The Spectacle Blog

Trump on 60 Minutes: “We Need Socialized Medicine”

By on 9.28.15 | 12:39PM

This weekend, I got my third health insurance cancellation notice in three years. First, they cancelled the wonderful individual plan we bought for ourselves before the Obamacare law kicked in, after threatening to raise the price on it by over 50%. Then, they cancelled the plan we selected from the then-nonworking Obamacare exchange, which covered less than our original plan but was $50 more expensive per month, and had a 300% higher deductible, leaving us without insurance for three months. And now, they're cancelling our new plan. Obamacare may, literally, be the worst law ever passed.

Bill Clinton Wanted to Enlist Steven Spielberg to Make Hillary More Likeable

By on 9.28.15 | 12:24PM

Clinton supporters remain remarkably confused as to why their chosen candidate is having such a difficult time relating to the common people, even though she's clearly been communing with the proletariat on a regular basis since this candidacy took flight. To the public, of course, Hillary's lack of appeal is self-evident; her prickly, false demeanor speaks volumes abou ther ambition and her desire to lead. She'd make an excellent President - if only the job didn't involve actual Americans.

According to a new book, Bill Clinton recognized Hillary's disconnect early on and tried to hire master filmmaker Steven Spielberg to mold Clinton's image. The effort, though, turned out less like the director's remarkable crafting of an extraterrestrial into a friendly sidekick in E.T. and more like his remarkable crafting of an angry, reanimated T-Rex in Jurassic Park.

Biggest Threat to Israel: Too Many Babies?

By on 9.27.15 | 4:44PM

A recent Reuters report was titled: “Israel’s soaring population: Promised Land running out of room?”

As a mother of two daughters born through the technological miracle of IVF, I want to address one particularly pernicious idea in this article. After quoting Israeli “experts” who bemoan their country’s alleged overpopulation, the writers add this: ‘Israeli government policy encourages population growth with benefits such as child allowances, free schooling from the age of three and funding for up to four in vitro fertility treatments a year.’

This implies that IVF is a major driver of population growth. To someone who went through many failed treatments - at great expense - the idea is laughable. Yes, eventually I did achieve two successful pregnancies, thank God. IVF is physically and emotionally very stressful.  Furthermore, it is complicated, painful, and success is not guaranteed.

Who would go to such lengths? Only women who desperately want to be mothers. Is it a bad thing that the Israeli government helps such women?!

Edward Gibbon, Call Your Office

By on 9.27.15 | 12:25PM

In his visit to America, Pope Francis has had considerable truck with politicians. And has pronounced and prompted (some – not I - would say hectored) on subjects not generally considered the province of religious leaders. This had led to a spate of foolish assertions and spurious expressed hope on the part of TV talking heads, political writers, and others in the chatterati.

No. The Pope, no matter how sincere he is, will not leave behind him a better political atmosphere. The differences that existed when he arrived will persist irreconcilably after he leaves. The scales will fall from no one’s eyes. I suggest it’s time for those asking these silly questions and expressing this dubious hope to revisit their Gibbon.

He spoke to the impact of religion on politics: “The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.”

Mets Clinch NL East; Make Post-Season for First Time Since ‘06

By on 9.26.15 | 8:19PM

Here is what I wrote about the New York Mets at the beginning of the 2015 season:

The Mets will shock the world and capture an NL Wild Card berth. 

The New York Mets did one better. Today, they clinched the NL East with a win a 10-2 victory over the hapless Cincinnati Reds today. The much maligned Matt Harvey threw 6 1/3 innings with Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson and David Wright each hitting home runs. It marks the first time the Mets have made the post-season since 2006.

The Mets got off to a strong start with a 15-8 mark in April which included an 11-game winning streak. But the Washington Nationals would rebound in May and take over the division on May 20th. The Mets would rebound in June and regain first place on June 11th. But less than two weeks later, they would drop seven in a row and fall under .500. During that losing streak, they only scored more than two runs once. The impeccable pitching of Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard and the ageless Bartolo Colon plus Jeurys Familia wasn't enough. 

Jolly Calls Conservatives Idiots

By on 9.26.15 | 3:00PM

Republican Congressman David Jolly has represented the 13th District of Florida – mostly the city of St. Petersburg – since he won a special election in 2014 after the death of long-time Congressman Bill Young. Lines have been redrawn so that CD13 now favors Democrats, so Jolly will seek the U.S. Senate seat Marco Rubio is leaving in order to run for President.

Jolly has been known as a Republican moderate. He’s pro-life and strong on gun rights, but early on became one of the first, perhaps the first, Republican member of Congress to support same-sex marriage. “I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty.” He explained, “To me that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their (sic) faith and by their (sic) church, not by their (sic) state.” He hasn’t said whether this standard also applies to polygamists and sheep fanciers. 

Call the Caterer

By on 9.25.15 | 6:05PM

Interviewed by a CNN reportress Friday on the occasion of John Boehner’s resignation as House Speaker, Rep. Peter King (R-New York) expressed the hope that the new Speaker would not try to “cater to the crazies,” meaning conservatives, who would like the see the Republican House every once in a while do something, well, conservative.

I guess this is the kind of Republican one should expect to run across in New York. The kind that, with a 246 to 188 Republican majority, is more comfortable when the House caters to Democrats.

When Boehner Invited Bibi

By on 9.25.15 | 2:22PM

No doubt there are many conservatives rejoicing at House Speaker John Boehner’s sudden resignation which takes effect at the end of next month.

It can be justifiably argued that Boehner was ineffective in shepherding a conservative legislative agenda and acting as an official opposition to the Obama Administration. His habit of tearing up at the slightest provocation didn’t help matters much. However, I strongly suspect that Boehner, who is Roman Catholic, probably made his decision to depart as he was listening to Pope Francis address Congress yesterday. It could very well be the case that he has found another calling.

Boehner’s Confusion

By on 9.25.15 | 2:09PM

John Boehner announced earlier today that he’s leaving the post of Speaker of the House. During his remarks he made this stunner of a statement that shows, for those who didn’t believe it already, that it’s way past time for him to turn the gavel over. Be seated for this:

“The first job of any Speaker,” John said, “is to protect this institution that we all love.”

No, John, it is not! It. Is. Not. The first obligation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives is to the country, its security, its prosperity, and its cultural and spiritual health. The U.S. House of Representatives exists to ensure these things for the country. The country doesn’t exist for the care and convenience of the House and those who wish to carve out a comfortable career in it.

Trump Fighting the Good Fight? Not!

By on 9.25.15 | 11:46AM

In his latest on Donald Trump, my AmSpec colleague Jeff Lord praises The Donald as a fighter. Jeff writes, “What was Donald Trump doing just yesterday? He was fighting. Fighting with Fox. And before that? With Jorge Ramos. With Univision. With Megyn Kelly. With CNN. With Rosie O’Donnell.”

O.K., so we know who Donald Trump is fighting. But what exactly is Donald Trump fighting for?

The Donald makes for good TV. But so does the WWE. By this standards perhaps we should elect Vince McMahon or John Cena to the White House. I say this in all seriousness because we should consider Jeff’s assessment of the recently departed Scott Walker:

Meanwhile there was Scott Walker busy talking. He was talking… talking… talking. Here’s a sample Walker quote from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a while back: