The Spectacle Blog

Zander Hollander, R.I.P.

By on 4.16.14 | 12:11AM

Sports journalist and archivist Zander Hollander passed away on Friday of Alzheimer’s. He was 91.

Those of you who put up with my numerous articles and blog posts on baseball can blame Hollander. The very first baseball book I read was Hollander’s The Complete Handbook of Baseball — 1980 Seasonwhen I was 7 years old. My Mom bought the book for my Dad. Somehow it never made its way into his hands. Willie Stargell, who was 1979 Co-NL MVP with Keith Hernandez, was on the front cover and 1979 AL Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan was on the back cover. Both men sadly are no longer with us. 

There are things from that book that I still remember like Detroit Tigers catcher Lance Parrish being a former bodyguard for Tina Turner, San Diego Padres pitcher John Curtis was an essayist, and future NBA great Danny Ainge was trying to make the grade as a second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Will Photo Radar Finally End in Colorado

By on 4.15.14 | 10:30PM

Here in Colorado, a Republican state senator is taking his third shot at banning photo speed cameras and photo red light cameras. In large part due to Democrats' concerns with privacy following the revelations about NSA spying, Senator Scott Renfroe now has key Democratic support, including the president of the state senate and the speaker of the state house of representatives.

The Denver Post recently published an editorial arguing (unconvincingly) that the use of photo radar should be limited but not banned.

In my current piece for the Denver Post, I strongly disagree:

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Advantage Jolly: Sink Won’t Run

By on 4.15.14 | 5:51PM

Democrat Alex Sink announced Tuesday she will not run against Republican Congressman David Jolly in November for the 13th Congressional district seat in the U.S. House. Sink, a retired banker and former one-term Florida’s former Chief Financial Officer, lost a special election to Jolly in March for the remainder of the term of former Congressman Bill Young, who died in office in October.

The March election was a close one, with Jolly taking the seat by a little less than two points, about the margin of registered Republican voters in the district over Democrats. Most in the politics industry thought Sink would run again. Her late departure from the race makes it difficult for Democrats to come up with a strong candidate to oppose Jolly, who is a capable campaigner with views that are compatible with the congressional district, which includes the city of Clearwater and most of St. Petersburg.

Candidates must file for the race by May 2. The only other Democrat to express interest in running for the seat is the Rev. Manuel Sykes of St. Petersburg. Sykes is pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church and president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP.

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Ben Carson Hurts Obama’s Feelings

By on 4.15.14 | 4:38PM

Apparently Ben Carson managed to chip at President Obama's ego during last year's National Prayer Breakfast, as revealed by the Daily Caller.

The information came from confessions in Carson’s new book One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future:

“He did not appear to be hostile or angry,” Carson writes of Obama, “but within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him. I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

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Game of Thrones: Marriage, Murder, and Spoilers

By on 4.15.14 | 3:53PM

It was a dragonless night on the Game of Thrones political battlefield, but it certainly did not want for violence. Instead, viewers were greeted with one of Ramsey Snow’s torture scenes, Melisandre's human sacrifice of infidels in the name of the lord of light, another royal wedding, and another royal funeral. Joffrey has tortured his last court jester!

First, a few words on the torture scene. Ramsey Snow fed his female victim to the dogs. I gritted my teeth as I awaited the camera to pan onto the victim ripped apart by hounds. But it didn’t. There was no glimpse of her bloody body. Has HBO reached its limit on showing violence?

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Food Stamps Gone Crazy

By on 4.15.14 | 3:10PM

For the first time since 1976, the number of people receiving food stamps outnumbers the number of women working full-time.

If that sounds impossible, just look at the numbers. In 2013, 46,609,000 people collected food stamps while only 44,059,000 women had full-time jobs. That’s a 2.5 million difference.

Even more concerning is the growth rate of the food stamp program. In 1969, when the program was first introduced, only 2,878,000 people qualified. Today’s astronomical enrollment reveals an increase of 1,552 percent. If this 34 percent average annual increase were to continue, the entire U.S. population will be on food assistance in the next six years.

This should absolutely shock us. It reveals just how monstrous our welfare programs have become—and this is only the food stamp program.

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Interviewer Denies Aaron Compared GOP to KKK

By on 4.15.14 | 2:16PM

Since comparing the GOP to the KKK last week, Hank Aaron has received letters filled with racial epithets addressed to the Atlanta Braves’ front office.

This is, of course, an exceedingly stupid thing to do. Of course, the people who did such a thing were filled with racial avarice in the first place and would have hated Hank Aaron whether or not he said anything. With that said, I don’t think Hank Aaron is above criticism. As I have shown, you can disagree with Aaron and still admire the things he’s done.

Interestingly, Bob Nightengale of USA Today who interviewed Aaron last week is now denying Aaron compared the GOP to the KKK:

Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist. Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Klu Klux Klan.

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Morning Round-Up 4-15

By on 4.15.14 | 9:50AM

Feature of the Day: Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. People With Old Social Security Debts Get Reprieve
  2. First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs


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Village Voice Columnist Implies We’re Racist

By on 4.14.14 | 5:11PM

Last week, I wrote a tribute to the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th HR. When I learned that Aaron had likened Republicans and conservatives to the KKK for criticizing President Obama, I wrote a follow up post which took him to task for those remarks.

Enter Roy Edroso, a columnist for the Village Voice. His shtick is monitoring the conservative blogosphere and on occasion has selectively quoted my articles. On his personal blog, Edroso wrote the following comment under the headline, “Conservative Minority Outreach Continues,” which linked to my follow up post:

Shorter Aaron Goldstein: I apologize to readers of The American Spectator — when I celebrated Hank Aaron’s baseball career, I didn’t realize that he was black.

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Don Draper is a Rock Star

By on 4.14.14 | 4:26PM

The final season of Mad Men premiered last night and unlike last season, started off on a high note. Don Draper’s first appearance made him look like an absolute rock star. He gets off the plane, sees his actress wife, all in slow motion to the sounds of The Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man,” and the only thought that comes to mind is: Wow this guy is cool. But then Matthew Weiner, as he so often does, flips things on us by having Don’s wife drive while Don sits in the passenger seat. The times they are a-changin’, you see. Women drive now, no matter how cool you are.

(Spoilers ahead) 

Weiner has been insistent that Don Draper is America. If that’s true, then Don’s excursions to the West Coast are his version of manifest destiny. Don seems to continually believe things will be better if he reaches the shores of California.

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