The Spectacle Blog

Two Pro-Liberty Decisions From the Supreme Court

By on 6.26.14 | 6:23PM

Besides the United States' loss to Germany in the World Cup, today was a good day for liberty. The Supreme Court ruled to restrict the power of government in three recent Supreme Court cases.

In the first case, Riley v. California, the petitioner Riley was charged in connection with a shooting after officers stopped him for a traffic violation and then seized and searched his cell phone. The Court ruled that “the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.”

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Search Lois Lerner’s Blackberry

By on 6.26.14 | 5:57PM

In a large-scale document dump, the IRS handed over thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the key figure in the ongoing investigation of the IRS’s targeting of conservative Tea Party groups. The documents, obtained by multiple news organizations and the committees investigating the matter, appeared to show that Lerner intended to target Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In a statement released by Republican Congressman David Camp, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee:

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Sectarian War Across the Middle East: A Matter of Semantics

By on 6.26.14 | 4:01PM

There is something going on that I may not have told you about.

It is really a matter of semantics, but it has turned out to be rather significant. You may have noticed the multiplicity of English translations for ISIS, the extremist Sunni group that has been terrorizing Syria and especially Iraq in recent weeks. The varied translations exist because the Arabic name—الدولة الاسلامية في العراق و الشام—contains a word, "the Sham," that only roughly translates into English. It refers to a geographic area that has not existed since the Ottoman era, but which includes all the land we now call Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel.

This helps to explain the worrying scope of ISIS's ambition. Evidence of this was reported by Reuters:

The al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades had urged Lebanese Sunni Muslims to attack the Iranian-backed Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah a day before Wednesday's suicide bombing in central Beirut.

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Obama Orders NASA to Prioritize Climate Change

By on 6.26.14 | 3:39PM

NASA is becoming just another tool in President Obama’s climate agenda.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s climate change speech in which he raged against greenhouse gas emissions. He proposed a series of executive actions on climate change and blamed Congress for failing to act on his fearmongering agenda. The executive actions sidestepped Congress by invoking the Clean Air Act, a broad-based law that gives the EPA the power to regulate carbon emissions on a commercial scale.

The budget for Obama’s seventy-five-point climate action plan includes $909 million to the State Department for clean energy and $1.8 billion to NASA for earth-oriented satellite and research efforts, among other expenditures involving twelve of the fifteen other departments and agencies.

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Howard Baker, R.I.P.

By on 6.26.14 | 3:14PM

Former Senate Majority Leader and White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker passed away today of complications from a stroke. He was 88.

Baker made history in 1966 when he became the first Republican elected to the Senate from Tennessee since Renconstruction. He would become a nationally known figure during the Watergate Hearings when he asked John Dean, "What did the President know and when did he know it?"

Interestingly, two years earlier, President Nixon had offered Baker a seat on the Supreme Court following the retirement of John Marshall Harlan II. However, Baker was not forthcoming with a reply and Nixon instead appointed William Rehnquist who would later become Chief Justice. Imagine how different late 20th Century American history might have been had Baker accepted Nixon's offer.

Baker was on Gerald Ford's shortlist to be his running mate in 1976, but Ford opted for Bob Dole. Instead, Baker became Senate Minority Leader following Jimmy Carter's election.

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Karl Rove Silent on Mississippi Race Tactics

By on 6.26.14 | 12:27PM

This is amazing.

This morning in the Wall Street Journal, former Bush aide Karl Rove writes a column that includes the following on the Mississippi Senate race:

Mississippi's Sen. Thad Cochran pulled off a difficult and surprising win Tuesday night, and he has the state's open primary law to thank for it. In the June 3 primary, Mr. Cochran trailed tea party favorite Chris McDaniel by 1,386 votes or 0.5% of the 313,443 votes cast. This week, he beat Mr. McDaniel, a state senator, by 6,373 votes or 1.6% of 374,893 votes.

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Will Obama Pull An Andrew Jackson?

By on 6.26.14 | 11:51AM

So what happens next now that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that President Obama's "recess appointments" to the NLRB while Congress was not in recess  are unconstitutional?

Does the ruling make these appointments null and void? If so then surely all the decisions rendered by the NLRB from their appointment would be effectively null and void.

But somehow I don't think it's that simple. It never is.

I have a feeling that President Obama will invoke Andrew Jackson and say, "The Supreme Court has made their decision; now let them enforce it."

Yet if he does that then Obama could open the door to impeachment proceedings. However, I don't think that door would open until after the mid-term elections when both Houses of Congress will likely be in Republican hands.

As always we shall see.

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Morning Round-Up 6-26

By on 6.26.14 | 9:00AM

Feature of the Day: Your taxes are going up. You just don’t know it yet.

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. Oil Boom Fuels Drop in Age in Great Plains States
  2. Ruling Pushes Gay Marriage Closer to Supreme Court
  3. Tea Party Losses Don’t Stop Cash or Curb Influence


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‘The Angry Fringe’

By on 6.26.14 | 6:21AM

Liberal bias in the media is so pervasive that partisan propaganda themes created by Democrats, for the purpose of electing Democrats and advancing their partisan agenda, take on a quasi-reality. Years ago, after seeing the umpteenth reiteration of a too-familiar theme, I remarked that the New York Times should create a standing headline -- "Republicans Divided" -- and run it as a regular column.

If more than 80 percent of journalists are Democrats, as evidence clearly demonstrates, then what the media report about politics (and everything else) must be viewed skeptically: Is this true? Are all the facts as described? Are there facts omitted from the story which, if they had been reported, would change my perception of the story? And, perhaps most importantly, are the elements of the story which are not purely factual -- beyond the clarity of Who, What, When and Where, entering the murky realm of Why and How -- of such a prejudicial nature as to fatally flaw the story?

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Freaky!!! Lincecum No-Hits Padres — Again

By on 6.25.14 | 8:32PM

For the second time in less than a year, The Freak no-hit the Padres. This time he did it in front of the home crowd. Lincecum struck out six and only walked one batter. His second inning walk to Chase Headley kept it from being a perfect game. 

It is the third no-hitter of the 2014 season, but the first not thrown by a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Josh Beckett threw one against the Phillies in May while Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies last week.

Lincecum becomes the second pitcher in Giants history to throw two no-hitters. The first was Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson who did so with the New York Giants in 1901 and 1905. Lincecum also becomes the second pitcher in MLB history to no-hit the same team twice. Addie Joss, another Hall of Famer, no-hit the Chicago White Sox in 1908 and 1910 while with the Cleveland Naps. Lincecum joins Sandy Koufax (yet another Hall of Famer) as the only pitchers who have at least two no-hitters, two Cy Youngs and two World Series rings. 

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