The Spectacle Blog

What About Rescuing Peter Kassig and Other Hostages Held by ISIS?

By on 10.4.14 | 3:10PM

Yesterday, ISIS released a video in which the so-called "Jihadi John" beheaded British aid worker Alan Henning. The video also showed American aid worker and former U.S. Army Ranger Peter Kassig. Jihadi John said Kassig would be killed if U.S. led military operations in Iraq and Syria did not cease.

If we are not prepared to pay ransom for Kassig (as Ben Stein has argued we ought to do) as we did with Bowe Bergdahl then why not organize a covert operation to rescue Kassig and the other hostages? Otherwise, we are going to be seeing a lot more videos from ISIS. More videos means more dead Americans, Brits and other Westerners. Let's put ISIS out of the movie business. 


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Cardinals Come Back Against Clayton Kershaw

By on 10.3.14 | 11:36PM

A couple of days ago, I declared it would be damn near impossible for anything to top the A's-Royals AL Wild Card game.

Well, Game 1 of the NLDS between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers came pretty close

It was expected to be a pitchers' duel between Dodgers ace and likely NL Cy Young/MVP Clayton Kershaw and Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, the best pitcher in MLB never to have won a Cy Young. These expectations would not be met. 

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Lindsey Graham Considering Presidential Run Because Why Not

By on 10.3.14 | 2:20PM

In case you were wondering if there would be a candidate in the 2016 Presidential field whose primary slogan would be "let's bomb everything," (and who wasn't?) you need not wonder any longer. Although the current crop of potential nominees has expressed a slightly more nuanced view of foreign policy than, say, John McCain, at least one member of Congress feels that there should be a voice for the downtrodden Establishment among the crowded field.

Lindsey Graham, best known for his steadfast commitment to, well, nothing, is likely to declare his candidacy for President. In the event, you can't find someone better, of course.

In an interview with Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, the senator, running for re-election to the Senate this year, said: “If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody’s out there talking — me and McCain have been talking — I may just jump in to get to make these arguments,” Graham said.

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Larry Craig used campaign money to pay for his ‘wide stance’ defense

By on 10.3.14 | 12:01PM

Remember Larry Craig, the Republican lawmaker who was caught in a Minnesota airport bathroom trolling for anonymous gay sex? You don’t? Allow me to refresh your memory.

At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly.

According to Larry right after he was nabbed for the incident, it wasn’t his fault he’d “accidentally” solicited the person in the stall next to him for an afternoon delight. He merely held a “wide stance” when he did his business, and it’s not his fault that his foot accidentally grazed the foot of his neighbor. After accepting that his secret shame had been revealed to the voters of Minnesota, who went on to elect such luminaries as Michele Bachmann and Al Franken, Craig pled guilty to disorderly conduct, a plea that he, apparently, immediately regretted. Because, it turns out, he enlisted a team of lawyers to help him reverse it, to the tune of $242,000, a healthy sum he happily paid out from his campaign coffers.

Which is illegal.

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White House hosted most expensive state dinner ever for Indian PM (who didn’t eat)

By on 10.3.14 | 10:06AM

According to a Freedom of Information Act request from CBS News, Americans have paid out $1.5 million to feed the Obama family and their guests as they entertain Heads of State at the White House. That number is, of course, hardly surprising. A good state dinner should run you into the hundreds of thousands lest that person’s country encounter a faux pas or a bad potato, thus destabilizing an otherwise natural and congenial diplomatic relationship. Plus, the Obama Administration has, through State Dinners, unwittingly launched at least one reality television career. So it practically pays for itself.

This time, however, the White House hosted newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a dinner that cost approximately half a million, even though the guest of honor didn’t eat a single bite. While the President’s entourage dined on fresh halibut, roti crisps, saffron basmati rice and mango creme brulee, PM Mondi drank a glass of warm water, in observance of a nine-day ritualistic fast.

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Obama’s Cowardly Behavior Towards Netanyahu

By on 10.2.14 | 5:06PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is understandably miffed with President Obama's criticisms of settlements (through WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest) considering he had met with him only hours without bringing up the subject.

So why did Obama behave in this manner? I suspect he did this because Netanyahu publicly admonished Obama not enter into nuclear deal with Iran that leaves the Mullahs on the "threshold" of being able to develop nuclear weapons. This is, after all, a matter of Israel's very survival.

But Obama doesn't take criticism well and wanted to get back at him. So once Bibi was safely away from the White House and on his way back to Jerusalem, Obama sent out Earnest to do a job he wouldn't do himself.

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Bush: “I Know The Nature of the Enemy.”

By on 10.2.14 | 3:09PM

In an interview with Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends today, former President George W. Bush did something he has seldom done since leaving office - comment on Iraq.

Kilmeade drew Bush's attention to comments he made in July 2007 in which he warned against withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too soon. Bush argued at the time that doing so would allow terrorists (namely al Qaeda) to establish a safe haven in Iraq which would lead to mass killings and result in the return of U.S. troops to Iraq. Substitute ISIS for al Qaeda and Bush's warnings have unfortunately come to pass.

When asked how he knew this would come about, Bush replied, "I know the nature of the enemy."

This sums up the difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now one can certainly Bush legitimately criticize Bush not only for his prosecution of the War in Iraq, but even if we should have gone in there in the first place. Hell, even I found myself posing that question.

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Giants Squash Pirates in NL Wild Card

By on 10.2.14 | 12:20AM

So much for my post-season prediction that the Pittsburgh Pirates would win the World Series.

Unlike Tuesday night's AL Wild Card between the A's and Royals, there was little suspense in the NL Wild Card between the Pirates and the San Francisco Giants which the Giants won 8-0.

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford took the Pirates crowd out of the game with a grand slam HR in the fourth. Amazingly, Crawford is first shortstop to hit a grand salami in post-season game.

Brandon Belt drove in three runs with singles in the sixth and seventh. Buster Posey singled in a run in the 8th.  

But the big story of the game was Giants starter Madison Bumgarner who threw a complete game, four hit shutout. Clayton Kershaw might win both the NL Cy Young and NL MVP, but MadBum is at his level and might emerge as the pitching hero of this post-season.

The Giants advance to the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. Game 1 begins on Friday afternoon in D.C. 

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A Canadian Perspective on the White House Security Breach

By on 10.1.14 | 1:12PM

The story of the White House intruder reminds me that things could have been far worse. Consider what took place at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, the official residence of Canada's Prime Minister nearly 20 years ago.

It was November 1995 and, at the time, the Liberal government of Jean Chretien was in office and had just survived the second Quebec Referendum. That night, a man named Andre Dallaire, managed to break into 24 Sussex Drive and found himself outside of Chretien's bedroom. The noise awakened Chretien's wife Aline who went to investigate. Upon exiting the bedroom, she saw Dallaire brandishing an open jackknife with a 4 3/4-inch blade. Mrs. Chretien retreated back into the bedroom, locked the doors, called the RCMP and grabbed an Inuit sculpture for protection.

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