The Spectacle Blog

Jeremy Corbyn Sacks Top Labour MP From Shadow Cabinet For Saying No One Forces Terrorists to Kill Innocent People

By on 1.6.16 | 12:34PM


The first shot in the British Labour Party's civil war was fired last night when leader Jeremy Corbyn fired (or they say in Britain, sacked) Shadow Europe Minister Pat McFadden for saying that no one forces terrorists to kill innocent people. I kid you not.


On November 17th, four days after the Paris attacks, McFadden stood up in the House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions and posed this question to David Cameron:


The Amazing Crying President

By on 1.6.16 | 9:44AM

The thought of a law-abiding Americano buying three guns at a gun show brings our community-organizer-in-chief to tears, while IS beheadings and military-style operations in America barely get him off the golf course. And when he does put down his putter after Islamo-whack-jobs have slaughtered more Americans in the name of the religion of peace, it’s to warn us not to get too sore about this or Loretta Lynch will prosecute.

It’s enough to make you cry.

Obama Says Gun Violence Happens Everyday on The Streets of Chicago (a.k.a. The Gun Control Capital of America)

By on 1.5.16 | 11:39PM

During his address on gun control, President Obama noted that gun violence "happens on the streets of Chicago every day."

Last I checked, Chicago is the gun control capital of America. Consider this 2013 New York Times article written by Monica Davey, the paper's Chicago bureau chief:

In Chicago, the rules for owning a handgun — rewritten after the outright ban was deemed too restrictive in 2010 — sound arduous. Owners must seek a Chicago firearms permit, which requires firearms training, a background check and a state-mandated firearm owner’s identification card, which requires a different background review for felonies and mental illness. To prevent straw buyers from selling or giving their weapons to people who would not meet the restrictions — girlfriends buying guns for gang members is a common problem, the police here say — the city requires permitted gun owners to report their weapons lost, sold or stolen.

Ryan Howard & Ryan Zimmerman Sue Al Jazeera America for Defamation

By on 1.5.16 | 10:29PM

Last month, I expressed hope that Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning would sue Al Jazeera America for running a report accusing him of procuring HGH.

For his part, Manning has said he will not make a decision about filing suit until after the NFL season. Although Manning is riding the bench, the Broncos in the playoffs. However, two MLB players named in the report -- Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals  - have filed suit against Al Jazeera America.

With the burden of proof on the plaintiffs, Howard and Zimmerman have a big challenge before them. But it is a matter of principle. Al Jazeera America nor any media entity can deliberately and wantonly make false claims. If Howard's and Zimmerman's suits can help curb media excesses then they will have performed a valuable public service. 

But there is no doubt that Howard's and Zimmerman's lawsuits will be bolstered if Manning joins the fray. 

White House Claims Twitter Account Was a “Top Accomplishment” in 2015

By on 1.5.16 | 4:59PM

When you don't have many domestic policy accomplishments to note, and your foreign policy largely involves ignoring anything important, a year-end review of your "best moments" will be slim, indeed.

Which, of course, explains why this year, in the White House's 2015 retrospective, they listed "joining Twitter" as one of President Obama's top events. Now, as the President's social media reach has expanded, and at least a chunk of his free time dedicated to spouting his every thought in 140 characters or less, the White House knows it has achieved at least something: simply avoiding the President's speeches and press conferences in traditional media will not completely erase him from your daily life.

“Americans also shared in some more personal moments with the President, like when he walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge 50 years after the first marches from Selma to Montgomery,” the blog post said. “Or when he sang ‘Amazing Grace’ in honor of those who lost their lives to gun violence in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Is the DNC Ready to Dump Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

By on 1.5.16 | 4:50PM

Before Christmas, Debbie Wasserman Schultz took it upon herself to lock Bernie Sanders's campaign out of the DNC voter files, including files they collected or updated, because they noticed a loophole that allowed them access to Hillary Clinton's cache. Since then, Schultz has come under scrutiny for her DNC leadership, as some progressives accuse her of being so far into Hillary Clinton's camp, she's unpacking a bear-proof picnic basket.

One group backing Sanders, RootsAction, has collected 23,000 signatures calling for Debbie's just four days.

Amid charges she’s blatantly tipping the 2016 presidential primary scales in favor of Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is coming under fresh fire from progressives who want her removed from her post immediately.

Robert Stigwood, R.I.P.

By on 1.5.16 | 4:46PM

Music, theater and film producer Robert Stigwood passed away yesterday at the age of 81. A cause of death has not been released at this time.

A native of Australia, Stigwood is best known for his long standing association with The Bee Gees. Stigwood was also instrumental in the formation of Cream, the supergroup consisting of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Clapton had been with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers while Bruce and Baker were with the Graham Bond Organisation. Both bands had also been managed by Stigwood.

After cutting his teeth as a business manager in collaboration with the eccentric record producer Joe Meek and singer John Leyton, Stigwood would become the booking agent for The Who before making the big time with Cream and The Bee Gees. He even briefly managed The Beatles when Brian Epstein's company merged with the Robert Stigwood Organisation although The Beatles would leave Stigwood to form Apple after Epstein's sudden death.

Obama White House Minimizes Fact That Most Gun Deaths Are Suicides

By on 1.5.16 | 3:47PM

Emily has written a marvelous account of President Obama's remarks on his executive actions on gun control, tears and all. Now take a look at the beginning of the White House's "Fact Sheet" on the subject:

Gun violence has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many communities across the country. Over the past decade in America, more than 100,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence—and millions more have been the victim of assaults, robberies, and other crimes involving a gun. Many of these crimes were committed by people who never should have been able to purchase a gun in the first place. Over the same period, hundreds of thousands of other people in our communities committed suicide with a gun and nearly half a million people suffered other gun injuries.

President Obama Cries, Announces Gun Regs, Solves National Violence Problem

By on 1.5.16 | 3:14PM

Wiping away tears at his press conference, President Obama today announced new ovearching gun regulations designed to "stop gun violence." In an extensive plan designed to curb future mass shootings, the President called for a number of reforms to existing gun laws that would, in no way, stop any of the mass shootings he mentioned in his emotional plea. 

Obama laid out executive action he is taking to require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks.

Under the changes, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will issue guidelines intended to narrow exceptions to a system that requires sellers to check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether buyers have criminal records, are charged with crimes or have mental health conditions that would bar them from owning a gun.

Any changes to gun rules in America are fraught with political risk. The U.S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment gives Americans the right to have arms, a right that is fiercely defended.