This morning, a bunch of science-focused entertainers, whose greatest contribution to actual science involved starring in science fiction shows and occasionally chatting about their experiences on podcasts and Twitter, were losing their minds over Ted Cruz's appointment as chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee which will give him, among other responsibilities, oversight of NASA. According to said entertainers, unschooled in the basics of conservative and libertarian ideology, Ted Cruz will most certainly use his new power to gut the space program and retask all Federally-employed scientists with figuring out how dinosaurs could peacefully coexist with humans in the Garden of Eden just short of 10,000 years ago.
The Spectacle Blog
I'm not sure if this is surprising, considering he was on a losing ticket in 2012, but Paul Ryan will not be running for President a second time. Although it does not say that he's declining the opportunity out of fear that he could end up on a ticket with Mitt Romney again, I'm sure that played into his decision.
At any rate, he is at peace with the decision and will, instead, continue to seek his rent in the House.
I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016," Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is "at peace" with the decision he made "weeks ago" to forgo a bid for the White House.
"It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people - from friends and supporters - but I feel like I am in a position to make a big difference where I am and I want to do that," he said.
The nine-term congressman believes he can make that "big difference" in his new role as chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee rather than as a presidential contender.
Yesterday's rally in Paris evoked a powerful image of numerous world leaders standing in solidarity against Islamic terrorism.
But so much for solidarity. French President François Hollande did not want Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend. Hollande didn't want Netanyahu to attend because he believed that Bibi would draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Hollande also told Mahmoud Abbas not to attend either. More on Abbas later.
However, when Netanyahu learned that Avigdor Lieberman and Neftali Bennett would be in attendance, he reconsidered. While Hollande said it was OK for Netanyahu to come, he was furious and then promptly invited Abbas as well. Hollande showed his displeasure with Netanyahu when he walked out of the Grand Synagogue of Paris right before Bibi was to give his remarks.
U.S. CENTCOM was forced to shut down its Twitter and YouTube accounts today after they were hacked into by a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate. There were tweets praising ISIS and threatening American soldiers such as "AMERICAN SOLDIERS. WE ARE COMING. WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS." The hackers also published the phone numbers and e-mail accounts of high ranking Army officers while videos glorifying ISIS found their way onto the YouTube account.
Coming after a day when the U.S. failed to stand up for freedom with the rest of the world in France, this doesn't inspire confidence. All of this makes us look very unprepared, vulnerable and weak.
Notorious cheeseheads Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senator Paul Ryan decided to bundle up in their Sunday finest and attend yesterday's NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, which, combined with Dallas's Detroit Lions shellacking, almost forced yours truly to root for the Green Bay Packers.
Almost. You have to remember I live in Chicago, where rooting for the Green Bay Packers is almost as much of a sin as asking that the local Democratic Party machine not allow your dead body to vote in all future elections.
Anyway, while Chris Christie was safely ensconsed in his warm, toasty owners box with his best friend, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Walker and Ryan were establishing prevailing optics for their 2016 primary contests by freezing in Lambeau's stands like the rest of the die-hard Packer fans. And they made sure that, when the Cowboys eventually lost to the Green Bay Packers, that Chris Christie was properly shamed.
Like all potential 2016 Presidential candidates worth the cardboard they're printed on, Mike Huckabee will release a book detailing his life story, his political intentions and his feelings about subjects of great importance to the American public. The book, whose not-at-all-pandering title is God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, will utilize Huckabee's "straight shootin' style," will deliver a "realistic yet optimistic approach to moving America forward," and will feature the former governor in as many button-down plaid shirts as possible.
His first target in the war on everything that is ripping America apart at the seams? Beyonce.
The former Arkansas governor and Fox News talk-show host – a conservative Republican and musician himself who knows how to get attention – is coming out with a new book, new book God, Guns, Grits and Gravy in which he levels a scalding review of Jay Z and Beyoncé and their explicitly steamy "Drunk in Love" duet at the Grammys.
If you already own the Ted Cruz coloring book you can now expand your collection of kid-oriented political fare concerning the 2016 Presidential candidates.
For a mere $10, starting tomorrow, you can become the proud owner of Hillary: The Coloring Book, which will depict the former First Lady in 30 classic Clinton moments, from her idyllic childhood, to her hard-barganing days as the Secretary of State. And, as expected, you or any child you're willing to expose o Hillary-related propaganda, can design a whole wardrobe of pantsuits for her to take on the campaign trail.
"Will Hillary dust off her impressive collection of executive pantsuits and make another run at the highest office in the country?" the coloring book asks.
There's also a page devoted to the "texts from Hillary" meme, which is the photo she uses on her Twitter account.
The coloring book, which costs $10, is available Jan. 13 on Amazon for a discount. Learn more at the Ulysses Press website.
The Buffalo Bills have made a splash by hiring Rex Ryan as their new head coach.
Ryan coached the New York Jets for six seasons. After reaching the AFC Finals in his first two years at the helm of the Jets, they haven't had a winning season since. Last month, Ryan was dismissed after a 4-12 season.
While many global leaders were in Paris yesterday to stand up against violence by Islamic terrorists, Secretary of State John Kerry had far more pressing matters. Kerry was in India speaking about the violence of climate change (H/T Jeryl Bier at The Weekly Standard):
Global climate change is already violently affecting communities not just across India but around the world. It is disrupting commerce, development, and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business, and believe me, if it continues down the current trend-line, we will see climate refugees fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunity.
Yet Kerry never said that the "violence" being caused by climate change had killed anyone.
In last week’s column on “The Scalise Mess” I cited a remark by last year’s Virginia GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie. The quote was from the “Notable and Quotable” section of the Wall Street Journal. In the piece I identified Ed Gillespie as a “lobbyist, specifically, the ‘G’ in QGA Public Affairs — Quinn Gillespie & Associates.”
Ed has contacted me to say: “I left QGA in June 2007 to work in the White House for President Bush, and severed all ties with the firm. I have not lobbied at all in nearly eight years, and have no affiliation with QGA.” He adds, “I have no professional association with (QGA lobbyist) John Feehery or QGA.”
He adds: “Would you mind clearing it up for the readers of TAS (of which I’m one!).”
No problem. I was wrong, and I regret the error.
This is a good moment to reprint the Gillespie quote that got the attention of the WSJ and then myself: