The Spectacle Blog

Americans Aren’t Stupid, But We Can Be Fooled

By on 11.12.14 | 10:52PM

We all know the story by now but it bears worth repeating.

An unearthed video showed MIT economist and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber speaking of the "stupidity of the American voter" and the "lack of political transparency is a huge political advantage" when it came to passage of Obamacare.

Gruber then did damage control with MSNBC's Ronan Farrow telling him he was "speaking off the cuff" and that he spoke "inappropriately" and expressed "regret" for his remarks.

Of course, it became clear that Gruber didn't regret his remarks, but rather being caught making them.

Indeed, additional videos have shown Gruber saying the "American people are too stupid to understand the difference" and the "lack of economic understanding of the American voter".

If Gruber has called Americans stupid on video twice then there's a good chance he did it third time. 

It isn't surprising to hear Gruber's sentiments. It's the kind of language I hear from Cambridge liberals all the time who have contempt for anyone who doesn't think like them.

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Kluber Wins AL Cy Young; Kershaw Wins 3rd NL Cy Young in 4 Years

By on 11.12.14 | 8:41PM

Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber won his first AL Cy Young Award narrowly beating 2010 AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners while Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale finished third in the balloting. (I predicted Sale would win the award prior to the season). Kluber led the AL in wins with 18 and struck out 269 batters in only 235 2/3 innings. 

Meanwhile, to the surprise of no one, Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw won his third NL Cy Young Award in four seasons. Kershaw previously won the award in 2010, 2011 and in 2013. He led the NL in wins (21) and ERA (1.77). Kershaw has won four consecutive ERA titles. In only 198 1/3 innings pitched, Kershaw fanned 239 batters. What is remarkable is that Kershaw missed a month of the season with a bad back which he injured after the season opener in Australia. 

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Dems May Try to Save Mary Landrieu With Hail Mary Keystone Pass

By on 11.12.14 | 6:36PM

Mary Landrieu needs to get some friends, and fast, or Louisiana will solidify the Republican majority in the Senate.

When the DSCC pulls out of a race because someone can "go it alone," usually independent organizations step in to fill the void, if there's a reason. And according to the Capitol City Project, independent donors are stepping up - just not for Mary Landrieu. In the last week, over $1 million dollars has flowed into Louisiana to impact this race, exclusively from conservative leaning PACs. Her only major pre-election PAC supporter, Americans for Responsible Solutions, has been oddly stingy following the announcement that the race will go to a runoff. And it's about to get even worse: Republicans have $7 million in broadcast reservations. In Landrieu's corner: the Humane Society, which has about $101,000 in reserved ad space. And they'll probably repurpose that ad buy to sell those adorable address stickers you get in the mail every Christmas.

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Nancy Pelosi Blames Midterm Losses on Ebola

By on 11.12.14 | 4:20PM

Nancy Pelosi would like you to believe that, despite losing the Senate majority and several important governorships, the Democratic loss isn't all that significant. After all, those blatantly biased reporters at Fox News spent weeks harping away at how the Middle East is falling apart, and that the government's response to the short-lived Ebola outbreak was hapless at best. And those poor, stupid voters, who were so supportive of the Democratic party two short years ago, were hoodwinked into believing that Democrats had no ability to govern effectively or manage in a crisis. 

Plus, according to Nancy, Barack Obama has had just so many successes, that voters just can't even process them anymore.

“I don’t think it was a failure of his message; it was the extent of his success. Let’s say it in a more positive way. This president has accomplished many great things,” Pelosi said of the president. “You know there is always an October eclipse. We couldn’t catch a break.”

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Valerie Jarrett Has a Burn Book

By on 11.12.14 | 4:08PM

To start, I don't think that Valerie Jarrett is the President's real problem. Everyone has that sycophantic friend that they call on to reassure them that it's okay, when you know it's not. Like when you ned someone to tell you that that red dress you bought that's two sizes too small doesn't make you look like you've been eating nothing but Krispy Kremes for a month, and that it doesn't really matter that you had to walk home barefoot Sunday morning with your panties balled up in your purse. Not that either of those things has ever happened to me. But the point is, every girl's got a friend with low self-esteem that helps them repair their psyche and pick up 8's on Tindr.

Valerie Jarrett is that kind of person, either to Michelle or to Barack Obama. The apparent problem with Valerie Jarrett is that, unlike other people who have these types of friends, the Obamas seem to have given her real power, and have now reached a point where she exacts too much influence within their inner circle. And, consequently, instead of using her flattery to temporarily rebuild their self-image following a devastating defeat, they've started to believe her hype. 

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The Dems Spent $700K Flying the Clintons Around

By on 11.12.14 | 12:58PM

Even though Hillary Clinton came out of her 50,000-mile Quixotic quest with less wins in her corner than Sarah Palin stacks up in one election cycle alone, the Democratic party may have spent three quarters of a million dollars jetting her from state to state, trying to use Hillary's electric personality and Bill's hypnotic speaking voice to boost their candidates. And those are just the early estimates. Since some of the campaigns have yet to finish filing expenditures, the Clintons' bill could top $1 million.

Bill and Hillary Clinton were the most sought after surrogates in the Democratic Party this year. He campaigned for more than 47 candidates. She for more than 26. Supporters estimate that, together, the Clintons headlined 75 rallies and fundraisers — and logged roughly 50,000 miles jetting from state to state.

When the Clintons travel, they fly private. This year, their airfare cost candidates at least $699,000, available state and federal campaign finance reports show.

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GOP Unseats Begich in Alaska, Picks Up Senate Seat #8

By on 11.12.14 | 12:36PM

The GOP bloodbath from last Tuesday has finally swept north. Last night Alaska finished counting all of its absentee ballots, and GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan was declared the winner, unseating Demcratic incumbent Mark Begich by around 8,000 votes. This is the GOP's 8th Senate pickup. 

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan defeated Sen. Mark Begich, the Democratic incumbent, in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race Wednesday – a win that gives the GOP eight Senate pickups in the midterm elections.

The Republican Party also is seeking a ninth seat in Louisiana’s runoff in December.

Sullivan ran a confident campaign, ignoring the debate schedule Begich established and setting his own terms.

He pledged to fight federal overreach, talked about energy independence and, at seemingly every opportunity, sought to tie Begich to President Barack Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who are unpopular in Alaska.

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Kevin Vickers Honored by Israeli Knesset; Meets with Netanyahu

By on 11.12.14 | 11:40AM

Canadian House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, the man who shot and killed the Parliament Hill shooter last month, was honored by the Israeli Knesset today and had a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Vickers had been scheduled to be in Israel for a security meeting long before his heroic act.

Netanyahu said during Vickers' visit, "This terror attack in Ottawa proves, once again, that Islamic radical terrorism has no limits and respects no borders. Israel and Canada stand side-by-side in the international effort to eliminate terrorism."

For his part, Vickers deflected the praise stating that stopping Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was "a real team effort."

It may very well have been a team effort, but Vickers was its captain.

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Obama Agrees to Cut U.S. Carbon Emissions While Allowing China To Increase Theirs

By on 11.12.14 | 11:34AM

So I guess this is what President Obama meant when he said he wanted to take U.S.-China relations to a new level.

Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have come to an agreement on carbon emissions (H/T Patrick Brennan at NRO). The U.S. will commit to reducing emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels while China's carbon emissions will peak "around 2030."

In other words, while this country has to reduce carbon emissions above and beyond what we have previously committed (17% below 2005 levels by 2020) for the next 15 years, China gets to increase its emissions unabated for the next 15 years give or take.

How exactly does this agreement advance American interests one bit? How does this help our economy?

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Showalter, Williams Earn AL/NL Managers of the Year

By on 11.11.14 | 8:13PM

There might not have been a Beltway World Series this year, but the managers of the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals have earn each league's top honors for skippers.

Buck Showalter guided the Orioles to their first AL East pennant since 1997. It is Showalter's third time winning this honor and has done so with three different teams, a feat only matched by Tony La Russa. He won it previously in 1994 while managing the New York Yankees and with the Texas Rangers in 2004. Showalter beat longtime Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia and Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost for the award.

Meanwhile, in his first season as a big league manager, Matt Williams led the Washington Nationals to the NL East pennant and the best overall record in the NL. The Nationals re-emergence following a disappointing campaign in 2013 under Davey Johnson. Oddly enough, Johnson earned the award in 2012 when the Nats won their first NL East title. Williams bested Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle and San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

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