The Spectacle Blog

Paul and Bush Duke It Out on Immigration

By on 4.14.14 | 12:40PM

Presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Jeb Bush got in a slight scuffle over immigration yesterday.

Bush called illegal immigration “an act of love” committed by people wanting to support their families, adding that most of them are here illegally because they can’t get in legally.

This ignited some Republican rage and Rand Paul got his chance to respond:

“You know, I think he might have been more artful, maybe, in the way he presented this,” said Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said on ABC’s This Week. “But I don’t want to say, ‘oh, he’s terrible for saying this.’ If it were me, what I would have said is, ‘people who seek the American dream are not bad people. However, we can’t invite the whole world.’”

Paul’s response was remarkably charitable, perhaps revealing his desire to appeal to a broader base without alienating the one he already has:

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Thoughts on the Jewish Community Center Shootings in Kansas

By on 4.14.14 | 11:01AM

I did not hear about the shootings outside the Jewish community center and assisted living facility in Overland Park, Kansas until this morning. Three people were killed (two of them, a boy and his grandfather were not Jewish). Authorities have a 73-year-old white supremacist and former KKK member in custody.
When I heard that the shootings had taken place in Kansas, I thought about my Dad (whose birthday it is today). In the early 1960s, he attended Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina which is about 175 miles west of Overland Park. Dad went from the Bronx to being one of two Jews enrolled at a Methodist school. He was welcomed with open arms and made many friendships which have lasted to this day. I mention this because anti-Semitism was the exception rather than the norm in Kansas 50 years ago and remains so to this day.

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Morning Round-Up 4-14

By on 4.14.14 | 9:27AM

Feature of the Day: The death of the US shopping mall

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. NSA Spy Report Among Potential Pulitzer Contenders
  2. Judge Set to Issue Key Ohio Gay Marriage Ruling
  3. Chances of Getting Audited By IRS Lowest in Years


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Fails to Meet Low Bar

By on 4.13.14 | 12:08PM

It was some years ago, I can't remember the periodical it was in, but the feature was humorous snippets from military officers' fitness reports. The most amusing was: “This officer consistently fails to meet the low standards he sets for himself.”

I couldn’t help but think of this screw-up when listening to Attorney General Eric “Stonewall” Holder whine that he is being mistreated as AG because he’s black. This, of course, is nonsense. If asked to name a worse or more political AG than Holder, I might be able to do it, but it would take me longer to come up with the name than one of Holder’s “investigations.” 

The only comfort red-blooded Americanos can find here is the knowledge that this is just an early part of the Democrats’ turn-out-the-vote effort for 2014, and the AG we are stuck with is not deluded enough to believe this. A fair fraction of Holder’s fan base is, however, another story.

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Obama Admin Won’t Issue Visa to Iran’s Ambassador to UN

By on 4.12.14 | 1:35AM

I'm glad that the Obama Administration has seen fit not to issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran's new Ambassador to the UN. Aboutalebi was among those responsible for seizing the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and holding 52 Americans hostage.

I hope this appointment finally convinces the Obama Administration that the Iranian regime has not changed its spots, but this is highly doubtful. There is still every reason to believe the Obama Administration wants to make a deal with Iran. But there are some things that even the Obama Administration isn't prepared to abide in pursuit of that deal. The idea of having a former hostage taker set foot on American soil was a bridge too far. Yet the Obama Administration has no trouble demanding that Israel release Palestinians in jail for murdering Israelis in order to get the Palestinians to the negotiating table. The Obama Administration should not be demanding anything of Israel it would not be prepared to do itself.
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It’s Obamacare, Not Sebeliuscare

By on 4.12.14 | 1:32AM

A quick thought on the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. While it was nice to finally see an Obama cabinet member fall on their sword for their incompetence and ineptness, nothing much will change in the grand scheme of things. After all it's called Obamacare, not Sebeliuscare. 

While Senate Republicans might very well make a fight of Sylvia Burwell's confirmation, it won't matter much. When things go awry with Obamacare, the President simply issues an executive order and moves on. As long as we have President Obama, we have Obamacare.
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The Beer Spectator Tries Wheats for Spring

By on 4.11.14 | 4:24PM

Beer appreciation is not linear; it's circular.  First you love beer naively, out of a simple joy.  Then your head gets filled with a bunch of crap about what's "good" and you begin disliking beer out of a blind prejudice.  Finally, you come back to appreciating beer for its own nature. – Jeff Alworth

I reached the third stage of Jeff Alworth’s beervana this week. IPAs trapped me in a room with a painted sunset on the wall. The scent of Cascade hops flowed through the ventilation shafts. Why ever leave?

But then I did. No more would I drink only the quadruple dry-hopped-aroma-hopped time bombs that were manipulating my taste buds.

Wheat beers are out there in the sunny fields. They’re waiting to be tasted!

With my first real taste of this type, I realized what Alworth discovered: beer is beautiful. Not for the hops, nor for the malts; holistically 

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Eric Holder Oversteps

By on 4.11.14 | 11:51AM

Eric Holder has overstepped his boundaries and the U.S. Sentencing Commission is not pleased.

Last month Holder was invited to the Commission’s meeting regarding a proposed amendment to reduce drug trafficking sentences by two levels. The Commission was not informed, however, that the night before their meeting at around 11 p.m., Holder had already acted.

“[Holder] ordered all of the assistant U.S. attorneys…to argue for the two level reduction…before the commission had acted and before Congress had the opportunity to vote,” Commissioner Ricardo Hinojosa said.

Although the Commission passed the amendment unanimously, Hinojosa said he was “surprised at the attorney general’s steps taken to deal with this reduction outside the legal system.”

Hinojosa explained that the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 gives the Commission the right to suggest and pass sentencing guidelines or amendments to existing guidelines for Congress. Then, Congress has the legal right to discuss, alter, or vote down said suggestions.

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Morning Round-Up 4-11

By on 4.11.14 | 10:15AM

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