The Spectacle Blog

Fox News Iowa GOP Main Stage Debate Post-Mortem

By on 1.28.16 | 11:32PM

I have just finished watching and live tweeting the GOP main stage debate held in Des Moines and aired on Fox News. Here are my thoughts.

John Kasich - He had a wonderfully eloquent statement about the plight of the mentally ill, but was otherwise a non-factor in the debate. Kasich has been polling well in New Hampshire and will stick around at least until February 9th.

Jeb Bush - He gets better and better with every debate. Despite saying he missed the presence of Trump, I think he was far more relaxed with his absence. Bush came across as confident and even landed a punch against Rubio on immigration. Will voters now give Bush a second look? Not unless he changes his name.

Fox News Iowa GOP Undercard Debate Post-Mortem

By on 1.28.16 | 8:22PM

I have just watched the GOP undercard debate that took place in Des Moines on Fox News. Here are my observations.

Mike Huckabee - He argued that it wasn't question of his message not working, but rather that it wasn't getting out. Frankly what's the difference? Don't get me wrong. He kept up his usual good cheer. While Huck ended the debate by saying, "Hello, it's me," (a la Adele) I have a feeling that is his last hurrah.

Rick Santorum - The only candidate who has been at every GOP undercard debate and he isn't happy about it. Of course, even when he was doing well in 2012 he wasn't too happy either. The fact that he was personally thanking his supporters during his closing remarks leads me to believe that he will exiting the race after the votes are counted in Iowa on Monday night.

French Police Detain Man Carrying Two Guns & A Koran Outside DisneyLand Paris

By on 1.28.16 | 3:02PM

France has been spared another Islamic terrorist attack thanks to security officials at DisneyLand Paris. They stopped a man from entering the facility who was carrying a bag with two guns, ammunition and a Koran. While police have an unidentified man in custody, a female accomplice managed to escape and remains at large.

It will be interesting to see if this man and his accomplice were born in France or are Syrian refugees. Of course, France has become all too familiar with Islamic terrorism especially with the Paris bombings in November which claimed the lives of 130 people as well as the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo which claimed a dozen lives in January 2015 not to mention the March 2012 stabbings in Toulouse and Montauban which claimed the lives of three French paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi.

So why target DisneyLand Paris? I would venture to guess that this man and the woman with him think Mickey Mouse is an infidel. If it wasn't so dangerous it would be downright Goofy.

State Attorney General Climate Change Investigations Are Unconstitutional

By on 1.27.16 | 5:43PM

Should government officials be able to cut off donations to groups because they employ people disparaged as “climate change deniers,” even if the group in question is a think tank that studies a wide range of topics, only a few of which relate to climate change at all, and the “denial” in question includes telling politically inconvenient truths about the cost of proposed climate change legislation? Only a single-issue zealot with ideological blinders and a contempt for the First Amendment would think so. 

Mike Huckabee Releases Bizarre “Hello” Ad

By on 1.27.16 | 1:39PM

To be fair to Mike Huckabee, although this ad might be the most bizarre thing we've seen in the Presidential horserace yet, it did remind me that, yes, Mike Huckabee is still in the horserace for President, and that's 90% of why it was released. 

By all rights, Iowa is Huckabee's golden land. Most of Iowa's caucus-goers are solidly Evangelical, many of them are social conservatives (in fact, Iowa is one of the few places where social conservatism is still a thriving and reliable demographic). Iowans have a reputation for embracing crony Capitalism, often in the form of ethanol subsidies, and, in the past, they've been very open to Huck's message of big government Republicanism - a state that embraces limited government where possible, but also prefers a presence in your refridgerator and your bedroom. 

And yet, Huckabee can't get any traction anywhere in the US. So he's forced to make a spoof Adele video to remind you he exists. Which I shall now bless you with.

Is Trump Afraid of Megyn Kelly…Or Ted Cruz?

By on 1.27.16 | 1:30PM

Donald Trump has pulled out of the Fox News debate in Iowa, ostensibly because he was terrified that Megyn Kelly might ask him tough questions.

Last time, the Fox prime time talking head had the nerve to make things difficult for Trump, asking him detailed questions about his past affiliations and activities, and whether he truly felt he was a serious candidate for the American Presidency. After a two day temper tantrum, which included an alleged threat made by Trump's camp to Fox News regarding Kelly's safety - at least according to Fox News - the network refused to pull Kelly as a questioner and the Donald dropped out.

U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump withdrew on Tuesday from a debate with party rivals this week out of anger at host Fox News (FOXA.O), leaving the last encounter before Iowa's pivotal nominating contest without the front-runner.

Will Iowa Voters Have Second Thoughts About Trump Bailing From GOP Debate?

By on 1.26.16 | 11:22PM

So Donald Trump refuses to participate in Thursday's GOP debate.

Given that this debate is being held in Iowa 72 hours ahead of the Iowa Caucus this doesn't sound like a smart move. If many Iowa voters make up their minds about who to support in the caucuses in this same 72 hour period what are they to make of someone of the frontrunner who refuses to show up for the debate?

Trump is running the risk of coming off like a frontrunner who thinks he has the race in the bag and unwilling to close the deal. I'm sure the folks in the Ted Cruz camp are jumping for joy. Ditto for Marco Rubio. If Trump is absent look for a lot more head butting between Cruz and Rubio. Trump's absence is going to mean they are going to get a second look and not a moment too soon. This could be the best thing to have happened to the Republican Party in six months.

Abe Vigoda, R.I.P. (I Was Just Talking About Him Earlier Today)

By on 1.26.16 | 5:13PM

Actor Abe Vigoda, best known for his portrayal of Tessio in The Godfather (with a brief cameo at the conclusion of The Godfather, Part II) and as Lieutenant Fish on Barney Miller as well as a shortlived spin-off Fish, died this morning at the age of 94.

Vigoda earned a bit of unwanted fame in the early 1980's when People Magazine erroneously reported his death. A few years later, a TV station in New Jersey had told the world he was dead. No doubt there were people hoping that the news was wrong yet again. Not this time.