The Spectacle Blog

Can Billy Butler Rebound in Oakland? UPDATED

By on 11.19.14 | 3:28PM

Billy Butler, who has spent his entire 8-year big league career with the Kansas City Royals, has signed a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Oakland A's.

Although Butler got his first taste of post-season baseball, 2014 was statistically a low point of Butler's career. Although he hit a respectable .271 he slugged only 9 HR and 66 RBI. In 2012, Butler had a career year batting .313 with 29 HR and 107 RBI. Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated questions the wisdom of the deal:

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Dems Say Goodbye to Mary Landreiu as Keystone Vote Fails

By on 11.19.14 | 3:05PM

Last night's Keystone XL pipeline vote, rushed to the floor to save Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, did not go as well as planned for the Senator now facing a runoff. After much afternoon whipping, Democratic leadership, which had pushed the bill in the first place, couldn't manage to eek out the 60 votes needed to pass the measure.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week.

The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 "ayes" would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline.

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Janice Dickinson Joins Lynch Mob Against Bill Cosby UPDATED

By on 11.19.14 | 1:05PM

Supermodel and reality show mainstay Janice Dickinson has jumped aboard the lynch mob against Bill Cosby claiming in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that the comedian raped her in 1982. Dickinson said she had planned to disclose this in her memoirs which were released in 2002, but was prevented from doing so by Cosby's legal team. However, Cosby's attorney Martin Singer calls Dickinson's claims "a complete lie."

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Mitch McConnell Likely to Kill NSA Reform

By on 11.18.14 | 5:10PM

The US Senate will vote today on whether to reconsider the Patriot Act, which revolutionized the government's domestic surveillance power in the wake of 9/11. The Patriot Act, which covers everything from whether the government is allowed to collect data from your cell phone to whether you have to provide a driver's license to obtain allergy medication, is due to expire June 1.

Sometime in the not-too-distant past, there were people who opposed the Patriot Act because it represented a huge government over-reach that drastically limited Americans' privacy. That's not as true today, possibly because the President is no longer a Republican, even if he is a President who has taken the rubric set out by a Republican President and expanded it immeasurably. Thanks to our privacy-loving leader, Barack Obama, if you ever fail to make an accurate record of every single phone call you've ever made on your cell phone, there's an NSA facility in Utah that can make you a copy, provided you can somehow navigate all of the roadblocks in the Freedom of Information Act that Obama Administration agencies have established.

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Willow and Jaden Smith Are Probably Aliens

By on 11.18.14 | 4:33PM

Willow and Jaden Smith, the children of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, have new albums coming out, and the New York Times thought it might be a good idea to interview them, because artists love to be interviewed when they have something to promote, and because they are children of celebrities they must, by definition, have interesting things to say that could one day prove useful in a deposition. Su Wu, the story's author, could not have been disappointed.

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Nancy Pelosi Re-Elected House Minority Leader

By on 11.18.14 | 1:34PM

It can be pretty safely said that mid-term elections almost always go against the ruling party, which means that, in most cases, no major changes need to be made to leadership or direction, because after the next Presidential election, the balance of power will shift anyway. But November's mid-terms didn't just hand the Republicans a decisive victory on the back of Democratic failures - or, in the case of Wendy Davis, something about Ebola - it changed the entire voter landscape. Suddenly, a lot of demographics that were squarely within the Democratic party were up for grabs. Dissatisfaction was widespread. 

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Three Americans, One Briton Killed in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack

By on 11.18.14 | 1:10PM

After a series of attacks on Jews over the past several weeks at various bus and rail stations across Israel by Palestinians using vehicles, knives and anything else they can get their hands on as weapons, two Palestinians armed with guns, knives and axes have killed four people worshipping at a synagogue in Jerusalem. Three of the four killed were Americans and one was British. All four men were rabbis. The two Palestinian terrorists were killed by Israeli police.

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TIME Apologizes for Accidentally Trying to Banish Feminism

By on 11.18.14 | 12:46PM

Apparently, for the last four years, Time Magazine, which still exists despite all evidence to the contrary, has conducted a poll of online users over which "Word of the Year" to ban. To this day, none of the winners, including "YOLO" and "twerk" have been effectively banned, as we know because people still insist on both using them, and that Miley Cyrus is being deliberately terrible in pursuit of some sort of Dada-esque artistic merit.

This year, in a fit of what is clearly masochism, Time decided to include the word "feminst," which, by all accounts, thanks to the Internet's perpetual cycle of outrage, has lost all meaning as an ideology. Their rationale? It's become a celebrity buzzword, that movie stars and 25-year-old priveleged memoir authors plaster on themselves before considering, for example, which women-only sweatshop their designer-inspired makeup bag hails from.

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Charles Manson Gets a Wedding License

By on 11.17.14 | 11:04PM

One of the world's most notorious murderers has obtained a wedding license. Charles Manson has been granted leave to marry a woman named Star who has spent nearly the past decade trying to secure his release. Manson is 80, Star is 26. Once a cult leader, always a cult leader.

Now I've seen everything. 

This isn't exactly encouraging for us single folks who are unable to find our better halves. Apparently not being a psychopathic killer doesn't count for much these days.

Well, perhaps marriage will mellow Manson. 

And then perhaps Iran will start buying Israel bonds.

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Why I Don’t Like The Giancarlo Stanton 13 Year, $325 Million Deal with The Marlins

By on 11.17.14 | 7:53PM

Tomorrow the Miami Marlins will officially announce that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will be the highest paid player in any professional sport. The two parties have agreed to a contract extension of $325 million over 13 years. Stanton, who turned 25 earlier this month, has a no trade clause (something the Marlins wouldn't extend to Albert Pujols a few years back) and can opt out after the 2020 season. 

I don't like this deal one bit.

Now don't get me wrong. Stanton is a great player. He just finished runner up in the NL MVP balloting and as Tom Verducci pointed out on the MLB Network the other day his numbers are comparable to those of Frank Robinson during his first five seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. Stanton has hit .271 with 154 HR and 399 RBI while Robinson hit .298 with 155 HR and 449 RBI. 

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