The Spectacle Blog

Bill Clinton Calls Obama’s Legacy “Awful”

By on 3.22.16 | 12:03AM

Speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton at a rally in Spokane, Washington this evening, former President Bill Clinton dropped this bombshell:

If you believe we can rise together, if you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that where we were practicing trickle-down economics, then you should vote for her.

Now I'm sure by tomorrow morning, Team Hillary will say Bill had a long day and misspoke. But the former President made a very specific point of condemning both the Bush & the Obama Administrations. Considering that Hillary has tethered herself to Obama and has criticized Bernie Sanders for being insufficiently supportive of him this could undermine Hillary's campaign perhaps in a way that even the e-mail scandal wouldn't.

Then again if Bill Clinton falls in the forest will the mainstream media make a sound?

Raul Castro: Cuba Doesn’t Have Political Prisoners

By on 3.21.16 | 4:25PM

During a joint press conference today in Havana with President Obama, Cuban dictator Raul Castro bristled at reporters' questions about human rights and declared his country had no political prisoners:

What political prisoners? Give me a name, or names, or after this meeting is over you can give me a list of political prisoners and if we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends.

In fact, prior to Obama's arrival yesterday, Cuban authorities detained activists with the dissident group The Ladies in White. They did the same prior to Pope Francis' visit to Cuba last September.

What David Brooks Wrote About Trump Could Be Just As Easily Said of Obama

By on 3.18.16 | 9:51PM

I am almost in complete agreement with David Brooks regarding his assessment of Donald Trump in his latest New York Times column:

He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12. He surrounds himself with sycophants. “You can always tell when the king is here,” Trump’s butler told Jason Horowitz in a recent Times profile. He brags incessantly about his alleged prowess, like how far he can hit a golf ball. “Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?” he asks.

So why am I almost in agreement with Brooks?

Well, to put it very simply, what Brooks has written about Trump could just as easily be said of Obama.

You Know It’s All Over for Bernie Sanders When He Says He Wants to Save The Taxpayers’ Money

By on 3.17.16 | 9:44PM

Down less than half of 1% of the vote against Hillary Clinton in the Missouri Primary, Bernie Sanders was within his rights to demand a recount.

But Bernie has opted not to do so because he would "prefer to save taxpayers of Missouri more money."

Given that Bernie's platform is in the neighborhood of $18 trillion this might very well mark the first time he has ever invoked fiscal responsibility.

All this tells me that Bernie knows it's over. With Obama having given the edict to Democratic donors that it is now time to unite behind Hillary, Bernie sees little point in fighting a battle he knows he's going to lose.

It's been a pretty good run for Bernie; better than anyone possibly expected. But not good enough. 

Sheldon Adelson Is Warming to Donald Trump

By on 3.17.16 | 3:22PM

The Times of Israel is reporting that when big-time Republican donor and pro-Israel philanthropist Sheldon Adelson was recently asked whether he could support Donald Trump, he responded “Why not? Trump is a businessman. I’m a businessman.” So much for the concerns some have about Trump’s comments on the need to maintain an attitude of “neutrality” going into negotiations on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Does D.C. Need Metro Rail?

By on 3.17.16 | 1:36PM

Yesterday’s shutdown of the Washington Metro rail system was supposed to result in horrible congestion. In fact, as reported in the Washington Post, congestion was “normal,” with a little heavier traffic than usual in some places and lighter in others.

Kerry Finally Acknowledges ISIS is Committing Genocide…So What Will The Obama Administration Do About It? Not Much Probably

By on 3.17.16 | 11:49AM

From the better late than never category, Secretary of State John Kerry has finally declared that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis & Shi'ite Muslims in Iraq, Syria & Libya.

As recently as last month, Kerry resisted utilizing the term when he appeared in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was taken to task for this by longtime Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. But Congress and Christian groups like The Knights of Columbus kept up the pressure on the Obama Administration.

Adam LaRoche Ends MLB Career Because The Chicago White Sox Will No Longer Allow His Son in Clubhouse

By on 3.16.16 | 8:09PM

Adam LaRoche has ended his 12-year big league career and his reason is raising eyebrows.

It was initially believed that LaRoche, who had a disappointing 2015 season with the Chicago White Sox, had decided to retire due to injuries. LaRoche, 36, came out of a spring training game on Saturday due to back spasms.

But that wasn't the reason for LaRoche's retirement. He is hanging it up because the White Sox no longer want his 14-year old son Drake being in the team's clubhouse and travelling with the team. Chisox Executive Vice-President Ken Williams emphasized that White Sox management and players had no problem with the younger LaRoche. But I was struck by what he said next:

Let's check all the columns with regards to our preparation, with regards to our focus, everything to give ourselves the best chance to win and this is not a problem today. But in management you sometimes have to make unpopular decisions.

Why I Worry About Senate Republicans Not Having Hearings & Holding a Vote on Justice Garland

By on 3.16.16 | 6:34PM

Some of my views on President Obama's appointment of D.C. Circuit Court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court are similar to those posted by Emily and Frank, but I would add some thoughts of my own. 

Senate Republicans are certainly under no obligation to confirm Garland much less have a vote. After all, when Obama and Joe Biden were in the Senate (and for that matter Chuck Schumer) they made no bones about not confirming President Bush's judicial appointees (much less have hearings for them). What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Yet I think such a strategy is practical if there's a good chance if Ted Cruz is elected President. Frankly, the chances of Cruz being elected President much less getting the GOP nomination are slim and none.

Confirm Merrick Garland…

By on 3.16.16 | 1:53PM

If you think that Hillary has a better than even chance of victory in November. All the usual suspects on the conservative side are advising the Republicans to hold fast and refuse to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Then if Hillary wins, they say, confirm him quickly lest Hillary nominate someone further to the Left. But in that case, expect Obama to withdraw the nomination the day after the election. As usual, our pundits are too clever by half.

Garland is an excellent judge, about the best one could expect from Obama. One could do much worse, and certainly would with Hillary.