The Spectacle Blog

Come To The Gala!!! (Feb 11 in DC)

By on 1.29.15 | 10:50AM

For the first time, I'm able to manage to get to Washington, DC for the American Spectator's Annual Gala, this year featuring keynote speaker Senator Rand Paul (though I'm just as interested in hearing the always witty and insightful Bob Tyrrell, a true hero of the conservative movement.)

I hope you'll try to attend as well, and if so please come on over and say hello!

More info and registration link here:
http://spectator.org/articles/61437/2015-spectator-gala-featuring-sen-rand-paul

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A Thought for GOP Healthcare Alternative

By on 1.29.15 | 10:38AM

Even though it defies the definition of insurance, exemplifies socialism, and is a huge driver of high insurance premiums (as it should be), Republicans are unlikely to brave the political heat required to remove Obamacare's "guaranteed issue" provision which functionally forces health insurers to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

As it stands today, you can be uninsured, learn you have a disease, buy "insurance", and saddle the rest of the insured population with your medical costs. It's like allowing someone to buy car insurance after an accident or homeowners insurance while the roof is on fire. As a business model, it is insane. As public policy it's only less insane to the degree that you can fool voters into thinking that the costs of the policy are minimal and that insurance companies are evil and deserve whatever happens to them. Sadly, it's all to easy to fool voters.

So, like all "free" goodies, guaranteed issue popular with voters who see things as free when they're simply paid for by others.

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Boehner’s Invitation to Bibi Isn’t Unconstitutional

By on 1.28.15 | 5:31PM

Over at NRO, Reihan Salam provides a link to an argument by Michael D. Ramsey, a constitutional law professor at the University of San Diego who makes the case that House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unconstitutional.

Ramsey argues that its the constitutional duty of the President to "receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers” as spelled out in Article II, Section 3 of The Constitution and there is no corresponding authority for Congress to do so under Article 1, Section 8 of The Constitution. Ramsey also cites George Washington as the "sole channel of official intercourse" with foreign nations when French Ambassador Edmond Genet tried to enlist the support of Congress for France's conflict with Britain.

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White House Not Super Sure Who the Taliban Works For

By on 1.28.15 | 4:11PM

There's lots of news circulating this week about Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider we traded five high-ranking Taliban officials for, who may (or may not, depending on who you ask) face a court martial over his alleged desertion. It seems that, while senior Army officials are keen to tell news organizations, off the record, that Bergdahl will be brought up on charges, the White House is avoiding the question like it was Lindsay Lohan at court ordered community service. 

But that's not to say that the White House's dance around the Bergdahl question hasn't, itself, produced a few gems. Like this one, from today's press conference with rookie comms guy Eric Schultz, who has never heard of the Taliban, why do you ask?

In Wednesday’s White House Press Briefing, John Karl asked press briefing rookie Eric Schultz whether the Jordanians’ trading a prisoner for one of the hostages held by the Islamic State was similar to the United States’ trading five high-ranking Taliban members for Bowe Bergdahl.

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What Michael Moore & Ron Paul Have in Common on Chris Kyle

By on 1.28.15 | 1:20PM

A couple of days ago, with American Sniper continuing to smash box office records, Michael Moore continued his campaign against the late Chris Kyle by invoking Jesus.

Moore tweeted, “Tomorrow’s Sunday School (1) What Would Jesus Do? Oh, I know what he’d do— hide on top of a roof and shoot people in the back!”

This isn't the first time Jesus has been uttered in vain concerning Chris Kyle. After Kyle was killed nearly two years ago, Ron Paul tweeted, "Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense."

Needless to say, Paul's tweet provoked outrage. Like Moore, Paul couldn't leave things well enough alone and sent a follow up tweet:

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Mitt Romney Earns Coveted Nancy Pelosi Endorsement

By on 1.28.15 | 1:03PM

I can never tell if these cross-party endorsements are supposed to serve as an underhanded dig, designed to shy Republicans away from viable candidates, or if they've just become a form of trolling. This one, for example, is baffling, because Nancy Pelosi can only want Mitt Romney to run a third time in order to ensure a Hillary Clinton victory, but yet, she can't possibly be daft enough to think that Republicans would see her ringing endorsement of Mitt Romney - yes, Mitt Romney - as some sort of clue that he's the one Democrats most fear. 

Either way, it's creepy and I hope it never happens again. Because if they get together and somehow produce a hybrid child that is one half robot and one half melting skin creature, we're truly all doomed. 

Asked if Romney has any shot at defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016, Pelosi told The Hill, “No, no. I mean, he might be a nice person — no offense, no offense — [but] let’s save you time.”

A smiling Pelosi added, “Let me put it this way — I hope he’s their nominee.”

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Marco Rubio’s Wife Crashed Into a Donor

By on 1.28.15 | 12:46PM

I wrote a bit about the 2016 Iowa candidate summit this weekend, but I failed to mention that Marco Rubio was there. Somehow, in all of the confusion and hubub and the decision as to whether to write my column about Presidential contenders or crochet shorts (I'm doing both because crochet shorts are a thing that happened), Marco Rubio failed to make much of an impact. You might also say that is a fair observation of his presence at the summit as well (though he did do quite well at a major donor summit held by the Kochs in California).

UPDATE: Turns out, I missed him at the summit because he wasn't at the summit. He flew right from Miami to the California event, so now I feel less badly or more badly, depending. 

Anyway, his wife, on the other hand, did not fail to make an impact. Hers was was on a big-money donor's $80K Porche at Marco's Florida gathering late this weekend.

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Michelle Obama Refuses To Wear Headscarf in Saudi Arabia

By on 1.28.15 | 12:12PM

Yesterday, President Obama and his wife Michelle attended the funeral of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. And while most of the delegation - of all dudes - that met them in the nation's capital was clad in the traditional funeral black (though not the President, who wore navy blue), Michelle Obama dressed in a festive electric blue blouse and patterned coat over pants. And she refused to don the country's requisite headscarf designed to prevent her male compatriots from staring lustily at her hair.

And I have to say, I think the outfit was not only perfect. It was just awesome.

Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.

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Jordan Offers to Make Deal with ISIS

By on 1.28.15 | 10:08AM

Following a videotaped threat by ISIS to kill Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kasaesbeh and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto within 24 hours if Sajida al-Rishawi, a female terrorist involved in the attacks on Amman in November 2005; the Jordanian government has now offered to release al-Rishawi in exchange for al-Kasaesbeh. Lt. al-Kasaebeh was captured by ISIS in December when his plane was shot down in Syria.

The Jordanians made no mention was made of Goto. When ISIS executed Goto's countryman Haruna Yukawa over the weekend it indicated it would spare Goto's life if al-Rishawi was released. But it appears ISIS decided to up the ante by threatening to kill al-Kasaesbeh and Jordan has taken the bait. Should this deal go through and Goto isn't a part of it one must wonder if Japan will make ISIS an offer it won't refuse.

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Obama Backs Down on Assault on 529 College Savings Plans

By on 1.27.15 | 10:52PM

On Tuesday, just 36 hours after receiving scathing criticism from yours truly on these pages, President Obama has backed down on his proposal to effectively end 529 college savings plans.

Even senior Democrats were urging him to pull the plug on his stupid idea… which is why I wish he hadn’t.

As I noted, this was a great issue to beat Obama up with among his own base, though I questioned whether Republicans would have either the smarts or the cojones to actually take advantage of Obama’s policy gaffe.

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