The Spectacle Blog

Bad News For Dems: Kay Hagan Won’t Run For Senate In 2016

By on 6.24.15 | 2:33PM

Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan won’t run for Senate in 2016, disappointing Democrats counting on her to unseat Republican Richard Burr in what will be a major swing state race.

Hagan was unseated by Republican Thom Tillis in 2014 after one term in the Senate, and has struggled in the polls since, but was the obvious pick to challenge Burr. She’s been calling donors and supporters to inform them she won’t run, reported Roll Call.

Hagan performed relatively well in an election where Republicans secured big majorities in the House and Senate, and supporters figured she could unseat Burr with Hillary Clinton on the ticket and the typically larger voter turnout in a presidential election year.

Bobby Jindal, a Republican Governor Who Actually Cut Spending

By on 6.24.15 | 2:19PM

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, will officially announce his run for the White House this afternoon, joining the ever-growing Republican field. Jindal hopes his experience cutting state spending and shrinking the state’s workforce will help propel him to the presidency. However, like the other governors whose records we have highlighted, Jindal’s fiscal record is not without faults.

The “Wrong” King v. Burwell Ruling Would Help Tens of Millions

By on 6.24.15 | 2:14PM

A ruling for the challengers in King v. Burwell would have benefits that swamp other effects of the ruling, including:

Salon Columnist Claims Fox News Was ‘Aiding & Abetting’ Charleston Shooter

By on 6.24.15 | 1:27PM

The Fox News Channel has been the bête noire of the Left for the past two decades. But Salon columnist David Palumbo-Liu, who is also a Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, takes the cake in his “critique” of FNC’s coverage of last week’s Charleston shooting

But while we might wonder about Roof, there is no doubt at all that for its commentary on this horrific, hate-filled crime Fox News should be indicted in the court of public opinion for its role in this and other racist acts. The network surely was conscious of what it was doing in aiding and abetting; it surely planned to furnish Roof with an alibi regarding the exact nature of his heinous crime.

WaPo Concerned that Bobby Jindal is Not Really Much of an Indian-American

By on 6.24.15 | 12:57PM

If you ever wonder if a degree in politicial science is a worthwhile endeavor, consider that, while it may be a fast track to a byline on the Washington Post editorial page, it does not guarantee that you'll be viewed as anything resembling "intelligent." 

I say this only because the Post carried an opinion editorial yesterday penned by a well-known professor of political science, on the subject of Bobby Jindal's past. The op-ed was, ostensibly, designed to discuss Bobby Jindal's appeal as the child of immigrants, and whether that could resonate with target demographics in comparison to, say, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, for whom the immigrant experience is tangible in their campaign platforms. The professor's conclusion - and the Posts promotional question: Bobby Jindal is totally not Indian American anymore.

Poll Shows the Public Supports Fracking

By on 6.24.15 | 12:35PM

A new poll from Robert Morris University (RMU) shows the public overwhelmingly supports fracking for natural gas and oil production. Even before the EPA released its long awaited report largely exonerating fracking from charges it was causing water pollution, the poll showed more than 57% of Pennsylvanians support fracking. Nationally, 56 percent of those survey supported fracking.

Among those surveyed in Pennsylvania, 74 percent said fracking would have a positive economic impact on the country, compared to 73 percent nationwide.

When asked whether fracking can “move the US to energy independence“, nationally 69 percent of those polled agreed, compared to 70 percent of Pennsylvanians.

The poll indicated a number of those surveyed were concerned fracking could cause or was causing air and water pollution and earthquakes. This fear evidently reduced support for fracking from the more than 70 percent who agreed it was good for the economy and national security, to the 56 percent nationally who supported fracking overall. 

Pope Francis Underestimates the Power of Markets

By on 6.24.15 | 12:28PM

Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si, advocates a new “ecological spirituality.” Yet this challenging call is diminished by the document’s tendency to devolve into leftish policy positions. The encyclical underestimates the power of market forces to promote environmental ends.

There are serious environmental problems but Laudato Si presumes rather than proves crisis is the norm. Moreover, nothing in Scripture or nature tells us how much to spend to clean up the air.

Drawing environmental lines requires balancing such interests as ecology, liberty, and prosperity. One cannot merely assume that the correct outcome in every case is more of the first.

Indeed, the Pontiff’s own goals conflict. He speaks movingly of the dignity of work and its importance for the poor. But the more expensive and extensive the government controls, the fewer and less remunerative the jobs.

Court Gives Man $500,000 After Doctors Mock Him During Surgery

By on 6.24.15 | 12:22PM

A court in Virginia awarded a man $500,000 in damages after his doctors brutally mocked him while he was sedated for a routine colonoscopy.

Before going under for the surgery, the man — only identified in court documents as D.B. — started recording audio on his phone. When he woke up and listened to what was said, he was shocked, The Washington Post reported.

Immediately after the man fell into his anesthesia-induced slumber, the insults started flying.

“After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” the anesthesiologist told the sedated man.

The anesthesiologist, Tiffany Ingham, called the man a “big wimp” and mused about the man’s sexual orientation after she noted that he attended Mary Washington College, a formerly all-women’s school.

Feds Beg Court Not To Ban Your Samsung Galaxy

By on 6.24.15 | 12:17PM

On Monday, the federal agency that oversees trade policy recommended dismissing patent infringement claims that could lead to a ban on U.S. sales of the Samsung Galaxy line of phones.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) staff  filed a pretrial brief on the first day of a public hearing the agency is holding related to claims that Samsung and Qualcomm violated patents for graphics processors held by chip-maker Nvidia, Bloomberg reports.

Details of the ITC’s report were not revealed because they contain sensitive business information, but Matt Larson, a litigation analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said the agency’s input would likely be a major advantage for Samsung and Qualcomm in court, although he noted that a final decision is not likely until October.

If the court ultimately sides with Nvidia, the two defendants could be required to pay as much as $2 billion in royalties— roughly the same amount that Microsoft collects from licensing its Android mobile-phone operating system.

And Now Ray

By on 6.24.15 | 11:55AM

I liked the job David Ritz did of telling Willie Nelson’s story in Willie’s own voice.

So I’m now reading Brother Ray, Ritz’s collaboration with Ray Charles (Da Capo Press, 1978). It’s likewise a charmer. This is a book I’d picked up from the dollar table at the library’s encore store and just hadn’t gotten around to reading.

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