The Spectacle Blog

Ray Sadecki, R.I.P.

By on 11.19.14 | 9:20PM

Former big league pitcher Ray Sadecki has passed away of blood cancer. He was 73.

Sadecki, a southpaw, made his big league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960 at the age of 19 and would win 9 games that season. In 1964, he would win 20 games for a Cardinals team that overcame the Philadelphia Phillies in the last two weeks of the season to win the NL pennant and eventually win the World Series against the New York Yankees. Sadecki was the winning pitcher in Game 1 besting Yankees ace Whitey Ford.

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Jimmy Ruffin, R.I.P.

By on 11.19.14 | 4:22PM

Singer Jimmy Ruffin passed away on Monday. A cause of death has not been released. He was 78.

Ruffin was the older brother of David Ruffin who gained fame and fortune with The Temptations. Originally, The Temptations had offered the elder Ruffin the chance to replace Elbridge Bryant, but when David Ruffin sang, everyone listened.

It's not that Jimmy Ruffin wasn't plenty good. He just got lost in the Motown shuffle. He did have a huge hit in 1966 with "What Becomes of The Broken Hearted" which is a Motown standard. Some modest success with "I've Passed This Way Before" and "Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got". But for whatever reason, he never became an A player at Motown.

Ruffin had better success as a Northern Soul act in Britain and did have one more Transatlantic hit in 1980 with "Hold On To My Love" which was written for him by Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.

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Barack Obama Will Go it Alone on Immigration

By on 11.19.14 | 3:42PM

Tomorrow night, President Obama will make a primetime announcement about taking executive action on immigration reform, shielding up to 3.5 million people in this country illegally from forced deportation. The White House has yet to release a statement on what, exactly, the President plans to include in his sweeping, unilateral executive amnesty schematic, but you'll all find out when he cuts into your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

President Barack Obama will unveil his long-awaited immigration plan Thursday evening, changing rules governing deportations that could affect millions of undocumented immigrants and setting off an explosive battle with Republicans.

Obama's prime-time address will be followed Friday by an event in Las Vegas, sources tell CNN. While exact details of his announcement aren't yet public, the basic outline of the plan, as relayed by people familiar with its planning, includes deferring deportation for the parents of U.S. citizens, a move that would affect up to 3.5 million people.

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Can Billy Butler Rebound in Oakland? UPDATED

By on 11.19.14 | 3:28PM

Billy Butler, who has spent his entire 8-year big league career with the Kansas City Royals, has signed a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Oakland A's.

Although Butler got his first taste of post-season baseball, 2014 was statistically a low point of Butler's career. Although he hit a respectable .271 he slugged only 9 HR and 66 RBI. In 2012, Butler had a career year batting .313 with 29 HR and 107 RBI. Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated questions the wisdom of the deal:

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Dems Say Goodbye to Mary Landreiu as Keystone Vote Fails

By on 11.19.14 | 3:05PM

Last night's Keystone XL pipeline vote, rushed to the floor to save Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, did not go as well as planned for the Senator now facing a runoff. After much afternoon whipping, Democratic leadership, which had pushed the bill in the first place, couldn't manage to eek out the 60 votes needed to pass the measure.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week.

The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 "ayes" would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline.

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Janice Dickinson Joins Lynch Mob Against Bill Cosby UPDATED

By on 11.19.14 | 1:05PM

Supermodel and reality show mainstay Janice Dickinson has jumped aboard the lynch mob against Bill Cosby claiming in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that the comedian raped her in 1982. Dickinson said she had planned to disclose this in her memoirs which were released in 2002, but was prevented from doing so by Cosby's legal team. However, Cosby's attorney Martin Singer calls Dickinson's claims "a complete lie."

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Mitch McConnell Likely to Kill NSA Reform

By on 11.18.14 | 5:10PM

The US Senate will vote today on whether to reconsider the Patriot Act, which revolutionized the government's domestic surveillance power in the wake of 9/11. The Patriot Act, which covers everything from whether the government is allowed to collect data from your cell phone to whether you have to provide a driver's license to obtain allergy medication, is due to expire June 1.

Sometime in the not-too-distant past, there were people who opposed the Patriot Act because it represented a huge government over-reach that drastically limited Americans' privacy. That's not as true today, possibly because the President is no longer a Republican, even if he is a President who has taken the rubric set out by a Republican President and expanded it immeasurably. Thanks to our privacy-loving leader, Barack Obama, if you ever fail to make an accurate record of every single phone call you've ever made on your cell phone, there's an NSA facility in Utah that can make you a copy, provided you can somehow navigate all of the roadblocks in the Freedom of Information Act that Obama Administration agencies have established.

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Willow and Jaden Smith Are Probably Aliens

By on 11.18.14 | 4:33PM

Willow and Jaden Smith, the children of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, have new albums coming out, and the New York Times thought it might be a good idea to interview them, because artists love to be interviewed when they have something to promote, and because they are children of celebrities they must, by definition, have interesting things to say that could one day prove useful in a deposition. Su Wu, the story's author, could not have been disappointed.

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Nancy Pelosi Re-Elected House Minority Leader

By on 11.18.14 | 1:34PM

It can be pretty safely said that mid-term elections almost always go against the ruling party, which means that, in most cases, no major changes need to be made to leadership or direction, because after the next Presidential election, the balance of power will shift anyway. But November's mid-terms didn't just hand the Republicans a decisive victory on the back of Democratic failures - or, in the case of Wendy Davis, something about Ebola - it changed the entire voter landscape. Suddenly, a lot of demographics that were squarely within the Democratic party were up for grabs. Dissatisfaction was widespread. 

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Three Americans, One Briton Killed in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack

By on 11.18.14 | 1:10PM

After a series of attacks on Jews over the past several weeks at various bus and rail stations across Israel by Palestinians using vehicles, knives and anything else they can get their hands on as weapons, two Palestinians armed with guns, knives and axes have killed four people worshipping at a synagogue in Jerusalem. Three of the four killed were Americans and one was British. All four men were rabbis. The two Palestinian terrorists were killed by Israeli police.

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