The Spectacle Blog

Jason Chaffetz Still Having Bad Luck With Hearings

By on 10.9.15 | 2:52PM

Obviously, I'm partial to Paul Ryan ., if only because of his deep blue eyes and his super-sexy economic policy, but Jason Chaffetz ., who is also rumored to be running for Speaker now that Kevin McCarthy . has dropped out, seems like an intriguing choice as well. He's not well known, but he's young, mostly acceptable to several warring factions of the Party and he has had a few high-profile opportunities of late.

Iran Has Held Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian in Captivity for 444 Days UPDATED

By on 10.9.15 | 2:35PM

However I might feel about The Washington Post describing me as "an establishment hater", it does disturb me that Iran has now held one of its reporters Jason Rezaian in captivity for 444 days.

Of course, 52 American hostages were held in captivity by Iran for 444 days at the American embassy in Tehran until the day Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

Iran presently holds several Americans in captivity in addition to Rezaian including former FBI agent Robert Levinson, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini.

If the Obama Administration had any resolve they would have made the release of all Americans held in captivity a pre-condition for negotiating a nuclear deal. But if the Obama Administration can't keep a red line in Syria how can we expect them to draw a line in the sand when it comes to Americans being held in Iran?

Mariners Fire Lloyd McClendon

By on 10.9.15 | 2:24PM

The Seattle Mariners have fired manager Lloyd McClendon. After nearly reaching the post-season in McClendon's inaugural season at the helm of the Mariners last year, they took a step back this year with a 76-86 record finishing 12 games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West.

McClendon had a year remaining on his contract. However, the Mariners recently hired Jerry DiPoto as their new General Manager. DiPoto had been the GM with the Los Angeles Angels, but had abruptly resigned last July amid tensions with longtime skipper Mike Scioscia. Needless to say, DiPoto wants his own man in there and McClendon isn't it.

The Washington Post Calls Yours Truly “An Establishment Hater” Re: Paul Ryan for Speaker

By on 10.9.15 | 12:54PM

My mother shot me an e-mail to inform me that the Washington Post's Daily 202 had quoted my blog post encouraging Paul Ryan to run for Speaker of the House.

So here's how The WaPo describes yours truly:

The American Spectator’s Aaron Goldstein, an establishment hater, says Ryan has proven he has the backbone to stand up to President Obama.

An establishment hater? Who knew? I think many AmSpec readers would probably dispute that particular label given my skepticism of both Ben Carson and Donald Trump.

John Lennon Would Have Turned 75 Today

By on 10.9.15 | 10:18AM

It is amazing to consider that had John Lennon not been felled by an assassin's bullet, he would have celebrated his 75th birthday.

I know folks in these quarters were turned off by his politics especially the utopian sentiments expressed in "Imagine", but that only represented a sliver of the man he was.

A genius was taken away from us nearly 35 years ago.

Here is what I wrote about Lennon on the 30th anniversary of his assassination.

With that in mind, I have posted a video of "Mind Games" which was shot in and around Central Park near where he lived and ultimately died.

As it happens, my Dad lives in this neighborhood. I am heading down to NYC to see him this long weekend to comemorate the anniversary of his life saving emergency triple bypass. No weekend is complete without at least one walk through Central Park. Indeed, we frequent many of the spots shown in the video. Had he lived we probably would have got to meet him and maybe shared a few laughs and maybe even a song or two.

Get Well Soon Vin Scully

By on 10.9.15 | 10:06AM

I am saddened to hear that Vin Scully will be unable to broadcast any of the Los Angeles Dodgers' post-season games. Scully underwent a medical procedure, the nature of which has not been disclosed. But he is said to be "resting comfortably."

Scully, who turns 88 next month, missed the final week of the regular season due to a cold, but it evidently developed into something which required further medical attention.

In August, Scully announced that the 2016 season would be his last in the broadcast booth. Scully has been broadcasting Dodgers games since 1950 when they played in Brooklyn at Ebbets Field.

The Dodgers host the New York Mets for Game 1 of the NLDS this evening and Charley Steiner and Rick Monday have been given the impossible task of filling in for a living legend.

In the meantime, let's hope Vin Scully gets well soon and is back where he belongs come spring training.

A Message for Ben Carson: Please Shut Up About The Holocaust

By on 10.8.15 | 10:02PM

So Ben Carson thinks if only European Jews had armed themselves the Holocaust wouldn't have been so bad.

Carson told Wolf Blitzer in an interview on CNN, "I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."

Has Carson ever heard of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising?


The good doctor should cease talking of things about which he knows nothing.

If Carson had uttered any of this garbage at my synagogue which had a congregation with many Holocaust survivors, he would have shown the door.

And what exactly does any of this have to do with getting elected President of the United States?




Dan Webster, Conservative

By on 10.8.15 | 6:37PM

Now that California Congressman Kevin McCarthy has dropped out of the race for House Speaker — I’d like to think it’s because he read my column from Monday and the scales fell from his eyes, but it’s more likely he did some vote counting — all eyes turn to the search for his successor.

The only other announced candidates for the Speakership as of this writing are Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida (there will likely be more). I’ll take on Webster as he’s from Florida.

Webster, 66, is relatively new to the U.S. House, being first elected there in 2010, but he’s no stranger to legislative posts. He served in both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate for 28 years before running for Congress. He did stretches as both Florida House Speaker, and later as Florida Senate Majority Leader. In Congress he represents a suburban Orlando district.

Paul Ryan Is the Most Viable Choice Republicans Have for Speaker of the House

By on 10.8.15 | 5:04PM

I would like to second Ramesh Ponnuru's unofficial nomination of Paul Ryan to become Speaker of the House:

But Ryan is respected by most people on both sides of the divide. Many of the Republicans who were against Boehner and McCarthy would listen to him, and trust him to listen to them. They sometimes disagree with him, but they trust that he is in politics because of conservative ideas. No other House Republican has the same reservoir of goodwill. No other House Republican is considered as good a spokesman on such politically perilous issues as entitlement reform.

After Kevin McCarthy's Benghazi gaffe and his atrocious effort to explain it away to Bret Baier, I argued that McCarthy made John Boehner look like Ronald Reagan. I concluded, "But if Republicans are to offer a credible legislative program and be an effective opposition to the Obama Administration, they are going to have to do better than Kevin McCarthy."