The Spectacle Blog

Marion Barry’s Son Gets Probation For Violent Bank Assault

By on 5.21.15 | 4:10PM

Son to D.C.’s infamous ‘Mayor for Life’ Marion Barry pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault charges stemming from a January outburst in which he threw a trash can at a teller in a downtown bank.

Despite already being on probation, Marion Christopher Barry was sentenced to 12 months of supervised probation and mandatory attendance of anger management classes, NBC4 Washington reported.

Barry was on probation for DUI and drug possession charges dating back to last year, which forced him in to another hearing Wednesday to face contempt of court charges. The judge in that case showed some leniency and let Barry avoid jail time for the next 30 days while he completes alcohol monitoring and counseling.

In January, Barry attempted to get $20,000 out of his bank account, which was already overdrawn by $2,000, but a teller told him he could not do that. Barry then lowered his request to $6,000, but the result was the same.

Barry then became irate, telling the bank teller, “I’m going to have someone waiting for you when you get off, you bitch.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Nationals Take Over 1st Place in NL East Despite Ejection of Bryce Harper

By on 5.21.15 | 3:11PM

Larry righteously objects to Marvin Hudson's ejection of Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper and his manager Matt Williams last night.

Yet, lost in all the spectacle, the Nats beat the New York Yankees 3-2 to gain sole possession of 1st place in the NL East.

Of course, the Nationals were widely expected to run away with the NL East title before the season began, but got off to a 7-13 start. On April 27th, the Nats were in last place in the NL East, 8 games back of the New York Mets who were the biggest story in MLB in April.

Well, as the old saying goes, "Riding high in April. Shot down in May."

Since their 15-5 start, the Mets have gone 8-13 while the Nats have gone 17-4 during that same period. Washington has won 11 of its last 14 games.

Much of the Nats success can be laid at the doorstep of Bryce Harper who has hit 9 HR in last 12 games. He's hitting .333, leads the NL in HR (15), RBI (38) and walks (37) for an astounding .472 OBP.

Open Letter to Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball

By on 5.21.15 | 1:57PM


I know you already understand this. But maybe Marvin Hudson doesn’t. And reminders, even of the obvious, never hurt.

People who like baseball, the folks on whom the future of your game and your job depend, shell out handsomely to go to the ballpark, or tune in on television, to watch gifted athletes like, to pick someone at random, Bryce Harper, perform. They don’t go to the park or tune in to watch guys like Marvin Hudson call balls and strikes (even when they get it right most of the time). And they sure as hell don’t go there to watch Marvelous Marv pitch Harper for some, please excuse the technical language, chickens**t infraction.

Rand Paul’s Filibuster Was a Bust

By on 5.21.15 | 12:59PM

When Rand Paul filibustered about drones two years ago, Ross Kaminsky declared, "Rand Paul created a political earthquake."

If that's the case then Paul's filibuster against extending the Patriot Act registered barely a tremor by comparison. You could say his filibuster was a bust.

Now I couldn't stand with Rand then and I won't now. However, I did give him full marks for political theater at the time. I can't say the same this time around.

Aside from the substance of Paul's position, the problem with doing a second filibuster is that the novelty has worn off. Ted Cruz did his filibuster six months later.

Let me put it this way. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington didn't have a sequel for a reason. A filibuster is a one shot, Hail Mary pass. You can't go to it again and again.

Rand Paul is a textbook example of style over substance and sizzle but no steak. This time around there was no sizzle and when there's no sizzle you have an empty frying pan.

White House Keeping Record of @POTUS Tweeters

By on 5.21.15 | 11:19AM

If you want to register a complaint with the Obama Administration, it's probably best you air your grievances without directly tagging them in your Tweet.

Unless, of course, you'd like your Tweet logged, preserved and archived for posterity in a searchable database the White House will use to tag Twitter users who make routine comments that are "concerning" to the powers that be.

Case in point? After Barack Obama belatedly joined Twitter on Monday — in his official, presidential capacity — dozens of Twitter denizens began tweeting him sex jokes, threats and other unprintable inanities. (We counted nearly 500 tweets dropping f-bombs at POTUS in the past day.)

But the joke’s actually on them: Not only does the Secret Service already monitor Twitter for threats, but the White House is archiving each and every thing @POTUS tweeters say. Ashley Feinberg flagged this relevant piece of the White House Online Privacy Policy:

Thoughts on the Letterman Finale

By on 5.21.15 | 9:35AM

I stayed up to watch David Letterman's final show and I am now paying the price for it in lost slumber.

But, as I wrote the other day, I did it for my hometown boy Paul Shaffer. When am I ever going to see someone from Thunder Bay on TV again? Well, I suppose I could watch the NHL playoffs. Marc Staal has a good chance of going back to the Stanley Cup Finals with the New York Rangers.

It was the first time I'd seen the show in a couple of years and clearly I haven't missed much. Dave had already left the building and was going through the motions. The only time I laughed at anything he said was during the flashbacks to his interaction with kids and the Taco Bell skit from almost 20 years ago.

Obama Admin Official in 2010: Train Speed Management System Not Worth the Cost

By on 5.20.15 | 11:52AM

The wreckage from last week's Amtrak derailment had yet to cool and Democrats were already seizing on the political opportunities presented by a government program gone horribly awry. The Amtrak crash, they wasted no time in saying, was the fault of cold, heartless Republicans who don't care about the poor, or minorities, puppies, the future of Amtrak's signature microwave pizza monopoly, or the legions of staffers, lobbyists, journalists and officials who use the New York to DC Amtrak route to attend routine cocktail parties without having to commit to moving out of the cushy NYC suburbs. 

Amtrak, it was quickly pointed out, is a disatrous, bureaucratic bungle, whose sloppy administration and borderline incompetent financial oversight make the Post Office look well run. And while the government has spent the better part of the last half century pumping billions into its coffers, the rail system not only routinely fails to make ends meet, but can barely keep track of what it's supposed to do and why.

Don’t Be Fooled by al-Shabaab’s Concerns for Burma’s Rohingya Muslims

By on 5.20.15 | 11:33AM

In response to the decision by Indonesia and Malaysia to provide shelter for one year for Rohingya Muslim refugees from Burma (now officially known as Myanmar), al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia declared that Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia as well as Bangladesh and Thailand should welcome the Rohingya with open arms:

At the hands of the savage Buddhists, thousands of Muslims, including many women and children, have fled their homes and are desperately trying to reach the shores of safety, their only crime being their adherence to Islam.

Take matters into your own hands, help your Muslim brothers and know that this is a religious obligation upon you for which you will be held fully accountable in front of Allah on the day of judgement".

Tom Cotton Blocks NSA Reform Measure

By on 5.20.15 | 11:22AM

Tom Cotton was instrumental in saving some of Iraq's most precious feline assets, but that's about the only nice thing I can say about Sen. Tom Cotton today. 

Iowa Dems Can’t Name A Single Hillary Clinton Accomplishment

By on 5.20.15 | 11:02AM

To be fair to Hillary, she hasn't exactly been out front of her own campaign lately, making the case to Americans that she's worth the time and effort required to vote in a Presidential election, so it's not surprising that a panel of Democrats in Iowa - the state whose caucus she'll have to win to solidify her position as the Democratic frontrunner - have absolutely no idea what she's done with her life. 

When Mark Halperin asked them to name even one, single, solitary thing Hillary Clinton did while in office that made an impression on them, the whole crowd looked as him as though it were possible he was speaking Chinese and that this was just an elaborate, if oddly prescient, prank.