The Spectacle Blog

Phillies Trade Utley to Dodgers; Reunited with Rollins

By on 8.19.15 | 9:12PM

The Philadelphia Phillies have traded second baseman Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers. 

Utley has played with the Phillies since 2003. The trade reunites him with his double play partner Jimmy Rollins who the Dodgers acquired during the off-season. Utley and Rollins were part of a Phillies team which won five consecutive NL East titles, two NL pennants and a World Series title in 2008. The impetus for this trade was a hamstring injury to Howie Kendrick earlier this month. Both the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Angels were interested in Utley as well. The Giants regular second baseman Joe Panik is also on the DL while the Angels wanted an upgrade over Johnny Giavotella. 

Spanish Concert Organizers Apologizes to Matisyahu; Re-Invited to Perform This Weekend

By on 8.19.15 | 8:35PM

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how organizers of Spain's Rototam Sunsplash Reggae Festival disinvited Jewish hip hop, reggae performer Matisyahu from performing this weekend after Matisyahu refused to denounce Israel. After outrage ensued the promoters have publicly apologized to Matisyahu and reinstated their invitation to perform this weekend. As of this writing, Matisyahu has not indicated whether he will accept.

BDS has largely pressured artists, athletes and academics not go to Israel. But here we had the BDS demand the expulsion of a Jewish performer at a festival in Europe simply because he is Jewish. This proved to be a bridge too far.

Hillary Clinton “Happened” To Get Material That Was Later Classified. Or Something

By on 8.19.15 | 7:40PM

Allahpundit is trying to parse Hillary's spokeswoman's statement out, translating it from "Clintonese" but that's probably a losing effort.

The best can do with this statement from Brian Fallon, on a "press only" conference call this afternoon, is that Hillary Clinton did have classified emails on her server, and it's just the result of friendly aides and associates passing things around between themselves, not knowing that Hillary Clinton's server password was, in fact, "password." Hillary just happened to be the Chappaqua Hipster of Classified information: she was always in possession of it before it was classified.

Or something.

Iran Will Inspect Its Own Nuclear Site, Of Course

By on 8.19.15 | 7:07PM

If you thought that the Iran deal couldn't possibly get any worse for Americans, it's probably because you were confident that the public deal, released by the Obama Administration last month, gave the outside boundaries of the deal. Perhaps you were confident that the Obama Administration, which has yet to make much headway on its agenda, despite being only a short 18 months from exiting power, would be loathe to get such a bad deal past Congress, or you had a bizarre and unwavering faith in the International community, which while not entirely opposed to wiping Israel off the map, would be concerned that "more valuable" countries (like the ones that produce the majority of our alcoholic beverages) might find themselves on the receiving end of a pretty nasty nuclear accident.

Carly Fiorina Reviews the TSA on Yelp — And So Can You

By on 8.19.15 | 6:46PM

I don't really use Yelp unless I have a truly terrible experience somewhere, like that one time a restaurant was so disgusted with having to serve me, that they sat me near the kitchen and served me cold food for no discernible reason (did I smell? It was a French restaurant!). 

This development, of course, means I'll be doing many more Yelp reviews, I suppose: the Federal government and Yelp have teamed up to allow you to "review" Federal agencies, in a move they believe will help them determine where they lag behind in customer service. Yelp is pretty psyched about it, and the Federal government believes it's a solid step forward into the information age. Now, instead of arguing with low-level bureaucrats and then crying silently into your banana split, you can air your grievances directly to the Internet, where the Federal government is still free to ignore you

15,000 Ashley Madison Clients Used Federal Emails

By on 8.19.15 | 12:32PM

Ever wonder what the Federal employees the government considers next to impossible to fire do all day? Well, for at least 15,000 Federal employees who used their work emails to log into, a dating site that allows you to arrange "discrete" "relationships," many of which are with married individuals, that answer is pretty clear.

Ashley Madison, whose tagline is "Life is Short, Have an Affair," is the subject of a massive hack, with a group called "Impact Team" harvesting emails and holding them hostage. Last night, the hackers released the email addresses and while the database isn't secure enough to search, it contains around 37 million records. DC-based users lead the nation in Ashley Madison profiles, and the logged emails come from areas across the government, from the State Department to Homeland Security and beyond.

“What, With a Cloth?”: Clinton Dodges Server Questions During Presser

By on 8.19.15 | 11:55AM

From now on, when asked about how I feel about this Presidential election cycle so far, I'm going to answer with just this:


As we noted yesterday, the FBI is fairly confident that it can recover all of the deleted material from Clinton's email server, since much of it was migrated to other servers and the server itself wasn't physically destroyed. This will prove problematic for Clinton, since it won't just show what she deleted, but when she wiped the server, and, perhaps, who else was trying to access the server outside of the Clinton family. It's possible that the Chinese branch of the Clinton family is much larger than they previously knew.

In true Clinton fashion, she faced the press yesterday - clad in "prison jumpsuit orange," no less - and played as dumb as possible. What server? What wipe? "What is the meaning of classified material"? Do you mean wiped like with a cloth?

Yvonne Craig, R.I.P.

By on 8.19.15 | 11:21AM

Actress Yvonne Craig, best known for playing Batgirl in the Batman TV series, died of breast cancer on Monday. She was 78.

Craig had a background in ballet and joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the age of 17. During this stint, she was discovered by Patrick Ford, the son of film director John Ford, who cast her for the lead in the film The Young Land. These skills would be put to use years later when she was cast alongside James Coburn in the spy spoof In Like Flint. She also appeared in two movies with Elvis Presley — It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins — and then subsequently entered into a relationship with him.

ISIS Beheads 82-Year-Old Antiquities Scholar

By on 8.19.15 | 9:56AM

ISIS continues to outdo itself in the field of barbarity. Yesterday, they saw fit to behead Khaled Assad, an 82-year-old scholar of antiquities because he refused to tell them where the treasures of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra were hidden. After beheading Assad, they strung up his body on a column in the town’s main square. Assad had been in charge of the artifacts in Palmyra for more than half a century.

Palmyra was captured by ISIS last May at which time Assad was taken captive. While ISIS has a tendency to destroy ancient artifacts because they deem them to be unIslamic, they also sell them to finance their operations. There was also speculation that there could be gold among the artifacts.