The Spectacle Blog

Fiorina Up — Trump Down

By on 9.20.15 | 9:32PM

A post-debate poll by CNN/ORC shows Donald Trump still leading the pack for the Republican presidential nomination at 24 percent. But this is down eight percent from earlier in the month. Likely as a result of her boffo performance Wednesday night, Carly Fiorina is closing on the Donald. She is now in second place at 15 percent, up from an anemic three percent September 3.

Ben Carson comes in third at 14 percent, down from 19 percent. Marco Rubio is next with 11 percent. Everyone else is a single digit also-ran.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent. It was conducted over the three days after Wednesday night’s debate.

No Need for Michael Buffer

By on 9.20.15 | 3:10PM

I’ve seen the film. And as a lifetime fan of the sweet science, I can tell you that was no punch. More of a slap. But unfriendly enough. There’s no audio on the film, so you can’t tell if the slap was provoked or not.

The slapper has been identified by the slapee as Marco Rubio campaign aide Rich Beeson. John Yob, on the receiving end of the slap, is a campaign aide to Rand Paul. The incident took place in a Mackinac Island, Michigan saloon before a Republican séance (aka a leadership conference) where scores of political types were gathering. Yob has tried to make a great deal out of not much, calling in the Mackinac Island police and calling on the Rubio campaign to fire Beeson. Outside of Yob, neither campaign has had much to say about the incident.

Charles Murray to Speak at Harvard on September 22nd

By on 9.18.15 | 8:44PM

A little while ago I got a call from someone with the Greater Boston Tea Party to tell me that American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray will be speaking at Harvard University on Tuesday, September 22nd. 

Murray, best known for co-authoring The Bell Curve, will be speaking about his latest book By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. The book has been described to me as a manifesto of civil disobedience against heavy-handed federal laws and regulations.

If you happen to be in the Boston area next Tuesday the doors open at 7 p.m. You will be happy to know that the event is free (although there is a fee for VIP seats). However, registration is recommended. For further details you can check out the Greater Boston Tea Party's website here.

Thoughts on Tonight’s Canadian Election Debate

By on 9.17.15 | 10:29PM

I caught the last half hour of this evening's Canadian election debate which was broadcast on C-SPAN.

Tonight's debate took place in Calgary and concentrated on the economy and feature Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair who leads the NDP and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau. Unlike last month's debate, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was not included.

If I'm Harper and the Tories I am far more worried about Mulcair and the NDP than I am about Trudeau and the Liberals. Mulcair was calm, cool and collected. Trudeau looked about 12-years old standing next to Mulcair. Although he was passionate, he stumbled over his words and did not inspire confidence. 

While Harper did a nice job in his exchanges with Trudeau, he was on the defensive about his record and concentrated what he would do in the future as if he hasn't been Prime Minister for nearly a decade. 

Milo Hamilton, R.I.P.

By on 9.17.15 | 10:12PM

Former MLB TV and radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton has passed away at the age of 88.

Hamilton spent six decades in the broadcast booth for seven different teams beginning with the St. Louis Browns in 1953. He would also call games for the crosstown rival Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs & White Sox, the Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates before landing with the Houston Astros in 1984. Hamilton would find a home in Houston and broadcast with the team until his retirement after the 2012 season. He would be bestowed with the Ford C. Frick Award in 1992. His death comes 12 days after the passing of original Astros broadcaster Gene Elston.

But Hamilton is best remembered for his stint with the Braves and for good reason. On April 8, 1974, Hamilton called Hank Aaron's 715th career home run.

Yes, It Is Possible to Criticize ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Without Killing Its Cartoonists

By on 9.17.15 | 4:06PM

Last January, the French left-wing satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo became a household word when 12 people including eight of its staff were massacred at their headquarters in Paris. International solidarity came in the form of the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie.

Now Charlie Hebdo is coming under fire for publishing two cartoons about the Syrian refugee crisis which depict Aylan Kurdi, the deceased boy found washed up on a Turkish beach earlier this month. The first cartoon depicts Kurdi with the caption (as translated into English reading) “So close to the finish.” Behind the deceased child is a McDonald’s sign which reads, “Two children’s meals for the price of one.” The second depicts a Christ-like figure walking on water standing next to a dead child whose feet are sticking out of the water. Besides the Christ figure it reads, “Christians walk on water,” while by the dead child it reads, “Muslim children sink.” The overall caption reads, “Proof that Europe is Christian.”

Ann Coulter is Now Suddenly Concerned About The Number of Jews in America

By on 9.17.15 | 12:26PM

After spending more than five hours live blogging both GOP debates, I caught Ann Coulter’s tweet, “How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?”

I couldn’t quite believe what I saw. I had to check to make sure I was reading what I thought I had just read. At that moment, I retweeted her tweet with the comment, “Are you going Pat Buchanan on us?”

It would seem so. Some of her other tweets included, “Good grief! Huckabee is running for PM of Israel,” “Cruz, Huckabee Rubio all mentioned ISRAEL in their response to: "What will AMERICA look like after you are president," and “Christie also talks @ Israel in response to the question: What will AMERICA look like after you are president?”

Five Things You Need to Know About the Debates Last Night

By on 9.17.15 | 11:28AM

The man who can regurgitate everything did not win last night's America's Got Talent. In other news, there were two debates, pitting the fifteen remaining Republican candidates against each other in two separate battles royale lasting almost six hours of my life that I will never get back.

Since I watched it so you wouldn't have to (you can scroll through our debate live-blog a little further down in the Spectacle), here are five things you need to know about last night's debate.

What Does It Take?

By on 9.17.15 | 10:52AM

Most of the post-fight commentators agreed with me that Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio “won” CNN’s widely-viewed “Wednesday Night Fights.” They gave the same reasons for this that I would have given on camera.

Mystifying, however, on the subject of the Donald, the same folks all gave some version of, “He didn’t do all that well but he didn’t hurt himself.”

Could this be true? Have I lived so long that being rude, arrogant, inarticulate, unresponsive, and borderline incoherent no longer carry any political price?

CNN Reagan Library GOP Main Debate Post-Mortem

By on 9.16.15 | 11:36PM

Thanks again to those of you who followed us at #SpectacleDebate this evening. Here is my post-mortem for this evening's main debate.

Rand Paul - Donald Trump said Paul had no business being on the stage. As much as I hate to agree, he's right.

Mike Huckabee - Was largely neglected during the debate, but when he spoke he acquitted himself well on Iran and Kim Davis. However, he simply lacks the broad support necessary to be the GOP nominee.

Marco Rubio - Very strong performance. He knows his stuff, is a beacon of sobriety who is not intimidated by Donald Trump. Don't count him out.

Ted Cruz - Like Huckabee, he was largely overlooked but spoke well when called upon. He said he regretted his support for John Roberts but he nor any other President can guarantee how a Supreme Court justice on any given case. There's no guarantee Edith Jones and Mike Luttig wouldn't have disappointed Cruz if they had been appointed to the SC. As with Huckabee, Cruz cannot appeal beyond conservatives and is too timid where it concerns Trump.