The Spectacle Blog

The Ebola Scare Has Been Awesome for Ebola Lobbyists

By on 10.23.14 | 4:26PM

You might be terrified to leave your house lest you catch the Ebola from a male stripper or two, but there are a few health care lobbyists in Washington who couldn't be more pleased that Americans are shivering at the thought of a disease that has killed less people than have been married to Kim Kardashian. 

According to a recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics, health-related lobbying has, in some cases, doubled in just the last few weeks, especially for companies that have Ebola-related treatments in the experimental phases (as if you thought only the government was responsible for developing an emergency Ebola vaccine) and who specialize in infectious disease response.

One such company who doubled the amount they spent on lobbying is Sarepta Therapeutics. Sarepta Therapeutics has been pushing its experimental Ebola treatment AVI-7537 for some time now. In the past, the group has never spent more than $40,000 annually on their lobbying tab. Now,in the third quarter alone, the company has poured $80,000 into lobbying efforts.

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Will Michelle Obama Run for Senate?

By on 10.23.14 | 4:14PM

A few months ago, there were rumors that the Obamas were going to move back to Chicago after they finished their tenure in the White House so that they could prepare Michelle to pick up the dynasty's reins with a run for Senate against Mark Kirk in 2016. As promising as that sounds to all of us in the Windy City (because who can't get enough of people who barely served our population before we sent them to Washington?), it soon became clear that no one with the Obama name would be inflicting themselves on any rust-belt states anytime soon. Plus, when Presidents consider retirement homes, they don't usually select them in places they can only golf three months out of the year.

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Before Kevin Vickers There was René Marc Jalbert

By on 10.23.14 | 1:41PM

Earlier today, Emily submitted a post about Canadian House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers getting a standing ovation from parliamentarians on all sides of the House for putting an end to the terrorist scumbag who killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian War Memorial yesterday and saving countless lives of those inside Centre Block on Parliament Hill.

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Memo to Bruce Bochy: More Lincecum, Less Strickland

By on 10.23.14 | 12:27PM

Now onto some lighter things.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy will one day be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame regardless if the Giants can win their third World Series title in five years.

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Canadian Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers Gets Standing Ovation

By on 10.23.14 | 12:17PM

Yesterday morning, Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers was just that guy who totes a giant golden mace around the Canadian Parliament. Yesterday afternoon, Kevin Vickers became a global hero as he stopped an active shooter in his tracks. This morning, as he did his ceremonial entrance to Parliament, Kevin Vickers got a standing ovation for his bravery and quick-thinking

As Kevin Vickers carried the ceremonial golden mace into the House of Commons on Thursday, MPs and staff rose to their feet to applaud his bravery the day before. Prime Minister Stephen Harper crossed the House to shake his hand, hug him, and then hugged opposition leaders Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau.

Less than a day earlier, Vickers was credited with shooting and killing the gunman who stormed parliament after having killed a soldier at the national war memorial down the street.

Many of the MPs and leaders rose to pay tribute to the Parliament's security forces and to speak on the subject of terrorism. 

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Will Chaya Zissel Braun Get The Klinghoffer Treatment?

By on 10.23.14 | 11:37AM

The death of a Chaya Zissel Braun, an American infant, at the hands of a Palestinian terrorist comes only days controversial opera The Death of Klinghoffer premiered at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

For those of you not old enough to remember, Leon Klinghoffer was an elderly man bound in a wheelchair who was sailing aboard the Achille Lauro when it was seized by Palestinian terrorists who saw fit to shoot Klinghoffer in his wheelchair and throw him overboard simply because he was Jewish. The Death of Klinghoffer has been condemned for its sympathy towards the Palestinian terrorists who murdered Klinghoffer.

All of this makes me wonder if in 30 years from now, the Met will premier an opera titled The Death of Chaya Zissel Braun. If Palestinian apologists can defame a wheelchair bound elderly man because he is Jewish then they can surely get around to defaming to a stroller bound infant girl because she is a Jew.

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Harper Calls Ottawa Shootings Terrorism; Obama Equivocates

By on 10.23.14 | 1:08AM

Let's compare what Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Obama had to say about yesterday's events in Ottawa and the shootings in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu on Monday.

Here is part of Harper's televised address to Canadians:

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

For good measure, Harper also said the man responsible for killing the soldier in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu was an "ISIL-inspired terrorist."

Now here's part of what Obama said at the White House:

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Infant Girl Killed in Terrorist Attack in Israel - UPDATED

By on 10.22.14 | 8:38PM

With everything that has gone on in Ottawa today, a terrorist attack in Israel is easily overshadowed but is no less evil.

A convicted Palestinian terrorist rammed his vehicle into a group of civilians at a light rail stop in Jerusalem killing a three month old girl in a stroller and injuring seven others including three American tourists.

The terrorist fled the scene but was shot and killed by police. At this point, it isn't clear if this terrorist was part of this year's prisoner exchange or part of the exchange which resulted in the release of Corporal Gilad Schalit. What is clear is that once a Palestinian terrorist, always a Palestinian terrorist. Releasing Palestinian terrorists was supposed to result in peace, but instead it results in more violence against Jews, including a little girl in a stroller.

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A C-Minus Government Calls for a Convention of the States

By on 10.22.14 | 4:51PM

Americans aren’t too impressed with the performance of their government.

A fresh poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reveals how voters grade elected officials: a C-minus, or a 2.1 GPA. Individual politicians and parties scored even lower.

Approval for Congress’s job performance reached an all-time low since NBC and the WSJ began polling in 1995. Barely 40 percent think President Obama is doing a good job, and the numbers only get worse from there. Only one in four Americans believe the country “is on the right track.”

One number might scare incumbents up for re-election next month:

Fifty-five percent of respondents say they would vote every member of Congress out of office if they could.

Most people prefer a new face to a political veteran. Recent Gallup polls concur that Americans are increasingly fed-up with Congress and ready for a shake-up.

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Democratic Lead Among Women Evaporates

By on 10.22.14 | 3:37PM

According to a new AP-GfK poll, the Democratic lead among women has almost completely evaporated. Turns out, a couple of years to think about their vote, and probably fewer commercials berating Republicans for their systemic oppression of American women by forcing them to purchase generic birth control pills at Wal-Mart will greatly alter the split between parties among female voters.

Women have moved in the GOP's direction since September. In last month's AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

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