The Spectacle Blog

Israel Isn’t Alone in Disliking Kerry’s Ceasefire Proposal

By on 7.30.14 | 12:47AM

Lucy Schouten tells us that Israel did not like Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal and made no secret of their displeasure.

Well, no kidding.

By my count, there have been at least five ceasefires all of which Hamas has broken. The difference between the other negotiated ceasefires and Kerry’s is that the Secretary of State gives Hamas a lifeline of legitimacy. Hamas’ raison d’etre always has and always will be the extermination of Israel.

Yet Israel isn’t the only one that didn’t like Kerry’s ceasefire. As Lucy notes, Kerry negotiated the ceasefire in Egypt. Curiously, she doesn’t mention that the Egyptians didn’t exactly welcome Kerry with open arms. In fact, President Sisi’s security detail made Kerry go through a metal detector before welcoming him into his office. 

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Vin Scully to Return for 66th Year

By on 7.29.14 | 11:47PM

Hall of Fame Dodger TV broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2015 for his 66th year of calling Dodger games, both of the Brooklyn and the Los Angeles variety. And the team took an unusual way to get the word out.

In between the top and bottom of the second inning of Tuesday’s Braves/Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium, with the Braves leading 1-0, Dodgers’ broadcaster Alanna Rizzo came on the stadium jumbotron — locally called Dodger Vision — to say that the team had some breaking news. This was followed by short messages from three Dodger players. Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu spoke briefly in Korean, outfielder Yasiel Puig in Spanish, and infielder Justin Turner in English.

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Israelis Call Kerry’s Ceasefire a Betrayal

By on 7.29.14 | 5:28PM

John Kerry's most recent trip to the Middle East earned him such discouraging reviews in the local papers, not to mention receptions from Israeli politicians, that American officials have made their diplomatic displeasure known—diplomatically, of course.

Kerry spent last weekend in Cairo negotiating the latest ceasefire in missile exchanges between Hamas and Israel, but the Knesset rejected the plan outright as giving too much to Hamas and too little to them. They leaked their non-support through the media to avoid a diplomatic stand-off, and the media took off. The Times of Israel referred to the whole episode as "the betrayal," and that's only in the headline:

Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.

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Obama Follows Through on New Sanctions

By on 7.29.14 | 4:53PM

President Obama affirmed his belief, in a press conference this afternoon, that Russia holds the keys to future peace in Eastern Ukraine. He announced plans to follow through on promises of further sanctions against Russia, saying that he and the EU were coordinating an attack on key sectors of the Russian economy, particularly in energy and investing.

“We are united in our view that the situation in Ukraine ought to be resolved diplomatically,” he said. “We’ve also made it clear…that if Russia continues on its path the cost on Russia will continue to grow.” He went on to describe this latest move as, “The most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date.”

The president described the attack on Flight MH17 as senseless, and promised that America would ensure that justice was done, explicitly assigning responsibility to pro-Russian separatists. He was, however, quick to show that he had the support and agreement of many of the world’s leaders. Throughout his speech, he walked a balance between speaking in terms of strong American leadership and international consonance.

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Boehner Says No to Impeachment

By on 7.29.14 | 4:29PM

As the executive branch continues to grow and issue orders that sound more like edicts, bypassing Congress in the process, many on the right are growing frustrated. Some have compared President Obama to a dictator. As the frustration increased, so did rumors of the threat of impeachment, stirred by emails from the DCCC and the White House to potential donors. Today Speaker John Boehner quashed that talk.

According to the Washington Times:

“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Mr. Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”

These are the same Democrats who pushed the “birther” conspiracies, which some on the right still ridiculously hang onto. The Democrats have been using their own talk of impeachment to further their fundraising goals:

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An Update on Ukraine

By on 7.29.14 | 10:57AM

It was Soviet civilization, but it was still civilization. Eastern Ukraine does not even have that anymore as the civil war between the Kiev-based government and pro-Russian separatists has caused the remnants of law and order to crumble. The government has gained a foothold in the separatist-controlled territory, and now has control over the crash site of MH17. Only time will tell if that brings answers.

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Michelle Nunn and Hamas

By on 7.28.14 | 5:40PM

An embarrassing leak today has exposed the core strategies of the campaign of Michelle Nunn, who is running to fill the opening seat by retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. Not only do the documents show how she will be organizing her candidacy, they also discusses her weaknesses at length.

One of the major flaws is the candidate’s attachment to her foundation:

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Extremists Destroy the Splendors of Babylon

By on 7.28.14 | 5:31PM

ISIS have expelled all the Christians from their territory in Mosul and commenced destroying evidence of any faith other than their own twisted brand of Sunni orthodoxy.

As predicted, the treasures of Iraq's past, which are the heritage of the three Abrahamic faiths, are being obliterated. ISIS removed the worshippers from the mosque at the tomb of the prophet Jonah and bombed it into oblivion, according to the Christian Post. The shrine is associated with the prophet Jonah, whose aquatic adventures Jews, Christians, and Muslims all know from their respective scriptures. Like many ancient holy sites, it was built atop ruins of even older churches where earlier centuries of faithful had worshipped. It was sacred to all the Abrahamic faiths and known as a symbol of the area's religious heritage.

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Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me; Fool Me Thrice, Shame on Gruber

By on 7.28.14 | 3:58PM

As the fallout continues over last week’s Halbig decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, so does the walking back of words by Obamacare architect and MIT professor Dr. Jonathan Gruber. The case, which ended with a ruling that Obamacare subsidies can't be distributed in federal exchanges, has the potential to send the health care law into a death spiral. While the right-wing blogosphere celebrated, many on the left and Gruber himself were quick to deflect.

But now they may have an even bigger problem on their hands.

Before the release of contradictory video evidence, Gruber went on MSNBC to defend the law that he helped craft:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Jonathan, was this a typo saying that only if you had a state exchange you could get a subsidy and therefore be required to participate or was it some significant policy decision not to include states that didn't have exchanges?

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Anti-Semitism Marches Across Europe

By on 7.28.14 | 3:41PM

As Operation Protective Edge continues in Gaza, the Jews of the European diaspora are looking about and seeing an increasingly hostile home. A pair of particularly violent outbreaks of anti-Semitism in France and the Netherlands seems to foreshadow a future conflagration fueled by moral relativism and sparked by Europe’s growing Islamic slums. Muslims spouting Sharia and jihad have no room for Israel and Jews in their future world, and post-Christian Europe offers little resistance to those who promise hate and violence.

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