The Spectacle Blog

Astros Make First Trade Deadline Move, Acquire Scott Kazmir From A’s

By on 7.23.15 | 3:16PM

The Houston Astros have struck first and thus begins the journey to MLB’s July 31st trade deadline. The Astros have acquired pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Oakland A’s for two minor leaguers, pitcher Daniel Megden and catcher Jacob Nottingham.

Don’t let Kazmir’s 5-5 record fool you. He has a sterling 2.38 ERA in 18 starts for a very bad Oakland team this season. I am a little surprised that this move was pulled off given that trades usually aren’t made within the same division. But this is a good deal. Kazmir joins a rotation that includes Dallas Keuchel, who started the All-Star Game for the AL earlier this month, as well as Collin McHugh who I watched overmatch the Red Sox last night. Although, then again, who isn’t overmatching the Red Sox these days? Throw 21-year old Lance McCullers into the mix and you’ve got quite the rotation.

I Hope Mark Teixeira Writes a Book About His ‘No-Fun’ Diet

By on 7.23.15 | 2:14PM

One of the key contributors to the resurgence of the New York Yankees in 2015 is first baseman Mark Teixeira. While Teixeira is batting a modest .256 his walks put his OBP to .361. Teixeira has blasted 24 HR and is tied for the AL lead in RBIs with 65 (along with Kansas City Royals DH Kendrys Morales, who himself is having a comeback season).

To put this into perspective, through 87 games this season Teixeira has more HR and RBI than he did in 123 games last season when he hit 22 HR and drove in 62 as his .216 batting average was barely above the Mendoza Line. Earlier this month, Teixeira played in his first All-Star Game since 2009. That season, which was Teixeira’s first with the Yankees, he led the AL in home runs and RBIs. The Yankees would go on to win the 2009 World Series. Can a healthy Teixeira lead the Yankees to another World Series? I sure hope not, but’s that another story.

DOJ To Investigate Center for Medical Progress, Not Planned Parenthood

By on 7.23.15 | 12:32PM

Usually these sort of political investigations take weeks to get started, but when you're dealing with the Holy Cathedral of Feminism's ability to perform it's most important sacrament, I suppose the wheels of justice turn more swiftly. 

The Department of Justice, which has said nothing about looking into whether Planned Parenthood is engaging in what appears to be an illicit trade in baby parts - let's face it, if they were really just asking for "reimbursements," they wouldn't be haggling over the amounts - they announced this morning that they're going to be investigating the Center for Medical Progress, the organization that taped Planned Parenthood senior executives chatting about "less crunchy" alternatives to crushing aborted fetuses wholesale, while sipping on a nice Chianti and listening to the Glenn Miller Orchestra. 

Donald Trump Threatens To Run Third Party

By on 7.23.15 | 12:02PM

I don't know about any of you, but I'm full-on with The Onion at this point: I really just want to see how this Trump thing plays out. Having been in politics for over a decade now, I know it's way too early to start lobbing predictions over who will peak and who will valley and who will have a nervous breakdown on the trail and start screaming about how no one one they've hired can get them a Diet Sprite quickly enough so why even bother. Trump, at least, makes this all interesting. Otherwise, I'd jsut be covering Hillary Clinton taking foundation money from people who still stone women for driving.

De Blasio Backs Down After Uber Criticism From Ashton Kutcher

By on 7.22.15 | 3:03PM

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote an editorial in the New York Daily news promoting his restrictive position against the car service, Uber. 

Blaming the businesses for additional street congestion and pollution, De Blasio proposed legislation that would halt expansion of ride-hailing companies, such as Uber and Lyft. Today, he backed down, but not before celebirities, who would usually side with the progressive populist NYC mayor, took to social media to criticize his handling of the new shared economy.

Actor Ashton Kutcher took to social media to defend the companies. TheBlaze reported a post Kutcher made on Facebook on:

“I am beside my self with the regulation that Mayor DeBlasio is trying to force upon Uber and the citizens of NYC,” Kutcher wrote on his Facebook page Monday night. “He clearly has his pockets lined by the cab co’s.”

Chattanooga Marines Sacrificed Themselves to Save Innocent Bystanders

By on 7.22.15 | 1:00PM

We're gradually getting more details about last week's Chattanooga terrorist attack that took the lives of five servicemen. Much of the news is both revealing and depressing: the shooter, for example, kept a detailed diary of both his ideology and his drug use, a dangerous combination, and some of the servicement, it turns out, may have been armed with personal weapons they never got the chance to use. 

Today, according to a report from the New York Times, it seems we have a better understanding of why some of the Marines took fire: the courageous men who perished in the attack were trying to distract the shooter from a much larger crowd of innocent bystanders. Effectively, the Marines killed in Chattanooga sacrified themselves to save more lives.

According to reporting from The New York Times, some of the Marines killed in the Chattanooga shooting were killed trying to draw the gunman’s fire away from another, larger group of innocent bystanders.

Hillary Clinton Tanks in Key Swing States

By on 7.22.15 | 12:34PM

Hillary Clinton has been busily targeting Iowa voters with her "Chillary" campaign, looking desperately to the people of middle America to recognize her right to the Iron Throne.

But as she's been handing out beer koozies to Des Moines residents and inviting Cedar Rapids soccer moms to private dinners where she can pick their brains, her numbers have been tanking across the board - not in early states, but in the swing states she needs to top Republicans in the eventual 2016 contest. According to a new poll from Quinnipiac, Clinton is being creamed by the three top Republican candidates everywhere it counts.

Theodore Bikel, R.I.P.

By on 7.22.15 | 10:39AM

Actor and musician Theodore Bikel passed away yesterday of natural causes at the age of 91. Bikel is best known for playing Tevye in the Broadway classic Fiddler on the Roof.

Bush Fears Walker

By on 7.21.15 | 4:07PM

Scott Walker’s campaign must be in a jubilant mood with Jeb Bush making a point of singling him for criticism on Iran’s nuclear deal. To be precise, Bush criticized Walker for vowing to tear up the Iran nuclear deal on his first day in office.

This elevates Walker in much the same way President Obama elevated Walker when he directly criticized him over signing right to work legislation in Wisconsin back in March and again the following month when Obama said that Walker needed to “bone up on foreign policy” in an interview with NPR. And guess what Obama was criticizing Walker over? You guessed it. Over Walker’s vow to tear up the Iran nuclear deal on his first day in office.

Gay Pride Event Bans Drag Because It Offends Transgendered

By on 7.21.15 | 3:39PM

An LGBT pride march in Scotland has banned “cis” drag queens from marching out of the fear that it could offend transgender people.

Free Pride Glasgow is scheduled to take place in August, and bills itself as an alternative to the city’s main Pride event, which has allegedly become too commercialized.

“It was felt by the group within the Trans/Non Binary Caucus that some drag performance, particularly cis drag, hinges on the social view of gender and making it into a joke, however transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke,” organizers said in a statement.

According to the statement announcing the policy, some transsexuals found drag performances offensive because it “hinges on the social view of gender and making it into a joke.”

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