The Spectacle Blog

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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Attkisson, the Media, and Obama

By on 4.14.14 | 3:09PM

Sharyl Attkisson left CBS News believing her stories were inappropriately shot down by her bosses, but she told Fox News that she primarily blames the Obama administration for pressuring the media.

Attkisson explained that the White House would call or send emails, asking CBS to retract or change certain stories that the president didn’t like:

“There have always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House — under any administration, I assume — when they don’t like a particular story,” she admitted. “But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration, and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized and designed to have sort of a chilling effect.”

In the end, she said it worked. Her bosses weren’t eager to deal with the “headache” of hearing from Washington again, so they ran fewer controversial stories and more that fit with Obama’s agenda. In addition, they didn’t fight for her stories because they didn’t want conflict with the White House.

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Don’t Make Online Threats Towards American Airlines. Seriously.

By on 4.14.14 | 1:43PM

The internet's collective outrage was directed yesterday at a 14 year old Dutch girl named "Sarah." Her offense was to send a tweet to American Airlines reading "hello my name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye". American Airlines responded "Sarah, we take these threats very seriously.  Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI." Both tweets have since been removed, but you can see screen grabs of the originals here, thanks to Mediaite.

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Capitalism and Politics…in Space!

By on 4.14.14 | 1:01PM

Outer space is cool. Add “in space” after something and it becomes ten times more interesting. Brussel sprouts…in space!

NASA’s Asteroid Retrieval and Utilization mission not only includes efforts to robotically capture and manipulate an asteroid into the moon’s orbit, but also aims to land humans on an asteroid by 2025. 

If the mission is successful, it will be the first time humans have left low earth orbit since Apollo 17 in 1972. This mission will serve to build capabilities in robotics and launch technology for the eventual goal of landing on Mars in 2030.

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Paul and Bush Duke It Out on Immigration

By on 4.14.14 | 12:40PM

Presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Jeb Bush got in a slight scuffle over immigration yesterday.

Bush called illegal immigration “an act of love” committed by people wanting to support their families, adding that most of them are here illegally because they can’t get in legally.

This ignited some Republican rage and Rand Paul got his chance to respond:

“You know, I think he might have been more artful, maybe, in the way he presented this,” said Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said on ABC’s This Week. “But I don’t want to say, ‘oh, he’s terrible for saying this.’ If it were me, what I would have said is, ‘people who seek the American dream are not bad people. However, we can’t invite the whole world.’”

Paul’s response was remarkably charitable, perhaps revealing his desire to appeal to a broader base without alienating the one he already has:

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