The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on Obama Renaming Mount McKinley as Denali

By on 9.1.15 | 12:54PM

I don’t wish to make mountains of this matter, but I do think it warrants comment. Let me begin by saying I am not unsympathetic to the name change. Most Alaskans refer to the highest point in the country as Denali, including former Governor Sarah Palin.

But this name change ought to have come about by an act of Congress, not because President Obama darn well feels like it before his trip to the 49th state later this week. Indeed, it was Congress which enacted the Mount McKinley National Park Act in 1917. If Congress sees fit to change the name then so be it. That is simply not the purview of the President, any President. Donald Trump has no more right to change the name back to McKinley than Obama does to change it to Denali. It should take an act of Congress to move mountains.

MLB Notes for August: Do the Cleveland Indians Have a Chance at the AL Wild Card?

By on 9.1.15 | 11:27AM

We’re heading into the home stretch. The pennant races have taken shape, but things are far from being said and done.

AL East
When August began the Toronto Blue Jays were tied for second in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles, six games back of the New York Yankees. With the additions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price as well as Ben Revere, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins, the Blue Jays went 21-6 in August including their second 11-game winning streak of the season. The Jays now enter September leading the AL East by 1½ games over the Yankees.

As for the Bronx Bombers, they lost significant ground playing .500 ball in August. However, they do have one of the two AL Wild Card spots at the moment. But the team is aging, whether it is the season-ending knee injury to C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira’s back trouble, or Alex Rodriguez’s prolonged slump. The bullpen is also overworked, as evidenced by the efforts to reacquire former closer David Robertson from the White Sox. Youngsters Greg Bird and Luis Severino are making a good effort. Whether it will be enough to regain top in the AL East much less retain a Wild Card spot remains to be seen.

Hillary Clinton “Very Accessible” At $1000-Per-Plate Dinner

By on 8.31.15 | 4:58PM

Hillary Clinton is a very accessible human being, at least according to a woman who paid $1,000 for the chance to eat rubber chicken and rub elbows in the Hamptons with the Democratic Presidential candidate. 

Hillary, herself, is in East Hampton for a much-needed vacation away from the filthy masses, and while there, she's raising money from her rich neighbors. The fundraiser in question was held on the grounds of the Patricof estate, owned by venture capitalist Alan Patricof, chairman of Apex Partners. Guest feasted on incredibly expensive chocolate chip pancakes, as their precious little hooligans played in a private petting zoo. The adults engaged in witty banter about current events, the mimosas were flowing, and Hillary Clinton was her charming, bubbly self - to people who were writing checks, of course.


Thoughts on Building a Wall on the U.S.-Canadian Border

By on 8.31.15 | 12:20PM

Scott Walker raised some eyebrows yesterday when he said the construction of a wall along the U.S-Canadian border was a “legitimate” issue in an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press. Todd asked Walker if he favored building a wall along the southern border, then why not the northern border? Walker replied

Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.

Some Further Appreciation for Vin Scully

By on 8.31.15 | 10:08AM

I spent the weekend in New York City with my Dad and when we learned on Friday night that Vin Scully would be broadcasting Los Angeles Dodgers’ games for a 67th season, we were both delighted. Over dinner the following night, I said to my father, “I hope he’s still broadcasting when he’s 100.” As it happened, when we returned home the MLB Network had the Cubs-Dodgers game on with Vin Scully in the broadcast booth. It was then I learned that 2016 would likely be his last season. Naturally, I wanted to write about it but saw that Larry had beat me to the punch.

Rain on EPA’s Parade

By on 8.31.15 | 12:44AM

No, the “waters of the United States” subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) regulation do not include things like dry land over which water occasionally flows. That’s the conclusion of a federal judge who just put on hold the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest power grab.

Jake Arrieta Throws No-Hitter (Could My NL Cy Young Prediction Come True?)

By on 8.30.15 | 11:25PM

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta has just thrown a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. 

The Cubs won 2-0. The only offense they needed was a first inning home run by Kris Bryant. Arrieta struck out 12 batters including striking out the side in the 9th. It was Arrieta's 17th win of the season. He was 6-0 in the month of August. 

I should mention that I predicted Arrieta would win the NL Cy Young Award prior to the beginning of the season

Fundraisers Bail on Jeb!

By on 8.29.15 | 5:28PM

Politico is reporting that three of Jeb!’s fundraisers have quit the former Florida governor’s campaign. (One of these fundraisers carries the last name of Money — good grief, even Charles Dickens didn’t stoop to this.)

I can’t help but be amused by the guy who attempted to account for the departures on the basis of personality conflicts rather than on the obvious fact that candidate Jeb! is going nowhere. And going there very expensively. The latest polls put his support in the mid-single-digits. He currently resembles Alice in her shrinking phase.

This should come as no surprise as Jeb! has strategically positioned himself precisely 180 degrees out from the conservative Republican base on important issues, and as a campaigner he’s a bigger bore than W’s last dry well.

Thoughts on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

By on 8.29.15 | 11:41AM

Today is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting land. While the storm is most closely associated with causing substantial destruction to New Orleans, the storm also did enormous damage in Alabama, Mississippi, parts of northern Florida as well as in the Bahamas and Cuba before striking the U.S. mainland. More than 1,800 people were killed as a result of Katrina while thousands of others were displaced. 

Al Arbour, R.I.P.

By on 8.28.15 | 6:24PM

Former NHL player and coach Al Arbour passed away today of Parkinson's and dementia. He was 82.

Arbour is best known for leading the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles in the early 1980's. Those teams included the likes of Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Billy Smith in goal. Those championship teams made Arbour the second winningest coach in NHL behind only Scotty Bowman.

Arbour also won four Stanley Cups as player - one with the Detroit Red Wings, one with the Chicago Blackhawks and two with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He would end his playing career with the St. Louis Blues where he would later become its coach before beginning his association with the Islanders in 1973.

In a classy gesture, Ted Nolan arranged for Arbour to come back and coach one more game for the Islanders in 2007. It would be his 1,500th game coaching the Islanders. Arbour became the oldest man in NHL history to win a game as a coach.