The Spectacle Blog

Paul Revere, R.I.P. - UPDATED

By on 10.5.14 | 3:36AM

Paul Revere, founder of Paul Revere & The Raiders, passed away yesterday at the age of 76. His death was announced on the band's official website. He was 76. 

The cause of death has not been released, but he had been in poor health for the past year or so. In July, Revere reluctantly announced his retirement after 56 years in the music business.

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Baby Doc Dies

By on 10.5.14 | 1:44AM

Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Haiti's former President of Life, died on Saturday of a heart attack. He was 63.

Duvalier became President of Haiti in 1971 at the age of 19 following the death of his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

The younger Duvalier picked up where his father left off. Backed up by the notorious Ton Ton Macoute, thousands of political opponents were jailed or murdered. Amidst this backdrop of death, destruction and poverty, Duvalier lived a life of opulence. As with his father, successive administrations both Democratic and Republican tolerated the Duvaliers because of their anti-communist stance against Cuba. Unfortunately, just because one is an anti-communist, it doesn't make one in favor of freedom and liberty.

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Giants Edge Nationals in 18 Inning Epic

By on 10.5.14 | 12:50AM

Wow! This post-season is producing some memorable games.

The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals went 18 innings in Game 2 of the NLDS with the Giants winning 2-1. The Kansas City Royals aren't the only ones who can play the extra inning ball. At six hours and 23 minutes, this was the longest game in post-season history. In term of innings, it matches the 18 inning marathon between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS which the Astros won on a home run by Chris Burke. Tim Hudson started that game for the Braves. He also started tonight's game for the Giants.

Hudson and Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann (fresh off his no-hitter) were locked in a pitcher's duel. After struggling for much of the second half, Hudson threw 7 1/3 innings giving up only one run on seven hits. That run came on a single by Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon. 

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What About Rescuing Peter Kassig and Other Hostages Held by ISIS?

By on 10.4.14 | 3:10PM

Yesterday, ISIS released a video in which the so-called "Jihadi John" beheaded British aid worker Alan Henning. The video also showed American aid worker and former U.S. Army Ranger Peter Kassig. Jihadi John said Kassig would be killed if U.S. led military operations in Iraq and Syria did not cease.

If we are not prepared to pay ransom for Kassig (as Ben Stein has argued we ought to do) as we did with Bowe Bergdahl then why not organize a covert operation to rescue Kassig and the other hostages? Otherwise, we are going to be seeing a lot more videos from ISIS. More videos means more dead Americans, Brits and other Westerners. Let's put ISIS out of the movie business. 

 

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Cardinals Come Back Against Clayton Kershaw

By on 10.3.14 | 11:36PM

A couple of days ago, I declared it would be damn near impossible for anything to top the A's-Royals AL Wild Card game.

Well, Game 1 of the NLDS between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers came pretty close

It was expected to be a pitchers' duel between Dodgers ace and likely NL Cy Young/MVP Clayton Kershaw and Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, the best pitcher in MLB never to have won a Cy Young. These expectations would not be met. 

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Lindsey Graham Considering Presidential Run Because Why Not

By on 10.3.14 | 2:20PM

In case you were wondering if there would be a candidate in the 2016 Presidential field whose primary slogan would be "let's bomb everything," (and who wasn't?) you need not wonder any longer. Although the current crop of potential nominees has expressed a slightly more nuanced view of foreign policy than, say, John McCain, at least one member of Congress feels that there should be a voice for the downtrodden Establishment among the crowded field.

Lindsey Graham, best known for his steadfast commitment to, well, nothing, is likely to declare his candidacy for President. In the event, you can't find someone better, of course.

In an interview with Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, the senator, running for re-election to the Senate this year, said: “If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody’s out there talking — me and McCain have been talking — I may just jump in to get to make these arguments,” Graham said.

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Larry Craig used campaign money to pay for his ‘wide stance’ defense

By on 10.3.14 | 12:01PM

Remember Larry Craig, the Republican lawmaker who was caught in a Minnesota airport bathroom trolling for anonymous gay sex? You don’t? Allow me to refresh your memory.

At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly.

According to Larry right after he was nabbed for the incident, it wasn’t his fault he’d “accidentally” solicited the person in the stall next to him for an afternoon delight. He merely held a “wide stance” when he did his business, and it’s not his fault that his foot accidentally grazed the foot of his neighbor. After accepting that his secret shame had been revealed to the voters of Minnesota, who went on to elect such luminaries as Michele Bachmann and Al Franken, Craig pled guilty to disorderly conduct, a plea that he, apparently, immediately regretted. Because, it turns out, he enlisted a team of lawyers to help him reverse it, to the tune of $242,000, a healthy sum he happily paid out from his campaign coffers.

Which is illegal.

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White House hosted most expensive state dinner ever for Indian PM (who didn’t eat)

By on 10.3.14 | 10:06AM

According to a Freedom of Information Act request from CBS News, Americans have paid out $1.5 million to feed the Obama family and their guests as they entertain Heads of State at the White House. That number is, of course, hardly surprising. A good state dinner should run you into the hundreds of thousands lest that person’s country encounter a faux pas or a bad potato, thus destabilizing an otherwise natural and congenial diplomatic relationship. Plus, the Obama Administration has, through State Dinners, unwittingly launched at least one reality television career. So it practically pays for itself.

This time, however, the White House hosted newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a dinner that cost approximately half a million, even though the guest of honor didn’t eat a single bite. While the President’s entourage dined on fresh halibut, roti crisps, saffron basmati rice and mango creme brulee, PM Mondi drank a glass of warm water, in observance of a nine-day ritualistic fast.

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Obama’s Cowardly Behavior Towards Netanyahu

By on 10.2.14 | 5:06PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is understandably miffed with President Obama's criticisms of settlements (through WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest) considering he had met with him only hours without bringing up the subject.

So why did Obama behave in this manner? I suspect he did this because Netanyahu publicly admonished Obama not enter into nuclear deal with Iran that leaves the Mullahs on the "threshold" of being able to develop nuclear weapons. This is, after all, a matter of Israel's very survival.

But Obama doesn't take criticism well and wanted to get back at him. So once Bibi was safely away from the White House and on his way back to Jerusalem, Obama sent out Earnest to do a job he wouldn't do himself.

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