The Spectacle Blog

Oakland Won’t Pay for New Raiders Stadium

By on 5.27.15 | 9:41AM

Oakland officials say they will not contribute any taxpayer dollars toward building a new stadium for the Raiders, even if that means the team will move back to Los Angeles.

Although Raiders owner Mark Davis and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have yet to receive an official response from either Oakland or Alameda County as to whether they would provide the $400 million necessary to keep the team in Oakland, recent statements by elected officials suggest the money may not be forthcoming, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Their reluctance seems to stem primarily from Oakland’s previous experience with stadium subsidies, which were used to finance renovations of Coliseum that helped lure the Raiders back to Oakland in 1995. The team had previously moved to Los Angeles in 1982 after Oakland refused to make stadium upgrades demanded by then-owner Al Davis.

Obamacare Induces Emergency Room Trauma

By on 5.26.15 | 4:07PM

Three-quarters of the 2,099 doctors responding to the nationwide survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians indicate they have seen an increase in emergency room (ER) visits since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, went into effect on January 1, 2014.

In the same survey, 28 percent of the respondents say ER use has “increased greatly.”

What providers are witnessing daily in the ER is not what the Obama administration promised would happen, says Dr. Richard Armstrong, a surgeon who practices in Michigan and serves as a board member of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation.

“Obamacare obviously did nothing to reduce the incentive for patients to use the ER as their primary care doctor,” Armstrong said.

All people make their choices based on incentives, and yet Obamacare did nothing to require co-pays from Medicaid patients, Armstrong says.

“It’s not unusual to see a Medicaid patient who simply has a headache to come to the emergency room instead, because it won’t cost them anything to get some Advil [there], which they could buy themselves at the drugstore across the street,” Armstrong said.

Will Congress Trade Principles for Politics on Ex-Im Vote?

By on 5.26.15 | 1:30PM

On the merits, the case for closing the Export-Import Bank is a slam-dunk. This has made life difficult for the bank’s supporters, especially since the bank will permanently close on June 30 unless Congress reauthorizes its charter. So they are switching to politics.

One of the top items on Congress’ agenda is Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which despite some drawbacks, would make international trade a little freer than it is now. Seeing a point of entry, Ex-Im supporters tried to tie Ex-Im reauthorization into the TPA bill. This way, a Senator who opposes Ex-Im might have to hold his nose and vote for it anyway, since it would be part of the larger TPA bill he supports.

Will the Supremes Slap Down 4th Circuit’s Anti-Business Ruling?

By on 5.26.15 | 10:28AM

In the past, businesses have been happy to put new factories in states like South Carolina and Virginia, due to their right-to-work laws and relatively reasonable employment laws. But they should think twice about doing so in the future, thanks to some recent, very unreasonable court rulings against employers in those states by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Those decisions illustrate a contempt for binding Supreme Court precedent, and basic rules of logic, evidence, civil procedure, and appellate procedure

Recommended Summer Reading

By on 5.24.15 | 7:24PM

One of the fun things about being a columnist and radio talk show host has been the increasing interest by publishing companies in sending me new books for me to review or to interview the authors.

[Before going further, I'd like to suggest/request that all of you who read this visit and name the American Spectator Foundation as the charity which you'd like the proceeds of the Amazon Smile program to go do. Basically, you name a charity, you use as the link to buy anything you'd buy at, and 0.5% of all your purchases are donated to the charity. Nothing changes about your Amazon shopping experience except that you use the Smile link instead of the regular link. The links to the books below are the "Smile" links.]

Last year, I had the chance to meet with Paul Ryan, whose book I very much enjoyed.

New Alberta NDP MLA Who Gave Canadian Flag The Finger Expelled from Caucus Over Homophobic Remarks

By on 5.22.15 | 4:48PM

Following the Alberta NDP's election victory one of their new MLAs Deborah Drever, 26, got into hot water for her social media activity namely giving the finger to the Canadian flag. She also drew heat for posing with a pro-marijuana t-shirt and drinking with her friends. I did not object to the latter activities, but the Canadian flag incident, well, raised a red flag:

Now it's entirely possible that Drever is a quick study and will become an excellent MLA. But in order for that happen she will need to exercise good judgment. None of us are perfect of course. But to dismiss the criticism as bullying leads me to believe that she probably won't learn from this experience. In which case, the people of Alberta are going to have a long four years with Rachel Notley and the NDP.

A week later it was revealed that she appeared on an album cover with a bottle aimed at a certain area of her anatomy.

Five Observations of Obama’s Speech to the Adas Israel Congregation

By on 5.22.15 | 3:17PM

I have read President Obama's speech to the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. and would like to offer the following five observations.

1. Consider what I wrote about Obama and Israel almost exactly four years ago today:

If you hear President Obama speak about the "unbreakable bonds" between the United States and Israel then chances are he has probably just said or done something to fritter away at those bonds.

Obama Says He Criticizes Israel to Maintain Credibility

By on 5.21.15 | 10:42PM

President Obama purportedly tries to make nice with Israel in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlanticbut he can't help himself. It's Obama being Obama:

One Donor Who Actually Holds Republicans Accountable on Spending and Taxes

By on 5.21.15 | 6:43PM

Thankfully, at least some political donors exist who are willing to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire on cutting spending, reducing taxes, and eschewing unfair corporate incentives.

In North Carolina, The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that donor and widely respected school-choice advocate Bob Luddy plans to divert a $25,000 donation away from N.C. House Republicans based on a proposed House budget that raises spending without cutting taxes.

As the Observer reports:

Luddy complained that the budget advancing to a major vote on Thursday does not include new tax cuts and extends tax breaks for specific industries. He called the spending plan too “liberal” and said he’s decided to withold [sic] his planned, annual donation to the House Republicans’ campaign committee.


Exposure to Conservative Ideas is Apparently a Form of PTSD

By on 5.21.15 | 4:47PM