The Spectacle Blog

Morning Round-Up 4-14

By on 4.14.14 | 9:27AM

Feature of the Day: The death of the US shopping mall

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. NSA Spy Report Among Potential Pulitzer Contenders
  2. Judge Set to Issue Key Ohio Gay Marriage Ruling
  3. Chances of Getting Audited By IRS Lowest in Years

Politico

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Fails to Meet Low Bar

By on 4.13.14 | 12:08PM

It was some years ago, I can't remember the periodical it was in, but the feature was humorous snippets from military officers' fitness reports. The most amusing was: “This officer consistently fails to meet the low standards he sets for himself.”

I couldn’t help but think of this screw-up when listening to Attorney General Eric “Stonewall” Holder whine that he is being mistreated as AG because he’s black. This, of course, is nonsense. If asked to name a worse or more political AG than Holder, I might be able to do it, but it would take me longer to come up with the name than one of Holder’s “investigations.” 

The only comfort red-blooded Americanos can find here is the knowledge that this is just an early part of the Democrats’ turn-out-the-vote effort for 2014, and the AG we are stuck with is not deluded enough to believe this. A fair fraction of Holder’s fan base is, however, another story.

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Obama Admin Won’t Issue Visa to Iran’s Ambassador to UN

By on 4.12.14 | 1:35AM

I'm glad that the Obama Administration has seen fit not to issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran's new Ambassador to the UN. Aboutalebi was among those responsible for seizing the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and holding 52 Americans hostage.

I hope this appointment finally convinces the Obama Administration that the Iranian regime has not changed its spots, but this is highly doubtful. There is still every reason to believe the Obama Administration wants to make a deal with Iran. But there are some things that even the Obama Administration isn't prepared to abide in pursuit of that deal. The idea of having a former hostage taker set foot on American soil was a bridge too far. Yet the Obama Administration has no trouble demanding that Israel release Palestinians in jail for murdering Israelis in order to get the Palestinians to the negotiating table. The Obama Administration should not be demanding anything of Israel it would not be prepared to do itself.
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It’s Obamacare, Not Sebeliuscare

By on 4.12.14 | 1:32AM

A quick thought on the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. While it was nice to finally see an Obama cabinet member fall on their sword for their incompetence and ineptness, nothing much will change in the grand scheme of things. After all it's called Obamacare, not Sebeliuscare. 

While Senate Republicans might very well make a fight of Sylvia Burwell's confirmation, it won't matter much. When things go awry with Obamacare, the President simply issues an executive order and moves on. As long as we have President Obama, we have Obamacare.
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The Beer Spectator Tries Wheats for Spring

By on 4.11.14 | 4:24PM

Beer appreciation is not linear; it's circular.  First you love beer naively, out of a simple joy.  Then your head gets filled with a bunch of crap about what's "good" and you begin disliking beer out of a blind prejudice.  Finally, you come back to appreciating beer for its own nature. – Jeff Alworth

I reached the third stage of Jeff Alworth’s beervana this week. IPAs trapped me in a room with a painted sunset on the wall. The scent of Cascade hops flowed through the ventilation shafts. Why ever leave?

But then I did. No more would I drink only the quadruple dry-hopped-aroma-hopped time bombs that were manipulating my taste buds.

Wheat beers are out there in the sunny fields. They’re waiting to be tasted!

With my first real taste of this type, I realized what Alworth discovered: beer is beautiful. Not for the hops, nor for the malts; holistically 

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Eric Holder Oversteps

By on 4.11.14 | 11:51AM

Eric Holder has overstepped his boundaries and the U.S. Sentencing Commission is not pleased.

Last month Holder was invited to the Commission’s meeting regarding a proposed amendment to reduce drug trafficking sentences by two levels. The Commission was not informed, however, that the night before their meeting at around 11 p.m., Holder had already acted.

“[Holder] ordered all of the assistant U.S. attorneys…to argue for the two level reduction…before the commission had acted and before Congress had the opportunity to vote,” Commissioner Ricardo Hinojosa said.

Although the Commission passed the amendment unanimously, Hinojosa said he was “surprised at the attorney general’s steps taken to deal with this reduction outside the legal system.”

Hinojosa explained that the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 gives the Commission the right to suggest and pass sentencing guidelines or amendments to existing guidelines for Congress. Then, Congress has the legal right to discuss, alter, or vote down said suggestions.

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Morning Round-Up 4-11

By on 4.11.14 | 10:15AM

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Louisiana GOP to Sex Scandal Congressman: Resign, Hypocrite!

By on 4.10.14 | 1:27PM

The chairman of the Louisiana GOP today called for the resignation of Rep. Vance McAllister, saying the Republican congressman's sex scandal exposed "extreme hypocrisy."

A video released this week showed McAllister, who is married and has five children, kissing a married female staffer. The staffer's husband has said his marriage was destroyed by his wife's affair with the congressman. McAllister won a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Rodney Alexander's appointment to a state office under Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration.

The statement issued Thursday morning by Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana:

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