The Spectacle Blog

Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime (or $10, $25, $100)?

By on 2.9.15 | 1:47PM

What’s a nice boy like me doing on a list like this?

Got an email from the Bill Nelson (Florida’s Democrat U.S. Senator) Campaign asking for a donation to his campaign war-chest. He helpfully suggests “$10, $25, or $100 today.”

Nelson isn’t in a campaign just now. He won re-election to a third Senate term in 2012, beating a badly overmatched former congressman Connie Mack. But Bill doesn’t consider the fact that he’s not in a campaign any reason why Floridians, or other interested parties, should not send money to his campaign because, well, just take a look at what the email says:

Dear Friend:

This past election we [obviously Democrats, though for some reason Nelson doesn’t say it] lost some really good common-sense senators… like Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagen of North Carolina. They lost their elections not so much because of their ideas or the positions they took [oh?] but more so because of a shadowy group of extremist billionaires who decided to bury them in an avalanche of cash that bought negative TV attack ads. 

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Media Rewriting Obama’s Prayer Breakfast “Crusades” Speech to No Avail

By on 2.9.15 | 12:38PM

By now, the Internet has thoroughly handled our fair President's National Prayer Breakfast speech, which compared the rise of radical Islam to the Crusades undertaken to recapture the Holy Land, in an argument that exhibits the type of intellectual gravitas normally seen in an inspirational email signature quote. Punch-drunk on his own moral superiority, the President lectured a room full of people who had since adeptly handled the crisis of violent Medieval Christians and, unlike their ISIS "bretheren" are not still wandering about in the desert setting fire to people in cages, on how their respective religions' darkest times, found mostly in history books the President clearly does not read, are just as deplorable. Unless, perhaps, that burning caged man has a carbon footprint.

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Michelle Obama Says Ditch Your Boxed Mac & Cheese

By on 2.9.15 | 12:06PM

It's Monday, which means if, like me, you haven't grocery shopped since last Monday, you're either eating leftovers, take out or Kraft macaroni and cheese, that delicious miracle of chemistry that perfectly approximates what real macaroni and cheese would taste like if we ran out of cows. 

I'm just kidding, obviously. According to the company's website, Kraft Mac & Cheese is not only "The Cheesiest" mac and cheese type product out there, it's also "part of a balanced meal," if you add in some veggies and force your child to drink milk. The pasta is good, solid carbohydrates, and while the cheese powder is initially a little confusing, it can't possibly be worse than anything their parents ingested in the 1970s, as part of a television dinner or otherwise. But because the box meal is enjoyable, practical, low-cost, filling and nutritionally viable, it has clearly come under fire from the White House, whose matriarch has banned it from the kitchen outright.

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John Kerry “Won’t Rule Out” Running in 2016

By on 2.9.15 | 11:32AM

John Kerry is doing such a bang-up job as Secretary of State that he's considering taking this circus on the road. No, I don't mean that he's finally decided to take his job seriously and pursue foreign policy goals that don't involve "preventing global Climate Change" by relocating Europe's farting cows; he's considering running for President in 2016.

After all, if noted foreign policy achiever Hillary Clinton can do it, why can't we have a choice in which failed chief diplomat to elect to an even higher office?

Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he has not ruled out launching a presidential bid in 2016, maintaining he's been too busy to give the prospect any thought.

Asked by "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd if he'd consider another run, the 2004 Democratic nominee said he can think of "no scenario whatsoever" where he would launch another bid.

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Debbie and Sheila’s Night Out at the Grammys

By on 2.9.15 | 11:28AM

I'll be rounding up the highlights from last night's Grammy Awards a bit later, but suffice it to say, if you didn't watch it, you missed very little. As is tradition, we all got an eye-full of Madonna's rear end, questioned whether Kim Kardashian's dress was set to stay on for the whole night, were reminded that there was once such a thing as "rock and roll" but everyone who was involved in it can barely remember where they put their Metamucil, and that despite our best efforts at outlawing torture in this country, Ariana Grande still exists.

One unexpected highlight, however, was seeing Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sheila Jackson Lee, best known for haranguing Republicans for their ill treatment of the downtrodden and economically depressed, skating across the red carpet like they belonged there

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Jonah Goldberg Misses The Mark on Brian Williams

By on 2.9.15 | 10:34AM

Over the weekend, Jonah Goldberg made the case that the Brian Williams story is "overblown":

The Williams story strikes me as something far less than the Greatest Story Ever. It’s really kind of sad and pathetic. Some people embellish stories, lots and lots of people. The fish always gets bigger. The girl at the bar gets hotter. The other guy in the fight gets tougher. At some point the embellishments cover up the original, like layers of graffiti. That’s what Williams did. Don’t get me wrong. He lied and his apology minimized the size and duration of the lie. But the nature of the lie wasn’t nearly as bad as those of countless others who yoked deceit to a partisan agenda or for political gain. He was trying to praise the military and wanted a little more of their glory to rub off on him.

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Another Snow Day in Boston - UPDATED

By on 2.9.15 | 9:32AM

For the second time in less than two weeks I am at home because of snow.

Until January 23rd, we had a grand total of 5.5 inches of snow. I remember telling my roommate Christopher Kain, "We've hardly had any snow."

Since opening my big mouth we have accumulated more than 60 inches of snow. By the end of day we could add between 18 to 24 inches.

Unlike me, my roomie had to go into work. Hopefully he will be sent home early, but the MBTA is moving very slowly. There were about 75 passengers stranded on the Red Line in Quincy because of snow on the third rail.

I haven't seen this much snow since I lived in Thunder Bay.

UPDATE: Well, so much snow has fallen that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has suspended MBTA service as of 7 p.m. and all of tomorrow. Looks like yet another snow day.

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Kerry & Biden Meet With Israeli Opposition Leader

By on 2.8.15 | 11:44PM

While the Obama Administration refuses to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to the U.S. next month to address Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat due to the proximity of the Israeli election, both John Kerry and Joe Biden met with Israeli Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog over the weekend in Munich.

It's pretty chickensh#t, but can we expect anything less of the Obama Administration?

After all, members of Obama's campaign team have travelled to Israel to unseat Netanyahu. President Obama would rather do business with the Mullahs of Iran than with Netanyahu.

So it will be up to Netanyahu to persuade Israeli voters that they have a choice between a Prime Minister who puts the security interests of Israel first or an opposition that puts the interests of Barack Obama first. 

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Cosby Cancels Shows in Boston

By on 2.8.15 | 1:53PM

I was to have attended one of two sold out shows Bill Cosby was scheduled to perform at the Wilbur Theatre this evening. Of course, I had been planning to write a piece about the show and the furor against it.

However, Cosby abruptly cancelled both performances this morning due to inclement weather. Boston has been deluged with snow over the past couple of weeks with more expected tonight through early Tuesday morning.

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Thoughts on Brian Williams’ Leave of Absence

By on 2.8.15 | 1:37AM

In the wake of his admission he had not been aboard a helicopter which took RPG fire in 2003 and his subsequent non-apology apology, Brian Williams has announced he will be taking "several days" off from his position as anchor at NBC News. Weekend anchor Lester Holt will substitute for him in the interim.

I read this in one of two ways.

First, this may be Williams' face saving way of resigning without going through the motions of actually resigning. Several days turns to several months and then NBC quietly announces that Holt is the permanent anchor.

Alternately, Williams steps away with the hope that the memory of the embarrassing episode will recede in a few months at which time he would sit back down at the anchor desk. 

Of course, all of this will depend on NBC News' ratings during Williams absence. 

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