The Spectacle Blog

George Will’s Mistake

By on 11.9.15 | 1:29PM

George Will’s mistake was appearing with Bill O’Reilly, who is no more than a shallow, prickly, narcissistic, show-biz bully, nowhere near the scholar and acute analyst Will is. No prosecutor could proceed in the bullying way O’Reilly proceeds here without hearing: “Objection, your honor, counsel is badgering the witness.” “Sustained — clean up your act Mr. O’Reilly.”

And Bill O’Reilly calling George Will a hack is in the same Can-You-Believe-It league with the Donald saying, as he did last week, that Ben Carson “doesn’t have the temperament to be president.”   

Back in the day I didn’t think there would or could ever be a more obnoxious public personality than Howard Cosell. But O’Reilly wasn’t on the scene yet. At least Howard’s malapropisms, and Alex Karras’s reaction to them, were funny. (Howard: “His primary receivers were covered. His secondary receivers were covered. So he had to go to his tertiary receiver.” Alex: “Tertiary? — Geez, Howard, that’s not football. That’s sewage treatment.” Just so.)

Ben Carson Raises $3.5M on Media Bias

By on 11.9.15 | 12:59PM

Ben Carson had the best weekend ever, basically.

Several days after the POLITICO story about his scholarship from West Point crumbled in POLITICO's hands, Buzzfeed was able to get their grubby mitts on a story substantiating Dr. Carson's tale of stabbing another kid, thus ending CNN's related reign of terror. And while the media quickly shifted its focus to more pressing matters, like wall-to-wall coverage of a handful of Christians finding fault with Starbucks's holiday coffee cups, Republicans opened their pocketbooks and rewarded Dr. Carson for being the victim of a bizarre smear.

To the tune of $3.5 million dollars. In a single weekend.

Ben Carson said Saturday he's hauled in $3.5 million in campaign cash this week thanks to a "biased media."

The retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate claimed 10,000 donations each day of the week in a tweet.

Bernie Sanders Comes to Ben Carson’s Defense While Trump Aligns Himself with Mainstream Media

By on 11.9.15 | 10:56AM

Of all people, Bernie Sanders has come to Ben Carson's defense in the wake of Politico's non-story about whether Carson was offered a scholarship by a school he wasn't interested in attending which Ross thoroughly dissected this morning.

While it's clear Sanders doesn't agree with Carson's policy ideas he told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday:

I think it might be a better idea, I know it's a crazy idea, but maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what candidates are saying, rather than just spending so much time exploring their lives of 30 or 40 years ago. And I think the reason that so many people are turned off to the political process has a lot to do with the fact that we're not talking about the real issues impacting real people.

Latest Shots From the Circular Firing Squad

By on 11.8.15 | 2:52PM

The Latest Shots fired in the Republican circular firing squad come from Rand Paul, who is now calling Marco Rubio a neoconservative, not meaning it as a compliment (or, as is usually the case when this word is used as a pejorative, saying what the hell he means by it).

Throw this in with the Bush/Rubio sniping and the Donald, that great classifier, sorting just about everyone in the party as a loser, a laggard, an incompetent, or any of several different kinds of a fool, and I have to wonder if anyone in the Republican Party has ever heard of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Create Your Own Rachel-Free Zone

By on 11.7.15 | 11:55AM

“It doesn't say much for my social life that I had nothing better to do on a Friday night than watch the Democrat Candidates Forum on MSNBC. Somehow I managed to get through nearly two hours of Rachel Maddow.”

Geez, Aaron, has it come to this? You’re right, your social life clearly does need a jolt. You’re in a frightful slough. On a Friday night, or any other come to that, I’d consider watching Rachel Maddow right after having ten-penny nails driven into my eyeballs. I’d like to help a friend so clearly in need. Please see my list below of things to do that are more entertaining, more edifying, and more morally uplifting than watching Rachel Maddow and the trolls running for president on the D side.

1. Flea-powder the cat.

2. Arrange the ties in your closet by width.

3. Try to remember the lyrics to all the Kingston Trio’s songs.

4. Shave the backs of your hands

5. Read the collected speeches of Gerald Ford. (Do not drive or operate heavy equipment for three hours after doing this.)

6. Yodel

I Watched The MSNBC Democrat Candidates Forum Because I Had Nothing To Do On a Friday Night

By on 11.6.15 | 11:01PM

It doesn't say much for my social life that I had nothing better to do on a Friday night than watch the Democrat Candidates Forum on MSNBC. Somehow I managed to get through nearly two hours of Rachel Maddow.

To begin with it wasn't a debate. Rather Maddow interviewed each candidate individually - O'Malley, Bernie & Hillary. Bernie Sanders got more applause for walking on stage than O'Malley did in 30 minutes. I don't think O'Malley should be confused with Jim Webb but when he said he was part of the party of FDR & JFK, I said to myself that that Democratic Party is dead and gone.

The crowd was loving Bernie with ample helpings of the 1 percent, millionaires & billionaires plus the Koch Brothers. He did, however, walk a fine line on gun control.

Most who love Bernie don't hate Hillary. Bernie did not do anything to change this state of affairs. My roomie Christopher Kain summed up Hillary in this way: "We need to do something about this problem because it is an issue." He then went to bed. It might be the most intelligent and sensible I've heard about Hillary in this primary season.

Exxon Under Attack for Exercising Prudence

By on 11.6.15 | 5:34PM

At the behest of radical environmentalists, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee are pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department to investigate ExxonMobil for its views on climate change. Exxon’s crime? During the 20 years the company has employed scientists to analyze the science and potential risks of climate change, some of those scientists concluded humans were causing potentially dangerous warming while others concluded humans were not causing a global warming crisis. Tolerating disagreement and making tough business decisions is not lying, but rather prudence. As Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James Taylor, my colleague, so eloquently put it: 

Keystone Decision Is About Obama’s Position on the World Stage

By on 11.6.15 | 2:52PM

Today, in finally denying the Keystone pipeline, President Obama showed his true colors. We now know, as we’ve long believed, that those colors are the green of the anti-fossil fuel crowd, rather than the color of jobs resulting in economic growth in the hard-hit heartland of the United States. For seven years, he has tried to appease both his union supporters who want the good jobs Keystone would have provided and his environmental allies who declared it a “dirty” project that would add to global CO2 emissions. Now, before the United Nations climate conference, he can wave his green credentials and claim to be a world leader in the fight against global warming—which, I believe, was the whole purpose of the decision and subsequent announcement.

President Obama Officially Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

By on 11.6.15 | 1:23PM

Grab up those shares in Chinese shipping companies, kids! The Canadian tar sands oil is officially headed overseas, as the President has officially rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. 

President Obama announced Friday that he has rejected Canadian energy giant TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the pipeline was not in the U.S. national interest.

"The State Department has decided the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the interests of the United States. I agree with that decision," Obama said at a White House press conference.

The announcement caps a 7-year saga that has become one of the biggest environmental flashpoints of Obama’s presidency. It comes just days after the State Department refused to agree to TransCanada’s request to suspend the review process on the controversial project, which has seen enormous opposition from environmental groups.