The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on John Kasich’s Entry Into the 2016 GOP Race

By on 7.21.15 | 11:13AM

Today, Ohio Governor John Kasich will formally announce his entry into the 2016 GOP race for the White House.

Earlier this month, I saw Kasich take center seat on FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier. For someone who spent a good part of a decade on TV at FNC, he looked awkward and ill at ease. Kasich was also on the defensive, especially when Jonah Goldberg asked him about the expansion of Medicaid under the auspices of Obamacare. He made a rather peculiar explanation that he accepted the money so he wouldn’t have to keep the mentally ill in prison. Kasich then said, “Now, maybe some people want to lock up the mentally ill in prison. Maybe some people want to throw away the drug addicted.” To his credit, Baier interjected, “You’re making a leap from someone opposing Medicaid expansion to that person wanting to jail Medicaid...” but then Kasich cut him off and resumed his demagoguery.

Second Planned Parenthood Video: We Won’t Accept Bargain Basement Prices for Our Baby Parts

By on 7.21.15 | 10:57AM

There's a rule in crisis communications that says you should never fully acknowledge, apologize or excuse behavior you've kept secret until you're sure your opponent has revealed everything they have on you. After all, if you configure your response too early, subsequent revelations are likely to undercut your carefully concocted excuses, sending them crashing to the floor, and destroying your credibility. 

Cuban Embassy Opens in DC

By on 7.21.15 | 10:42AM

 As of midnight, the Cuban flag now hangs in the State Department to mark the reestablishment of political ties between Cuba and the U.S. As reported by AP and ABC news:

The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War.

 The new era began with little fanfare when an agreement between the two nations to resume normal ties on July 20 came into force just after midnight Sunday and the diplomatic missions of each country were upgraded from interests sections to embassies. When clocks struck 12:00 in Washington and Havana, they tolled a knell for policy approaches spawned and hardened over the five decades since President John F. Kennedy first tangled with youthful revolutionary Fidel Castro over Soviet expansion in the Americas.

‘Too Big Too Fail’ Needs Competition

By on 7.21.15 | 4:00AM

Progressives cheered Hillary Clinton last week when she said policy makers need to “go beyond Dodd-Frank.” She didn’t rule out repeal of some sections, but most took it to mean preserve virtually all of the law—which turns five on July 21—plus expand government intervention further into banking.

But that praise was short-lived when Clinton’s economic adviser Alan Blinder told Reuters, “You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall” reinstated in her administration. The New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act separated commercial and investment banking until it was partially repealed by the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, which passed Congress overwhelmingly in 1999 and was signed into law by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

Paul and Cruz’s Call for Increased Immigration Scrutiny in Muslim Countries Would Not Have Stopped the Chattanooga Shootings

By on 7.20.15 | 1:40PM

In the wake of last week’s shooting at two separate military facilities in Chattanooga that claimed the lives of four Marines and one Navy sailor, GOP presidential candidates Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have called for greater scrutiny on people entering America from Muslim countries.

During an interview with Breitbart News last week following a campaign rally in Houston, Paul stated, “I’m for increasing scrutiny on people who come on student visas from the 25 countries that have significant jihadism. Also, any kind of permanent visas or green cards, we need to be very careful. I don’t think we’re being careful enough with who we let in."

Paul went on to say that he would see if Congress would reinstate NSEERS (National Security Entry Exit Registration System), which was in place during the Bush administration. It required males over the age of 16 from designated Muslim countries either entering or residing in the United States to be subject to being photographed, fingerprinted, and interrogated by the INS.

After Chattanooga Shooting, Obama Hits Links, NYC

By on 7.20.15 | 1:17PM

Last Thursday, four Marines and a US Navy Petty Officer were murdered in a shocking attack of domestic terrorism, when a gunman opened fire first on a military recruitment center and then at a military base, where he was shot dead in a firefight with police. Authorities have released the name of the shooter, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, but have yet to formally determine a motive. They are focusing on Abdulazeez's diary, a text message he sent to a friend before he began his shooting spree, and a trip that Abdulazeez took to Jordan last year, as well as Abdulazeez's history with depression and alleged physical abuse

Thoughts on ‘Trainwreck’

By on 7.20.15 | 12:29PM

Over the weekend, my roomie Christopher Kain and I went to see Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer. We had seen the trailer when we went to see Ted 2 a couple of weeks earlier and were intrigued.

In recent months, Schumer has emerged as comedy’s it-girl, especially after she pranked Kanye West and Kim Kardashian by deliberating falling in front of them at the TIME 100 Gala in New York City last April and was particularly witty in her appearance with Jimmy Kimmel shortly thereafter. So why not?

After seeing the movie, I read Armond White’s review of it at NRO. It’s pretty safe to say that he didn’t like it much:

Are You Ready for Chillary Clinton?

By on 7.20.15 | 12:03PM

While the left was eating its own at Netroots Nation in a three-way war for attention, Hillary Clinton was sitting out the annual gathering of progressive agitators in favor of a relaxing weekend, recording videos about beer koozies. 

America, are you Ready for Chillary? Because she's ready for you.

The "Chillary" beer koozie is for sale on the Clinton campaign website, for a mere $10 for a set of two. 

You can apparently be the "coolest" (har!) person at the party with your Chillary canteen. Because nothing says "I'm really with it!" like your overt support for a septugenarian retread candidate from the mid-1990s. 


Donald Trump Hits at John McCain’s Service Record, Presumptively Implodes

By on 7.20.15 | 11:23AM

Even though his sudden uptick in the polls had me a little queasy, there was something inherently valuable about a Donald Trump candidacy: he made all of the other fourteen (fifteen?) candidates look sane and normal by comparison. I can't say with any honesty, like Jeffery Lord, that Trump was "speaking truth to power" with his bizarre, rambling speeches, but I can say that, for a campaign that has now started almost two years out, he's a brief, if challenging bit of entertainment.

This weekend, though, he went off the proverbial "deep end," wasting any legitimacy his campaign had on a quip about, of all people, John McCain. 

Donald J. Trump has made his name in politics with provocative statements, but it was not until Saturday, after the flamboyant businessman turned presidential candidate belittled Senator John McCain’s war record, that many Republicans concluded that silence or equivocation about Mr. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric was inadequate.

U.N. Security Council Okays Iran Nuclear Deal

By on 7.20.15 | 10:53AM

Less than a week after the Iran nuclear deal was reached, it has been approved unaminously at the UN Security Council.

This, of course, is hardly a surprise. After all, the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated with the P5 + 1. The P5 refers to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

But what it also means is that even if Congress somehow blocks the deal, sanctions relief will proceed with China, Russia, and Europe eager to resume doing business with Iran. Not that they haven’t been doing business with the Mullahs already, particularly the Russians.