The Spectacle Blog

‘Common-Sense’ Gun Laws Wouldn’t Have Stopped the Lafayette Theater Shootings

By on 7.24.15 | 12:44PM

As you probably know by now two people were killed and nine people were injured while attending a screening of the Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck in Lafayette, Louisiana last night. The gunman, who has been identified as 59-year old John Russell Houser, took his own life by turning the gun on himself. Houser has been described as a drifter from neighboring Alabama. He did have a criminal record, but it wasn’t recent. His most serious offense was arson.

Obama Talks Rubbish on Iran Deal in BBC Interview

By on 7.24.15 | 10:40AM

Take a look at what President Obama said in an interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Sopel after Sopel noted that lifting sanctions in Iran would mean greater resources for Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria and would have the affect of further destabilizing the Middle East:

Well, keep in mind, first of all, we’ve shut off the pathways for Iran getting a nuclear weapon, which was priority number one. Because if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon, then they could cause all those same problems that you just listed with the protection of a nuclear bomb. And create much greater strategic challenges for the United States, for Israel, for our Gulf allies, for our European allies.

Second, it is true that by definition, in a negotiation and a deal like this, Iran gets something out of it. The sanctions regime that we put in place with the hope of the Brits, but also the Chinese and the Russians and others meant that they had funds that were frozen. They get those funds back. A large portion of those funds are going to have to be used for them to rebuild their economy.

Aramis Ramirez Will Finish His Career With The Pirates

By on 7.23.15 | 10:04PM

The Milwaukee Brewers have traded third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league pitcher Ynothan Barrios.

The Dominican born Ramirez signed with the Pirates at the age of 16 in 1994 and would make his big league debut in 1998. 

The Bucs traded Ramirez to the Cubs in 2003 along with Kenny Lofton and would come within five outs of winning a NL pennant and playing in a World Series. And, well, I won't go any further there. 

Ramirez remained with the Cubs through the 2011 season when he signed a four year deal with the Brewers. After hitting .300 with 27 HR and 105 RBI with Milwaukee in 2012, Ramirez's offensive production has declined.  In 81 games with the Brewers this season, Ramirez, now 37, is hitting .247 with 11 HR and 42 RBI. 

More Expensive Climate Nonsense

By on 7.23.15 | 6:32PM

The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it has awarded a $500,000 grant to Florida State University in Tallahassee to “improve understanding of the effects of climate change on indoor air quality.”

 A half-million bucks to learn that if it gets warmer outside it will likely get warmer inside? Please. No more hamming it up about those $2,000 hammers the Pentagon has bought.

The EPA should have sought more bids. Heck, I would have told them this for fifty bucks and a six-pack of Sam Adams.

Perhaps it’s time for a sharp grant writer to request a half-mil to study the effects of scientific hoaxes used to drive political agendas. But then I suspect the folks at EPA, in their devious and sustainable little hearts, already know a good deal about this.

In Praise of The Donald

By on 7.23.15 | 5:04PM

I confess that I am captivated by the rise of Donald Trump, and wonder just how much this reflects an admiration for him as opposed to a disgust at everyone else. I think the prospect of a Hillary vs. Jeb Bush contest must have something to do with it, but let’s just look at Trump by himself. The guy is an entrepreneur who built up a business empire on his own, who early on cut through red tape to build the Central Park skating rink, and who since then has made his way in spectacular fashion. What’s not to like about that?

Then there’s his flamboyance. I’m supposed to think that that’s a vice, when I contrast him to some of the gray characters in the Republican Party? Look, there’s something to be said for entertainment value.

Why We Should Send Obama to Earth 2.0

By on 7.23.15 | 4:49PM

NASA has evidently discovered an Earth-like planet about 1,400 light years away using its Kepler telescope.

This Earth 2.0 is evidently 60% larger than our Earth.

I say this is wonderful news and that we should offer to send President Obama over right away.

Upon Obama’s arrival on Earth 2.0, NASA could proclaim, “The Ego has landed.”

Gallup Poll: Climate Change Causes Pope’s Poll Numbers to Implode in U.S.

By on 7.23.15 | 4:37PM

Despite hysterical forecasts by some scientists, there’s been no empirical evidence of climate change for more than 18 years. But that has justchanged – dramatically.

In the time since Pope Francis this spring publicly embraced global warming as “real” and “man-made,” his popularity numbers in the Gallup Tracking Poll have plummeted by 17 points. Climate change, Gallup suggests, caused, in large part, that dramatic drop in papal approval.

Iran Now Getting Hundreds of Millions Per Month in Nuclear Deal

By on 7.23.15 | 3:47PM

Hell, if the Obama Administration were willing to give me a cool $700M per month, even I'd negotiate with John Kerry. I don't really know what we'd negotiate about but I'd certainly show up every day dressed to the nines, ready to nod a lot and look interested, which is basically what Iran did, anyway.

Lindsey Graham Burns Cell Phone in Effort to Stop Trump Calls

By on 7.23.15 | 3:25PM

This is unbelivably funny — and not just "unbelievably funny for Lindsey Graham" unbelievably funny — but I hate to tell Lindsey that you have to get a new cell phone number, not just a new cell phone in order to head off all those calls being placed to his device, since Trump aired his number on national television.

You should see it anyway:

Astros Make First Trade Deadline Move, Acquire Scott Kazmir From A’s

By on 7.23.15 | 3:16PM

The Houston Astros have struck first and thus begins the journey to MLB’s July 31st trade deadline. The Astros have acquired pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Oakland A’s for two minor leaguers, pitcher Daniel Megden and catcher Jacob Nottingham.

Don’t let Kazmir’s 5-5 record fool you. He has a sterling 2.38 ERA in 18 starts for a very bad Oakland team this season. I am a little surprised that this move was pulled off given that trades usually aren’t made within the same division. But this is a good deal. Kazmir joins a rotation that includes Dallas Keuchel, who started the All-Star Game for the AL earlier this month, as well as Collin McHugh who I watched overmatch the Red Sox last night. Although, then again, who isn’t overmatching the Red Sox these days? Throw 21-year old Lance McCullers into the mix and you’ve got quite the rotation.

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