The Spectacle Blog

Bernie Upsets Hillary in Indiana

By on 5.3.16 | 9:59PM

While Donald Trump has put the Republican nomination away, Hillary Clinton can't quite close the deal as Bernie Sanders upset Hillary with a 7-point win in Indiana.

Unlike Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders isn't going away nor are his supporters at least for now. 

So what happens to Bernie's supporters when their candidate doesn't get the Democratic Party nomination? I suspect the Millenials will support Hillary. Trump's racist tropes about Mexican and Muslims simply do not resonate with people under 30. But older Sanders' supporters who have faced tough economic times might not be so eager to cast their lot with Hillary and cast a protest vote for Trump. 

The longer Bernie is in the race the more this will be a factor.

Rage Triumphs Over Reason as Trump Effectively Clinches The GOP Nomination

By on 5.3.16 | 9:35PM

With 74% of the ballots cast, as of this writing, Donald Trump has won 53% of the vote in Indiana and Ted Cruz, scarcely a week removed from picking Carly Fiorina as his running mate, has dropped out.

The Republican race is over and rage has triumphed over reason.

I truly had a sinking feeling when Cruz was confronted by Trump supporters yesterday. As he has done with the likes of Code Pink, Cruz debated Trump supporters with reason and respect while Trump supporters could only respond by name calling him and his wife. Trump supporters showed themselves to be impervious to factual information and basic human decency. 

Since last June, the now presumptive Republican presidential candidate has demeaned one of his predecessors' war record, expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin and demeaned the physical appearance of one his presidential rivals and has been rewarded for it. Shame!

Tampa Tribune, RIP

By on 5.3.16 | 8:00PM

The Tampa Tribune, a daily that has published in the Big Guava since 1895, is no more. It was announced Tuesday afternoon that the Tampa Bay Times, the publication formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times, bought the Tribune for an undisclosed amount. Tribune subscribers will begin receiving the Times Wednesday morning. There will be job cuts at the Tribune to reduce redundancy.

The Tribune has been wasting away for years, losing circulation, advertising linage, and suffering the shrinking news hole that comes with these doleful developments. This news about news in the Tampa area shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Times, already the largest newspaper in Florida before the purchase, hasn’t enjoyed boffo finances itself in recent years, but has been doing much better than the Tribune.

I’m Surprised Trump Didn’t Claim Cruz’s Dad Was Friends With John Wilkes Booth

By on 5.3.16 | 6:31PM

It doesn't surprise me that Donald Trump would claim that Ted Cruz's father was seen with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before JFK's assassination.

Honestly, I'm only surprised that Trump didn't claim that Rafael Cruz wasn't part of John Wilkes Booth's conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln. 

Why does Trump do such things? For the same reason that he says he could commit mass murder in Times Square and not affect his poll numbers. Because he can.

These are the excretions of someone who lives in the gutter. But because Trump lives in any palace of choosing and because he's been on TV for so long, a critical mass of this country accepts what he says at face value no matter how stupid it is.

Schilling Now a Non-Person

By on 5.2.16 | 6:43PM

ESPN was not done with Curt Schilling after firing him for having the temerity, against left-wing fashion, to suggest publicly that men should use the men’s room. Taking a page from the old Soviet Union, that very political network is working to make Schilling a non-person.

Before Sundays’ Red Sox/Yankees game, ESPN re-broadcast “Four Days in October,” the documentary on the 2004 American League Championship Series, perhaps the most dramatic and unlikely comeback in sports history. The Red Sox were down three games to none to the Yankees and just an inning away from elimination. Then the magic stuff began: the most consequential stolen base in baseball, more long-ball heroics by Big Papi, and a heroic pitching performance by Schilling.

When I first saw the dramatic series some years back, it properly included Schilling’s victory in game six of that series, when he pitched with an injured and tacked together ankle, the famous bloody sock game.

Second Amendment Rights for Me But Not for Thee

By and on 5.2.16 | 2:25PM

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Among lawyers, the buzzword we looking for in an equal protection case is “strict scrutiny,” because chances are that once the court has said that standard applies, the government will lose. Nevertheless, there are plenty of cases — including last term’s Obergefell decision on gay marriage — in which a government action has transgressed even less rigorous levels of scrutiny.

Congress Needs to Halt DOL Regulatory Onslaught

By on 5.2.16 | 2:10PM

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) called out recent Department of Labor policies as having a “chilling effect” on the economy. Ryan’s statements were in response to an anemic rise in the country’s gross domestic product of only 0.5 percent in the advanced first quarter estimates.

Of note, Speaker Ryan mentioned two DOL policies, the overtime rule and joint employer guidance, which pose a threat to economic growth.

The DOL’s proposed overtime rule dramatically expands overtime pay eligibility to millions of salaried employees (5 million by DOL estimates and 12.5-13.5 by Employment Policy Institute analysis) by raising the salary threshold exemption from $23,000 to around $50,000 (recently Politico reported the DOL is considering a $47,000 threshold down from the proposed $54,000).

Claiming Hitler Was a Zionist is to Deny Anti-Semitism

By on 5.1.16 | 1:33PM

Ken Livingstone, the former Labour MP and Mayor of London, who was suspended by the Labour Party for claiming that Hitler was a Zionist is standing by his claim by invoking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

In an interview following the suspension, Livingstone said, "I never regret saying something that is true. How can I have hurt and offended the Jewish community when the prime minister of Israel said exactly the same thing?"

Livingstone was referring to comments Bibi made last October at the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem that suggested that Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews until the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini gave the Hitler the idea of extreminating them. At the time, I parted company with Bibi making the case that Hitler didn't need any encouragement when it came to killing Jews although the Grand Mufti was more than happy to give it.

MLB Notes for April: Cubs & White Sox Top the NL/AL

By on 5.1.16 | 2:48AM

The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox last met in the World Series in 1906. At the end of April, baseball fans in Chicago have reason for optimism this October as both teams own the best record in their respective leagues.

While few are surprised with the Cubs 17-5 record, the Chisox 17-8 start is MLB's biggest surprise considering the drama that ensued following Adam LaRoche's abrupt retirement concerning the presence of his son in the clubhouse. Instead of demoralizing the team, the incident has evidently given them a purpose.