The Spectacle Blog

It’s About Cam Newton’s Character, Not His Color

By on 2.7.16 | 6:24PM

Super Bowl L begins shortly and I would be remiss if I didn't mention Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's recent comments about being an African-American quarterback "might scare some people because my skill set isn't like anybody else."

Needless to say it's rubbish. Last I checked Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is African-American and doesn't scare anyone. What turns people off about Newton isn't his color, it's his character. It isn't his blackness, it's his brashness. Chicago Bears legend Richard Dent wants to knock Newton's ass out of the game. And in case you didn't know Dent is black.

Rubio Can Rebound in Next Saturday’s South Carolina GOP Debate

By on 2.7.16 | 5:38PM

Marco Rubio rather than Donald Trump has all the headlines today. Unfortunately, it is for all the wrong reasons. As Ross puts it so cuttingly:

Marco Rubio had taken arguably the most important debate of his career and instead of using it to cement his position as the leading alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz he proved accurate Chris Christie’s recent criticisms of him as being the “boy in the bubble.”

Yet it remains to be seen if Rubio's bubble has burst altogether. Let's say for argument's sake that Rubio's debate performance is sufficient to keep him out of second place in New Hampshire. Keep in mind that Republicans will convene for another presidential debate in South Carolina in six days. Rubio will have an opportunity to redeem himself and knock Chris Christie on his ass. It will be a test of Rubio's ability to come back from adversity. I think Rubio is simply too talented not to be able to rebound.


By on 2.7.16 | 12:58PM

Those who read Sunday op-eds, and who’ll read think pieces posted online, will know that all that glisters is not gold, and that some writers are consistently uninteresting. In the spirit of disinterested benevolence I propose a metric (which for self-interested reasons I’ll call the Buckley Measure) to help separate the bores (0 Buckleys) from the consistently interesting (10 Buckleys). Let the entirely unreadable Kathleen Parker = 0 Buckleys, and (can’t read beyond the first sentence) Ramesh Ponnuru = 1 Buckleys, and St. Augustine = 10 Buckleys, and then rank people in-between.

Leave off the TAS writers, all of whom are consistently 9 Buckleys, or one short of sanctity. My problem is that I can’t think of too many people who rank above 4-5 Buckleys, and most are lower than that.

I note that it is contrary to the rules of the game to rank its author.

5 Observations of The ABC NH GOP Debate

By on 2.7.16 | 4:13AM

I won't give my usual debate post-mortem because I did not see the debate in its entirety. Due to a previous commitment, I only caught the last half hour of the debate. I have subsequently watched much of it online and here are my observations.

1. Marco Rubio Got Bloodied Again

For the second debate in a row, Marco Rubio got bloodied. Last time around, it didn't affect him so much as he finished a strong third in Iowa. I'm not so sure lightning strikes twice. Chris Christie popped him hard and his counterpunches weren't particularly effective. Christie spent much of the night comparing Rubio to Barack Obama (i.e. first term Senator). Rubio should have said, "During this campaign, you have called Barack Obama feckless. Did you call him feckless after you hugged him during Hurricane Sandy?" But Rubio isn't a street fighter and tonight it might have cost him.

2. Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich All Had Good Nights

Hillary Clinton, Not Goldman Sachs, Set Six Figure Speaking Fees

By on 2.5.16 | 4:48PM

During last night's debate, Hillary Clinton insisted that, despite her career in public office, preceded by her career as the wife of someone in public office, preceded by a career as an aspirant to public office, that not of that made her an 'Establishment' candidate. Additionally, Hillary Clinton insisted, she couldn't possibly be 'Establishment' because she's a woman, and as we all know, as long as you have a functioning set of ladyparts, there's no chance you could be part of the corrupt and incestuous Washington elite, trading niceties and Cayman Islands banking advice with DC's shadow financiers. 

Ask Amelia: Be Your Best Valentine

By on 2.5.16 | 4:03PM

Ed note: Lets have a warm welcome for Amelia Hamilton, as she graces the Spectacle blog with her best advice for how to negotiate a happy Valentine's Day for you and your sweetie. 

Welcome to Ask Amelia! Once a week, I will answer your questions, solve your quandaries, and life coach you through the trials and tribulations of life. For my first two installments, it’s all about Valentine’s Day and questions of the heart.


Without further ado, here we go.

Dear Amelia,

If blondes have more fun and redheads are more fun, then how come I’m so fond of brunettes.



Dear Coastie,

ABC Hides Carly

By on 2.5.16 | 3:29PM

Carly Fiorina belongs on the debate stage Saturday. She has the intelligence, values, biography, experience, and temperament to be taken seriously by serious conservatives. Like my friend Aaron Goldstein, I too have no idea why an obviously qualified candidate has not gotten more traction with Republican primary voters.

But it’s easy enough to understand ABC’s motivation for keeping her off the stage, even though there is room for her now that several vanity candidates have hit the silk. It would be difficult for that liberal echo-chamber to flog the narrative that the Republican Party is just a bunch of tired old country club white guys if a smart cookie of the female persuasion is in the Republican presidential mix. And in previous debates she has mixed it up very well with the boys, thank you very much.

Chelsea Clinton Accidentally Calls Bernie, “President Sanders”

By on 2.5.16 | 12:34PM

The Clinton campaign has been using Chelsea as a surrogate since the final few weeks in Iowa, even though the response to her has been lukewarm at best. They've now flown her to New Hampshire and elsewhere, where she's taking rallies to promote her mother as "Grandma-in-Chief."

Only, yesterday's speech went a little awry. While at a campaign stop in Minnesota (a must-win for the Clinton camp), Chelsea made a Freudian slip, referring to "Bernie Sanders" as "President Sanders."

Obviously, she didn't mean to suggest that her allegiances are split, but it's pretty funny nonetheless. The Clinton campaign is losing steam a little, and this can't be great for internal morale. 

#FreakoutFriday: The ZIKA Virus!

By on 2.5.16 | 12:00PM

Who isn’t a little freaked out about Zika—the mosquito-transmitted infection common in Africa and Asia and now showing up in South America? The disease is horrifying; preying on the most vulnerable humans—fetuses still growing in their mother’s wombs. Sadly, mothers who become infected with Zika are giving birth to children with deformities and brain damage. Zika is expected to reach certain areas of the United States this spring. To date, there have been 31 reported cases of Zika in the U.S; each case involving tourists who contradicted the illness outside the United States, before returning home. 

While I’m not suggesting you should freak out about Zika, you should take precautions if you’re pregnant or plan to get pregnant in the near future (read this excellent essay for tips). Yet, what’s most frustrating and worthy of a freak out is that anti-GMO activists are urging governments to dismiss a potentially life-saving solution—genetically modified mosquitos.

Santorum Should Have Told Morning Joe How Rubio Weakened Obamacare

By on 2.5.16 | 10:16AM

After endorsing Marco Rubio's candidacy, Rick Santorum went on Morning Joe and couldn't name any of Rubio's accomplishments in the Senate.

It is utterly inexcusable on both Santorum's part for a lack of due diligence and on the part of the Rubio campaign for not having a key surrogate prepared. for tough questioning.

It's all the more inexcusable when one considers that Rubio has probably done more to make Obamacare fail than anyone on Capitol Hill.

After all, it was Rubio who cleverly inserted a provision in the Omnibus Spending Bill in 2014 which barred the federal government from bailing out health insurance companies in the so-called risk corridor fund saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

While it was a temporary provision, it did much to damage Obamacare and expose its lack of financial viability.