The Spectacle Blog

Angels Best Red Sox in 19 Innings - UPDATED

By on 8.10.14 | 4:15AM

I have just finished watching a 19 inning marathon between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels won 5-4 on a solo HR by Albert Pujols off Brandon Workman who had just come into the game.

But it nearly didn't end there. Red Sox manager John Farrell asked the umpires to review the call as it appeared a fan might have reached over the fence for the ball. However, the umpires upheld the call and the game was over at long last. 

I had a weird feeling this would happen. Back in 2000, I watched a 19 inning marathon between the Red Sox and Seattle Mariners. I remember Jeff Fassero being brought in the bottom of the 19th and he promptly surrendered a walk off HR to Mike Cameron. The Mariners also won that game 5-4.

Send to Kindle

The Wisdom of Jeane Kirkpatrick

By on 8.9.14 | 10:11AM

I sat at a table with Jeane Kirkpatrick, some years back. A charming lady, much reviled by the Left for suggesting in Commentary that the U.S. should not be quick to reject the friendship of non-democratic regimes which were friendly to this country.

We've now arrived at an anti-Kirkpatrick moment, where we reject the friendship of countries, democratic and non-democratic that are friendly to the U.S., and seek to befriend the non-democratic regimes that hate us.

Send to Kindle

It’s Not So Cool to Be Mile High in Colorado After Legalization

By on 8.8.14 | 7:09PM

We probably could have predicted it: Colorado teens are smoking less pot now that it is legalized, reports the Washington Examiner. After all, what’s cool about smoking weed when everyone is doing it? While it is still illegal for teens to smoke marijuana in Colorado—the legal age is 21—it puts a serious damper on the drug’s mystique when tourists are flocking into the state to light up a blunt or nosh on pot brownies.

Send to Kindle

‘The Giver’ Movie: Translating Big Ideas From a Little Book

By on 8.8.14 | 3:35PM

Filmmakers adapting Lois Lowry’s The Giver to the silver screen — fitting to the monochromatic utopia she created — have a tall order. I attended a prescreening of the Weinstein and Walden Media film on Wednesday (signing in the process an embargo not to review the movie until next week), but I can probably say that the adaptation remains true to the themes highlighted in the well-loved novel.

The story’s protagonist, Jonas, is the new “Receiver of Memories,” a historian a la George Santayana in a history-less society. He who must dispense wisdom for the present based on memories of the past must grapple with the guilt of moral knowledge as a member of an amoral society. 

Send to Kindle

Inspectors General: Obama Administration Blocks Investigations

By on 8.8.14 | 3:25PM

In a scathing letter released this morning, forty-seven inspectors general hammered the Obama administration, specifically singling out several bureaucratic agencies that have been less than forthcoming in ongoing investigations. The letter, addressed to several congressmen—including Darrell Issa, House Republicans’ chief watchdog as the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—sums up what many were already thinking: the administration is stalling.

The letter, which can be found in full here at the Washington Examiner, begins:

The undersigned federal Inspectors General write regarding the serious limitations on access to records that have recently impeded the work of Inspectors General at the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Justice. 

Send to Kindle

Pessimistic Americans Contemplate their Children’s Grim Future

By on 8.7.14 | 6:04PM

The Wall Street Journal published a poll this week in conjunction with NBC that found, among other things, 76 percent of respondents did not feel confident that their children’s generation will have a better life than they. That’s up from 60 percent in 2007. We’re jaded—which, in a nation built by immigrants striving to better their families’ fortunes, seems somehow wrong.

A CBS and New York Times poll cited in a Gallup compilation shows a peak in American optimism in December of 2001. Seventy-one percent of respondents believed in a brighter future for the next generation, despite the burst of the dot-com bubble and the attacks on the Twin Towers. When the world was at its worst, we felt up to the task of putting the pieces back together, united by a common enemy and a kind of renewed patriotism

Send to Kindle

Tea Party Has One Last Chance to Knock Off an Incumbent Tonight

By on 8.7.14 | 5:20PM

It is Republican primary day in the Volunteer State, and today’s matchup pits Senator Lamar Alexander against GOP state senator Joe Carr. This primary looks like the Tea Party’s last real chance to unseat an incumbent—certainly a high-profile one.

Upsetting Alexander will be a difficult task. The incumbent, who has been in the senate for two terms, has worked to present himself as in touch with his constituents, even going so far as to give up a leadership post, as NPR reports:

Unlike some other Republican incumbents who have faced Tea Party challengers, Alexander has taken steps to stay in touch with Tennessee voters. He returns home frequently and rounded up support from all the state's Republican county chairs

He also gave up his post in the GOP Senate leadership, notes Bruce Oppenheimer, a professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University.

"I think he thought that was probably not going to serve him well in his reelection efforts," he says.

Send to Kindle

RNC Refuses to Censure Henry Barbour

By on 8.7.14 | 11:04AM

Yesterday the Republican National Committee, meeting in Chicago for its summer gathering, refused even to hear two resolutions dealing with the censure of Mississippi Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour. Barbour has admitted to playing a role (as reported here by NRO’s Eliana Johnson) in funding a controversial ad that has been widely criticized for its racial content. Johnson reported that Barbour was “not distancing himself from the inflammatory ads.”

The resolutions were being pushed by Missouri Republican State Chairman Ed Martin. 

Today the RNC is having a members-only breakfast in which a discussion of the issue is supposed to be held. 

Send to Kindle

Cognitive Dissonance on Pot at the New York Times

By on 8.7.14 | 10:16AM

The New York Times editorial board has come out in favor of a repeal of the federal prohibition against marijuana. It has been nearly two months since Maureen Dowd shared her experience of overindulging on a pot candy bar, writing, “I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.” The strange inner and after life of Dowd aside, the Times has concluded that pot should be strictly a state issue, without federal ban or endorsement. In its series on the weed debate, the Times opened with a whole article titled, “Let States Decide on Marijuana.” Nearly three fourths of American states have implemented laws in some way liberalizing marijuana, ranging from exceptions for medicinal use to full recreational access, as is the case in Washington and Colorado.

Send to Kindle

Reply to Ross Re: Amash - UPDATED

By on 8.7.14 | 1:01AM

Ross has replied to my critique of Congressman Justin Amash's victory speech in Tuesday's Republican primary win.

He takes issue my characterizing Amash's remarks as being full of self-pity. Ross prefers to describe it as gloating. Well, call it what you will. But whatever Amash was doing last night it was most unattractive and unbecoming. Amash won fair and square and by a decisive margin. Just because you can take a parting shot doesn't mean you should. Amash could have taken the high road but instead chose a different path.

I see that Ross isn't entirely on board with Amash's characterization of Edward Snowden as a whistleblower. I haven't seen any evidence from Snowden that the NSA has acted illegally. Even if he had, Snowden forfeited his right to sympathy the moment he provided classified information to Putin.

Send to Kindle