The Spectacle Blog

McCarthy in as Majority Leader, Scalise the New Whip

By on 6.19.14 | 4:36PM

In news that will surprise no one, Congressman Kevin McCarthy was elected to take the place of outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his bid for reelection against college professor David Brat. Cantor’s loss shocked pundits and the political establishment.

McCarthy, who was already in a leadership position as majority whip, faced off against Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador. Labrador, while having great support from the conservative base, could not marshal enough votes (117) to overtake McCarthy. McCarthy was seen as the favorite due to his extensive connections to other members and his friendliness towards leadership. When Cantor stepped down, he endorsed McCarthy outright. McCarthy is seen as an established insider, which has aroused the ire of many in the Tea Party, who were hoping to move leadership to the right.

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What Pelosi Means When She Says the IRS “Needs a New Technology System”‏

By on 6.19.14 | 1:02PM

I just read this item by Joel Gehrke at NRO. Responding to questions concerning the IRS losing Lois Lerner's e-mails going back two years, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi quipped that the IRS "needs a new technology system."

Translation: She wants to throw more of our money at the IRS.

They have plenty of it already. More of our money to the IRS will mean more scrutiny of conservatives, more Lois Lerners and more lost e-mails to be rectified by yet more of our money

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Two-Time NL Cy Young Winner Kershaw Tosses No-Hitter

By on 6.19.14 | 12:23PM

Clayton Kershaw, who has won two of the last three NL Cy Youngs, threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, striking out fifteen batters. 

It is the second no-hitter of the 2014 season. Both of them have been thrown by Dodgers pitchers. Josh Beckett hurled a no-no against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25. 

It's amazing what can happen when you're asleep.

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The Limits of America’s Political Parties

By on 6.19.14 | 10:23AM

To fill the vacuum created by Eric Cantor’s sudden defeat as House Majority Leader, the Republican House Caucus will meet today behind closed doors to elect a new majority whip and majority leader. While the majority leader position looks to follow a natural line of succession, the race is heated for the whip spot and highlights the interior fault lines of the Republican base, as Tea Party elements camp contrapositive to an “establishment” core. Illustrating that party politics are not always about the other party, the race reveals that sometimes Republicans get to decide what it means to be Republican in an election that the electorate never touches. It is an unusual set of circumstances allowing for an interesting look at the interior dynamics and evolving values of a political party founded 160 years ago. 

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Morning Round-Up 6-19

By on 6.19.14 | 8:41AM

Feature of the Day: What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. Long After Move to US, Nazi Suspect Faces Charges
  2. Owner: Philly Newspapers Will Be Vital Legacy
  3. Militants Fly Their Black Flags Over Iraq Refinery


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Patent Work Is Never Done

By on 6.18.14 | 6:36PM

If disparaging is the issue, has the Patent Office heard what my Alabama relatives have to say about Yankees?

Lots of work left to be done.
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The Fierce Race for House Majority Whip

By on 6.18.14 | 5:22PM

As the race to replace House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who went down in a surprising primary defeat, looks all but settled in Kevin McCarthy’s favor, the race to succeed McCarthy as House Whip is heating up with three major contenders: Steve Scalise, Peter Roskam, and Marlin Stutzman. With the vote scheduled for tomorrow, the race is tightening.

Congressman Steve Scalise is the likely frontrunner. Representing Louisiana’s First Congressional District, Scalise is head of the very powerful House Republican Study Committee (RSC). The committee’s main function is to promote fiscal and social initiatives in the House through lawmaking and policy studies. While it is independent of the Republican Party, it conducts much of the GOP's research on bills and funding. This position, along with a slight boost from Cantor himself, may help Scalise reach the magical 117 (a majority of the Republican caucus) and the position of whip.

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Bring Back Jacoby Ellsbury

By on 6.18.14 | 3:22PM

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment. The three time AL All-Star had not played in the majors since 2011 when he was given a shot by Boston in the off-season. Sizemore made the roster after an impressive spring training, but only hit .216 in 52 games with the Red Sox this season.
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The IRS Email Flu

By on 6.18.14 | 3:06PM

There seems to be a bug going through the IRS and it causes people to lose their emails. Today it was reported that six workers at the agency lost months’ worth of emails while the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups before the 2012 election. This comes several days after infamous IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner, who allegedly spearheaded the targeting, claimed her emails were lost to a crash too.

In an AP story, the two Republican lawmakers in charge of investigating the IRS accused the agency of lying to Congress and voters:

"It looks like the American people were lied to and the IRS tried to cover up the fact it conveniently lost key documents in this investigation," said the statement by Camp and Boustany. "The White House promised full cooperation, the commissioner promised full access to Lois Lerner emails and now the agency claims it cannot produce those materials and they've known for months they couldn't do this."

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