The Spectacle Blog

RLC Will Test 2016 White House Hopefuls at New Orleans Event

By on 4.7.14 | 9:33AM

Republicans who can't wait for an advance preview of the 2016 GOP presidential primary campaign should mark the last weekend in May on their calendars and book their flights for New Orleans, site of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference. Among the names already announced for the three-day event are Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Tennesssee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Florida Rep. Allen West, businessman Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. RLC spokesman Ryan Cross said that further speaker confirmations will be announced in coming weeks.

"The road to the White House begins in New Orleans," said Cross, noting that previous conferences have attracted more than 3,000 Republicans from 47 states as well as reporters from more than 100 national media outlets. The RLC's presidential straw poll will test "who can make a strong showing" among conference attendees in an early barometer of 2016 preferences, Cross said.

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Unions and their war against the public

By on 4.6.14 | 3:13PM

Thanks to the Cato Institute's Walter Olson, a former colleague of mine, for highlighting public employee unions and their war against the public. Via his Facebook page, Olson gave his characteristically sharp take on an article about a recent train crash at Chicago's O'Hare Airport:

Don't you love unions? "The CTA's contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union authorizes the agency to fire rail operators who have had *two* [emphasis added - W.O.] serious safety violations in a short period of time, and officials said the two incidents when Haywood dozed off qualify her for termination." Falling asleep just once at the controls of a train wasn't enough!

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More on Brendan Eich’s Forced Resignation

By on 4.5.14 | 1:13AM

I share Bill Zeiser's outrage concerning Brendan Eich being forced to walk the plank at Mozilla because he had the temerity to donate his own money back in 2008 in support of Proposition 8 in California which sought to ban gay marriage. He was forced out by people who might not have careers if it were not for Eich's hard work and innovation. Some reward.

If one looks at this rationally why should gay rights advocates give a damn if Eich gave money in support of Proposition 8? Although Prop 8 did pass in November 2008, it was struck down by a federal judge less than two years later and that decision was upheld in the appellate courts and eventually in the Supreme Court. The last I checked same sex marriage is legal in California despite Eich's modest efforts.

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Gay Activists: Be Tolerant. Or We Will Destroy You!

By on 4.4.14 | 6:11PM

We have made great strides in the policing of thought in this country. Just ask Brendan Eich, one of the founders of Mozilla, developers of the web browser Firefox. Eich had just landed a promotion to the big chair as Mozilla's CEO. He lasted all of nine days. The reason? Back in 2008 Eich donated a thousand dollars to support Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage. The unearthing of this donation led to protests from gay rights activists and the high profile call for a boycott of Firefox by dating site Eich, as many people in circumstances such as his, was stricken with the sudden desire to "spend more time with his family" and quietly resigned.

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Thoughts on David Letterman Retirement Announcement

By on 4.4.14 | 1:51PM

David Letterman will call it quits next year after more than three decades on the air first with NBC's Late Night with David Letterman and The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. 

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Beer Spectator: Who Does the Three-Tier System Truly Serve?

By on 4.4.14 | 10:41AM

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” -Abraham Lincoln

As any good American knows, Prohibition tarnished almost every cultural good. The last vestiges of that oppressive regime still haunt our drinking habits.

One such vestige jumped up in Florida recently, where distributors are actively denying competition by stifling brewpubs.

 A bill in the Florida Senate

would force craft brewers to sell their bottled and canned beer directly to a distributor. If they want to sell it in their own tap rooms, they would then have to buy it back at what is typically a 30-40 percent mark-up without the bottles or cans ever leaving the brewery, according to Joshua Aubuchon, a lawyer and lobbyist for the Florida Brewers Guild. 

The rule would not apply to draft beer.

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Morning Round-Up 4-4

By on 4.4.14 | 9:46AM

Feature of the Day: The New Face of Heroin

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. Fort Hood Gun Store Again Linked to Base Rampage
  2. Legal Pot in Colorado Hasn’t Stopped Black Market
  3. Milwaukee Group Wants to Buy Pabst Blue Ribbon


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Obama Admin Shouldn’t Pick a Fight With Big Papi

By on 4.3.14 | 8:47PM

So now White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is mad that Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz took a 'selfie' of himself and President Obama while the Red Sox were being honored for their 2013 World Series triumph on Tuesday. 

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The Koch-pire Strikes Back

By on 4.3.14 | 3:57PM

Crisis! Sound the alarm!

The Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC has given the Koch brothers new, unabated power to destroy the little guy and fund as many crazy right-wing activists as they so desire—completely destroying democracy! Fear King Kochs!

In case you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shaun McCutcheon’s case, which argued that aggregate caps on campaign financing restricted his free speech. He was permitted by law to give no more than $2,600 to no more than nine candidates in an election cycle. If he liked a tenth candidate? Too bad. Giving to the tenth would reek of corruption.

The 5-4 ruling was certainly close, but the outrage from the left is deafening. Here are just a few examples of the doomsday hysteria. First from the Huffington Post:

[T]he current majority in the Supreme Court has no earthly idea how money in politics actually works.

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