The Spectacle Blog

Creepy Photos of the 114th Congress

By on 1.6.15 | 4:38PM

Just in case you missed the great disturbance in the Force, like a thousand voices crying out at once and then suddenly silenced, that was the 114th Congress being gaveled into session (Gavelled? Gavellded?), we should most certainly relive the day in pictures. 

Let's start with the kiss heard round the Beltway. The one of forbidden love. The kiss of control over Congress.

"No Nancy, not here. Just wait...until times are different. Until we've cleared the CRomnibus. Until Netflix gets The Notebook back on it's ready-to-stream menu."

But John Boehner wasn't the only one getting his mack on for the swearing in. This day belonged to Joe Biden. And Joe Biden was going to savor it.

Here he is trying to steal what appears to be Orrin Hatch's wife.

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Why It’s a Good Thing Boehner Didn’t Lose His Job Today

By on 1.6.15 | 3:49PM

Like many conservatives, I'm not a huge fan of John Boehner.

Over the years, he has not been consistent in cobbling together an effective legislative agenda and does not do so well when he has to confront President Obama. His willingess to blink on immigration is a strong indication of his hesitancy to confront Obama. This is particularly egregious given Obama's usurpation of Congressional jurisdiction.

But all things considered, it is probably for the best that Boehner was not ousted as Speaker of the House today. Two months ago, Boehner helped lead the GOP to its biggest congressional majority in nearly seven decades. Had he been ousted today, President Obama would not only have a field day, he'd have the field for the rest of the year. Obama could sit on the sidelines and watch Republicans fight to the death. This would give plenty of fodder to a liberal media only too happy to feed on it.

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Big Unit, Pedro, Smoltz & Biggio Headed to Cooperstown

By on 1.6.15 | 3:10PM

Hours before the BBWAA was due to come out with its Hall of Fame announcement, I offered my ten picks for Cooperstown on the main page. Well, the BBWAA have released their ballot and the Class of 2015 will represent the largest contigent of players sent to Cooperstown in 60 years.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio got the call. The Big Unit, Pedro and Smoltz were inducted in their first year on the ballot while Biggio made it in his third year on the ballot. Last year, Biggio fell short of induction by two votes. This year Biggio got in with 82.7% of the vote.

The Big Unit did not attain the 98.8% of the vote Tom Seaver received in 1992, but his 97.3% of the vote was marginally better than the 97.2% of the vote Greg Maddux received last year. Pedro got 91.1% while Smoltz received 82.9%.

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Obama Issues Keystone XL Veto Threat

By on 1.6.15 | 2:14PM

Approximately one hour into the 114th Congress (not the 118th, as previously - gawd, I'm not that old yet), the Obama Administraiton has already issued its first veto threat, because if there's anything that screams "do-nothing Congress" it's the White House officially condeming Congress's first major vote before it even happens

Tomorrow at 9am, a Senate committee will convene to discuss the Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry petroleum from Canada's tar sands to American refineries, creating thousands of union jobs along the way, and preventing that same petroleum from boarding an already-waiting boat to China, where it will be used to make cheap American toys and generic foodstuffs for export. The White House is, of course, more concerned with the environmental impact no one thinks is actually a thing, and the optics of approving thousands of homegrown American jobs while Republicans are in power.

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John Boehner Keeps His Speaker Slot

By on 1.6.15 | 1:51PM

Expect more bills outlawing taxes on tanning.

By a vote that went almost exactly as expected (although who saw Yoho totally pulling a #YOLO and voting for himself?), John Boehner will remain speaker of the house. He lost 25 votes, which was dangerously, yet not incredibly close to the 29 needed to unseat him. It is entirely possible that had opposition shored up behind a candidate that did not co-sponsor a "Birther bill" (or, for that matter, behind any one candidate at all), or started courting support earlier than three days ago, John Boehner would not be Speaker of the House. Alas, Boehner's tears today will be tears of relief. 

You may now commence airing your righteous anger and/or your excitement at the total badassness of the recently-released Coachella lineup in the comments section. 

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Harvard Professors Shocked At Obamacare Rate Hike

By on 1.6.15 | 12:47PM

While we wait for the results in the Great House Republican Insurgency of 2015 (John Boehner looks to have dialed up the orange in his spray tan just for this occasion), how about a little unabashed schadenfreude? 

The faculty of Harvard University, who contributed greatly to the ideas theoretically embodied in the Affordable Care Act, have a Harvard-sponsored healthcare plan, so they were spared the effects of having to choose from the Obamacare marketplace. But that Harvard-sponosred healthcare plan could only be shielded from the nationwide trend of rising healthcare costs for so long. And now, the end is near. And they face the final curtain. And despite an ineffective faculty vote aimed at resisting the dastardly corporate influences now clearly infiltrating their beloved institution, Harvard professors will have to pay more for their plans

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NYC Mayor: Police Who Turned Their Backs Were Disrespectful to Families of Slain Officers

By on 1.6.15 | 11:07AM

Yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took yet another cheap shot at NYPD officers who turned their backs on him during the funerals of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu:

Those individuals who took certain actions this last week — the last two weeks, really — they were disrespectful to the families involved. That's the bottom line. They were disrespectful to the families that had lost a loved one. I think it just defies a lot of what we feel is the right and decent thing to do when you're dealing with a family in pain. I also think they were disrespectful to the people of this city, who in fact honor the work of the NYPD.

Rubbish.

When the NYPD turned their backs they were not being disrespectful to the families of Officer Ramos and Liu. The only person the NYPD was being disrespectul towards was de Blasio and with good cause. The fact that de Blasio would bring the families of Officers Ramos and Liu into it once again demonstrates his lack of character.

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White House, Wasserman-Schultz Smear Scalise

By on 1.6.15 | 9:41AM

It looks like the Obama White House and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have put an Alinsky target on the back of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, There's no arguing that who Republicans decide to elevate into a leadership position says a lot about what the conference's priorities and values are." Earnest went on to say, "Ultimately, Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as 'David Duke without the baggage."

Well, how about the repeated visits to the White House by racist and anti-Semite Al Sharpton?

There's no arguing that who President Obama decides to invite to the White House says a lot about what the Obama Administration's priorities and values are.

It also hasn't been verified that Scalise actually made the David Duke comment. But since when does the Obama Administration let the facts get in the way of an argument?

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Stuart Scott, R.I.P.

By on 1.5.15 | 9:57PM

As you know by now sportscaster Stuart Scott passed away yesterday after a long battle of cancer at the age of 49. 

Scott was a fixture at ESPN for more than two decades. His voice had a unique cadence and rhythm. It was quite poetic as he demonstrates in this spoken word jam to Michael Jordan.

With that all I can say is "Booyah!!!"

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Stu Miller, R.I.P. - UPDATED

By on 1.5.15 | 9:30PM

Former big league pitcher Stu Miller passed away at the age of 87 following a brief illness

Miller pitched in the majors for 16 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York/San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves. He was arguably the best relief pitcher of his era. Miller began to enjoy success when the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958. That year Miller led the NL with a 2.47 ERA. 

In 1961, Miller would lead the NL in saves with 17. That year, while pitching in the All-Star Game in Candlestick Park, a gust of wind made Miller lose his balance and balk. In the years that have followed, the legend has gone that the wind blew the 165 pound reliever off the mound. Despite this, Miller would be the winning pitcher of that All-Star Game.

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