The Spectacle Blog

People Angry About Legislation Take It Out on Pizzeria

By on 4.2.15 | 12:41PM

I had this brilliant idea for an article yesterday, where I was going to talk about how the fight over Indiana's RFRA was a horrible example of how we've regressed into a perpetual childlike state as a country. Someone doesn't want to bake you a cake? MOOOOOMMMMMY FIX IT. Don't want to bake someone a cake? MOOOOOOOMMMY FIX IT. What would have once been resolved with a curt but polite personal exchange that resulted in both parties getting what they wanted, but coming away slightly miffed at the other party, is now a battle of legislative and judicial wills, with one party running to unelected judges to declare their will sacrosanct, and the other party running to overbearing legislators to declare their protection.

President Obama Misses Point, Date of April Fools

By on 4.2.15 | 12:12PM

Issued forth from the White House this morning: Barack Obama's April Fools Day joke. It's supposed to be an impression of House of Cards main character, Frank Underwood. I think. That's what the headline says, at least. I'm not convinced.

I'm also not convinced the White House just didn't forget April Fools Day and tried to come up with something they could tape between the President's busy meeting schedule. No doubt this impression just kills at White House press pools, but it's not exactly convincing me that Frank Underwood has been hiding inside Barack Obama's skin for the last six years. After all, Frank Underwood gets stuff done, and I can't really say the same for President Obama.

Lois Lerner Is Sure Glad She Isn’t a New Jersey Senator

By on 4.1.15 | 9:18PM

Hours before the DOJ indicted Bob Menendez they took a considerably more lenient approach to former IRS Commissioner Lois Lerner declining to indict her for contempt.

No doubt Ms. Lerner is glad she isn't a New Jersey Senator.

In Obama's America, it is far safer to target the Tea Party than Tehran.

Menendez Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

By on 4.1.15 | 5:06PM

As expected, New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez has been indicted on bribery and wire fraud charges.

Now I realize it's entirely possible Menendez might be guilty of what he is being accused of. But as I wrote aast month, this is what happens when you cross Obama.

Menendez had been the Democratic Party's most prominent critic of the Obama Administration's negotiations with Iran on a nuclear agreement and had got into the President's face about it during a Senate Democrat retreat in January.

Should an agreement be reached and Congress is compelled to take action they will be without one of the most forceful opponents of capitulation to Iran as he has temporarily resigned from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez's absence might also serve as a warning to other Democrats who might be tempted to cross Obama where it concerns a nuclear Iran.

Asa Hutchinson is More Astute & Prudent Than Mike Pence

By on 4.1.15 | 4:51PM

What I have found most puzzling about the row over Indiana's RFRA is Governor Mike Pence's admission that he did not anticipate the backlash.

This tells me that Pence is not very politically astute. It was just over a year ago that then Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a similar law following a significant outpouring of anger and discontent. You would think Pence and Indiana Republicans would have been aware of such a possibility. Either they were caught completely off guard or they thought they could get away with it.

Now the bill has been signed into law and Pence and the Indiana GOP cannot defend their actions and have to clean up the mess they've created.

Of course, a similar bill has now been passed in Arkansas. But its newly elected Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson is saying not so fast. Hutchinson has sent the bill back to the legislature asking that it more closely mirror the federal RFRA passed in 1993.

The View to Cast Monica Lewinsky As Co-Host?

By on 4.1.15 | 1:07PM

I'm about 85% sure this isn't an April Fool's joke, but only because she can't be a worse addition to The View lineup of shrieking harpies than Rosie O'Donnell.

Barbara Walters understands that, since people have moved on to binge-watching serial Internet television programs and cable news while the work from home and/or wait patiently for their monthly Social Security checks, her now-ancient daily chat show is in need of a serious makeover. Producers thought, perhaps of replacing O'Donnell with a bevy of uncontrollable, screaming wildlife, but were apparently made aware that most viewers would not know the difference, and so Barbara Walters had to come up with a new idea on how to revamp her flagging program. 

America, it seems, has a fever. And the only prescription is more leftovers from the 1990s

Howard Dean: Obama Admin Should Walk Away From Negotiating Table with Iran

By on 4.1.15 | 1:02PM

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean threw Joe Scarborough a curveball this morning during an appearance on Morning Joe when he agreed that the Obama Administration should walk away from the negotiating table concerning a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Dean is, of course, in favor of engaging Iran. But he agreed with Scaborough that the Obama Administration is "far, far too eager for a deal with Iran."

Needless to say, the Iranians know this and have the Obama Administration on a string.

Ronald Reagan, of course, famously walked out on Mikhail Gorbachev during the Reykjavik Summit in 1986, but it would produce the dividend of the INF Treaty the following year.

Update to ‘NSA Headquarters Stormed by Men in Drag’

By on 4.1.15 | 12:40PM

This was apparently not a terrorist incident. A man picked up the two men in drag and they spent the night partying at a motel. The two ingrates then stole their benefactor’s SUV and somehow managed to get entangled with security officers at NSA headquarters. The case is eerily similar to the Miriam Carey case in DC (here and here).

Here, too, the driver of the vehicle drove up to the NSA entrance, apparently by mistake. The driver allegedly failed to obey orders to stop, and “barriers were deployed," according to an NSA statement.  Another part of the statement, or perhaps it is a different NSA statement, says that the car "accelerated toward an NSA police car blocking the road.” 

Ed Schultz Wins TV Argument By Shutting Off Mic

By on 4.1.15 | 12:29PM

We already know that Ed Schultz, like many of his cable network prime-time chat show hosts, has an odd definition of what can be considered a "civil conversation," but an argument yesterday with Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan Anderson took the Schultz show to a new level of discourse.

After a brief argument, where Anderson explains the legal rameficiations of the Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision on existing Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, and how Federal district and circuit courts have long since determined that even state RFRAs that fail to mention corporations by name as a protected group share in RFRA's protections, Anderson then goes on to explain how RFRA does not allow for blatant discrimination, though Schultz seems to think that's the position of the "right wing." After finding he can get nowhere, Ed Schultz decides to end the argument he's losing by cutting off Anderson's mic.

Clinton Fading in Florida

By on 4.1.15 | 11:22AM

For the first time in this too-soon-with-us presidential cycle, Hillary Clinton does not lead all possible Republican challengers in Florida, home of citrus, sandy beaches, and 29 electoral votes. 

A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday shows Mz. Hillary trailing Jeb Bush by 45 to 42 percent. In early February Quinnipiac had the race 44 to 43 Clinton. Marco Rubio, who all and sundry believe will hop into the presidential race April 13, has closed to 44-46 behind Clinton. Last month he trailed Clinton by 10 points. Even Rand Paul is now within hailing distance of Clinton at 43 to 46 percent.

The poll also shows Clinton has a serious problem on the issue of trustworthiness. Whether it’s sparked by La Clinton’s recent email peccadillos or comes from her long-time casual relationship with the truth, only 41 percent of Floridians tell Quinnipiac they consider Clinton honest and trustworthy, while 50 percent say they don’t. Bush is above water in this dimension by 54 to 35 percent.