The Spectacle Blog

5 Observations of The ABC NH GOP Debate

By on 2.7.16 | 4:13AM

I won't give my usual debate post-mortem because I did not see the debate in its entirety. Due to a previous commitment, I only caught the last half hour of the debate. I have subsequently watched much of it online and here are my observations.

1. Marco Rubio Got Bloodied Again

For the second debate in a row, Marco Rubio got bloodied. Last time around, it didn't affect him so much as he finished a strong third in Iowa. I'm not so sure lightning strikes twice. Chris Christie popped him hard and his counterpunches weren't particularly effective. Christie spent much of the night comparing Rubio to Barack Obama (i.e. first term Senator). Rubio should have said, "During this campaign, you have called Barack Obama feckless. Did you call him feckless after you hugged him during Hurricane Sandy?" But Rubio isn't a street fighter and tonight it might have cost him.

2. Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich All Had Good Nights

Hillary Clinton, Not Goldman Sachs, Set Six Figure Speaking Fees

By on 2.5.16 | 4:48PM

During last night's debate, Hillary Clinton insisted that, despite her career in public office, preceded by her career as the wife of someone in public office, preceded by a career as an aspirant to public office, that not of that made her an 'Establishment' candidate. Additionally, Hillary Clinton insisted, she couldn't possibly be 'Establishment' because she's a woman, and as we all know, as long as you have a functioning set of ladyparts, there's no chance you could be part of the corrupt and incestuous Washington elite, trading niceties and Cayman Islands banking advice with DC's shadow financiers. 

Ask Amelia: Be Your Best Valentine

By on 2.5.16 | 4:03PM

Ed note: Lets have a warm welcome for Amelia Hamilton, as she graces the Spectacle blog with her best advice for how to negotiate a happy Valentine's Day for you and your sweetie. 

Welcome to Ask Amelia! Once a week, I will answer your questions, solve your quandaries, and life coach you through the trials and tribulations of life. For my first two installments, it’s all about Valentine’s Day and questions of the heart.


Without further ado, here we go.

Dear Amelia,

If blondes have more fun and redheads are more fun, then how come I’m so fond of brunettes.



Dear Coastie,

ABC Hides Carly

By on 2.5.16 | 3:29PM

Carly Fiorina belongs on the debate stage Saturday. She has the intelligence, values, biography, experience, and temperament to be taken seriously by serious conservatives. Like my friend Aaron Goldstein, I too have no idea why an obviously qualified candidate has not gotten more traction with Republican primary voters.

But it’s easy enough to understand ABC’s motivation for keeping her off the stage, even though there is room for her now that several vanity candidates have hit the silk. It would be difficult for that liberal echo-chamber to flog the narrative that the Republican Party is just a bunch of tired old country club white guys if a smart cookie of the female persuasion is in the Republican presidential mix. And in previous debates she has mixed it up very well with the boys, thank you very much.

Chelsea Clinton Accidentally Calls Bernie, “President Sanders”

By on 2.5.16 | 12:34PM

The Clinton campaign has been using Chelsea as a surrogate since the final few weeks in Iowa, even though the response to her has been lukewarm at best. They've now flown her to New Hampshire and elsewhere, where she's taking rallies to promote her mother as "Grandma-in-Chief."

Only, yesterday's speech went a little awry. While at a campaign stop in Minnesota (a must-win for the Clinton camp), Chelsea made a Freudian slip, referring to "Bernie Sanders" as "President Sanders."

Obviously, she didn't mean to suggest that her allegiances are split, but it's pretty funny nonetheless. The Clinton campaign is losing steam a little, and this can't be great for internal morale. 

#FreakoutFriday: The ZIKA Virus!

By on 2.5.16 | 12:00PM

Who isn’t a little freaked out about Zika—the mosquito-transmitted infection common in Africa and Asia and now showing up in South America? The disease is horrifying; preying on the most vulnerable humans—fetuses still growing in their mother’s wombs. Sadly, mothers who become infected with Zika are giving birth to children with deformities and brain damage. Zika is expected to reach certain areas of the United States this spring. To date, there have been 31 reported cases of Zika in the U.S; each case involving tourists who contradicted the illness outside the United States, before returning home. 

While I’m not suggesting you should freak out about Zika, you should take precautions if you’re pregnant or plan to get pregnant in the near future (read this excellent essay for tips). Yet, what’s most frustrating and worthy of a freak out is that anti-GMO activists are urging governments to dismiss a potentially life-saving solution—genetically modified mosquitos.

Santorum Should Have Told Morning Joe How Rubio Weakened Obamacare

By on 2.5.16 | 10:16AM

After endorsing Marco Rubio's candidacy, Rick Santorum went on Morning Joe and couldn't name any of Rubio's accomplishments in the Senate.

It is utterly inexcusable on both Santorum's part for a lack of due diligence and on the part of the Rubio campaign for not having a key surrogate prepared. for tough questioning.

It's all the more inexcusable when one considers that Rubio has probably done more to make Obamacare fail than anyone on Capitol Hill.

After all, it was Rubio who cleverly inserted a provision in the Omnibus Spending Bill in 2014 which barred the federal government from bailing out health insurance companies in the so-called risk corridor fund saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

While it was a temporary provision, it did much to damage Obamacare and expose its lack of financial viability.

Maurice White, R.I.P.

By on 2.5.16 | 9:38AM

Maurice White, best known as the driving force behind Earth, Wind & Fire, passed away on Wednesday after a lengthy ordeal with Parkinson's Disease. He was 74.

White began his musical career as a session drummer in the early 1960's. You can hear White on drums on Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me".

White had a long standing association with jazz legend Ramsey Lewis. He would join the Ramsey Lewis Trio as its drummer in 1966 after Isaac Holt and Eldee Young left the group to form Young-Holt Unlimited. After three years with Lewis, White left to form what would eventually become Earth, Wind & Fire.

At the height of Earth, Wind & Fire's success, White would reunite with Lewis in the mid-1970's to co-produce three of his albums - Sun Goddess, Don't It Feel Good and my personal favorite Salongo.

White also worked with Deneice Williams and The Emotions.

Shrillary Returns; Hillary Accuses Bernie of Smearing Her in MSNBC Debate

By on 2.4.16 | 11:19PM

Against my better judgment I watched the Democrat debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on MSNBC. It will be difficult to fall asleep because I can't get Hillary's voice out of my ears.

The debate marked the return of Shrillary. The former Secretary of State was on the defensive about her links to Wall Street. At one point, she accused Bernie of deploying "an artful smear" against her for which drew her jeers from a mostly sympathetic crowd. If there is anyone in this country who knows about smearing people it is Hillary Clinton who then proceeded to suggest that Bernie was conspiring with Karl Rove against her and was responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. 

Donald Trump To Change Tactics in New Hampshire

By on 2.4.16 | 5:45PM

This afternoon, you may have seen a story that seems to say that Donald Trump has dropped 9 points in New Hampshire since Iowa. It's based on a Public Policy Polling infographic that seems to demonstrate a drastic drop in Donald-related interest, but it doesn't tell the whole story. 

The first poll was taken among people who self-identified as Republican. The second, lower poll, was taken among people who are routine caucus-goers. The number is lower, yes, but not for the reasons stated, though it does still demonstrate a systemic problem with Trump's campaign - the problem he and others probably feared: that fervor over his candidacy doesn't necessarily translate into votes.

Trump seems to have gotten the message in New Hampshire, but does he have enough time to successfully change course?