The Spectacle Blog

A Silver Lining in Ferguson

By on 11.25.14 | 12:55PM

Despite the fire, spraying of bullets, looting and general mayhem last night in Ferguson following the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the silver lining in all of this is no one died.

That might not be of much comfort to those who had their property damaged or destroyed, but it could have been much worse.

Of course, last summer there was unrest over a period of 10 days or so. Under the circumstances, I cannot help but wonder if the worst of it is still to come. In which case, this silver lining could soon disappear.

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Convenience Store Michael Brown Allegedly Robbed Was Looted Last Night

By on 11.25.14 | 11:46AM

Last night, I tried to stay off social media, but felt the urge to Tweet about how looting and destroying local businesses does nothing to harm corporations, the police, or the legal system, but it does harm community members who are working hard to put food on the table for themselves.

No matter how you feel about how justice was or was not served last night, it does not justify the wanton destruction of other people's property. It's not even an effective tactic for expressing outrage at the state. As anyone involved in civil disobedience, past and present, knows, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lennon, to name just a couple, police and media understand how to deal with violence. It's non-violence they don't understand.

That said, one of the strangest visuals to come out of last night's riots is this, from Reddit. I can't substantiate the veracity of the photo itself, but according to multiple sources, it appears to be the owner of the market Michael Brown was accused of robbing before he encountered Officer Darren Wilson

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Obama’s Ferguson Comments Don’t Help

By on 11.24.14 | 11:39PM

Naturally, President Obama just had to say something following the decision of the grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Obama has no credibility when it comes to talking about law enforcement. He permanently lost any credibility he might have had the moment he declared the Cambridge Police Department had "acted stupidly" in the arrest of his friend "Skip" Gates, Jr. a few years back despite admitting he did not have the all the facts before him. 

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No Indictment Against Darren Wilson UPDATED

By on 11.24.14 | 10:01PM

I am watching the announcement by the St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch concerning the decision of the grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown last August. 

McCulloch is making a very thorough, detailed synopsis of what did and did not happen. He is also handling hostile questioners in the media very effectively, especially to the British journalist who asserted that the Ferguson Police were killing young black men with impunity. While a very large crowd has gathered in Ferguson things are calm so far. Hopefully this calm will prevail. This will be a challenge given the provacateurs in the crowd who seek to further their agendas by causing unrest. I suspect that most of those who seek to cause said unrest do not reside in Ferguson, Missouri. 

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Obama Admin Extends Iran Nuclear Talks to June 2015

By on 11.24.14 | 8:49PM

Today was the deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran. Well, it's today and there is no nuclear agreement with Iran. But fear not. In its infinite wisdom, the Obama Administration has extended the deadline for an agreement to June 2015

The Obama Administration has given itself seven more months to be deceived, embarrassed and otherwise humiliated by Iran. But the Obama Administration is so desperate to reach agreement with the Mullahs that they will take every bit of deception, embarrassment and humiliation and offer concession upon concession. 

The Iranian regime is more than happy to play along. The more time that passes the greater the likelihood that Iran becomes a nuclear power. Don't be surprised if next June brings yet another seven month extension. 

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Red Sox Add Hanley Ramirez & Pablo Sandoval

By on 11.24.14 | 5:09PM

Two former Dodgers-Giants rivals will be joining forces on the Boston Red Sox in 2015. Hanley Ramirez has signed a four year, $88 million contract with an option for the 2019 season while Pablo Sandoval, a three time World Series winner with the Giants, has signed a five year, $100 million contract with the Sox.

The Red Sox have been pursuing Sandoval, who is affectionately known as Kung Fu Panda, since the Giants won their third World Series in five years. He is a definite upgrade at third base over Will Middlebrooks. In seven seasons in San Francisco, Panda collected 946 hits, batting .294 with 106 HR and 462 RBI. In addition to his three World Series rings, Sandoval is also a two-time NL All-Star. Although he has had weight issues, Sandoval is 28 and is entering the prime of his career.

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Ferguson Grand Jury Has Reached a Decision

By on 11.24.14 | 3:42PM

This is developing.

The grand jury assembled to determine whether Officer Darren Wilson should face charges in the death of Michael Brown has reached a decision. News outlets expect to hear from the County Prosecutors Office in Missouri and from the Governor's Office either around 5pm EST today or early tomorrow morning. Cable news anchors have been ordered to pack up the tents they've been sleeping in in Ferguson for the last month as they waited for the decision and get into makeup. 

I made the last part up, but you know it's happening.

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Jonathan Gruber is Going to Need a Job Pretty Soon

By on 11.24.14 | 3:37PM

The Gruber tapes, which detailed chief healthcare law adviser Jonathan Gruber's intimate thoughts and feelings on the intellectual inferiority of the American public, may not have had the rousing media impact that they should have had, but they are impacting something: Jonathan Gruber's employment status.

Apparently, after the White House and Congress were done with him, Gruber was hired on in a few states to help them organize individual healthcare platforms. Last week, Vermont, which had hired Gruber at his going rate of $400K, let him go after only paying him $160K. The Democrat governor there insisted that his comments were unacceptable, and that they did not reflect how Vermont's government did things, even if the Federal government was happy to embrace Gruber's unique marketing strategies. Yesterday, Gruber found himself out another gig in North Carolina.

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Barack Obama: A GOP President Had Better Not Follow My Lead

By on 11.24.14 | 12:28PM

One of the dangers of using the Executive Action to accomplish your campaign goals six years after the fact and despite having an agreeable Congress right about the time you could have fulfilled your campaign promises, is that, if the EA survives the endless litigation and bellyaching it's headed for, future Presidents who don't share your inclusive attitude on undocumented workers, and for that matter, on basically anything else, may also use the EA to accomplish their goals.

Fortunately, President Obama has considered that eventuality and has issued an expert opinion on the subject. No, President Rick Santorum will not be allowed to use Executive Action to enact his agenda when Congress fails to heed his advice about scantily-clad ladies of the Internet and the overwhelming corporate tax burden. Why? Because Barack Obama says so.

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WaPo Feels Compulsive Need to Fact Check SNL Skit on Executive Actions

By on 11.24.14 | 11:31AM

By now, I'm sure you've seen Saturday Night Live's Schoolhouse Rock-themed cold open making fun of President Obama's use of executive actions to bypass a Congressional deadlock on a rather important subject. But just in case you haven't:

It's pretty good, or as good as we can expect Saturday Night Live to be, though things seem to have gotten better now that Seth Meyers is only writing terrible jokes for himself. And, perhaps despite itself, it actually does a decent job of explaining how Obama's use of executive action compares to the measure's traditional use. Someone in the writer's room actually passed high school civics. 

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