The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on Peter MacKay Leaving Canadian Politics

By on 5.29.15 | 1:10PM

Peter MacKay will announce today that he is leaving Canadian politics and will not seek re-election later this year.

Now most Americans might not know who Peter MacKay is, but I can assure you that this is a big deal. MacKay is a key figure in conservative politics in Canada. His father Elmer was a prominent cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney's government in the 1980's and the younger MacKay would rise further becoming leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2003. Later that year the PCs would merge with Stephen Harper's Canadian Alliance to become the Conservative Party of Canada with Harper becoming leader. In early 2006, the Tories came to power under Harper, but MacKay has played a big role in the Tory government as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense and now Justice. His departure is a bigger blow than that of John Baird.

Hillary Clinton Spends a Lot of Cash on Pantsuits

By on 5.29.15 | 12:56PM

This morning, we learned that Bill Clinton won't accept an award from your organization unless you also offer him a cool half million for the Clinton Foundation - and it doesn't matter if your organization is doing the Lord's work of helping victims of the Indonesian tsunami, either, as supermodel Petra Nemcova found out when she tried to book the former President for her Happy Hearts Fund benefit, and offering him a lifetime achievement award that you present. In order to glady and generously accept an award for his years of service to the cause of global relief, Bill Clinton wouldn't set foot on the stage for less than a $500,000 donation to a family fund that mostly keeps his family in posh NYC penthouses.

But How Do They Really Feel?

By on 5.29.15 | 11:28AM

Alert patriots don’t want to miss this panel of Egyptians pinning the tail on our donkey. One of the many delusional promises Barack Obama came to office on was that he would improve the standing of America across the world. Here’s just one example of how that’s working out.

The moderator here asks the obvious first question that would occur to any acute observer who has just heard Obama say that climate change is an “immediate risk to our national security,” to wit: “Is he insane?”

The only reasonable answer to this entirely reasonable question is, “Probably not clinically. But if he’s going to say things like this, he may as well be.”

The Supernumeraries

By on 5.28.15 | 5:24PM

George Pataki? GEORGE PATAKI!? Lord love a duck! Is there no end of these vanity candidates? Could there be any reason for this guy to run other than to be able to one day tell his great-grandchildren that he once ran for president? Or perhaps he’s convinced someone has to fill the Jon Huntsman role this cycle. (You remember Jon, the socially liberal Republican who got dozens of votes in the various primaries in 2012. And some of these voters weren’t related to him. It’s not Jon’s fault that he’s now too obscure even to be the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question.)

Pataki is the latest in a scrum of Republican candidates and possible candidates-to-be whose best chance of seeing the inside of 1600 is to get in line with the rest of the tourists. Pataki is charitably described at a “long shot.” Damn straight a long shot. Longer than the Apollo flights.

How I Came to Support The Death Penalty

By on 5.28.15 | 5:13PM

I read Ross' piece on Nebraska's decision to repeal the death penalty. It is well worth reading.

At a time when conservatives going from the pro to anti-death penalty column, I have gone in the opposite direction. Given my contrary nature, I suppose that isn't a surprise. More on this later.

Ross begins the article by telling the story of Nebraska GOP State Senator Colby Coash who went from being a supporter to an opponent of the death penalty after attending a gathering outside a prison where an execution was to take place and being turned off by the "tailgate party" atmosphere.

I agree that we ought to avoid celebrating a person's death, even a bad person who has committed evil acts. These occasions call for sobriety and somber reflection. Yet I don't see this as sufficient cause to abrogate the death penalty. The problem in this instance is within us, not with the law itself.

Bernie Sanders Is a ‘Rape Culture’ All on His Own

By on 5.28.15 | 4:31PM

In keeping with the way we journalists are supposed to write about sexual assault nowadays, I'm going to say in advance of the rest of this piece, these two words: trigger warning. Now, I'm not saying that in order to steel your backbone against the disgusting and potentially disturbing content I am about to deliver to you, lest you suffer mental distress; I'm saying that in order to steel your backbone against the fact that it's all coming from Bernie Sanders, and the very thought of "Bernie Sanders" and "fantasy" in the same sentence makes my ladyparts crawl up into my intestines a little bit and it will no doubt have a similar effect on you. If you're lucky. I assume you'll also have night terrors.

Rick Santorum Dumps the Duggars

By on 5.28.15 | 4:01PM

Rick Santorum has decided to inflict himself, yet again, on our fair nation, running for President a third (I think) time. Now, while I'm not entirely certain what America did to deserve such an honor, clearly God is trying to punish us for some string of transgressions, because otherwise, His chosen candidate, Santorum, would have long ago retired to head up a DC-based family-focused think tank or sell panini presses on late night television.

Study Predicts Decades Of Global Cooling Ahead

By on 5.28.15 | 2:19PM

new study out of the United Kingdom predicts the Earth is about to go through a major climatic shift that could mean decades of cooler temperatures and fewer hurricanes hitting the United States.

Scientists at the University of Southampton predict that a cooling of the Atlantic Ocean could cool global temperatures a half a degree Celsius and may offer a “brief respite from the persistent rise of global temperatures,” according to their study.

This cooling phase in the Atlantic will influence “temperature, rainfall, drought and even the frequency of hurricanes in many regions of the world,” says Dr. Gerard McCarthy. The study’s authors based their results on ocean sensor arrays and 100 years of sea-level data.

“Sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic vary between warm and cold over time-scales of many decades,” said McCarthy, the study’s lead author. “This decadal variability, called the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), is a notable feature of the Atlantic Ocean and the climate of the regions it influences.”

There’s a Hillary Clinton Comic Book On the Way

By on 5.28.15 | 12:30PM

I have always been a huge comic book fan. I am told, of course, that my female anatomy makes me a rare bird in that field since, according to modern Internet feminists, comic books are the very nexus and genesis of modern misogyny, because they promote the sexualization of women, glorify violence against women, have storylines that don't always involve women, and are, generally, enjoyed by people who are not "Social Justice Warriors" with an extensive Tumblr history of memes that take aim at fat-shaming and love letters to Lena Dunham.

U.S. Military Accidentally Sends Live Anthrax To 9 States

By on 5.28.15 | 12:04PM

U.S. officials admitted Thursday that not only had the military accidentally sent live anthrax to labs in nine different states, as well as South Korea, but that in total 26 people were likely exposed.

California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia received live samples meant for germ warfare training via FedEx, as did the Osan Air Force Base in South Korea, Reuters reports. Hazardous material teams subsequently destroyed the anthrax samples.

In the U.S. the four employees exposed are undergoing precautionary medical treatment to avoid the problem of inhalation anthrax, which killed five people in 2001. Treatment usually includes a course of antibiotics and the anthrax vaccine.

“There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers,” Col. Steven Warren, Pentagon spokesman , said in a statement.

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