The Spectacle Blog

60 Minutes Claims Obama Forced Assad to Give Up Chemical Weapons

By on 4.20.15 | 7:41PM

I saw the 60 Minutes segment on Syria last night which showed images of people in the throes of death following sarin gas attacks by the Assad regime in 2013.

Needless to say, the images were horrific. But I agree with their decison to show them.

What I object to is this one sentence from the report:

With the threat of airstrikes, President Obama forced Assad to give up his chemical arsenal.

This is simply nonsense. It wasn't President Obama who forced Assad to give up his arsenal, it was a deal brokered by the Russians in September 2013. OK, it was officially and the Russians and the Obama Administration, but it was Vladimir Putin's initiative.

It is interesting that Scott Pelley didn't see fit to mention Obama drew a red line when it came to Syria using chemical weapons and then they crossed it without facing the consequences. This isn't exactly a small detail. 

Hillary’s Campaign for Foreign Cash

By on 4.20.15 | 5:07PM

Hillary Clinton’s campaign may have a serious campaign crisis if the allegation is true that she traded official government action for contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

The New York Times reports today on revelations upcoming from Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

Amy Chozick reports, “The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.” The story quotes Schweizer as saying, “We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds.”

If true, these allegations could be career ending.

Bill de Blasio Wants to Be the Liberal Alternative to Hillary Clinton

By on 4.20.15 | 1:01PM

Nobody's mentioned his name in the context of a Presidential run just yet, and the verdict is still out on whether New Yorkers are happy with his tenure in leadership, but Bill de Blasio is, reportedly, talking in hushes and whispers with Democratic insiders, sniffing out whether there's room for a "progressive" challenge to Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, of course, is prime to get, as we now say, "Rahm-ed": that is, while she's spent the last week crafting her progressive credentials, trying to establish a fake friendship with Elizabeth Warren, and pretending to care about the lesser worldly concerns of the poor people by complaining about CEO pay (she makes more than the average), and chastizing SCOTUS for Citizens United (as though she'd ever willingly submit to a publicly-funded campaign), she's barely made a dent in her solidly moderate public profile. There's a reason they refer to a particularly middle-of-the-road, pseudo-Socialist political ideology as "Clintonesque." And as such, she's opened the door to a progressive challenger, who may not be successful, but will at least add that extra twist into Hillary's granny panties.

John Kasich Wants to Be President, Will Now Go to Gay Wedding

By on 4.20.15 | 12:34PM

Apparently, over the weekend, the media was absolutely obsessed with asking Republican candidates whether they would ever take part in a family member of friend's same-sex wedding. Turns out, a few had never had the opportunity to attend one, Ted Cruz would probably go but would definitely carry a copy of the Constitution in case anyone asked about the legal validity of the union on a Federal level, Scott Walker totally has a gay friend, and Rick Santorum, who was definitely not asked for his thoughts on the subject, would avoid the gay wedding like he'd get Ebola for coming within a 30 foot radius.

If you're more of a masochist than I, please feel free to make yourself a rubric of their positions to reference later, because I'm positive it'll be important. Not as important as, say, what each of the respective candidates plan to do to address economic instability or the burgeoning nuclear apocalypse across the Atlantic, but important.

Lindsey Graham Is ‘91% In’ the Race for the GOP Nomination

By on 4.20.15 | 11:49AM

"Ninety one percent" is a rather arbitrary number, but I suppose Lindsey Graham, when not speaking on the subject of bombing a random nation into the ether, is a very arbitrary person. Shocked, apparently, by the lack of attention being paid to his bid for the Presidential nomination, Graham told reporters this weekend that he's "91% in" the race for the Presidency, and that we should all expect a surprise announcement any day now. 

He has, of course, yet to raise enough money to compete with Marco Rubio, who has raised $40M and Ted Cruz, who is reportedly a record-breaking fundraiser. But fear not, someone is going to like Lindsey's message. He's sure of it.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he’s “91 percent sure” he’ll get into the 2016 presidential race -- inching closer to a longshot challenge to the well-funded Republican front-runners.

Thoughts on Fox Hiring Pete Rose

By on 4.19.15 | 12:59AM

Ken Rosenthal of the MLB Network has revealed that Fox has hired Pete Rose to be an in studio analyst for its pre-game shows and various other MLB programs on both the Fox and FS1 networks.

I think this is a great addition. It goes without saying that the game's all-time hit leader knows the game. But he also knows the game's history.

Rose, who turned 74 earlier this week, was banned from MLB in 1989 following an investigation which determined he bet on baseball. This ban bars him from being at present at MLB facilities. However, Rose will be confined to studio work and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has no objection to the hire.

Rose recently applied for reinstatement in the game last month. I made the case that I did not think Charlie Hustle would ever be reinstated.

Saletan: Republicans Who Prefer Netanyahu Over Obama Aren’t Loyal Americans

By on 4.18.15 | 1:37AM

William Saletan of Slate has written about how several recent polls have shown that Republicans are more supportive of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than they are of President Obama. In particular, Saletan focuses on a Bloomberg poll which asks respondents to indicate one of the following two statements with which they agree:

1. “Israel is an ally but we should pursue America’s interests when we disagree with them.” 

2. “Israel is an important ally, the only democracy in the region, and we should support it even if our interests diverge.” 

Newsweek: Hillary’s Chipotle Visit ‘Historic’

By on 4.17.15 | 3:56PM

I would like to think this headline from Newsweek is simply being sarcastic, but I doubt this is the case:

Who Reported on Hillary Clinton's Historic Chipotle Visit, and How?

This headline was written by people who have no conception of what is and isn't historical.

Abraham Lincoln speaking at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg and saying, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," is historic.

Ronald Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate and saying, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," is historic.

Hillary going to a Chipotle counter and saying, "I'll have a chicken bowl with a side of guacamole," is not historic.

If Hillary has a hankering for a slurpee I cannot begin to imagine how the press would describe her visit to 7-Eleven.

Parents of Martin Richard Call Upon Prosecutors Not to Seek Death Penalty Against Boston Marathon Bomber

By on 4.17.15 | 1:12PM

Bill & Denise Richard have written an op-ed in The Boston Globe calling upon federal prosecutors not to seek the death penalty against Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev. They are the parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year old boy whom Tsarnaev placed his knapsack of explosives next to near the finish line. Richard was one of three people killed in the attack two years ago. Their daughter Jane lost a leg while Denise Richard lost an eye and Bill Richard sustained damage to his hearing.

The Richards argue that if Tsarnaev is sentenced to death that their family will be subject to the pain of what happened through the seemingly never ending appeals process:

Gwyneth Paltrow Fails the SNAP Challenge

By on 4.17.15 | 12:46PM

I know you were all waiting with bated breath to find out if Gwyneth finished her food stamp challenge after spending her "weekly allowance" of $29 in SNAP funds on the ingredients for guacamole, some eggs and seven - seriously, seven - limes. 

Well, I'm sorry to say that poor Gwyneth, saddled as she is with the burden of caring for all of us little people, was not able to successfully navigate a single week of eating like an ordinary human being. After posting the photo of what she'd used her $29 to purchase (which, I suspect was just the first $29 worth of items on her extensive Whole Foods, delivered-in grocery program) on Thursday, she cheated almost immediately, attending two pricey fundraisers, one of which saw her chowing down on couture food truck cuisine from famed LA chef Roy Choi. 

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