The Spectacle Blog

Oops!!! 800,000 Sent Incorrect Obamacare Tax Statements

By on 2.20.15 | 3:23PM

Today, Healthcare.gov disclosed that it sent out 800,000 incorrect statements (an estimated 20% of the total statements sent out) concerning Obamacare tax credits.

Those affected are being told to hold off preparing their taxes until new statements are sent out in March. However, 50,000 have already filed their taxes and the IRS mulling over what to do with those who have received these tax credits.

True to form, the Obama Administration is refusing to accept responsibility for its mistake and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has refused to apologize for the error.

Healthcare.gov also announced that people could sign up for Obamacare plans through the end of April and they too can look forward to receiving an incorrect tax statement next year.

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MLB’s Silly New Pace of Game Rules

By on 2.20.15 | 11:48AM

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred unveiled the new pace of game rules this morning.

I object to the installation of timers. What distinguishes baseball from football, basketball and hockey is precisely that there is no regulation of time. Each game has its own pace determined by what happens on the field. Now instead of being baseball revolving around what is happening on the field, it will revolve around these damn timers. MLB might as well install shot clocks while they are at it.

One part of the new rule reads, "The pitcher is expected to begin his motion to deliver the pitch as soon as the batter gets into the batter's box and becomes alert to the pitcher." So does this mean the catcher is no longer allowed to give signs to the pitcher as to what pitch should be thrown? Or does the catcher now have to do this before the batter steps into the box?

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On the Replacement of Pentagon Spokesman RADM Kirby

By on 2.20.15 | 12:03AM

It was announced on Wednesday that Pentagon Spokesman RADM (upper half) John Kirby will be replaced by a civilian. It may end up being SecDef Ash Carter's only good decision, but a good decision it was.

Just a few days before the news, I was in Washington DC at the American Spectator Gala dinner (John Ratzenberger was particularly fantastic, but all the speakers were very good) and mentioned to someone that I felt bad for Kirby.

He's a flag officer with 28 years in the Navy, just a couple of years and one star beyond my mother's Navy tenure when she retired, and I really felt bad for the guy.

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Obama White House Basically Now Saying Israel is Lying About Talks with Iran

By on 2.19.15 | 9:57PM

With Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress less than two weeks away, the Obama Administration is making no effort to hide its contempt for Israel.

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, "There's no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate. There's no question about that.” Earnest went on to accuse Netanyahu's government of "cherry-picking" information concerning negotiations with Iran. He did not specify how Israel was "cherry-picking" this information.

State Department Spokesperson (and soon to be White House Communications Director) Jen Psaki seconded Earnest, "I think it is safe to say not everything you are hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate reflection of the details of the talks." 

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What Kerry Left Out of His Violent Extremism WSJ Op-Ed & Speech

By on 2.19.15 | 4:18PM

Today, it was John Kerry's turn to speak on the final day of the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism after writing an op-ed which appeared last night in The Wall Street Journal.

The most striking about both the speech and the op-ed is what isn't stated. In his speech, Kerry did not use the word Muslim or Islam once whereas as the only time Kerry used the word Islam in the op-ed was to make reference to Islamophobia while the only time he used the word Muslim was in the context of being victims of violent extremists. While it's certainly true that Muslims are victims of "violent extremism" it is curious that Kerry isn't prepared to use the word Muslim when discussing its perpetrators.

I want to also focus on one passage in Kerry's op-ed:

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Obama Picks Psaki New WH Communications Director Effective April 1st (No Joke)

By on 2.19.15 | 12:38PM

President Obama has named State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to be the new White House Communications Director effective April 1st.

I wish it were an April Fool's joke.

This means we'll be seeing more of Marie Harf at the State Department.

Only last week, it was Psaki who couldn't bring herself to say that last month's attacks on the Hyper Cacher grocery store in Paris was anti-Semitic incorrectly stating, “They were not all victims of one background or one nationality, so I think what they mean by that is, I don’t know that they spoke to the targeting of a grocery store.”

All four victims were Jewish and buried in Israel.

When pressed on whether the attack was "anti-Jewish" all Psaki could say that she would leave that determination to the French government despite the fact the State Department had earlier condemned the attack as anti-Semitic.

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Norwegian Muslims to Protect Oslo Synagogue

By on 2.19.15 | 11:58AM

Here is a silver lining.

In response to last weekend's terrorist attack at the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen which claimed one life, a Muslim woman in neighboring Norway began an online campaign on Facebook to protect Oslo's Bergstien Street Synagogue.

Hajrad Arshad, the 17-year old organizer said the aim is to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims”.  Arshad added, “We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,”

Following Saturday Shabbat services, people will gather around the synagogue and form a peace ring.

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Jeb Bush Goes on Defense When He Says “I’m My Own Man.”

By on 2.19.15 | 9:38AM

When Jeb Bush said, "I'm my own man," during a speech in Chicago yesterday it struck me as a mistake.

Why go on the defensive? Why the hurry to distance himself from both his father and brother? Is Hillary Clinton going to distance herself from Bill?

George W. Bush left office more than six years ago. Jeb should leave the distancing to Hillary who has a lot answer for during her tenure in the Obama Administration.

Then again it's probably better for Republicans to have a candidate who doesn't feel the need to go on the defensive where it concerns his family name be it Jeb Bush or Rand Paul. 

Scott Walker doesn't have to distance himself from anyone.

 

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Five Comments on Obama’s Islamic, Sorry, Violent Extremism Speech

By on 2.18.15 | 10:02PM

I would like to share five comments on President Obama's speech before the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

1. President Obama defines "violent extremism" in this manner:

By “violent extremism,” we don’t just mean the terrorists who are killing innocent people.  We also mean the ideologies, the infrastructure of extremists --the propagandists, the recruiters, the funders who radicalize and recruit or incite people to violence.  We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there’s no way to predict who will become radicalized.  Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths -- which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths.  It's not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.

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Five Observations of Obama’s Op-Ed on Islamic, Er, Violent Extremism

By on 2.18.15 | 1:20PM

Earlier this week, I made the case that unless President Obama's Summit on Countering Violent Extremism would be a complete waste of time unless he was willing to state that the violent extremism we are trying to counter is caused by an ideology based on Islam subscribed to by a small, but critical mass of Muslims.

Well, President Obama has penned an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times and nothing he has written inspires confidence. Here are five observations of the op-ed.

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