The Spectacle Blog

Supreme Court Allows Texas to Offend the First Amendment

By on 6.18.15 | 1:41PM

Today a narrow and unusual Supreme Court majority ruled that the DMV – of all government agencies! – is allowed to censor speech it considers to be “offensive.” To wit, the four “liberal” justices and Justice Clarence Thomas somehow found that the specialty license plates Texas drivers can choose to have on their vehicles actually constitute state speech – and of course the state can control its own messages, including rejecting a plate proposed by the Texas branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This is so even though the specialty-license-plate program encourages Texans to come up with their own designs and slogans, which has resulted in around 400 plates that express support for a plethora of nonprofit organizations, commercial entities, affinity groups, and myriad other causes.

Inhofe: The Left Will Use Pope’s Encyclical To Enact ‘Largest Tax Increase In History’

By on 6.18.15 | 1:33PM

While the Obama administration and environmentalists celebrate Pope Francis’ encyclical on global warming, Sen. Jim Inhofe is warning the pope’s views on the subject could be used by the left to enact the biggest tax increase in U.S. history.

“I disagree with the pope’s philosophy on global warming,” the Oklahoma Republican said in a statement. “I am concerned that his encyclical will be used by global warming alarmists to advocate for policies that will equate to the largest, most regressive tax increase in our nation’s history.”

Francis’s encyclical, called “Laudato Si,” calls for reducing fossil fuel use and increasing green energy production. Francis also calls for a global agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

Negotiators Leave Empty Handed, Greek Bank Withdrawal Begins

By on 6.18.15 | 1:21PM

Greece’s neglected payment to the International Monetary Fund on Friday, June 5, has caused escalated tensions in the negotiation process between creditors and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. As the pressure to settle on a deal increases, Greece decided last week that they would take the option, posed to them by the IMF, to settle all four of their June loan repayments at the end of the month. This has spurred unrest for the people of Greece, as well as its creditors and Troika.

Shell Oil Foots Bill for Environmental Disaster Greenpeace Created Protesting Shell Oil

By on 6.18.15 | 12:35PM

A group of Greenpeace "kayaktivists" took to the waters of the Puget Sound a few short weeks ago in an attempt to stop the Polar Pioneer, Shell Oil's newest Arctic drilling rig, from taking a breather in port on its way up to Alaska. They were ultimately thwarted by the Coast Guard's concern for their safety and Shell Oil's determination to continue on its mission, and just a few short days ago, the last kayaks finally pulled back.

The Pope Hits at Population Control Activists in Eco-Encyclical, Says Ecology Means Protecting the Unborn

By on 6.18.15 | 12:30PM

Doug Bandow and Debra Saunders have already done an excellent job digesting Pope Francis's new Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, but I want to make sure that I flagged a bit of the Pope's piece that's flown under the radar.

In addition to discussing the impact of Climate Change on the poor, the Catholic and spiritual history of environmental stewardship, and suggesting economic policy changes, the Pope pointed out that there's a disconnect within the environmental movement that will have a much longer-lasting impact than any filth-spewing industrial project: the environmental movement's commitment to population control. In a harshly-worded passage, the Pope repudiates attacks on human dignity, noting that a respect for nature cannot be separated from a respect for human life, especially unborn human life.

FCC Ignores Rule of Law, Fines AT&T $100 Million

By on 6.18.15 | 12:09PM

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on a three-to-two vote, found that AT&T violated federal regulations by failing to disclose that it was throttling certain wireless customers on an “unlimited” data plan. The FCC claims AT&T owes a $100 million fine. This announcement follows a lawsuit filed in October 2014 by another federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), arguing that AT&T violated federal consumer protection law by throttling its unlimited data plan customers. AT&T has pledged to take both agencies to court to defend itself against these allegations.

By way of background, for many years, AT&T and many other wireless providers offered data plans—used for Internet browsing, email, video, and so forth—on an all-you-can eat, unlimited basis. These plans let customers transmit and receive as much information as they wish, without facing overage charges for downloading too much data.

Are Obamacare’s 22 Health Insurance Co-ops Near Financial Collapse?

By on 6.18.15 | 12:04PM

Ominous signs are proliferating among 22 Obamacare health insurance co-ops of imminent financial collapses that could leave more than a million Americans without coverage, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group analysis.

All but one of the federally funded co-ops are experiencing accelerating net losses. President Obama’s signature health care reform program established the co-ops to provide non-profit competition to private sector health insurance providers.

Many of the 22 co-ops could soon follow an Obamacare co-op that defaulted earlier this year, suffering $163 million in operating losses in a single year.  That collapse left 120,000 customers without coverage on Christmas Eve.

“We’re certainly going to have fewer co-op’s by the end of the year,” Thomas Miller, a resident health care fellow at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, told DCNF.

New figures compiled by Miller and Marie-Grace Turner, president of the Galen Institute, show that net losses for the co-ops reached a record $614 million in 2014. Both AEI and Galen are Obamacare critics.

ISIS Improves Public Services To Shore Up Support

By on 6.18.15 | 11:57AM

Since the Islamic State overran the Iraqi city of Mosul last June, jihadis have not only imposed strict laws — like cutting off hands for smoking cigarettes — but installed and administered to basic public services.

“Mosul is now cleaner. The IS group wants to be seen as an administration capable of looking after the city and a month ago, the group began a campaign to clean, pave and light the city streets,” reports Niqash. ”The city is now 90 percent safe,” according to source inside Mosul who spoke with Niqash. “The only source of real concern are air bombardments by the international coalition.”

One year after capturing vital territory and 10 months after the U.S. began striking militant strongholds, details have emerged about the group’s extensive bureaucracy.

Sharpton and Dolezal Deserve Each Other

By on 6.18.15 | 11:53AM

I cannot say I’m surprised that Al Sharpton would defend Rachel Dolezal and reserve his indignation for her parents.

It doesn’t surprise me because Sharpton is a con artist and in his eyes Dolezal would have pulled off one of the great cons of the century if it weren’t for her meddling mother and father. Despite this there can be no doubt that Sharpton sees great potential in her. It would not shock me a bit if she landed a job with Sharpton’s National Action Network. Al Sharpton and Rachel Dolezal deserve each other.

That Dolezal was born white is immaterial to Sharpton. That she sees herself as black is good enough for him. After all, Sharpton has made a career of judging people by the color of their skin. Sharpton is incapable of judging people by the content of their character because he has no character to speak of. He is truly skin deep.

Thoughts on the Shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC

By on 6.18.15 | 10:22AM

I just learned about the horrific events last night at the Emanuel AME Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in which young, white male gunman shot and killed 9 members of the church including its pastor and a member of the State Senate.

What makes this massacre all the more troubling is that the gunman joined the parishioners in prayer before he began shooting.