The Spectacle Blog

Clinton Email Investigators Needed Clearance Upgrade “Beyond Top Secret” to Search Server

By on 1.20.16 | 1:20PM

Last night, as America girded its loins - or its livers - for the Trump/Palin Iowa rally, NBC News dropped a bombshell about the Clinton email investigation. Thankfully for Hillary Clinton who had just received news that she was running a full 20 points behind Bernie Sanders in the latest poll, Team Trump's Iowa antics ensured that the story flew mostly under the radar, but she may not escape the long term legal repercussions. 

According to NBC News and letter issued yesterday to Congress, the Inspector General's team looking into Clinton's private server use had to have their security clearances upgraded before they were allowed to read content in around 20 emails, some of which were marked 'Top Secret/Special Access Program,' above even the Top Secret designation found on emails before.

Charles McCulllough, the intelligence community’s inspector general, said in a letter to the chairmen of the Senate intelligence and foreign affairs committees that he has received sworn declarations from an intelligence agency he declined to name.

El Chapo Busted With Weapon Obtained in ‘Fast and Furious’ Operation

By on 1.20.16 | 12:47PM

Yesterday, a Federal judge quashed a motion by the Obama Administration claiming that the administration had "Executive Privilege" over documents and testimony pertaining to an Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms operation that sold firearms to drug dealers under the assumption that the ATF could then track the guns back to affiliates in the United States. The ATF, of course, eventually lost track of most of the weapons.

The Obama Administration initially claimed executive privilege because there were a number of emails between the White House and the Department of Justice discussing the Fast and Furious operation directly. The Federal judge saw it differently, noting that the Administration's claim on privilege is too broad; there may be some emails that are, indeed, subject to protection, but not all of them. 

Iranian Freed in Prisoner Trade Won’t Go Back to Iran

By on 1.20.16 | 12:32PM

We may have negotiated the release of 4 of our countrymen by promising the Iranians seven sanctions violators in return, but that doesn't mean Iran is getting those seven nationals back. 

Although all of the Iranians were given the green light to return to their country - flights were even booked for them out of Switzerland, where the US and Iran made the "prisoner swap" on neutral ground - but three of the Iranians being held by the US have chosen to stay here. The other four never made it to their flight in Geneva. 

None of the Iranians freed in the prisoner swap have returned home and could still be in the United States, it has been reported.

The seven former inmates, who were released as part of a deal with the Islamic republic, did not show up to get a flight to Geneva, Switzerland, where the exchange was set to take place on Sunday.

Trump’s Evolution From Liberal to Conservative is One of Convenience, Not Conviction

By on 1.20.16 | 11:59AM

In his latest salvo, Jeff is trying to sell us that Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan are two of a kind where it concerns their political evolution. He argues that if Reagan can go from supporting Hubert Humphrey bid's for the Senate to launching his own bid in the California gubernatorial race in the space of 17 years that Trump ought to be allowed to change his mind on abortion and a litany of other matters over the space of 17 years. Jeff writes, "From being a New York liberal he is now the frontrunner in the fight against the GOP Establishment that Reagan himself battled furiously and finally defeated."

This is rubbish and Jeff knows it.

Reagan's gradual evolution from liberal to conservative came about as a result of a) being in a high tax bracket north of 90%, b) his experiences with Communists who infiltrated the unions during his time as President of the Screen Actors Guild and c) his travels around the country as a spokesman for General Electric in which he interacted with small business people frustrated with over regulation and red tape.

A Year From Today (Or Why I’m Not Looking Forward to January 20, 2017)

By on 1.20.16 | 11:04AM

In exactly one year from today, the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama comes to a merciful end.

Yet I believe this mercy is to be quite short-lived for I believe that 9 chances out of 10 that his successor will be worse hard as they might be to believe.

I don't need to remind anyone of Hillary Clinton's follies. Another Clinton presidency would make the transformation of the White Housefrom a responsible branch of government to a criminal enterprise complete. Her every word must be suspected of containing a fountains of falsehoods including such words as "is" and "the".

By contrast, Bernie Sanders is sincere to a fault. Indeed, his very sincerity might cost him his party's nomination. Yet if he somehow overcame Hillary and Donald Trump (more on him I promise) we can look forward to more government spending with very little to show for it, more recession, a further decline of American leadership and more contempt from the rest of the world.

A Thought for Ben Carson & His Campaign Staff

By on 1.20.16 | 10:19AM

As you probably know by now, Ben Carson has temporarily suspended his campaign following a car accident in Iowa which claimed the life of a campaign volunteer named Braden Joplin, a 25-year old student at Texas Tech University who was spending this month volunteering for Carson. Two other Carson volunteers and a campaign staffer were also injured in the crash. Several children in the other vehicle involved in the crash also sustained injuries.

This tragedy serves as a reminder that in pursuing our dreams we spend our time going from point A to B and think little of that process until it is abruptly and immutably disrupted. It is all the more difficult when the victim of such circumstances seemingly has their whole life ahead of them. Life is arbitrary, capricious and seldom fair.

All the more reason for us to keep in mind that no matter how youthful and healthy we might be today might our last day on Earth. So let us make the most of the short time we have here.

Has Justin Upton Found a Home in Detroit?

By on 1.19.16 | 4:53PM

Outfielder Justin Upton signed a six-year, $132.75 million contract with the Detroit Tigers subject to passing a physical.

Upton wanted at least a five year contract. Who could blame him? This is Upton's fourth team since the end of the 2012 season. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Upton as the first overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft. He would make the big club two years later when he was only 19. Upton would lead the D'Backs to the NL West title in 2011 and would finish fourth in NL MVP balloting. However, neither then D'Backs manager Kirk Gibson nor then D'Backs GM Kevin Towers liked Upton's approach to the game despite his MVP like numbers.

West Bank Settlements & Or Israeli Mothers Being Stabbed In Their Homes? Guess What Angers The Obama Admin More

By on 1.19.16 | 3:36PM

You would think the murder of a mother of six children in her own home in the presence of her children or the stabbing of a pregnant woman in her own home would move the Obama Administration to outrage.

But these two women are Jews. Worse they are Israelis living in the West Bank (the so-called settlers) and the Obama Administration doesn't give a damn about them. US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro declared yesterday in Tel Aviv, "Too much Israeli vigilantism in the West Bank goes on unchecked."

I would say that too many Palestinians with knives in Israel goes on unchecked.

Shapiro also claimed that Israel had one set of laws for Israelis and one for Palestinians.