The Spectacle Blog

IT Troubles at the IRS

By on 6.20.14 | 11:41AM

The congressional investigation of the Internal Revenue Service for improper scrutiny of conservative groups has sputtered to a stall. Faced with the loss of key emails to and from Lois Lerner, who recused herself on Fifth Amendment grounds from the investigation last year, the investigative committee, and the American public, are receiving an education in computer crashes and IRS backup policy.

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Morning Round-Up 6-20

By on 6.20.14 | 9:04AM

Feature of the Day: Mexican ‘drug lord’ arrested on way to World Cup match

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. Obama Moves to Ensure Sick Leave for Gay Couples
  2. Detroit ‘Grand Bargain’ Vote Key to Bankruptcy End
  3. Top Shiite Cleric Calls for New Government in Iraq

Politico

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Gerry Goffin, R.I.P.

By on 6.20.14 | 12:02AM

Songwriter Gerry Goffin passed away on Thursday of natural causes. He was 75.

Goffin was married to Carole King for 10 years and together they formed one of the greatest songwriting tandems in the second half of the 20th century. They met at Queens College in New York where they studied chemistry. As it turned out, their chemistry was found in music. King wrote the music while Goffin wrote the lyrics. 

Less than I week ago, my Dad and I were at the Ultimate Doo-Wop Show at New York's Beacon Theatre featuring Dion. During this show, two Goffin-King songs were performed - "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by Shirley Alston-Reeves of the Shirelles and "Up on the Roof" by Charlie Thomas' Drifters. 

Let's also consider a few other Goffin-King collaborations:

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Good Luck Daniel Bard

By on 6.19.14 | 10:09PM

While watching the Braves-Nationals game on the MLB Network, I learned that the Texas Rangers had released pitcher Daniel Bard.

At one time, Bard was an outstanding reliever for the Boston Red Sox. Between 2009-2011, he was the eighth inning set up man for Jonathan Papelbon.

Of course, the Red Sox collapsed late in 2011. Terry Francona departed and was replaced by Bobby Valentine. We all know that led to a last place finish in 2012. One of the contributing factors to that debacle was Valentine's decision to put Bard into the starting rotation. Bard suddenly lost his velocity and then rapidly lost his control. By June, he was demoted to Pawtucket where he would remain for the rest of the year.

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Hobby Lobby and the War on Nuns

By on 6.19.14 | 5:51PM

The "war on women" continues, but not in the way you might think; in fact, the HHS mandate of Obamacare might be more of a "war on nuns."

This mandate, which wasn't passed by Congress, is the "Thou shalt provide birth control for thy employees" aspect of Obamacare. Among its victims are the Little Sisters of the Poor, a congregation of nuns who serve the elderly, and Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network. Other women are also concerned that this new commandment interferes with the original ten, including Barbara Green and her daughter Darcy Lett, who are part of the family that owns Hobby Lobby. Green's and Lett's case will be decided by the Supreme Court by the end of the month.

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McCarthy in as Majority Leader, Scalise the New Whip

By on 6.19.14 | 4:36PM

In news that will surprise no one, Congressman Kevin McCarthy was elected to take the place of outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his bid for reelection against college professor David Brat. Cantor’s loss shocked pundits and the political establishment.

McCarthy, who was already in a leadership position as majority whip, faced off against Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador. Labrador, while having great support from the conservative base, could not marshal enough votes (117) to overtake McCarthy. McCarthy was seen as the favorite due to his extensive connections to other members and his friendliness towards leadership. When Cantor stepped down, he endorsed McCarthy outright. McCarthy is seen as an established insider, which has aroused the ire of many in the Tea Party, who were hoping to move leadership to the right.

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What Pelosi Means When She Says the IRS “Needs a New Technology System”‏

By on 6.19.14 | 1:02PM

I just read this item by Joel Gehrke at NRO. Responding to questions concerning the IRS losing Lois Lerner's e-mails going back two years, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi quipped that the IRS "needs a new technology system."

Translation: She wants to throw more of our money at the IRS.

They have plenty of it already. More of our money to the IRS will mean more scrutiny of conservatives, more Lois Lerners and more lost e-mails to be rectified by yet more of our money

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Two-Time NL Cy Young Winner Kershaw Tosses No-Hitter

By on 6.19.14 | 12:23PM

Clayton Kershaw, who has won two of the last three NL Cy Youngs, threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, striking out fifteen batters. 

It is the second no-hitter of the 2014 season. Both of them have been thrown by Dodgers pitchers. Josh Beckett hurled a no-no against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25. 

It's amazing what can happen when you're asleep.

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The Limits of America’s Political Parties

By on 6.19.14 | 10:23AM

To fill the vacuum created by Eric Cantor’s sudden defeat as House Majority Leader, the Republican House Caucus will meet today behind closed doors to elect a new majority whip and majority leader. While the majority leader position looks to follow a natural line of succession, the race is heated for the whip spot and highlights the interior fault lines of the Republican base, as Tea Party elements camp contrapositive to an “establishment” core. Illustrating that party politics are not always about the other party, the race reveals that sometimes Republicans get to decide what it means to be Republican in an election that the electorate never touches. It is an unusual set of circumstances allowing for an interesting look at the interior dynamics and evolving values of a political party founded 160 years ago. 

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Morning Round-Up 6-19

By on 6.19.14 | 8:41AM

Feature of the Day: What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. Long After Move to US, Nazi Suspect Faces Charges
  2. Owner: Philly Newspapers Will Be Vital Legacy
  3. Militants Fly Their Black Flags Over Iraq Refinery

Politico

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