The Spectacle Blog

Blinken Confident to a Fault When Sizing up ISIS

By on 6.3.15 | 3:25PM

With ISIS recently gaining key cities within Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has asked for support from the 25 countries in the coalition. According to the Washington Post, he said they “are not getting it.” 

Despite the apparent cries from Iraq, the United States has decided to stick with it’s current strategy, only increasing the intensity. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken was confident that the Islamic State would fall. As Blinken said to the Washington Post on Tuesday:

“We will redouble our efforts,” said Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who was leading the delegation after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in a cycling accident in eastern France over the weekend. IS, Blinken said, “stands for nothing and depends on people who will fall for anything.”

Redoubling efforts sounds all right, especially with Iraqi government practically begging for support. It was the second part of the quote that had me reeling.

George W. Bush Basically Crushes Obama in a Popularity Poll

By on 6.3.15 | 3:11PM

It must be the artwork. Or the grandchildren. Or the fact that he's not President anymore. But at the moment, George W. Bush is enjoying greater popularity among Americans than President Obama

A CNN/ORC poll out this morning shows that a majority of Americans have a positive view of former president George W. Bush. It’s the first time the nation’s 43rd president has had a higher favorable rating than unfavorable since early in his second term. Fifty-two percent of respondents had a favorable view of Bush compared with 43% who held an unfavorable opinion.

Contrast that with Bush’s numbers shortly before he left office in January 2009, when only 35% of Americans viewed him favorably.

Bush’s ratings now are better than the current occupant of the Oval Office. President Obama’s favorable ratings have dipped to 49%, a far cry from the stratospheric numbers (78% in January 2009) he enjoyed shortly before entering the White House.

Marie Harf Not Sure Why You’re Concerned About Iran Nuke Stockpile Increase

By on 6.3.15 | 12:31PM

I believe Marie Harf recently received a promotion to a senior advisory position in the wake of John Kerry's devastatingly stereotypical Parisian bike accident, but that clearly hasn't stopped her from ruining otherwise informative press conference with her utter and complete confusion over foreign policy. 

Hillary Clinton Womens’-Only Event Doesn’t Sell Out, Invites Men

By on 6.3.15 | 11:40AM

There's an immediate concern with Hillary Clinton as a candidate that isn't often discussed: while she's strong in many Democratic circles, she's lousy with white men, which, like it or not, make up the decisive chunk of American voters. In order to take the Presidency, Hillary doesn't necessarily need to win dudes, but she needs to make sufficient inroads among them to tear off a decent chunk of them. And while she's solidly in posession of, say, the group of guys who wear tee shirts that say "this is what a feminist looks like" and drive Korean-made cars with Coexist bumper stickers on them (though, in fairness, some of them my be Sanders voters), she's severely lacking in the "Home Depot" crowd, so to speak.

The womens'-only events probably won't help. Though, when it comes to targeting identity demographics, it seems Hillary isn't doing so well there either. Her last womens'-only event attracted so few ladies, she was forced to do something her campaign must have thrown up in their mouths a little over: admit men.

Jacques Parizeau, R.I.P.

By on 6.2.15 | 11:06PM

Former Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau passed away yesterday following a long illness. He was 84.

An economist by trade, Parizeau would be a key figure in developing the Quebec Pension Plan and the nationalization of Hydro Quebec. Rene Levesque would name him Minister of Finance after the Parti Quebecois' election victory in 1976. Parizeau would have a falling out with Levesque in 1984 when he and several other cabinet ministers believed that Levesque had gone soft on independence following the loss in the 1980 Quebec Referendum and the establishment of the Canadian Constitution in 1982. Parizeau would become PQ leader in 1989 and would be elected Premier in 1994. 

Parizeau was in office during the second Quebec referendum in 1995. After initially leading the Yes campaign, he took a back seat to the more charismatic Bloc Quebecois leader Lucien Bouchard who had survived flesh eating disease nearly a year earlier. Bouchard galvanized the Yes forces and came within a few thousand votes of separating from Canada. 

Suspected Jihadist Shot Dead After Confrontation in Boston

By on 6.2.15 | 10:28PM

A suspected jihadist who had been under 24-hour surveillance was shot and killed this morning following a confrontation with a Boston police officer and a FBI agent in a CVS parking lot in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale.

The police officer and FBI agent approached 26-year old Usaama Rahim and Rahim pulled a military knife on them and forced them to retreat until they acted in self-defense. It is alleged that Rahim had been radicalized online by ISIS and had recently come to attention of the joint task force because of this activity. 

The fact that Rahim would pull a weapon when approached by law enforcement indicates he was an imminent threat and a danger to the public. This city does not need another Boston Marathon attack. 

Funny, Obama Doesn’t Look Jewish

By on 6.2.15 | 9:50PM

President Obama reportedly told David Axelrod, "You know, I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office. For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse,  anti-Semitic, it hurts.”

Funny, he doesn't look Jewish.

As for those hurt feelings, Obama could alleviate them by not insisting on lionizing Iran while villifying Israel. 

But this isn't the first time he's said that sort of thing. Three years ago, Obama claimed he knew more about Judaism than any of his predecessors. As Bill Kristol noted at the time, both John Adams and James Monroe could read Hebrew. I'd like to see Obama read Hebrew without the aid of a teleprompter.

MoveOn.org Abandons “Run Warren Run”

By on 6.2.15 | 12:36PM

Now that Bernie Sanders is in the race, there seems to be no need for two populist progressives with terrible hairdos to share the stage. 

Attendance at "Run Warren Run" events has dwindled from the teens to the single digits as the last vestiges of hippiedom turn their Rascal scooters towards the bright light of Bernie. Warren's committed cadre of lily-white liberal Democrats who consider themselves experts on knowing how poor people should run their lives have found a new king to serve, and one that is already doing the dirty work of moving Hillary Clinton back to her leftward roots with talk of hunger-inducing deodorant and expensive trainers. And as such, the Run Warren Run movement has finally lost its most committed community organizers, the employees of MoveOn.org.

Valerie Jarrett Secretly Lobbying Big Corporations To Support UN Climate Talks

By on 6.2.15 | 11:43AM

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett is quietly working behind the scenes to build a coalition of major U.S. corporations to back President Barack Obama’s goal of hashing out a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the upcoming United Nations summit in Paris.

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a letter  that outlines how, by the end of June, Obama is looking to build a coalition of businesses to show support for UN climate talks. After that, the White House will then try to grow this group of businesses to 250 in the run up to the Paris talks this November.

The way the letter is written, it’s likely being circulated by someone or some group on behalf of the White House. The source could not disclose who was circulating the letter on the White House’s behalf, but did confirm the business they work for was approached to support the Paris climate talks.

Hillary Clinton Takes Big Hit In The Polls

By on 6.2.15 | 11:32AM

A new set of polls spell bad news for Democratic Presidential front runner Hillary Clinton.

CNN ORC poll released Tuesday found that 50 percent of Americans view Hillary Clinton unfavorably, the worst the candidate has been viewed since March 2001. In a one on one match up with any top Republican contender, she’s closer than ever to losing.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of people don’t think Clinton is trustworthy, up from 49 percent in March, and only 47 percent believe she actually cares about them, down from 53 percent in July. On top of that, 50 percent say she doesn’t inspire confidence, up from 42 percent in March.

The loss of popularity comes mostly from Independents. A slew of scandals may have finally stuck to Clinton. Benghazi, her emails, Clinton foundation corruption and more have eroded the public’s trust.

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