The Spectacle Blog

I Didn’t Know Obama Was So Enamored with Australian Politics

By on 3.19.15 | 3:52PM

When President Obama spoke of mandatory voting yesterday in Cleveland, he made specific reference to compulsory voting in Australia which has been place down under for nearly a century.

While I can see how the mandatory aspect of Australia's electoral system would appeal greatly to Obama, I'm not sure if he would be so enamored with other aspects of it.

First a Health Care Mandate, Now a Voting Mandate

By on 3.19.15 | 12:57PM

I just read Larry's post concerning President Obama's riff on mandatory voting.

Although I suspect this is more of a trial balloon than anything else, I can't say I'm shocked this crossed Obama's lips.

If we now a have a health care mandate, is it really a huge stretch of the imagination that this administration (or possibly a future one) could embark upon a voting mandate?

Obama Champions Mandatory Voting

By on 3.19.15 | 12:54PM

Apparently, not enough people vote in this country for President Obama's taste, and he knows just how to make voting both more palatable and more appealing to the 60% or so of Americans with the right to vote, but who seem to lack the ability.

Make it mandatory. Because if there's anything that Americans respond to positively, it's being told what to do. 

Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U.S. while speaking to a civic group in Cleveland on Wednesday. Asked about the corrosive influence of money in U.S. elections, Obama digressed into the related topic of voting rights and said the U.S. should be making it easier — not harder— for people to vote.

Just ask Australia, where citizens have no choice but to vote, the president said.

"If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country," Obama said, calling it potentially transformative. Not only that, Obama said, but universal voting would "counteract money more than anything."

Getting Even With Bibi Is More Important to Obama Than Dems Retaining WH in ’16

By on 3.19.15 | 12:36PM

I was struck by something Jonathan S. Tobin wrote yesterday in Commentary concerning the relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama during the remainder of the latter's term:

It is true that Obama can up the ante on Netanyahu by abandoning a policy of supporting Israel in the United Nations as the Palestinians continue to violate their Oslo Accords obligation to negotiate rather than to attempt to gain recognition from the world body. But if that happens, it will create as many problems for him and the Democratic Party as it does for Israel.

Don’t Cry for Us, Argentina

By on 3.19.15 | 12:29PM

Every time I think Barack Obama can’t come up with a more crackpot or audacious idea than his last one, he fools me. This latest will leave freedom-loving Americanos breathless. The man has more brass than a spittoon factory.

To lifetime leftists like Obama, the most appealing thing about mandatory voting is that it’s, well, mandatory. With these folks, mandatory is always good. It’s part of the totalitarian impulse. The kind of thing to make a community organizer’s heart race. And how far can it be from telling people they have to vote to telling people who they have to vote for? 

In Cleveland Wednesday to discuss the evil of (conservative) money in politics, Obama floated the mandatory voting idea. “In Australia and some other countries there’s mandatory voting,” Obama said. “It would be transformative if everybody voted. That would counteract money more than anything.”

Nuclear Deal to Allow Iran 6,000 Centrifuges

By on 3.19.15 | 12:13PM

I won't spend too much time parsing this out, since I'm sure others on the site will have much to say about it, but good news everyone! We've apparently reached some sort of deal with Iran, and it appears that it will put Iran in a position where, in just under a year, they'll be able to enrich enough uranium to produce a nuclear weapon. 

We're just so good at this foreign policy thing. 

White House Backlash Against Bibi’s Victory Begins in Earnest

By on 3.18.15 | 9:23PM

Well, that didn't take long.

The Obama Administration, unable to bring themselves congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu on his re-election,  couldn't wait 24 hours to tell the world how they really feel.

As Daniel Halper of The Weekly Standard tells us that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest let Bibi have while talking to reporters aboard Air Force One. While Earnest didn't mention Bibi by name, he criticized his Likud Party for "divisive rhetoric to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens" adding that "it undermines the values and democratic ideals that...binds the United States and Israel together."

Earnest's statement is, well, not very earnest. Although it does prove my argument that the election wasn't between Bibi and Bugie, but between Bibi and Barack.

As much as they may hate Israel, Arabs residing in the Muslim world envy the rights exercised by Israeli Arabs. 

Barack Obama Picks Kentucky Over Villanova in NCAA Tourney

By on 3.18.15 | 4:01PM

Barack Obama has an unfortunate history of picking losers in the NCAA tournament.  He hasn't picked the tournament winner correctly since selecting North Carolina 2009 (last year he picked Michigan State to meet Louisville in the final and neither made it past the Elite Eight), but regardless, literally every year ESPN devotes an entire segment, called "Barack-etology" to his picks. 

If you, like me, had Kentucky going all the way this year, well, Barack Obama probably just cursed your bracket. Sorry.

In ESPN’s annual installment of “Barack-etology,” the president made a safe bet on top-seeded Kentucky to win it all, saying, “They are prohibitive favorites and for good reason.”

Mr. Obama put three No. 1 seeds – Kentucky, Villanova and Duke – along with No. 2 seed Arizona in his Final Four. And he projected that Kentucky would prevail over Villanova in the title game.

Yesterday, Joe Biden Insulted Ireland

By on 3.18.15 | 1:40PM

For those of you thinking that the Obama Administration's general Mean Girl-ish-ness over the Israeli election results (AND NONE FOR BIBI NETANYAHU) is the most egregious failure of our foreign policy this week, consider that we dispatched Joe Biden, our Vice President, one heartbeat away from the Presidency, to welcome the Irish Prime Minister and his wife to Washington in a joint celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

You may be asking, how, exactly, does one mess up a St. Patrick's Day celebration with actual Irish people? Sure, the tradition of wearing green tutus and drinking until passed out in a gutter is a uniquely American tradition, but that's a small defect in the otherwise incredibly close relationship between Ireland and a nation built by many of its expatriates. The answer to the question, though, is, of course, introducing Joe Biden.

Donald Trump Forming Presidential Exploratory Committee

By on 3.18.15 | 1:22PM

Congratulations, America! Donald Trump is dropping the next season of his television show, The Apprentice, in order to figure out whether he'd like to serve you in our nation's highest office. 

This time, though, he's going one step further in his mission to rule us all with an iron hand and an impressive hair sculpture by forming an exploratory committee and picking up staffers in New Hampshire, one of the key primary states. Because if there's anything the Republican party needs right now, it's Donald Trump.

A senior adviser tells the New Hampshire Union Leader that Trump will not be renewing his contract with NBC for the reality television “Apprentice” series.

Combined with staff hires, Trump’s announcement that he will form an exploratory committee for the first time is a sign the billionaire is seriously considering running for the Republican nomination.

Trump’s statement on forming the exploratory committee hints at the razzle-dazzle to come for a turbo-charged personality known for skewering the political establishment.

Pages