The Obama Administration only has a few more years in which to reward its mega-donors or watch the Barack Obama Presidential library go unfunded. Since they've already bestowed all of their Ambassadorships on mega-bundlers and would have a difficult time explaining why Hollywood stars were serving in Cabinet-level positions, it seems that the Administration has taken to simply rewarding their biggest showbiz supporters with major American honors, typically reserved for those whose contributions to society aren't monetary.
The Spectacle Blog
We might have all had better things to do last Saturday night, like eat tacos while watching the news, but some people in this wide world of Internet spent the evening live-Tweeting the Democratic Presidential debate, as though anything important would be said by anyone involved. Interestingly, Hillary Clinton is said to have lost the debate to Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and reality, claiming that she began taking money from Wall Street because she felt sorry for them after 9/11, and that radical Islam is somehow not responsible for blowing people sky high in select European countries.
Fortunately, the esteemed former Secretary of State had Planned Parenthood's savvy team of Twitterers at her disposal, and they performed swift and tactical rapid response, taking on Bernie Sanders over his stubborn and probably sexist resistance to advancing the cause of "reproductive justice," whatever the heck that means.
As the nation argues about whether or not to accept Syrian refugees - especially now that it appears at least two of the Paris attackers used forged passports to re-enter Europe, using the migrant crisis as a Trojan Horse - some details about who we've already accepted seem to show a "refugee system" that's hopelessly stacked against those who need refuge the most: Arab Christians.
According to a recent count, the US has accepted around two thousand Muslim refugees from Syria but only 53 Syrian Christians, even though Christians seem to be faring the worst against ISIS across the Arab penninsula. The bias seems to be a product of the process itself, being handled by the United Nations, who haven't taken the continued safety of Arab Christians into account as they amass Syrian refugees in processing camps.
Is the Donald preparing to go to war with his closest ally in the Presidential nomination process?
For months, it's seemed like Ted Cruz is just waiting for Donald Trump to drop out of the race so that he can pick up whatever demographic segments Trump has inspired to join in the political process. It's a strategy that, for Cruz, at least, seemed almost immediately doomed to fail. First, there's no proof that the people Trump has "energized" are energized for anyone except Trump, a name they know and recognize in a field of people they've never heard of because they only watch reality television. And second, Donald Trump isn't exactly known for gracious exits. It's more likely that if Cruz challenges him out of the race, he'll burn that bridge and many more, as Trump himself noted in an interview yesterday.
Donald Trump said Monday he is capable of turning on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in their competition for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.
The Hill reports the Senate GOP is trying to decide how much of ObamaCare to repeal via the budget-reconciliation process:
[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell only needs 51 votes instead of the customary 60 because he is moving the repeal measure under a special budgetary process known as reconciliation. The downside of the strategy is that that package can only include provisions designed to impact the budget deficit.
As a result, popular parts of the law, such as the prohibition against discriminating against pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26, cannot be included.
While President Obama says that "slamming the door in the faces" of Syrian refugees "would be a betrayal of our values", nearly half of the country's Governors beg to differ.
This includes New Hampshire Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan whose office issued the following statement:
The Governor believes that the federal government should halt the acceptane of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugee, including those from Syria, is as strong ass possible to ensure the safety of the American people.
Hassan has served two terms as the Granite State's Governor. She will be challenging Republican Kelly Ayotte for her seat in the Senate in 2016.
I have a feeling there might be more Democrat Governors who join Hassan in calling for a moratorium on accepting Syrian refugees.
Although neither man began Opening Day 2015 on the major league roster, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant easily won AL & NL Rookie of the Year honors, respectively.
Correa didn't make his big league debut until June. In only 99 games for Houston, Correa hit .279 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI and was a key contributor to the Astros first post-season berth in a decade. At 21, Correa is just scratching the surface.
Meanwhile, Bryant hit .275 with 26 home runs and 99 RBI in 151 games. Although he struck out a NL leading 199 times, he did make the NL All-Star Team and reached the post-season with the Cubs. Like Correa, we are going to hear a lot from Bryant in the years to come.
Songwriter and musician P.F. Sloan has passed away of pancreatic cancer at the age of 70.
Sloan co-wrote a series of hit songs with Steve Barri during the 1960's and early 1970's most notably Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction", "Unless You Care" by Terry Black and "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers. Sloan & Barri on several songs which became hits for The Grass Roots - "Where Were When I Needed You", "Let's Live For Today" and "Things I Should Have Said." In addition to songwriting, Sloan was also respected session player and was associated with The Wrecking Crew.
Given the events which have taken place in Paris, "Eve of Destruction" takes on a new meaning 50 years after it was written.
This actually happened on Friday night, but with the Paris attacks I've put writing about this on the backburner.
The Boston Red Sox acquired Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres for four prospects.
Kimbrel will replace Koji Uehara as the team's closer. Uehara took over as closer in 2013 and was a key part of their World Series title run. Uehara saved 25 games for a mediocre Red Sox team in 2015, but his season ended in August with a broken wrist.
Despite Uehara's effectiveness, he is 40 while Kimbrel is 27.
Kimbrel began his career with the Atlanta Braves winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. He led the NL in saves every season between 2011-2014. On Opening Day, the Braves traded Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres. Kimbrel saved 39 games for a mediocre Padres team. He has 225 saves for his career.
President Obama raised eyebrows at the G-20 Summit in Turkey when he said, "I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership, or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with."
The liberal website Talking Points Memo tried to defend Obama's comments by expanding them, but in the process only made him look worse:
What I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow in the abstract make America look tough. Or make me look tough.
And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed and I see a 25 year old kid who is paralyzed or who has lost his limbs and some of those are people I've ordered into battle.