The Spectacle Blog

Morning Round-Up 7-8

By on 7.8.14 | 9:50AM

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The Case That Could Dismantle Obamacare

By on 7.7.14 | 4:10PM

A high-profile, yet little-covered case is making its way through the D.C. Circuit Court. The ruling in that case could topple the bureaucratic behemoth known as Obamacare. The case rests on the legal and textual interpretation of a section of the law.

According to Newsweek:

It all started in 2011, when Jonathan H. Adler, a conservative law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, shot an email to his friend Michael Cannon, a health policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. Adler thought he had spotted an error in Obamacare that could unravel a significant portion of the law.

Over at Cato, the argument is clarified:

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Meet Sam Alito — From Phillies Fandom to the First Amendment

By on 7.7.14 | 3:54PM

The political press is going through a Samuel Alito renaissance in the wake of last week's high-profile Supreme Court decisions (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn), both of which were authored by the amiable associate justice.

"Samuel Alito’s moment," proclaims Politico.

"Meet Samuel Alito, the Most Important Conservative in America Today," runs the headline at National Journal.

Forget them. If you really want to understand Sam Alito — from his Phillies fandom, to his New Jersey roots, to his judicial philosophy of originalism with interpretation — read my colleague Matthew Walther's recent cover story on the man, who sat for a multi-hour interview with The American Spectator. It begins this way:

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Biblical Treasures on the Chopping Block in Iraq

By on 7.7.14 | 3:28PM

Arguably the Bible's most successful evangelizer was the prophet Jonah, whose story is told in the biblical book of the same name. Despite a brief bout of cowardice and disobedience that ended in repentance thanks to the belly of a large she-fish, Jonah preached to the wicked people of Ninevah. Every inhabitant of Ninevah heeded Jonah's warning of certain destruction within forty days, and "that great city" was spared (Jonah 3:2).

Whether the city of Ninevah, located in what we now call Iraq, will find similar salvation today is questionable.

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A Conservative Case for Organized Labor

By on 7.7.14 | 1:54PM

The Daily Beast declares that “the right has good reason to keep organized labor alive.” They are correct, which is surprising, but they miss a few things worth thinking about, which is perhaps less surprising.  

Responding to the Harris v. Quinn Supreme Court decision, James Poulos argues that Justice Kagan’s dissent points to the imminent issue in labor politics: the purpose of unions’ existence.

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Thoughts on the Arrests of Six Israelis in Murder of Palestinian Teen

By on 7.6.14 | 8:58PM

Six Israelis have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Palestinian teen last week in apparent retaliation for the murder of three Jewish teens who were kidnapped by Hamas.

Of course, these six Israelis are entitled to due process. But if they are convicted for the crime which they have been accused I think this can be said with certainty. Israelis will not be naming their schools, streets and soccer fields after these men. Nor have Israelis taken to the streets to hand their children candies. Israelis do not consider the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir cause for celebration. 

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We’ve Not Heard The Last of Eugenie Bouchard

By on 7.5.14 | 1:07PM

I know Roger Kaplan does the tennis beat around here, but I would remiss if I didn't make note of the stellar performance of Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon. Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam final, but lost in straight sets to Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-0. This was Kvitova's second Wimbledon title having won it previously three years ago when she defeated Maria Sharapova. 

Bouchard is in her second year on the WTA tour. Prior to Wimbledon, Bouchard reached the semi-finals at both the Australian and French Opens. At 20, Bouchard is just beginning to come into her own and despite being dominated by Kvitova today we have not heard the last of her. It will be interesting to see what Bouchard does at the U.S. Open later this summer.

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A’s Acquire Samardzija & Hammel from the Cubs

By on 7.5.14 | 1:10AM

As if the Oakland A's didn't already have the best starting rotation in baseball, they go out and acquire Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs. In exchange, the Cubs get pitcher Dan Straily and prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney. 

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Richard Mellon Scaife, R.I.P.

By on 7.4.14 | 3:05PM

Philanthropist and longtime conservative activist Richard Mellon Scaife passed away this morning less than two months after being diagnosed with an inoperable cancer. He had turned 82 yesterday. 

Scaife is perhaps best known for his association with The American Spectator during the 1990s. With Scaife's help, The American Spectator, among other things, investigated the financial dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton in connection with the Whitewater scandal. The liberal press dubbed it as "The Arkansas Project". These articles would eventually help lead to President Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives. In the '90s, Scaife was to liberals what the Koch Brothers are to them today. Hillary Clinton no doubt had Scaife in mind when she uttered the phrase "vast right-wing conspiracy". Yet when Barack Obama emerged on the scene in 200, Scaife surprised many with his endorsement of Hillary in the 2008 Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. 

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The Day Lou Gehrig Became The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth

By on 7.4.14 | 12:42PM

The Fourth of July is synonymous with American independence. 

But it also marks one of the most important events in the history of baseball.

It was 75 years ago today that New York Yankees legendary first baseman Lou Gehrig bid baseball farewell. Gehrig, who had played in 2,130 consecutive games going back to 1925 and had driven in 100 or more runs for 13 consecutive seasons, inexplicably lost the ability to play. Gehrig was soon diagnosed with ALS, a disease so rare that it would bear his name. He would play his last game on April 30th.

The Yankees chose to honor him on the Fourth of July prior to a doubleheader against the Washington Senators. Although Gehrig was educated in Columbia University, he was reticient man who did not like the spotlight. However, on this day, Gehrig would deliver one of the most memorable speeches in American history.

Gehrig would be dead less than two years later.

 

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