The Spectacle Blog

IRS Revokes Tax-Exempt Status for Another Conservative Group

By on 4.22.14 | 4:00PM

You would think the IRS would want to lay low while they are battling allegations of targeting conservative non-profits.

Think again. That didn’t stop them from revoking the tax-exempt status of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty for saying mean things about the Clintons and John Kerry, according to USA Today.

The 501(c)3 group received a letter from the IRS explaining that it had, “shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns” and made “repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate’s character and qualifications.” Although it obscures the name of the organization, the accusations align with writings from the Patrick Henry Center.

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MSNBC Host Attacks Capitalism. No! Wait! Climate Change. He Meant To Say Climate Change.

By on 4.22.14 | 2:15PM

Remember that time when the world's population exceeded its food production capacity, countless thousands of people dropped dead of starvation, and those of us who survived were reduced to eking out a subsistence level existence? No? That's because those late-18th century predictions of English cleric and economist Thomas Malthus never came to pass. Malthus failed to account for such factors as technologically improved means of production and declining birthrate. To any thinking person, a Malthusian prediction should be dismissed with laughter.

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Rand Paul is Right on National Security and Debt

By on 4.22.14 | 2:02PM

The D.C. commentariat is currently buzzing in unison. “Left” and “right” have united in agitated harmony. You see, Rand Paul is a danger to his party and this country…if not the entire world. Or so the chorus goes. Yesterday, Jed Babbin lent his full-throated support to their refrain.

With all due respect to Mr. Babbin, I don't think a 2002 op-ed addressed to the Bowling Green Daily News can condense the political philosophy of libertarianism “at its finest," nor the notion of liberty as the highest political end.

Likewise, I don’t particularly care to reengage the 1964 Civil Rights Act hubbub. The idea that a private business might reserve the right to refuse service has been thoroughly covered on this digital broadsheet. For his part, Senator Paul is more than capable of defending himself on this point, as he has countless times.

Rather, I’d like to treat—with laser-focus—Mr. Babbin’s contention that Rand Paul “speaks clearly because his positions are naïve and otherworldly.” He continues:

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Look Who’s Talking

By on 4.22.14 | 11:39AM

Former Senator Bob “Bob” Dole of Kansas has taken senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz off the table for 2016, saying that they are too inexperienced to run for president. 

“A number of the younger members, first-termers like Rand Paul, Rubio and that extreme-right-wing guy, Ted Cruz — all running for president now. I don't think they've got enough experience yet,” Dole told the Wichita Eagle. He may have made this pronouncement with a straight face, though the Eagle reporter does not say.

Well, all right. Presumption aside, the advice may be sound. These rookies don’t have anywhere near as much Washington experience as Dole had when he won the presidency in 1996.

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Morning Round-Up 4-22

By on 4.22.14 | 10:56AM

Feature of the Day: The SS Doctor Who Converted to Islam and Escaped the Nazi Hunters

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. Grieving Borrowers Told to Repay Student Loan
  2. Drones Unearth More Details About Chaco Culture
  3. NYC Jury Hears Tape Defending 9/11 Terror Attacks

Politico

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Shocker: Rise Of Single-Parent Families Means Greater “Income Inequality”

By on 4.21.14 | 5:46PM

Income inequality is one of the favorite bogeymen of the left these days. Instead of asking the important question as to whether life is improving--after all, a 2011 Heritage Foundation study shows that most of America's "poor" live much better lives than what most people think of as poverty--their focus is on the widening income gap between the proverbial C.E.O. and janitor. Of course, the cynic in me thinks that this is because such a focus gives cover for the redistributive policies that our friends on the left favor these days. "Who cares that the rich bear by far the greatest share of the tax burden," liberals ask us. "They don't pay their 'fair share.'" Here is a fun parlor game: the next time this topic comes up, inquire as to just how much more the much-maligned wealthy should pay in taxes in order to be "fair." Better still, ask why narrowing the income gap is more important than improving the earnings of all. You will get some interesting answers and/or blank stares.

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Yes, Women Need Their Own Restrooms

By on 4.21.14 | 5:28PM

Occasionally Slate has a good piece, but an article today titled “Sex-segregated public restrooms are an outdated relic of Victorian paternalism” had nearly no redeeming qualities.

In it, Ted Trautman argues that we should do away with gender-specific bathrooms because they are leftovers of nineteenth-century sexism and needless chivalry.

But Ted’s male brain has obstructed the reality that for some women, this isn’t a matter of chivalry; it’s a matter of safety.

“Gender equal” bathrooms will become an excellent place for perverts to prey on vulnerable people. I can’t count how many times I’ve walked into a five-stall women’s restroom and checked each stall to make sure no men were hiding in them – particularly near closing time in a mall when the restrooms seem abandoned.

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Don’t Mess With Boston

By on 4.21.14 | 3:47PM

It was a day like any other.

That’s always how these stories start, isn’t it?

On April 15, 2013, most runners and supporters didn’t think much about security. They were fighting back butterflies as they imagined finishing a marathon, or letting out cheers as they rooted for a dad or sister or best friend.

Some folks knew family and friends would be there, but couldn’t make it or had other plans. They figured they’d see the photos later on Twitter and Facebook.

But bloody pictures of a bomb’s aftermath? No one expected that.

I’m a Massachusetts native, so when the news bombarded my Facebook feed I made frantic calls and got the news. Thankfully, no one I knew had been hurt.

But for 264 others and their families, the tragedy lives on. For them, “Boston Strong” is more than a nice catch phrase that makes you feel good about being a Red Sox fan. For the families of Krystle Campbell, Martin William Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Sean Collier, “Boston Strong” is a salve for the deep wounds their lost lives left.

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Unions to Stalk Your Home

By on 4.21.14 | 12:25PM

The National Labor Relations Board is making forced unionization even easier.

According to the Daily Caller, the NLRB will change the rules so companies can vote to unionize within ten days of a filing a petition, and employers are required to present the phone numbers, email addresses, work shift times, and home addresses of employees to the union:

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New Journalism’s Gaping Hole

By on 4.21.14 | 11:23AM

Much has been made about Ezra Klein’s move to Vox Media. He eschewed traditional outlets like the Washington Post (or, perhaps more likely, they weren’t interested in funding his pet project) for Internet upstart Vox Media. In some ways, I applaud Klein’s entrepreneurial spirit. If the Post doesn't want his idea, he’ll make it a reality somewhere else. On the other hand, is there anything more insipid than explanatory journalism? This new-fangled term is Klein’s way of saying that he will fully explain every subject to his sadly uninformed audience. He and Vox will dive into every nitty-gritty detail while still following the daily news cycle.

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