What’s life without a little mystery? Three giant holes have suddenly appeared in the wastes of Siberia. The first emerged a couple weeks ago, a crater leading down a funnel to an icy lake below, its diameter nearly 262 feet. That prompted an inconclusive investigation. Now two more holes have appeared. They are smaller: one is about fifty feet across, the other almost fourteen feet.
The Spectacle Blog
As Larry Thornberry informed us last night, Vin Scully will be broadcasting Dodger games in 2015. As Larry noted, the announcement was made by Dodger players Hyun-Jin Ryu in Korean, Yasiel Puig in Spanish and Justin Turner in English in between innings of last night's Dodgers-Braves game. It will be his 66th year in that capacity.
In this mad, mad, mad world, this is the one development that never fails to bring a smile to my face and I am far from alone in this feeling.
Sandra Fluke rose to fame after advocating for Obamacare before members of Congress on the grounds that she couldn't afford her own birth control. But just a few years later, she can afford a generous donation to her California State Senate campaign. That's the scoop from a great piece written by Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner. Per Schow, Fluke donated $12,000 to her campaign and made $4,826.27 in non-monetary contributions. In addition, Fluke loaned her campaign $100,000.
Looking at the raw numbers, Fluke has outraised her opponent, Ben Allen. However, Fluke's own contributions, along with donations from her wealthy in-laws, total 33 percent of her fundraising. Allen's family and personal contributions, on the other hand, only make up 15 percent of his total donations. Schow breaks it down: "[i]f you remove family donations and loans, Allen has raised $330,141. Removing the same from Fluke and she’s only raised $278,859.01."
Lucy Schouten tells us that Israel did not like Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal and made no secret of their displeasure.
Well, no kidding.
By my count, there have been at least five ceasefires all of which Hamas has broken. The difference between the other negotiated ceasefires and Kerry’s is that the Secretary of State gives Hamas a lifeline of legitimacy. Hamas’ raison d’etre always has and always will be the extermination of Israel.
Yet Israel isn’t the only one that didn’t like Kerry’s ceasefire. As Lucy notes, Kerry negotiated the ceasefire in Egypt. Curiously, she doesn’t mention that the Egyptians didn’t exactly welcome Kerry with open arms. In fact, President Sisi’s security detail made Kerry go through a metal detector before welcoming him into his office.
Hall of Fame Dodger TV broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2015 for his 66th year of calling Dodger games, both of the Brooklyn and the Los Angeles variety. And the team took an unusual way to get the word out.
In between the top and bottom of the second inning of Tuesday’s Braves/Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium, with the Braves leading 1-0, Dodgers’ broadcaster Alanna Rizzo came on the stadium jumbotron — locally called Dodger Vision — to say that the team had some breaking news. This was followed by short messages from three Dodger players. Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu spoke briefly in Korean, outfielder Yasiel Puig in Spanish, and infielder Justin Turner in English.
John Kerry's most recent trip to the Middle East earned him such discouraging reviews in the local papers, not to mention receptions from Israeli politicians, that American officials have made their diplomatic displeasure known—diplomatically, of course.
Kerry spent last weekend in Cairo negotiating the latest ceasefire in missile exchanges between Hamas and Israel, but the Knesset rejected the plan outright as giving too much to Hamas and too little to them. They leaked their non-support through the media to avoid a diplomatic stand-off, and the media took off. The Times of Israel referred to the whole episode as "the betrayal," and that's only in the headline:
Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.
President Obama affirmed his belief, in a press conference this afternoon, that Russia holds the keys to future peace in Eastern Ukraine. He announced plans to follow through on promises of further sanctions against Russia, saying that he and the EU were coordinating an attack on key sectors of the Russian economy, particularly in energy and investing.
“We are united in our view that the situation in Ukraine ought to be resolved diplomatically,” he said. “We’ve also made it clear…that if Russia continues on its path the cost on Russia will continue to grow.” He went on to describe this latest move as, “The most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date.”
The president described the attack on Flight MH17 as senseless, and promised that America would ensure that justice was done, explicitly assigning responsibility to pro-Russian separatists. He was, however, quick to show that he had the support and agreement of many of the world’s leaders. Throughout his speech, he walked a balance between speaking in terms of strong American leadership and international consonance.
As the executive branch continues to grow and issue orders that sound more like edicts, bypassing Congress in the process, many on the right are growing frustrated. Some have compared President Obama to a dictator. As the frustration increased, so did rumors of the threat of impeachment, stirred by emails from the DCCC and the White House to potential donors. Today Speaker John Boehner quashed that talk.
According to the Washington Times:
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Mr. Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
These are the same Democrats who pushed the “birther” conspiracies, which some on the right still ridiculously hang onto. The Democrats have been using their own talk of impeachment to further their fundraising goals:
It was Soviet civilization, but it was still civilization. Eastern Ukraine does not even have that anymore as the civil war between the Kiev-based government and pro-Russian separatists has caused the remnants of law and order to crumble. The government has gained a foothold in the separatist-controlled territory, and now has control over the crash site of MH17. Only time will tell if that brings answers.
An embarrassing leak today has exposed the core strategies of the campaign of Michelle Nunn, who is running to fill the opening seat by retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. Not only do the documents show how she will be organizing her candidacy, they also discusses her weaknesses at length.
One of the major flaws is the candidate’s attachment to her foundation: