science, on the subject of Bobby Jindal's past. The op-ed was, ostensibly, designed to discuss Bobby Jindal's appeal as the child of immigrants, and whether that could resonate with target demographics in comparison to, say, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, for whom the immigrant experience is tangible in their campaign platforms. The professor's conclusion - and the Posts promotional question: Bobby Jindal is totally not Indian American anymore.

Poll Shows the Public Supports Fracking

By on 6.24.15 | 12:35PM

A new poll from Robert Morris University (RMU) shows the public overwhelmingly supports fracking for natural gas and oil production. Even before the EPA released its long awaited report largely exonerating fracking from charges it was causing water pollution, the poll showed more than 57% of Pennsylvanians support fracking. Nationally, 56 percent of those survey supported fracking.

Among those surveyed in Pennsylvania, 74 percent said fracking would have a positive economic impact on the country, compared to 73 percent nationwide.

When asked whether fracking can “move the US to energy independence“, nationally 69 percent of those polled agreed, compared to 70 percent of Pennsylvanians.

The poll indicated a number of those surveyed were concerned fracking could cause or was causing air and water pollution and earthquakes. This fear evidently reduced support for fracking from the more than 70 percent who agreed it was good for the economy and national security, to the 56 percent nationally who supported fracking overall.