The Spectacle Blog

CBS South Carolina GOP Debate Post-Mortem

By on 2.13.16 | 11:57PM

I just watched the GOP debate which took place in Charleston, South Carolina and aired on CBS. Here are my observations.

John Kasich - The Ohio Governor called for an end to negative attacks and campaign ads. When Jeb Bush took Kasich to task for expanding Medicaid he said he didn't want to fight. If Kasich couldn't handle Jeb then how is he going to handle the jihadis? Kasich twice invoked The Lord in his closing statements. At this point, it will take an Act of God to continue his campaign beyond next Saturday.

Jeb Bush - I'll give him this much. He isn't afraid to take on Donald Trump. The bad news is that he still comes out on the short end more often than not. It's not that Bush isn't right, but Trump is so domineering that his points get drowned out. Jeb said he wanted to channel his inner Chris Christie. But Christie is now out of the race. Jeb might have a steady hand, but he has a quivering voice. Curiously, unlike previous debates, he completely avoided Marco Rubio and went after John Kasich instead. Does he think that Rubio's campaign is finished?

Thoughts on The Passing of Antonin Scalia UPDATE

By on 2.13.16 | 8:01PM

Both Emily and Frank have written obits about the sudden passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. 

I would like to take a moment about his arrival on the Supreme Court as well as to talk about where we go from here.

It is worth remembering that when Scalia was confirmed by the Senate in 1986 the vote was 98-0. Republicans and Democrats united to vote to confirm him. 

A year later, Democrats would filibuster Robert Bork. Let's just say those days of unaminous consent are gone.

There is also a good chance the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has passed along with Scalia. Of course, Scalia's presence on the court didn't stop Obamacare from being upheld. But a new liberal justice on the court will be the deathblow of judicial restraint for a generation, if not longer. 

Antonin Scalia, R.I.P.

By on 2.13.16 | 6:07PM

Drudge reports the sad news that Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes this morning, at a resort in south Texas. The conservative justice served nearly 30 years on the Court, and earned the reputation as one of its most highly intelligent as well as wittiest members. While reviled by some on the Left, he had a great talent for friendship and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of his closest friends.

Justice Scalia will be remembered as the intellectual champion of Originalism, which holds that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the meaning that Americans would have given to its words at its formation. He turned all his considerable powers of irony to liberal “living constitution” theories, under which its words were unmoored from the text. In a Court of sober judges, he ranged above them all, like a Jonathan Swift, never failing to correct fashionable judicial nonsense with his ridicule.

In private, he was a devoted son of the Church, and immensely proud of his son, Father Paul Scalia. He was also a good friend of this magazine, and our thoughts and prayers go to his wife and family.

RIP Justice Antonin Scalia

By on 2.13.16 | 5:23PM

Justice Antonin Scalia was found unresponsive this morning while on a quail hunting trip to Marfa, Texas. Most major media outlets are now confirming that the Supreme Court justice and model jurist, who was 79, has died.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.

According to the San Antonio News-Express, which was first to report his death, Scalia was found dead in his room at a West Texas resort.

Scalia, 79, was one of the staunchest conservative members of the court. He was nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. He championed the philosophy of "orginalism," meaning he interprets the Constitution according to what he believes the original authors intended over 200 years ago. 

I was blessed to not only have met Justice Antonin Scalia, but to have had him for lectures. He was a great man, an excellent jurist and legal scholar, a dedicated Catholic and a phenomenal Supreme Court justice. He will be missed, and not just by the people who agreed with him. 

Thoughts on MLB’s Lifetime Ban of Jennry Mejia

By on 2.13.16 | 1:19AM

A year ago, Jennry Mejia was the closer of the New York Mets. He had saved 28 games for the team in 2014.

Today, Jennry Mejia is banned for life from Major League Baseball.

In the space of ten months, Mejia has failed three PED tests. He failed two tests during the 2015 season earning him suspensions of 50 and 162 games, respectively. Mind you, it was a season when the Mets won the NL pennant and Jeurys Familia was saving games for the Mets. That could have been Mejia. Now comes the third failed test which triggered the lifetime ban.

While Mejia can appeal to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred after two years, I think Mejia is pretty much blackballed for life although he can pitch in organizations not affiliated with MLB. At 26, someone will pay Mejia to pitch. 

Say It Isn’t So; Jim Gilmore Exits GOP Race

By on 2.13.16 | 12:29AM

In a startling development, Jim Gilmore has exited the GOP presidential race. 

OK, it's only startling because he did not withdraw from the race months ago.

If I were to cross paths with Gilmore I probably wouldn't recognize him. Gilmore participated in two of the undercard debates and garnered a combined 145 votes in Iowa and New Hampshire. Perhaps if Donald Trump had seen fit to insult him then perhaps it might have quintupled his vote total. 

The former Virginia Governor seems knowledgeable on defense and veterans affairs. Perhaps he could serve as Secretary of Defense or head up the VA in a Republican administration. We've done much worse. 


Columbus PD Think Machete Attack at Restaurant Was Random; Restaurant Owner Disagrees

By on 2.12.16 | 5:09PM

Last night, four people were stabbed by a man wielding a machete at a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. Fortunately, all are expected to survive their injuries. The assailant fled the scene, but authorities caught up with him and eventually shot and killed him. The assailant was later identified as Mohammed Barry who is believed to be of Somali origin who has spent time in Dubai.

Columbus PD have stated they believe the attack was random. However, Barry was in the restaurant 30 to 45 minutes prior to the attack and then returned with the machete. This was no random attack.

#FreakoutFriday: Prohibition, Pregnancy and the Pill!

By on 2.12.16 | 12:28PM

Last week, the brainiacs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to piss off every female in America by telling them that if they drink alcohol they must, MUST, take birth control, because apparently women are wildly irresponsible and prone to surprise pregnancies. Mostly, the CDC is worried that you’ll unknowingly get pregnant and continue your hard partying, boozehound habits well into the pregnancy, resulting in a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Look, FAS is a terrible condition that affects the most innocent. It’s an entirely preventable disease that afflicts 40,000 babies each year. Feel free to freak out about those sad statistics. But what really causes FAS? Is it that glass of wine you enjoyed before you knew you were pregnant? Is it that occasional beer you drank during and while knowing you were pregnant? Or is it the binge drinking that some women do while pregnant?

Well, sadly, there’s no agreement on the causes of FAS. As Tracy Clark-Flory noted in her piece on this subject for Vocative:

Run Pop Run

By on 2.12.16 | 10:32AM

Hats off to Roger Kaplan for advancing the Pop for President Movement, of which I was unaware until this morning, but of which I heartily approve, and will cancel all other entertainment to promote. What an improvement in competence and character Gregg Popovich would be over the hair-balls the two “major” parties are likely to cough up this year.

The Democrats will almost certainly offer up a left-wing crazy of no accomplishment who is a serial liar, mean as a snake, possessor of a heart so hard a coyote wouldn’t eat it, and an enabler of a sexual predator. The leading Republican is an egomaniacal, more-than-slightly bent wheeler-dealer who combines the worst characteristics of P.T. Barnum, Benito Mussolini, and Don Rickles on his un-funniest day. This would definitely be Pop’s year. I do so hope he gets in, thereby giving sentient Americanos a choice they can live with this year.

How David Brooks Created Donald Trump

By on 2.12.16 | 12:51AM

The ugliness of this year’s presidential race makes the New York Times’ resident erstwhile conservative David Brooks wistful for Barack Obama. The irony is that David Brooks, Barack Obama, and their respective tribes bear much of the responsibility for the rise of Donald Trump.

“I miss Barack Obama,” Brooks laments, because “over the course of this campaign it feels as if there’s been a decline in behavioral standards across the board.” Brooks cites Hillary Clinton’s emails and some other stuff, but everyone knows he’s talking about The Donald. “Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses, and that maybe we have taken too much for granted, have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply. The first and most important of these is basic integrity. The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free.” By the time he’s done, Brooks upgrades Obama’s integrity to “superior.”

We all have difficulty seeing our blind spots. That’s why we call them what we call them. But Brooks’ obliviousness here is awe-inspiring.