The Spectacle Blog

Can Democrats Save Obamacare?

By on 4.17.14 | 3:59PM

Democrats are fumbling with Obamacare like it’s a hot potato.

The White House’s inflated 7.5 million enrollee number looks good for liberals who suffered conservative taunts back in October. With the website’s abysmal failures behind them, this glimmer of hope has caused some Democrats to call for robust support of the bill:

“Democrats need to start making the case for Obamacare,” [Thomas] Mills [a consultant] said. “They all voted for it, they all own it, so they can't get away from it. So they'd better start defending it.”

This approach seems shortsighted at best. Mills speaks the truth when he says they voted for it, and conservatives will make them own it no matter what, but refusing to recognize the problems associated with the law won’t help them come election time.

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Corruption Runs Deep: DOJ and IRS in Cahoots to Target Conservatives

By on 4.17.14 | 12:11PM

There’s a reason both Eric Holder and Lois Lerner have been held in contempt of Congress.

As reported first by Katie Pavlich, the Department of Justice and the IRS were unsurprising bedfellows in the targeting of tea party 501(c)(4)s, according to new emails obtained by Judicial Watch.

Just a day before the IRS targeting scandal flooded the media, the DOJ contacted Lerner regarding how to criminally prosecute “political” groups that the IRS thought had “lied” on their applications about political activity. Further, Lerner said she couldn’t confirm that any left-wing political groups were the subjects of investigations:

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The Parable of the Pharisee Conservative

By on 4.17.14 | 11:58AM

I thank thee Lord that I am not like those other conservatives. 

Those xenophobes, nativists, obsessives about border security, drinkers of tea, and other bitter enders.

For I support comprehensive immigration reform.

I sup with the lords of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the chiefs of the AFL-CIO, and the titans of Silicon Valley.

I am welcomed at the editorial houses of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

I receiveith gold from George Soros, Bill Marriott and Mark Zuckerberg, and praise from the mainstream media, the Gang of Eight, and the princes of tourism.  

Although my labors would enrich the treasuries of Corporate Mammon at the expense of the “least among us” of my fellow Americans of all races and ethnicities by lowering their wages and increasing their unemployment—I trust in my own righteousness.

For I am the Pharisee conservative.

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Limits on Campaign Contributions Serve Incumbents

By on 4.17.14 | 11:44AM

Thomas Sowell knows why politicians on both sides of the aisle are so upset that the Supreme Court overturned limits on campaign contributions—because such restrictions hurt political challengers and protect incumbents. I think he hit the nail on the head:

The recent Supreme Court decision over-ruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says—free speech for everybody.

Opponents say killing these limits will lead to electoral corruption. What exactly do they mean? President Obama cries that removing restrictions “will open the floodgates for special interests.” Sowell explains, “Those unfamiliar with political rhetoric may not know that ‘special interests’ mean people who support your opponents":

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Morning Round-Up 4-17

By on 4.17.14 | 10:32AM

Feature of the Day: The Crashes That Changed Plane Designs Forever

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. Oklahoma Gay-Marriage Case Before US Appeals Court


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Pope Francis in Full

By on 4.17.14 | 1:19AM

Pope Francis’s recent remarks on clerical sexual abuse received plenty of deserved attention in the secular press. Less attention, however, has been paid to other no less emphatic comments he made in that same appearance, perhaps because they were so thoroughly traditional in reaffirming, in his words, “the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.”

What’s more, Francis decried all efforts at “educational experimentation with children,” noting that “The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared.”

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Eugenics Makes a Comeback

By on 4.16.14 | 5:22PM

Shrouded in the garb of “reproductive freedom” and “equality," President Obama is launching a new eugenics initiative through a program designed to reduce pregnancies and births among teenage black and Hispanic women.

As reported by the Daily Caller, the Centers for Disease Control described the purpose of the program:

to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative, multicomponent, communitywide initiatives in reducing rates of teen pregnancy and births in communities with the highest rates, with a focus on reaching African American and Latino/Hispanic youth aged 15–19 years.

No doubt America’s teen pregnancy rate is too high, but the wording of this mission statement is clear: stop the pregnancies, but also stop the births. This isn’t a campaign for stronger families or abstinence, but rather for contraceptives and ultimately abortions intended to reduce the black and Hispanic populations.

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Hate Crimes? Me Too!

By on 4.16.14 | 1:44PM

Michael McGough of the Los Angeles Times offered some clearheaded thinking about so called "hate crimes" in his column yesterday. McGough wrote in the wake of the tragic killings allegedly perpetrated in Kansas City by Frazier Glenn Cross, an elderly Nazi sympathizer and contributor to the macbre mystique around creeps with three names. Cross will likely be prosecuted under hate crime legislation. His victims were not Jewish, but presumably he thought they were, as his targets were Jewish community centers. And so McGough made this provocative and rightheaded statement: "[T]hese killings are a reminder of the perplexities that surround hate-crime laws. No one would suggest that the loss of these lives would be any less horrible if the gunman had chosen his victims at random and without regard to their (assumed) religion."

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Morning Round-Up 4-16

By on 4.16.14 | 10:10AM

Feature of the Day: Why Are So Many Older Veterans Committing Suicide?

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. End of NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program Ended
  2. Detroit Strikes 2nd Deal With Its Retirees


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Zander Hollander, R.I.P.

By on 4.16.14 | 12:11AM

Sports journalist and archivist Zander Hollander passed away on Friday of Alzheimer’s. He was 91.

Those of you who put up with my numerous articles and blog posts on baseball can blame Hollander. The very first baseball book I read was Hollander’s The Complete Handbook of Baseball — 1980 Seasonwhen I was 7 years old. My Mom bought the book for my Dad. Somehow it never made its way into his hands. Willie Stargell, who was 1979 Co-NL MVP with Keith Hernandez, was on the front cover and 1979 AL Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan was on the back cover. Both men sadly are no longer with us. 

There are things from that book that I still remember like Detroit Tigers catcher Lance Parrish being a former bodyguard for Tina Turner, San Diego Padres pitcher John Curtis was an essayist, and future NBA great Danny Ainge was trying to make the grade as a second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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