The Spectacle Blog

Federal Subsidies Miss Target

By on 8.3.15 | 5:05PM

The Wall Street Journal today discusses how the growth in federal subsidies for college has contributed to the growth in college costs for students. Cato scholars have been arguing for years that rising grants and loans are not so much helping students, but causing bloat in college administration costs, including wages, benefits, and excess building construction.

How Markets Benefit Honeybees and Mankind

By on 8.3.15 | 5:01PM

After more than a decade of panicked reports about honeybees disappearing and potentially going extinct because of a phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder,”The Washington Post reported last week that the number of hives in the United States has reached a 20 year high. At the same time, I was making presentation at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, explaining that globally, there are more beehives today than there were in 1961, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Amy Schumer Teams Up With Chuck Schumer For Gun Control

By on 8.3.15 | 3:38PM

 Actress and comedian Amy Schumer has teamed up with Sen. Chuck Schumer (yes, there is a — distant — relation) to push for stricter gun laws.

The initiatives come after a movie theatre shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana left three people dead and nine wounded when a gunman, later identified as John Russell Houser, openfired at a showing of Schumer’s movie, Trainwreck.

According to a report by Entertainment Weekly Sara Clements, whose mother survived the Sandy Hook shooting, wrote an open letter to Shumer in response to the shooting:

Serious Talk of a Biden White House Bid Shows the Weakness of Both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party

By on 8.3.15 | 3:30PM

 

It could very well be that all this talk of Joe Biden making a White House bid is nothing but a massive trial balloon launched by Maureen Dowd of the New York Timesbecause she had nothing better to do this past weekend. That is certainly what The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman argues over at the WaPo today.

There’s a Government Form For Your Moon Expenses

By on 8.3.15 | 2:44PM

As far as government paperwork goes, this might just be the best government paperwork ever filed. 

According to the Federal government, employees embarking on government-sponsored missions for which there are billable expenses must fill out expense reports and submit them, including if their government-sponsored mission was to the moon. Yesterday, former NASA astronaut and noted moon mission-er Buzz Aldrin shared the paperwork he filed with NASA in order to get $33.31 worth of fuel expenses back - expenses he accrued driving from Houston to Cape Kennedy, where he boarded the Apollo spacecraft.

The paper, which is beyond cool and more than a little surreal, lists the the mission as a "round trip" for Col. Edwin A. "Buzz" Aldrin, going from Houston to Cape Kennedy to the moon to Cape Kennedy and back to Houston. 

Hillary Clinton, Champion of the Little People, Made $20M Per Year

By on 8.3.15 | 1:35PM

While everyone was distracted with her emails (nothing very exciting dropped this time around, sorry), Hillary Clinton also released her tax returns. 

Thanks, in part, to a breakneck routine of speeches, earning her around $50M, the self-described "Champion of the Poor" earned a whopping $139 million between 2007 and 2014, or around $20 million per year. That certainly puts her well within the 1% - ahead, even, of other champions of the poor like Elizabeth Warren (D-$8.5M Net Worth) - and well out of reach of most Americans who, shockingly, cannot subsist on giving speeches to large groups of people who have paid exhorbitant sums of money to listen to them while they aimlessly chew on rubber chicken. 

 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, earned more than $139 million between 2007 and 2014, according to eight years of federal income tax returns released by her campaign on Friday.

Thoughts on Larry Lucchino Stepping Down as President of the Boston Red Sox

By on 8.3.15 | 1:16PM

Over the weekend, word got out that Larry Lucchino would be stepping down as President & CEO of the Boston Red Sox at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

Lucchino, who turns 70 next month, had been in that role since the team was bought by John Henry and Tom Werner in 2002. Lucchino had previously served under Werner when he owned the San Diego Padres and also had a similar role with the Baltimore Orioles. Lucchino’s most enduring legacy is his overseeing the renovation of Fenway Park. He was as instrumental in that as he had been in pushing the philosophy behind design of Camden Yards in Baltimore.

During his tenure, the Red Sox won three World Series. However, they are on their way to their third last place finish in the AL East in four years. Their 47-59 mark is tied with the Oakland A’s for the worst record in the American League. Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy is expected to succeed Lucchino although Michael Gordon, President of the Fenway Sports Group might have something to say about all that.

Shameless Joe Biden

By on 8.1.15 | 6:43PM

There’s a story out there that, before dying, Beau Biden whispered to his father “Dad, you have to run for president to make sure Hillary doesn’t get it!” It’s terrible to see your son die, but for a shameless politician the pain is greatly lessened when your son tells you to win one for the Gipper and you can score political points off his death. Heck, if Uncle Crazy actually ran and won, maybe it would all seem worthwhile.

MLB Notes for July: Why I Feel Kind of Sorry for the Chicago Cubs

By on 8.1.15 | 2:32PM

We have now passed the MLB trade deadline and have commenced the dog days of summer. Let's see how the 30 teams are faring since the All-Star Break and why I feel kind of sorry for the Chicago Cubs.

AL East

The New York Yankees have gone 10-2 since the All-Star Break and enter August six games ahead of both the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays and eight games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. But the Yankees cannot rely exclusively on A-Rod and Mark Teixeira much less their bullpen to bail out their starters. The Yankees did not improve their club much during the trade deadline adding only Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners who has gone from prospect to suspect. 

Jim Who?

By on 8.1.15 | 1:29PM

I realize the headline above is not necessarily fair to Jim Gilmore. After all, he did serve a term as Governor of Virginia, was the Chairman of the RNC and has also been President of the Free Congress Foundation.

Hell, Gilmore has as much right to run for President as Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson any of the other 11 GOP hopefuls.

But when I saw Gilmore at Center Seat with the panel on Special Report with Bret Baier following his announcement he did not say anything that grabbed my attention nor did he come off as someone who could inspire a nation's confidence. Even if he somehow gets on a debate stage I don't see how he could make much of an impression unless he has a Gary Johnson moment. Of course, that Gary Johnson moment would have to consist of original material. However, given his military background and expertise in intelligence, he could be a potential Secretary of Defense or head of the CIA in a Republican administration. 

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