The Spectacle Blog

Is the Syrian Refugee Process Stacked Against Christian Migrants?

By on 11.17.15 | 11:36AM

As the nation argues about whether or not to accept Syrian refugees - especially now that it appears at least two of the Paris attackers used forged passports to re-enter Europe, using the migrant crisis as a Trojan Horse - some details about who we've already accepted seem to show a "refugee system" that's hopelessly stacked against those who need refuge the most: Arab Christians.

According to a recent count, the US has accepted around two thousand Muslim refugees from Syria but only 53 Syrian Christians, even though Christians seem to be faring the worst against ISIS across the Arab penninsula. The bias seems to be a product of the process itself, being handled by the United Nations, who haven't taken the continued safety of Arab Christians into account as they amass Syrian refugees in processing camps. 

Trump Will “Go To War” With Cruz If He Challenges

By on 11.17.15 | 11:02AM

Is the Donald preparing to go to war with his closest ally in the Presidential nomination process? 

For months, it's seemed like Ted Cruz is just waiting for Donald Trump to drop out of the race so that he can pick up whatever demographic segments Trump has inspired to join in the political process. It's a strategy that, for Cruz, at least, seemed almost immediately doomed to fail. First, there's no proof that the people Trump has "energized" are energized for anyone except Trump, a name they know and recognize in a field of people they've never heard of because they only watch reality television. And second, Donald Trump isn't exactly known for gracious exits. It's more likely that if Cruz challenges him out of the race, he'll burn that bridge and many more, as Trump himself noted in an interview yesterday.

Donald Trump said Monday he is capable of turning on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in their competition for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Yes, the Senate Can Repeal Obamacare’s Regulations With 51 Votes

By on 11.17.15 | 11:00AM

The Hill reports the Senate GOP is trying to decide how much of ObamaCare to repeal via the budget-reconciliation process: 

[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell only needs 51 votes instead of the customary 60 because he is moving the repeal measure under a special budgetary process known as reconciliation. The downside of the strategy is that that package can only include provisions designed to impact the budget deficit.

As a result, popular parts of the law, such as the prohibition against discriminating against pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26, cannot be included.

New Hampshire’s Democrat Governor Calls for a Freeze on Syrian Refugees

By on 11.16.15 | 11:23PM

While President Obama says that "slamming the door in the faces" of Syrian refugees "would be a betrayal of our values", nearly half of the country's Governors beg to differ.

This includes New Hampshire Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan whose office issued the following statement:

The Governor believes that the federal government should halt the acceptane of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugee, including those from Syria, is as strong ass possible to ensure the safety of the American people.

Hassan has served two terms as the Granite State's Governor. She will be challenging Republican Kelly Ayotte for her seat in the Senate in 2016.

I have a feeling there might be more Democrat Governors who join Hassan in calling for a moratorium on accepting Syrian refugees.


Correa & Bryant Win AL/NL Rookie of the Year Honors

By on 11.16.15 | 10:58PM

Although neither man began Opening Day 2015 on the major league roster, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant easily won AL & NL Rookie of the Year honors, respectively.

Correa didn't make his big league debut until June. In only 99 games for Houston, Correa hit .279 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI and was a key contributor to the Astros first post-season berth in a decade. At 21, Correa is just scratching the surface. 

Meanwhile, Bryant hit .275 with 26 home runs and 99 RBI in 151 games. Although he struck out a NL leading 199 times, he did make the NL All-Star Team and reached the post-season with the Cubs. Like Correa, we are going to hear a lot from Bryant in the years to come. 


P.F. Sloan, R.I.P.

By on 11.16.15 | 10:46PM

Songwriter and musician P.F. Sloan has passed away of pancreatic cancer at the age of 70.

Sloan co-wrote a series of hit songs with Steve Barri during the 1960's and early 1970's most notably Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction", "Unless You Care" by Terry Black and "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers. Sloan & Barri on several songs which became hits for The Grass Roots - "Where Were When I Needed You", "Let's Live For Today" and "Things I Should Have Said." In addition to songwriting, Sloan was also respected session player and was associated with The Wrecking Crew.

Given the events which have taken place in Paris, "Eve of Destruction" takes on a new meaning 50 years after it was written.

Thoughts on the Red Sox Acquiring Craig Kimbrel

By on 11.16.15 | 10:21PM

This actually happened on Friday night, but with the Paris attacks I've put writing about this on the backburner.

The Boston Red Sox acquired Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres for four prospects. 

Kimbrel will replace Koji Uehara as the team's closer. Uehara took over as closer in 2013 and was a key part of their World Series title run. Uehara saved 25 games for a mediocre Red Sox team in 2015, but his season ended in August with a broken wrist. 

Despite Uehara's effectiveness, he is 40 while Kimbrel is 27. 

Kimbrel began his career with the Atlanta Braves winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. He led the NL in saves every season between 2011-2014. On Opening Day, the Braves traded Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres. Kimbrel saved 39 games for a mediocre Padres team. He has 225 saves for his career. 

Talking Points Memo Expands Obama’s “America Winning” Quote & Makes Him Look Even Worse

By on 11.16.15 | 9:58PM

President Obama raised eyebrows at the G-20 Summit in Turkey when he said, "I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership, or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with."

The liberal website Talking Points Memo tried to defend Obama's comments by expanding them, but in the process only made him look worse:

What I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow in the abstract make America look tough. Or make me look tough.

And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed and I see a 25 year old kid who is paralyzed or who has lost his limbs and some of those are people I've ordered into battle.

The Say Hey Kid, Yogi, Spielberg & Babs Among Those to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By on 11.16.15 | 4:51PM

The 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients have been announced.

They include the likes of Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor. I imagine that's for being good Democrats than anything else. Well, as long as it keeps JT out of Paris.

Other recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Itzhak Perlman, Gloria Estefan, former Democrat Congressman & 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton.

The two names on the list which excite me the most are Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra who passed away in September.

Sadly, Yogi won't be hand for the ceremony which takes place at the White House on November 24th. He won't be able to tell President Obama to take the fork in the road.

But perhaps the Say Hey Kid can bring the crowd to its feet as he did in the 1954 World Series.

Nick Bockwinkel, R.I.P.

By on 11.16.15 | 4:13PM

Former professional wrestler Nick Bockwinkel has passed away at the age of 80 of complications of Alzheimer's.

Bockwinkel played football at the University of Oklahoma when a knee injury derailed his career. Instead, he followed in his father Warren's footsteps and he became a professional wrestler in 1954 beginning a career that would last more than three decades.

Bockwinkel is best known as the four time American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Champion. Based in Minneapolis, the AWA was run by Verne Gagne, the man who he first beat for the title 40 years ago this month, who also passed away earlier this year.