The Spectacle Blog

Obama Lectures America on Syrian Refugees By Likening Them to The Pilgrims

By on 11.26.15 | 9:52PM

In his Thanksgiving address, President Obama once again lectured Americans about the Syrian refugees. This time, he likened them to the Pilgrims. "Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” Obama said. “What makes America America is that we offer that chance.”

Would we be put into the position to offer this chance if President Obama had been serious about enforcing red lines in Syria? Consider what historian Walter Russell Mead wrote a little over a week ago:

CNN: Israel? What Israel?

By on 11.26.15 | 2:03PM

Most of the Muslim and Arab world would love Israel to just disappear.

Well, CNN did its best to accommodate that desire. In an article on CNN Money about ISIS, it featured a map of the Middle East. Although this map showed Jerusalem, it was shown as the capital of Palestina. This is a Spanish/Portugese translation of Palestine.

When diligent readers brought to this to CNN's attention, they replaced it with one of Aleppo, Syria. 

Evidently CNN can't bring itself to admit that Israel exists. 

Labour MP John McDonnell Actually Read From Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book at Westminster

By on 11.25.15 | 3:03PM

Labour MP John McDonnell, who serves as the party's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, actually read from Chairman Mao's Little Red Book in the British House of Commons in an exchange with George Osborne who is the Chancellor of th Exchequer in David Cameron's Tory government:

Let me quote from Mao, rarely done in this chamber, 'We must learn to do economic work from all who know how. No matter who they are, we must esteem them as teachers, learning from them respectfully and conscientiously. But we must not pretend to know what we do not know'.

I thought it would come in handy for you in your new relationship.

McDonnell then tossed the book across the dispatch box towards Osborne. But Osborne had a beautiful reply:

So the shadow chancellor literally stood at the Despatch Box and read out from Mao's Little Red Book.

Opening the book, he went on: "Oh look! It's his personal signed copy.

Suspended CNN Reporter Conspired With Clinton Campaign to Smear Rand Paul

By on 11.25.15 | 1:01PM

Earlier this week, Elise Labott, a CNN reporter, took to Twitter to express her frustration over a House bill that would have "limited" incoming Syrian refugee applications by requiring an additional signature from the FBI, signing off on an application that the Syrian refugees had to complete anyway. Her effort at editorialization cost her a couple of weeks vacation without pay. 

But now, thanks to a small cache of emails, published by Gawker, we can confidently say that Labott's foray into opinion journalism wasn't an isolated incident. In fact, Labott appears to have an open line of communication with Clinton aide, Phillipe Reines, and, at one point, took direction from the Clinton campaign, attacking Sen. Rand Paul on Twitter at their behest and with their Tweet.

Golden State Warriors Set NBA Record with 16-0 Start; Philadelphia 76ers Could Be 0-16 Tonight UPDATE

By on 11.25.15 | 10:51AM

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors appear to be even better than they were last year.

Last night, the Warriors trounced the L.A. Lakers 111-77 setting an NBA record by winning their first 16 games. The record had previously been held by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and the 1983-84 Houston Rockets.

The strangest thing about this winning streak is that they have been doing it without head coach Steve Kerr who is recovering from back surgery. Luke Walton, son of NBA legend Bill Walton, has been the interim head coach. However, under NBA rules, Kerr gets all the credit for wins and losses. Or should I just say wins?

The Warriors can extend their record to 17 straight wins on Friday night when they visit the Phoenix Suns.

Cynthia Robinson, R.I.P.

By on 11.24.15 | 4:36PM

Cynthia Robinson, trumpet player and back up vocalist for Sly & The Family Stone, has passed away at the age of 69 of cancer.

Sly & The Family Stone is probably best remembered for their appearance at Woodstock. They were an unusual band as its members were both black and white, men and women. They had a string of hits in the late '60's and early '70's including "Dance to the Music" (in which she is mentioned by name), "I Want To Take You Higher" and "Stand". Stone and Robinson were also the parents to a daughter named Phunne. Robinson was the only original member to remain alongside Stone when the band fell apart in 1975 although she did also play in bass player Larry Graham's band Graham Central Station. Robinson toured with The Family Stone (sans Sly Stone) as recently as this summer.

Here is a clip of Sly & The Family Stone playing an extended version of "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" on Soul Train with Robinson featured on trumpet.

Obama Will Show Terrorists Who’s Boss With Climate Change Conference

By on 11.24.15 | 2:28PM

Next week, the world's leaders will converge on Paris to discuss whether humanity is burning up the ozone layer and how best to address the problem (hint: the solution will probably include a plea for more governmental authority in monitoring and controlling humanity's energy consumption and, probably, taxes). And, thankfully, according to our fearless leader who has been completely absent from the world stage following the Paris terror attacks, such a gathering will not only end our global reliance on fossil fuels, but it will also demonstrate to a homicidal Islamic apocalypse cult that we are a strong, global presence committed to the issues that truly matter.

Or something.

All we know is that President Obama is 100% convinced that our best offense against terrorism is a Climate Change conference. 

Obama’s Vacuum of Power Made Russian-Turkey Mess Possible

By on 11.24.15 | 1:40PM

It’s really going to hit the fan after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 fighter-interceptor jet for allegedly violating its airspace on Tuesday. Both the Russians and the Turks are madder than wet hens with Vladimir Putin calling it a “stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists” and other less-than diplomatic niceties, while Turkey rattles its sabers over the territorial integrity of its long border with Syria.

According to the Turks, the Russian aircraft repeatedly was warned by ground controllers that it was slopping over the border, but the warnings were ignored. As a result, two Turkish F-16s were sent up to take care of business.

Numerous reports have the two-man crew bailing out with their fate uncertain, although some say one crewman’s body was discovered by Syrian rebel forces operating in the area. ISIS does not control that portion of Syria.

Ted Cruz Pulls Even With Donald Trump in Iowa

By on 11.24.15 | 1:02PM

For a rather long time, Donald Trump has looked nearly infallible as the designated Republican leader, but lately, a string of mis-steps, problematic statements and thinly veiled temper tantrums appear to have soured American voters on their most famous potential candidate - or at least, capped off his support levels. 

In Iowa, at least, a new potential front-runner is on the rise: Ted Cruz. And for the first time, a candidate other than Donald Trump is within spitting distance of locking down Iowa voters, who will hold their caucus just a couple of months from now. 

Ted Cruz, buoyed by tea party support and the backing of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, has surged to a virtual tie with Donald Trump in the first caucus state of Iowa, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll surveying likely Republican caucus-goers released Tuesday.

Why I’m Not Surprised That Turkey Shot Down Russian Fighter Jet

By on 11.24.15 | 12:39PM

If you have just read Emily's account of Turkey shooting down a Russian warplane, I must say that I am not terribly surprised with this development.

After all, it was only last month when Turkey intercepted a Russian jet that entered Turkish airspace. Following the incident, the Russians said it had been a mistake. At the time, I argued that Russia respects Turkey a lot more than they do the Obama Administration. Today events force me to partially reassess that opinion.