The Spectacle Blog

DOJ Collecting Your ‘Right-Wing’ Social Media Posts

By on 6.1.15 | 3:02PM

One of the primary contentions, yesterday evening, of Establishment Republicans and Democrats in defense of the NSA's massive data collection program, was that the program was not only free from abuse (something we know is not true), but that it's ultimately useful in targeting real threats to the American people; maybe not yesterday, maybe not today, but perhaps some day in the future it will ensnare an entire sleeper sell of Jihadists mid-phone call to Iran, giving an unsecured credit card number to their yellowcake suppliers. The data collection, you see, is done only on those whose backgrounds demand it. If you've done nothing wrong? Then why worry that your cell phone data records are stored on a massive supercomputer in Utah, where they can be routinely downloaded and searched?

White House Advisor Dan Pfeiffer Heads to CNN

By on 6.1.15 | 2:40PM

Senior White House Advisor Dan Pfeiffer is leaving this month and it's probably no surprise to anyone that, instead of taking a cushy job in the private sector, lobbying for his pet causes and writing op-ed after op-ed touting his "White House experience" as evidence of his trustworthiness, he's chosen to follow a path most trod by alumni of the Obama Administration: the media. Starting this week, Dan Pfeiffer will join CNN as a "contributor."

Rand Paul’s Temperament or Lack Thereof

By on 6.1.15 | 2:28PM

During the debate on the continuation of the Patriot Act, Rand Paul uttered this gem concerning his colleagues in Washington:

Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.

Yes, that's right. The entire American political establishment is counting down the days to the next terrorist attack so they can blame Rand Paul for it. The Republican Congress sets its agenda around his moods.

Rand Paul really needs to get over himself.

Today, Paul did soften his stance somewhat during an appearance on FNC claiming, "I think sometimes in the heat of battle, hyperbole can get the better of anyone. And that may be the problem there."

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).