The Spectacle Blog

Keystone Decision Is About Obama’s Position on the World Stage

By on 11.6.15 | 2:52PM

Today, in finally denying the Keystone pipeline, President Obama showed his true colors. We now know, as we’ve long believed, that those colors are the green of the anti-fossil fuel crowd, rather than the color of jobs resulting in economic growth in the hard-hit heartland of the United States. For seven years, he has tried to appease both his union supporters who want the good jobs Keystone would have provided and his environmental allies who declared it a “dirty” project that would add to global CO2 emissions. Now, before the United Nations climate conference, he can wave his green credentials and claim to be a world leader in the fight against global warming—which, I believe, was the whole purpose of the decision and subsequent announcement.

President Obama Officially Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

By on 11.6.15 | 1:23PM

Grab up those shares in Chinese shipping companies, kids! The Canadian tar sands oil is officially headed overseas, as the President has officially rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. 

President Obama announced Friday that he has rejected Canadian energy giant TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the pipeline was not in the U.S. national interest.

"The State Department has decided the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the interests of the United States. I agree with that decision," Obama said at a White House press conference.

The announcement caps a 7-year saga that has become one of the biggest environmental flashpoints of Obama’s presidency. It comes just days after the State Department refused to agree to TransCanada’s request to suspend the review process on the controversial project, which has seen enormous opposition from environmental groups.

Thoughts on Christie & Huckabee Being Relegated to the GOP Undercard Division

By on 11.6.15 | 1:19PM

As you know by now both Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee have been demoted to next Tuesday's GOP undercard debate which airs on the Fox Business Channel. Christie & Huckabee were sent down because neither candidate averaged 2.5% or more in the last four national surveys. The GOP undercard debate will feature Christie, Huckabee along with Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal. Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore did not qualify for this undercard debate.

Both Huckabee and Christie have made positive contributions to the debates and the two have engaged in an interesting debate over Social Security reform. It is a shame, but the herd must invariably thin.

CNN Scours Ben Carson’s Past, Finds Holes UPDATE: Carson Says Politico Headline a ‘Fabrication’

By on 11.6.15 | 1:08PM

UPDATE: Carson's camp now says that POLITICO itself fabricated Dr. Carson's "admission," and that they misinterpreted the campaign's quote on the subject, leading to a massively inaccurate story. It seems like a mountain out of a molehill. Did he fudge and misremember a few things in a memoir? Maybe. But it really doesn't have much of an impact on his long-term success or qualifications to be President. I mean, it's not like admitted to doing cocaine in his autobiography or anything.

Frankly, this might be the best thing that could have happened to Dr. Carson. After a week of weird sound bites, the story surrounding him is an attack by the media, something conservative candidates should be able to capitalize on and thrive from. 

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I’d Hate to See the McDonald’s Dollar Menu in Venezuela

By on 11.5.15 | 4:13PM

So how bad are things in the socialist paradise known as Venezuela?

An order of french fries at McDonald's will set you back $133.

I'd hate to see the Dollar Menu at the McDonald's in Caracas.

Of course, most Venezuelans who can get their currency from the black market. In which case, the fries only set you back about $1.15. Still, McDonald's is a luxury for many Venezuelans. The average monthly minimum wage is $12.

For nearly a year, you couldn't get fries at McDonald's because currency and price controls imposed first by the late Hugo Chavez and intensified by his successor Nicolas Maduro rendered the importation of potatoes impossible. Now all McDonald's fries are locally sourced. That should make the lefties happy, but this is what happens in a country that runs out of toilet paper.

A Knife Intifada Coming to a Location Near You

By on 11.5.15 | 1:24PM

Responding to the urging of their political and religious leaders, Palestinians have over the last few weeks taken to stabbing random Jews in Israel. This new manifestation of their mass homicidal psychosis has come to be called the “knife intifada.” It’s a suicide attack, this time on a more intimate level. The killer stabs as many passers by as he can before he is shot. He is then celebrated as a martyr by his people, and his family is provided with a large money reward. Many Palestinian mothers openly praise their dead progeny, and it is no wonder. Mom acquires some capital, and she can always produce more children. It’s a gruesome illustration of the law of supply and demand.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei recently encouraged these sorts of microaggressions on the theory that if you make life unpleasant enough for people, they’ll eventually move away. It’s the flip side of the continued existence of Palestinian “refugee camps.” Life is not unpleasant there. All necessities are provided by the United Nations, including food, housing, schools and the like. Life would be much harder anywhere else. The “refugees” would be on their own.

DOD Paid Millions So Sports Teams Would “Support the Troops”

By on 11.5.15 | 12:53PM

I have, at least as far as I can tell, never been paid to be patriotic. 

I mean, it's not as though I've wanted to be paid to hang a flag outside of my house or to meet a returning group of veterans or to write in support of taking care of the soldiers we send off to war in perpetuity, it's just that I never realized it was a possibility - or, for that matter, something that required any red-blooded American be paid to do. But according to a Senate report released this week, major sports teams - some of whom have multi-million dollar bank accounts - were paid to host events supporting our troops and veterans. In fact, "Paid Patriotism" has been the rule, not the exception, since 2012, and the government has spent more than $6 million of taxpayer dollars on it. 

The Department of Defense has been slammed for wasting taxpayers' money after they gave $6.8million to some of the richest sports teams, just so they could honor troops.

Hillary Clinton: Pardon the Felonious Former Presidents!

By on 11.5.15 | 12:27PM

Hillary Clinton spoke at an NAACP event this week, and in an effort to court an as-yet-untargeted demographic, announced a new policy position that at least a couple of people, including - possibly - her husband, may find more than palpable.

Although she clearly meant to say "prisoners" when talking about reforming the post-prison job search process (and jumping on the President's "ban the box" bandwagon, calling for employers to delete the section of their hiring applications that asks about a person's criminal history), Hillary Clinton made what seemed to be a Freudian slip

“Earlier today, I announced that as president I will take steps to ban the box so former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process,” Clinton said...“That way they’ll have a chance to been seen as more than just someone who has done time."

ABC to Put The Muppets on Hiatus for a Reboot

By on 11.5.15 | 11:09AM

In September, I watched the series premiere of The Muppets on ABC and utterly loathed it.

Apparently, I'm not the only one.

ABC is now planning to put the show on hiatus later this month so it can retool its format. After the hiatus, six new episodes are due to air. Bob Kushell is out as executive producer and is reportedly being replaced by Kristin Newman of the ABC musical comedy show Galavant.

We'll see if these changes bear fruit. Whatever they do, I never want to hear Kermit the Frog tell Fozzy Bear, "I feel you bro," ever again.


Bernie Isn’t Sick of Hillary’s Damn E-Mails Anymore

By on 11.5.15 | 10:31AM

It seems that Bernie Sanders isn't sick of Hillary Clinton's damn e-mails anymore.

In last month's first Democratic debate, Sanders told the world he was sick of hearing about Hillary's damn e-mails. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sanders changed his tune and said the FBI investigation into Hillary's e-mails should proceed. “There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly. ... Let the investigation proceed unimpeded.”

It's a start, but methinks Bernie is going to have to push harder than that in tomorrow night's Democratic presidential candidates debate. As I argued the other day, Bernie lacks Barack Obama's killer instincts where it concerns electoral politics.

Killer instincts or not, I would venture to guess that when Hillary's damn e-mails come up in the debate this time, she won't be saying, "Thank you, Bernie, thank you."