The Spectacle Blog

Mitt Romney and John McCain Join Forces on 2016

By on 1.14.15 | 3:16PM

If there's anything we learned from the foible-ridden Star Wars prequels, it's that you can never have just one Sith Lord. There is always another purveyor of the dark arts lurking in the depths of a shadowy world, training to one day resurface, more powerful than ever, and ready to join with his or her partner to enact swift vengance upon an unsuspecting population.

Among the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, that unholy alliance has finally emerged.

Mitt Romney placed a phone call to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain Tuesday, a sign he is attempting to recapture his support before launching another bid.

"He told me he is seriously considering it, and we discussed issues and friendships and things like that," McCain told a scrum of reporters on Capitol Hill. "We had a long conversation. We are very good friends."

McCain wouldn't divulge details of the conversation, but he did say he told Romney he understood wanting to run again for the White House.

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House Passes Bill to Defund Executive Amnesty

By on 1.14.15 | 2:57PM

This is probably so pointless that it's not even worth reporting on, but I suppose there's always that outside chance that apparently surviving an assassination attempt by his former country club bartender could be enough to embolden John Boehner to take on the White House's veto and whip those votes into quick submission. 

Okay, I said it was an outside chance. Anyway.

Today, the House passed a measure that would defund Obama's executive amnesty program, attached to a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through September. The final count was 236 for, 191 against, mostly along party lines but with ten Republicans jumping ship to vote against the bill and two Dems voting in favor.

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A Question for Jimmy Carter Concerning The Safety of Jews in France & Israel

By on 1.14.15 | 10:56AM

In an interview with former President Jimmy Carter earlier this week, Marc Lamont Hill asked him to comment on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's open invitation to French Jews to come live in Israel. Carter responded:

My guess is that the Jews who live in France will maybe not take this as a positive step, and say the only way you can be safe is to go to Israel. I would guess that you may be, on the average, maybe safer in France than some places in Israel, but I’m not trying to make a judgment.

Now why would anyone think Carter was trying to judge Israel? He only blamed the Paris attacks on "the Palestinian problem" during an interview with Jon Stewart on Monday and has now said Israel should be brought before the ICC (along with Hamas) for war crimes.

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Does No Mean No When It Comes to Running for the White House?

By on 1.13.15 | 4:24PM

Emily tells us that Elizabeth Warren won't be seeking the White House in 2016 citing her interview with Fortune magazine in which she said no when asked, "So are you going to run for President?"

But over at Vox, Andrew Prokop is far more skeptical. He cites Mitt Romney using the word no 11 times in three sentences followed by, "I'm not running again," to Ashley Parker of The New York Times. As Emily herself noted last week, "Romney 2016 is Officially a Thing Now".

Prokop also notes early in his Senate career, Barack Obama repeatedly denied he would run for President until shortly before the 2006 mid-term elections. Indeed, Prokop links to an old New York Times piece co-written by Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny. They wrote:

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Unserious Mitt

By on 1.13.15 | 3:50PM

In baseball you get three strikes. In politics you’re done and dusted after two. Sometimes after one.

Level heads must question the phrase “seriously considering” when it comes to Mitt Romney’s 2016 ambitions. Here’s a guy who lost to John McCain in 2008 (John McCain!), and then lost in 2012 to the pathetically unsuccessful and unpopular president of a floundering country in 2012 (with chants of “electability” ringing in his ears). And now he thinks he could beat Hillary Clinton in 2016? What the hell is “serious” about this?  

We need to find another adjective to describe the delusions of a thoroughly decent man. A man who would make a fine cabinet member but who is every bit as talented at losing elections (don’t forget he also lost a Senate race by 17 points to Ted Kennedy in ’94 while Republicans elsewhere were running the table) as he is at making money in the private sector.

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Elizabeth Warren Says She’ll Skip 2016

By on 1.13.15 | 3:28PM

In order to maintain its commitment to Executive excellence, the Democratic Party needs to introduce a first-term junior Senator into the mix for President in 2016. Unfortunately for the nation's Subaru owners, Coexist bumpersticker consumers, and higher-education professionals, they're going to have to find a first-term junior Senator who isn't Elizabeth Warren.

Despite rampant speculation that Fauxcahontas herself would challenge Hillary Clinton for the top prize, Warren confirmed to Fortune magazine that she has no intention of seeking higher office…yet.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) gave a new type of answer about possibly running for president: she's not going to run for president.

Warren, a favorite of the liberal wing of the Democratic party, was asked if she was going to run for president in an interview with Sheila Bair for Fortune magazine.

"So are you going to run for president?" Bair asked.

"No," Warren responded.

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Saudi Cleric Declares Snowmen Abominable (Or a Fatwa Against Frosty)

By on 1.13.15 | 3:22PM

On the same day that CNN and MSNBC refuse to offend Muslims by broadcasting the new Charlie Hebdo cover, a Saudi cleric has issued a fatwa against building snowmen.

Following a rare snowstorm in Saudi Arabia, a cleric named Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid was asked if it was permissible for fathers to build snowmen for their children. Sheikh al-Munajjid replied, "It is not permitted to make statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun."

I guess means that the building of sand castles is forbidden during the summer.

The next thing you know, CBS won't air Frosty the Snowman next Christmas.

There's only one thing that can be said of this fatwa. It is abominable.



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For CNN & MSNBC, Sharia Law Trumps First Amendment on Charlie Hebdo

By on 1.13.15 | 2:53PM

As you probably aware by now, Charlie Hebdo will publish its first edition since last week's attack on its offices in Paris which claimed 12 lives. Three million copies, 50 times its normal circulation, will be printed and translated into several languages including English and Arabic. The official release is set for tomorrow.

The cover features the Prophet Muhammad holding a "Je Suis Charlie" sign. Atop the cover the headline reads, "Tout est pardonné" which means "All is forgiven."

However, CNN announced it would not show the cover "because it is our policy not to show potentially offensive images of the prophet." MSNBC has followed suit.

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Ted Cruz to Oversee Obama-Gutted NASA

By on 1.13.15 | 1:31PM

This morning, a bunch of science-focused entertainers, whose greatest contribution to actual science involved starring in science fiction shows and occasionally chatting about their experiences on podcasts and Twitter, were losing their minds over Ted Cruz's appointment as chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee which will give him, among other responsibilities, oversight of NASA. According to said entertainers, unschooled in the basics of conservative and libertarian ideology, Ted Cruz will most certainly use his new power to gut the space program and retask all Federally-employed scientists with figuring out how dinosaurs could peacefully coexist with humans in the Garden of Eden just short of 10,000 years ago.

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Paul Ryan Won’t Run in 2016

By on 1.12.15 | 6:44PM

I'm not sure if this is surprising, considering he was on a losing ticket in 2012, but Paul Ryan will not be running for President a second time. Although it does not say that he's declining the opportunity out of fear that he could end up on a ticket with Mitt Romney again, I'm sure that played into his decision.

At any rate, he is at peace with the decision and will, instead, continue to seek his rent in the House.

I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016," Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is "at peace" with the decision he made "weeks ago" to forgo a bid for the White House.

"It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people - from friends and supporters - but I feel like I am in a position to make a big difference where I am and I want to do that," he said.

The nine-term congressman believes he can make that "big difference" in his new role as chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee rather than as a presidential contender.

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