The Spectacle Blog

A Question for The Donald During the Big Debate

By on 8.5.15 | 6:15PM

Donald Trump likes to boast of the billions he has made in his business career — somehow managing to hold onto his wealth despite (or, rather, because of) multiple bankruptcy filings. Companies or properties bearing his name sought Chapter 11 protection in 1991, 1992, 2004, and again in 2009. 

The Donald happily admits to using bankruptcy laws to “pare debt.” In an interview on ABC news in April 2011, he told George Stephanopoulos: “We’ll have this company. We’ll throw it into a (bankruptcy) chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on ‘The Apprentice.’ It’s not personal. It’s just business.”

And to think that this paragon of business ethics (quoting the Mafia don in The Godfather) would suggest that John McCain had himself to blame for being captured after his plane was shot down in the Vietnam War — saying “I like people who aren’t captured.”

Jeb Bush Has a Guac “Bowle” You Can Buy for $75

By on 8.5.15 | 4:51PM

As we all wend our way to Iowa, the campaigns are on the ground trying to hawk their merchandise to unsuspecting caucus-goers who might happen to drive their minivans around their kids' soccer matches, using the power of the bumper sticker to motivate legions of grassroots activists. Most campaigns have a banal selection - Ted Cruz, for example, is all tee shirts and buttons, Mike Huckabee has mostly the kind of lawn signs you see covering up dead patches of transplanted sod in long-term trailer parking. Rand Paul has been, far and away, the most creative, even getting me to shell out $15 for this "Detroit Republican" tee shirt that I can't actually wear in Detroit.

Jeb Bush is the newest entrant into the game, is going with more high-end merchandise, including this "guacamole bowl," that will cost you a whopping $75 (and you don't even get a recipe for guacamole), and all of your saved-up sanity. 

Barry, Kenya Spare a Time?

By on 8.5.15 | 3:55PM

As July flowed into August, President Barack Obama paid a visit to his ancestral home of Kenya on the occasion of the Global Entrepreneurial Summit. There he managed to lecture Kenyan leadership on homosexual rights and further alienate his extended family. All in all, a successful trip.

The President’s half-brother, Kenyan national George Obama, was asked for a reaction by the Telegraph. He said that he and other family members experienced “disappointment” that the President chose not to visit his family’s hometown, despite “the promise of home-cooked food and a warm welcome.” Barack Obama did reach out to some of his family by flying them in to the capital city of Nairobi, to attend events with him there. The Telegraph specifically cited the President’s step-grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango, but did not name the “other members of his extended family” whose visit to Nairobi he bankrolled.

Which Donald Trump Will Show Up?

By on 8.5.15 | 3:47PM

In every discussion of tomorrow's Republican presidential debate, the talking heads ask a question like this: "Will Donald Trump act 'presidential' or will he continue to be the bombastic bomb-thrower we've seen so far?" In short, "Which Donald Trump will show up?"

How strange is it that the man leading the GOP polling is so poorly understood (or, even worse, so well understood) that you don't know "who will show up?"

Sure, there's something to be said when it comes to business and even politics to have your opposition slightly wrong-footed. But how can someone so volatile and unpredictable actually be presidential material? I just don't get it.

Iran Deal Negotiations Will Not Ruin President’s Vacation

By on 8.5.15 | 1:18PM

The President will depart DC this week for Martha's Vineyard, where he will enjoy a fortnight of frolic among the bourgeoisie, playing rounds of golf and eating all sorts of over-priced seafood, possibly while dressed like someone's mother in a 1985 commercial for paper towels.

Meanwhile, he's supposed to be convincing members of Congress that the deal he and John Kerry negotiated with Iran, which will lift sanctions in return for basically nothing but Iranian assurances that they will not turn western Europe into a sea of green glass in a nuclear disaster. Although he gave a short speech and Tweeted out a couple of lame reasons for supporting the deal ("its deal or war!" - never mind Iran is already basically at war with everyone, anyway), he's leaving most of the convincing to his staff, who will call him to intervene with Democratic turncoats only if his influence is truly necessary.

Hillary Clinton Brings Out Southern Drawl for SC Dem Chairman

By on 8.5.15 | 1:00PM

Hillary Clinton would like to remind you that, for a large chunk of her life, she was forced to live in Arkansas, where almost nobody had a copy of Mao's Little Red Book, and people still did things like eat squirrels cooked on hot plates. While those moments still give her significant pause now and again - and probably recurring night terrors - she does find them useful when she needs to communicate with people who live below the Mason-Dixon line.

Yesterday, Hillary met with the South Carolina Democratic chairman and appeared on his public access television show, where she demonstrated how well she knows the "language of the South," by falling into a fake Southern accent. 

The Weekly Standard compiled the greatest hits from the interview. They have also helpfully demonstrated her level of pandering with a "cowboy boot scale," one boot being less pander-y, five boots being one step away from decorating her campaign bus with Truck Nutz.

Detroit Tigers Release President & GM Dave Dombrowski; Could He Be Bound for Boston?

By on 8.4.15 | 10:09PM

In an unexpected move, Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch released President and GM Dave Dombrowski from his contract which was due to expire at the end of the season.

Ilitch, who is also the founder of the restaurant chain Little Caesar's, issued the following statement, "I have decided to release Dave from his contract in order to afford him the time to pursue other career opportunities."

And what could those career opportunities be? ESPN baseball reporter Jayson Stark immediately speculated that Dombrowski could be headed to Boston. Over the weekend, it was announced that Larry Lucchino would be departing as Red Sox President and CEO at the end of the 2015 season. It was expected that the Red Sox would promote either Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy or Fenway Sports Group President Michael Gordon to succeed Lucchino. But Dombrowski's sudden departure throws all that out the window. 

Potential Primary Voters Forced to Endure Chris Christie Birth Control Lecture

By on 8.4.15 | 8:02PM

Once upon a time, Chris Christie used birth control. 

The point of the speech was to discuss how that didn't make him a "bad Catholic" (or something), but it really ended up giving some prospective voters an education in parts of Christie's life that they were demonstrably uninterested in. Keep your eye on the poor man in the foreground, ostensibly not having any more of his lunch. And possibly never eating again. 

Dear heaven, make it stop

And here you all made fun of me for pointing out how horrifying these kinds of lectures can be when Rick Santorum gave one about how his seven children were proof that he knew how to get it on in the bedroom, or when Bernie Sanders wrote about his S&M fantasies in a Vermont alternative weekly.

That was merely the tip of the iceberg, America. Just wait. Hillary Clinton is next. 

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 along with Chris Christie 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 Christie and 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. Perhaps seeming more unfair to some than Perry being off the stage is Christie's being on it, but the numbers are the numbers.

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.)