The Spectacle Blog

Man with Knife & ISIS Flag Shouting “Allahu Akbar” Killed by Police in Paris on Charlie Hebdo Anniversary

By on 1.7.16 | 12:05PM

On the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, police in Paris shot and killed a man wielding a knife shouting "Allahu Akbar!!!" in front of a Metro station. The man, who has not been identified, was found with an ISIS flag.

Fortunately, no one else was injured in the incident.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has stated that investigations were underway to determine the identity of the attacker and his motivations.

While the man's identity may not yet be known, I think the motivations of a man wielding a knife and an ISIS flag while shouting "Allahu Akbar!!!" are abundantly clear.

Griffey, Jr. & Piazza Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame; Bagwell & Raines Getting Closer

By on 1.6.16 | 9:02PM

The Baseball Hall of Fame will have two new members this July. The BBWAA announced the elections of Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza to Cooperstown. They both received in excess of the 75% of the required vote. 

Junior Griffey, who had his best years with the Seattle Mariners, earned a record 99.3% of the vote in his first year of eligibility appearing on 437 out of 440 ballots. He surpasses Tom Seaver who received 98.8% of the vote in 1992. Meanwhile, Piazza earned 83% of the BBWAA vote in his fourth year on the ballot. Griffey, Jr. and Piazza are quite the contrast. Griffey, Jr. was a number one draft pick while Piazza was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round as a favor to Tommy Lasorda. Some favor. Still, one should expect Piazza to be wearing a Mets cap when he gets enshrined. 

Houston Astros great Jeff Bagwell missed enshrinement by 15 votes. But his vote total went up from 55.7% to 71.6%. Bagwell will surely get in 2017 as will Tim Raines who shot up from 55% to 69.8%. Next year will be Raines' last on the ballot. 

If Trump is Mentioning Cruz’s Canadian Birth Again Then He Must Know He’s Going to Lose Big in Iowa

By on 1.6.16 | 2:13PM

I am amused that Donald Trump is once again reminding voters that Ted Cruz was born in Canada.

Before speaking at a rally on Monday night in Lowell, Massachusetts, Trump stated, “Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem.”

Yet it was only four months ago just as the two were to appear together at a rally on Capitol Hill opposing the Iran nuclear deal when Trump told reporters, “I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape.”

Jeremy Corbyn Sacks Top Labour MP From Shadow Cabinet For Saying No One Forces Terrorists to Kill Innocent People

By on 1.6.16 | 12:34PM

 

The first shot in the British Labour Party's civil war was fired last night when leader Jeremy Corbyn fired (or they say in Britain, sacked) Shadow Europe Minister Pat McFadden for saying that no one forces terrorists to kill innocent people. I kid you not.

 

On November 17th, four days after the Paris attacks, McFadden stood up in the House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions and posed this question to David Cameron:

 

The Amazing Crying President

By on 1.6.16 | 9:44AM

The thought of a law-abiding Americano buying three guns at a gun show brings our community-organizer-in-chief to tears, while IS beheadings and military-style operations in America barely get him off the golf course. And when he does put down his putter after Islamo-whack-jobs have slaughtered more Americans in the name of the religion of peace, it’s to warn us not to get too sore about this or Loretta Lynch will prosecute.

It’s enough to make you cry.

Obama Says Gun Violence Happens Everyday on The Streets of Chicago (a.k.a. The Gun Control Capital of America)

By on 1.5.16 | 11:39PM

During his address on gun control, President Obama noted that gun violence "happens on the streets of Chicago every day."

Last I checked, Chicago is the gun control capital of America. Consider this 2013 New York Times article written by Monica Davey, the paper's Chicago bureau chief:

In Chicago, the rules for owning a handgun — rewritten after the outright ban was deemed too restrictive in 2010 — sound arduous. Owners must seek a Chicago firearms permit, which requires firearms training, a background check and a state-mandated firearm owner’s identification card, which requires a different background review for felonies and mental illness. To prevent straw buyers from selling or giving their weapons to people who would not meet the restrictions — girlfriends buying guns for gang members is a common problem, the police here say — the city requires permitted gun owners to report their weapons lost, sold or stolen.

Ryan Howard & Ryan Zimmerman Sue Al Jazeera America for Defamation

By on 1.5.16 | 10:29PM

Last month, I expressed hope that Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning would sue Al Jazeera America for running a report accusing him of procuring HGH.

For his part, Manning has said he will not make a decision about filing suit until after the NFL season. Although Manning is riding the bench, the Broncos in the playoffs. However, two MLB players named in the report -- Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals  - have filed suit against Al Jazeera America.

With the burden of proof on the plaintiffs, Howard and Zimmerman have a big challenge before them. But it is a matter of principle. Al Jazeera America nor any media entity can deliberately and wantonly make false claims. If Howard's and Zimmerman's suits can help curb media excesses then they will have performed a valuable public service. 

But there is no doubt that Howard's and Zimmerman's lawsuits will be bolstered if Manning joins the fray. 

White House Claims Twitter Account Was a “Top Accomplishment” in 2015

By on 1.5.16 | 4:59PM

When you don't have many domestic policy accomplishments to note, and your foreign policy largely involves ignoring anything important, a year-end review of your "best moments" will be slim, indeed.

Which, of course, explains why this year, in the White House's 2015 retrospective, they listed "joining Twitter" as one of President Obama's top events. Now, as the President's social media reach has expanded, and at least a chunk of his free time dedicated to spouting his every thought in 140 characters or less, the White House knows it has achieved at least something: simply avoiding the President's speeches and press conferences in traditional media will not completely erase him from your daily life.

“Americans also shared in some more personal moments with the President, like when he walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge 50 years after the first marches from Selma to Montgomery,” the blog post said. “Or when he sang ‘Amazing Grace’ in honor of those who lost their lives to gun violence in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Is the DNC Ready to Dump Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

By on 1.5.16 | 4:50PM

Before Christmas, Debbie Wasserman Schultz took it upon herself to lock Bernie Sanders's campaign out of the DNC voter files, including files they collected or updated, because they noticed a loophole that allowed them access to Hillary Clinton's cache. Since then, Schultz has come under scrutiny for her DNC leadership, as some progressives accuse her of being so far into Hillary Clinton's camp, she's unpacking a bear-proof picnic basket.

One group backing Sanders, RootsAction, has collected 23,000 signatures calling for Debbie's removal...in just four days.

Amid charges she’s blatantly tipping the 2016 presidential primary scales in favor of Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is coming under fresh fire from progressives who want her removed from her post immediately.

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