The Spectacle Blog

Mitch McConnell Pre-Surrendering on Debt Ceiling Just in Case

By on 3.9.15 | 12:52PM

Last week's fold on DHS funding was, apparently, only the first is a series of events designed to erode America's flailing confidence in the new, Republican Congress's ability to achieve any marked change in how business is done in Washington.

As we gear up for discussions on the deb ceiling (the one-year debt ceiling "holiday" expires within the week), we find that Congressional leadership - specifically Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell - fresh off the three-month budget ordeal that netted Republicans exactly nothing, has already planned to forgo any "extraordinary measures" that would give them a better negotiating position on raising the debt ceiling. 

Republicans will raise the government’s borrowing limit without threatening a default, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Sunday, placating the markets but potentially surrendering the party’s leverage as Congress gears up for another debt showdown.

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White House, NYT Really Annoyed George W. Bush Was in Selma

By on 3.9.15 | 12:04PM

The prevailing theory is that no Republicans were in Selma this weekend to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma march that provided a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement.

One quick look at various GOP leaders' Twitter streams and that notion is fairly easily dispelled. Sens. Tim Scott, Jeff Sessions, and Susan Collins were all there, as well as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, RNC chair Reince Priebus, and a number of others, including former President George W. Bush, who walked on the front lines and was given a place of honor on stage during the speeches.

Of course, George W. Bush doesn't have the kind of over-active Twitter feed to demonstrate his commitment to civil rights on, and if you were paying attention to basically any dispatch from the Selma event, you'd never even know he was there. The New York Times, for starters, cropped him and his wife Laura right out of the photo they put on their front page.

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Feinstein Says Silence on E-Mails Will Hurt Hillary

By on 3.8.15 | 8:53PM

In an interview with Chuck Todd of Meet the Press, California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein called upon Hillary Clinton to "step out and come out" concerning her e-mails. Feinstein added, "Silence is going to hurt her."

I think this is a fairly significant development. Feinstein is a longtime ally of Hillary. Not only did Feinstein back Hillary in 2008, she was calling upon her to run for the White House again back in 2013.

When a senior Democrat like Feinstein begins raising doubts about Hillary there's a good chance others will follow. 

If Democrats don't think her release of 55,000 e-mails (none of which were on her home server) is going to cut it then she is in trouble.

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Lew Soloff, R.I.P.

By on 3.8.15 | 7:37PM

Jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff passed away this morning following a massive heart attack after having dinner with his family in New York City. He was 71.

Soloff was a musician's musician playing with the likes of Gil Evans, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Marianne Faithful and Art Garfunkel. But Soloff is best known for his tenure with Blood, Sweat & Tears playing on five of their albums and on their major hits "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die".

Soloff's daughter, Laura Solomon, paid tribute to him on her Facebook page:

My dad was amazing. He could drive me f#*king crazy, but that didn't make him any less essential to my life. He loved his grandkids. He loved my sister and me. He was one of the greatest trumpet players in the world and I'm so proud to be his daughter. I'm so happy to carry on a fraction of his musicality in the now rare moments that I pick up my violin.

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Lindsey Graham Is Confused By This Series of Tubes

By on 3.8.15 | 6:10PM

This weekend, the presumptive Republican Presidential candidates kicked off what will be the longest leg of their pre-campaign careers: the endless slog through farm-centric events in flyover country in a vain effort to win over Iowa's caucus voters who haven't actually selected a viable Presidential candidate in at least the last three contests. 

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“Texts From Hillary” Emails, Avatar Now Missing

By on 3.8.15 | 5:44PM

Remember that iconic "Texts from Hillary" Associated Press photo, where Hillary Clinton is seen scrolling through her Blackberry on a military transport to Libya? I hope it's burned in your mind, because as of this morning, the photo, which was Hillary Clinton's Twitter avatar, has been removed

After getting some heat for her Twitter avatar featuring the iconic photo of her staring at her Blackberry while heading to Libya, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally changed it.

While some were critical of her for keeping it after the email scandal surrounding her, Clinton didn’t say she was changing the avatar because of that, but instead, to draw attention to International Women’s Day.

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Obama Blasts Voter ID Laws in Selma Speech

By on 3.7.15 | 9:30PM

In his speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, President Obama took aim at state voter ID laws

And with effort, we can protect the foundation stone of our democracy for which so many marched across this bridge – and that is the right to vote. Right now, in 2015, fifty years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote. As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood and sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, stands weakened, its future subject to partisan rancor.

Obama went on to characterize voter ID statutes as "voter suppression laws".

I defy President Obama to name me one person who has been denied the right to vote as a result of the passage of any state voter ID law. The states that require a photo ID have gone to great lengths to ensure its citizens receive their IDs free of charge. 

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Why Madison Might Become The Next Ferguson

By on 3.7.15 | 2:10PM

Last night, a police officer in Madison, Wisconsin shot and killed a 19-year old black male named Tony Robinson sparking protests.

It is not known if Robinson was armed. At this point, I am inclined to give the officer the benefit of the doubt. However, if information emerges that the officer did not act in self-defense then so be it. Let the chips fall where they may.

Alas, I strongly suspect the protesters in Madison are no more interested in the truth than the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri were. They simply wish to pillory the police and no doubt feel emboldened to do so by the Obama Administration.

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Harve Bennett, R.I.P.

By on 3.6.15 | 8:44PM

TV and movie producer Harve Bennett passed away on March 4th. He was 84.

Bennett was one of TV's most successful producers during the 1970's with hits such as The Mod Squad  (co-produced with Aaron Spelling), The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. He also produced the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man which launched the career of Nick Nolte.

In the 1980's, Bennett took over as producer of the Star Trek movie franchise. Bennett persuaded Leonard Nimoy not to drop out of the series when he proposed that the Spock character be killed off and also got Ricardo Montalban to reprise his role of Khan resulting in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He would also produce Star Trek III: Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

 

 

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