The Spectacle Blog
Almost 18 years ago, Bill Clinton stood before a joint session of Congress and declared that the “era of big government is over.” This statement was seen as Clinton’s attempt to shift his outdated Democratic party from the New Deal into the modern world. With the recent rise of the tea party, the majority of Americans believe that less government is more. Recent polling suggests people favor a smaller government which provides fewer services over a gigantic government that does more.
President Obama, however, hasn’t gotten the memo.
This has been covered in a variety of outlets, notably The Atlantic.
The president took a picture of himself at Nelson Mandela's funeral along with other world leaders—and not just a picture, but an obnoxious selfie (click the link above to see). There's not much I can say in a respectful tone except that it is quite the departure from his remarks which can be seen below:
My beloved Chicago Bears honored the greatest mustache in NFL history Monday night by retiring Hall of Fame tight-end and coach Mike Ditka. Governor Pat Quinn—Democrat, Peoples Republic of Illinois—did what he does best and raised the stakes (think: taxes) even higher.
From CBS News Chicago:
Gov. Pat Quinn’s office says Monday that he’s declared it “Mike Ditka Day” in honor of the former Chicago Bears player and football coach.
The Hall of Famer’s No. 89 was retired during a halftime ceremony Monday night as the Bears played the Dallas Cowboys.
Ditka was drafted by the Bears in 1961 and played for the team through 1966. He also played and coached (as an assistant to Tom Landry) for the Cowboys.
He returned to coach from 1982 until 1992.
America no longer has a manned space program. Just a few decades after landing men on the moon, the U.S. has put itself in a position where it must now purchase seats on Russian spacecraft. This is a sad reality that can be reversed if private enterprise can be enticed to step in. That's what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says in his new book Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America’s Fate.
During his presidential campaign, Gingrich called for establishing a manned base on the moon. Although he was criticized in the media for floating a seemingly impractical proposal, returning to the moon has been official government policy for some time. The Russians, Chinese, and other international competitors are all pressing ahead with ambitious plans that could leave the U.S. behind. Gingrich places the blame squarely on NASA.
A baker in Colorado has been ordered by a judge to serve a gay couple despite his religious objections. This story is the latest in a series of legal skirmishes between religious business owners and gay rights advocates. Our legal system seems to be working through how to balance historic religious liberty privileges with expanded rights for gay couples. Of particular interest from this story was the following:
The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple “because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage.”
The order says the cake-maker must “cease and desist from discriminating” against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy cakes.
Feature of the Day: The Fascinating Origin of Arlington National Cemetary
- Pension Crisis Endangers Chicago’s Future
- Tech Firms Vie to Protect Personal Data, Profits
- St. Nicks Learn Tricks of Trade At Santa School
After 16 seasons, Roy Halladay has called it a career. Halladay announced his retirement during MLB’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida. He spent 12 of those 16 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before joining the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010. On Monday, Halladay signed a one day contract with Toronto so he could officially retire as a Blue Jay.
Halladay was a first round draft pick by the Jays in 1995. He would make his major league debut late in the 1998 season. In his second big league start, Halladay came within one out of throwing a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers before Bobby Higginson took him deep.
By 2000, however, Halladay was going in the wrong direction. That season he went 4-7 with an astronomical 10.64 ERA. In 2001, Halladay was sent all the way down to Class-A Dunedin to learn how to pitch all over again under the tutelage of the late Mel Queen.
Today, the Veterans Committee elected managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The managerial triumvirate will be inducted next July.
La Russa, Cox, and Torre rank third, fourth and fifth on the all-time managerial wins list (2728, 2504, and 2326 wins respectively). Only Connie Mack and John McGraw can claim more wins from the dugout.
Cox led the Atlanta Braves to 14 consecutive divisional titles (three in the NL West and 11 in the NL West), five NL pennants, and one World Series title in 1995. He also took the Toronto Blue Jays to their first AL East pennant in 1985. Cox was ejected a record 158 times in his career, but will probably go nine in Cooperstown when he shares the stage with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who anchored his Braves starting rotations with five NL Cy Youngs between them while in Atlanta.
This afternoon, the Treasury Department announced that the federal government had, no doubt to great the relief of General Motors management, sold its remaining shares of GM stock.
According to a 2009 CNN Money story on the GM bailout, "The Obama administration will commit another $30 billion on top of the $19.4 billion it has already given GM to cover its losses and fund its operations."
The Treasury press release says that "Treasury has recouped a total of $39 billion from the original GM investment."
In other words, this "investment" cost taxpayers just over $10 billion which represents, for purposes of comparison, the current annual budget of the FDA, the SEC, and the Border Patrol combined. (Alternatively, it represents the current annual budget of the US Coast Guard.)