The Spectacle Blog

Morning Round-Up 7-17

By on 7.17.14 | 10:44AM

Feature of the Day: Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs


Morning Headlines




Associated Press

1. Gaza Rocket Hits Israel as Humanitarian Lull Ends

 2.  Justice Dept: Missing Emails Now Part of IRS Probe 



1. Barbours Spent to Boost Mississippi Black Turnout

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So Sick of Media Anti-Semitism

By on 7.17.14 | 9:43AM

In today's news about the charging of three Israelis (one adult and two youths) in the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khedair (who lived in Jerusalem), you can tell the professional media anti-Semites from the amateurs.

Spot the difference between the opening of these two news reports on the same story:

CNN: "An adult and two minors have been indicted in what Israeli authorities say was the revenge killing of a Palestinian teen -- a death that helped stoke tensions between Israelis and Palestinians this month -- an Israeli district attorney said Thursday."

BBC: "One Jewish man and two youths have been charged by Israeli prosecutors with the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdair, the justice ministry says."

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Hamas is No Bargain

By on 7.17.14 | 12:05AM

Lucy Schouten might very well be correct when she argues that Hamas turned down an Egyptian brokered ceasefire with Israel because it believes it can get a better bargain elsewhere. 

But if we are going to use a shopping analogy it should be clear any deal Hamas enters into is no bargain. Because when it comes to Hamas life is cheap. 

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Hamas Searches for a Better Bargain

By on 7.16.14 | 5:01PM

Shopping in the Middle East can be a surprise to Westerners. There's the greeting, the inquiry after one's family, leading questions from the buyer, perhaps a cup of Arabic coffee from the seller. The buyer suggests a price, and the vendor protests that to accept it would bring his children to the brink of starvation. The buyer strides ostentatiously from the establishment, only to be called back by a better deal.

The rejection by Hamas of Egypt's cease-fire deal after more than a week of missile exchange with Israel was merely good business for Middle Eastern bargaining, said Ghaith al Omari of the American Task Force on Palestine at an American Enterprise Institute discussion. 

The Egyptian deal did not meet any of Hamas's demands, namely: a re-release of the prisoners Israel first freed in 2011, funds from Qatar to pay employees' salaries, and a reopening the "secret" supply tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. That last one is especially relevant; some have speculated that the supply tunnels are what drove Hamas to enter a unity government with Fatah, which is what started the recent hostilities in the first place. 

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CBO Predicts a Hangover of Economic Proportions

By on 7.16.14 | 4:43PM

According to the CBO, the Clairvoyant Bureaucratic Office, “federal debt will be growing faster than GDP, a path that would be ultimately unsustainable.” Our national debt is already bigger than our economy.

The key source of upward pressure on the federal debt is expanded federal spending in the form of Obamacare, its gluttonous siblings Medicare and Medicaid, and its senile cousin Social Security. Because of government encroachment into the health care industry, health care spending will double over the next twenty-five years to 14 percent of GDP.

In order to stop the Social Security trust fund from defaulting and return to sustainable levels of unfunded liabilities by 2025, future and current Americans will have to incur a 25 percent cut in their benefits.

The CBO hearing had the tone of a doctor’s appointment for a self-destructive addict. The doctor says, “You know you can’t keep overspending like this, America,” and the government nods sheepishly and then scampers off to print more money.

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Bergdahl: I’m Deeply Grateful to Obama

By on 7.16.14 | 4:30PM

Bowe Bergdahl directed his newly appointed attorney Eugene Fidell to make the following statement, “Sergeant Bergdahl is deeply grateful to President Obama for saving his life.”

Perhaps Obama will reward Bergdahl by giving him an Obamacare waiver.

It's good to know that Bergdahl doesn't feel that Obama deserted him.

No word if the Taliban leaders released in exchange for Bergdahl are grateful to Obama for being free once again to plot attacks against Americans.

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Darrell Issa, Subpoenas, and Political Theater

By on 7.16.14 | 4:06PM

Congressman Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued a subpoena to White House senior adviser David Simas, compelling him to testify at a Wednesday morning hearing exhaustively titled, “White House Office of Political Affairs: Is Supporting Candidates and Campaign Fund-Raising an Appropriate Use of a Government Office?”

White House counsel Neil Eggleston pushed back against the subpoena in a letter, describing it as a violation of the separation of powers, as it “threatens longstanding interests of the executive branch in preserving the president’s independence and autonomy, as well as his ability to obtain candid advice and counsel to aid him in the discharge of his duties,” the Washington Post reported. Issa insisted the subpoena remain in place.

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God Bless the IRS

By on 7.16.14 | 1:27PM

In a series of releases from the House Oversight Committee last night, Chairman Darrell Issa released new information in the ongoing investigation of the IRS. The revelations deal with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. According to a YouTube video released here, the recording is of Solis soliciting funds for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Federal law, under the Hatch Act, prohibits federal officials and bureaucrats from campaigning during work time. Issa is alleging that these calls were made on federal time, which is a clear violation of the act. 

In another allegation, this one from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Issa points to several tweets from an April Sands, who was Lerner’s deputy before resigning earlier this year. One of the tweets, posted on Issa’s Twitter page, shows Sands attacking Mitt Romney on federal time:

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A Few Words About the UN Relief Works Agency

By on 7.16.14 | 11:50AM

Micah Meadowcraft is absolutely correct to say that it is Hamas that bears responsibility for the deaths of civilians in Gaza. This is illustrated by Hamas' refusal yesterday to accept an Egyptian brokered ceasefire which Israel accepted.

But what struck me about Micah's post was the fact that he cited the UN Relief Works Agency and quoted Pierre Krahenbuhl, its Commissioner General.

The UN has two agencies which deals with refugees - the aforementioned UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA)which deals exclusively with Palestinian refugees and the UN Refugee Agency (a.k.a. the UN High Commissioner for Refugees) which deals with the rest of the world's refugees.

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Demolishing Democrat Claims After Hobby Lobby

By on 7.16.14 | 10:40AM

Few people do as good a job making important points in very few words than George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux.

In today's note, he demolishes Democrats' arguments that the Hobby Lobby decision "allows employers to deny women access to certain kinds of contraception."

Please read and share widely:

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