The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on Tonight’s Canadian Election Debate

By on 9.17.15 | 10:29PM

I caught the last half hour of this evening's Canadian election debate which was broadcast on C-SPAN.

Tonight's debate took place in Calgary and concentrated on the economy and feature Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair who leads the NDP and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau. Unlike last month's debate, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was not included.

If I'm Harper and the Tories I am far more worried about Mulcair and the NDP than I am about Trudeau and the Liberals. Mulcair was calm, cool and collected. Trudeau looked about 12-years old standing next to Mulcair. Although he was passionate, he stumbled over his words and did not inspire confidence. 

While Harper did a nice job in his exchanges with Trudeau, he was on the defensive about his record and concentrated what he would do in the future as if he hasn't been Prime Minister for nearly a decade. 

Milo Hamilton, R.I.P.

By on 9.17.15 | 10:12PM

Former MLB TV and radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton has passed away at the age of 88.

Hamilton spent six decades in the broadcast booth for seven different teams beginning with the St. Louis Browns in 1953. He would also call games for the crosstown rival Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs & White Sox, the Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates before landing with the Houston Astros in 1984. Hamilton would find a home in Houston and broadcast with the team until his retirement after the 2012 season. He would be bestowed with the Ford C. Frick Award in 1992. His death comes 12 days after the passing of original Astros broadcaster Gene Elston.

But Hamilton is best remembered for his stint with the Braves and for good reason. On April 8, 1974, Hamilton called Hank Aaron's 715th career home run.

Yes, It Is Possible to Criticize ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Without Killing Its Cartoonists

By on 9.17.15 | 4:06PM

Last January, the French left-wing satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo became a household word when 12 people including eight of its staff were massacred at their headquarters in Paris. International solidarity came in the form of the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie.

Now Charlie Hebdo is coming under fire for publishing two cartoons about the Syrian refugee crisis which depict Aylan Kurdi, the deceased boy found washed up on a Turkish beach earlier this month. The first cartoon depicts Kurdi with the caption (as translated into English reading) “So close to the finish.” Behind the deceased child is a McDonald’s sign which reads, “Two children’s meals for the price of one.” The second depicts a Christ-like figure walking on water standing next to a dead child whose feet are sticking out of the water. Besides the Christ figure it reads, “Christians walk on water,” while by the dead child it reads, “Muslim children sink.” The overall caption reads, “Proof that Europe is Christian.”

Ann Coulter is Now Suddenly Concerned About The Number of Jews in America

By on 9.17.15 | 12:26PM

After spending more than five hours live blogging both GOP debates, I caught Ann Coulter’s tweet, “How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?”

I couldn’t quite believe what I saw. I had to check to make sure I was reading what I thought I had just read. At that moment, I retweeted her tweet with the comment, “Are you going Pat Buchanan on us?”

It would seem so. Some of her other tweets included, “Good grief! Huckabee is running for PM of Israel,” “Cruz, Huckabee Rubio all mentioned ISRAEL in their response to: "What will AMERICA look like after you are president," and “Christie also talks @ Israel in response to the question: What will AMERICA look like after you are president?”

Five Things You Need to Know About the Debates Last Night

By on 9.17.15 | 11:28AM

The man who can regurgitate everything did not win last night's America's Got Talent. In other news, there were two debates, pitting the fifteen remaining Republican candidates against each other in two separate battles royale lasting almost six hours of my life that I will never get back.

Since I watched it so you wouldn't have to (you can scroll through our debate live-blog a little further down in the Spectacle), here are five things you need to know about last night's debate.

What Does It Take?

By on 9.17.15 | 10:52AM

Most of the post-fight commentators agreed with me that Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio “won” CNN’s widely-viewed “Wednesday Night Fights.” They gave the same reasons for this that I would have given on camera.

Mystifying, however, on the subject of the Donald, the same folks all gave some version of, “He didn’t do all that well but he didn’t hurt himself.”

Could this be true? Have I lived so long that being rude, arrogant, inarticulate, unresponsive, and borderline incoherent no longer carry any political price?

CNN Reagan Library GOP Main Debate Post-Mortem

By on 9.16.15 | 11:36PM

Thanks again to those of you who followed us at #SpectacleDebate this evening. Here is my post-mortem for this evening's main debate.

Rand Paul - Donald Trump said Paul had no business being on the stage. As much as I hate to agree, he's right.

Mike Huckabee - Was largely neglected during the debate, but when he spoke he acquitted himself well on Iran and Kim Davis. However, he simply lacks the broad support necessary to be the GOP nominee.

Marco Rubio - Very strong performance. He knows his stuff, is a beacon of sobriety who is not intimidated by Donald Trump. Don't count him out.

Ted Cruz - Like Huckabee, he was largely overlooked but spoke well when called upon. He said he regretted his support for John Roberts but he nor any other President can guarantee how a Supreme Court justice on any given case. There's no guarantee Edith Jones and Mike Luttig wouldn't have disappointed Cruz if they had been appointed to the SC. As with Huckabee, Cruz cannot appeal beyond conservatives and is too timid where it concerns Trump.

CNN Reagan Library GOP Undercard Debate Post-Mortem

By on 9.16.15 | 8:01PM

Thank you for following us at #SpectacleDebate for the GOP Undercard Debate. Here is my post-mortem of this debate.

George Pataki - He gave a great argument as to why Kim Davis should have been fired, but in so doing will lose the 1% of support he has in polls. 

Rick Santorum - He gave an impassioned defense for raising the minimum wage and by extension the American worker. It does make him stand out, but I doubt it will resonate with most Republicans. But then again Santorum doesn't give up easily.

Bobby Jindal - He got into it with Santorum over immigration and Graham over the Senate's Iran vote. But for the most part he stuck with his stump speech. I don't think he got much out of this debate.

The Spectacle Live Blogs the Debates - RIGHT HERE!

on 9.16.15 | 3:49PM

Join us tonight as we live-blog the spectacle that is the debate, live from the Spectacle, during the debates.

You can watch the Tweets as they appear by searching the #SpectacleDebate LiveBlog, or you can view them right here in this window. The Tweets will refresh regularly, and you can interact with us as we take the potential Republican nominees to task for their respective performances.

This page will automatically launch as a LiveBlog at 6pm EST

Live Blog Republican Debate LiveBlog

Russia’s Escalation in Syria

By on 9.16.15 | 2:01PM

What on earth is Russia doing in Syria? This question has no doubt crossed many minds in recent days, as Russia began to move substantial arms and troops into Syria. There are two possible scenarios: 1) with diplomatic ties at an all time low, and heavy sanctions already in place, Russia has decided it has nothing to lose in defying the West and backing the Assad regime militarily to the bitter end; or 2) Russia is maneuvering to give itself diplomatic leverage in any Syrian settlement by raising the stakes now. Though the latter is more likely, it’s difficult to know which scenario is accurate, further complicating already tortuous U.S. policy towards Syria.