The Spectacle Blog

The TSA Is Very Sad About This DHS Thing

By on 2.25.15 | 6:20PM

Guys, the Transportation Safety Administration is very sad. Really sad. Like, they might not even feel like rifling through your unmentionables tonight they're so dejected and depressed.

Everything about their job has simply lost its charm. Life as they know it may come to an abrupt end this week, though they will not actually be getting an unpaid vacation from work, thanks to regulations that mandate they work without pay until the "shutdown" subsides, and they would like you to know that despite what you've heard, witnessed and know to be true based on a boundless volume of evidence, the TSA is a very vital part of our Homeland Security program, and if you don't fund them, America, there will be a price to pay. And that price is probably a cavity search.

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The IRS Was Good to Lois Lerner

By on 2.25.15 | 5:47PM

It seems that whatever Lois Lerner was doing, she was doing something right by her bosses.

Turns out, while was worming her way into the hearts and minds of every Republican in America, over her alleged use of IRS resources to investigate conservative 501(c)(4)s, trying to root out their dastardly ring of influence, she was also worming her way into the hearts and minds of IRS higher ups, who rewarded her excellent work with more than a hundred thousand in bonuses.

Former IRS official Lois Lerner received $129,300 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show.

Over a three-year period, Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt division at the heart of the IRS targeting scandal, received a 25 percent retention bonus—averaging $43,000 a year—on top of her regular salary...

Former acting IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller recommended Lerner for a $42,000 retention bonus in December 2009, when she first became eligible for retirement.

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Susan Rice Claims Netanyahu Speech “Destructive” to U.S.-Israeli Relations

By on 2.25.15 | 12:35PM

In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress would be "destructive" to U.S.-Israeli relations:

What has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the Speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it's destructive of the fabric of the relationship.

What a load of excrement!!!

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Where Does The Keystone Pipeline XL Go From Here?

By on 2.25.15 | 10:15AM

With President Obama issuing a veto on the Keystone Pipeline XL where does it go from here?

I doubt Congress will be able to override Obama's veto. When the Senate approved the pipeline, it was by a vote of 62-36. That's five votes short required to override a presidential veto.

The State Department has actually not made a formal recommendation on the project and I don't think they are in any hurry to do so. Even if they did recommend the project, I doubt Obama would reverse his position.

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Will Bob McDonald Step Down as VA Secretary?

By on 2.24.15 | 1:01PM

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald has issued an apology for claiming he served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Last month, during a segment on CBS News, McDonald was in a conversation with a homeless veteran and told the man he had served in the special forces. McDonald is a graduate of West Point and did serve in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years before joining Proctor & Gamble in 1980, eventually becoming its CEO.

McDonald has only been on the job since last July after the VA Hospital scandal forced President Obama to fire his predecessor General Eric Shinseki. Earlier this month, McDonald got into a row with Colorado Republican Congressman Mike Coffman at a congressional hearing over constructions delays at Denver's VA hospital. Under tough questioning, McDonald snapped at Coffman, "I've run a large company, sir. What have you done?"

Coffman served in both Iraq wars.

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Will Obama Admin Make Nuclear Deal with Iran Before Bibi’s Speech?

By on 2.24.15 | 11:19AM

There is some speculation that the Obama Administration and Iran are nearing a nuclear agreement.

If an agreement is indeed close at hand then I wonder if it will be completed prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress which is to take place one week from today in an effort to undercut Bibi.

Yet presumably any such agreement would need to be ratified by the Senate. That is, unless, Obama sees fit work around Senate approval and one cannot put such a thing past him. But if Obama does seek congressional approval then it gives Bibi an opportunity not only to make the case against Iran's nuclear ambitions and intentions, but to also make the case against any deal reached between Iran and the Obama Administration. In which case, Netanyahu's speech could be that much more compelling and convincing.

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Bill Nye The Religion Guy: European Jews Should Get to Know Their Neighbors

By on 2.24.15 | 11:15AM

In an appearance on Bill Maher's show last weekend, Bill Nye The Science Guy became Bill Nye The Religion Guy when he advised that European Jews should get to know their neighbors better.

Nye, Maher and Rob Reiner were discussing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's invitation to European Jews to move to Israel:

REINER: But you can understand it. There were German Jews that lived in Germany in the Second World War and that was their home. And you know at a certain point if your life is in danger you want to go someplace where you're going to be protected.

NYE: So, what do you do about it? I think you get to know your neighbors. That's going to take -- does it take a century? Something like that?

So Nye thinks that if Jews engage in a century long neighborhood outreach program then, by golly, everything will be peachy.

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Media Thinks Jeb Bush’s Wife Spends Too Much on Jewelry. Or Something

By on 2.23.15 | 7:27PM

The Washington Post has a scoop. 

According to DC's newpaper of record, which has tasked itself with the unenviable job of rooting out the most dangerous threats to our nation and the most pressing news in politics, Jeb Bush's wife Columba, who is so mild-mannered she barely makes media waves even when accompanying her husband on the campaign trail, has a jewelry problem

In that she likes it.

And also buys it.

And then wears it.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Wasn’t Going to be Nice When Dumped from the DNC

By on 2.23.15 | 7:03PM

There's no question that the DNC has suffered under Debbie Wasserman Schultz's reign. She and Barack Obama have been at each others throats over her leadership (or lack thereof) since 2011, before Obama's second campaign for President, and rumors have been swirling about her ouster since she started hardening up her attitude on television interviews ahead of what was supposed to be a uniting, conciliatory and hopeful second coronation for the President.

Lots of people have wondered why she wasn't sacked. After all, she's presided over a pocketbook that runs consistently into the red and her in-person contributions have been, well, less than stellar. Even now, she's considering running for Senate in order to save herself the trouble of having to convince the people of Florida that she's worth their vote every four years. It turns out, that when confronted with her own ineptitude, Debbie didn't hesitate to pull the same guns on the Obama Administration as she did on Republicans. Had Obama ousted her from her treasured position, she was going to accuse him of - what else? - waging a war on women.

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Was Patricia Arquette’s Wage Equality Speech a Planned Infomercial?

By on 2.23.15 | 5:07PM

As is typical of this sort of "day after a major Hollywood event," you'll be seeing an Oscar recap from me soon enough. You will, no doubt, be impressed with how I deftly handled Patricia Arquette's decision to use her acceptance speech to declare war on America's non-existent wage gap problem, and the audience's fawning response, unaware as they were that they were applauding a lecture on income inequality given by a woman worth a reported $24 million, wearing a dress and jewelry that cost more than most people's homes, and clutching an award she won for being paid hansomely to act like herself in a film. 

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