The Spectacle Blog

Kerry: Climate Change Violently Affecting Communities Around The World

By on 1.12.15 | 10:48AM

While many global leaders were in Paris yesterday to stand up against violence by Islamic terrorists, Secretary of State John Kerry had far more pressing matters. Kerry was in India speaking about the violence of climate change (H/T Jeryl Bier at The Weekly Standard):

Global climate change is already violently affecting communities not just across India but around the world. It is disrupting commerce, development, and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business, and believe me, if it continues down the current trend-line, we will see climate refugees fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunity.

Yet Kerry never said that the "violence" being caused by climate change had killed anyone.

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Correction on Ed Gillespie

By on 1.12.15 | 9:05AM

In last week’s column on “The Scalise Mess” I cited a remark by last year’s Virginia GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie. The quote was from the “Notable and Quotable” section of the Wall Street Journal. In the piece I identified Ed Gillespie as a “lobbyist, specifically, the ‘G’ in QGA Public Affairs — Quinn Gillespie & Associates.”

Ed has contacted me to say: “I left QGA in June 2007 to work in the White House for President Bush, and severed all ties with the firm. I have not lobbied at all in nearly eight years, and have no affiliation with QGA.” He adds, “I have no professional association with (QGA lobbyist) John Feehery or QGA.”

He adds: “Would you mind clearing it up for the readers of TAS (of which I’m one!).”

No problem. I was wrong, and I regret the error. 

This is a good moment to reprint the Gillespie quote that got the attention of the WSJ and then myself:

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Reminiscences of Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa

By on 1.11.15 | 11:40AM

People here in D.C. who remember Walter will recall a witty and learned scholar, but they also remember an indefatigable dancer who, well into his 80s, energetically twirled his lovely wife, Irene, around an AEI ballroom. I recall a talk he gave about Jefferson. “Nature’s God,” said Walter. “What kind of a God do you think that was?” 

Harry was a mischievous 8-year old in the body of an 80 year-old when I first met him. He spoke for three hours before a group of judges in Tucson, eloquently, brilliantly, one morning. Later that night I listened to a national radio talk show. Someone with a voice just like Harry’s called in, voiced the same ideas I had heard that morning, and identified himself as “Harry from Tucson.” He didn’t fool me.

RIP, Walter and Harry.

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Pats Comeback Against Ravens; Advance to AFC Final

By on 1.10.15 | 8:55PM

What a magnificent comeback for the New England Patriots.

The Pats were down 14-0 and 28-14 and Ravens QB Joe Flacco had his A game going. 

But the Pats twice overcame the deficits. The highlight of the game was when Julian Edelman, yes, Julian Edelman threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola to tie the game in the third quarter.

But Tom Brady is no danger of losing his job. He rushed for one touchdown and threw three touchdown passes. Brady's third touchdown pass was his 46th in an NFL playoff game passing Joe Montana for tops on the all-time list. It also gave the Pats a 35-31 lead.

The Ravens nearly re-took the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Patriots safety Duron Harmon intercepted Flacco in the end zone.

The Pats will host either the Indianapolis Colts or the Denver Broncos next Sunday in the AFC Final. 

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French Terrorists Are (Probably) Not Insane

By on 1.10.15 | 11:40AM

In my colleague Ben Stein's newest article, he says of Islamic terrorists like those who committed murder and mayhem in Paris this week that "Just a tiny group of severely mentally ill people can find some relief by cloaking their fear and rage in religious and political fervor and fever, and then they reach personality climax by killing the innocent and the harmless."

While I agree with Ben regarding the remarkable harm which can be caused by a small number of people, I think it's a mistake to call them mentally ill or "psychos"; yes, some of them may be but I suspect that most (as well as most Nazis, a group which Ben also mentions in this context) were not mentally ill but rather the holders of beliefs based on fundamentally erroneous and evil assumptions and teachings.

If a person is taught something for years and comes to believe it, that does not imply insanity as most people would understand the word - and its implications.

Again, I'm not saying that none of these people is insane. Some might be.

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Romney 2016 is Officially A Thing Now

By on 1.9.15 | 5:11PM

It's official!

Sort of. Maybe.

Mitt Romney has told donors that he considering a run for the White House in 2016. Because, if Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie weren't enough to pique your interest, a man who has already run for the office twice and lost should definitely make you pine for the days when we chose our elected leadership with physical trials through a gauntlet. 

Okay, so that was American Gladiator. But admit it, you'd like to see them have to run The Gauntlet on their way out of each and every debate. Anyway, Mitt Romney will accept your donation now.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney , the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, told a meeting of donors Friday that he is considering another White House bid in 2016, people present said.

The possibility of a third Romney bid could upend the emerging GOP field, coming as top Republican donors are starting to rally behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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Boston to Bid for 2024 Olympics

By on 1.9.15 | 5:07PM

The U.S. Olympic Committee has selected Boston to make a bid for the 2024 games.

I have mixed feelings about this decision. On one hand, hosting the Olympics would be a big feather in our cap and could be a lot of fun. It would be fun to see Olympic baseball at Fenway. On the other hand, it could be the second coming of The Big Dig and cause even more traffic and taxpayer headaches than we already have.

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Terror at Jewish Grocery Store in Paris

By on 1.9.15 | 4:42PM

Depending on the reports available either three or four hostages were killed at a Jewish grocery store in Paris along with Amedi Coulibaly who was working in concert with Kouachi brothers, the men responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The Kouachi brothers were killed by police in a separate standoff.

Still at large is Coulibaly's girlfriend, Hayat Boumeddiene who is believed to be responsible for the execution of a female police officer yesterday who had only been on the job for just over two weeks. Boumeddiene apparently escaped in the confusion.

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Harry Reid May Lose Sight in Injured Eye

By on 1.9.15 | 4:21PM

Harry Reid may have injured himself in a way most likely to be replicated in an Adam Sandler movie, but his facial lascerations and bruising are no laughing matter. 

Last week, Harry Reid reportedly tangled with a piece of exercise equipment and lost. Harry sustained a black eye, broken facial bones and three broken ribs when an exercise band he was using snapped back into his face, causing him to fall onto another gym machine. The black eye has caused blood to pool inside his eyeball and it's possible he may permanently lose sight in his right eye.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says doctors are "very hopeful" that he'll regain sight in his right eye after a recent exercising accident but that it's not a "slam dunk."

"I had a serious injury in my eye," he said in an interview with KNPR in Nevada. "There's blood accumulation there, and they're hoping that resolves itself."

"It's a day to day deal," he added, saying that he's limiting his reading to prevent straining his healthy eye.

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French React to Terror

By on 1.9.15 | 3:32PM

In an open society, you expect opinions to vary, and you consider that the competition in the market place of ideas is healthy in every sense. Prior even to the cornering and elimination of the gang responsible for the murderous assault on the editorial offices of Charlie-Hebdo, the Paris satirical newsmagazine, questions were raised in France and other countries about the who and the why and what next. This is as it should be, even if we are inclined to feel there may be some value in letting the powder dry while the forces of order — three of whom gave their lives in defense of the valeurs de la République that the journalists also promoted and protected in their daily work — did what was necessary and what they are trained to do. The terrorists’ other victims, a maintenance man at the paper’s building and three hostages taken when part of the gang holed up in a kosher market in Vincennes, a southern suburb of Paris, paid, too, in the fight to keep France free.

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