The Spectacle Blog

Hillary Clinton Says “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” Still Exists

By on 2.4.16 | 1:45PM

This morning, the Des Moines Register officially called on Democratic party bigwigs to order a recount of Democratic ballots cast in Monday's Iowa Caucus. Apparently, the "quirky process" that they said led to the neck-and-neck result (which, apparently, came out in favor of Hillary Clinton, though no one seems to be able to say that with any clarity), was just a little too quirky for their taste - votes settled by coin flips, delegates seemingly assigned at random, a candidate who took credit for a win hours before anyone declared any official end to the process, and a sneaky suspicion that votes simply "went missing" in various urban precincts, all of whom, strangely, favored Bernie Sanders. 

Saloon Series — How Manhattan Made a Mockery of Prohibition

By on 2.4.16 | 12:08PM

"It should not be forgotten," writes historian Ellen NicKenzie Lawson, "that one possible derivation of the word Manhattan is the Native-American word manahachtanienk, which translates as 'place of general inebriation.'" It thus should not surprise that when the federal government imposed Prohibition, New York City became the nation's biggest scofflaw.

Drinking was a normal daily activity for many city dwellers. The poor drank in rough taverns and the working classes in beer saloons. The rich and learned had opulent clubs like the Union Club (est. 1836) and Century Association (est. 1847) where they could knock back Madeira, Champagne and anything else their bellies desired.

Hillary Claims She Wasn’t Planning to Run for President When She Accepted $675,000 From Goldman Sachs

By on 2.3.16 | 11:42PM

Against my better judgment, I watched the Democrat Town Hall on CNN hosted by Anderson Cooper. The event was broadcast in Derry, New Hampshire. 

While I think Hillary Clinton acquitted herself better than her appearance at an Iowa town hall event last week, she actually claimed that when she accepted $675,000 to make speeches to Goldman Sachs she wasn't thinking about running for President.

If I were living in New Hampshire and found out Hillary was coming to my neighborhood, I would lock up all my wordly possessions. 

Hillary Clinton has spent every waking moment of the past 15 years thinking about being President of the United States. 

Say what you will about Bernie Sanders. Much of what he says is wrong and most of his policies will not work out as he hopes. But never for a moment do I think Bernie is lying. 

When it comes to Hillary, every word out of her mouth including it and is are probably lies. 

10 Observations of Obama’s Mosque Speech

By on 2.3.16 | 11:17PM

I know Emily has written her thoughts about President Obama's speech to the Islamic Society of Baltimore with a particular focus on Obama championing religious liberty when he is unwilling to extend it to The Little Sisters of the Poor and The Hobby Lobby.

Here are ten of my observations.

 1. Obama stated, "Now, a lot of Americans have never visited a mosque. To the folks watching this today who haven't — think of your own church, or synagogue, or temple, and a mosque like this will be very familiar." Except for the fact that the former Imam at the Islamic Society of Baltimore condoned Palestinian suicide bombers. Now something tells me that the priest at your church and the rabbi at your synagogue isn't in the business of condoning the murder of innocent civilians going about their business.

President Obama Preaches Religious Freedom, Tolerance at Baltimore Mosque

By on 2.3.16 | 4:51PM

This afternoon, President Obama, sensing that his media coverage had waned, gave a speech at a Baltimore mosque, partly to impart a message of goodwill and tolerance and partly to draw out all the crazies and give liberals on Twitter a new strawman to defend.

Most of Obama's speech was fine, if nonsensical, full of platitudes about patriotism, working together, how peaceful everyone at the mosque was, and why it's so important for everyone to live in harmony, like that Coke commercial that ended Mad Men. But he also touched on religious freedom, a concept that his administration has been shockingly dense about. According to the President, he is doing everything he can to preserve free exercise in this country, because like it or not, it's in our Constitution, and darn it if it isn't important to the foundation of this great nation that everyone be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit, free from the roving eyes of government and public scrutiny.

CNN Reports Santorum Will Drop Out Tonight & Endorse Another Candidate UPDATE: Santorum Endorses Rubio

By on 2.3.16 | 3:17PM

CNN is reporting that Rick Santorum will end his 2016 presidential bid this evening and endorse another Republican presidential candidate.

Santorum's departure is only surprising in that it did not happen sooner. He could not replicate the magic of his 2012 Iowa Caucus win which briefly put a wrench in Mitt Romney's ascension to the GOP nomination. Santorum could not get out of the GOP undercard debate and his frustration grew with each debate. In his most recent debate performance, Santorum used his closing remarks to thank his supporters by name. The writing was on the wall in permanent ink. On Tuesday night, Santorum garnered only 1,783 votes registering at 1% of the total ballots cast. Unless you include Jim Gilmore, Santorum finished dead last in the race. No matter how you look at it this was quite the come down.

Bob Elliott, R.I.P.

By on 2.3.16 | 2:39PM

Comedian Bob Elliott passed away yesterday at the age of 92.

Elliott is best known for his collaboration with Ray Goulding. The team of Bob & Ray met here in Boston in the 1940's as disc jockeys for competing stations. Their comedy act began to catch on when they did broadcast in rain delays during Red Sox games. Over the next four decades, Bob & Ray were a fixture on radio and TV and even on Broadway. Sadly, Goulding passed away in 1990.

However, Elliott carried on often performing with his son Chris Elliott most notably on the FOX TV show Get a Life. His granddaugther Abby Elliott would also become a cast member on SNL.

Bob & Ray used their broadcast backgrounds very effectively. Their material was often delivered in serious and straight manner with hilarious results.

In some instances, the role of the straight man could change during the course of a skit as you can her in their "Slow Talkers of America" routine.


Rand Paul’s Bubble Popped

By on 2.3.16 | 2:01PM

Almost two years ago our Jed Babbin asked regarding Ron Paul: "The GOP nominee?" His answer: "Fat chance." And it wasn’t only on foreign policy grounds. In the presidential sweepstakes, libertarianism at its finest has its limitations. Jed's explanation is worth revisiting, now that Paul has withdrawn from presidential contention. Read it here.

Trump Accuses Cruz of Fraud in Iowa; Demands Rematch

By on 2.3.16 | 12:51PM

Less than 36 hours after congratulating Ted Cruz in his victory in the Iowa GOP Caucuses, Donald Trump is accusing Cruz of fraud and demanding a rematch.

Trump tweeted, "Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa. He stole it."

Honestly, I am surprised it took Trump this long to go after Cruz. Once again, Trump loves Cruz and now he loves him not.

If I were Donald Trump (and, believe me, I am grateful I am not, but if I were) I would concentrate on winning New Hampshire rather than re-litigating Iowa. He can't afford to choke in back to back states.

The only person Donald Trump has to blame for his defeat in Iowa is Donald Trump. If he wasn't so scared of Megyn Kelly he wouldn't find himself in this mess.

Of course, even if Trump had won Iowa he would find some other outlet for his fake outrage. This is what demagogues do.

We've had seven plus years of demagoguery. Why do we want more?