The Spectacle Blog

The Enduring Resonance of Abraham Lincoln

By on 4.14.15 | 4:59PM

It was seven score and ten years ago today that President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in the Ford's Theatre.

In a time that our country doesn't know its history like it should, I am amazed how a 19th century political figure still resonates in the early part of the 21st century.

To put in perspective, President Kennedy was cut down nearly a century after Lincoln. Although there are still many around who remember where they were when JFK was shot in Dallas, I think Kennedy's resonance has diminshed over the past 25 years or so. Some of this is no doubt due to the revelations of his personal behavior and, to some degree, the personal behavior of various members of the Kennedy clan.

Obama to Visit 50th State as President — With Eight More to Go?

By on 4.14.15 | 12:14PM

Yesterday, during a radio interview, President Obama announced he would visit South Dakota on May 8th. When he does, Obama will have visited all 50 states during his presidency. He will not have to visit eight more.

During the 2008 campaign, at a campaign stop in Oregon, Obama said he had "visited 57 states with one to go."

Not surprisingly, the MSM was nearly silent about it and when it was mentioned the excuse was, "Oh, he was tired."

If any of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates get their U.S. geography wrong, they will never hear the end of it.

As for his South Dakota trip, Obama hasn't indicated if he will visit Mount Rushmore to comemorate its 75th anniversary.

I don't think he'll visit Mount Rushmore until they clear a part of it just for him. Lord knows it would take a mountain to contain his ego.

Hillary Clinton Tries to Get Noticed at Chipotle

By on 4.14.15 | 12:08PM

I'm adamant that this Hillary Clinton road trip is a huge missed opportunity, as far as social media communications are concerned. While a smart candidate in a decked out van would be stopping at every roadside attraction along the way in order to meet the Real People who make up the Real America, Hillary has confined her intereactions with the proletariat to those that take place only where she is absolutely forced to stop. There are no unplanned exits from the Hillary Vehicle. If you are not desperately in need of a bathroom or the van is about to run out of gas, there is clearly no reason the Champion of the Middle Class can see to stop. 

Unfortunately for the Caravan of Compassion, certain staff members are not vampires and as such, require regular sustenance in the form of overpriced "Mexican" food. As such, Hillary Clinton has been forced to make the occasional stop at Chipotle, where she has done her level best to make sure everyone knows someone famous is in their establishment.

Percy Sledge, R.I.P.

By on 4.14.15 | 11:49AM

Legendary soul singer Percy Sledge passed away this morning following a long battle with cancer. He was 73.

Sledge, a native of Louisiana, was working as a hospital orderly when the very first song he recorded "When a Man Loves a Woman" hit number one on the Billboard charts in May 1966.

Although Sledge did have several other Top 20 hits such as "Warm and Tender Love" and "It Tears Me Up" none of them had the impact of "When a Man Loves a Woman".

Sledge would experience a career renaissance more than two decades after "When a Man Loves a Woman" topped the charts when it nearly topped the charts again in Britain in 1987 following its use in a jeans commercial.  Four years later, Michael Bolton would hit number one with his version of "When a Man Loves a Woman".

Is Hillary About to Get Rahm’ed?

By on 4.13.15 | 4:16PM

She's been on the campaign trail for less than 24 hours, but already the media has been unable to find the actual "van" Hillary is traveling in, people on Facebook are beginning to notice that she might have dyed her eyebrows for the occasion, and Hillary is having a tough time rounding up support from fellow New York politicians for her bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination. 

I'm not sure about the eyebrows, honestly, and I tend to think this road trip is underwhelming (don't people typically stop at more than gas stations on a road trip? Wouldn't a Hillary Clinton tour of roadside attractions like the World's Largest Frying Pan and the Duct Tape Capitol of the World be social media gold?), but the last one is what really has me worried - or, at least, it would have me worried if I were suddenly knocked unconscious by a falling rock and woke up thinking I was Chelsea: prominent New York Democrats like NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and governor Andrew Cuomo have yet to say whether they're on board the Hillary van

Thoughts on the Passing of Günter Grass

By on 4.13.15 | 1:10PM

I would like to share some thoughts on Günter Grass who passed away today at the age of 87. Grass is best remembered as the author of The Tin Drum. Largely on the basis of this work, Grass would earn the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.

For decades, Grass was considered Germany's foremost left-wing intellectual and the nation's conscience; forcing it to confront its past with the Nazis. But it wasn't until nearly a decade ago that Grass disclosed that he was a member of the Waffen-SS during WWII. It was a classic case of a person living in a glass house throwing stones.

And he continued to cast stones. Take Iran's threat to wipe Israel off the map. Guess whose side he was on? In 2012, Grass wrote a poem titled "What Must Be Said" lambasting Israel for its nuclear program and Germany's role in selling Israel military equipment. Here is a portion of it:

Gwyneth Paltrow Takes SNAP Challenge, Fails Miserably

By on 4.13.15 | 1:09PM

Years ago, in need of some unintentional hilarity in my life, I signed up for Gwyneth Paltrow's "lifestyle email newsletter" called, somewhat unappetizingly, "GOOP." Since then, on a weekly basis — I think, it goes to my spam folder and has for a while now — I get a delivery of incredibly pretentious life advice that no one with a household income south of $10 million per year could ever follow. I mean, I like nice things. But I like nice things I can use. And that other people know are nice things. But I'm not going to spend $900 on a blanket; I'd just as soon let my cats shed on actual cash.

Rubio Vastly Improves The Republican Field

By on 4.13.15 | 12:19PM

Like Larry, I'm glad that Marco Rubio will be seeking the Republican Party nomination for the White House.

Rubio's entry into the GOP field vastly improves it for he stands head and shoulders above Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. If Cruz and Paul are the sizzle then Rubio is the steak. When I hear Cruz and Paul, they speak as if they are in love with the sound of their own voice. Frankly, we've already had six years of that and we don't need anymore of it. When I hear Rubio speak, I hear a man who is serious, sober and yet optimistic. Rubio is deliberate, thoughtful and offers viable alternatives such as his tax reform plan with fellow Senator Mike Lee. He has also been an eloquent spokesperson on foreign affairs especially on Iran and Cuba. Given Rubio's Cuban heritage and the Obama Administration's efforts to legitimize Cuba under Castro we can expect to hear a great more about this from him. When we also consider Paul's support for the Obama Administration's efforts in Cuba, sparks will surely fly between them on this subject during the GOP debates.

Marco Rubio Is Running for President, Too, You Guys

By on 4.13.15 | 11:55AM

I kind of feel bad for Marco Rubio. Four years ago, he was definitely a thing. Nice guy, cute wife, lovely family, good backstory, conservative yet acceptably well-thought-out positions on key issues, and the kind of fighting spirit that made you think that he was uniquely qualified to lead the next generation of Republicans in Congress. 

And then Ted Cruz got elected.

I'm not saying that one is particularly better than the other, but Marco Rubio has been overshadowed as of late by sparklier stars. Where he was once a hot commodity, he'snow been relegated to that speaking slot at CPAC that happens before everyone's morning coffee, and while reporters in the audience are still trying to piece together the night before. He's a good guy, and he'd be a great candidate for President - if we could turn back the clock and let him "do over" the last few years. 

Regardless of time traveling ability, however, he's thrown his hat into the ring.

Hillary Clinton Party Van En Route to Iowa

By on 4.13.15 | 11:32AM

I have to take a moment to apologize, readers. When I wrote about how Hillary Clinton was goingto "normalize" herself in an effort to connect with the real folk who will one day be browbeaten enough to vote for her, I assumed that she would do normal, politics-y things like talk about her favorite cookie recipe that she's never baked once and stole from the back of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chat about her morning Sun Salutations and raw kale smoothies in a joint interview with Kate Hudson in SELF. 

I underestimated the commitment here. 

Instead, Hillary Clinton is embarking on a cross-country roadtrip. In a van. Called "Scooby." 

Because, obviously.

Clinton left Sunday on a road trip from her home in Chappaqua, New York, in a van headed for Iowa, home of the nation’s first presidential caucuses.

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