The Spectacle Blog

Mark Halperin Gets to the Bottom of Ted Cruz’s Cuban-ness UPDATE: Halperin Says He’s Sorry

By on 5.11.15 | 10:44AM

UPDATE: After being called "racist" by none other than Think Progress for his deep digging on Ted Cruz's background, Mark Halperin has issued an apology

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Obviously, this field of Republican nominees is going to give some in the media pause. I have to imagine that they occasionally lie awake at night, thinking to themselves how it all went wrong: how did some obviously multicultural candidates miss every missive from the Democratic party, from their youth until now, convincing them that they are wholly and without a doubt not Republican? It seems almost impossible.

Fortunately, at least Mark Halperin is determined to get to the bottom of the problem that is Ted Cruz. After all, has anyone truly investigated exactly how Cuban Sen. Cruz really is? Maybe he likes to say he is, but does he like Cuban music? Does he eat Cuban sandwiches? Does he enjoy white rum and Guyabara shirts? An inquiring mind wants to know.

Jeb Bush Says Respect Law Breakers

By on 5.10.15 | 5:53PM

Jeb Bush, the candidate/non-candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, says we should show illegal aliens some respect.

As part of an interview with Megyn Kelly to be aired Monday night, the would-be Bush III said we need to “fix the system so that legal immigration is easier than illegal immigration and show some respect for people.”

There’s no doubt which people Bush is talking about here. They are the line-cutters, the border crashers, the law-breakers.

I guess a case can be made that these folks are due a measure of respect — about the  same amount of respect they have shown American laws.

Too bad Rodney Dangerfield isn’t here to sort this out.

BU Defends New Professor Who Wrote Racist & Sexist Tweets

By on 5.8.15 | 9:00PM

Boston University is defending the hiring of a new assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies who has written a series of racist tweets.

Saida Grundy, who is due to begin her position next month, has composed these precious gems:

“White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.” 

“Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. and every year i find it nearly impossible.”

“Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?”

Well, good to know that Professor Grundy judges people by the color of their skin.

But BU's posture is even more obnoxious. They are standing by Grundy. A spokesman for the university stated, “Professor Grundy is exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so.”

Free speech, huh?

ABC to Bring The Muppets Back to TV

By on 5.8.15 | 4:43PM

ABC has announced that it plans to bring The Muppets back to television in the fall.

I'm old enough to remember when The Muppets first aired in the mid-1970's. Although only on for five seasons, it aired in re-runs during much of the 1980's. So I spent a good chunk of time watching that show as a kid.

I do remember ABC airing the short-lived Muppets Tonight in 1996. But, as I understand it, this features the traditional Muppets we know and love such as Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal, Fozzie Bear, Rowlf The Dog and The Swedish Chef.

But here's what worries me:

This time around, the show is being billed as a more adult take on The Muppets. Shot in a documentary format, the new series will explore the Muppets' relationships, romances, desires and disappointments.

Thoughts on the 70th Anniversary of VE Day

By on 5.8.15 | 1:18PM

Seventy years ago today, the Nazis surrendered to the Allies in Berlin ending Hitler's 1,000 year reign at twelve. But in those 12 years, the Nazis caused a millenium of misery.

I had the good fortune of being in London during the 50th anniversary of VE Day celebrations which were held at Hyde Park. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. There must have been 2 million people there. There was an enormous crowd yet I didn't feel overwhelmed by it. I had a feeling of liberation, joy, gratitude and merriment.

Many veterans were there naturally mostly British, but there were some Americans and Canadian soldiers in the crowd as well. I thanked as many as I could.

Deflation (Footballs, Not Fiscal Policy) Still Being Inflated Out of Proportion

By on 5.8.15 | 12:27PM

A couple of days ago, Ross asked what the NFL should do in light of its report which alleges that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knew that two Pats' employees were deliberately deflating balls.

Today, Daniel J. Flynn questions the report's credibility arguing that "more probable than not" was less than adequate standard of proof.

I'm inclined to agree with Dan. A lot of this is about taking Tom Brady down a peg or four.

OK, both Dan and I reside in Massachusetts. So, yes, we root for the Pats.

With that said, my view still hasn't changed from January. It's much ado about nothing. As I argued back then if deflating the footballs is such a help then why don't more teams do it? And if that is the case then why don't the referees have custody of the balls instead of the teams?

Five Things You Need to Know About the UK Elections

By on 5.8.15 | 12:16PM

If you want to relive last night's UK election white-knuckle ride, Aaron live-blogged much of it here. Suffice it to say, despite pollsters who had predicted that the race would be so close they could barely distinguish between the red and blue lines on their tracking charts, after a long night of counting and exit polling, David Cameron's Conservative Party emerged victorious in such a walloping win that the UK will have its first Conservative non-coalition government since the days of Prime Minister John Major.

A few things you need to know:

Thoughts on Omar Khadr Being Released by a Canadian Judge

By on 5.8.15 | 11:42AM

Yesterday, a Canadian judge granted Omar Khadr bail pending an appeal of his war crimes convictions. Michelle Malkin has a piece on the Khadr release here.

Khadr was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2002 after he threw a grenade which killed SFC Christopher Speer and blinded SFC Layne Morris in one eye. At the time of the attack, Khadr was 15-years old and became the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay.

His case became something of a cause célèbre in Canada due to the fact he was born in Toronto, his age and allegations of torture while in Gitmo. Unfortunately, there exists a strain of anti-Americanism in Canada which is quite ugly and unbecoming. Yet I wonder if Khadr would garnered much sympathy had he killed a Canadian soldier instead.

The Obama Administration, desperate to vacate Gitmo, made a deal with the Harper government in Canada in 2010. Khadr plead guilty to the murder of Speer and in exchange agreed was returned to Canada in September 2012 to serve out the rest of his sentence.

Conservatives Appear to Survive in Britain, SNP Triumphs & A Bad Night for Labour, Lib Dems & UKIP UPDATE

By on 5.7.15 | 11:02PM

It looks likes David Cameron's Conservatives will survive albeit fall short of forming a majority government. Nevertheless, it looks like they will gain seats.

When you consider that there was tremendous discontent with Cameron's leadership and London Mayor Boris Johnson was clipping at his heels, it is triumphant night for Cameron.

But the SNP is arguably the night's biggest winner. They will capture every constituency in Scotland except the Shetland Islands (a Liberal Democrat stronghold). The Yes side might have lost last fall's referendum, but their momentum has grown a thousand fold. Nicola Sturgeon plays no small part in this and the more I hear from her the more she impresses me even if I don't agree with her progressive politics.

There are three big losers tonight - Labour, Liberal Democrats & the UKIP.

One Thing That Fascinates Me About British Elections

By on 5.7.15 | 10:16PM

One thing I find fascinating about British elections is how the results are announced.

In each constituency, all the candidates come together in one room wearing a ribbon bearing the color of their political party and the returning officer announces the results. 

The audience would be comprised of supporters of each political party. Under the circumstances, it all seems rather civilized.

Clearly, nothing like this happens in American elections never mind Canadian ones. 

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