The Spectacle Blog

President Obama Preaches Religious Freedom, Tolerance at Baltimore Mosque

By on 2.3.16 | 4:51PM

This afternoon, President Obama, sensing that his media coverage had waned, gave a speech at a Baltimore mosque, partly to impart a message of goodwill and tolerance and partly to draw out all the crazies and give liberals on Twitter a new strawman to defend.

Most of Obama's speech was fine, if nonsensical, full of platitudes about patriotism, working together, how peaceful everyone at the mosque was, and why it's so important for everyone to live in harmony, like that Coke commercial that ended Mad Men. But he also touched on religious freedom, a concept that his administration has been shockingly dense about. According to the President, he is doing everything he can to preserve free exercise in this country, because like it or not, it's in our Constitution, and darn it if it isn't important to the foundation of this great nation that everyone be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit, free from the roving eyes of government and public scrutiny.

CNN Reports Santorum Will Drop Out Tonight & Endorse Another Candidate UPDATE: Santorum Endorses Rubio

By on 2.3.16 | 3:17PM

CNN is reporting that Rick Santorum will end his 2016 presidential bid this evening and endorse another Republican presidential candidate.

Santorum's departure is only surprising in that it did not happen sooner. He could not replicate the magic of his 2012 Iowa Caucus win which briefly put a wrench in Mitt Romney's ascension to the GOP nomination. Santorum could not get out of the GOP undercard debate and his frustration grew with each debate. In his most recent debate performance, Santorum used his closing remarks to thank his supporters by name. The writing was on the wall in permanent ink. On Tuesday night, Santorum garnered only 1,783 votes registering at 1% of the total ballots cast. Unless you include Jim Gilmore, Santorum finished dead last in the race. No matter how you look at it this was quite the come down.

Bob Elliott, R.I.P.

By on 2.3.16 | 2:39PM

Comedian Bob Elliott passed away yesterday at the age of 92.

Elliott is best known for his collaboration with Ray Goulding. The team of Bob & Ray met here in Boston in the 1940's as disc jockeys for competing stations. Their comedy act began to catch on when they did broadcast in rain delays during Red Sox games. Over the next four decades, Bob & Ray were a fixture on radio and TV and even on Broadway. Sadly, Goulding passed away in 1990.

However, Elliott carried on often performing with his son Chris Elliott most notably on the FOX TV show Get a Life. His granddaugther Abby Elliott would also become a cast member on SNL.

Bob & Ray used their broadcast backgrounds very effectively. Their material was often delivered in serious and straight manner with hilarious results.

In some instances, the role of the straight man could change during the course of a skit as you can her in their "Slow Talkers of America" routine.


Rand Paul’s Bubble Popped

By on 2.3.16 | 2:01PM

Almost two years ago our Jed Babbin asked regarding Ron Paul: "The GOP nominee?" His answer: "Fat chance." And it wasn’t only on foreign policy grounds. In the presidential sweepstakes, libertarianism at its finest has its limitations. Jed's explanation is worth revisiting, now that Paul has withdrawn from presidential contention. Read it here.

Trump Accuses Cruz of Fraud in Iowa; Demands Rematch

By on 2.3.16 | 12:51PM

Less than 36 hours after congratulating Ted Cruz in his victory in the Iowa GOP Caucuses, Donald Trump is accusing Cruz of fraud and demanding a rematch.

Trump tweeted, "Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa. He stole it."

Honestly, I am surprised it took Trump this long to go after Cruz. Once again, Trump loves Cruz and now he loves him not.

If I were Donald Trump (and, believe me, I am grateful I am not, but if I were) I would concentrate on winning New Hampshire rather than re-litigating Iowa. He can't afford to choke in back to back states.

The only person Donald Trump has to blame for his defeat in Iowa is Donald Trump. If he wasn't so scared of Megyn Kelly he wouldn't find himself in this mess.

Of course, even if Trump had won Iowa he would find some other outlet for his fake outrage. This is what demagogues do.

We've had seven plus years of demagoguery. Why do we want more?

Trudeau’s Omission of Jews From His Holocaust Statement Are Part of a Disturbing Pattern

By on 2.3.16 | 11:55AM

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day:

On this day, we pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust. We honour those who survived atrocities at the hands of the Nazi regime, and welcome their courageous stories of hope and perseverance.

The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged. It also reminds us that silence must never be an option when humanity is threatened.

As we pause to educate ourselves and our families on the bitter lessons of the Holocaust, we also strengthen our resolve to work with domestic and international partners to continue defending human rights and condemning intolerance.

Do you notice what doesn't appear in the statement?

There is no reference to Jews despite the fact that they were the primary target of Hitler's final solution which would ultimately claim six million in all.

Those Six Coin Tosses Gave Hillary Her Luckiest Day Since She Made $100,000 in The Futures Market

By on 2.3.16 | 10:58AM

To paraphrase Rod Stewart, "Some gals have all the luck."

As you probably know by now, Hillary Clinton won six precincts in the Iowa Democrat Caucus by coin tosses.

It was the luckiest day Hillary had since she turned $1,000 into nearly $100,000 in the futures market when Bill Clinton first ran for Governor of Arkansas.

It's now being reported that there were other coin tosses which Bernie won.

That's all well and good, but as long as Democrats are deciding the outcome of presidential caucuses by way of a coin toss Democrats have no right to complain about Republican voter ID laws.

Rand Paul Exits 2016 GOP Race, But Could He Run as a Libertarian?

By on 2.3.16 | 10:17AM

Rand Paul was the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring back in April.

Nearly 10 months after launching his campaign, Paul announced that he was putting it to an end. The announcement comes to an end today less than 48 hours after finishing fifth in Iowa with 4.5% of the vote. The latest poll in New Hampshire had Paul with 2% support in the Granite state.

In a time when concerns about Iran, ISIS and Islamic supremacism are of foremost concern to Republican voters, Paul's non-interventionist, if not isolationist tendencies put him way out in left field. Throw in the fact that Paul has no money, has a high unfavorability rating and is facing a strong Democrat challenger in his Kentucky Senate re-election bid, his viability as a Republican presidential candidate was simply non-existent.

Trump Feels Unappreciated by Voters, Tweets That It’s ‘Not Worth It’

By on 2.2.16 | 4:30PM

Donald Trump is having a tough day and it's showing.

None of those things are completely true. Donald Trump has been loaning his own money to his campaign on the promise of recouping his losses from donor cash. So he's only sort of self-financing. Donald Trump is certainly credited with bringing out new caucus-goers, but we can't be 100% sure they were there to vote for Donald or against him, especially when you consider that most of the new caucus-goers made up their minds in the last week. As for whether he was a long-shot, well, that wasn't what he said weeks ago. And his ground game was awful because he failed to set any traditional spending priorities, not because he didn't spend the money.