The Spectacle Blog

The Circumstances Under Which I Could Vote for a Presidential Candidate Who Is Muslim

By on 9.21.15 | 12:52PM

Ben Carson has only himself to blame for stating that he does not believe a Muslim should be elected President during his appearance yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

Indeed, the question Todd asked of Carson was if “Islam is consistent with the Constitution.” It was at that point that Carson volunteered, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this country” (although he did not object to Muslims being elected to Congress). If Todd had asked that question of Carly Fiorina she would have dismissed the premise of Todd’s question and shoved it back down his throat where it belongs. But Ben Carson is no Carly Fiorina.

A Tragic Loss — Jake Brewer R.I.P.

By on 9.21.15 | 12:00PM

For most conservative folks, Jake Brewer's wife, Mary Katharine Ham, is a household name. We know her as a happy warrior, particularly among young adults, for ideas of liberty, free speech, and, as she and Guy Benson include in the subtitle of their excellent book, fun.

So it was with particular sadness that I learned of the death of MK's husband, Jake Brewer, who was an advisor to President Obama (working primarily in the area of technology policy). The president released a statement on Jake's passing.

Jake was participating in a charity bike ride to raise money for cancer research when, according to news reports, he lost control and collided with an oncoming car. Jake was 34 years old. He and Mary Katharine have one young daugher and another child on the way.

The Climate Has Been Changing Since Genesis 1:1, So Why Is Pope Francis Suddenly So Concerned?

By on 9.21.15 | 10:09AM

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tells that he is planning to boycott the Congressional address of Pope Francis this week. The reason? The Congressman is concerned that the speech is going to be completely politically correct, not traditionally Christian in focus. He also is outraged that the secular progressives at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) helped co-write His Holiness’ environmental encyclical earlier this year, and does not want to offer even tacit support for that ideological document.

Fiorina Up — Trump Down

By on 9.20.15 | 9:32PM

A post-debate poll by CNN/ORC shows Donald Trump still leading the pack for the Republican presidential nomination at 24 percent. But this is down eight percent from earlier in the month. Likely as a result of her boffo performance Wednesday night, Carly Fiorina is closing on the Donald. She is now in second place at 15 percent, up from an anemic three percent September 3.

Ben Carson comes in third at 14 percent, down from 19 percent. Marco Rubio is next with 11 percent. Everyone else is a single digit also-ran.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent. It was conducted over the three days after Wednesday night’s debate.

No Need for Michael Buffer

By on 9.20.15 | 3:10PM

I’ve seen the film. And as a lifetime fan of the sweet science, I can tell you that was no punch. More of a slap. But unfriendly enough. There’s no audio on the film, so you can’t tell if the slap was provoked or not.

The slapper has been identified by the slapee as Marco Rubio campaign aide Rich Beeson. John Yob, on the receiving end of the slap, is a campaign aide to Rand Paul. The incident took place in a Mackinac Island, Michigan saloon before a Republican séance (aka a leadership conference) where scores of political types were gathering. Yob has tried to make a great deal out of not much, calling in the Mackinac Island police and calling on the Rubio campaign to fire Beeson. Outside of Yob, neither campaign has had much to say about the incident.

Charles Murray to Speak at Harvard on September 22nd

By on 9.18.15 | 8:44PM

A little while ago I got a call from someone with the Greater Boston Tea Party to tell me that American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray will be speaking at Harvard University on Tuesday, September 22nd. 

Murray, best known for co-authoring The Bell Curve, will be speaking about his latest book By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. The book has been described to me as a manifesto of civil disobedience against heavy-handed federal laws and regulations.

If you happen to be in the Boston area next Tuesday the doors open at 7 p.m. You will be happy to know that the event is free (although there is a fee for VIP seats). However, registration is recommended. For further details you can check out the Greater Boston Tea Party's website here.

Thoughts on Tonight’s Canadian Election Debate

By on 9.17.15 | 10:29PM

I caught the last half hour of this evening's Canadian election debate which was broadcast on C-SPAN.

Tonight's debate took place in Calgary and concentrated on the economy and feature Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair who leads the NDP and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau. Unlike last month's debate, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was not included.

If I'm Harper and the Tories I am far more worried about Mulcair and the NDP than I am about Trudeau and the Liberals. Mulcair was calm, cool and collected. Trudeau looked about 12-years old standing next to Mulcair. Although he was passionate, he stumbled over his words and did not inspire confidence. 

While Harper did a nice job in his exchanges with Trudeau, he was on the defensive about his record and concentrated what he would do in the future as if he hasn't been Prime Minister for nearly a decade. 

Milo Hamilton, R.I.P.

By on 9.17.15 | 10:12PM

Former MLB TV and radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton has passed away at the age of 88.

Hamilton spent six decades in the broadcast booth for seven different teams beginning with the St. Louis Browns in 1953. He would also call games for the crosstown rival Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs & White Sox, the Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates before landing with the Houston Astros in 1984. Hamilton would find a home in Houston and broadcast with the team until his retirement after the 2012 season. He would be bestowed with the Ford C. Frick Award in 1992. His death comes 12 days after the passing of original Astros broadcaster Gene Elston.

But Hamilton is best remembered for his stint with the Braves and for good reason. On April 8, 1974, Hamilton called Hank Aaron's 715th career home run.

Yes, It Is Possible to Criticize ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Without Killing Its Cartoonists

By on 9.17.15 | 4:06PM

Last January, the French left-wing satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo became a household word when 12 people including eight of its staff were massacred at their headquarters in Paris. International solidarity came in the form of the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie.

Now Charlie Hebdo is coming under fire for publishing two cartoons about the Syrian refugee crisis which depict Aylan Kurdi, the deceased boy found washed up on a Turkish beach earlier this month. The first cartoon depicts Kurdi with the caption (as translated into English reading) “So close to the finish.” Behind the deceased child is a McDonald’s sign which reads, “Two children’s meals for the price of one.” The second depicts a Christ-like figure walking on water standing next to a dead child whose feet are sticking out of the water. Besides the Christ figure it reads, “Christians walk on water,” while by the dead child it reads, “Muslim children sink.” The overall caption reads, “Proof that Europe is Christian.”

Ann Coulter is Now Suddenly Concerned About The Number of Jews in America

By on 9.17.15 | 12:26PM

After spending more than five hours live blogging both GOP debates, I caught Ann Coulter’s tweet, “How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?”

I couldn’t quite believe what I saw. I had to check to make sure I was reading what I thought I had just read. At that moment, I retweeted her tweet with the comment, “Are you going Pat Buchanan on us?”

It would seem so. Some of her other tweets included, “Good grief! Huckabee is running for PM of Israel,” “Cruz, Huckabee Rubio all mentioned ISRAEL in their response to: "What will AMERICA look like after you are president," and “Christie also talks @ Israel in response to the question: What will AMERICA look like after you are president?”