The Spectacle Blog

Second Amendment Rights for Me But Not for Thee

By and on 5.2.16 | 2:25PM

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Among lawyers, the buzzword we looking for in an equal protection case is “strict scrutiny,” because chances are that once the court has said that standard applies, the government will lose. Nevertheless, there are plenty of cases — including last term’s Obergefell decision on gay marriage — in which a government action has transgressed even less rigorous levels of scrutiny.

Congress Needs to Halt DOL Regulatory Onslaught

By on 5.2.16 | 2:10PM

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) called out recent Department of Labor policies as having a “chilling effect” on the economy. Ryan’s statements were in response to an anemic rise in the country’s gross domestic product of only 0.5 percent in the advanced first quarter estimates.

Of note, Speaker Ryan mentioned two DOL policies, the overtime rule and joint employer guidance, which pose a threat to economic growth.

The DOL’s proposed overtime rule dramatically expands overtime pay eligibility to millions of salaried employees (5 million by DOL estimates and 12.5-13.5 by Employment Policy Institute analysis) by raising the salary threshold exemption from $23,000 to around $50,000 (recently Politico reported the DOL is considering a $47,000 threshold down from the proposed $54,000).

Claiming Hitler Was a Zionist is to Deny Anti-Semitism

By on 5.1.16 | 1:33PM

Ken Livingstone, the former Labour MP and Mayor of London, who was suspended by the Labour Party for claiming that Hitler was a Zionist is standing by his claim by invoking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

In an interview following the suspension, Livingstone said, "I never regret saying something that is true. How can I have hurt and offended the Jewish community when the prime minister of Israel said exactly the same thing?"

Livingstone was referring to comments Bibi made last October at the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem that suggested that Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews until the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini gave the Hitler the idea of extreminating them. At the time, I parted company with Bibi making the case that Hitler didn't need any encouragement when it came to killing Jews although the Grand Mufti was more than happy to give it.

MLB Notes for April: Cubs & White Sox Top the NL/AL

By on 5.1.16 | 2:48AM

The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox last met in the World Series in 1906. At the end of April, baseball fans in Chicago have reason for optimism this October as both teams own the best record in their respective leagues.

While few are surprised with the Cubs 17-5 record, the Chisox 17-8 start is MLB's biggest surprise considering the drama that ensued following Adam LaRoche's abrupt retirement concerning the presence of his son in the clubhouse. Instead of demoralizing the team, the incident has evidently given them a purpose.

Adam Conley Gets The Ross Stripling Treatment; Denied Chance to Complete No-Hitter

By on 4.30.16 | 12:21AM

If there's any team that needed a shot in the arm tonight it was the Miami Marlins. As Larry noted their All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for PEDs. 

For 7 1/3 innings, it looked like they would get that shot in the arm. Marlins lefty pitcher Adam Conley did not allow a hit to the Milwaukee Brewers. But after 116 pitches, Marlins manager Don Mattingly removed Conley from the game and put Jose Urena into the game. Urena kept the no-no going until the ninth when Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a bloop single. The Brew Crew would score three runs, but the Marlins would win the game 6-3. 

Three weeks ago, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling threw 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball (in his MLB debut no less) when he was taken out of the game by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Dodger reliever Chris Hatcher promptly gave up a game tying HR to San Francisco Giants back up catcher Trevor Brown. The Dodgers would lose in extra innings.

Tinker Bell’s Part-Time Job

By on 4.29.16 | 11:40AM

Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, last year’s National League batting champion, has been suspended for 80 games for violating MLB’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Quite a Major League kick in the shins and deflator after the Marlins just swept the Dodgers four games in L.A.    

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced the suspension while reporting that Gordon tested positive for “exogenous testosterone and Clostebol,” two pharmaceutical no-nos. Gordon will be eligible to return to the team July 29 when the Marlins play the St. Louis Cardinals in Miami. Gordon, his agent, and the Miami Marlins said the things you would expect them to say about this. These remarks after players are caught juicing have become so predictable that Crash Davis might include them in future lessons on baseball clichés.

Advice from Pascal

By on 4.29.16 | 10:17AM

Pascal advises the NeverTrump crowd. You say you will not vote for either Trump or Clinton?

“Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least.”

Britain’s Labour Party Awash in Anti-Semitism

By on 4.28.16 | 5:46PM

Britain's Labour Party has been rife with anti-Semitism for some time now, but it has come to the forefront over the past several days.

First, there was the suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah after the revelation of a post on her Facebook page in 2014 which read, "SOLUTION FOR ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT - RELOCATE ISRAEL INTO UNITED STATES". Shah would add the comment, "Problem solved & save u bank charges for £3 BILLION you transfer yearly."

Mind you, Shah had been sitting on a parliamentary committee investigating an upsurge of anti-Semitism in Britain. Shah won a seat for Labour in the 2015 election in the predominantly Muslim constituency of Bradford West defeating George Galloway, the former Labour MP who championed Saddam Hussein. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn initially refused to discipline Shah until pressure was brought to bear.

If Boehner Thinks Cruz Is The Devil Then What Does That Make Trump?

By on 4.28.16 | 3:23PM

I don't think it comes as much of a surprise that former Speaker John Boehner would refer to Ted Cruz as "Lucifer in The Flesh" and a "miserable son of a bitch." In this day and age, that's as good as an endorsement.

But if Boehner thinks Cruz is The Devil and a SOB then what does that make Donald Trump?

Now I suspect that most people who support Trump and attend his rallies don't think much of Boehner. Yet Boehner says he would pick Trump over Cruz adding he and Trump are “texting buddies" and have played golf together for years. And Trump is supposed to be the outsider? But I suppose Trump's supporters will give Boehner the same dispensation they gave to Chris Christie.

Giving Heroic Dogs Their Due

By on 4.28.16 | 2:43PM

In a recent post about a brave and wounded Marine dog, one Lucca, I asked why it was that a British animal charity was giving Lucca a medal and not the USMC or the American Department of Defense. I’ve since learned that soon an American outfit will begin officially commemorating the bravery of working dogs in all of America’s military services.

Danique Masingill, a program manager with the American Humane Association in Washington, says the venerable animal welfare agency will begin awarding three medals for bravery annually to military dogs. The award is called the “Lois Pope Canine Medal of Courage,” named after one of the Humane Association’s benefactors. The awards will be presented in Washington to military dogs who’ve demonstrated bravery while serving overseas in combat theaters alongside U.S. military personnel.

“This provides validation for the dogs and the units they served,” Masingill said.