The Spectacle Blog

10th Place

By on 8.4.15 | 6:18PM

The one bit of suspense when it came to who would participate in the prime time Fox News/Facebook Republican presidential debate was who would grab the 10th and final spot on the stage. Rick Perry had seemed likely to be there until Ohio Governor John Kasich's rapid rise -- still far behind the front-runners but impressive given his very recent entry into the race.

Fox News' Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly just announced that Kasich will indeed be on the stage for the two-hour 9 PM Eastern debate whereas Perry will be relegated to the earlier "forum" for the other seven Republican candidates which will take place on the same stage as the main event.

Here are the top ten, as determined by an average of recent polls by Bloomberg, CBS, Fox News, Monmouth University, and Quinnipiac University:

(Percentages listed where the Fox announcers gave the number during the announcement.)

1) Donald Trump
2) Jeb Bush
3) Scott Walker (10.2%)
4) Mike Huckabee
5) Ben Carson
6) Ted Cruz (5.4%)
7) Marco Rubio (5.4%)
8) Rand Paul (4.8%)
9) Chris Christie (3.4%)
10) John Kasich (3.2%)

Green Alarmism about Sunscreen Debunked

By on 8.4.15 | 4:56PM

Often spoon-fed alarmist hype by green activist groups, reporters rarely get the science right about the risks associated with trace chemicals found in consumer products. Accordingly, kudos go to the author of a piece published on Fox News (originally published on Health.com), which debunks activist-generatedmisinformation about chemicals used to make sunscreens. In the past, I have pointed out that Fox News has blindly reported misinformation pushed by greens, particularly the Environmental Working Group, so this latest report is refreshing. 

The story explains:

Thoughts on the Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Against Former British PM Edward Heath

By on 8.4.15 | 4:53PM

Four local police forces in Britain as well as the Independents Police Complaints Commission are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by former British Prime Minister Edward Heath.

Known as Ted Heath, he brought the Conservative Party to power in 1970 by defeating Harold Wilson’s Labour government. In early 1974, Wilson and Labour would regain power. The following year, Heath was successfully challenged for the Tory party leadership by Margaret Thatcher who, of course, would become Prime Minister at the end of the decade. Heath would remain an MP until his retirement in 2001, having served in the British House of Commons for more than 60 years. He died in 2005 at the age of 89.

It is being reported that these allegations could have come to light in the ’90s when one of the local police forces was investigating a brothel owner, but was dropped after she threatened to expose Heath in court.

Scientists Back Besieged Climate Researcher

By on 8.4.15 | 4:48PM

More than 500 scientists and colleagues of Willie Soon, Ph.D., signed and sent a letter, along with supporting documents, to the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents.

The letter and supporting materials defend the award-winning solar physicist against allegations he failed to disclose conflicts of interest in publications critics say require such acknowledgments.

The letter notes Soon, a researcher for a quarter of a century at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has always strictly followed Harvard-Smithsonian’s conflict of interest guidelines.

New Planned Parenthood Video Shows Negotiations for “Intact Fetuses,” Prompts TX Investigation

By on 8.4.15 | 3:12PM

The National Abortion Federation and StemExpress are still aggressively pursuing TROs on Center for Medical Progress, the former pushing a judge in California to extend their TRO until the end of the month pending a hearing on August 27th. 

The videos in question, however, don't feature Planned Parenthood's executives or clinic staff, so today, the CMP released a fifth video on Planned Parenthood's baby parts practice, this time depicting the director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farell, happily negotiating for the release of an intact fetus for scientific experimentation, a practice that she says makes her a top contributor to her region's bottom line.

The video goes into great detail - including gory photos of a 20-week-old child being harvested for spare parts, so I don't recommend viewing it without a wastebasket nearby. 

NY Times Slights Biden’s Awkwardness

By on 8.4.15 | 1:39PM

The other morning I was reading along in my New York Times and I came across these lines: Joe Biden’s “relationship with the Clintons has not been without awkwardness and slights.” Well, what were these slights and what was this awkwardness? There were none mentioned. Oh, to be sure there followed plenty of awkward New York Times journalism, but I could not perceive how Joe was responsible for them.

Here is how I would have rewritten the Times report: Joe Biden’s “relationship with the Clintons has not been without awkwardness and slights.” Then I would report what I have reported Biden saying many times before. On the occasion of Boy Clinton’s awarding hundreds of dubious pardons, including one to the late Mark Rich, I would report Joe saying on February 14, 2001: “I mean I just think it’s totally indefensible.” Moreover, I would include ABC News reporting Joe as saying, “I think either the president had an incredible lapse in memory or was brain dead when he did that one.”

Mel Farr, R.I.P.

By on 8.4.15 | 10:46AM

Former Detroit Lions running back and entrepreneur Mel Farr died suddenly at the age of 70.

Born in Beaumont, Texas, Farr was an outstanding all around athlete who would become a football star at UCLA. The Detroit Lions would select him as their first round draft pick in 1967. Farr would make an immediate impact and become the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, while his teammate Lem Barney would win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Farr would also earn the first of his two trips to the Pro Bowl. Farr played his entire NFL career with the Lions before retiring after the 1973 season.

Adrian Beltre Hits For 3rd Career Cycle; Could Be a Hall of Famer

By on 8.3.15 | 11:50PM

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle tonight for the third time in his big league career. Beltre went 4 for 5 in the Rangers 12-9 victory over the Houston Astros. 

For the uninitiated, a cycle occurs when a player hits a single, a double, a triple and a home run in the same game. Beltre's cycle is the third of the 2015 season. Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox did it in June while Beltre's teammate Shin-Soo Choo did it last month.

Beltre previously hit for the cycle with the Rangers in 2008 and in 2012. He becomes the first player to hit for three career cycles since Babe Herman did it with the Cincinnati Reds in 1933. The only other player to do it since 1900 was Bob Meusel who hit his third and final cycle with the New York Yankees in 1928. 

Caitlyn Jenner Under Fire for Being “Too Conservative” on Her Show

By on 8.3.15 | 6:38PM

There's a lesson in here about acceptance, somewhere, and its not the kind you're supposed to internalize while watching I am Cait, the reality show chronicling Bruce-now-Caitlyn Jenner's transgender journey.

Although she was, at one time (apparently), hailed as a pioneering force for trans-acceptance, and is, arguably, the first well-known figure to undergo a public transformation, Caitlyn Jenner, who has expressed very conservative views in the past, didn't change her perspective on politics when she underwent gender reassignment. And, since she remained a Republican through the process, she's now finding herself on the wrong end of the outrage spectrum. It turns out that the left will support you for any choice you make - even as you experience a "fluid" gender - unless that choice happens to be voting out of lockstep.

She has become a national icon of gender politics.

Federal Subsidies Miss Target

By on 8.3.15 | 5:05PM

The Wall Street Journal today discusses how the growth in federal subsidies for college has contributed to the growth in college costs for students. Cato scholars have been arguing for years that rising grants and loans are not so much helping students, but causing bloat in college administration costs, including wages, benefits, and excess building construction.

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