The Spectacle Blog

Zero Emission Vehicles Pollute

By on 7.28.15 | 1:29PM

A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, "Environmental Benefits from Driving Electric Vehicles?" shows the moniker ‘zero emission vehicle,’ attached to electric cars is misplaced. In a finding that may surprise some, Stephen Holland, of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and his coauthors discovered, depending upon one’s location, purchasing a zero emission car can reduce pollution locally, but nationally it tends to increase pollution overall.

In response to concerns about air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, federal and state governments have pushed the development and deployment of zero emission vehicles through a combination of federal and state subsidies and mandates.

The Federal Government provides a $7,500 subsidy for the purchase of each electric vehicle. Some states add to the federal subsidy with their own financial inducements. California, for instance, provides rebates and tax credits to purchasers of zero emission cars, truck and agricultural utility vehicles. Each year the state also requires an increasing percentage of car and truck manufacturers vehicles sold in the state to be zero emission. 

Jon Stewart: Obama’s Messenger Boy

By on 7.28.15 | 12:22PM

Evidently, President Obama has summoned Jon Stewart for private Oval Office conversations. Here is what Politico has to say about it:

Jon Stewart slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight, summoned to an Oval Office coffee with President Barack Obama that he jokingly told his escort felt like being called into the principal’s office.

In February 2014, Obama again requested Stewart make the trip from Manhattan to the White House, this time for a mid-morning visit hours before the president would go before television cameras to warn Russia that “there will be costs” if it made any further military intervention in Ukraine.

Tulo Traded to Toronto

By on 7.28.15 | 12:04PM

Now here’s a blockbuster deal. The Colorado Rockies have traded shortstop Troy Tulowitzki along with relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop Jose Reyes and three minor league pitchers.

When the Rockies were in the midst of a 10-game losing streak in May, the possibility was raised that Tulowitzki could formally ask to be traded. Just over two months later, this has now come to pass. I just didn’t expect that he would end up in Toronto.

Ten Weak Reasons to Support Ex-Im

By on 7.28.15 | 11:53AM

Rep. Carolyn Maloney supports reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, whose charter lapsed on June 30. She recently took to the Huffington Post to give 10 reasons to support Ex-Im. Here’s reason 1:

Exports play an important role in the U.S. economy, supporting nearly 12 million jobs in 2014.

Ex-Im did about $27.5 billion worth of business last year, amounting to about 1.2 percent of America’s $2.35 trillion in total 2014 exports, and less than one-sixth of one percent of America’s $17.7 trillion 2014 GDP. From this, Rep. Maloney concludes that Ex-Im supports nearly a tenth of the entire U.S. workforce!

People Should Be Mad at Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal, Not at Huckabee

By on 7.28.15 | 10:44AM

The chorus against Mike Huckabee’s Iran Holocaust comments is growing with Jeb Bush, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, and Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz all taking the former Arkansas Governor to task for his remarks.

I can understand from where Dermer and Katz are coming. Katz said to Huckabee in a Facebook post, “Dear Mr Huckabee, no one is marching Jews to the ovens anymore. That is why we established the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces, and if necessary, we will know how to defend ourselves by ourselves.”

A’s Send Tyler Clippard to Mets; Angels Acquire Shane Victorino from Red Sox

By on 7.27.15 | 11:29PM

A couple of trades today. Nothing blockbuster. But a couple of interesting moves.

The Oakland A's have traded their closer Tyler Clippard to the New York Mets for minor league pitcher Casey Meisner. The 30-year old Clippard saved 17 games for the A's this season. Originally a Yankee farmhand, Clippard has spent the bulk of his career with the Washington Nationals. In 2012, he saved 32 games for the NL East champs. In January, the Nats traded Clippard to Oakland for Yunel Escobar. Now Clippard is back in the NL East. Look for Clippard be the 8th inning set up man for Mets closer Jeurys Familia. 

The Boston Red Sox have traded outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Josh Rutledge. Victorino is towards the end of his career and has been plagued by injuries the past couple of seasons. But he can be useful as a fourth outfielder and a right-handed hitter off the bench. His World Series rings with the Phillies in '08 and with the Red Sox in '13 can't be a bad thing for the Angels. I wonder if Bob Marley's "Don't Worry About a Thing" will still be his walkup music. 

Thoughts on the USOC Dropping Boston’s Bid for the 2024 Olympics

By on 7.27.15 | 8:05PM

Just over six months after the U.S. Olympic Committee had picked Boston to submit a bid to the IOC for the 2024 Olympics, the USOC has now dropped Boston's bid for the 33rd Olympiad. 

I had mixed feelings about the bid at the time of the announcement. While I would have loved to see Olympic baseball at Fenway Park, I was equally afraid this would be our new Big Dig. Indeed, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called a press conference earlier today and announced he would not sign a contract that would have made the city responsible for any financial shortfall arising from the Olympics. This effectively ended Boston's bid right then and there.

Obama Calls Ethiopian Government ‘Democratically Elected’; Its Parliament Has No Opposition Members

By on 7.27.15 | 5:16PM

In a speech President Obama delivered in the presence of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, he twice referred to Ethiopia’s government as “democratically elected” despite the fact its parliament has no opposition members.

Desalegn leads the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of left-wing parties, and has been in office since August 2012. Last May, the EPRDF won all 546 seats in national elections. Prior to the election, the opposition held a grand total of one seat, which the EPRDF regained. Needless to say, Freedom House classifies Ethiopia as “unfree”

Bernie Sanders Isn’t Socialist Enough for Socialists

By on 7.27.15 | 4:34PM

Apparently, in politics, you can never make everyone happy.

Bernie Sanders has all the traditional marks of a socialist. He's very handsy with other people's money, he lacks a basic understanding of both economics and combs, and he calls himself a socialist. He's not trying to hide that he's actively supportive of wealth redistribution, extensive government safety nets, welfare agreements, free college tuition, free housing, free jobs and free love (and, free religion and free guns, but that's usually where liberal coverage stops). Unfortunately for one sad socialist, though, writing at POLITICO, Bernie just isn't perfect

He is, to wit, a SINO.

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