The Spectacle Blog

Obama Peddled Fiction in His Final SOTU Address

By on 1.12.16 | 11:11PM

I watched President Obama's final SOTU address. 

When touting his economic successes, President Obama suggested that anyone who suggested that America's economy was in decline was "peddling fiction."

Frankly, Obama's final address to Congress could be summed up as just that -- peddling fiction. His whole presidency could be described in that manner whether one wants to cite "if you like your health care, you can keep it", "ISIS is the Jayvee squad" or "red lines in Syria."

He was peddling fiction when he spoke of 18 million signed up for Obamacare. Most of those are Medicaid sign ups and a lot of others are those who lost their health insurance because of Obamacare in the first place. How many people who are signed up to Obamacare are paying higher premiums and getting less care?

Obama was peddling fiction when he said he wanted to cut red tape. This from an administration which adds thousands of pages to the Federal Register every year especially where it concerns energy and the environment?

Iran Seizes 2 U.S. Navy Boats; Imprisons 10 Sailors UPDATE: Sailors Released, Kerry Expresses Gratitude to Iran

By on 1.12.16 | 6:44PM

Iran has seized two U.S. navy boats which they allege wandered into Iranian waters en route from Kuwait to Bahrain. There are 10 Navy sailors in Iranian custody.

U.S. officials say they have been given assurances that the sailors will be released tomorrow. Forgive me if the words of the Obama Administration do not inspire confidence. Even if they are released, Iran is continuing to play games with the U.S. as they did went they tested ballistic missiles and launched a rocket within a mile of the U.S.S. Harry Truman. To take a page from Bill Clinton's book, the Iranians are doing this because they can.

White House spokesman Jen Psaki says this matter will not be addressed in tonight's State of the Union. While Obama may not address this matter, he will certainly praise the Iran nuclear deal. I wouldn't expect anything less of Obama.

Monte Irvin, R.I.P.

By on 1.12.16 | 4:37PM

Former Negro League & MLB player Monte Irvin passed away yesterday at the age of 96.

Irvin's baseball career would begin in 1938 with the Newark Eagles at the age of 19 and would play with them through 1948 except for a three year stint in the Army where he served in Europe with the GS Engineers, 1313th Battalion

When he returned to the States, Brooklyn Dodgers President & General Manager Branch Rickey approached him about the possibility of being the first African-American to play in MLB. However, Irvin felt he was rusty after being away from baseball for three years and declined. Of course, Rickey would ultimately sign Jackie Robinson.

The State of The Union Isn’t Going Anywhere

By on 1.12.16 | 3:33PM

Every year without fail someone at NRO complains about the existence of the State of the Union address.

Last year it was Charles Cooke who wrote, "As a matter of basic constitutional propriety, there is something unutterably rotten about the State of the Union.” Cooke concluded by asking, "But why, one has to wonder, does Congress continue to applaud the charade?"

This year the honors belong to Kevin D. Williamson:

Somebody should kill this hideous and depraved dog-and-pony show. If not the next Republican president, then the speaker of the House, who has it within his power to simply decline to proffer an invitation to address Congress.

Was The Shooting at a Calgary Nightclub An Act of Islamic Terrorism?

By on 1.12.16 | 12:11PM

A horrific tragedy could have taken place at a nightclub in Calgary early Sunday morning.

A vehicle approached the 10 X Nightclub and a man exited the car, walked to the club's entrance, took out a large gun and began firing inside. One man was wounded, but fortunately two of the club's bouncers subdued the gunman. Their actions saved countless lives. Calgary Police arrived shortly thereafter to arrest the gunman and one other man although a third man managed to escape and remains at large.

Kim Davis Will be at SOTU Because Why Not

By on 1.12.16 | 11:57AM

The State of the Union is never short on political statements. Michelle Obama will, tonight, be taking a page from Clint Eastwood, for example, and featuring an empty chair by her side to represent all of the voiceless victims of gun violence her husband will avenge with his slate of startlingly ineffective Executive Orders. Paul Ryan will be bringing representatives from the Little Sisters of the Poor to confront Barack Obama's lack of charity in preserving the tenets of religious freedom. Ted Cruz will be skipping the speech to make an impassioned speech somewhere in the heartland while holding the Bill of Rights. He may even be posing for a painting.

And the Family Research Council will use it's ticket to the event to bring - who else? - Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis who became a folk hero in the fight for traditional marriage after she refused to allow her employees to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples. 

Because, obviously.

Jeb Bush Makes Worst Campaign Video In History

By on 1.12.16 | 11:29AM

There was a time in my life when I was a campaign communications consultant, responsible for helping political campaigns come up with new and intriguing ways to engage voters using digital media. There is a reason I don't do it anymore, and that reason is, because no matter how many times I or any of my colleages explained that most 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, they still produced things like this.

Though, in fairness, no one I worked with ever produced something this terrible. We had to wait for Jeb Bush to waste $100 million on a campaign before we got something this terrible. Behold, the Jeb! campaign's newest whack at Marco Rubio: a LSD-inspired, trippy hit job on his heeled boots set to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking."

Because, obviously

Joe Biden Says Bernie Sanders, Not Hillary Clinton, Understands Income Inequality

By on 1.12.16 | 11:18AM

The White House is technically required to stump for the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidates this evening, laying out all of their successes in an effort to convince Americans that President Obama's tenure is in no way reflective of how other Democrats would choose to serve. There was that one time in 2009 he passed a healthcare law, but in the last 7 months or so, it's been all non-binding nuclear weapons agreements with backwater dictatorships, Executive Orders the Supreme Court will probably overturn, and that one time he opened up trade to Cuba because Beyonce wanted to go there on vacation. It's gonna be a tough sell.

Unhelpfully, this morning, the "White House," in the form of Joe Biden, also made it clear they have no intention on helping the frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. Talking about income inequality and the survival of the middle class, Joe made sure to tell the crowd of reporters that he thought Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, was in a better position to talk honestly about what it's like being merely a hundred-thousand-aire

UK Brewery Success Shows Lost Freedom in U.S. — A State of the Union Preview

By on 1.12.16 | 12:48AM

On Tuesday evening, President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. In evaluating the state of the U.S., it’s useful to look at the state of economic freedom, including the ability for ordinary Americans to start and invest in a new business without undue government interference.

By several measures, economic freedom has declined rapidly since 2009. Though some harmful policies were enacted in during the Bush administration, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting mandates that made it so much more difficult smaller companies to go public, the Obama administration has not reversed those policies and pushed through many new detriments to economic freedom. These include Obamacare, which makes it difficult for small and midsize firm to hire new employees to due to the expensive and prescriptive insurance coverage mandates, and the Dodd-Frank “financial reform,” which has crippled the ability of community banks and credit unions to lend to Main Street consumers and businesses.

Fiorina & Paul Demoted From GOP Main Stage; Paul Declines to Appear in GOP Undercard Debate

By on 1.11.16 | 10:41PM

Only seven candidates will appear on the main stage this Thursday's GOP debate on the Fox Business Channel. Both Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul have been demoted.

While Fiorina has agreed to be part of the GOP Undercard Debate with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, Paul has declined to participate. A spokesman for the Paul campaign claims he is running "a top-tier campaign." But the truth of the matter is that Paul's isolationist libertarianism simply doesn't resonate in the age of ISIS. Sharing a stage with Santorum is too much for his ego to bear. 

Yet this is also a big setback for Fiorina. Back in August, Fiorina wiped the floor with the competition at the GOP Undecard Debate and earned her way to the GOP main stage. She went face to face with Donald Trump after he made disparaging remarks about her appearance and got a boost. But Fiorina could not sustain that momentum.