The Spectacle Blog

Jeb Bush Has Too Much Money. Literally

By on 3.4.15 | 12:41PM

Jeb Bush maybe no one's actual choice for President, but don't tell that to the people writing him checks. 

The merry moderate, who was so enthusiastic about supporting his immigration and education policies at CPAC that his eyes practically rolled out of his head every time Sean Hannity asked a detailed question on the subject, has issued a missive to all of his big money donors: please stop writing checks for more than a million dollars, because we have so much money we don't know what to do with it.

An unusual request has gone out to wealthy donors writing large checks to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush: Please don’t give more than $1 million right away.

The requested limit, confirmed by multiple people familiar with the amount, may mark the first time that a presidential hopeful has sought to hold off supporters from contributing too much money. 

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Dr. Ben Carson Launches Presidential Campaign With Comments About Prison Sex

By on 3.4.15 | 12:27PM

Yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson announced the formation of a Presidential exploratory committee and the launch of his Presidential website. Today, he showed that the "exploration" part of that is going to a lot more labor-intensive than it should be. 

In a kick-off interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, that should have been more about Ben Carson's larger campaign plan than his theories on how people develop their sexual orientation, Dr. Carson posited that being gay is a choice, a theory apparently proven every day in our American prison system. 

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and potential Republican presidential candidate, said Wednesday that “a lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.”

The remarks were made on CNN’s “New Day” in response to a question from host Chris Cuomo, who asked if Carson thought being gay was a “choice.”

“Absolutely,” Carson replied.

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Even Al-Arabiya Thinks Netanyahu is Right

By on 3.4.15 | 12:17PM

To get an idea of just how successful Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress yesterday was please take a look at this editorial in Al-Arabiya written by Faisal J. Abbas:

It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does.

However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.

The Israeli PM managed to hit the nail right on the head when he said that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that “terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum” during a recent ceremony held in Tel Aviv to thank outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz for his role during “challenging” times.

In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region.

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Is The NYT Letting Hillary Hang Out to Dry?

By on 3.4.15 | 11:36AM

What I find most intriguing about the Hillary Clinton e-mail story is that it was broken by The New York Times.

If the NYT was vested in getting Hillary elected to the White House would it feature such a story?

Of course, the NYT wants a Democrat to succeed Barack Obama, preferably a woman. But Hillary isn't the only one who can fill those shoes now with the emergence of Elizabeth Warren.

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Obama Admits He Doesn’t Trust Iran, But Still Wants to Make a Deal Anyway

By on 3.3.15 | 5:06PM

I got to see President Obama's response to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech while I was eating lunch. I'm surprised I managed to keep my food down.

Obama spoke to the media in the Oval Office before meeting with new Defense Secretary Ash Carter. While the headlines from Obama's response was that Bibi offered "nothing new" and had "no viable alternatives" to the administration's present course of action, I was struck by something else Obama said in response to a question from Julie Pace of the AP about the appropriateness of Netanyahu's speech. Here is the part that caught my attention:

And I think it's important for us to stay focused on the problem at hand. And the specific problem that is being debated right now is not whether we trust the Iranian regime or not -- we don’t trust them. It's not whether Iran engages in destabilizing activities -- everybody agrees with that. The central question is, how can we stop them from getting a nuclear weapon.

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Nancy Pelosi “Near Tears” After Netanyahu Speech

By on 3.3.15 | 5:01PM

Benjamin Netanyahu is basically a badass. His speech today, in front of a joint session of Congress, delivered what was expected and, hopefully, has changed the focus of the conversation over Iran from one of whether the speech was appropriate, to whether the administration's actions can possibly have any effect on Iran's nuclear weapons program. The answer to the later is, quite obviously, from Bibi's speech and elsewhere, pretty much "no."

But not everyone was as positively impacted by Bibi's speech. Nancy Pelosi, for example, who sat in the chamber and rolled her eyes through Netanyahu's speech rather than skipping it like some of her colleagues, was "near tears," but not in a good way.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, saying the Israeli prime minister's speech to Congress was an "insult" to the country.

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Make That 51 Democrats; Elizabeth Warren a No-Show to Bibi’s Speech

By on 3.3.15 | 4:18PM

Last night, I listed the 50 Democrats who wouldn't be in attendance in Congress to hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech.

Well, Elizabeth Warren made it 51. I can't say I'm surprised given her opposition to sanctions against Iran.

This is something we should remember if she decides to run for President.

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Three Observations of Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

By on 3.3.15 | 1:29PM

After nearly six weeks worth of temper tantrums from the Obama Administration and other Democrats because House Speaker John Boehner had the temerity to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make his case against a nuclear deal with Iran Bibi spoke his peace this morning.

Let me make the following three observations.

First, given the attacks Netanyahu has sustained against his integrity and judgment by the Obama Administration, he has every right to strike back with vengeance. Instead, Netanyahu killed President Obama with kindness making a point of thanking him for assistance during the 2010 Carmel forest fire, the 2011 siege of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and for missile interceptors against Hamas last year.

I'm sure this only infuriated Obama more because he knew what was coming.

Second, Netanyahu made a point of linking Iran with ISIS:

Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.

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Now We Know

By on 3.3.15 | 1:26PM

Now we know why Barry didn’t want Bibi to address the Congress. Netanyahu’s analysis of the Middle East, Israel, and Iran featured both coherence and purpose, two things missing from this administration’s foreign policy. The stark difference in approach might be what one would expect as between a commando and a community organizer.


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The DHS Fight is Over and The GOP Lost

By on 3.3.15 | 12:33PM

House Republicans have until Friday to decide how best to recover from the Senate's capituation to Democratic demands over funding the Department of Homeland Security, but it seems they'd prefer to simply get the inevitable over with.

While you were applauding Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's powerful speech to both houses of Congress, Rep. John Boehner was negotiating a deal that would move a clean DHS spending bill forward with nary a mention of the Amnesty Executive Order that began this fight in the first place

After months of indecision and strife, Boehner told GOP lawmakers he plans to allow a vote as early as Tuesday on a clean bill to fund the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the fiscal year, dashing the hopes of conservatives who want to tie the money to language clocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration…

“So he just caved in there,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp said of Boehner, adding: “Guess he forgot that a number of us had recommended that this was a poor strategy back in December."...

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