The Spectacle Blog

Wow, That Hurt

By on 10.28.14 | 10:22AM

So last night, for the third time in my life, I suffered through a kidney stone. The good news is that I was only in pain for about 3 hours, by far the shortest of any of my experiences with this diabolical dimunitive monster.

Having a kidney stone, some say, is the closest thing that many men will ever feel to the pain that women go through in labor. All I can say is that labor must really suck.

It felt as if I was being repeatedly punched in the back by Mike Tyson. (But at least it didn't feel like he was biting me.)

I was literally lying on the ground (for some reason more comfortable than my bed) trying to find some less agonizing position and also trying not to vomit from the pain -- something that happened both previous times. On that account, I'm pleased to report that was successful this go-round.

The pain subsided very rapidly as the little beast moved through some tube to some other tube that hurts less. Not sure if I peed it out yet...I sure hope so because otherwise I may have more pain to go through.

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John Tory Elected New Mayor of Toronto; Rob Ford Regains City Council Seat

By on 10.27.14 | 10:47PM

Former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory has been elected the new mayor of Toronto. Tory won with 42% of the vote ahead of Doug Ford garnered 34% of the vote despite his late entry into the race. Former NDP MP Olivia Chow finished a distant third.

Doug Ford replaced his brother Rob Ford after he was diagnosed with cancer last month. Despite undergoing chemotherapy, the soon to be ex-mayor has been elected to his old city council seat in Etobicoke which is situated in the city's west end. 

Rob Ford put Toronto on the map for all the wrong reasons when video of him surfaced smoking crack cocaine. A litany of other bad behavior would soon follow. Toronto City Council would strip Ford of most of his powers. He steadfastly refused to resign and stood for re-election until his health troubles rendered him forced him to withdraw. 

One thing is for certain. Politics in Toronto is bound to become far more boring and this will be a good thing. That is until the next election.

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CNN’s Carol Costello is Sorry She Laughed at Bristol Palin (Sort Of)

By on 10.27.14 | 6:09PM

Okay, I admit it. When I first heard about the Palin Family Brawl, as it were, I was pretty enthusiastic. After all, is there any other public figure in history - aside from possibly Andrew Jackson - who could land herself in an all-out drunken wildnerss melee and come out relatively unscathed after (allegedly) beating the crap out of her neighbors, all while wearing platform American flag shoes? No. No, there isn't. Sarah Palin is the only modern politico that I can picture taking a right hook to a lumberjack and living to tell about it.

And to that end, the whole thing was pretty funny. And it would have continued to be funny except that last week, the police who took the call released an audio tape of Bristol Palin, Sarah's daughter, who described being beaten, dragged and sworn at. Which is decidedly not funny, particularly when you consider that Bristol sustained injuries in the altercation. In this war-on-women world, Bristol Palin actually has a story from the front lines. And, like other recent female victims of violence, you'd expect luminary CNN hosts to come to her defense. 

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Quarantined with Ebola? Read Andrew Cuomo’s Book!

By on 10.27.14 | 5:57PM

So far, Andrew Cuomo's memoir, All Things Possible: Setbacks and Successes in Politics and in Life, has sold a whopping 945 copies, which works out really well when you consider that he received $700,000 as an advance. In order to recoup their losses, at this rate, the publishing house will have to charge approximately $740 per book. 

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Does Jeb Bush Keep Marco Rubio Out of 2016 GOP Bid?

By on 10.27.14 | 3:03PM

In noting my Scott Walker article in which I advocate that Republicans nominate him here and now should he beat Mary Burke in eight days from now, Emily takes a decidedly pessimistic outlook on the prospect of Jeb Bush's apparently imminent candidacy for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Methinks that Emily and a lot of other conservatives are objecting to Bush's last name and family's legacy rather than anything he's actually said or done (aside perhaps from his statement last April that illegal immigration is "an act of love". The people who smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. certainly aren't doing it for love). However, Bush certainly did a better job as Florida Governor than Rick Scott who will likely lose to former GOP Governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist next Tuesday.

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About Those Self-Radicalizing Lone Wolves

By on 10.27.14 | 1:12PM

The CBC is doing its best to minimize last week's acts of Islamic terrorism in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu and in Ottawa by characterizing those responsible as "self-radicalized" and "lone wolves".  The article quotes a University of Waterloo Professor named Lorne Dawson who is also the co-director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society. Dawson states, "They're both lone wolves. Both a bit more impulsive, bit more opportunistic, if there was planning, it's amateurish."

Well, this amateurishness resulted in the deaths of two Canadian soldiers and forced the Canadian Parliament on lockdown for a day. Some amateurs.

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Bush Family Gears Up for “Presidential Nominee Jeb”

By on 10.27.14 | 11:25AM

This morning, Aaron comforted us all with the thought of Scott Walker 2016 (provided he wins re-election next week), but because I'm a horrible person who can't let you all rest in peace on a Monday, I feel obligated to warn you that, according to the New York Times, the Bush family rallied recently to begin preparations for Jeb 2016

“No question,” Jeb Jr. said in an interview, “people are getting fired up about it — donors and people who have been around the political process for a while, people he’s known in Tallahassee when he was governor. The family, we’re geared up either way.” Most important, he added, his mother, Columba, the prospective candidate’s politics-averse wife, has given her assent.

Within the family, the top cheerleaders have been George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, both of whom know something about running for president, and both of whom have an interest in perpetuating, if not redeeming, the family legacy.

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Marcia Strassman, R.I.P.

By on 10.26.14 | 11:13PM

Actress and singer Marcia Strassman passed away on Saturday after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. She was 66.

Strassman is best known for her portrayal of Julie Kotter on the 1970's sitcom Welcome Back Kotter. The cast reunited in April 2011 and since that reunion Robert Hegyes, Ron Palillo and now Strassman have died. 

In 1989, Strassman would co-star with Rick Moranis in the Disney film Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and its 1992 sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid. 

In the late 1960's, Strassman tried her hand at a singing career. Here she is singing "The Flower Children" which was co-written and produced by Jerry Goldstein (who would later have success with the band War) which had some modest success on the West Coast in both the U.S. and Canada. 

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Oscar Taveras, R.I.P.

By on 10.26.14 | 9:53PM

Prior to the fourth inning of Game 5 of the World Series between the Royals and Giants, Ken Rosenthal announced that St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. He was only 22. 

Taveras was the top prospect in the Cardinals organization and was touted by many as the next Albert Pujols. Although he hit a home run in his big league debut on May 31st against the Giants, he would only hit two more over his next 232 regular season at bats in a rookie campaign in which he hit .239 and struggled defensively. But Taveras had a memorable moment in Game 2 of the NLCS when he tied the game with a solo HR in the seventh inning off Giants reliever Jean Machi. 

It should have a sign of things to come. Instead, two weeks after his greatest triumph on a baseball field, the life of Oscar Taveras was snuffed out in an instant.

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Thoughts on Baker’s 9 Point Lead in Massachusetts

By on 10.26.14 | 7:57PM

On Friday, The Boston Globe came out with a poll which gave Republican Charlie Baker a 9 point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. 

While I suspect this poll is an outlier, I do think Baker will prevail. Baker is, of course, isn't particularly conservative and has been trying to reach out to Democrats who are less than pleased their party nominated Coakley once again. In one of his campaign ads which features his daughter Caroline, she praises him for being "totally pro-choice". But Baker is competent (having rescued the health insurer Harvard Pilgrim from bankruptcy) and this quality is always in short supply. On that count, Baker is infinitely better than Coakley. Having lost to Scott Brown in the special Senate election in 2010, I am not sure what possessed Democrats to nominate her yet again. 

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