The Spectacle Blog

Pyle for Prez?

By on 6.1.15 | 12:58PM

GOH-LEEE, Sergeant! I’m running for president.

Sometimes people look at me funny when I insist that Private Gomer Pyle and Senator Lindsey Graham are one and the same. But the resemblances are just too striking to ignore. They look alike. They certainly sound alike. And no one has ever seen them together. Who will prove me wrong?

Enter Lindsey Graham

By on 6.1.15 | 12:38PM

I know Emily has already written about Lindsey Graham's entry into the GOP race, but l'll leave the Lindsay Lohan observations to her. (To be fair, Emily does note Graham has been far more specific on foreign policy than anyone else in the GOP field).

Given his long standing association with John McCain, Graham doesn't have much of a constituency among conservatives. Exhibit A would be Quin Hillyer's piece on Graham from seven years ago:

What, for example, could possibly have possessed Graham, in April of 2006, to write an essay for Time magazine about the virtues of Hillary Clinton? He called her "a smart, prepared, serious senator." She is "sought out by her colleagues to form legislative partnerships." She has managed to "build unusual political alliances with...conservatives."

Lindsey Graham Declares for President

By on 6.1.15 | 12:21PM

Its only Monday and already this is a great week for Lindseys.

Lindsay Lohan will wake up this morning to her first-ever full week off probation in eight years, and Lindsey Graham, who has committed to torturing us and himself with his ambitions, has declared that he will be one of the many Republicans competing for the Presidential nomination in the fall of next year. Now, while Lindsay Lohan will be spending her day completing her community service requirement, teaching a number of very unlucky children at a day school in Manhattan, Lindsey Graham will spend the day pressing the flesh in his home state of South Carolina, reminding everyone that he is ready to be Commander-in-Chief on day one.

"I’m pretty sure no one here, including me, ever expected to hear me say, 'I’m Lindsey Graham, and I’m running for president of the United States,'" he told a cheering crowd in Central, South Carolina.

MLB Notes for May: Minnesota Twins Take Over AL Central

By on 6.1.15 | 12:17PM

Nearly a third of the MLB season is over. Some teams rode high in April, but were shot down in May while others experienced April showers which blossomed into May flowers.

AL East

This division should be called the AL Least. Once the most powerful division in MLB, no team in the AL East had a winning record in the month of May. The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for top spot in the division with a 26-25 record with the Baltimore Orioles (23-26), Toronto Blue Jays (23-29) and Boston Red Sox (22-29) all below .500. The Red Sox were particularly horrible going 10-19 in May, a month which saw them fire pitching coach Juan Nieves and replaced him with veteran pitching coach Carl Willis. It hasn't made much of a difference. Yet despite all the misery, the Sox are only four games out of first place. One good week and they could be on top of the division. Ditto for the O's and Jays. This is anybody's division.

Please Don’t Make Me Go!

By on 6.1.15 | 11:43AM

Please Mr. Custer, I don’t wanna go
Hey, Mr. Custer, please don’t make me go
— “Mr. Custer,” Larry Verne, 1960

You are on the front lines, in a very hard place. It’s fraught with danger. You’re tired. You’ve had enough. You just want to go home. But that’s not a palatable option. Folks will get very very angry with you. You may not survive the consequences.

What do you do?

If you’re a fighter in Syria, and you’ve come to realize you’re not a heroic jihadi fighting to get into heaven, and no virgins will be waiting for you there anyway, that you’re no more than cannon fodder, that if you quit your recruiters will kill you, if you’re lucky—you shoot yourself in the foot.

If you’re the American Secretary of State in Washington, and you’re facing an Congressional inquiry for a misfeasance that cost four Americans their lives, and you’re turned a Middle Eastern country into a failed state, and you’ve allowed deadly weapons to fall into the hands of Islamic terrorists—you fall down the stairs and get yourself diagnosed with a concussion, and take a rest for 6 months.

Gawker Can’t Shut Up About Secret-Ballot Union Vote

By on 6.1.15 | 11:02AM

The online news company Gawker has opened a public online forum to answer the question of whether its reporters should unionize — and the ensuing battle couldn’t be more interesting.

“Yesterday, Gawker Media announced that we will be holding an election next week to vote on whether our editorial staffers want to form a union,” Gawker wrote on its website.

“The purpose of this post is to allow our writers to discuss how they’re voting, and why,” it continued. “All Gawker Media editorial employees are invited to share their thoughts on the upcoming vote in the comment section below. We like to do these things out in the open.”

PATRIOT Act Expires, But Debate is Just Beginning

By on 6.1.15 | 11:00AM

I would have written this last night except that I was engrossed in a horde of ice zombies attacking a bunch of escaping villagers (until I realized I had switched over from CSPAN and was actually watching Game of Thrones and not the Establishment GOP and the Obama Administration wailing and gnashing their teeth over the temporarily lost power to infringe on the rights of American citizens in the name of national security). 

Environmental Journalism Has Become Ideological Warfare

By on 6.1.15 | 10:53AM

Why do so many climate-related news reports sound like propaganda written by zealous, even fanatical, environmentalists who could never be called impartial or objective?

Why have reporters belonging to the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) abandoned the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, which includes a pledge to support “open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant,” and instead promoted retaliation against scientists with whom they disagree, often calling for the censorship of climate-alarm skeptics?

The evidence suggests SEJ’s actions weren’t based solely on the perennial need for sensational headlines or the usual left-wing politics of covering the environment beat. It’s more personal. Many environmental journalists seem driven by emotions aroused before they entered journalism school: fear and loathing of modern technology and the flourishing human populations it brings.

Will Rand Paul End the PATRIOT Act?

By on 5.31.15 | 7:09PM

I feel a little about this filibuster the way I did about the Blackhawks playing in game 7 last night against the Anaheim Ducks: I'm so nervous I can't watch. Tonight, as I try to avoid talking about privacy and security issues by immersing myself in Game of Thrones, Sen. Rand Paul will launch a last-ditch effort to derail a rote authorization of the PATRIOT ACT, in an effort to delete or delay the approval of the NSA's bulk cellular data collection programs and other violations of Americans' privacy.

R.I.P. Beau Biden

By on 5.31.15 | 6:47PM

Last night, tragedy struck the Biden family as Beau Biden, the 46 year old son of Vice President Joe Biden passed away after a quiet battle with brain cancer. Beau Biden, the former Delaware Attorney General, Iraq War veteran and survivor of the crash that killed Joe Biden's young wife and daughter, leaves behind a wife and two children. 

Joseph "Beau" Biden III, an Iraq War veteran who served as the attorney general of Delaware and was a son of Vice President Joe Biden, died Saturday at age 46, the White House said in a statement.

He died after battling brain cancer, according to the vice president's office.

"Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known," his father wrote in a statement.

Biden had suffered known health problems dating back to 2010, when he experienced a stroke that did not affect his motor skills or speech.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Vice President and his family at this difficult time.