The Spectacle Blog

Tonight’s Two Runoffs

By on 7.15.14 | 4:57PM

After several weeks with little election news, two House primaries are being held today, one in Alabama and one in North Carolina. In both races, the leading candidates failed to reach the necessary vote threshold to avoid a runoff. In Alabama, both State Representative Paul DeMarco and Gary Peters are vying for a seat, while in North Carolina Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker are in contention. Both seats are open as both incumbents retired.

Alabama

In Alabama, both DeMarco and Peters have long histories in politics. DeMarco has been in the state house for the past nine years. Peters is the founder of the conservative think tank Alabama Policy Institute. Running to replace retiring Congressman Spencer Bachus, both men are making last-second pushes for votes. DeMarco came in the heavy favorite after the primary with 32.7 percent to Palmer’s 19.7 percent. While DeMarco seems to have the advantage, Palmer is trying to consolidate support from his primary opponents’ voters.

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The Dead in Gaza

By on 7.15.14 | 10:44AM

War is hell, not just for the soldiers, but also for those caught in the crossfire, the puppets and victims. The noncombatants of Gaza are bearing the brunt of the violence and bombings of the last week. They are cornered between Hamas, which has not hesitated to use them as human shields, firing rockets from within civilian neighborhoods and buildings, and Israel, which, although it tries to forewarn nonmilitants of attacks, remains relentless in its bombardment of Hamas’s rocket launch sites. The result for the people of Gaza: some 174 dead and thousands of refugees. 

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So Now Professional Wrestling is Racist?

By on 7.14.14 | 10:03PM

Racism is probably the worst thing a person can be accused of in America.

Unfortunately, it is an accusation that is leveled in the most casual manner. It is leveled daily against conservatives who dare to differ from President Obama. It is leveled against comedy shows for not having black female cast members. It is now being leveled against World Wrestling Entertainment because, among other things, black wrestlers are losing too many matches. I kid you not. 

Yet this is the argument by Dion Beary in an article in The Atlantic. But here is the claim Beary made that drew my attention. Beary writes, "In its 62 year history, WWE has never chosen a black wrestler to hold its world championship."

 

So how does Beary address the championship reigns of Mark Henry and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson?

 

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What Women Want

By on 7.14.14 | 5:20PM

July 14, according to the United Nations, is Malala Day, referring to the birthday of the Pakistani "girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban."

Malala Yousafzai celebrated her seventeenth birthday by visiting the families of the kidnapped girls from Nigeria. She wrote in the Washington Post that they and other girls worldwide are her "sisters," in need of her help:

I know education is what separates a girl who is trapped in a cycle of poverty, fear and violence from one with a chance at a better future. During my school holidays, I traveled to help my sisters through my organization, the Malala Fund. I have visited refugee camps in Jordan, spent time with girls facing poverty in Kenya, and even been to New York City, where girls face bullying and violence.

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Bergdahl Rewarded With a Desk Job

By on 7.14.14 | 4:29PM

So Bowe Bergdahl deserts his post and is rewarded with a desk job at Fort Sam Houston?

It's true that the Army's investigation isn't expected to be concluded until next month and it's possible he could face disciplinary action. But, as I have argued previously, given how the military downplayed his desertion from the outset I doubt he will receive any reprimand at all. If the results of the investigation are released in August when most people are in vacation mode leads me to believe the military wants this thing to go away as quietly as possible.

Giving Bergdahl a desk job as if nothing happened is a slap in the face to every soldier in his unit, especially those who died looking for him. It also sends a message there are no consequences for desertion. How can military morale much less discipline be maintained under these circumstances?

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Holder Sings The Same Old One Note Song

By on 7.14.14 | 3:17PM

During an interview with ABC, Attorney General Eric Holder said that conservative criticism of him and President Obama was partially driven by "racial animus."

Holder is singing the same old one note song. It is not first time Holder has made such assertions. During the height of the Fast & Furious scandal in December 2011, Holder also complained that criticism of him and Obama was racially motivated. Holder said, "This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact we're both African-American."

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Holder: Obama and I Are Being Criticized Because We’re Black

By on 7.14.14 | 3:13PM

In a stunning statement, Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News over the weekend:

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Mr. Holder told ABC News. “You know, people talking about taking their country back.… There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some, there’s a racial animus.”

Eric Holder is the first black attorney general serving under the first black president. He went on to defend controversial remarks he made in a speech during his first year in that position:

Mr. Holder also dug down in his comments he made years ago when he called the United States a “nation of cowards” on race, The Hill reported.

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Begich’s Boring Best

By on 7.14.14 | 12:45PM

As the Washington Post reports, Alaska's junior senator, Democrat Mark Begich, is scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel with arguments as to why he should be re-elected. In short, he promises to be "a thorn in (President Obama's) ass."

The Post takes a bit of a jab at Begich: "In the Senate, Begich is a junior figure, moving through the chamber’s power structure at the speed of a mastodon trapped in a glacier. Over five years, just one of his bills has been passed into law. It renamed a courthouse in Anchorage."

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Union Pulls Black College Support Over Ties With Koch Brothers

By on 7.14.14 | 11:59AM

Remember when liberals protested a new ambulatory care center because the Koch brothers funded it? They’re at it again, but this time it is donations to help black youths go to college that are the menace to society. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) announced in a public letter on Thursday that it will end support for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) after the group accepted $25 million from the Koch brothers.

AFSCME president Lee Saunders wrote in his letter to UNCF president Michael Lomax that he considers the actions of UNCF “a profound betrayal of the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement” as “the Koch brothers and the organizations they fund have devoted themselves for more than a decade to attacking the voting rights of African Americans.”

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Reform and Prejudice

By on 7.14.14 | 10:52AM

A movement older than the Tea Party, the nebulous coalition of conservative wonks now commonly referred to as reform conservatives has gained an increased public profile of late as the smart set with ideas for the Republican Party and an active response to the reactive Tea Party and passive party establishment. Not to be confused with the homonymous Austrian political party, reform conservatives, in as much as they are a unified whole, believe the current GOP electoral slide cannot be arrested without positive reform. As Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry summated in Forbes, “in order to win sustainably, Republicans must put forward policies that are credible, conservative and directly address the day-to-day concerns of lower-middle Americans.”

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