The Spectacle Blog

There’s a Hillary Clinton Comic Book On the Way

By on 5.28.15 | 12:30PM

I have always been a huge comic book fan. I am told, of course, that my female anatomy makes me a rare bird in that field since, according to modern Internet feminists, comic books are the very nexus and genesis of modern misogyny, because they promote the sexualization of women, glorify violence against women, have storylines that don't always involve women, and are, generally, enjoyed by people who are not "Social Justice Warriors" with an extensive Tumblr history of memes that take aim at fat-shaming and love letters to Lena Dunham.

US Military Accidentally Sends Live Anthrax To 9 States

By on 5.28.15 | 12:04PM

U.S. officials admitted Thursday that not only had the military accidentally sent live anthrax to labs in nine different states, as well as South Korea, but that in total 26 people were likely exposed.

California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia received live samples meant for germ warfare training via FedEx, as did the Osan Air Force Base in South Korea, Reuters reports. Hazardous material teams subsequently destroyed the anthrax samples.

In the U.S. the four employees exposed are undergoing precautionary medical treatment to avoid the problem of inhalation anthrax, which killed five people in 2001. Treatment usually includes a course of antibiotics and the anthrax vaccine.

“There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers,” Col. Steven Warren, Pentagon spokesman , said in a statement.

George Pataki is Also Running For President

By on 5.28.15 | 11:57AM

George Pataki, the former New York Governor, has thrown his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination, because there's nothing the GOP field needs more right now than yet another over-50 white dude with questionable conservative credentials whose career peaked more than ten years ago, vying for the nation's top office.

George Pataki on Thursday officially announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, adding another long-shot candidate to an increasingly crowded 2016 primary field.

The former New York governor faces steep odds — he’s barely registering in national or state-level polls, he hasn’t been in office for nearly a decade, and his moderate stance on issues such as gun control and the environment make him an afterthought with much of the party’s conservative base. He’ll also struggle to win over establishment Republicans and donors who are drawn to bigger names such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Blumenthal Earned $10K Per Month From the Clinton Foundation While Advising State

By on 5.28.15 | 11:45AM

Usually, when you have a person in your life that creates drama, you try to minimize your contact with them, even if you can't cut contact off completely. You might see them once in a while for a drink, if you've been imbibing earlier in the day and can tolerate them, or you might limit your contact with them to situations where you can exit quickly, like DC cocktail parties, company picnics or emergency rooms.

FDA Going ‘Full Speed Ahead’ on E-Cig Regulations

By on 5.28.15 | 10:50AM

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff announced the agency’s intention to proceed “full steam ahead” on regulations intended to reduce e-cigarette use.

Ostroff says FDA intends to enact a “deeming rule” expanding the agency’s regulation of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco. 

California Polytechnic State University professor of economics Michael L. Marlow says this is a bad idea because e-cigarettes are a useful tool for reducing health damage and helping smokers kick the habit.

“If e-cigarettes help smokers reduce consumption of more harmful tobacco or maybe even allow them to quit cigarettes, even if e-cigarettes themselves are somewhat harmful, it still would be an overall reduction of harm,” Marlow said. “If you just ignore that theory, and the FDA certainly has, an economist would say it [still] doesn’t make much sense.”

Marlow says e-cigarettes are a positively disruptive invention some special-interest groups want to suppress.

What George Pataki Has in Common with Jeb Bush

By on 5.28.15 | 10:45AM

With former New York Governor George Pataki becoming the eighth Republican to formally declare a White House bid, it occurs to me that he has a great deal in common with someone who has yet to formally declare - Jeb Bush.

Both Pataki and Bush were competent, successful governors whose successors have not matched their achievements in office.

Both Pataki and Bush last ran for office in 2002.

Both Pataki and Bush have developed opinions rather unpopular with Republican voters. With Bush, it's his support for Common Core and his soft views on illegal immigration. With Pataki, it's abortion, climate change and gun control.

It's true that Pataki doesn't have the financial advantages Bush has nor does he have the burden of Bush's name.

Pataki's best bet would be if he were to shine in the debates. But will he get even to climb on the stage?

Problematic Prairie Pup Protections Put “Propriety” In Perspective

By and on 5.28.15 | 10:43AM

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, exercising power purportedly delegated to it pursuant to Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, has classified the countless Utah prairie dog, which has no commercial value and has never dug holes in any lands beyond southwestern Utah, as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), thereby prohibiting the “take” of said prairie dogs—which essentially means doing anything that disturbs the little rodents’ habitat. If the varmints invade their property, human residents cannot build homes, start or operate certain businesses, or, in the case of Cedar City, protect playgrounds, an airport, and a local cemetery from their burrowing and barking.

Marine Appeals Court-Martial Over Bible Verse

By on 5.28.15 | 10:33AM

Last year, Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling was court-martialed for refusing to take down a paraphrased Bible verse on her computer. With the help of a non-profit legal organization, she’s planning to fight that ruling with an appeal.

While serving in the Marine Corps, Sterling displayed a paraphrased Bible verse on her computer work station in May 2013 at Camp Lejeune, a 246-square-mile military training facility in North Carolina, Military Times reports.

Military Times reporter Andrew Tilghman detailed, “Sterling taped three paper copies of the same quote — ’No weapon formed against me shall prosper’ — in 28-point type on her computer’s tower, her monitor and her desk.”

A supervisor told her to remove the verse, citing a dislike of the ‘tone’ of the verse. After a refusal, the staff sergeant threw out the verse, and swore at her, according to Sterling’s account.

Sterling soon found herself in court — without outside legal help.

Maybe Elizabeth Warren Learned How To Flip Real Estate From This Guy

By on 5.27.15 | 8:06PM

Emily reminds us that Elizabeth Warren made a good chunk of cash flipping real estate in Oklahoma.

This story was brought up during the 2012 campaign. Clearly it did no more damage to her than her bogus claims of Native American ancestry.

But as I commented at the time there's a chance she could have learned the real estate trade from 1990's informerical king Tom Vu who was famous for his boatful of babes and telling viewers in broken English, "If you don't attend my real estate seminars, you deserve to be broke."

The Federal Government is Looking to Control Your Puddles

By on 5.27.15 | 6:21PM

And lo, he of the name Obama shall have dominion over all of the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and the water that collects in the potholes after a rainstorm.

President Obama’s administration on Wednesday claimed dominion over all of America’s streams, creeks, rills, ditches, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands — perhaps even puddles — in a sweeping move to assert unilateral federal authority.

The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, says it has the authority to control all waterways within the United States — and will exercise that authority.

“We’re finalizing a clean water rule to protect the streams and the wetlands that one in three Americans rely on for drinking water. And we’re doing that without creating any new permitting requirements and maintaining all previous exemptions and exclusions,” EPA head Gina McCarthy told reporters Wednesday.