The Spectacle Blog

Why I Am Concerned About Sudden Resignation of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister

By on 2.3.15 | 3:56PM

John Baird, who has served in cabinet since Stephen Harper's Conservatives came to power in Canada in 2006 and has been Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2011, resigned suddenly today during a speech in the House of Commons.

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Harper Lee to Publish First Novel in 55 Years

By on 2.3.15 | 3:08PM

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, will publish her first novel since Mockingbird became a Pullitzer Prize sensation in 1960 this July.

The book is titled Go Set a Watchman and although Scout Finch is an adult in this book, it was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee said that when she had submitted Go Set a Watchman the publisher was more interested in a story set with Scout as a young girl. The rest is literary history.

The manuscript was believed to have been lost, but was discovered last year by Lee's attorney.

Although Lee has gone more than half a century between publishing books, she hasn't been a total recluse. On occasion, Lee has accepted awards such as when President Bush awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. However, she has long declined to speak in public. Lee will turn 89 in April.

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Note to GOP Candidates: Stop Talking About Vaccines

By on 2.3.15 | 2:12PM

Look, I'm not here to argue the merits of vaccination policy. Frankly, I tend to think that all kids should be vaccinated against illnesses that I only know about because my 8-bit characters died from them on Oregon Trail, but there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the great "vaccine debate" we seem to be having in this country thanks to some people who decided to pack measles in their carry-ons when they visited DisneyLand. 

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Hillary Clinton Will Campaign With The Hipsters

By on 2.3.15 | 1:42PM

From the haircut right down to the cankles, there isn't much about Hillary Clinton that can rightfully be considered "cool." But the first order of business for Camp Hillary, ahead of actually announcing her intention to run for the Democratic nomination, is to change all that - by relocating her as-yet-to-exist campaign headquarters to Brooklyn, where all the cool kids and their locally-sourced vegan non-dairy, environmentally compassionate brunch places are. 

According to The Hill, campaign staff have been seen canvassing the hip borough for office space, and may, in fact, be planning to head up Hillary 2016 from some art loft space over an Urban Outfitters just to be close to the people they so desperately need to impress.

Insiders say Clinton aides are looking at Brooklyn as a possible location, and that an office in White Plains, near the Clintons’s Chappaqua, N.Y., home, has been all but ruled out.  

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Captured Jordanian Pilot Reportedly Burned Alive by ISIS; Will Jordan Now Hang Its ISIS Prisoners?

By on 2.3.15 | 1:24PM

Muath al-Kasaesbeh, the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS last December, has been reportedly burned alive on an ISIS video.

This news comes less than a week after Jordan offered to trade Sajida al-Rishawi, a female bomber involved in terror attacks on several hotels in Amman in November 2005, in exchange for al-Kasaebeh.

But things went south when Jordan demanded proof that al-Kasaebeh was still alive. When this proof wasn't forthcoming, Jordan then threatened to hang all its ISIS captives.

Now that al-Kasaebeh appears to be dead will Jordan follow through on its threats against ISIS?

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Dave Bergman, R.I.P.

By on 2.3.15 | 12:59PM

Former big league first baseman, outfielder and DH Dave Bergman passed away yesterday of bile duct cancer. He was 61.

Originally a second round draft pick by the New York Yankees in 1974, he played a handful of games with them in 1975 and 1977 before being traded to the Houston Astros. Bergman would remain in Houston until early in the 1981 season when he and Jeff Leonard were traded to the San Francisco Giants for Mike Ivie.

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The FAA Will Not Regulate Your Moon Base…Yet

By on 2.3.15 | 12:44PM

With all this talk of Mars exploration, the US government clearly has spacefaring commercialism on its mind. 

In clear pursuit of Newt Gingrich's sweeping vision, a company called Bigelow Aerospace is considering putting some sort of inflatable base on the moon, and in the process of completing their plans, contacted the Federal Aviation Administration to find out whether their biodome would fall under American authority. In a letter obtained by Reuters, the FAA noted, to the great relief of all parties involved, that no, the FAA does not have authority to govern your moonbase. Yet.

According to documents obtained by Reuters, U.S. companies can stake claims to lunar territory through an existing licensing process for space launches.

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Ashley Judd Thinks Hillary Clinton is Best Candidate Since Jefferson

By on 2.3.15 | 12:14PM

Oh, thank heavens. I thought, when Ashley Judd was run out of Kentucky's Senate race on a rail after a series of unfortunate events that completely took the mystery out of why she'd never been called upon to be a serious candidate for anything her whole life, that we'd lost the B-movie actress from politics completely.  Fortunately, she seems to have recovered from her ill-fated attempt to turn a state-focused attempt to defeat Mitch McConnell into a national issue by feigning interest in running against him, and has begun openly endorsing 2016 Presidential candidates.

According to Ashley, who has been a long-time fan of Hillary Clinton for no reason I can immediately identify, the former Secretary of State is easily the most qualified of any person in the field, currently, if not the most overqualified candidate for President since Thomas Jefferson.

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Seahawks Lost the Super Bowl Because of Racism, Obviously

By on 2.3.15 | 11:43AM

Leave it to The Nation to uncover the real reason that the Seattle Seahawks lost the Super Bowl in a crushing, heart-breaking, emotionally devastating last-minute decision that allowed the New England Patriots to intercept the ball and end the game: everyone, including Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, is a racist.

Apparently, a disgruntled anonymous source in the Seahawks locker room told The Nation's reporter (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) that the Seahawks were more interested in allowing Russell Wilson to come out of the game a hero than actually winning the game, a theory that doesn't quite add up for reasons I'll get to in a minute.

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Conor Friedersdorf’s Naive Foreign Policy Beliefs

By on 2.3.15 | 11:38AM

Scott Walker has got The Left spooked again. He has been in their gunsights as long as he has been Governor of Wisconsin and now that he has made a positive impression among conservatives on a national level, that target has become much bigger.

In response to Walker's interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC News last Sunday in which he suggested he would not rule out boots on the ground in Syria, The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf has written an article assailing Walker's foreign policy naivete. Friedersdorf, full of snark, writes, "It's as if Walker learned about foreign policy by watching The West Wing or reading Bill Kristol columns."  But alas, Friedersdorf only succeeds his exposing his own foreign policy naivete:

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