The Spectacle Blog

Three Observations About Hillary’s Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

By on 4.29.15 | 5:07PM

I have read Hillary Clinton's speech on criminal justice reform and have three observations I would like to make.

First, Hillary gave the speech at Columbia University under the auspices of the David Dinkins Leadership and Policy Forum. Hillary said that Dinkins "leadership helped lay the foundation for the dramatic drop in crime in the years that followed." Those would be the years that Rudy Giuliani was mayor. Let me put this way. Would Hillary have walked through Times Square while Dinkins was mayor?

Second, Hillary bemoaned this country's high incarceration rates:

It's a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world's total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.

John Kerry Wishes Barack Obama Were More Like Iran’s Supreme Leader

By on 4.29.15 | 3:38PM

You have to hand it to John Kerry. Few people have the stick-to-it-iveness of our fair Secretary of State. Say what you want about the man, but when he commits to something, no matter how undeniably stupid, the man stays true to his commitment. 

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that Iran (1) has no intention of signing any sort of nuclear non-proliferation agreement and (2) persists in believing it would be best if the United States was obliterated from the face of the Earth, John Kerry is still trying, desperately, to make friends. He's like that girl at the slumber party who happily ignores that her training bra ended up in the freezer overnight because she's so desperate to be included. I almost feel sorry for him, if I wasn't 100% sure that this is all going to end terribly for either us or our allies (or both). 

Bernie Sanders to Announce Presidential Campaign

By on 4.29.15 | 3:24PM

America, you asked for Elizabeth Warren (D-$8.5M Net Worth), and despite all evidence to the contrary, persisted in believing that she was a worthwhile potential candidate. Well, your hard work has paid off. No, Elizabeth Warren is not going to declare her intent to run, though she's 100% certain that she is moving Hillary as far leftward as her little bowl-haircutted Native American noggin possibly can, she's merely inspired your next contestant. 

Ladies and gentlemen of Iowa, we hope you like Bernie Sanders. All of the progressive lunacy, none of the restrained dignity.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will make an announcement on Thursday about his intentions to run for president, a source close to his thinking tells CNN.

Sanders, an independent senator who caucuses with Democrats, has been inching towards a presidential run for months by traveling the country and speaking to liberal groups in critical presidential states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Rand Paul’s Comments on Saddam Proves He Has 20-20 Hindsight

By on 4.29.15 | 2:44PM

It was interesting to hear that Rand Paul declare the other day that removing Saddam Hussein from power was "a mistake".

I must say that I am inclined to agree with the junior Senator from Kentucky. Indeed, after President Obama failed to obtain an extension to the Status of Forces agreement in October 2011, I posed the question, "Should Saddam Have Stayed in Power?"

Nevertheless, I am not very impressed with Rand Paul's comment for two reasons.

Harry Reid: Republicans Are Totally Like that Earthquake in Nepal

By on 4.29.15 | 11:49AM

In case you were wondering whether Harry Reid was going to tone down his rhetoric as his tenure in Congress winds down - after all, he's down to only one eye - I believe that this video, via Free Beacon, can answer all of the questions you might have. 

The GOP submitted a budget several weeks ago, and now its under discussion, because if there's anything that can get America riled up and interested in politics, its a lengthy, C-SPAN discussion on how each party plans to spend trillions of dollars of your money, but in the most responsible way possible. This morning, Harry Reid took the floor to speak out against cutting back on spending and embracing a more austere government lifestyle by making a comprehensive, if compelling case that the GOP budget was a figment of the imagination, utterly impossible to accomplish in our day and age.

No, just kidding: he compared the GOP budget's commitment to balance to the earthquake that has killed hundreds, if not thousands, in Nepal. 

Because, obviously. 

Clinton Foundation Forgot to Report Over a Thousand Foreign Donations

By on 4.29.15 | 11:37AM

Somehow, last week, I landed on Jim Webb's press list, which makes sense because I'm technically press even though I do the majority of my writing in yoga pants, surrounded by cats. The incident hasn't done much to increase my confidence in Jim Webb to somehow disrupt the coronation of the Democrats high holy Queen, so much as it's made me feel bizarrely sad for the man. While he - a man of distinction and accomplishment - is out meeting with foreign dignitaries and Iowa bigwigs, the presumptive Democratic nominee is struggling to explain (or, in this case, not explain), exactly how she happened to cash checks from foreign governments while remaining absolutely neutral when they came knocking at the state department. 

Today, we find out that the Clinton Foundation, which is in enough trouble for foreign donations they did disclose, received over a thousand donations from foreign governments that they never managed to get around to telling any authorities about, even though they were required to by law and by agreement.

Orioles to Host White Sox in an Empty Camden Yards Tomorrow Afternoon UPDATED

By on 4.28.15 | 10:43PM

For the past two nights, the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox have been unable to play baseball due to unrest in Baltimore. The two games will be made up in a doubleheader on May 28th.

The weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays will be moved to St. Pete.

However, tomorrow afternoon's game will proceed as scheduled, but no one will be admitted into Camden Yards.

The Orioles and White Sox will play in front of an empty ballpark.

Adam Jones could hit a home run tomorrow and the only sound heard will be the crack of the bat.

The only other precedent I can think of where a major sporting event was played in front of an empty stadium were the Davis Cup tennis matches back in 2009 involving Israel in Malmo, Sweden due to anti-Israel protests which Swedish authorities would break out into violence. Ah, yes good old anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head. 

Verne Gagne, R.I.P.

By on 4.28.15 | 4:59PM

Former professional wrestler and wrestling promoter Verne Gagne passed away yesterday. A cause of death has not been released, but Gagne was diagnosed with Alzheimer's related dementia a number of years ago. He was 89.

Gagne founded the Minnesota based American Wrestling Association (AWA) in the early 1960's and spent many years as the AWA World Heavyweight Champion. In my early years in Thunder Bay, we would get our American TV signals from Duluth and would see the AWA on TV. It was my first exposure to professional wrestling much to the horror of my parents.

Barack Obama Thanks Japan for Anime, Emoji in Preparation for State Dinner

By on 4.28.15 | 4:32PM

Although we may be still considering what impact today's events in the waters just off of Iran will have on our larger foreign policy agenda, the White House is continuing its hapless diplomatic strategy unabated.

Today, as the White House prepares for the Obamas' eighth state dinner - a soire in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - the President had some kind words at a joing press conference, thanking Japan for all of its important contributions to world culture, including Karate, anime, emoji and karaoke.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that, among other things, the arrival of Japan’s official delegation is an opportunity to celebrate the country’s cultural contributions to the United States, like karaoke and emojis.

“Today is also a chance for Americans, especially our young people, to say thank you for all the things we love from Japan. Like karate and karaoke,” Obama said to laughter during remarks at an arrival ceremony with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “Manga and anime. And, of course, emojis,” he added.

President Obama Speaks on Baltimore, Blames…Republicans?

By on 4.28.15 | 4:12PM

I'm honestly surprised it took 72 hours for the narrative to play out this way. That seems like an inordinantly long time for this particular President to take to blame the opposing party - which has been doing an excellent job, of late, proving that it was Harry Reid who was the cornerstone of the do-nothing Congress - for the systemic violence that has plaugued the city of Baltimore since late last week. Of course, we do have to give him a slight berth; after all, Saturday was the White House Correspondents Dinner, Sunday was the first real "golf outside" day of the year, and he's got a very special State Dinner tonight to prepare for.

Thankfully, though, he hadn't forgotten his one official obligation. And today, in his speech, he made clear that the reason the citizens of Baltimore are rioting out of control is - wait for it - because Republicans have failed to pass his legislative agenda.