The Spectacle Blog

With All Due Respect, Mr. President, Fix Your Own Gun Plan

By on 10.2.15 | 11:14AM

My usual rule is to refrain from discussing policy in the interim following a tragic situation. After all, there's nothing more useless than pontificating in the meantime, while tempers are hot, and no one knows what to do. We all want an easy fix to horrifying situations like the one that played out yesterday in Oregon. We all want to believe there's one, singular solution that will put an end to senseless violence. There isn't.

But yesterday, President Obama used the Oregon shooting to make a political point, openly and unabashedly, before the bodies of the dead had cooled, before knowing the facts of the case, and without, apparently, a modicum of respect for the families and community that is suffering losses today. As a nation sought help, leadership, prayer and support; President Obama did little but throw a temper tantrum on national television, calling for solutions in the form of "gun control," and "action," without specifiying any concrete legislative agenda, or, even, what he believes the country needs to take action on

Yankees Clinch AL Wild Card Spot With 10,000th Win in Franchise History

By on 10.1.15 | 10:34PM

After a two year absence, the New York Yankees made the post-season with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox clinching the first AL Wild Card spot. The win marks their 10,000th in franchise history.

The Yankees could play one of four teams in the AL Wild Card game next Tuesday - Texas Rangers (who currently lead the AL West), Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros or the Minnesota Twins. The Rangers host the Angels for four games (as of this writing the Rangers are beating the Angels 4-2 in the 6th), the Astros are in Phoenix to play the Diamondbacks starting tomorrow while the Twins host the Kansas City Royals. Whoever the play, the Yankees will have home field advantage. Should they prevail they would most likely face the AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays as they currently have the best record in MLB. But if Toronto falters this weekend, the Yankees could instead face the Royals. 

While the Yankees did blow an 8 game lead over the Blue Jays to cost them the division, New York is nevertheless in the playoffs and they cannot be counted out.

Kevin McCarthy Makes John Boehner Look Like Ronald Reagan

By on 10.1.15 | 10:10PM

I saw House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempt to "clarify" his comments about how the Benghazi Select Committee affected Hillary Clinton's poll numbers to Brett Baier earlier this evening and I must say he does not inspire confidence. McCarthy makes John Boehner look like Ronald Reagan.

Now I have no sympathy for Harry Reid who characterized McCarthy's comments as a "political witch hunt". Given Reid's attacks on the Senate floor against Mitt Romney and the Koch Brothers, it is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. 

But if Republicans are to offer a credible legislative program and be an effective opposition to the Obama Administration, they are going to have to do better than Kevin McCarthy.

Obama on Umpqua Community College Shooting: “Something We Should Politicize”

By on 10.1.15 | 9:53PM

Can we really be surprised that President Obama would declare the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon which, as of this writing has claimed the lives of 10 people, to be "something we should politicize"?

You can't take the Alinsky out of Obama and when an event comports with his political agenda he jumps in feet first and the facts be damned. This was certainly the case when he declared that the Cambridge Police Department "acted stupidly" in the arrest of his friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr. back in July 2009 even while admitting he didn't know all the facts.

Bibi Netanyahu Gives UN General Assembly His Death Stare of Silence

By on 10.1.15 | 5:02PM

Once again Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrated why he is the closest thing we have to a leader of the free world with his speech to the UN General Assembly in which he lambasted that body's indifference to the Iran nuclear deal.

The most powerful moment of the speech came when he declared the response of most countries present was one of "utter silence, deafening silence." Then Bibi went silent for 45 seconds and gave the UN General Assembly his death stare.

I suspect that President Obama has been the recipient of his death stare on more than one occasion.

When Netanyahu broke his silence he said, “Perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal. If Iran’s rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you’d be somewhat less enthusiastic about the deal. If Iran’s terror proxies were firing thousands of rockets at your cities, perhaps you’d be more measured in your praise.”

13 Dead, More Wounded in Shooting on Oregon Community College Campus

By on 10.1.15 | 4:50PM

This afternoon, a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseberg, Oregon, reportedly killing 13 students and wounding 20 or more. Emergency crews are now at the scene, and authorities are saying the gunman, who has not been named, is "neutralized" and in police custody.

The Oregon attorney general said 13 people are dead and another 20 injured.

A Douglas County official says that the shooter has been "neutralized" and is now in custody.

A school official told affiliate reporter Sara Mattison that shots were fired at Snyder Hall around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The official said the school was put into a lock down.

All of the dead are in one building that houses six to eight classrooms, the official said. He said there were "multiple patients in multiple classrooms."

Why Hillary Won’t Have a “Sock it to Me” Moment on SNL

By on 10.1.15 | 4:39PM

Hillary Clinton is set to appear on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live alongside current Hillary impersonator Kate McKinnon this weekend. The fact that she turned down an opportunity to speak before the Human Rights Campaign, the country's most prominent LGBT organization, tells you how much of a priority this appearance is.

But it's not like Hillary hasn't appeared on SNL before. She did so during the 2008 campaign with Amy Poehler, who was then impersonating her. Fat lot of good that did her. So I don't see Hillary having a "sock it to me" moment like Richard Nixon did on the season premiere of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In during the 1968 campaign (please see video posted below).

House and Senate Pass Temporary Government Funding Bill, Avert Shutdown

By on 10.1.15 | 1:19PM

A few days ago on Twitter, someone - I don't remember who or I'd link them - mentioned that John Boehner's resignation is sort of like that scene in Independence Day, where they task the one fighter pilot with flying right up into the heart of the giant flying saucer that's sitting over New York, clogging up the spaceships deadly laser beam and basically blowing the aliens back to whatever planet they ravaged before systematically deciding to murder everyone on Earth.

In this case, though, Boehner has undertaken a different kind of self-immolation in service to our country (or, at least, Establishment Republicans looking to deny Ted Cruz . an opportunity to grandstand his way into a spike in the polls), inspiring a continuing resolution that funds the government through December, ensuring that nothing will shut down, Planned Parenthood will remain funded, John Boehner can exist stage left with a win under his belt, and the White House loses a media-favorable talking point big enough to distract from the fact that Russia is bombing our Syrian to smithereens.

Sanders Almost Matches Clinton in Fundraising

By on 10.1.15 | 12:51PM

I saw my first Bernie Sanders "Feel the Bern" bumper sticker yesterday and it made me bemoan the state of our public education system. Really, guys? 

Seems, though, my friend in the yellow VW Bug who cut me off in a left turn lane by gliding through two lanes of traffic and almost causing several accidents in order to meander their way cluelessly onto a main thoroughfare, is not alone in their complete ignorance of how government and financial systems actually operate. Bernie Sanders managed to raise an astounding $26 million haul in a single fundraising quarter, reportedly trailing Hillary Clinton by a mere $2 million.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton technically beat Bernie Sanders by $2 million in the chase for campaign cash over the past three months. But that isn't the story — not even close.

For The Birds: Blue Jays & Cardinals Clinch AL East, NL Central; Pirates & Cubs to Play in NL Wild Card Game

By on 9.30.15 | 10:45PM

It's been a day for the birds in MLB.

The Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first AL East title since 1993 with a 15-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Marcus Stroman improved to 4-0 while Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak homered. The doubleheader had to be played due to a rain out yesterday in Baltimore. Interestingly, a majority of the fans at today's game were Jays fans who traveled from Toronto to see their team reach the post-season in person.

Currently, the Jays own the best record in the AL. If this holds then they will face the winner of the AL Wild Card Game in the ALDS. If the season were to end today that game would be between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels who supplanted the Houston Astros for the second AL Wild Card spot yesterday. But the Angels are only two games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West and play a four game series against the Rangers in Arlington beginning tomorrow. The Minnesota Twins also have a chance at the second AL Wild Card spot. Whoever wins the AL Wild Card game their next destination will be in Toronto.