The Spectacle Blog

Obama: White House Pies Have Crack in Them

By on 7.1.14 | 11:37AM

President Obama joked yesterday that the White House's pies are so good that the pastry chef must put crack in them.

"No he doesn't," Michelle clarified. "There's no crack in our pies."

Just kidding -- but seriously.

Send to Kindle

Dateline Hillandale: Who’s the Real Threat?

By on 7.1.14 | 11:02AM

Well, this was unexpected. It’s not everyday you find your old neighborhood lambasted on the Spectacle.

Perhaps you’ve read Bill Zeiser’s bare-fisted slam on the “limousine liberals” who reside in Hillandale—the gated Georgetown community Janet Yellen calls home. I can’t imagine Bill’s blog post took him on assignment to the 20007, but I’d like to offer some personal context. You see, I used to live there…albeit in the comparative steerage of a rented townhome, where I resided with friends while in graduate school. 

Send to Kindle

Morning Round-Up 7-1

By on 7.1.14 | 8:52AM

Feature of the Day: What Happens When a Prep School’s Black President Mocks Her White Male Classmate


Morning Headlines


Associated Press

1.   Hamas Member Killed After Israeli Teen Found Dead

2.   Birth Control Ruling Sparks Political Clash


1.   Samuel Alito’s Moment

2.   Obama’s Immigration Pivot

Send to Kindle

Alito vs. Ginsburg on the Hobby Lobby Decision

By on 6.30.14 | 6:06PM

This morning the Supreme Court announced its decision on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, with Justice Alito delivering the majority opinion. The Court affirmed the Tenth Circuit decision, excusing Hobby Lobby and the other corporations represented in the case from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. The store chain and Conestoga Wood Specialties opposed the required coverage of four contraceptive methods they consider abortifacients, which have the potential to terminate an embryo after its conception. Despite anticipation that victory for Hobby Lobby in the case would extend First Amendment rights to corporations, the decision explicitly denies that it does this, and bases its argument on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) rather than the First Amendment.

Send to Kindle

Janet Yellen’s Blue Collar Security Detail Irking Limousine Liberal Neighbors

By on 6.30.14 | 5:56PM

Here's an amusing story you might have missed, given the big news day. Elizabeth Williamson of The Wall Street Journal reports that the security detail assigned to Janet Yellen is ticking off her neighbors in the tony Hillandale, a gated community in Georgetown. The guards assigned to the newly minted Federal Reserve Chairwoman--see what I did there?--have been accused of such behaviors as idling their engines during the twenty minute wait to pick their boss up in morning and leaving oil stains on the street. I'm not quite sure who to root for. The residents paid their three million bucks, fair and square, to live in a peaceful community that micromanages such aspects of their lives as how many dogs they can own (a maximum of two pets per household, please). The claim that a government agency shouldn't breach their peace is sympathetic. On the other hand, Yellen's neighbors are smug, liberal elite crybabies.

Send to Kindle Has a Very Bad Day

By on 6.30.14 | 4:57PM

The single-celled brain trust known as Salon is having another bad day. After today's Supreme Court decisions, its writers have been breathlessly issuing stories decrying the erosion of women’s rights and the weakened power of unions, with the sky falling down and “unwanted babies” lining the street and that darned “one-percent.”

Breathlessly, Salon notes:

The Supreme Court’s ruling today in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which said that employers with religious objections cannot be impelled to pay for contraceptive coverage for its employees, has reignited one of the more lopsided political fights of the current era: the War on Contraception.

Send to Kindle

The Kurds: Underdogs of the Middle East

By on 6.30.14 | 4:44PM

If after the World Cup anyone is looking for a new underdog worthy of support, I submit the Kurds as the most up-and-coming players of the geopolitical world.

The Kurds are the Middle East's classic underdog story: a swashbuckling ethnic group numbering 30 million and residing in pockets of Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Left out of the twentieth-century nation-making due to a PR problem, the Kurds have been the favorite pin cushion of their respective governments. After decades of being used as pawns in geopolitical power plays, the Kurds have used the recent distraction of terrorists taking over Sunni Iraq to improve their real estate options.

The Kurdish Peshmerga army is the only fighting force that has successfully retaken Iraqi territory from the Sunni militant group ISIS. The Kurds have taken over much of northern Iraq, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. They plan to make the move permanent, said Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, at a news conference Friday:

Send to Kindle

Bodies of Kidnapped High School Students Found in West Bank

By on 6.30.14 | 3:54PM

The bodies of three young men, assumed to be the two Israeli and one Israeli-American yeshiva (religious high school) students kidnapped on June 12, have been found "under a pile of rocks in an open field" between two towns in the West Bank, according to New York Times reporting. Initial reports are that the boys had been shot.

Let neither our utterly worthless Secretary of State, John Kerry, nor his utterly worthless predecessor, Hillary Clinton, utter a word about "calm" or "the peace process."

It is time -- well past time -- to end all U.S. financial support for the murderous Palestinians who, even when not directly involved in attacks on civilians and children, celebrate such attacks while teaching their own children that Jews are monsters deserving of suffering and death.

Send to Kindle

Obama to Announce New Head of VA

By on 6.30.14 | 3:35PM

President Obama has announced his new pick to lead the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs. According to the Associated Press, his choice is former Procter and Gamble executive Robert McDonald. The AP reports that McDonald, while a business executive, also has a military background, "graduating near the top of his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and serving as a captain in the Army, primarily in the 82nd Airborne Division.”

This is a great step for the VA. The business-style leadership that McDonald brings from his thirty-three years the private sector is exactly what the VA needs.

McDonald led Procter & Gamble from 2009 to 2013. During that time, the company website states:

P&G realized annual sales of over $84 billion. The company had more than 120,000 employees, 120 plants and 200 brands in 35 categories, of which 25 brands generate over $1 billion in sales each year.

Send to Kindle

Why Should Unions Forcibly Collect Dues When They Spend Them on Politics?

By on 6.30.14 | 2:45PM

Take a good look at the LM-2 financial disclosure form for the Illinois-Indiana health care affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. That’s what Jennifer Parrish, a Minnesota child care worker, did a few days prior to today’s Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn. The LM-2 form is divided into three categories: representation activities, political activities, and general overhead. There’s also a gifts/grants section that shows the SEIU donates money to certain organizations that return the favor with their own contributions back to the union.

Send to Kindle