The Spectacle Blog

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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Now That Obama is Sending Troops Back Into Iraq Where Are The Anti-War Protesters?

By on 6.18.14 | 1:10PM

Apparently such mobilization of manufactured outrage is only assembled during Republican administrations (i.e. the closure of Guantanamo Bay).

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Will Obama Admin Demand Israel Release More Palestinian ‘Prisoners’ for 3 Kidnapped Yeshiva Students?

By on 6.18.14 | 1:06PM

Although the Obama Administration did condemn last week’s kidnapping of three Yeshiva students by Hamas in the West Bank, John Kerry isn’t exactly a guy I want in a foxhole with me. After all, this is the man who flip-flopped on demanding that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The fact the Administration isn’t withholding funding from the Fatah-Hamas coalition inspires little confidence.
 
I cannot help but think that the Obama Administration will eventually pressure Israel to release more so-called Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the three Yeshiva students — dead or alive. 

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So Harry Reid Won’t Attend Redskins Games

By on 6.18.14 | 1:05PM

A couple of days ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would not be attending anymore Washington Redskins games until the team changed its name.
 
Although Redskins owner Dan Snyder has vowed never to change the name, if he ever needed further incentive to stand his ground this is surely it. The last thing Redskins fans need to see and hear is Harry Reid reciting cowboy poetry and railing against the Koch Brothers from his seat at the 50 yard line at Fedex Field. 
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Lessons for Iraq Hawks Upon the Anniversary of the Raid on Medway

By on 6.18.14 | 11:45AM

In June of 1667, the British suffered the worst defeat in the history of the Royal Navy. The Dutch—then rivals to Britannia’s rule upon the waves—wreaked terror on the Thames Valley, burning capital ships and claiming prize. The loss of the Royal Charles, the British flagship, was particularly demoralizing. Her metal stern bearing the Crown’s coat of arms now hangs in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

Two hundred years later, Rudyard Kipling memorialized the defeat in his poem The Dutch at Medway. The elegy opens:

If wars were won by feasting,

Or victory by song,

Or safety found, by sleeping sound

How England would be strong!

It’s a fitting reminder that wars aren’t won by talking tough. Those who would send other men to fight their battles for them do no service for their state.

Kipling goes on to bemoan the extravagant spending at Whitehall, and the threat of debt to defense:

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Showing Restraint in Iraq is Nothing New

By on 6.18.14 | 10:44AM

Author and academic C.S. Lewis coined the term “chronological snobbery” to describe the logical fallacy of dismissing that which is old because it is old and embracing that which is new because it is new. Barry Posen, writing in Politico about American foreign policy, avoids this fallacy by avoiding history all together. Not dismissive of the past, he fails to acknowledge a geopolitical world before the Cold War at all, reducing his examination of evidence to basically his own professional lifetime.

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Royals Win 9 Straight; Climb Atop AL Central

By on 6.17.14 | 11:29PM

The Kansas City Royals won their ninth consecutive game by crushing the Detroit Tigers 11-4. The Royals scored seven runs in the second inning off last year's AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and never looked back.

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The Only Way to End a War Responsibly

By on 6.17.14 | 9:34PM

Remember when Barack Obama told us he would end the War in Iraq responsibly?

Well, so much for that. 
 
Now that Iraq’s government is imploding before our very eyes (as illustrated by Jed Babbin's piece yesterday), it just goes to show there is only one way to end a war responsibly.
 
By winning it.
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Small Government: Only One Side of the Coin

By on 6.17.14 | 5:11PM

"Small government" may be a catchphrase of conservatism, but it is only one side of the coin that buys a healthy society. Limited government is not an indisputable good, but rather a means to an important end. This end involves keeping space in public life for the institutions that promote human flourishing, and the maintainance of those institutions is a grand American tradition. As Tocqueville wrote:

Americans use associations to give fêtes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools…Everywhere that, at the head of a new undertaking, you see the government in France and a great lord in England, count on it that you will perceive an association in the United States.

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Democrat Operative Working for Thad Cochran

By on 6.17.14 | 4:09PM

Well, well, well.

Isn’t this interesting.

Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger headlines the following:

Democrat says he’s leading black GOTV effort for Cochran

The paper goes on to report:

A Democratic political operative says he is working with Mississippi Conservatives PAC to drum up votes for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

James “Scooby Doo” Warren said he has put together a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) plan and is “putting it in place across the whole state.” Warren said he is not working with the Cochran campaign itself but for the PAC and Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr.

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