The Spectacle Blog

The Difference Between Steve Scalise & Jim Clyburn

By on 12.30.14 | 3:52PM

From where I sit, the worst thing new House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is guilty of is lack of due diligence when he spoke to a white supremacist group while a Louisiana state representative in 2002. Granted, I've only been invited to speak to groups on a handful of occasions and I don't think any white supremacists are going to be inviting someone named Goldstein to speak before them anytime soon. But when these occasions do arise, I do like to know about the organization which invites me. Scalise ought to have been more circumspect before accepting an invitation from a group with which he was unfamiliar.

But as Scott McKay indicates in his article on the main page today, Scalise has no history of racial animus and is not accused of making racist statements during that speech. Earlier today, Scalise stated that had he known David Duke was involved with the organization that had invited him then he would have declined the invitation.

Send to Kindle

Grimm to Resign, Scalise is Hanging On

By on 12.30.14 | 12:18PM

Hey guys! What'd I miss? Anything exciting? I mean other than Barack Obama's golf game forcing a military couple to move their wedding? 

In the spirit of Christmas, I'm not even going to rag on that. It was his staff's fault, not his; they're the ones who should have known better. He called to apologize. And if you got married in the row of Dumpsters at K-bay, it would still be beautiful. Plus, it's not like our President doesn't have a deep and unrelenting need for space. He's a busy man, people. He's only been golfing 25 times this year.

Send to Kindle

Memo to Obama: Iran is Already a Successful Regional Power

By on 12.30.14 | 9:57AM

During his year end interview with NPR, President Obama demonstrates why being delusional and ignorant are a lethal combination when he spoke about Iran:

So, when I came into office, the world was divided and Iran was in the driver's seat. Now the world's united because of the actions we've taken, and Iran's the one that's isolated.

They have a path to break through that isolation and they should seize it. Because if they do, there's incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of — inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody. That would be good for the United States, that would be good for the region, and most of all, it would be good for the Iranian people.

Send to Kindle

Immigration & Common Core Won’t Deter Jeb Bush

By on 12.29.14 | 10:45AM

I have just read Larry Thornberry's piece outlining his arguments against Jeb Bush's impending bid for the White House and would like to offer the following comments.

Larry argues that many conservatives will be turned off by Bush due to his soft stance on immigration and his fervent support for Common Core. While this will be a deal breaker for a lot of conservatives, I don't think this deters Bush in the least. John McCain's equally soft stance on immigration didn't prevent him from winning the GOP nomination in 2008 nor did Mitt Romney's implementation of government mandated health care stop him from carrying the Republican banner in 2012. Methinks that Bush likes his chances.

Send to Kindle

Sony Will Release “The Interview” on a Limited Basis X-Mas Day

By on 12.23.14 | 9:05PM

"The Interview" will be released in theatres on Christmas Day after all albeit on a limited basis. 

I'm sure Sony got its courage back after President Obama and George Clooney called them out on withdrawing the movie. I'm sure they were further emboldened with North Korea's internet going down much of yesterday. Only the appartichiks in the upper echelons of North Korea's Communist Party have access to the Internet, but I guess being deprived of access to porn was probably enough to weaken the resolve of the Guardians of Peace, er, the North Korean Communists. 

I guess this means now I have to go see it and it will probably be awful. But sometimes you have take a stand even while you're sitting down. 

Send to Kindle

New Republic Blames NRA for Deaths of Assassinated NYPD Officers

By on 12.23.14 | 3:43PM

Yesterday, I critiqued an article in The New Republic by Claire Groden which argued the anti-police protesters weren't to blame for the murders of two NYPD officers last weekend and that the responsibility was that of the gunman alone.

Today, The New Republic is singing a different tune. According to an article written by Rebecca Leber, it's the NRA's fault that the two officers are dead:

Send to Kindle

My Twelve Favorite Christmas Songs Revisited

By on 12.23.14 | 12:55PM

I was intrigued to read what Emily considers to be the worst Christmas song ever written. Now I must confess I've never heard "The Christmas Shoes", but I do concur with her where it concerns "Last Christmas" regardless of who sings it. I also haven't heard Céline Dion's version of "Feliz Navidad" and am inclined to avoid it despite having recently read Carl Wilson's treatise on bad taste concerning her album Let's Talk About Love.

But I must part company with Emily when she includes John Lennon's "Happy X-Mas (War is Over)" and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time". I included both of them in my list of my twelve favorite Christmas songs several years ago.

Send to Kindle

The Worst Christmas Song Ever

By on 12.23.14 | 12:11PM

So, I'm traveling today, which means that, unless Jesus performs a miracle on my iPad keyboard, it's likely this is the only post you'll get from me for at least a couple of hours. Which means, of course, that I have to make it good, right?

I want to talk Christmas songs. Not the kind you sing in church, but the kind you've been hearing on that one radio station that flipped its programming to Christmas music just after Labor Day and has been haranging you with approximately 80000 versions of the same eight songs for three months. There are some truly terrible Christmas songs. And in the spirit of the congenial debate often at play in this blog, I want to declare that there is a Most Terrible. 

Send to Kindle

Joe Cocker, R.I.P.

By on 12.22.14 | 8:01PM

Singer Joe Cocker passed away today of lung cancer. He was 70.

The British born Cocker came to international performance with his cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends" at Woodstock in the summer of 1969. I remember when I went to see Michael Lang talk about Woodstock a few years ago, he spoke about Cocker who he later managed. Cocker was often compared to Ray Charles and Lang assumed Cocker was black. The voice didn't match the body

Cocker would also be remembered for his interpretation of other songs such as The Box Tops' hit "The Letter" with a little help from Leon Russell on piano, the Dennis Wilson-Billy Preston collaboration "You Are So Beautiful To Me" and, if you were a sentient being in 1982, you heard the Buffy Sainte-Marie penned "Up Where We Belong", a duet with Jennifer Warnes. 

Send to Kindle

NYC Anti-Police Protesters Must Live With the Consequences of Their Words

By on 12.22.14 | 4:23PM

I would like to share with you the last two paragraphs of an article in The New Republic by Claire Groden titled "Don't Blame Protesters for the Murder of Two New York Cops":

Send to Kindle

Pages