The Spectacle Blog

SCOTUS Upholds Obamacare Subsidies 6-3

By on 6.25.15 | 12:04PM

I'm not sure if I'm always the contrarian on this or I've just become so cynical that it's almost impossible to surprise me with a "good" result, but today's 6-3 ruling, in favor of maintaining Federal subsidies for state healthcare exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act is hardly shocking. 

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts determined that Congress, while too dumb to put it into words, intended to create a system that provided Federal subsidies to even those who were forced to use state healthcare exchanges to purchase their insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. The majority of the court agreed with Roberts (except for Scalia, who is basically turning into that guy from Scarface every time he writes a dissent). 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's majority opinion and was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Senate Considers Dodd-Frank Reforms, Rollbacks

By on 6.25.15 | 11:21AM

A bill to ease financial and investment regulations passed in 2010 in response to the 2008 banking crisis is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 (FRIA), proposed by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), was approved in May by the Senate Banking Committee. If signed into law, FRIA will ease financial regulations in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly referred to as “Dodd-Frank,” and require the Federal Reserve and other government financial regulators to operate with greater transparency.

‘More of the Same
Heritage Foundation Research Fellow Norbert Michel says Dodd-Frank is an example of tired government-centric policies.

“[Dodd-Frank] basically gave us more of the same type of regulation and top-down design, so there’s no reason to expect a different outcome in the future,” Michel said.

Dem. Senator Hopes The DOJ Sues Global Warming ‘Deniers’

By on 6.25.15 | 11:17AM

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is not a fan of anyone who disagrees with him about man-made global warming. And at an event hosted by environmentalists, he made it clear just how much he doesn’t like skeptics.

“But, this vast denial apparatus that propagates the false doubt, that props up the phony science, that gets these yahoos who can’t survive … peer-reviewed scrutiny onto Fox News, onto the cable shows, saying that their scientists, they create an artificial conflict about this and that’s why I think there’s doubt,” the Rhode Island Democrat told attendees at a League of Conservation Voters event in last month, according to a recently published Youtube video.

“A lot of people haven’t seen through the scam that’s being perpetrated,” Whitehouse said. “So that’s one of the reasons I hope that we get another lawsuit out of the Department of Justice, like the one they brought against the tobacco industry that showed that the whole fraudulent scam was a racketeering enterprise, held them accountable for it.”

Whoopsie! Ex-Im Official ‘Accidentally’ Deleted Election-Week Texts

By on 6.25.15 | 11:14AM

A watchdog group is suing the federal government, claiming a top Export-Import Bank official deleted text messages that were subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday with the D.C. District Court, the libertarian Cause of Action Institute alleges that Ex-Im “engaged in the unlawful destruction of federal records” when its senior vice president and chief of staff deleted text messages the group had requested through FOIA last November.

The FOIA request —submitted Nov. 14, 2014— sought text messages, Blackberry messenger chats, and SMS messages sent or received by top officials between Nov. 2 and Nov. 8, the week leading up to the 2014 midterm elections, according to a Cause of Action press release.

Supreme Court Validates Obama’s Power Grab

By on 6.25.15 | 10:56AM

Today the Supreme Court allowed itself to be intimidated. Afraid that ObamaCare as written would throw the sickest patients out of their health plans a second time, the Court rewrote ObamaCare to save it—again. In doing so, the Court has sent a dangerous message to future administrations: If you are going to violate the law, make sure you go big.

The Court today validated President Obama’s massive power grab, allowing him to tax, borrow, and spend $700 billion of dollars that no Congress ever authorized. This establishes a precedent that could let any president modify, amend, or suspend any enacted law at his or her whim.

ObamaCare will continue to disrupt coverage for sick Americans until Congress repeals it and replaces it with reforms that make health care better, more affordable, and more secure. Despite today’s ruling, ObamaCare remains unpopular with the American public and the battle to set in place a health care system that works for all Americans is far from over.

This article originally appeared on Cato at Liberty.

New York Mets Fall Under .500 After Seventh Straight Loss

By on 6.24.15 | 11:10PM

In the space of five days, the New York Mets have gone from first place in the NL East to now having fallen under the .500 mark. 

Tonight, the Mets lost 4-1 to the lowly Milwaukee Brewers for their seventh straight loss. They are now 36-37 on the season.

The Mets began the 2015 season winning 15 of their first 20 games. But since April 27th, the Mets have gone 21-32. Only the Philadelphia Phillies (18-36) and the Colorado Rockies (20-31) have worse records in the NL over that period. The Mets are only marginally better than the Brewers (23-30) and the Miami Marlins (22-31) over that period. Mind you both the Brewers and Marlins changed managers during this stretch.

So what is wrong with the Mets? 

It isn't the pitching. Their 3.60 ERA entering tonight's action is 5th in the NL. The starting rotation of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Noah Syndegaard and Jon Niese is as good as any in MLB. Jeurys Familia has 19 saves out of the bullpen.

Bobby Jindal Preaches to the Choir

By on 6.24.15 | 8:21PM

I watched Bobby Jindal's speech in which he would seek the GOP nomination for the White House in 2016. The Louisiana Governor is the 13th Republican candidate to announce his or her intention to run for President.

There were parts of the speech that were quite good especially when he spoke about radical Islam. President Obama would never use the word radical and Islam in the same sentence. 

Naturally, Jindal boasted his accomplishments, but neglected to mention a budget deficit of $1.6 billion and climbing.

Yet Jindal came off that he was talking at instead of to people. I think Ted Cruz has this same problem. 

Jindal certainly does make a valid point that conservatives are downplaying our values and trying to make nice with a left-wing media that will never embrace us. With this in mind, he took a jab at Jeb Bush about losing in the primary to win in the general election.

Obama Admin Will Lift Ban on Negotiating With Terrorists, Replace It With Endless Bureaucracy

By on 6.24.15 | 5:28PM

The Obama Administration is looking to lessen the restrictions on American families who want to communicate directly with terrorists holding their relatives.

Defying the longstanding mantra that we "don't negotiate with terrorists," the White House is maintaining an official distance from any actual transactions involving Americans and certain disreputable stateless organizations, but will decline to prosecute those families who wish to engage in negotiations on their own, or who send American money overseas to terrorist organizations and drug cartels to ensure the safety of their loved ones.

The Obama administration was accused Wednesday of giving terrorists an incentive to kidnap as it unveiled a hostage policy overhaul allowing families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom -- and allowing the U.S. government to help families communicate with captors. 

Is Boehner Retaliating Against Another Conservative?

By on 6.24.15 | 4:58PM

John Boehner is on a rampage against Republicans who dare defy him. Sounds more like what I'd expect from Nancy Pelosi if not Vladimir Putin.

While most of the retaliation has been in the form of removing uncooperative Republican House members from particular committee assignments or chairmanships or the whip team, the latest rumor is that Boehner is trying to orchestrate the removal of Colorado Representative Ken Buck as president of the House's freshman class.

(Full disclosure: I supported Ken in his run for Congress although I've been critical of him in the past. I think he's one of the good guys even though we disagree from time to time.)

Ken Buck is a former county district attorney and a graduate of Princeton (which I do hold against him a bit).

I do not know whether there is any validity to claims by Boehner's pawns in the freshman classs that Rep. Buck's leadership of the 2014 class has been inadequate.

But the timing of this rumor stinks of retaliation. And Ken Buck thinks so too, saying "I voted against ObamaTrade. Now they're trying to impeach me as class president. Sure smells like retaliation."

Chris Christie to Declare Next Week

By on 6.24.15 | 4:14PM

I'm really ready for some good news, guys, like that Nick Offerman has permanently become Ron Swanson and that he's running for President on the "build your own damned American dream" ticket. I can't take any more of these half-considered declarations. 

Chris Christie, who MSNBC has been trying to pin a bridge SNAFU on for close to two years, is looking to take his New Jersey circus on the road, so after much consideration and a few low-fat cupcakes, Chris Christie has decided that he will declare his intention to seek the GOP nomination for President later this week or early next

Chris Christie is in the final stages of preparing his 2016 presidential bid, with a formal announcement possible as soon as next week, according to several sources familiar with the discussions.