The Spectacle Blog

Guess Which Flag Makes Berkeley Students Angrier! Israel or ISIS?

By on 11.20.14 | 10:40AM

I saw this tweet from an AmSpec alum Philip Klein which links to a website called The Right Scoop which posted a YouTube video by Ami Horowitz who stands on the campus of Berkeley first waving an ISIS flag and then an Israeli flag.

Guess which flag makes Berkeley students angrier?

But then why should we be surprised when President Obama gets angrier at Israel than he does at ISIS, not to mention Iran.

 

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Mike Nichols, R.I.P.

By on 11.20.14 | 10:14AM

Mike Nichols, director of film and Broadway, died suddenly last night of a heart attack. He was 83.

Born in Germany, Nichols was sent to America along with his brother in 1938 as anti-Semitic measures against Jews intensified.

Nichols would study medicine, but his real passion was the theater and through the theater would meet Elaine May. They would come to national prominence in the late 1950's and early 1960's as the comedy duo Nichols & May.

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Could Ferguson Grand Jury Indict Wilson to Avoid Riots?

By on 11.19.14 | 10:35PM

Obviously officials in Missouri are preparing for the worst where it concerns the decision of the grand jury concerning the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Clearly many expect Wilson not to be indicted as the evidence suggests that Wilson shot Brown in self defense.

Yet the grand jury is surely not ignorant of what has been developing and know what scrutiny they are under. Given this pressure, is it possible the grand jury could return an indictment against Wilson to avoid a riot?

Needless to say, it would be wrong to indict Wilson if there is no legal foundation for doing so. It could also make things worse if Wilson ends up being acquitted. Of course, the jury could end up convicting Wilson for the sake of avoiding a riot. Where would the justice be in that?

 

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Ray Sadecki, R.I.P.

By on 11.19.14 | 9:20PM

Former big league pitcher Ray Sadecki has passed away of blood cancer. He was 73.

Sadecki, a southpaw, made his big league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960 at the age of 19 and would win 9 games that season. In 1964, he would win 20 games for a Cardinals team that overcame the Philadelphia Phillies in the last two weeks of the season to win the NL pennant and eventually win the World Series against the New York Yankees. Sadecki was the winning pitcher in Game 1 besting Yankees ace Whitey Ford.

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Jimmy Ruffin, R.I.P.

By on 11.19.14 | 4:22PM

Singer Jimmy Ruffin passed away on Monday. A cause of death has not been released. He was 78.

Ruffin was the older brother of David Ruffin who gained fame and fortune with The Temptations. Originally, The Temptations had offered the elder Ruffin the chance to replace Elbridge Bryant, but when David Ruffin sang, everyone listened.

It's not that Jimmy Ruffin wasn't plenty good. He just got lost in the Motown shuffle. He did have a huge hit in 1966 with "What Becomes of The Broken Hearted" which is a Motown standard. Some modest success with "I've Passed This Way Before" and "Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got". But for whatever reason, he never became an A player at Motown.

Ruffin had better success as a Northern Soul act in Britain and did have one more Transatlantic hit in 1980 with "Hold On To My Love" which was written for him by Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.

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Barack Obama Will Go it Alone on Immigration

By on 11.19.14 | 3:42PM

Tomorrow night, President Obama will make a primetime announcement about taking executive action on immigration reform, shielding up to 3.5 million people in this country illegally from forced deportation. The White House has yet to release a statement on what, exactly, the President plans to include in his sweeping, unilateral executive amnesty schematic, but you'll all find out when he cuts into your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

President Barack Obama will unveil his long-awaited immigration plan Thursday evening, changing rules governing deportations that could affect millions of undocumented immigrants and setting off an explosive battle with Republicans.

Obama's prime-time address will be followed Friday by an event in Las Vegas, sources tell CNN. While exact details of his announcement aren't yet public, the basic outline of the plan, as relayed by people familiar with its planning, includes deferring deportation for the parents of U.S. citizens, a move that would affect up to 3.5 million people.

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Can Billy Butler Rebound in Oakland? UPDATED

By on 11.19.14 | 3:28PM

Billy Butler, who has spent his entire 8-year big league career with the Kansas City Royals, has signed a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Oakland A's.

Although Butler got his first taste of post-season baseball, 2014 was statistically a low point of Butler's career. Although he hit a respectable .271 he slugged only 9 HR and 66 RBI. In 2012, Butler had a career year batting .313 with 29 HR and 107 RBI. Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated questions the wisdom of the deal:

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Dems Say Goodbye to Mary Landreiu as Keystone Vote Fails

By on 11.19.14 | 3:05PM

Last night's Keystone XL pipeline vote, rushed to the floor to save Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, did not go as well as planned for the Senator now facing a runoff. After much afternoon whipping, Democratic leadership, which had pushed the bill in the first place, couldn't manage to eek out the 60 votes needed to pass the measure.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week.

The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 "ayes" would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline.

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Janice Dickinson Joins Lynch Mob Against Bill Cosby UPDATED

By on 11.19.14 | 1:05PM

Supermodel and reality show mainstay Janice Dickinson has jumped aboard the lynch mob against Bill Cosby claiming in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that the comedian raped her in 1982. Dickinson said she had planned to disclose this in her memoirs which were released in 2002, but was prevented from doing so by Cosby's legal team. However, Cosby's attorney Martin Singer calls Dickinson's claims "a complete lie."

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Mitch McConnell Likely to Kill NSA Reform

By on 11.18.14 | 5:10PM

The US Senate will vote today on whether to reconsider the Patriot Act, which revolutionized the government's domestic surveillance power in the wake of 9/11. The Patriot Act, which covers everything from whether the government is allowed to collect data from your cell phone to whether you have to provide a driver's license to obtain allergy medication, is due to expire June 1.

Sometime in the not-too-distant past, there were people who opposed the Patriot Act because it represented a huge government over-reach that drastically limited Americans' privacy. That's not as true today, possibly because the President is no longer a Republican, even if he is a President who has taken the rubric set out by a Republican President and expanded it immeasurably. Thanks to our privacy-loving leader, Barack Obama, if you ever fail to make an accurate record of every single phone call you've ever made on your cell phone, there's an NSA facility in Utah that can make you a copy, provided you can somehow navigate all of the roadblocks in the Freedom of Information Act that Obama Administration agencies have established.

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