The Spectacle Blog

Conservatives and Social Justice

By on 6.25.14 | 12:13PM

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, began AEI’s new “Vision Talks” Monday with “a conservative vision for social justice.” His condemnations of current conservative attitudes towards the poor and the communication gap between conservative leaders and the impoverished they would like to help rang painfully true. Progressives’ attempts to solve the problem of poverty have failed. It's time for a conservative plan to help the impoverished achieve the fullest expression of the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In doing so, conservatives must guard against abstracting the humanity of impoverished persons just as progressives do.

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Comcast Isn’t the Free-Market Choice in the Internet Wars

By on 6.25.14 | 10:59AM

Free-market types have been rallying behind Comcast and against Netflix for some time now. For the sake of context, the debate is over whether Comcast should be able to "throttle" access to Netflix across its Internet service. Netflix, hosting streaming video, absorbs an incredible amount of broadband Internet access that can ostensibly stress Comcast’s infrastructure. Those of a more conspiratorial bent cite Comcast’s desire to protect traditional television from the Internet upstart as the reason behind throttling Netflix.

The aforementioned free-marketers have been using some variation of the argument that Comcast can do whatever it wants with its wires. Or interconnected tubes. Or whatever infrastructure provides the Internet. Further, Comcast should be free to price its service in any way it desires assuming the market can bear those prices.

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Morning Round-Up 6-25

By on 6.25.14 | 10:56AM

Feature of the Day: Hey, remember that time Google accidentally made Skynet?

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. Cochran Win in Miss. A Blow to Tea Party Movement
  2. AP Sources: Christie Faces Another Bridge Probe
  3. Ukraine to Sign EU Deal That Sparked Revolution

Politico

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The Elephants Are Out of the Zoo in Mississippi

By on 6.24.14 | 5:09PM

The American Spectator has already predicted a win for Tea Partier Chris McDaniel in today's special Mississippi primary run-off. Senator Thad Cochran's embarrassing loss to McDaniel in the earlier June election (he took 48.9 percent of the vote, McDaniels took 49.5 percent, and the rest went to a spoiler) could already have been his coup de grace. A June 20 poll reported by Politico gave him 52 percent with Cochran at 44 percent.

Although the Mississippi run-off is good for race-horse politics, what truly makes it a national story is the fact that GOP elephants seem to be out of the zoo on this one. According to Fox News:

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America’s Hypocritical Oath: Political Correctness

By on 6.24.14 | 3:55PM

In an interview with Playboy this week, Gary Oldman defended Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin for their “politically incorrect” diatribes. “We’re all f—ing hypocrites,” he argued, with good reason.

Though he did not do so eloquently, Oldman, a libertarian, is making an important point. Humans are a living paradox. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function," as F. Scott Fitzgerald said.

We are imperfect, and more often than we’d like to admit, we are wrong. Yet, with the rise of the Information Age, things you say and do are more accessible and more public. Thus opportunities to trip over someone’s fragile sensibilities have increased exponentially.

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Your Daily Dose of Trey Gowdy Shouting at Obama Administration Officials

By on 6.24.14 | 3:39PM

From me to you, because you know you want some and because I want to up my clicks for the month. IRS Commish John Koskinen, quite possibly the smuggest bureaucrat in the historical pantheon of smug bureaucracy, claimed he hasn't seen any evidence of lawbreaking in the IRS's mass deletion of Lois Lerner's emails. As Gowdy delicately noted, it's rather difficult to clear anyone of lawbreaking when you don't know anything about the law:

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When It Comes to Paid Family Leave, the Question is How

By on 6.24.14 | 11:05AM

President Obama’s speech at the White House Summit on Working Families saw digressions into raising the minimum wage and self-satisfied referrals to the Affordable Care Act. But its focus was on paid family leave and pregnancy accommodations, and ought to be seen by conservatives as a challenge to meet legitimate needs without sacrificing principle and expanding centralized authority. The president advocated for the federalization of employment laws as he called for Congress to leave “none of our country’s talent behind.” Conservatives should provide an alternative.

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Morning Round-Up 6-24

By on 6.24.14 | 9:11AM

Feature of the Day: The Fear Factor: Long-held predictions of economic chaos as baby boomers grow old are based on formulas that are just plain wrong

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

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Three Primary Races to Watch Tomorrow

By on 6.23.14 | 5:09PM

As summer rages on, races for seats all across the country are heating up. Tomorrow, as with most Tuesdays over the past few months, there will be another round of primaries, this time in seven states: Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah, along with a special election in Florida’s Nineteenth Congressional District. While many of these elections are non-stories because of unlikely challengers or major spreads in the polls, three are standing out.

Mississippi Senate

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The Middle East Doesn’t Want America in Iraq

By on 6.23.14 | 3:32PM

It's official. Iraq is having a party for all the sects in the Middle East, and we're not invited.

Our Gulf allies were surprised to hear that we ever thought we were coming.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the awkward phone call, when the leaders of the Sunni Arab world met Secretary of State John Kerry with "expressions of bewilderment" about his plans to fight ISIS on behalf of the Iraqi government.

One diplomat said the United States may have misunderstood the purpose of the events in Iraq. "We felt the Americans were greatly misinformed," the diplomat said. "The insurgency isn't just about ISIS, but Sunnis fighting back against injustice."

The leaders from the Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan felt that since the United States had decided not to come to Syria at the last minute, they should not expect to be welcomed by Sunnis in Iraq.

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