The Spectacle Blog

Paul Ryan is The Most Viable Choice Republicans Have for Speaker of the House

By on 10.8.15 | 5:04PM

I would like to second Ramesh Ponnuru's unofficial nomination of Paul Ryan to become Speaker of the House:

But Ryan is respected by most people on both sides of the divide. Many of the Republicans who were against Boehner and McCarthy would listen to him, and trust him to listen to them. They sometimes disagree with him, but they trust that he is in politics because of conservative ideas. No other House Republican has the same reservoir of goodwill. No other House Republican is considered as good a spokesman on such politically perilous issues as entitlement reform.

After Kevin McCarthy's Benghazi gaffe and his atrocious effort to explain it away to Bret Baier, I argued that McCarthy made John Boehner look like Ronald Reagan. I concluded, "But if Republicans are to offer a credible legislative program and be an effective opposition to the Obama Administration, they are going to have to do better than Kevin McCarthy."

Party With Obama and Jamie Foxx — For a Cool $10K

By on 10.8.15 | 2:42PM

Do you have an extra $10,000 just lying around that you're not spending on healthcare premiums or food for your family? 

This weekend, the President will be partying in the Pacific Palisaides with Jamie Foxx, and for a cool $10K, you could be in on the adventure. According to TMZ, the Democratic party issued invitations, pictured above (courtsey of TMZ), for a fundraiser this weekend. The event promises to be star-studded, with Jamie Foxx providing the evening's entertainment in the form of a private concert.

President Obama could be blaming it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol this weekend — 'cause he's gonna be partying with Jamie Foxx at a ritzy celebrity event ... TMZ has learned.

Kevin McCarthy Drops Bid for Speaker

By on 10.8.15 | 2:31PM

Kevin McCarthy was the obvious frontrunner for the Speaker of the House position, but just a few short minutes ago, he dropped his bid without immediately citing a reason. What was once a race almost completely tied up for the California Republican has now been blown open wide.

McCarthy, it seems, was fine with the idea of running for Speaker through yesterday evening, even going so far as to look to strike a deal with the more conservative House Freedom Caucus - a compromise which might have put him over the 218 votes necessary to earn the title. Then, he held a secret meeting today with a few key lawmakers and promptly announced that he was pulling out of the race. McCarthy has so far declined to provide any further information, and speculation is rampant.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Thursday abruptly pulled out of his bid to be the next speaker of the House.

McCarthy was expected to coast to an easy win, as he was thought to have the support of nearly 200 Republicans.

Donald Trump Explains Why Eminent Domain is Awesome

By on 10.8.15 | 2:18PM

Needless to say, I don't agree with Donald Trump on this particular issue, but it isn't as if his position comes as a particular surprise. Donald Trump has been bulldozing trailer parks for years in an effort to build his chain of luxury hotels, altering skylines and flying his name across the landscape. It's just that someone finally asked.

Donald Trump really likes eminent domain, even when it's a private organization doing the taking at the behest of the government. And he'd like you to like it, too. 

A Cautionary Word

By on 10.8.15 | 12:56PM

Good grief, Charlie Brown. Flyers at Lightning at 7:30 tonight. Seems like the Stanley Cup Finals were just a coupla months ago.

What a sports feast October is. Baseball playoffs. NFL and college football in full swing. Now hockey is back. The NBA is having pre-season games and its regular season will start soon. There are so many games on this time of year that the sports report on the local news is a breathless affair of the sports babe or the sports suit giving nothing but scores in a cadence that sounds like that of an auctioneer. Tonight, on my no-more-than-middling cable package, I may flit between an NFL game, three college football games, a baseball playoff game, the Lightning opener, or three NBA pre-season games. I’ll probably have to take my remote in tomorrow for an overhaul.

October should come with a warning label. There is so much to delight the sports fan that one could easily OD. Hospital emergency rooms are on full alert. So are divorce lawyers as husbands wall themselves off in their man caves. So enjoy the feast all you red-blooded TAS sports fans. But be careful. Where there is great joy there is also risk.

Spencer Stone, French Train Hero, Stabbed in Sacramento; Listed in Stable Condition

By on 10.8.15 | 11:56AM

Spencer Stone, one of the three young men who thwarted a terrorist attack from occurring on a Paris bound train in August, was stabbed early this morning in Sacramento outside a bar.

According to KCRA, the Sacramento NBC affiliate:

A fight in the street allegedly led to Stone being stabbed multiple times in the torso, prompting investigators to block off two blocks in the area, Sacramento police said.

Homicide detectives were called out because officers did not think Stone would survive, but he was taken to the hospital and is expected to live, according to police.

Officials with the U.S. Air Force indicated that Stone is in stable condition, adding, "We do not have any information as to the events preceding the incident."

Trey Gowdy Schools the Media on Benghazi

By on 10.8.15 | 11:49AM

Tuesday, the chairman of the House Select Committee that is looking into the Benghazi massacre, Congressman Trey Gowdy, appeared before the press on Capitol Hill and asked the press some perfectly reasonable questions. At least they appeared reasonable to me. For instance, what was Ambassador Christopher Stevens doing in Benghazi the night he was murdered? Why were his repeated requests for stronger security measures ignored? Why were we the last Western flag flying there and why did the President not call upon our allies for help. Why did he not deploy nearby assets to rescue the four Americans murdered there?

Below we have embedded the whole series of questions that Gowdy asked. View them for yourself.


Then savor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s political advertisement protesting that the Republicans are trying to politicize this atrocity. I inched up to it last week. Now I shall say it: Hillary’s e-mails will go a long way to answer our questions about Benghazi and the role she played.

Cubs Win NL Wild Card on a Complete Game 4-Hit Shutout by Jake Arrieta

By on 10.7.15 | 11:26PM

Jake Arrieta is the man.

The Chicago Cubs won the NL Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 on a complete game, four-hit shutout by Jake Arrieta. The probable NL Cy Young winner fanned 11 batters. It marked the first time the Cubs had won a post-season game since 2003. 

Three of the four Cubs runs were driven in by Cubs' rookie outfielder Kyle Schwarber on a single in the first and a two-run home run in the 3rd. Cubs lead off hitter Dexter Fowler hit a solo shot in the 5th. The Cubs got all their runs off Pirates' starter Gerrit Cole.

The benches cleared after Arrieta was drilled by Pirates' reliever Tony Watson. Arrieta had hit Francisco Cervelli with a pitch in the fifth and Josh Harrison in the sixth. But they were on breaking balls that got away. Cervelli got hit on the finger and he went down like a World Cup soccer player. Why on earth is Arrieta going to intentionally hit two guys while throwing a shutout? The Pirates were totally lame. I lost a lot of respect for them tonight.

Why Ben Carson Reminds Me of Mark Wahlberg

By on 10.7.15 | 7:56PM

Just as it's easy for President Obama to say we should "politicize" the shooting at Umpqua Community College and that "common sense gun laws" would have stopped such a shooting, it is equally easy for Ben Carson to say that if confronted by a gunman that he would have rushed the shooter. Carson told Fox & Friends, "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'"

Chances are that he, along with nearly all of us, will never find himself in that position. And, unlike nearly all of us, there is a good chance he will soon be afforded Secret Service protection. So in the event he is confronted by a gunman, it would be the Secret Service that takes responsibility for his security.

A Historic Cubs Year

By on 10.7.15 | 4:28PM

Since the end of the war (meaning the Big One that ended in ’45), the Chicago Cubs have done best under former Tampa Bay Rays managers. The runaway success of the Cardinals and Pirates this year has somewhat masked what Joe Maddon and his Cubs have accomplished. Since 1945, this year’s 97 wins has been equaled only once, in 2008, when Sweet Lou Piniella was the manager. Maddon enjoyed some winning seasons at Tampa Bay before coming to the Cubs. Piniella didn’t.