The Spectacle Blog

Maryland Bans Fracking Despite Governor’s Opposition

By on 7.15.15 | 11:51AM

Maryland has placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” for energy extraction in the state until October 2016.

The bill became law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) signature and contrasts strongly with Oklahoma’s embrace of fracking.

Hogan was elected in 2014 after campaigning as a strong supporter of fracking. During the campaign, he cited a 2014 study from Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute that found hydraulic fracturing in western Maryland could generate more than 3,000 jobs and upwards of $5 million in new tax revenue each year during peak drilling. Hogan said the state was “sitting on an economic gold mine.”

The law, approved by veto-proof margins in both houses of the Democrat-controlled legislature, went into effect May 29.

Lack of Knowledge Cited

Gary Stone, vice president of engineering for Five States Energy, says Maryland’s limited experience with the process and benefits of fracking may have contributed to support for the ban.

Hillary Clinton Can’t Decide Which Position To Take on Iran Deal

By on 7.15.15 | 11:41AM

I maintain that I know very little about foreign policy, which is why I've left the conversation surrounding the Iran deal to the site's more experienced foreign policy commentators, choosing to take the "dead babies" stories instead. But what I do know is that, even among the most liberal Internet commentators, the Iran deal is, at best, controversial.

Early yesterday morning, the coverage was laudatory. Which meant, obviously, that Hillary Clinton, who was supportive of the deal but, ultimately, sanguine about it in her initial interviews. As coverage peaked in the morning, Hillary Clinton was dancing around backstage in DC offering "full-throated" support for Iran's sudden, yet predictable, nuclear advantage. But as reporters read the lengthy deal, released yesterday afternoon, their opinions soured.

And so did Clinton's

AL Wins 2015 MLB All-Star Game 6-3; Mike Trout Wins Back to Back All-Star Game MVPs

By on 7.14.15 | 11:54PM

The American League won its 3rd straight All-Star Game with a 6-3 victory in Cincinnati.

Angels superstar Mike Trout set the tone when he led off the game with a solo HR off NL starting pitcher Zack Greinke. The Dodger righty would fan four in two innings, but he couldn't catch Trout. 

The NL tied the game at 1-1 in the second on a single by Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta, but this did not impress the Reds faithful who lustily booed anything to do with the Cardinals including former Cardinal Albert Pujols. I guess Reds fans think Pujols is no Angel.

The AL took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a single by Rangers' DH Prince Fielder and a double by Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain. 

The NL would come within one run on a solo HR by Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen.

But the AL took the lead for good in the 7th on a double by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Fielder would drive in his second run on a sacrifice fly to take a 5-2 lead. The AL would add another run in the 8th on a solo homerun by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. 

Planned Parenthood Responds to Shock Video, Claims They’re Not Selling Organs, They’re ‘Donating’

By on 7.14.15 | 6:54PM

To be fair, they start out by saying that the video that hit the web this morning, depicting Planned Parenthood's top doc offering aborted baby organs for sale to a potential buyer, was "heavily edited" and "secretly recorded." The problem? The two-and-a-half hour full video still shows them selling baby parts. And something tells me, as aboveboard as Planned Parenthood thinks these actions are, they'd hardly offer the organs for sale to a bidder with a cell phone camera.

At any rate, here's what Planned Parenthood has to say about their creepy, profiteering trade in tiny kidneys:

The SEC Sinks Its Claws Deeper into Executive Pay Packages

By on 7.14.15 | 3:51PM

Once upon a time critics of corporate America complained that executive salaries were too high, and too often disconnected from the performance of the firm. Senior managers are making millions while the company loses money—where’s the logic in that? So today many firms, including large banks and other financial services companies, have performance-based compensation packages—at least some of the money executives make is tied to the firm’s annual profits. Now incentives are aligned smartly, right?

Shoulda Sent Kenny

By on 7.14.15 | 1:45PM

You’ve got to know when to fold ’em. We would have been better off sending Kenny Rogers to Iran than John François Kerry.

This is a worse deal than Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas.

Undercover Video Reveals Planned Parenthood Exec Selling Aborted Baby Organs

By on 7.14.15 | 1:30PM

This might be the most disturbing thing I've ever seen, and that's actually saying a lot. 

Every year, I serve as an on-call counsel for 40 Days for Life, a national program of prayer and sidewalk counseling that goes for the 40 days before Easter (and now, I believe, there's also a fall program). It's mostly an unventful job, but a few years ago, I received a call in the middle of the night from a terrified woman who'd been praying in front of a Michigan abortion clinic. The clinic owner, who had quite the reputation for his barbaric practices, had been seen taking out the weekly "trash," which consisted of a number of small garbage bags. Curious, the protesters had looked in the Dumpster. The bags were filled with human remains - baby parts, disposed of like common waste, instead of with the care required for ostensibly biohazardous materials. It was horrifying. All those tiny bodies.

Craze of Political Correctness Claims Cracker Barrel

By on 7.14.15 | 1:16PM

Originally reported by WFTS, the excerpt is from a report by Fox News:

Ryan Koch of Des Moines started the Change.org petition [six] days ago and it already has over 13,000 signatures.

“I say all of us European Americans start protesting C****er Barrel,” Koch writes in the petition opening. “It uses an offensive slur and it is deeply offensive and mocks our long and proud heritage.”

Koch wrote that he started the petition to address “media reports of various groups and organizations constantly wanting to change things throughout the country because they claim they are offended,” reports WFTS.

Koch goes on to offer an alternative restaurant name—“Caucasian Barrel” because “white people should have something to be offended by, too!”

Koch reiterated that he started the petition “strictly for satirical and comedic purposes.”

While this petition may have been created for “satirical and comedic purposes,” other examples aren’t taken so lightheartedly.

HuffPost Reporter Actually Chides Netanyahu for Not Reading Iran Deal

By on 7.14.15 | 12:31PM

The snarkiest thing I have read about the nuclear deal with Iran comes from Jessica Schulberg of the Huffington Post. There is much to be snarky about concerning the Iran nuclear deal. Unfortunately, Schulberg’s snark is directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The headline reads, “Benjamin Netanyahu Doesn’t Need To Read The Iran Deal To Know He Hates It.” Now, speaking from personal experience, the headlines I choose for my articles aren’t always what appears online. That could be the case here, but judging by the following I doubt it:

Netanyahu’s judgment of the 159-page agreement came before the public release of the text of the deal. He blamed the nuclear agreement on the willingness of the negotiators to reach a deal “at any cost,” a thinly veiled criticism of President Barack Obama, whom the Israeli premier has long sparred with on the topic of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran Nuclear Deal Represents a 21st Century Munich Agreement

By on 7.14.15 | 11:33AM

Barack Obama’s top foreign policy objective from the time he declared his candidacy for the White House in February 2007 was to engage with Iran for the purpose of negotiating a nuclear agreement. He told Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes

I think that the notion that this administration has — that not talking to our enemies is effective punishment — is wrong. It flies in the face of our experiences during the Cold War. Ronald Reagan understood that it may be an evil empire, but it’s worthwhile for us to periodically meet to see are there areas of common interest.

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