The Spectacle Blog

Iran Sanctions Back From The Dead?

By on 4.9.15 | 5:31PM

As I wrote yesterday, there is no Iran deal, and the reason the Obama administration is pretending otherwise is to stop legislation that would trigger sanctions absent an actual deal in June — and it seemed to be working, inasmuch as Senator Mark Kirk had said that his bill to do just that was now on ice.

Today Ayatollah Khamenei gave a speech emphatically underscoring that Iran hasn't agreed to what the Obama administration claims they've agreed to, and Eli Lake reports that Kirk is going to try to move his bill forward after all:

Hillary Clinton Hires Makeup Artists, “Relatability Consultants”

By on 4.9.15 | 4:02PM

I think, if there were another job in politics I'd like to have, aside from the digital communications aspect, it would be as a "campaign stylist." In that role, you get to tell the candidate what to wear, who to talk to, how to do their hair and makeup, and you get to be endlessly critical all while earning a paycheck (and probably looking like the tyrannical dance teacher on Dance Moms, to boot). 

Hillary Clinton, not known for being quite the woman of the people her dire bank account situation post-Presidency should suggest she is, has brought on not just one stylist, but a team of people whose entire job it is to transform Hillary Clinton into something the public thinks resembles an actual human being.

Having helped shape Mrs. Obama’s public image into that of an accessible everywoman, Ms. Schake is about to face what may be her toughest challenge yet: working to get another first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, elected president.

Lincoln Chafee Wants to Challenge Hillary Clinton

By on 4.9.15 | 2:28PM

I know so very little about Lincoln Chafee, aside from his short brush with fame when he switched parties in the Senate because it was more politically expedient to be a Democrat in the 2000s, that I had to look up several things before writing this story: whether his name is indeed "Lincoln," exactly how many "f's" there were in "Chafee," and whether someone would ever really get an official photo taken with a bowl haircut. The answers are, "yes," "one" and, "in all honesty, it was the 1990s and everyone had this haircut, it's not his fault he looks like Bob Odenkirk."

At any rate, Lincoln Chafee would like you to consider him for the nation's highest office. On the Democratic ticket, in case that was unclear. 

Apparently, he's been governor of Rhode Island for a while. Who knew?

Major Scoop in Mother Jones Claims Ted Cruz Was Once a Lawyer

By on 4.9.15 | 12:34PM

I'm so glad the world has David Corn of Mother Jones. Without him, how would we get the most pressing and important information on our Republican Presidential candidates? After all, it's not everyone who can read Wikipedia and use Google so masterfully.

This week, we learn from our intrepid reporter that not only is Ted Cruz an attorney, but he also once represented clients

Iran Says American Nuke Deal Fact Sheet is “Wrong on Most Issues”

By on 4.9.15 | 11:44AM

They may have closed a deal just in time for John Kerry to gear up for windsurfing season in Nantucket, but the "framework" that's supposed to be the foundational element of the Iranaian nuclear deal seems to still be up for debate.

A Simple Question for UVA

By on 4.9.15 | 10:06AM

As a journalist, there is a danger in taking things for granted. The only stupid question is the one you're afraid to ask. So I just sent the following email to the Communications Office at the University of Virginia:

Dear Sir or Madam:

In following up on the Rolling Stone story, I came across a column at National Review by K.C. Johnson in which he points to Emily Renda's July 2014 Senate testimony, saying that Ms. Renda "appears never to have filed a complaint with the university, much less with the police."

Ms. Renda said nothing about these details of her own case in her Senate testimony, and I have been unable to ascertain whether in fact there was any police or university investigation of this alleged crime of, if so, whether anyone was prosecuted or disciplined as a result.

They Too Serve

By on 4.9.15 | 1:23AM

Famed Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully is not the only Dodger employee who went to work for the team in 1950 and never left. Brooklyn native Billy DeLury, who died Saturday at 81, joined the team and stayed with the Dodgers continuously save for two years in the Army in 1957-58.

DeLury, hardly a Brooklyn or Los Angeles household name for all his Dodger blue hash-marks, held a series of jobs with the team, the most distinguished of which was as the team’s traveling secretary, a post he held for 20 years. Before and after this job he did such as sort mail, wash towels, sell tickets, and sell advertising in the team’s programs.

In recent years DeLury cut back on his workload, but still served as an assistant to the broadcasters and to the current traveling secretary.

“I was privileged to know Bill DeLury for more than 60 years, from the time he was an office boy in Brooklyn and rose to become a most valuable member of the organization as our traveling secretary,” Scully said. Scully called DeLury “a Dodger from head to toe.”

DeLury said his most prized possession is his World Series ring from the championship 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Obama Admin Double Standard on Spying with Russia & Israel

By on 4.8.15 | 10:19PM

Why is that the Obama Administration is less upset with Russia for hacking into the White House and State Department computers than it is with Israel for spying into its negotiations with Iran?

Then again this is the same administration which is less angry with Iran for chanting "Death to America" than with Netanyahu for saying there would be no Palestinian state under his watch.

This is the same administration that is less upset with ISIS for beheading Americans than it is with Israel for having the nerve to re-elect Netanyahu. 

Russia could release compromising photos of Obama and Obama would be angrier with Israel if they knew about it first.

Rand Paul Must Chill

By on 4.8.15 | 9:43PM

For the second time in two months, Rand Paul has blown up during a TV interview. 

He did so in February with CNBC host Kelly Evans and today got testy with Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie. Well, at least he didn't shush Guthrie.

All of this makes him look like a bully who can't answer tough questions. 

If Rand Paul can't handle Kelly Evans or Savannah Guthrie then how the hell is he going to handle Vladimir Putin or the Iranian Mullahs?

It's bad enough that President Obama can't handle criticism. Our next President can do without this quality.

Rand Paul must chill.

Nixon, Hillary, and the Tapes: Fred’s Thought of the Day:

By on 4.8.15 | 4:24PM

During the many talks, conferences and interviews I have participated in over the years about Watergate, one of the questions I’m almost always asked is why Nixon didn’t destroy the tapes. I’ve always replied that his lawyers knew that he would have undoubtedly been charged with obstruction of justice, since the tapes arguably could have been subpoenaed as evidence in the matters that the Watergate Committee was investigating.

Watching Team Hillary’s performance over the past three weeks in damage control over her private email server and decisions to destroy potentially pertinent correspondence to at least one ongoing Congressional investigation, I have come to the realization that Nixon’s main problem turned out to be that he just wasn’t devious and tough enough. As you may recall, while Benghazi documents were under subpoena Hillary’s cleanup crew wiped the hard drive of her server clean and deleted more than 30,000 emails. None related to work, she promises. She has long since learned that it is better to have people think you’re lying than to give up evidence that proves it.