The Spectacle Blog

Saloon Series — The Angel’s Envy Is Ours Too

By on 1.21.16 | 11:59AM

Some time in the 1990s bottles of whiskey finished in flavoring casks first landed at our door. They were Bowmore Scotch whiskies, some aged in barrels that once held Oloroso sherry, others spent time in casks that held port or Bordeaux red wine. (Use our search engine to locate our reviews of Bowmore Darkest, Dawn, Dusk, and Voyage.)

Not long afterward, Jameson 1780 Irish whiskey arrived—it too had been Oloroso cask finished.

Bourbon-makers did not take up finishing until more recently. They were content to leave their whiskeys in charred barrels the full-time. Then distiller Lincoln Henderson decided to finish fine Bourbon in port casks—thus Angel’s Envy was born.

Bernie Turns to Simon & Garfunkel For Help

By on 1.21.16 | 11:30AM

With just over 10 days remaining before the Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders is turning to an unlikely pair of political consultants for help — Simon & Garfunkel.

Bernie will be running an ad featuring shots of people, places and people and places around Bernie Sanders while accompanied by Simon & Garfunkel's "America" which is famous for its chorus "They've all come to look for America."

Last week, Emily took Jeb Bush to task for using a song based on Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" in an ad profiling Marco Rubio's boots in an effort to emphasize his shifting political positions. As Emily explains, "(M)ost Republican consultants had the pop culture knowledge of 80-year-old men and couldn't find a connection to Millennials if they were accosted by an entire room of Urban Outfitters employees."

Putin Very Likely Ordered Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko (But as Trump Says, “At Least He’s a Leader.”)

By on 1.21.16 | 10:55AM

A British inquiry into the 2006 death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko led by retired judge Sir Robert Owen has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin very likely the ordered his assassination. Litvinenko died of poisoning as a result of drinking polonium 210 which was slipped into his tea in a London hotel room.

Let's just say you can't buy polonium 210 at the Boot's drug store down the road from Westminster.

Litvinenko was a former FSB (Federal Security Service) agent who broke from the group when he accused his superiors of ordering the assassination of Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky in 1998. Berezovsky later died under suspicious circumstances in Britain in 2013. While in exile in London, Litvinenko wrote two books about the inner workings of the FSB and their efforts to bring Putin to power. But what probably sealed his fate was his allegation in October 2006 that Putin ordered the assassination of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. A month later, Litvinenko would be dead.

Why David French’s “We’re Not Democrats” Argument Isn’t Very Reassuring

By on 1.20.16 | 11:45PM

Over at NRO, David French says things aren't so bad where it concerns Republicans in the 2016 presidential race by making the "We're not Democrats" argument.

I hope French will forgive me if I don't feel reassured. Yes, it appears that Hillary Clinton has broken a litany of laws and very serious ones at that. But does anyone seriously think the Obama Justice Department is going to prosecute her? Is Bernie Sanders going to suddenly make an issue of her damn e-mails? Not a chance on both counts. Hillary is above the law and that is just fine with a lot of people in this country if it keeps Donald Trump out of the White House. 

Did Bob Dole Just Endorse Trump?

By on 1.20.16 | 4:26PM

Former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 GOP standard bearer Bob Dole appears to have endorsed Donald Trump.

It's more of a damnation of Ted Cruz. Dole predicted that if Cruz is the nominee that Republicans were "going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures.”

Nevertheless, Dole praised Trump stating he could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”

Who would have thought that Sarah Palin and Bob Dole would have endorsed Trump within 24 hours?

The world is spinning very, very fast.

Clinton Email Investigators Needed Clearance Upgrade “Beyond Top Secret” to Search Server

By on 1.20.16 | 1:20PM

Last night, as America girded its loins - or its livers - for the Trump/Palin Iowa rally, NBC News dropped a bombshell about the Clinton email investigation. Thankfully for Hillary Clinton who had just received news that she was running a full 20 points behind Bernie Sanders in the latest poll, Team Trump's Iowa antics ensured that the story flew mostly under the radar, but she may not escape the long term legal repercussions. 

According to NBC News and letter issued yesterday to Congress, the Inspector General's team looking into Clinton's private server use had to have their security clearances upgraded before they were allowed to read content in around 20 emails, some of which were marked 'Top Secret/Special Access Program,' above even the Top Secret designation found on emails before.

Charles McCulllough, the intelligence community’s inspector general, said in a letter to the chairmen of the Senate intelligence and foreign affairs committees that he has received sworn declarations from an intelligence agency he declined to name.

El Chapo Busted With Weapon Obtained in ‘Fast and Furious’ Operation

By on 1.20.16 | 12:47PM

Yesterday, a Federal judge quashed a motion by the Obama Administration claiming that the administration had "Executive Privilege" over documents and testimony pertaining to an Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms operation that sold firearms to drug dealers under the assumption that the ATF could then track the guns back to affiliates in the United States. The ATF, of course, eventually lost track of most of the weapons.

The Obama Administration initially claimed executive privilege because there were a number of emails between the White House and the Department of Justice discussing the Fast and Furious operation directly. The Federal judge saw it differently, noting that the Administration's claim on privilege is too broad; there may be some emails that are, indeed, subject to protection, but not all of them. 

Iranian Freed in Prisoner Trade Won’t Go Back to Iran

By on 1.20.16 | 12:32PM

We may have negotiated the release of 4 of our countrymen by promising the Iranians seven sanctions violators in return, but that doesn't mean Iran is getting those seven nationals back. 

Although all of the Iranians were given the green light to return to their country - flights were even booked for them out of Switzerland, where the US and Iran made the "prisoner swap" on neutral ground - but three of the Iranians being held by the US have chosen to stay here. The other four never made it to their flight in Geneva. 

None of the Iranians freed in the prisoner swap have returned home and could still be in the United States, it has been reported.

The seven former inmates, who were released as part of a deal with the Islamic republic, did not show up to get a flight to Geneva, Switzerland, where the exchange was set to take place on Sunday.

Trump’s Evolution From Liberal to Conservative is One of Convenience, Not Conviction

By on 1.20.16 | 11:59AM

In his latest salvo, Jeff is trying to sell us that Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan are two of a kind where it concerns their political evolution. He argues that if Reagan can go from supporting Hubert Humphrey bid's for the Senate to launching his own bid in the California gubernatorial race in the space of 17 years that Trump ought to be allowed to change his mind on abortion and a litany of other matters over the space of 17 years. Jeff writes, "From being a New York liberal he is now the frontrunner in the fight against the GOP Establishment that Reagan himself battled furiously and finally defeated."

This is rubbish and Jeff knows it.

Reagan's gradual evolution from liberal to conservative came about as a result of a) being in a high tax bracket north of 90%, b) his experiences with Communists who infiltrated the unions during his time as President of the Screen Actors Guild and c) his travels around the country as a spokesman for General Electric in which he interacted with small business people frustrated with over regulation and red tape.

Pages