The Spectacle Blog

Did Hillary Clinton Fudge Her Own ‘Military Background’?

By on 11.9.15 | 4:26PM

Hillary Clinton may be brewing her own "Ben Carson" scandal. 

Okay, so she's probably not going to attract that much attention. After all, while Dr. Carson doesn't seem to have glossed over or materially altered anything in his past, Hillary Clinton has been known to embellish her own biography a bit here and there. I mean, we all know the story of how she ran for cover, ducking sniper fire in Bosnia. Or how she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, even though he completed his frozen adventure six years after her birth. And she has yet to lay out her strategy in responding to reporters — and an international crisis — by saying a video inspired Libyans to attack and burn an American embassy and parade our dead ambassador through the streets. But at least we can go on record having covered her confusing relationship with military service.

Advice for GOP Candidates in Fox Biz Debate

By on 11.9.15 | 4:16PM

Dear Donald, Ben, Marco, Ted, Jeb, Carly, John, and Rand:

The CNBC debate moderators' repugnant performance and more recent MSM fabrications against Dr. Carson have turned the media, broadly speaking, into a target-rich environment for you.

But at a certain point, complaining about media bias is like complaining about a puppy peeing on the carpet. If you don't like it, don't get a puppy – and don't run for president.

The current front-runners, Donald and Ben, are benefiting from a slightly odd and, I hope, unsustainable cult of personality.

I don’t necessarily mean that what I hope is unsustainable is your front-runner status (though I suppose that’s also true); instead what I hope is that Republican voters will demand more from you than the non-specific bloviating (Trump) and dodging (Carson) that we’ve heard so far.

Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio Share Credit Card Debt — But Only One Faces Consequences

By on 11.9.15 | 4:04PM

The media was breathlessly covering Dr. Ben Carson last week, leaving Marco Rubio's time in the spotlight hanging. After all, before they'd caught wind of the slight difference between a "full scholarship" (which military academies do seem to offer, actually, contrary to my earlier statements and according to their websites), and Dr. Carson's own offer, they were poring over Marco Rubio's bank statements, scratching their coddled heads and wondering how anyone in America could possibly have five-figure credit card debt.

Rubio had a Republican Party of Florida American Express for approximately four years, January 2005 to December 2008. That amounted to 1,307 charges in that period, for a total of $182,072.55, in total. In the previously unreleased period of January 2005 to October 2006, Rubio spent $64,777.82 on 484 charges.

George Will’s Mistake

By on 11.9.15 | 1:29PM

George Will’s mistake was appearing with Bill O’Reilly, who is no more than a shallow, prickly, narcissistic, show-biz bully, nowhere near the scholar and acute analyst Will is. No prosecutor could proceed in the bullying way O’Reilly proceeds here without hearing: “Objection, your honor, counsel is badgering the witness.” “Sustained — clean up your act Mr. O’Reilly.”

And Bill O’Reilly calling George Will a hack is in the same Can-You-Believe-It league with the Donald saying, as he did last week, that Ben Carson “doesn’t have the temperament to be president.”   

Back in the day I didn’t think there would or could ever be a more obnoxious public personality than Howard Cosell. But O’Reilly wasn’t on the scene yet. At least Howard’s malapropisms, and Alex Karras’s reaction to them, were funny. (Howard: “His primary receivers were covered. His secondary receivers were covered. So he had to go to his tertiary receiver.” Alex: “Tertiary? — Geez, Howard, that’s not football. That’s sewage treatment.” Just so.)

Ben Carson Raises $3.5M on Media Bias

By on 11.9.15 | 12:59PM

Ben Carson had the best weekend ever, basically.

Several days after the POLITICO story about his scholarship from West Point crumbled in POLITICO's hands, Buzzfeed was able to get their grubby mitts on a story substantiating Dr. Carson's tale of stabbing another kid, thus ending CNN's related reign of terror. And while the media quickly shifted its focus to more pressing matters, like wall-to-wall coverage of a handful of Christians finding fault with Starbucks's holiday coffee cups, Republicans opened their pocketbooks and rewarded Dr. Carson for being the victim of a bizarre smear.

To the tune of $3.5 million dollars. In a single weekend.

Ben Carson said Saturday he's hauled in $3.5 million in campaign cash this week thanks to a "biased media."

The retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate claimed 10,000 donations each day of the week in a tweet.

Bernie Sanders Comes to Ben Carson’s Defense While Trump Aligns Himself with Mainstream Media

By on 11.9.15 | 10:56AM

Of all people, Bernie Sanders has come to Ben Carson's defense in the wake of Politico's non-story about whether Carson was offered a scholarship by a school he wasn't interested in attending which Ross thoroughly dissected this morning.

While it's clear Sanders doesn't agree with Carson's policy ideas he told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday:

I think it might be a better idea, I know it's a crazy idea, but maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what candidates are saying, rather than just spending so much time exploring their lives of 30 or 40 years ago. And I think the reason that so many people are turned off to the political process has a lot to do with the fact that we're not talking about the real issues impacting real people.

Latest Shots From the Circular Firing Squad

By on 11.8.15 | 2:52PM

The Latest Shots fired in the Republican circular firing squad come from Rand Paul, who is now calling Marco Rubio a neoconservative, not meaning it as a compliment (or, as is usually the case when this word is used as a pejorative, saying what the hell he means by it).

Throw this in with the Bush/Rubio sniping and the Donald, that great classifier, sorting just about everyone in the party as a loser, a laggard, an incompetent, or any of several different kinds of a fool, and I have to wonder if anyone in the Republican Party has ever heard of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Create Your Own Rachel-Free Zone

By on 11.7.15 | 11:55AM

“It doesn't say much for my social life that I had nothing better to do on a Friday night than watch the Democrat Candidates Forum on MSNBC. Somehow I managed to get through nearly two hours of Rachel Maddow.”

Geez, Aaron, has it come to this? You’re right, your social life clearly does need a jolt. You’re in a frightful slough. On a Friday night, or any other come to that, I’d consider watching Rachel Maddow right after having ten-penny nails driven into my eyeballs. I’d like to help a friend so clearly in need. Please see my list below of things to do that are more entertaining, more edifying, and more morally uplifting than watching Rachel Maddow and the trolls running for president on the D side.

1. Flea-powder the cat.

2. Arrange the ties in your closet by width.

3. Try to remember the lyrics to all the Kingston Trio’s songs.

4. Shave the backs of your hands

5. Read the collected speeches of Gerald Ford. (Do not drive or operate heavy equipment for three hours after doing this.)

6. Yodel

I Watched The MSNBC Democrat Candidates Forum Because I Had Nothing To Do On a Friday Night

By on 11.6.15 | 11:01PM

It doesn't say much for my social life that I had nothing better to do on a Friday night than watch the Democrat Candidates Forum on MSNBC. Somehow I managed to get through nearly two hours of Rachel Maddow.

To begin with it wasn't a debate. Rather Maddow interviewed each candidate individually - O'Malley, Bernie & Hillary. Bernie Sanders got more applause for walking on stage than O'Malley did in 30 minutes. I don't think O'Malley should be confused with Jim Webb but when he said he was part of the party of FDR & JFK, I said to myself that that Democratic Party is dead and gone.

The crowd was loving Bernie with ample helpings of the 1 percent, millionaires & billionaires plus the Koch Brothers. He did, however, walk a fine line on gun control.

Most who love Bernie don't hate Hillary. Bernie did not do anything to change this state of affairs. My roomie Christopher Kain summed up Hillary in this way: "We need to do something about this problem because it is an issue." He then went to bed. It might be the most intelligent and sensible I've heard about Hillary in this primary season.

Exxon Under Attack for Exercising Prudence

By on 11.6.15 | 5:34PM

At the behest of radical environmentalists, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee are pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department to investigate ExxonMobil for its views on climate change. Exxon’s crime? During the 20 years the company has employed scientists to analyze the science and potential risks of climate change, some of those scientists concluded humans were causing potentially dangerous warming while others concluded humans were not causing a global warming crisis. Tolerating disagreement and making tough business decisions is not lying, but rather prudence. As Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James Taylor, my colleague, so eloquently put it: