The Spectacle Blog

Poll Shows the Public Supports Fracking

By on 6.24.15 | 12:35PM

A new poll from Robert Morris University (RMU) shows the public overwhelmingly supports fracking for natural gas and oil production. Even before the EPA released its long awaited report largely exonerating fracking from charges it was causing water pollution, the poll showed more than 57% of Pennsylvanians support fracking. Nationally, 56 percent of those survey supported fracking.

Among those surveyed in Pennsylvania, 74 percent said fracking would have a positive economic impact on the country, compared to 73 percent nationwide.

When asked whether fracking can “move the US to energy independence“, nationally 69 percent of those polled agreed, compared to 70 percent of Pennsylvanians.

The poll indicated a number of those surveyed were concerned fracking could cause or was causing air and water pollution and earthquakes. This fear evidently reduced support for fracking from the more than 70 percent who agreed it was good for the economy and national security, to the 56 percent nationally who supported fracking overall. 

Pope Francis Underestimates the Power of Markets

By on 6.24.15 | 12:28PM

Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si, advocates a new “ecological spirituality.” Yet this challenging call is diminished by the document’s tendency to devolve into leftish policy positions. The encyclical underestimates the power of market forces to promote environmental ends.

There are serious environmental problems but Laudato Si presumes rather than proves crisis is the norm. Moreover, nothing in Scripture or nature tells us how much to spend to clean up the air.

Drawing environmental lines requires balancing such interests as ecology, liberty, and prosperity. One cannot merely assume that the correct outcome in every case is more of the first.

Indeed, the Pontiff’s own goals conflict. He speaks movingly of the dignity of work and its importance for the poor. But the more expensive and extensive the government controls, the fewer and less remunerative the jobs.

Court Gives Man $500,000 After Doctors Mock Him During Surgery

By on 6.24.15 | 12:22PM

A court in Virginia awarded a man $500,000 in damages after his doctors brutally mocked him while he was sedated for a routine colonoscopy.

Before going under for the surgery, the man — only identified in court documents as D.B. — started recording audio on his phone. When he woke up and listened to what was said, he was shocked, The Washington Post reported.

Immediately after the man fell into his anesthesia-induced slumber, the insults started flying.

“After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” the anesthesiologist told the sedated man.

The anesthesiologist, Tiffany Ingham, called the man a “big wimp” and mused about the man’s sexual orientation after she noted that he attended Mary Washington College, a formerly all-women’s school.

Feds Beg Court Not To Ban Your Samsung Galaxy

By on 6.24.15 | 12:17PM

On Monday, the federal agency that oversees trade policy recommended dismissing patent infringement claims that could lead to a ban on U.S. sales of the Samsung Galaxy line of phones.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) staff  filed a pretrial brief on the first day of a public hearing the agency is holding related to claims that Samsung and Qualcomm violated patents for graphics processors held by chip-maker Nvidia, Bloomberg reports.

Details of the ITC’s report were not revealed because they contain sensitive business information, but Matt Larson, a litigation analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said the agency’s input would likely be a major advantage for Samsung and Qualcomm in court, although he noted that a final decision is not likely until October.

If the court ultimately sides with Nvidia, the two defendants could be required to pay as much as $2 billion in royalties— roughly the same amount that Microsoft collects from licensing its Android mobile-phone operating system.

And Now Ray

By on 6.24.15 | 11:55AM

I liked the job David Ritz did of telling Willie Nelson’s story in Willie’s own voice.

So I’m now reading Brother Ray, Ritz’s collaboration with Ray Charles (Da Capo Press, 1978). It’s likewise a charmer. This is a book I’d picked up from the dollar table at the library’s encore store and just hadn’t gotten around to reading.

Colorado Republican Chaos (UPDATED)

By on 6.24.15 | 1:04AM

What follows is perhaps the strangest political story I have ever reported on…this story includes major revisions from the first published version. This is the story as I understand it at 10 PM Mountain Time on June 23. Further updates will be posted at the top of this article over time, if necessary.

Colorado Republicans have a remarkable way of screwing up, making bad decisions, pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, and airing disagreements about those decisions publicly in ways even gleeful Democrats hadn’t imagined possible.

This year the controversy surrounds new Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House and a rather insane few hours last Monday; the situation and has become even more chaotic and confused with new revelations in the past several hours.

It began when what House assumed would be a routine strategy meeting with Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman convened with two unexpected additional participants: Pueblo County Republican Chairwoman Becky Mizel and former Congressman Tom Tancredo.

Thoughts on Ann Coulter’s Comments About SC Governor Nikki Haley

By on 6.24.15 | 12:25AM

I have expressed my skepticism as to whether removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina will do any good. After all, there are plenty of accusations of racism flying around in parts of the country where no Confederate flag is found.

But if one must criticize South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's intent to have the flag removed then one ought to have the courtesy to a) criticize the merits of the decision, b) get the facts straight and c) otherwise refrain from slurring those with whom you disagree.

Enter Ann Coulter.

During an appearance on Tuesday night on the Fox Business Channel program Kennedy, Coulter claimed the following about Governor Haley:

The Obama Admin is Angrier at Israel for Spying on Iran’s Nuclear Talks Than at China for Hacking the OPM Database

By on 6.23.15 | 11:07PM

I am annoyed, but not surprised that the Obama Administration is angrier at Israel for spying on its nuclear talks with Iran than it is at China for hacking into the Office of Personnel Management's database concerning the personal information of current, former and prospective federal government employees which now affects 18 million Americans. Initial reports indicated the breach affected just over 4 million people.

Hell, the Obama Administration can't even bring itself to admit China was responsible. Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the U.S. in September is proceeding apace. The Obama Admin needs China for its precious nuclear deal with Iran. 

Will the Promise of Free College Sway Millennial Voters?

By on 6.23.15 | 5:22PM

Typical characteristics used to describe Millennials are as follow: short attention span, reluctance to leave the nest, and need for immediate gratification. Other descriptions include words such as disengaged, lazy, and narcissistic. What can I say, we’re a charming bunch.

But according to a survey produced by USB in 2014, the Millennials are cost-conscious as well. As reported by the Guardian, Emily Pachuta said the Millennials are very conservative when it comes to managing their money.

“They are becoming a generation of savers, having been frightened watching what has happened to their parents during the Great Recession,” Pachuta added. It hasn’t helped that their own generation has struggled with job security issues. If you’re under 30, you’re twice as likely to be unemployed as you were before the 2008 financial crisis.

Pages