The Spectacle Blog

Moody’s Downgrades Chicago Bonds to “Junk”

By on 5.13.15 | 11:39AM

Yesterday, Chicago got the Obama Presidential Library and thank heavens, since Chicago also lost any semblance of dignity in terms of our bond rating, and we'll most definitely need the kind of multi-million dollar public works project the Library promises to be in order to survive financially.

After years of teetering on the edge of fully bankrupting the city, Moody's finally pulled the plug, dropping Chicago's status two notches to "junk," in a (probably futile) effort to encourage either pension reform or a tax increase. The move came (at least in part) as a response to an Illinois Supreme Court decision that dropped late last week, declaring that the pension reform package the legislature had concocted was unconstitutional, and wiping it off the books. 

Moody’s Investor’s Service on Tuesday dropped Chicago’s bond rating two more notches — to junk status — turning up the heat on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to raise property taxes and on the Illinois General Assembly to approve a Chicago casino.

Colorado Rockies Lose 10 in a Row; Tulowitzki Could Ask for Trade UPDATE: Weiss Hospitalized

By on 5.13.15 | 11:01AM

The Colorado Rockies' 2015 season had a promising beginning as they won 7 of their first 9 games. But they have gone 4-16 since and have now lost 10 consecutive games. Their latest loss came last night against the Los Angeles Angels in an interleague game and now stand 9 ½ games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

Their offense is pretty decent. Although Carlos Gonzalez is hitting under .200, Troy Tulowitzki, Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenando and 2014 NL batting champ Justin Morneau are pulling their weight. The Rockies have a team batting average of .271 which is currently third in the NL behind the Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. The same cannot be said of their pitching. Their 5.48 team ERA is the worst in the NL is nearly a full run higher than the lowly Milwaukee Brewers (4.58).

White House Demands Sen. Sherrod Brown Apologize for “Sexism” Comments

By on 5.13.15 | 10:53AM

Last night, the President of the National Organization for Women piled on Sen. Sherrod Brown's claim that President Obama's criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "a politician like everyone else" smacked of sexism and microagression.

This morning, the White House, already reeling from the mass defection of Dems over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, demonstrated exactly how stining Sherrod's comments were when they used today's press conference to demand that Brown take his turn on the Naughty Step

The White House responded Wednesday to Sen. Sherrod Brown’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s treatment of fellow Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Brown is “a stand-up guy.”

“I’m confident after he’s had a chance to look at the comments he made yesterday that he’ll find a way to apologize,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.

Obama’s Conversation on Poverty Reveals a Poverty of Character

By on 5.12.15 | 11:23PM

President Obama took part today in a panel discussion about poverty in America at Georgetown University. During the course of this conversation, Obama revealed the poverty in his character:

But part of it has also been -- there’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been, who are you mad at, if you’re struggling; if you’re working, but you don’t seem to be getting ahead.  And over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or to be mad at folks at the bottom.  And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leaches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown Calls Obama ‘Sexist’ for Attacks Against Elizabeth Warren

By on 5.12.15 | 5:45PM

Elizabeth Warren was successful in blocking key provisions of the TPP today, and as Aaron noted earlier this afternoon, President Obama's reaction to the power of Fauxcahontas to make a dent in his foreign trade agenda, was, overall, somewhat less than enthusiastic. Calling the Senator, "just another politician," he minimized the imapct that a growing contingent on the left, now unconvinced of his progressive credentials, is having on his signature legislation. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown, the unabashed progressive Senator from Ohio, did not take kindly to President Obama's designation of Sen. Warren as nothing more than a run-of-the-mill elected official with no market value. And to prove that he was offended, he told a reporter, in only mildly uncertain terms, that the President was a big, fat sexist.

Senate Democrats Block Bill to Give Obama Fast Track Authority on TPP

By on 5.12.15 | 4:38PM

Senate Democrats have blocked debate on giving President Obama fast track authority on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This is one of the few matters which has seen co-operation between Obama and Senate Republicans. However, the TPP has been negotiated in secret and members of Congress have little to no access to its content. So, for once, I'm in agreement with Harry Reid.

But it's Elizabeth Warren who has been leading the charge against TPP and, lately, Obama has been giving Warren the Netanyahu treatment recently calling her "a politician like everybody else".

Yes, I know other Presidents have received fast track authority including Ronald Reagan where it concerned the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (which eventually became NAFTA). Still, it's pretty blatantly unconstitutional.

Jeb Bush Says He’d Dump Executive Amnesty…Sort Of

By on 5.12.15 | 1:56PM

Thankfully for the Republican Presidential candidates, Ted Cruz's encounter with Mark Halperin, which demonstrated that Mark Halperin has little to no contact with the outside world, has dominated headlines this week. Otherwise, a few of them would be forced to explain some bizarre statements they've made.

Hollywood Celebrities Aren’t Abiding by CA Drought Rules

By on 5.12.15 | 1:33PM

The California drought, that exceptional byproduct of an exciting, unnatural approach to preserving the lives of millions of tiny, endangered fish for no discernable purpose except to prevent their own extinction, has taken its toll on the "little people" of California. Forced to give up all consumption of water, to the point where it has been routinely suggested that they refrain from regular bathing, California citizenry are suffering through one of their worst water restrictions in history.

Well, some California citizenry are suffering through one of their worst water restrictions in history. 

“Let them drink dust!”

Hillary Clinton Plagiarized Herself for Her Book

By on 5.12.15 | 1:14PM

I suppose it's not technically plagiarism if you're copying yourself, unless you decide to also implicate yourself for the theft of intellectual property from your own mind, but if you were wondering how Hillary Clinton had managed to eek out a book when she's so stingy with public statements, it seems she literally took a page from herself. 

As discovered by the Washington Free Beacon, Clinton cribbed entire passages for Hard Choices, her book about her years in government, from earlier speeches, testimony she gave in front of the House and Senate, from her husband and even from some of her earlier works.

Large portions of Hillary Clinton’s $14-million memoir Hard Choices are copied from more than a dozen public speeches, congressional testimony she made while serving as secretary of state, and her previous book Living History, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found.

Another Bangladeshi Blogger Hacked to Death by Muslim Extremists

By on 5.12.15 | 12:48PM

Muslim extremists do not confine their anger to cartoonists.

In Bangladesh, a blogger named Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death today in the northeastern city of Sylhet by Islamists wielding machetes.

This is the third such attack since February when Islamists murdered Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi born U.S. citizen in Dhaka. Roy's wife was also seriously injured in the attack losing a thumb. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for Roy's death. In March, another blogger named Washiqur Rahman was hacked to death also in the Bangladeshi capital.

Das had been recently invited to address a meeting of the Swedish chapter of PEN, but the Swedish government denied Das a visa on the grounds he would not return. It would seem the Swedish government is no more eager to "provoke" Muslim extremists than are American elites who fell all over themselves last week condemning Pamela Geller following the attempted terrorist attack in Garland, Texas at the Muhammad art exhibit she organized.