The Spectacle Blog

Take That, Gwen Ifill

By on 9.2.15 | 4:13PM

Gwen Ifill is one of the President Obama’s most prominent cheerleaders in the media. You might remember that she wrote about Obama and despite this was permitted to moderate the 2008 VP debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

Ifill’s cheerleading skills were put on full display as she, in response to the impending ratification of the Iran nuclear deal by the Senate, retweeted the Obama Administration’s spin on the deal (#IranDeal) while adding her own comment, “Take that, Bibi.” (H/T to Cortney O’Brien of

She is now getting a pretty big backlash on Twitter. She subsequently tweeted, “But this graphic, created by administration deal supporters and tweeted out by the @StateDept”

We Can Thank Bob Corker for Ratifying Obama’s Iran Deal

By on 9.2.15 | 3:44PM

As Emily noted earlier today, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Democrat to announce intention of supporting the Iran nuclear agreement.

Over at Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin argues that Democrats now own Iran and will rue this day: 

But what this means is that every act of Iranian terror, every instance of Hamas and Hezbollah using Iranian funds and material to wage war against Israel or moves against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states must now be seen as having been enabled not just by Obama but also by his party.

Unfortunately, a point that Tobin acknowledges, Republicans own Iran as well, namely Bob Corker. If it were not for the Corker bill passed last spring, Mikulski’s yes vote would not matter. As NRO’s Andy McCarthy argued at the time:

MLB Commish Manfred Declines to Reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson; This Does Not Bode Well for Pete Rose

By on 9.2.15 | 12:28PM

Yesterday, it was revealed that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had declined to reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson in response to a petition submitted by the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, South Carolina.

Manfred said he did not want to second-guess the ghost of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, MLB’s first Commissioner and the man who banned Jackson and seven other members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox (a.k.a. The Black Sox) for throwing that year’s World Series against the Cincinnati Reds despite the fact the players had been acquitted in a court of law. But this was insufficient for this particular federal judge who famously (or infamously) decreed:

Clinton Email Contained Sensitive Information About North Korea

By on 9.2.15 | 12:27PM

Hillary Clinton has been parsing her words a lot lately, picking and choosing carefully what terms she uses so as to not be overtly incorrect. For instance, she says she never "sent" classified email, but has only on occasion admitted to receiving it, but only then, it wasn't classified when she got it (possibly, though, because she ignored the classification, but see, she didn't say that). As it happens, she may have even been correct about the "classified information," since technically, some of the product she received was actually "top secret."

Nestled among the friendly exchanges with Barbara Mikulski and requests for TV guides are several emails, according to intelligence souces, that contain information relayed from spy satellites circling over North Korea, including tracking information for North Korea's nuclear weapons. 

Sen. Barbara Mikulski Is 34th Vote “Yes” In Senate, Keeps Iran Deal Alive

By on 9.2.15 | 10:56AM

Secretary of State John Kerry went on CNN this morning to announce that the President had secured enough votes in the Senate to ensure there would be no Republican filibuster of his Iran deal. While anyone other than Christian Amanpour would have stared at the Secretary quizzically, it appears her comfortable, sympathetic and unyielding gaze was the correct approach to the Secretary's proclamation. 

The administration has, indeed, finally whipped its 34th Senate vote: Maryland's Democratic Senator (and Clinton confidante, as we learned from the released emails) Barbara Mikulski

I'm not sure what they promised her, but I hope it was worth it.

The Morning Spectacle: Midweek Madness

By on 9.2.15 | 4:00AM

The weekend is much closer than it appears.

In Our Sights

Is the Trump surge over? After weeks of topping the Iowa polls, everyone's favorite former real estate mogul has slipped to second — or, at least, he's slipped into the margin of error, even with Dr. Ben Carson. Must have been the helicopter rides.

Scott Walker may now be in danger of being re-seated to the kids' table for the CNN Presidential debate, but he's giving his all to New Hampshire. The Wisconsin governor will spend Labor Day weekend criss-crossing the Granite State on a Harley Davidson. 

CNN To Consider Changing Debate Rules for Fiorina? UPDATE: Rules Amended

By on 9.1.15 | 4:46PM

UPDATE: CNN has amended its rules. According to the network, they've re-evaluated their rules and based on the way the race has fluctuated, will structure their debate tiers on polls taken between August 6th and September 10th, rather than between July and August. According to CNN, this may adjust the "top-tier" of debate candidates, but no candidate will be officially placed until the September 10th window closes.


CNN has scheduled a phone call with the Republican Presidential candidates to discuss concerns with the methodology it used to determine participants in CNN's September debate. 

Currently, to be in the "top tier" of debating candidates, current candidates mCNN has scheduled a phone call at 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday with the GOP presidential campaigns to discuss changes to the criteria determining which candidates will get to appear on main stage at the next debate later this month, The Washington Times has learned.

Bernie Sanders Would Like You to Please Stop Comparing Him to Donald Trump

By on 9.1.15 | 4:12PM

Bernie and Donald may be two peas in the same anti-Establishment pod, garnering their respective followings based on their shared belief that "politics as usual" is no longer an effective mantra, and both sporting hairdos that defy logic, reason and, generally, gravity. But while Donald Trump may be happy with his "outsider" status, Bernie Sanders is less thrilled that Bernie-Donald comparisons are "a thing."

Speaking to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Bernie whined that he'd rather people prefer to think of him as a unique and special unicorn, rather than the cross-partisan twin of a New York real estate mogul.

"No, I don't accept that for one moment," the Independent Vermont senator said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" when asked if he was tapping into the same "anger" against Washington that is fueling Trump's campaign.

Clinton Emails Reveal Concerns About Afghanistan, Clarence Thomas, Gefilte Fish

By on 9.1.15 | 12:58PM

Last night, the State Department dumped a massive collection of 7,000 emails, all related to Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State.

The dump, which was supposed to have come earlier in the day, was delayed by several hours because 150 of the emails showed signs of classified information. The rest showed signs of an embattled Hillary Clinton, struggling not just with foreign policy, but with managing a meddling Sidney Blumenthal, an overworked Huma Abedin, an opinionated daughter, a work environment filled with "ogrish males," and uncertainty over canned seafood. 

The highlights:

Let’s Not Push the Romney Panic Button

By on 9.1.15 | 12:57PM

It would appear the GOP donors underwhelmed with the likes of Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and fearful of Donald Trump are trying to renew efforts to recruit Mitt Romney,  if NRO’s Eliana Johnson and Elaina Plott are correct.

I believe this would be a mistake. It would simply reinforce Republicans as a party of elites with a tin ear and play right into Trump’s hands. While Romney is a smart man and would have made a far better President these past couple of years than Obama, he simply does not resonate with people. If Romney couldn’t beat Obama on his record or lack thereof in 2012, he isn’t going to fare any better than 2016.