The Spectacle Blog

American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Responds to 7-Year Old Son’s Birthday Invitation

By on 3.16.15 | 3:20PM


Like most 6-year-olds, Jacob Abedini sat with a black pen in hand and excitedly sent out invitations to his seventh birthday party Tuesday. But the guest whose attendance is most important won't be there -- his father, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains locked inside an Iranian prison because of Christian faith.

Abedini, a U.S. citizen and 34-year-old married father of two from Idaho, has been held in Iran for two and a half years after being accused of proselytizing in the Islamic republic. The American Center for Law and Justice and Abedini's family have pleaded with the U.S. and UN officials to secure his release -- including a meeting between the man's wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and President Obama earlier this year in Idaho that renewed hope for the family.

As the U.S. conducts sensitive negotiations with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, the family is left wondering about the status of Abedini -- especially his young son Jacob.

A copy of the birthday invitation 6-year-old Jacob Abedini sent to his father, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains imprisoned in Iran. (ACLJ)

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Team Clinton Says Personal History Is Important - If You’re Marco Rubio

By on 3.16.15 | 2:12PM

Team Ready for Hillary is incensed.

The prospective candidate must be held accountable! This person's history must be laid bare for everyone to see! Questionable friendships must be discussed, alliances must be disclosed and everyone must now know who they are, where they were, and why they were together!

They're talking about Marco Rubio of course. That mild-mannered, soft-spoken Senator from Florida whose past is plagued with scandal and intrigue, belly-up law firms, deleted emails, and flung lighting. Oh, wait. Sorry. That's Hillary Clinton. But it doesn't change that Ready for Hillary wants something done and wants it done now, because personal accountability is paramount where political candidates are concerned.

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Memo to Michelle: Ensuring That Every Girl Can Learn

By on 3.16.15 | 1:13PM

In this morning’s WSJ Michelle Obama asks us to help educate girls globally—Third World countries in particular—which is to say we are to shell out more of what’s left of our disposable income after six years of the Administration’s profligacy for this undeniably worthy cause. However, we know that more money spent on education won’t work abroad any more than it has worked at home.

A much better idea would be for Michelle’s husband to use his bully pulpit to advocate for girls’ education. He had a recent occasion to do so when he visited Saudi Arabia to mourn the passing of the old king and celebrate the passing of absolute power to the new king.

He might have said something about human rights in general. For example, he might have suggested that holding two beheadings in his honor during his visit was perhaps overkill, and that the more traditional killing of the fatted lamb might have been more appropriate in these modern times.

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Dems Defecting on Iran Deal

By on 3.16.15 | 12:47PM

They may not be happy that Sen. Tom Cotton went to the trouble of drafting a letter to the President reminding him that he needs to run any Iranian nuclear deal by Congress before emptying the silos and shipping off the yellowcake (which, it seems, was never actually sent to Iran), but that doesn't make Congressional Democrats any less likely to bristle at the thought of coming to the bargaining table with the mullahs.

Democrats - including the Administration - assumed, at least according to POLITICO and other media outlets, that Cotton's letter would make it easier to pick off Democrats who had previously expressed conscern at the Administration's willingness to engage in talks with Iran. After a week of signature-gathering and snarky responses, however, the White House hasn't managed to pick up any support it didn't already have. And skeptical Democrats are still being maddeningly skeptical.

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Ted Cruz Scares a Small Child, Probably

By on 3.16.15 | 12:24PM

This is a better than usual Monday morning, mostly because it's 70 degrees in Chicago and I've been watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt nonstop on Netflix. But also because a number of liberal outlets have been posting this "damning" video of Ted Cruz "making a small child cry" at an event over the weekend. 

Apparently, while addressing a small collection of New Hampshire voters as though that weren't a precursor to exploring a Presidential run (after all, why else would you go to Nw Hampshire?), Ted Cruz told the audience that the world "is on fire," and it made one little girl, Julie Trant, a bit concerned. 

Now, while it may be understandable to be terrified of Ted Cruz, for various reasons and at various times, it seems fairly overblown to suggest that this three-year-old is going to be permanently scarred by her encounter with Senator Cruz. After all, that sequinned green top hat in the video frame is far more likely to give any reasonable person nightmares.

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Vladimir Putin Reappears, Is Apparently Not Dead

By on 3.16.15 | 11:02AM

Over the weekend, everyone from NBCNews to ESPN had a theory on what was happening with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had, until today, been out of the public eye for slightly over a week. According to rumor, there was a coup, he was dead or seriously injured, possibly witnessing the birth of his love child in Switzerland, or the victim of botched plastic surgery.

Sadly enough, especially regarding that botched plastic surgery thing (uggggh, a facelift-gone-wrong would have been amaaaaazing for traffic), Vladimir Putin emerged today for a very public meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi looking as fresh faced as a daisy, and if undead, perhaps the most normal-looking undead person in history.

Russian President Vladimir Putin resurfaced Monday, smiling and looking his normal self after a 10-day absence from public view that fueled a wave of rumors about his health.

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Boston’s Winter of Discontent

By on 3.16.15 | 10:11AM

Boston now officially has had its snowiest winter on record.

Yesterday, 2.9 inches of snow fell bringing the total to 108.6 inches topping the previous record of 107.6 inches which was set during the winter of 1995-96.

Whereas that snow accumulated over an entire winter, this accumulated in the space of less than two months. On January 23rd, only 5.5 inches of snow had fallen. I remember turning to my roommate Christopher Kain and saying, "Boy, we haven't had much snow this winter."

Me and my big mouth. Four major storms would follow. In one 18 day period, 71.8 inches of snow fell. The bulk of the snow came in February when 64.9 inches fell.

On a personal note, I have not experienced a winter like this since moving out of Canada 15 years ago.

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Ed Klein: Valerie Jarrett Behind Leak of Hillary E-Mails

By on 3.15.15 | 8:37PM

In an article which appeared in The  New York Post, Ed Klein has written that Valerie Jarrett orchestrated the leak surrounding Hillary Clinton's e-mails. 

Now it's true that Klein has been questioned on the veracity of his information on Hillary Clinton in the past even by conservatives

But if the allegations are even partially true it could result in a full fledged civil war within the Democratic Party. 

If this civil war comes to pass then Valerie Jarrett would have fired the first shot.


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Al Rosen, R.I.P.

By on 3.14.15 | 9:49PM

Former big league slugger Al Rosen passed away yesterday. He was 91.

Rosen spent his entire 10-year career with the Cleveland Indians. That career would be delayed by his participation in WWII. Rosen would serve in the Pacific where he would command a Landing Craft Mobile which supplied arms to Okinawa.

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Yu Darvish to Miss 2015 Season; Will Undergo Tommy John Surgery

By on 3.14.15 | 1:52PM

Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish will miss the 2015 season due to a tear in his elbow ligament. He will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.

Darvish joined the Rangers in 2012 after winning 93 games in seven seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

In three seasons with Texas, Darvish has gone 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA. Darvish has fanned 680 batters in only 545 1/3 innings pitched. He has been named to three AL All-Star teams and finished runner up in AL Cy Young balloting in 2013 to then Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer.

While it is a big blow to the Rangers, it should be remembered that Texas finished in last place in the AL West in 2014 with him. The Rangers will likely finish last in the AL West in 2015 without him.

Still, Darvish is one of baseball's most exciting pitchers and hopefully he will return to form in 2016.

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