The Spectacle Blog

Our Isolated President

By on 7.10.14 | 10:59AM

The lines of communication running up and down the bloated federal bureaucracy don't exactly vibrate with the same clarity as a spider web. President Obama isn't a ruthless spider in the center of an ever-growing silken net, catching and consuming conservative causes, personally bending and breaking the laws in pursuit of executive power.

Instead we're told the phones sitting on the presidential desk sit still. What ought to be scandal after scandal rolls off of this administration with too few cries of shame from the public—though we can hope the IRS will stick. The president doesn’t seem to be making these calls. He never seems to know what's going on in his own administration. It's become increasingly apparent that Obama is not an eight-legged predator catching Americans in his bureaucratic web, wrapping them in a cocoon of red tape and inaction, but rather he himself is cocooned, cut off from the inexcusable activities of his administration.

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Morning Round-Up 7-10

By on 7.10.14 | 10:24AM

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Tom Veryzer, R.I.P.

By on 7.9.14 | 11:47PM

Former big league shortstop Tom Veryzer passed away yesterday of complications of a stroke. He was 61.

A native of Long Island, Veryzer was the number one draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1971. He would make his big league debut with the Tigers late in the 1973 season. Veryzer would become the Tigers everyday shortstop in 1975 and would remain in that capacity for three seasons. He was a classic good field, no hit player who had the added trouble of not being able to stay healthy. After hitting only .197 in 1977, Veryzer was traded to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Charlie Spikes to make room at short for none other than Alan Trammell. 

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Harry Reid Thinks Clarence Thomas is White

By on 7.9.14 | 5:47PM

Discussing a proposed Senate bill that would reverse the Hobby Lobby decision, Harry Reid announced that the Senate is acting to “ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men.”

This is significant for a couple reasons. First is the glaringly obvious fact that Clarence Thomas is black. Harry Reid is either misinformed or legally blind. Or, more likely, he thinks that Clarence Thomas is not a “real” African American because he is not liberal. The left has a tendency to celebrate diversity only when minorities subscribe to their ideology.

Next and more significant is the idea that men should not have an input in decisions affecting women. This idea is becoming dangerously widespread, even on the right. Recently, when talking to a male friend about feminist attempts to lower the burden of proof in rape cases, he said that he didn’t want to weigh in because he is not a woman and has never been raped.

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Red Sox Designate Pierzynski for Assignment

By on 7.9.14 | 4:59PM

Let the Red Sox fire sale begin.

Today, the team designated veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and have called up prospect Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket to take his spot on the roster.

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Crickets Chirp for Islamic Caliph

By on 7.9.14 | 4:57PM

The Middle East is known more for its locusts than crickets, but some kind of insectile chirping could be heard after the Sunni militant group ISIS declared itself a caliphate and commanded the Muslims of the world to join them.

No rush of support greeted the ISIS—excuse me, caliphate underling—call to destroy the Kaaba, the most sacred shrine of Islam, which Muslims believe marks a place where heaven symbolically touches earth.

Even the Sunni clerics who gave bin Laden and others of his ilk the theological go-ahead are questioning ISIS's inattention to proper Islamic jurisprudence, according to the Daily Beast:

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Senate Democrats Already Trying to Overturn Hobby Lobby

By on 7.9.14 | 4:47PM

Reeling over the loss of the recent Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court, birth control and abortifacient advocates across the country are clamoring for legislation to overturn the decision. This morning, many on the left rejoiced when Democrats in the Senate announced their intention to adopt a measure to force companies to forgo religious objections and pay for abortifacients.

According to Talking Points Memo:

Senate Democrats are poised to introduce legislation as early as Tuesday to reverse the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling which exempted for-profit corporations with religious owners from the Obamacare mandate to cover emergency contraceptives in their insurance plans.

The legislation, introduced by Democratic Senators Patty Murray of Washington and Mark Udall of Colorado:

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Costco Caves on Dinesh D’Souza Book

By on 7.9.14 | 3:23PM

So as the country is flooded with illegal immigrants, the IRS loses e-mails, the VA bungles health care for America’s heroes, and ISIS sets up a caliphate—into this already explosive mix comes a seemingly very small event.  

Costco decided it would remove Obama critic Dinesh D’Souza’s book America from its shelves. Big mistake.

The backlash has been enormous, as any person with their wits about them—which apparently did not include the leadership of Costco—would know. It was quickly noted that Jim Sinegal, the co-founder, director, and former CEO of Costco is a major Obama ally (as discussed back in 2012 here at Forbes); so much of an ally that he was given a speaking slot at the last Democratic National Convention, with the president himself showing up at a Costco to give a speech.

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A (Sort of) Defense of Soccer

By on 7.9.14 | 10:55AM

As soccer lovers and bandwagon hoppers the world over wait to watch the semifinal games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a few puerile pundits have transformed it into their own Hyde Park in which to set up a soapbox and spew pompous oratorical diarrhea. Ann Coulter’s adolescent attacks on soccer are easy enough to dismiss as the usual ranting and raving of an irrelevant demagogue, an attempt to politicize sport for personal profit and blow some last bombast into a deflating brand of irreverence. We may read her, wish she was being pleasantly satirical rather than gleefully inane, and turn away laughing with distaste.

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What if Palestinians Said Yes to Israel?

By on 7.9.14 | 12:23AM

In her critique of Israel's search and rescue tactics for the three doomed Israeli teenagers and its current military response in Gaza, Lucy Schouten writes:

Israel has a powerful army, a solid economy based on technology, a healthy parliamentary democracy, sufficient natural resources, and a highly effective advocacy base in the most powerful country in the world.

The Palestinians have no land, no military, no effective leaders, a dysfunctional economy, and no international identity.

While it is true Israel is broadly supported in this country, surely Schouten is well aware the Palestinians have "a highly effective advocacy base" in the UN General Assembly and in Europe. For much the Left, the Palestinians are a cause celebre. But what her observation tells me is that Israelis are a responsible people who believe in the rule of law, free markets, conservation, religious tolerance, pluralism and peace with its neighbors.

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