The Spectacle Blog

Sebelius Possible Subject of Corruption Indictment

By on 4.1.14 | 9:37AM

The Associated Press is reporting, quoting unnamed sources, that Attorney General Eric Holder is preparing a criminal indictment of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius based on a still-secret joint finding by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Justice Department that Sebelius received payments from a secretive conservative organization – thought to be tied to two wealthy drug dealers (known to their customers as the "Coke Brothers") and an associate of theirs in the arms trafficking business – in order to intentionally damage the functionality, credibility, and roll-out of the web site for the federal Obamacare exchange.

According to the sources, Sebelius received cash, a remodeled kitchen, and a red Tibetan Mastiff puppy (sired by a champion) valued at over $100,000, with the total compensation approaching $425,000.

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Good Thing the Obamacare Deadline Was Delayed

By on 3.31.14 | 4:47PM

We made it. Today is the “official” deadline to sign up for Obamacare (ignoring the unofficial deadline that’s still two weeks away).

That is, if the White House can get the website up and running.

When Americans logged onto Healthcare.gov this morning, they were unable to create a new profile. Although anyone already in the system had no trouble completing their application, new enrollees were locked out of the website.

USA Today reported:

Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said the tech team monitoring HealthCare.gov identified an issue with users creating new accounts, a problem agents were reporting earlier in the day and USA TODAY found when reporters tried to create accounts.

At noon Peters said the application and enrollment tools were unavailable to new users. "The tech team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," she said.

At shortly after 1 p.m. it appeared the situation had improved somewhat and some newcomers were able to enroll.

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Noah Not Worth Your Time

By on 3.31.14 | 4:41PM

I rarely credit Slate with genius, but their coverage of what was and wasn’t biblical in the new Noah deserves respect.

I’d read multiple blogs about the “extra-biblical” nature of Noah from other devout Christians. Some cursed the movie and some praised it. Being the curious person I am, I had to watch it for myself.

Let’s just say it wasn’t worth the $13 movie ticket price.

Although the movie had some compelling and riveting scenes, the overall premise and many details of the film were simply un-biblical. I have seen plenty of “un-biblical” movies—but if you are going to base a movie off of sacred texts, you should approach it with special caution. This environmentalist apocalypse theme couldn’t be further from the point that the biblical story of Noah is supposed to make.

Spoilers ahead.

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Nate Silver: The Anti-Science Koch Brother

By on 3.31.14 | 2:39PM

The number of villains Democrats can use in fundraising letters just grew by one. Nate Silver, who correctly predicted how each state would vote in the 2012 presidential election, has joined the likes of the sinister Koch brothers after forecasting a 60 percent likelihood that Republicans will take the Senate in November.

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School Choice Reaches CO Supreme Court

By on 3.31.14 | 12:44PM

As education scholars at AEI put it, Douglas County, Colorado is the "most interesting school district in America" as it "tests the limits of education reform." And like any good reforms, Douglas County's revolutionary changes (which are likely important factors in making DougCo one of the fastest growing counties in the country) are being attacked by teachers unions, the ACLU, and other statist and anti-religion interests.

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The Beer Spectator Welcomes Spring With Four Ales

By on 3.30.14 | 7:04PM

Yes, the rain has arrived in D.C., and that means it's springtime. Which, for me and many other beer drinkers, gives us an opportunity to dive into sessions and farmhouses. 

Conventionally, I'm an IPA drinker. However, last night I made the conscious decision to drink fewer of those palette-blasting beers, in favor of sweeter stouts and malty pale ales. You know what that means: more choices and more varieties to explore.

Over the next two weeks, I will explore these types. 

Springs at Villanova University on the Main Line in Pennsylvania were the most beautiful I've ever experienced. San Francisco doesn't have seasons, so it doesn't compare. Washington attempts to compete with its cherry blossoms, but Villanova will always hold a place in my heart for its arboretum-esque atmosphere. When spring came, everybody knew: The blossoms sprang out, the grass grew green, and co-eds returned to the fields to throw frisbees and baseballs. 

At that time, I drank what everybody else drank: the conventional light beers that quenched my thirst. Your Natty Lights and Bud Lights, and Yuengling when I was sick of those. 

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Cabrera’s Contract Fishier Than Trout’s

By on 3.29.14 | 6:10PM

Cabrera’s Contract Fishier Than Trout’s

 

In the space of the past 24 hours both Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout have signed significant contract extensions were their respective teams.

On Thursday, Cabrera (who had been under contract through 2015) signed an 8-year contract extension worth $248 million. The Tigers have vesting options for both the 2024 and 2025 seasons. The contract is worth $292 million without the vesting options and $352 million with them. He is now the highest paid player in the game. Cabrera has won back to back AL MVP Awards and in 2012 became the first player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did so for the Boston Red Sox in 1967. Cabrera has also won three consecutive AL batting titles. He has driven in 100 or more runs for 10 seasons in a row.

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The Left’s War Over #CancelColbert, And Mine

By on 3.29.14 | 5:51PM

Yesterday, I weighed in on the controversy surrounding comedian Stephen Colbert, who is under fire over a tweet many have suggested was insensitive to Asians. I particularly singled out fellow conservative blogger Michelle Malkin--who, let me say again, is not only brilliant, but a personal inspiration--for her support of a wrongheaded Twitter protest against Colbert which is using the hashtag #CancelColbert. In my post, I explained why it is a bad idea to push for those whose speech we find disagreeable to lose their jobs. Judging from the comments, some of you missed the point. And like Malkin, you are, well, wrong.

The comments of one reader, who posted under the name Lockstein13, are a pretty good encapsulation of the arguments against me. He wrote:

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Baseball Returns to Montreal (Oui! Oui! Oui!)

By on 3.28.14 | 11:57PM

I have been in a wonderful mood since I learned on Friday morning that the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays would be playing two spring training games this weekend at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. It marks the first time professional baseball has been played in Montreal since the Expos left at the end of the 2004 season for D.C.

During lunch, I went over to the Harvard Coop and was greeted by a new book about the Expos written by Montreal native Jonah Keri titled Up, Up & Away: The Kid, The Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, Le Grand Orange, Youppi!, The Crazy Business of Baseball, & the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos. That is the longest title for a book I’ve ever seen. I nearly read the first 100 pages of the book this afternoon. It only whetted my appetite.

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Obama to Putin: Move Back Troops from Ukraine Border; Putin to Obama: Yeah, You & What Army?

By on 3.28.14 | 2:23PM

In an interview with with CBS News anchor Scott Pelley in Rome today, President Obama called on Russian President Vladimir Putin "to move back those troops" from the Ukrainian border and engage in negotiations with the Ukrainian government. 

Putin hasn't formally responded, but I'm sure it will be something to the effect of "yeah, you and what army?" After all, Obama has already ruled out a "military excursion" where it concerns Crimea. If Obama is unwilling to use force to back up his words, then they will have no meaning to Putin nor to anyone else be they friend or foe.

Obama told Pelley, "What I have repeatedly said is that he may be entirely misreading the West. He's certainly misreading American foreign policy. We have no interest in encircling Russia and we have no interest in Ukraine beyond letting the Ukrainian people make their own decisions about their own lives."

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