The Spectacle Blog

Elizabeth Warren: ‘She’s like what Obama was…’

By on 6.30.14 | 1:17PM

The gentlelady is on a whistlestop tour through Kentucky, West Virginia, Oregon, Minnesota, and Washington state, where she "produces enormous, almost celebrity-like, enthusiasm from supporters," Buzzfeed reports:

Warren’s ability to fundraise for fellow Democrats could help her own future aspirations, whatever they may be. Though she has emphatically denied she has any plans to run for president, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give generously to colleagues now.

“She’s in the process of building a power base within the Senate,” Manley said. “For someone in year two and a half, she’s raised an impressive amount of money. This helps build up chips for whatever she has in mind further down the line.”

The crowd on Sunday was excited for Grimes, but there were many clad in T-shirts that declared: “I’m from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.” As the rally ended and Katy Perry’s “Roar” blared, it was Warren who was mobbed from fans for photos.

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Supreme Court Throws Out Contraception Mandate

By on 6.30.14 | 10:40AM

The Supreme Court this morning struck down the Obamacare contraception mandate and ruled in favor of craft supply store Hobby Lobby. In a 5-4 decision, the Court decided that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to closely held for-profit corporations just as it applies to non-profit organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage. This is the first time SCOTUS has ruled that for-profit corporations can hold religious views, and is sure to spark debates about both religious freedom and corporate personhood. The Court said that the mandate wasn't the least restrictive means for the government to advance its goal of covered birth control. Justice Alito wrote the opinion of the Court, with Justice Kennedy concurring, and two separate dissenting opinions were filed by the liberal justices.

The Court also ruled in favor of Illinois home care workers who don't want to be forced to pay union dues, though it didn't apply the principle to all public-sector workers. If it had, the result would have been something close to a national right-to-work law. This decision, Harris v. Quinn, was also 5-4.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Forced Union Dues for Home HealthCare Workers

By on 6.30.14 | 10:37AM

In the less-widely covered opinion released today in Harris v Quinn, a 5-4 Supreme Court ruled that home health care providers cannot be forced to pay union dues to a union (in this case SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana) of which they are not members. Lower courts had ruled in favor of the union, “concluding that the (Personal Assistants) were state employees” for purposes of forced contribution to a union which has a collective bargaining agreement with the state.

The Court’s plain-language ruling:  “The First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from Rehabilitation Program PAs who do not want to join or support the union.” The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, notes that “PAs are almost entirely answerable to the customers and not to the State, do not enjoy most of the rights and benefits that inure to state employees, and are not indemnified by the State for claims against them arising from actions taken during the course of their employment.”

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Representation Before Law: Immigration Law

By on 6.28.14 | 2:38PM

New York City and immigration go together. Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, cab drivers, and ethnic neighborhoods all point to the city’s role as a leader in immigration. As Democrats pressure Republicans to act on immigration reform, threatening executive action if legislation is not passed soon, over 180,000 illegal immigrants, many of them children from Central America, have poured over the Texas border, overwhelming facilities there.

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Mississippi GOP Needs to Find Its Soul

By on 6.27.14 | 1:59PM

After a brutal month of fighting between the Tea Party and the establishment in the hotly contested Mississippi Senate race, tragedy has struck. According to the Clarion-Ledger, sources have confirmed that Mark Mayfield, a Mississippi Tea Party leader, has taken his own life. The paper reports:

Mayfield is vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, and is one of the three men charged with conspiring with Clayton Kelly to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.

It continues:

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Hillary: From Foggy Bottom to the Remainder Table

By on 6.27.14 | 1:44PM

It may take a village. But such of the villagers who still read (see Dan Flynn’s “Lazy Machines” on the website this morning) have caught on to the Clintons. Their books are BORING.

And now that the news is out about how “dead broke” the Clintons are and how they have to “work hard” delivering speeches at about $200K per hour, even those who share the Clinton’s leftist delusions no longer feel obligated to help the cause by buying the latest Clinton door-stopper and displaying it on their coffee tables.

Mz. Hillary’s Hard Choices sold about 85,000 copies in its first week, placing it on the NYT bestsellers list for about as long as it takes a David Price fastball to reach home plate. During its second week, her overlong screed sold just 48,000 copies, and was lapped by the usual diet and self-help books

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ThinkProgress Tries to Figure Out This Whole Minimum Wage Thing

By on 6.27.14 | 1:35PM

ThinkProgress would like you to know that Ikea will be raising its average minimum wage to $10.76 an hour for its American employees. The company has said it will calculate base pay by considering the cost of living at each of its store locations. In other words, Ikea’s goal is to provide a living wage. ThinkProgress helpfully points out that other companies have also raised their minimum pay recently, and that “these companies usually cite the same reason: they expect it to help them attract and retain better employees, which will help their bottom lines.”

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Morning Round-Up 6-27

By on 6.27.14 | 11:05AM

Feature of the Day: What’s the Matter With Eastern Kentucky?

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. NYC Creates Public Defender System For Immigrants
  2. More Countries Adding Graphic Warnings to Smokes


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Two Pro-Liberty Decisions From the Supreme Court

By on 6.26.14 | 6:23PM

Besides the United States' loss to Germany in the World Cup, today was a good day for liberty. The Supreme Court ruled to restrict the power of government in three recent Supreme Court cases.

In the first case, Riley v. California, the petitioner Riley was charged in connection with a shooting after officers stopped him for a traffic violation and then seized and searched his cell phone. The Court ruled that “the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.”

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Search Lois Lerner’s Blackberry

By on 6.26.14 | 5:57PM

In a large-scale document dump, the IRS handed over thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the key figure in the ongoing investigation of the IRS’s targeting of conservative Tea Party groups. The documents, obtained by multiple news organizations and the committees investigating the matter, appeared to show that Lerner intended to target Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In a statement released by Republican Congressman David Camp, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee:

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