The Spectacle Blog

Kerry & Biden Meet With Israeli Opposition Leader

By on 2.8.15 | 11:44PM

While the Obama Administration refuses to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to the U.S. next month to address Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat due to the proximity of the Israeli election, both John Kerry and Joe Biden met with Israeli Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog over the weekend in Munich.

It's pretty chickensh#t, but can we expect anything less of the Obama Administration?

After all, members of Obama's campaign team have travelled to Israel to unseat Netanyahu. President Obama would rather do business with the Mullahs of Iran than with Netanyahu.

So it will be up to Netanyahu to persuade Israeli voters that they have a choice between a Prime Minister who puts the security interests of Israel first or an opposition that puts the interests of Barack Obama first. 

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Cosby Cancels Shows in Boston

By on 2.8.15 | 1:53PM

I was to have attended one of two sold out shows Bill Cosby was scheduled to perform at the Wilbur Theatre this evening. Of course, I had been planning to write a piece about the show and the furor against it.

However, Cosby abruptly cancelled both performances this morning due to inclement weather. Boston has been deluged with snow over the past couple of weeks with more expected tonight through early Tuesday morning.

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Thoughts on Brian Williams’ Leave of Absence

By on 2.8.15 | 1:37AM

In the wake of his admission he had not been aboard a helicopter which took RPG fire in 2003 and his subsequent non-apology apology, Brian Williams has announced he will be taking "several days" off from his position as anchor at NBC News. Weekend anchor Lester Holt will substitute for him in the interim.

I read this in one of two ways.

First, this may be Williams' face saving way of resigning without going through the motions of actually resigning. Several days turns to several months and then NBC quietly announces that Holt is the permanent anchor.

Alternately, Williams steps away with the hope that the memory of the embarrassing episode will recede in a few months at which time he would sit back down at the anchor desk. 

Of course, all of this will depend on NBC News' ratings during Williams absence. 

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Fort Hood Families to Receive Purple Hearts…Finally!!!

By on 2.6.15 | 11:34PM

Finally, some good news.

After the Obama Administration refused to give the families of those who perished at Fort Hood Purple Hearts because they considered it an act of workplace violence, they have now done an about face.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh has now announced that the Obama Administration will go along with the new law which the previous Congress passed in December that allows military personnel to be eligible for Purple Heart designation if they are killed or wounded in an attack carried out on U.S. soil by someone affiliated with a foreign terrorist organization. With the Purple Hearts, these families will also receive benefits. 

This was long, long overdue. But better late than never.

Even if President Obama never says the Fort Hood shootings were an attack of terrorism, the dissemination of the Purple Hearts confirms what almost of all us knew the moment we learned that Nidal Malik Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar!!!" as he killed 12 soldiers, a civilian and an unborn child more than five years ago.

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Susan Rice Wouldn’t Know an Existential Threat If It Screamed “Allahu Akbar!”

By on 2.6.15 | 9:50PM

Susan Rice, best known for claiming the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous reaction to an Internet film and that Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction, today outlined the Obama Administration's national security strategy

But, too often, what’s missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective.  Yes, there’s a lot going on.  Still, while the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or the Cold War.  We can’t afford to be buffeted by alarmism and an instantaneous news cycle.  We must continue to do the hard work of leading a complex and rapidly evolving world, of seizing opportunities, and of winning the future for our children.

 

I find it interesting that Rice that acknowledges that WWII was an existential threat. Yet consider what Winston Churchill said in the British House of Commons in November 1936:

 

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Biden to Boycott Bibi’s Speech

By on 2.6.15 | 8:11PM

Vice-President Joe Biden's office made a point of announcing that he would not be attending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress on March 3rd.

Biden is due to be out of the country. Which country Biden is going to is anyone's guess. Maybe he'll go to France with Carole King and give them a big hug. Or perhaps he'll make a point of visiting Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah to make a point of sticking it to Bibi.

It's probably just as well that Biden won't be sitting behind Bibi. He won't be rolling his eyes, making faces or laughing.

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Mugabe May Have Fallen But Not From Power

By on 2.5.15 | 10:14PM

It is good to see that Zimbabwe's President for Life Robert Mugabe is being ridiculed for having fallen following a speech given at Harare International Airport and demanded that the images be deleted from the Internet. Mugabe has been memed on social media ever since.

While Mugabe may have fallen, he has not fallen from power. Mugabe, who turns 91 later this month, has been in power since 1980 and has just been elected President of the African Union. The EU is very likely to ease travel sanctions against Mugabe because of it.

Mugabe richly deserves to be lampooned, but he is not likely to lose power anytime soon. No doubt Mugabe will take out his anger over being mocked on the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered plenty.

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Obama’s High Horse on Islam

By on 2.5.15 | 10:12PM

President Obama was in his usual form at the National Prayer Breakfast:

And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.  In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

His comments are disingenuous for three reasons.

First, it is yet another strawman argument. Can President Obama name one person who is arguing that people haven't been killed in the name of Christianity? To say that we cannot comment on the misdeeds of Islamists because Christians are not without sin is simply a cop out and an excuse to ignore our present state of affairs.

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If Brian Williams Resigns Then What About Hillary Clinton?

By on 2.5.15 | 3:28PM

If Brian Williams' disclosure that he was not aboard a helicopter that came under fire in Iraq in 2003 results in his resignation from NBC News then what will happen to Hillary Clinton's likely 2016 White House bid? If Williams can no longer be the face of NBC then can Hillary no longer be the face of the Democratic Party?

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Study Finds John Kerry Worst Secretary of State In the History of Ever

By on 2.5.15 | 1:18PM

We all knew it. Even he probably knew it. But now, there's scientific proof.

John Kerry is the worst Secretary of State in history according to a survey of professors at the top 25 foreign policy schools conducted by Foreign Policy Magazine, losing out, even, to "Don't Know."

Foreign Policy magazine this week announced the results of its 2014 Ivory Tower survey of 1,615 international relations scholars from 1,375 U.S. colleges.

One question they were asked was: “Who was the most effective U.S. secretary of state of the past 50 years?

The winner? Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry A. Kissinger, who was secretary for four years during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Since the Vietnam thing didn’t turn out so well, the scholars must have been grading him on openings to China and the Soviet Union when he was at the National Security Council?

Kissinger got 32.21 percent, extraordinary in such a large field.

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