The Spectacle Blog

Kim Davis Will be at SOTU Because Why Not

By on 1.12.16 | 11:57AM

The State of the Union is never short on political statements. Michelle Obama will, tonight, be taking a page from Clint Eastwood, for example, and featuring an empty chair by her side to represent all of the voiceless victims of gun violence her husband will avenge with his slate of startlingly ineffective Executive Orders. Paul Ryan will be bringing representatives from the Little Sisters of the Poor to confront Barack Obama's lack of charity in preserving the tenets of religious freedom. Ted Cruz will be skipping the speech to make an impassioned speech somewhere in the heartland while holding the Bill of Rights. He may even be posing for a painting.

And the Family Research Council will use it's ticket to the event to bring - who else? - Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis who became a folk hero in the fight for traditional marriage after she refused to allow her employees to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples. 

Because, obviously.

Jeb Bush Makes Worst Campaign Video In History

By on 1.12.16 | 11:29AM

There was a time in my life when I was a campaign communications consultant, responsible for helping political campaigns come up with new and intriguing ways to engage voters using digital media. There is a reason I don't do it anymore, and that reason is, because no matter how many times I or any of my colleages explained that most Republican consultants had the pop culture knowledge of 80 year old men and couldn't find a connection to Millennials if they were accosted by an entire room of Urban Outfitters employees, they still produced things like this.

Though, in fairness, no one I worked with ever produced something this terrible. We had to wait for Jeb Bush to waste $100 million on a campaign before we got something this terrible. Behold, the Jeb! campaign's newest whack at Marco Rubio: a LSD-inspired, trippy hit job on his heeled boots set to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking."

Because, obviously

Joe Biden Says Bernie Sanders, Not Hillary Clinton, Understands Income Inequality

By on 1.12.16 | 11:18AM

The White House is technically required to stump for the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidates this evening, laying out all of their successes in an effort to convince Americans that President Obama's tenure is in no way reflective of how other Democrats would choose to serve. There was that one time in 2009 he passed a healthcare law, but in the last 7 months or so, it's been all non-binding nuclear weapons agreements with backwater dictatorships, Executive Orders the Supreme Court will probably overturn, and that one time he opened up trade to Cuba because Beyonce wanted to go there on vacation. It's gonna be a tough sell.

Unhelpfully, this morning, the "White House," in the form of Joe Biden, also made it clear they have no intention on helping the frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. Talking about income inequality and the survival of the middle class, Joe made sure to tell the crowd of reporters that he thought Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, was in a better position to talk honestly about what it's like being merely a hundred-thousand-aire

UK Brewery Success Shows Lost Freedom in U.S. — A State of the Union Preview

By on 1.12.16 | 12:48AM

On Tuesday evening, President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. In evaluating the state of the U.S., it’s useful to look at the state of economic freedom, including the ability for ordinary Americans to start and invest in a new business without undue government interference.

By several measures, economic freedom has declined rapidly since 2009. Though some harmful policies were enacted in during the Bush administration, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting mandates that made it so much more difficult smaller companies to go public, the Obama administration has not reversed those policies and pushed through many new detriments to economic freedom. These include Obamacare, which makes it difficult for small and midsize firm to hire new employees to due to the expensive and prescriptive insurance coverage mandates, and the Dodd-Frank “financial reform,” which has crippled the ability of community banks and credit unions to lend to Main Street consumers and businesses.

Fiorina & Paul Demoted From GOP Main Stage; Paul Declines to Appear in GOP Undercard Debate

By on 1.11.16 | 10:41PM

Only seven candidates will appear on the main stage this Thursday's GOP debate on the Fox Business Channel. Both Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul have been demoted.

While Fiorina has agreed to be part of the GOP Undercard Debate with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, Paul has declined to participate. A spokesman for the Paul campaign claims he is running "a top-tier campaign." But the truth of the matter is that Paul's isolationist libertarianism simply doesn't resonate in the age of ISIS. Sharing a stage with Santorum is too much for his ego to bear. 

Yet this is also a big setback for Fiorina. Back in August, Fiorina wiped the floor with the competition at the GOP Undecard Debate and earned her way to the GOP main stage. She went face to face with Donald Trump after he made disparaging remarks about her appearance and got a boost. But Fiorina could not sustain that momentum. 

Hillary Clinton’s Dance Moves Will Ruin Your Monday

By on 1.11.16 | 7:50PM

This afternoon on Ellen, Hillary Clinton attempted to perform "The Dab," a series of hand motions replicating a dance now popular among "the youth."

The results were not so much endearing as they were...somewhat terrifying. 

I don't think this will go very far in convincing the kids Clinton frequently shoos off her lawn that she's "with it" and "hip," unless they're using their grandmothers as the working standard. But it's worth noting anyway. It's Monday and you could use a laugh. Or a terrifying memory burned into your retinas.

Paul Ryan Invites Little Sisters of the Poor to State of the Union

By on 1.11.16 | 7:45PM

I don't think I'll be watching Barack Obama's final State of the Union address tomorrow night unless I am forced to watch it because the television remote is out of reach at the gym or I get so despondent just thinking about it that I'm rendered immobile and can no longer change the channel. There are, after all, important shows to watch on Netflix, like reruns of basically anything.

With only a year left in his Presidency, officially ("lame duck" starts around 18 months before a term ends and Obama hasn't accomplished much in the way of anything since losing a Democratic Congress early on), there's nothing Obama can say tomorrow night that will make any legislative impact. He could offer a few more executive orders, wax poetic on the benefits of funding Planned Parenthood to the tune of half a billion dollars and please liberals with a smug commitment to ending gun violence and global warming with the very wave of his magic wand, but he's out of time. All he has left is Oval Office edicts.

FBI Looking to Expand Clinton Probe into Public Corruption

By on 1.11.16 | 7:29PM

Hillary Clinton has been out of the spotlight for a few weeks, hoping to avoid making any false moves lest Bernie Sanders finally overtake her in a primary state and, probably, to avoid taking press questions ahead of Michael Bay's Benghazi movie's premiere. But that doesn't mean everything's wine and roses in the Clinton camp.

As the FBI reaches further into Clinton's time as Secretary of State, and whether she knowingly violated restrictions placed on sending classified information, sources are now saying the agency is concerned that Clinton may have forged some improper ties between the State Department and her namesake foundation.

Fox News reports, exclusively.

According to reporting from Fox News, the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton‘s email use has expanded and is now investigating whether the “intersection” of Clinton Foundation donations and State Department decisions during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State violated corruption laws.

George Jonas, R.I.P.

By on 1.11.16 | 3:46PM

Journalist, novelist and poet George Jonas passed away yesterday at the age of 80. No cause of death was given, but he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago.

Jonas was born in Hungary growing up under both the Nazis and the Communists. He would flee to Canada in the midst of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. These experiences would make Jonas into a "classical liberal" who cast a cold eye upon totalitarianism in all its forms.

He would spend most of his adult life at the CBC working as a producer for both radio and TV. For many years, Jonas was a columnist at the Toronto Sun before moving on to The National Post. In 2014, Jonas was bestowed with Canada's highest civilian honor The Order of Canada.

The Man Who Would Be King (Apologies to R. Kipling) — of the World

By on 1.11.16 | 1:56PM

I hope readers enjoyed as much as I did Aaron Goldstein’s speculation this morning on Barack Obama’s post-presidential career as King of the World — the only post equal to Obama’s own estimation of his intellectual and moral weight. If only Obama had been offered the UN job in 2007, look at the agony and destruction we would have been spared. Obama would have been able to spend his days with scores of humbugs and hustlers just like himself, and his actions would have had no effect in the real world.

My suspicion though is that Obama doesn’t really want this job, or any other, come to that. He never held a position any linear thinker would describe as a real job before being elected president, so why mess with something that works? (Or, in Obama’s case, doesn’t work.)