The Spectacle Blog

Patent Work Is Never Done

By on 6.18.14 | 6:36PM

If disparaging is the issue, has the Patent Office heard what my Alabama relatives have to say about Yankees?

Lots of work left to be done.
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The Fierce Race for House Majority Whip

By on 6.18.14 | 5:22PM

As the race to replace House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who went down in a surprising primary defeat, looks all but settled in Kevin McCarthy’s favor, the race to succeed McCarthy as House Whip is heating up with three major contenders: Steve Scalise, Peter Roskam, and Marlin Stutzman. With the vote scheduled for tomorrow, the race is tightening.

Congressman Steve Scalise is the likely frontrunner. Representing Louisiana’s First Congressional District, Scalise is head of the very powerful House Republican Study Committee (RSC). The committee’s main function is to promote fiscal and social initiatives in the House through lawmaking and policy studies. While it is independent of the Republican Party, it conducts much of the GOP's research on bills and funding. This position, along with a slight boost from Cantor himself, may help Scalise reach the magical 117 (a majority of the Republican caucus) and the position of whip.

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Bring Back Jacoby Ellsbury

By on 6.18.14 | 3:22PM

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment. The three time AL All-Star had not played in the majors since 2011 when he was given a shot by Boston in the off-season. Sizemore made the roster after an impressive spring training, but only hit .216 in 52 games with the Red Sox this season.
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The IRS Email Flu

By on 6.18.14 | 3:06PM

There seems to be a bug going through the IRS and it causes people to lose their emails. Today it was reported that six workers at the agency lost months’ worth of emails while the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups before the 2012 election. This comes several days after infamous IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner, who allegedly spearheaded the targeting, claimed her emails were lost to a crash too.

In an AP story, the two Republican lawmakers in charge of investigating the IRS accused the agency of lying to Congress and voters:

"It looks like the American people were lied to and the IRS tried to cover up the fact it conveniently lost key documents in this investigation," said the statement by Camp and Boustany. "The White House promised full cooperation, the commissioner promised full access to Lois Lerner emails and now the agency claims it cannot produce those materials and they've known for months they couldn't do this."

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Now That Obama is Sending Troops Back Into Iraq Where Are The Anti-War Protesters?

By on 6.18.14 | 1:10PM

Apparently such mobilization of manufactured outrage is only assembled during Republican administrations (i.e. the closure of Guantanamo Bay).

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Will Obama Admin Demand Israel Release More Palestinian ‘Prisoners’ for 3 Kidnapped Yeshiva Students?

By on 6.18.14 | 1:06PM

Although the Obama Administration did condemn last week’s kidnapping of three Yeshiva students by Hamas in the West Bank, John Kerry isn’t exactly a guy I want in a foxhole with me. After all, this is the man who flip-flopped on demanding that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The fact the Administration isn’t withholding funding from the Fatah-Hamas coalition inspires little confidence.
I cannot help but think that the Obama Administration will eventually pressure Israel to release more so-called Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the three Yeshiva students — dead or alive. 

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So Harry Reid Won’t Attend Redskins Games

By on 6.18.14 | 1:05PM

A couple of days ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would not be attending anymore Washington Redskins games until the team changed its name.
Although Redskins owner Dan Snyder has vowed never to change the name, if he ever needed further incentive to stand his ground this is surely it. The last thing Redskins fans need to see and hear is Harry Reid reciting cowboy poetry and railing against the Koch Brothers from his seat at the 50 yard line at Fedex Field. 
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Lessons for Iraq Hawks Upon the Anniversary of the Raid on Medway

By on 6.18.14 | 11:45AM

In June of 1667, the British suffered the worst defeat in the history of the Royal Navy. The Dutch—then rivals to Britannia’s rule upon the waves—wreaked terror on the Thames Valley, burning capital ships and claiming prize. The loss of the Royal Charles, the British flagship, was particularly demoralizing. Her metal stern bearing the Crown’s coat of arms now hangs in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

Two hundred years later, Rudyard Kipling memorialized the defeat in his poem The Dutch at Medway. The elegy opens:

If wars were won by feasting,

Or victory by song,

Or safety found, by sleeping sound

How England would be strong!

It’s a fitting reminder that wars aren’t won by talking tough. Those who would send other men to fight their battles for them do no service for their state.

Kipling goes on to bemoan the extravagant spending at Whitehall, and the threat of debt to defense:

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Showing Restraint in Iraq is Nothing New

By on 6.18.14 | 10:44AM

Author and academic C.S. Lewis coined the term “chronological snobbery” to describe the logical fallacy of dismissing that which is old because it is old and embracing that which is new because it is new. Barry Posen, writing in Politico about American foreign policy, avoids this fallacy by avoiding history all together. Not dismissive of the past, he fails to acknowledge a geopolitical world before the Cold War at all, reducing his examination of evidence to basically his own professional lifetime.

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