The Spectacle Blog

Not All of Lois Lerner’s Emails Went Missing

By on 7.10.14 | 3:24PM

On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee released several more emails in its ongoing investigation of the IRS, written by Lois Lerner. They suggest that Lerner may have tried to hide documents from the congressional investigation.

The emails, which Chairman Darrell Issa tweeted out last night, can be found here on his page. In one of them, Lerner, discussing Microsoft Operating System with an IT member within the IRS, said:

I had a question today about OCS. I was cautioning folks about email and how we have several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails – so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails. Someone asked if OCS conversations were also searchable – I don't know, but told them I would get back to them. Do you know?

The response from Maria Hooke, summarized, is that while the Electronic Data Request goes on an honor system, none of the emails are saved automatically, unless chosen by the user. Lerner’s response: “Perfect.”

Send to Kindle

Too Many Bureaucrats in the Kitchen

By on 7.10.14 | 3:04PM

Government is obese. In the 1980s the number of pages in the federal tax code was 26,300, according to the CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter. Now that number is over 73,954 pages. Add to that the cost of planning, time, and paperwork, and the cost of tax complexity is an estimated 6.6 billion hours per year.

The Federal Register, dubbed the “Ten Thousand Commandments” by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, results in a total federal regulatory burden of $1.8 trillion a year, over half the size of the federal budget. If the pages of the Federal Register were stacked, the pile would exceed Washington, D.C.’s height limit for buildings.

Send to Kindle

Feinstein Invokes Nazis Concerning Unaccompanied Minors on Border

By on 7.10.14 | 11:51AM

I just read where Senator Dianne Feinstein has likened deporting the unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexican border to deporting Jews back to Nazi Germany. (H/T Andrew Johnson at NRO). To be precise, the California Democrat argues that deporting the children would be akin to turning away "boatloads of Jewish immigrants trying to come to this country during Nazi Germany and getting turned back."

Send to Kindle

Our Isolated President

By on 7.10.14 | 10:59AM

The lines of communication running up and down the bloated federal bureaucracy don't exactly vibrate with the same clarity as a spider web. President Obama isn't a ruthless spider in the center of an ever-growing silken net, catching and consuming conservative causes, personally bending and breaking the laws in pursuit of executive power.

Instead we're told the phones sitting on the presidential desk sit still. What ought to be scandal after scandal rolls off of this administration with too few cries of shame from the public—though we can hope the IRS will stick. The president doesn’t seem to be making these calls. He never seems to know what's going on in his own administration. It's become increasingly apparent that Obama is not an eight-legged predator catching Americans in his bureaucratic web, wrapping them in a cocoon of red tape and inaction, but rather he himself is cocooned, cut off from the inexcusable activities of his administration.

Send to Kindle

Morning Round-Up 7-10

By on 7.10.14 | 10:24AM

Send to Kindle

Tom Veryzer, R.I.P.

By on 7.9.14 | 11:47PM

Former big league shortstop Tom Veryzer passed away yesterday of complications of a stroke. He was 61.

A native of Long Island, Veryzer was the number one draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1971. He would make his big league debut with the Tigers late in the 1973 season. Veryzer would become the Tigers everyday shortstop in 1975 and would remain in that capacity for three seasons. He was a classic good field, no hit player who had the added trouble of not being able to stay healthy. After hitting only .197 in 1977, Veryzer was traded to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Charlie Spikes to make room at short for none other than Alan Trammell. 

Send to Kindle

Harry Reid Thinks Clarence Thomas is White

By on 7.9.14 | 5:47PM

Discussing a proposed Senate bill that would reverse the Hobby Lobby decision, Harry Reid announced that the Senate is acting to “ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men.”

This is significant for a couple reasons. First is the glaringly obvious fact that Clarence Thomas is black. Harry Reid is either misinformed or legally blind. Or, more likely, he thinks that Clarence Thomas is not a “real” African American because he is not liberal. The left has a tendency to celebrate diversity only when minorities subscribe to their ideology.

Next and more significant is the idea that men should not have an input in decisions affecting women. This idea is becoming dangerously widespread, even on the right. Recently, when talking to a male friend about feminist attempts to lower the burden of proof in rape cases, he said that he didn’t want to weigh in because he is not a woman and has never been raped.

Send to Kindle

Red Sox Designate Pierzynski for Assignment

By on 7.9.14 | 4:59PM

Let the Red Sox fire sale begin.

Today, the team designated veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and have called up prospect Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket to take his spot on the roster.

Send to Kindle

Crickets Chirp for Islamic Caliph

By on 7.9.14 | 4:57PM

The Middle East is known more for its locusts than crickets, but some kind of insectile chirping could be heard after the Sunni militant group ISIS declared itself a caliphate and commanded the Muslims of the world to join them.

No rush of support greeted the ISIS—excuse me, caliphate underling—call to destroy the Kaaba, the most sacred shrine of Islam, which Muslims believe marks a place where heaven symbolically touches earth.

Even the Sunni clerics who gave bin Laden and others of his ilk the theological go-ahead are questioning ISIS's inattention to proper Islamic jurisprudence, according to the Daily Beast:

Send to Kindle

Senate Democrats Already Trying to Overturn Hobby Lobby

By on 7.9.14 | 4:47PM

Reeling over the loss of the recent Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court, birth control and abortifacient advocates across the country are clamoring for legislation to overturn the decision. This morning, many on the left rejoiced when Democrats in the Senate announced their intention to adopt a measure to force companies to forgo religious objections and pay for abortifacients.

According to Talking Points Memo:

Senate Democrats are poised to introduce legislation as early as Tuesday to reverse the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling which exempted for-profit corporations with religious owners from the Obamacare mandate to cover emergency contraceptives in their insurance plans.

The legislation, introduced by Democratic Senators Patty Murray of Washington and Mark Udall of Colorado:

Send to Kindle