The Spectacle Blog

Vatican: ‘Relatively Negative’ About Obama Visit with Pope Francis

By on 3.27.14 | 4:42PM

From the Catholic News Service’s Rome Bureau Chief, Francis X. Rocca, a blunt assessment, including confirmation that “the Holy See is wholly behind the U.S. Bishops on the question of the contraception mandate… the Pope and the U.S. Bishops stand shoulder to shoulder.”

 

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Obamacare’s Achilles’ Heel

By on 3.27.14 | 3:39PM

It’s hard to dot every “i” in a 2,000-page bill, but Congress’s negligence in specificity could be the fatal blow to Obamacare.

According to Talking Points Memo, the ACA specifies that only state exchanges are eligible for government subsidies known as “premium tax credits." In other words, the legislation prohibits the thirty-six states utilizing the federal exchange from receiving subsidy money for low-income Americans.

Cato’s Michael Cannon and Case Western law professor Jonathan Adler wrote the case against Obamacare revealing this terrifying blunder. An appeals court heard the argument on Tuesday while all eyes focused on the Supreme Court’s take on Hobby Lobby.

Should Cannon and Adler win the lawsuit, the consequences would cripple Obamacare. Millions of individuals living in states utilizing the federal exchange would remain uninsured because they can’t afford health care without the subsidies.

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Republican Faces Little Resistance for West Virginia Senate Seat

By on 3.27.14 | 12:08PM

If a Republican wins a Senate seat in West Virginia, it will be the first time this has happened since 1956. This bit of political trivia shouldn’t discourage conservatives in 2014. Since last September, Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito has been polling fourteen points above her most likely Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. The same results come from both Rasmussen Reports on February 20 and Public Policy Polling on September 22.

Capito should face few internal obstacles to winning the Republican primary on May 13. Neither of the other two Republican candidates for the West Virginia seat has been publicly polled against Capito or Tennant. Matthew Dodrill lacks media attention and significant (if any) endorsements, and Larry Eugene Butcher has no campaign website.

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Hobby Lobby, Your Bedroom, and Your Boss

By on 3.27.14 | 11:44AM

The Hobby Lobby case has raised a number of questions. Do individuals give up religious rights when they open a business? Does Plan B cause abortions? Can the government force companies to follow unconstitutional laws?

But what about the very obvious question: Why should your employer have to provide your emergency birth control?

Last time I checked, free contraception wasn't guaranteed in the Constitution. Feminists are rallying against Hobby Lobby for squelching their rights. They say it’s wrong for a CEO to force a woman to have babies against her will. They claim “fundamentalists” plan to ruin their lives.

But all of this is blown out of proportion.

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Morning Round-Up 3-27

By on 3.27.14 | 9:57AM

Feature of the Day: The Interpreters We Left Behind

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. Christie’s Lawyer to Issue Traffic Scandal Report
  2. Energy Boom Spurs Growth West of the Mississippi
  3. Charlotte Mayor Faces Corruption Charges, Resigns

Politico

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‘Psych’ Checks Out

By on 3.27.14 | 1:00AM

On Wednesday night I watched the series finale of Psych. The show has been on the air since 2006. Over the last eight years, it was a show I could laugh out loud at no matter how many times I had seen the episode and tonight was no exception. Even with reruns in syndication I will miss it terribly. Yet sooner or later the gang will be back for a TV movie. 

If you want to know why I loved Psych so much then check out what I wrote a year ago today after it's 100th episode aired. 
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World Vision Backs Down

By on 3.26.14 | 11:06PM

Mark Tooley wrote a piece for these pages yesterday describing the decision of the evangelical Christian charity, World Vision, to allow employees who are in same-sex unions.

Today World Vision, clearly feeling the heat from their most devout supporters, backed down.

Details here:
http://www.worldmag.com/2014/03/world_vision_reportedly_reverses_decision

I have no objection to a religious organization living by their precepts, but making a very public statement about a very controversial issue and than changing course is a PR disaster, and does great harm to those religious Christians who are tired of being portrayed by the left as "haters." Like it or not, this sort of thing has very negative political implcations for conservatives and Republicans. Again, it's not the policy that aggravates me, it's the reversal, and the unnecessary attention.

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How “Catholic” Can Still Mean Universal

By on 3.26.14 | 3:57PM

On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as he performed mass. His martyrdom broadcast his message of solidarity with the poor around the globe. I recently learned a bit more about this incredible man at a Catholic young adult’s speaker series.

During the talk, as the heating pipes groaned against a polar wind, vicar Rev. Patrick Riffle explained the division of the Church in El Salvador during its civil war. Some priests linked themselves to the ruthless families that ruled El Salvador. Some picked up AK-47s to protect the poor against both the Marxists and the government.

It affected the image of the regional Church for decades. Yet Romero was able to find the truly Catholic message amidst the firearm cacophony: stop the violence and treat your fellow citizens as brothers and sisters. No handgun required.

The global Church finds itself in a similar divisive crisis after Vatican II, especially in America. The “Orthodox” or “conservative” Catholics judge the “Catholic liberals.” Yet “Catholic” is supposed to mean “universal.”  

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Shocker: Obamacare Delayed Again

By on 3.26.14 | 3:45PM

Rumors swarmed in the media yesterday that President Obama might have the gall to delay the March 31 deadline for Obamacare enrollment. Then the AP reported the following:

Officials said the grace period will be available to people on the honor system, meaning applicants will have to attest that special circumstances or complex cases prevented them from finishing by March 31.

Oh, the honor system? You know, a president who doesn’t even adhere to blatant, on-the-books law does not quite strike me as one who will abide by a mystical “honor system” which he invented. How can we be certain the people who come after March 31 had “special circumstances”? Who decides what constitutes as a “complex case”? The White House, of course.

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Pope Obamus?

By on 3.26.14 | 1:52PM

No, not quite. But the New York Times might as well have referred to President Obama with that title in a story by Jason Horowitz this past Sunday that tried to portray the president as being part of the Catholic experience in America.

According to Horowitz (of Romney-was-a-prep-school-bully fame), President Obama began his professional career working in numerous Catholic parishes throughout Chicago's South Side. He worked intimately with priests, bishops, and other Catholic leaders to serve the poor and needy. And despite not letting Catholic doctrine "tempt him," he nonetheless "effectively proselytized for the church."

Moreover, the young Obama

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