The Spectacle Blog

Ray Rice and His Bride

By on 9.10.14 | 12:11PM

Not that I’m questioning the decision. It probably had to be made. But it’s hard to see how La Rice’s life is made any better by it. Before she was just married to a dangerous sumbitch. Now she’s married to a dangerous sumbitch who isn’t bringing home any money and who is around the house all day, frustrated and angry. These are perilous times for her. Sometimes there are just bad options and worse options.

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Telegraphing Our Punches

By on 9.10.14 | 11:48AM

The smart folks over at Investors Business Daily offered one of the most comprehensive "decodings" of President Obama's Syria/ISIS strategy -- after the president told our friends and foes alike that he doesn't have one.

Tonight at 9 PM EDT, we'll get the latest "reset" in strategy...days after a speech at a NATO meeting in which Obama basically laid out three different near-strategies within just a few minutes of each other.

At this point, the whole thing bores me, despite recognizing its seriousness.

Here are my predictions what he'll say:

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Thoughts on the Ray Rice Video

By on 9.10.14 | 12:06AM

Like millions of other people, I have seen the video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching out his fiance (who he has since married) and was disgusted by his actions.

Prior to the video's release, Rice had been suspended for the first two games of the NFL season. But with the public outrage that followed the release of the video, the Ravens released Rice and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely.

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S. Truett Cathy, R.I.P.

By on 9.8.14 | 11:34AM

S. Truett Cathy, founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, passed away this morning at the age of 93.

Cathy spent his life in the restaurant business and opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant in 1967. Soon it would be a southern institution and eventually Chick-fil-A would open nationwide (but not here in Boston).

Liberals and left-wingers were offended by Cathy's unabashed Christianity. Chick-fil-A is famous for being closed on Sunday. But it was his opposition to gay marriage that got in their craw. By the time the Chick-fil-A controversy hit Boston and Chicago two years ago, his son Dan was running the day to day operations of the company, but a lot of the invective was directed at the elder Cathy. I didn't agree with Cathy's position on gay marriage, but it was a terribly unfair thing to do.

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Obama’s Strategy on ISIS: Make a Speech & Ask Congress for Money

By on 9.7.14 | 1:20PM

I watched Chuck Todd's debut as host of NBC's Meet the Press to watch his interview with President Obama which was conducted yesterday.

Obama looked like he just got out of bed. He did later note that he hasn't been getting much sleep. 

But he does finally have a strategy concerning ISIS - make a speech and ask Congress for more money.

As Todd noted, Obama will be making a speech concerning ISIS on Wednesday, the day before the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. 

Despite being called out by Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post on it, Obama also doubled down on the White House spin that he never referred to ISIS as the "jayvee team". Obama made the comment in an interview with David Remnick of The New Yorker this past January. Here's the relevant excerpt from that interview:

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For a Constitutional Convention

By on 9.6.14 | 12:18PM

As I always suspected, Obama will announce by executive order a plan to “regularize” undocumented (i.e., illegal) aliens after the November election. That’s an admission that it’s an unpopular issue, at least where Democratic Senate seats are in play. It’s also an admission that Democratic voters in those states aren’t smart enough to figure out what’s coming around the bend. And of course, the Democratic candidates in question will swear that they personally, honest-to-God, don’t want an amnesty, so this is also an admission that the Democratic voters in those states aren’t smart enough to know that the candidates in question are lying.

But in the end, what does it matter? Obama will do it whomever takes control of the Senate. And if the Republicans do take the Senate, what then? The House and Senate will pass legislation and send it over to the White House. Where it will die.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Congress is really important. I mean, how else could we have a State of the Union Address? And we’re not yet at the point where President Hillary is going to be sworn in in the Rose Garden or Fedex Field.

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Ron Washington Resigns as Rangers Manager

By on 9.5.14 | 10:39PM

Ron Washington has stepped down as manager of the Texas Rangers. Washington is departing for undisclosed personal reasons. All that is known is that the circumstances do not concern substance abuse. Washington tested positive for cocaine in 2009. 

The Rangers hired Washington to manage the Rangers prior to the 2007 season. Washington would guide the Rangers to back to back AL pennants in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers were one strike away not once, but twice from winning their first World Series title in 2011. However, David Freese had other ideas. 

In 2014, the Rangers have the worst record in MLB. At 53-87, the Rangers are 31 1/2 games back of the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. Nevertheless, with a record of 664-611, Washington is the winningest manager in Rangers' franchise history.

Rangers bench coach Tim Bogar has been named interim manager for the remainder of the season. Bogar spent four seasons on the Boston Red Sox coaching staff before joining the Rangers' organization this year. 

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Hoover Institution Hits Rand Paul on Pacifism

By on 9.4.14 | 5:58PM

Last night Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sean Hannity’s TV show, to make it clear he believes ISIS has declared war on America. The Senator was clearly irritated at being portrayed as an “isolationist.” He made plain that he believes the President should seek constitutional authority before dealing with ISIS. 

I’ve been critical of the Senator for what I termed his “Obama-Lite” approach to U.S. foreign policy. He is right — he is not an isolationist. And certainly saying presidents should get — as did George W. Bush in Iraq — the support of Congress before an intervention is correct.

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A Thought for Joan Rivers

By on 9.4.14 | 5:08PM

I see that Ross has beat me to the punch concerning the passing of Joan Rivers.

Instead let me share a few of my impressions of her.

I first became aware of her in the early 1980's during her stint as permanent guest host on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I mostly remember her telling a lot of fat jokes about Elizabeth Taylor although the two would later bury the hatchet as both women spent their time raising money for AIDS charities.

I also remember her falling out with Carson after she got her own talk show on the fledgling Fox network. She would be fired within six months and the show would eventually launch the late night career of Arsenio Hall.

But Rivers would bounce back in the 1990s on the E! network along with her daughter Melissa with their red carpet fashion shows prior to the Oscars and Emmys.

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Joan Rivers R.I.P.

By on 9.4.14 | 3:09PM

Comedienne Joan Rivers has passed away today at the age of 81, one week after going into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a procedure on her throat. The evening before the terrible event, Ms. Rivers joked about her age and that she could die "at any second." State health officials are investigating the clinic at which the procedure took place.

Joan Rivers was basically "discovered" by Johnny Carson and was a frequent guest and guest-host of the Tonight Show in the early 1980s.

Recently, Ms. Rivers, never a stranger to controversy, made a bit of news when suggesting that Barack Obama was America's first gay president and calling Michelle Obama a "tranny." In typical Rivers style, no apology was forthcoming for the not-particularly-humorous comment.

OK, not every joke hits its target, but for decades of sometimes-shocking entertainment and breaking the glass ceiling for female comedians, Joan Rivers deserves our appreciation.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends on this sad day.

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