The Spectacle Blog

Obama Omits Jews as Religious Minority in AUMF Resolution

By on 2.12.15 | 1:36PM

I just received this article from a friend concerning Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin's objection to the exclusion of Jews from President Obama's AUMF against ISIS and ought to be amended.

Currently, the resolution reads:

Whereas ISIL has threatened genocide and committed vicious acts of violence against religious and ethnic minority groups, including Iraqi Christian, Yezidi, and Turkmen populations.

Zeldin cites the murder of four Jews the Hyper Cacher grocery store in Paris last month at the hands of ISIS member Amedy Coulibaly.

Of course, in recent days, President Obama along with Press Secretary Josh Earnest and State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki characterized the Hyper Cacher murders as random rather than being motivated by anti-Semitism.

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U.S. Evacuation of Embassy in Yemen Further Legitimizes Iran

By on 2.12.15 | 12:52PM

There is a dispute as to whether U.S. Marines handed over weapons to Houthi rebels or had destroyed them before evacuating the American Embassy in Yemen yesterday.

But there can be no dispute that Iran came out the big winner and the Obama Administration handed them the keys. Iran was further legitimized with Britain and France also evacuating their embassies.

This strengthens Iran's position vis a vis negotiations with the Obama Administration along with the P5 + 1 concerning a nuclear agreement which the Obama Administration is all too eager to obtain.

If the Obama Administration has no problem with Iran taking over Yemen then they are certainly not going to support sanctions against it.

Although U.S. counterterrorism operations will supposedly continue against AQAP they will only continue at the pleasure of the Iran.

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DNC To Hold Convention in Philly

By on 2.12.15 | 11:55AM

Not content to let the GOP have all the fun of holding their convention in a slowly deteriorating city, the DNC has chosen to hold its convention in Philadelphia

As of this morning, both parties - the DNC and the city of Philadelphia - are said to have "enthusiastically signed off" on the plan to hold the 2016 nominating convention in the City of Brotherly Love (and, apparently "Sisterly Affection," according to the mayor, since simply saying "brotherly love" conflicts with the stated policy of gender neutrality), the President has been informed, and Michelle Obama will immediately begin investigating whether Philly cheese steak cheese is organic enough to publicly embrace. 

The 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held in Philadelphia, party leaders announced Thursday.

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Remember When Obama Interrupted God Save The Queen? CNN Doesn’t

By on 2.12.15 | 11:53AM

CNN has this story about how Republicans are cursed by London citing Mitt Romney's 2012 statement about London's lack of preparedness in hosting that summer's Olympics, Chris Christie's recent comments on vaccines and now Scott Walker's refusal to answer a question about evolution.

You can criticize Walker for choosing not to answer the question on evolution. But why was such a question posed in the first place? Is creationism being taught in Wisconsin public schools? The only reason for such a question was so that the press could paint Walker as a some type of religious zealot. Walker would have damned whether or not he answered the question.

MJ Lee writes:

The U.K. can be a particularly challenging place for members of the GOP because the party's ideological views do not all fit neatly into the that country's political conversation.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the GOP's ideological views do not all fit neatly into CNN's political conversations.

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Philly to Host 2016 Democratic National Convention

By on 2.12.15 | 10:23AM

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (who amazingly is still chair of the Democratic National Committee) has announced that Philadelphia will host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It will be held the week of July 25th.

I would express my condolences to the people of Philadelphia if not for the fact that the Republican National Convention is being held in Cleveland.


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Bob Simon, R.I.P.

By on 2.11.15 | 10:45PM

I just found out that 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon was killed in a car crash this evening on New York City's West Side Highway. He was 73.

I first took notice of him when he and his news crew were held in captivity during the Gulf War in 1991. For nearly 20 years, Simon has been at 60 Minutes. He did tend to be quite anti-Israel in his reporting and a few years back I wrote a blog post critical of his 60 Minutes report on anti-Christian violence in Israel. Frankly, life is far more perilous for Christians in places like Iraq, Syria and Nigeria than in Israel.

Criticism notwithstanding, I do feel some sadness here. I don't know if he was being driven home, but he probably had plans for later this evening and likely the long weekend. And now his life has been snuffed out in an instant.  I cannot imagine what his family must be going through right now. 

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Thoughts on the Chapel Hill Shootings

By on 2.11.15 | 11:39AM

I did not find out about the Chapel Hill shootings that claimed the lives of three Muslims until Ross e-mailed me a link to his blog post from this morning.

Ross makes reference to my post in which I ask how President Obama would react to a shooting at a Muslim deli in light of his and other members of his administration characterizing the attack at the Hyper Cacher grocery store in Paris last month as a random attack as opposed to one motivated by anti-Semitism.

As Ross states, "Unfortunately, today Obama can actually answer almost that exact question."

Naturally, I wish it was a question Obama didn't have to answer. Two of the three victims had just been married last December. All three were under the age of 25 and had their whole lives ahead of them and now it's all over just like that.

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What Will Obama Say About Chapel Hill Murders?

By on 2.11.15 | 9:25AM

My AmSpec colleague Aaron Goldstein asked yesterday "Would The Obama Admin Have Called An Attack on a Muslim Deli Random?"

Unfortunately, today Obama can actually answer almost that exact question given the news of the horrendous murder on Tuesday of three Muslim students by a man named Craig Hicks in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Giving an honest answer in this case would put the administration in a tough spot: Based on his Facebook page, Hicks vehemently disliked Islam...but he also vehemently disliked any and every religion.

It would be most interesting if the administration tries to spin this as "anti-Muslim" when they wouldn't go anywhere near "anti-Jewish" or "anti-Semitic" regarding the Paris deli attack, not least because this attack seems as much anti-religion as anti-a-specific-religion.

A terrible day in Chapel Hill...

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NBC Suspends Brian Williams Without Pay for 6 Months

By on 2.10.15 | 8:57PM

NBC News has suspended Brian Williams without pay for six months as a consequence of his lie about being under RPG attack while reporting from Iraq in 2003 and repeating that lie repeatedly. The suspension is effective immediately.

So what happens in six months from now? Will Williams quietly return in the haze of summer? Or will he be replaced?

Assuming Williams is replaced it will be interesting to see what happens with Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House given her false claim of being under sniper fire in Bosnia.

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Goodbye & Good Riddance to Jon Stewart

By on 2.10.15 | 8:30PM

So Jon Stewart is quitting The Daily Show. 

Well, I say goodbye and good riddance.

I've never found Stewart funny. Not when he was on the late night TV circuit in the late '80s and early '90s; not today.

Yes, I know he occasionally criticizes Obama, but he is essentially an Obama mouthpiece. His apologism for Obama on Benghazi, his eagerness to parrot Palestinian talking points and making ad hominem attacks on Fox News viewers just leaves me cold. His snarky manner simply rubs me the wrong way.



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