The Spectacle Blog

Cliven Bundy and Choosing Our Battles Carefully

By on 4.25.14 | 12:42AM

Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, who has become a cause célèbre among many conservatives over the past few weeks, made national headlines on Thursday for making comments about African-Americans being better off under slavery. Conservative commentators have denounced Bundy’s comments including Kevin D. Williamson of National Review Online

However, Williamson maintains his support of Bundy’s acts of civil disobedience against the federal government. He writes, “Mr. Bundy’s remarks reflect poorly on the man, not on the issue with which the man is associated.” But whether Williamson likes it or not, we conservatives are judged by the company we keep and any association we have with someone like Bundy obscures the issue in question. 

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Some Advice for Michael Pineda

By on 4.24.14 | 10:42PM

Today, MLB suspended New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for 10 games after he was ejected from last night's game against the Boston Red Sox after being found with pine tar on his neck. Pineda was using this pine tar to doctor the baseball. He might as well have put a jar of vaseline on the mound beside the rosin bag.

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Austerity Saves Great Britain

By on 4.24.14 | 3:37PM

All right, not quite. But knowing how much heartburn Paul Krugman will suffer if he reads that headline makes it worthwhile.

I’ve noted before how Britain’s supposed fiscal austerity is nothing of the sort, consisting of tax increases and mere cuts to the rate of spending. In 2013, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne decided to try real spending cuts for a change, sending Europe’s financial establishment into a tizzy. Now the results are in, and Francis Menton surveys them in a delicious blog post:

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What’s the Matter With Rand Paul?

By on 4.24.14 | 3:06PM

The generally likable winner of the CPAC straw poll who hates the NSA and has garnered support from college-aged libertarians has taken a turn for the worse.

First, despite his clear pro-life beliefs, Rand Paul implied he has little or no intention of supporting bans on abortion:

“The country is in the middle (and) we’re not changing any of the laws until the country is persuaded otherwise,” he says.

Paul talked about how abortion laws can and shoulder reflect a middle ground position on abortion between life beginning at conception and abortion on demand.

Then he adds that “Republicans” have gone too far with the voter fraud issue and has no problems with early voting:

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Just Stay Home, Michelle and Eric

By on 4.24.14 | 2:58PM

In a span of less than two hours, we have two delicious news stories of similar flavor:

Michelle Obama scraps graduation speech after protests

Holder cancels speech, appearance in OKC amid angry protests

Isn't it wonderful to finally hear of protests against prominent liberals coming to speak at schools and elsewhere?

I realize that the opposition to Mrs. Obama wasn't political as much as logistical, but it's still great to see someone tell her "no, thanks."

And as for Eric Holder, he should be the subject of his own organization's investigation rather than running the place.

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Baby Incineration Reaches American Soil

By on 4.24.14 | 11:48AM

What kind of world are we living in?

The British Columbia Health Ministry has admitted that the remains of babies destroyed by abortion in [British Columbia] facilities are ending up in a waste-to-power facility in the United States, providing electricity for residents of Oregon.

The province’s Health Ministry said in an email to the B.C. Catholic that “biomedical waste” shipped to the U.S. to be incinerated includes “human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue.”

When the story broke that the British HHS was involved in this disgusting practice, it was somehow easier to swallow knowing the incinerators were an ocean away. However, knowing that baby body parts are being used to generate electricity in American homes gives the abhorrent reality a new urgency.

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Mark Udall’s Corrupt Keystone Bargain

By on 4.24.14 | 11:31AM

At least that's how the folks at American Commitment put it.

While I don't think attacks based on mysterious unknown billionaires are particularly effective, the new ad from American Commitment arguing that Colorado Senator Mark Udall has sold out Coloradoans by opposing the Keystone Pipeline is a good one.

The vote against the pipeline is more important than the fact that an anti-pipeline billionaire actually supports Udall's campaign, partly because the radical environmentalist Udall's vote is not a surprise; he almost certainly would have voted that way without additional incentive from Steyer.

But as long as the left is going to keep making an issue out of rich conservatives or libertarians, it's sensible for the right to argue "they have their rich guys, too" basically as a way to neutralize this (already not very effective) tactic. And the additional local references to Steyer's malevolent reach also make this a better-than-average "see the politician and the billionaire?" commercial.

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Ross on NPR Today

By on 4.24.14 | 10:29AM

At 12:05 PM here in Colorado (11:05 AM Pacific, 2:05 PM Eastern, and you should be able to figure out Chicago time), I'll be joining Warren Olney's national NPR show, "To The Point" (with guest host Barbara Bogaev) in order to debate an outspoken anti-capitalist about income inequality and the impact of money on elections.

I hope you'll tune in, and if you can't but want to hear the segment, it should be available later in the day at the link above.


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Morning Round-Up 4-24

By on 4.24.14 | 10:06AM

Feature of the Day: A 19th-century shipwreck near the Golden Gate Bridge was just discovered (again)

Morning Headlines


Associated Press

  1. Vermont Moves Toward Labeling of GMO Foods
  2. Cleared of Murder, Man Starts Fresh 24 Years Later


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Wrigley Field Turns 100

By on 4.23.14 | 6:00PM

As I write this, Chicago Cubs fans are celebrating Wrigley Field's 100th birthday with some Wednesday afternoon baseball. In the eighth inning, the Cubs are beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2. 
I don't think Wrigley's centennial is getting the same fanfare as Fenway Park did in 2012 because it wasn't built for the Cubs and wasn't called Wrigley Field until 1927. Wrigley is a vestige of the short-lived Federal League which for two seasons tried to compete with MLB. Back then it was called Weeghman Park and it was home to the Chicago Whales. The Cubs didn't move in until 1916. 
Of course, there is the small detail of the Cubs not winning a World Series since 1908. But that hasn't stopped people from seeing games win or lose (mostly lose). 
When I think of Wrigley, I think of the long home run Dave Kingman hit in 1979 against the Phillies in a 23-22 loss that hit the porch of a house across the street. Such a thing could never be said of any other ballpark.
As for me, I have never been to Wrigley, but seeing a game there is at the top of my bucket list.

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