The Spectacle Blog

Wendell Kim, R.I.P.

By on 2.17.15 | 9:30AM

Wendell Kim, who served as a third base coach for the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, died on Sunday of Alzheimer's. He was 64.

Usually you don't notice third base coaches. But Kim was hard to miss. He was the first Korean to ever put on a big league uniform, usually the shortest guy on the field and the most demonstrative. Kim sent baserunners home with reckless abandon. It was not unusual for the runners he sent to get thrown out at home plate and I saw more than my share at Fenway Park the first year I began attending games in 2000. This earned him the simultaneously affectionate and derisive nickname "Wave 'Em Home Wendell".

But Kim paid his dues. He spent nearly two decades in the Giants' minor league system as a player, coach and manager before getting the call in 1989. That year, the Giants would win the NL pennant. He would never get back to the Fall Classic, but he spent 15 seasons on big league fields. I'm sure there are a lot of folks out there who would gladly trade places with him.

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Lesley Gore, R.I.P.

By on 2.16.15 | 9:48PM

Singer Lesley Gore passed away today of lung cancer. She was 68.

Born Lesley Goldstein in Brooklyn, Gore would hit the top of the charts at the age of 16 with "It's My Party".

Although she would never record another number one song, she did have a string of Top 20 hits during the 1960s including "Judy's Turn to Cry", "You Don't Own Me" and the Marvin Hamlisch penned "Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows". Gore also occasionally acted appearing in two episodes of Batman.

In 1980, Gore and her younger brother Michael were nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the song "Out Here on My Own" for the film Fame. During the '80s and '90s, Gore was a fixture on the oldies circuit. In the last decade of her life, much of Gore's public activity revolved around LGBT issues after revealing she was a lesbian in 2005.

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Sisi Stands Up For Coptic Christians; Launches Airstrikes Against ISIS

By on 2.16.15 | 8:41PM

In retaliation for the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya, Egypt has launched airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya. 

What I think is extraordinary about this retaliation is that Egypt is doing this on behalf of a religious minority that has not traditionally enjoyed much esteem in Egyptian society. I cannot imagine Hosni Mubarak being moved to this kind of action had he still be in power. But General Sisi has cultivated good relations with the Copts and now he is standing with them in their hour of need.  

While it's heartening to see both Jordan and Egypt standing firm, the United States needs to be all in and the Obama Administration's AUMF is barely going through the motions.



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It Looks Like Obama Thinks The Beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians is Random Too

By on 2.16.15 | 8:19PM

When President Obama commented Friday on the Chapel Hill shootings in which three Muslims were murdered in cold blood he made a point of stating, "No one in the United States of America should be targeted because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship."

If only the President could imagine the same level of passion when people are murdered because they are Jewish or Christian. 

As we are painfully aware, Obama could not bring himself  to characterize the murder of four Jews who were murdered at the Hyper Cacher grocery store in Paris as anti-Semitic.

Well, nor does it seem, is the Obama White House capable of acknowledging the beheading of Egyptian Christians in Libya. The Obama Administration only acknowledges them as "Egyptian citizens". At least, the White House didn't call the act random - yet.

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Long Pants Wouldn’t Hurt Either

By on 2.16.15 | 8:01PM

It’s rare that one has a chance to strike a blow for civilization while on a late afternoon exercise walk. But I have just enjoyed such an opportunity.

At about minute 20 into my walk, and while I was listening to a book on CDs on my old Sony Walkman, a 40ish fellow wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and a baseball cap with the bill pointed backwards, carrying some circulars, said to me as I approached, “If you live around here I’d like to talk to you about being your city councilman.”

I don’t know this guy from Adam’s housecat, and my area of South Tampa is represented by a popular Democrat who is going to win the council seat easily. So it really doesn’t matter who this solicitor is. But what a strange costume for a guy fishing for votes other than at a high school or at a shopping mall game room. So as I passed him I said, “Now’s not a good time, as you can see. But here’s some free political advice. There are mostly adults behind the doors you’re knocking on here, so turn your damn baseball cap around frontwards.”

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Boehner Not Worried About DHS Shutdown

By on 2.16.15 | 1:26PM

I'm about to embark on a West Coast jaunt, so naturally, Congress is about to make travel slightly more difficult and confusing by hanging the Department of Homeland Security's fate in the balance twoards the end of the month. Now, granted, the TSA will still get more than the required funding necessary to paw through my unmentionables in front of a handful of weary travelers at an ungodly morning hour, but I'm sure that, by the end of next week, literally everyone will be losing their respective minds over the prospect of DHS losting its funding, rendering the general public even less capable of handling basic instructions like put your shoes directly on the conveyor belt.

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Rep. Steve Cohen Jealous of Sarah Palin’s SNL Invite

By on 2.16.15 | 12:58PM

Last night, Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 years on the air, presumably because, given the ten more years required to reach a real milestone, everyone's pickled livers would have given out, rendering the show forced to celebrate it's awkward 1980s downturn instead of it's 1970s heyday. In attendance were some of the show's brightest stars, celebrities who've made multiple hosting appearances, iconic musical acts and Sarah Palin.

It's understandable, of course, that the show would welcome it's most famous target, especially since Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression is almost inseperable from most people's idea of who Sarah Palin actually is. Sarah, for her part, wore her daughter's dress and poked fun at herself in a way very few politicians are able to do. But while her appearance generally suprised and delighted audiences, at least one sitting Congressional representative was incensed that she snagged an invite while his got lost in the mail.

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Prez Buzzes the Nation

By on 2.15.15 | 7:03PM

“Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art accompanied,” is how Falstaff braces Prince Hal in one of the amusing tavern scenes in Henry IV, Part I. If Falstaff had taken better care of himself, and were still around today, it would be on point to make the same observation of our current commander-in-chief. (Leave aside that Hal’s dodgiest company was Falstaff himself.) 

I learned this week that there is something called “BuzzFeed,” which apparently appeals to young males who wear their baseball caps backwards and have room temperature IQs. The tone is Three Stooges without the nuances. President Obama went on this sophomoric site, panning and mugging and leaving no doubt that a career in standup is out of the question after he leaves 1600. The justification for this brain-dead performance was Obama was trying to get young Americans to go along with the ObamaCare gag. Anyone dumb enough to tumble to this come-on would need to be watered twice a week. 

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ISIS Beheads 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya

By on 2.15.15 | 5:14PM

ISIS has released yet another snuff film.

This time, the video is set in Libya where 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt who had been kidnapped are beheaded

And how exactly are we supposed to stop these beheadings when President Obama doesn't want boots on the ground?

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Obama Admin to Keep Israel Out of the Loop on Talks with Iran

By on 2.15.15 | 5:07PM

The Obama Administration has announced that Israel will no longer be briefed about its ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.

Wendy Sherman, who is leading the negotiations with Iran, says that Israel is being cut off because the information is being manipulated for political ends namely those of Benjamin Netanyahu.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice also announced she was cutting off relations with her Israeli counterparts.

As usual, the Obama Administration is behaving in a childish and petty manner. 

The Obama Administration is interested in securing an agreement, any agreement with Iran and is willing to do so at the expense of the friendship of its most stalwart ally in the Middle East. 

But this is what we have come to expect. President Obama treats Israel worse than ISIS.

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