January 30, 2015

AOSHQ Straw Poll: Who do you want in 2016?
— Gabriel Malor

It's that time again where we see where everyone stands. Since the last time, I've pulled Rep. Ryan (as expected, he said he's not running) and added Carly Fiorina. One caveat: Mitt Romney is supposedly going to announce later today whether he is actually running. He's on the list for now, but that might not be the case next time...

Has anybody asked VP Cheney?

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:10 AM | Comments (581)
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Morning Thread (1-30-2015)
— andy

Happy Friday.

Don't forget, the Big Game is this weekend.

Posted by: andy at 01:08 AM | Comments (242)
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January 29, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (1-29-2015)
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

"It's not enough to punish men for things they haven't done. Women must be kept away from men, for their own good, because of the crimes those men haven't committed. This isn't happening in Saudi Arabia or some other third-world hellhole. This is happening right here. . . . All because of a fraudulent story in a pathetic, outdated music magazine."

-- Jim Treacher on national sororities ordering women in local chapters to avoid all fraternity events.

Reason.com: The American Sniper Was No Hero

And reason #12 why I'm not a Libertarian.

I believe it was Mark Steyn who once described Libertarianism as 9 pounds of delicious ice cream and 1 pound of feces mixed in a 10 lb container. And unfortunately that one pound of caca has a quality (and quantity) all its own that swamps the other flavors. Because the great turd in the Libertarian punchbowl has always been their foreign policy views which are functionally the same as the far Left's.

Now in theory there are all kinds of differences and distinctions between the two - but in practice most Libertarians have bought into the blame-America-first, war-never-solved-anything, the-world-will-leave-us-alone-if-we-leave-them-alone but-we-still-totally-support-the-troops views of the left. Which means that when you drill down to actual policies relating to actual foreign policy issues, the views of most Libertarians are simpatico with the views of ANSWER.

If you disagree, just go read this article (ignoring all the factual errors and omissions) and then ask yourself whether this article could have been comfortably published in say Mother Jones or the Guardian. That will tell where the real home of Libertarian foreign policy lies. (Thanks to BenK for the link)

Fun game for those playing along at home: Whoever can most accurately guess how many times I will be called a neo-con tonight (before 6am EST) will receive Blog Acclaim, two free months of AoSHQ Premium, and ampersand privileges. All entries must be received by 11:30pm EST. Not valid in CT.

Also: Why the Left Must Believe That Chris Kyle Was a Racist

If You Enjoyed that 1911 Animation...

You'll love World of Guns: Gun Disassembly which is available on Steam. It has 3D models of most guns along with RPGs and a few artillery pieces which you can disassemble/reassemble piece by piece. But what's really interesting about it is that the 3D models are functional ones as well so you can watch the guns fire and operate. And by slowing everything down 30x and making parts of the guns translucent, I've been able to follow the exact operation of all the guns' components in sequence which has been very educational.

They give you a few gun models for free but the rest you have to buy (usually $5 each). I decided to pay the blanket $55 fee to get all current models and all future ones.


Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:14 PM | Comments (950)
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Another Progressive Self-Excommunicates Over Political Correctness Thugsquads
— Ace

Pretty much the same deal as Saudi "morality police" clubbing women down in the street, except more gayballz.

So, to state the obvious: Jon Chait is a jerk who somehow manages to be both condescending and wounded in his piece on political correctness. He gets the basic nature of language policing wrong, and his solutions are wrong, and he's a centrist Democrat scold who is just as eager to shut people out of the debate as the people he criticizes. That’s true.

Here are some things that are also true.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman -- smart, well-meaning, passionate -- literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word "disabled." Not repeatedly. Not with malice. Not because of privilege. She used the word once and was excoriated for it. She never came back. I watched that happen.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete who tried to fit organizing meetings around classes and his ridiculous practice schedule (for which he received a scholarship worth a quarter of tuition), be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences. He wasn’t a homophobe, or transphobic, or a misogynist. It turns out that 20 year olds from rural South Carolina aren’t born with an innate understanding of the intersectionality playbook. But those were the terms deployed against him, those and worse. So that was it; he was gone.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran who had served three tours and had become an outspoken critic of our presence there, be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to "man up" and speak out about the war. Because apparently we have to pretend that we don’t know how metaphorical language works or else we’re bad people. I watched his eyes glaze over as this woman with $300 shoes berated him. I saw that. Myself.

These things aren’t hypothetical. This isn't some thought experiment. This is where I live, where I have lived. These and many, many more depressing stories of good people pushed out and marginalized in left-wing circles because they didn't use the proper set of social and class signals to satisfy the world of intersectional politics. So you'll forgive me when I roll my eyes at the army of media liberals, stuffed into their narrow enclaves, responding to Chait by insisting that there is no problem here and that anyone who says there is should be considered the enemy.

By the way: in these incidents, and dozens and dozens of more like it, which I have witnessed as a 30-hour-a-week antiwar activist for three years and as a blogger for the last seven and as a grad student for the past six, the culprits overwhelmingly were not women of color. That’s always how this conversation goes down: if you say, hey, we appear to have a real problem with how we talk to other people, we are losing potential allies left and right, then the response is always "stop lecturing women of color." But these codes aren't enforced by women of color, in the overwhelming majority of the time. They’re enforced by the children of privilege. I know. I live here. I am on campus. I have been in the activist meetings and the lefty coffee houses. My perspective goes beyond the same 200 people who write the entire Cool Kid Progressive Media.

Thanks to @GadsdenJazz. And, Open Thread.

Posted by: Ace at 01:39 PM | Comments (661)
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Terrorist Traded to Get Our Deserter/Defector Bowe Bergdahl Back is Now, Get This, Trying to Re-Start His "Militant" Career
— Ace

By which they mean his "terrorist" career.

Washington (CNN) The U.S. military and intelligence community now suspect that one of the five Taliban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay in return for Sgt Bowe Bergdahl in May of last year has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar, CNN has learned exclusively. The development has led to an ongoing debate inside the administration about whether there is a new threat from this man, and potentially the other four.

This is the first known suggestion that any of the detainees involved in the exchange may be trying to engage again in militant activity. It comes at a politically sensitive time as the administration has quickened the pace of prisoner release in an effort to encourage the closure of the facility, and the Army must decide in the coming weeks whether and how to punish Bergdahl for leaving his post.


The officials would not say which of the five men is suspected. But an ongoing U.S. intelligence program to secretly intercept and monitor all of their communications in Qatar turned up evidence in recent months that one of them has "reached out" to try to encourage militant activity, one official said. The official would offer no further details. Under current law, this act placed the man in the category of being "suspected" of re-engaging in terrorist or insurgent activities. However several officials say there is now a debate inside the administration that the intelligence may be stronger than the "suspected" classification. Some elements of the intelligence community believe the information is strong enough to classify the man as "confirmed" for returning to illegal activities. One official told CNN all five men are having their communications even more closely monitored right now, but the belief is there is no current threat.

A normal president wouldn't do this, because he'd consider the downside risk of the terrorist killing an American.

But Obama doesn't consider that. For one thing, he's an ideological zealot who cares nothing at all for real world consequences; his Elegant Religion is always right.

For another thing, he is an arrogant malignant narcissist.

For a third thing -- and this is tough to say, but it is without a doubt true-- Obama simply does not think that murdered Americans are much of a factor. A jailed terrorist, a butchered American: who is to say which wrong is worse?

Posted by: Ace at 01:07 PM | Comments (206)
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Sign of the Times: Guy Armed With Gun Commandeers Dutch TV Station, Demands To Have His Message Transmitted to Country
— Ace

Guy looks like "Agent 47" from the Hitman videogame series, though he seems to be playing out a fantasy from the film V for Vendetta.

Per this French language report from Itele:

An Armed Man Stops the 8 O'Clock News Before Being Handled by The Police

* The man was holding an object resembling a silenced pistol, with which he briefly took hostage an employee of the Dutch TV station NOS, unseen on the screen, for a few minutes

* The armed man had demanded that this be transmitted: "The things which are going to be said are of global importance, we have been engaged by the secret services and have heard things that put our current society in doubt. And we are going to reveal them."

Video at that link.

This English language account has more video, including a different angle of the moment the cops take the mutant down.

The dramatic arrest of a gunman was caught on the cameras of the TV studio he had stormed in the Netherlands.

The gunman got into the headquarters of Dutch national broadcaster NOS demanding airtime.

I've seen various speculations that the guy is Muslim in the Itele thread, but those seem like pure guesses, with no evidence backing them. As of now, the gunman's motive is unknown. Heck, we don't even know if he was carrying a real gun.

He looks plain ol' Dutch to me.

More: Twitchy's been covering this four a couple of hours now.

Posted by: Ace at 12:01 PM | Comments (344)
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You Don't Say: Communist Party USA Vows to Help Democrats Get Elected
— Ace

Via @WeirdDave0 in the sidebar, news the media won't report, because, I guess, it's so Obvious.

Though if it's obvious the Communists and Democrats are on the same side, I question why the media is always denying this.

The chairman of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA has penned a 2,023-word manifesto making the critical point that American Communists are eager to work with the Democratic Party to advance the modern communist agenda and achieve communist goals.

Communist Party chairman John Bachtell published his essay last week at People’s World, a "daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker."

"[L]abor and other key social forces are not about to leave the Democratic Party anytime soon," Bachtell promised. "They still see Democrats as the most realistic electoral vehicle" to fight against perceived class enemies.

Bachtell, 58, is playing the long political game and he has a strategy, he said.

"First, we are part of building the broadest anti-ultra right alliance possible, uniting the widest array of class (including a section of monopoly), social and democratic forces. This necessarily means working with the Democratic Party," the communist leader explained.


The rest of Bachtell’s declaration is mostly a somewhat modernized version of the same, garden-variety communist drivel communists have been spouting since roughly 1840.

I thought the same thing about the State of the Union.

Posted by: Ace at 10:56 AM | Comments (370)
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Shock: Racist Attempts to Contrive Racial Incident
— Ace

Some racists really seem to want the races to be in violent struggle.

He deliberately omitted one crucial detail:

If we lived in a decent society, penny-ante racial arsonists like Blow would be run out of town on a rail; but we do not live in a decent society, and probably never will again.

Posted by: Ace at 09:10 AM | Comments (646)
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NBC Reporter: Chris Kyle Was a "Racist" Who Lit Out on "Killing Sprees" In Iraq
— Ace

A serial killer, is what he's saying.

And yet these same guys are always Johnny-On-The-Spot in explaining the justifications for terrorism. I'm sure this guy could tell us why it isn't so bad that Iran is now encouraging Hezballah to "hunt" and kill Bibi Netanyahu's children.

It is past time to all but stop immigration from most Muslim countries. They are simply not ready to join the west; they carry with them their wars and ancient barbarities, and are too proud (and proud of what, I'd like to ask) to let these fall away as they join a new society.

No, I don't mean "all Muslims," but laws are in fact crafted to deal with masses of people, not individuals in all their idiosyncratic difference. And the mass of Muslims is simply too eager to continue fighting their 1000 year vendetta-wars and too determined to turn secular Christian nations into sharia lands.

We don't "owe" them citizenship, and it's time to start challenging this implicit claim from progressives that we somehow "owe" strangers citizenship, even when that act of kindness will bring us discord and even death.

Posted by: Ace at 07:41 AM | Comments (478)
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Open Thread
— rdbrewer

Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky, "Sunny Morning" (1935)

Thanks to @zeyneppnyz for most of the art I post here.

Posted by: rdbrewer at 05:36 AM | Comments (500)
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Is The GOP Going To Confirm A Woman As Attorney General Who Thinks Illegal Aliens Have "A Right" To Work In This Country? Spoiler: Of Course They Are.
— DrewM

During yesterday's confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General, Jeff Sessions of Alabama asked her if she thinks illegal immigrants have the right to work in the US.

Well, Senator, I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here. And certainly, if someone here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace…

She'd prefer that people who are here illegally continue to break the law by working? Fantastic!

Surely this, and her support for the legality of Obama's executive amnesty program (the one Republicans say violates the Constitution), is disqualifying. I mean, you can't have a someone who doesn't support enforcing the law serving as Attorney General. Wasn't stopping this kind of lawlessness one of the main campaign promises of Republicans less than three months ago?

Here's the new Chairman of the Judiciary Committee bringing the hammer down on the idea an amnesty supporter like Lynch can be confirmed by the new GOP Senate.

“As far as I know, Ms. Lynch has nothing to do with the Justice Department problems, but as the new attorney general, she can fix them,” said Grassley (R-Iowa).


It's not the hill to fight on guys. But the next one? Oh you bet they'll ready to fight! You know, unless there's another hill and a better fight to keep their powder dry for.

Of course Team GOP apologists have a perfectly reasonable argument for supporting Lynch...conservatives are stupid.

Here's the problem with the "and keep Holder" argument that GOP officials other than Rubin are already floating.

One of the arguments in favor of a GOP Senate was that it would serve as a check on Obama should he have another Supreme Court nomination or two. Sure a Republican Senate would cave and confirm his picks but at the least it would force him to send up more moderate candidates. Well, if you're argument is "we'll stop the extremists" you've kind of given away the game that you won't if you confirm Lynch. Here's a woman who is saying that the policy the GOP is supposedly most upset about (spoiler: they aren't really), what's Obama's motivation to send up a moderate Supreme Court nominee? You really think he'll be so afraid of the GOP that he'll give up his last chance to send a hard core leftist to SCOTUS for life after the GOP gives Lynch a pass?

And remember the GOP complained about eliminating the filibuster for executive nominations but they didn't put it back in. It's almost as if Mitch McConnell and crew were more interesting in making sure Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and the rest couldn't make their lives unpleasant by forcing confrontations with Obama. Almost.

Posted by: DrewM at 04:35 AM | Comments (351)
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How Obama's 529 Plan Shows The Welfare State Is Doomed
— Open Blogger

Nice piece over at Reason.

The core of the problem is clear: the growing cost of the entitlement state. As the Congressional Budget Office warned earlier this week, over the next decade, "spending will grow faster than the economy for Social Security; the major health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and subsidies offered through insurance exchanges; and net interest costs." Tax revenues will stay essentially flat at around 18 percent of GDP, while spending, driven by entitlements, will rise to more than 22 percent of GDP. Longer-term projections indicate the cost of entitlements and interest on the debt will continue to rise in the decades after that.

In the bigger picture, the existing welfare state is unaffordable. Either it will have to be cut, or reformed, or paid for—by someone, somehow. The administration and its allies would like to reassure you that the someones who will pay for all of this will be limited to the richest of the rich, but in practice there’s only so much money that can be squeezed out of the extremely wealthy.

Which means that eventually, anyone looking for ways to keep the welfare state afloat will have to go after after the middle class—and, in particular, middle class savers. That’s where the money is. Sure, you can imagine alternatives, like a Value Added Tax (VAT), which might raise enough tax revenue to keep the budget in the clear. But it’s hard to imagine a popular political coalition forming around a regressive consumption tax that gives the government a major new revenue stream.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:19 AM | Comments (277)
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Morning Thread (1-29-2015)
— andy

So, apparently the Tollybonn were just Freedom Fighters all along?

Smart Power FTW!

Posted by: andy at 01:53 AM | Comments (197)
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January 28, 2015

Ye Old Obernite Open Thred (1-28-2015)
— Maetenloch

Helsinki Great, NYC Good, Lisbon Bad: The "Honesty Arc"

So researchers did a test of honesty in major cities around the world based on lost wallets.

Sixteen world cities, times twelve wallets. Each wallet containing the equivalent of $50 in local currency, some business cards and family photos, and a mobile phone number. How many wallets are returned?

...First, the good news: none of the cities surveyed brought shame on itself by returning none of the wallets. The bad news: globally, your chances or getting your wallet back are less than half. Of the grand total of 192 wallets sprinkled across malls, parks and sidewalks in those 16 cities, only 90 were returned - not more than 47%.

The most honest city was Helsinki, Finland where 11 out of 12 wallets were returned. And New York City outperformed every city in Europe other than Helsinki and Budapest with 8 out 12 wallets returned. Of all the cities in the test the worst were Lisbon and Madrid with a 90%+ loss rate. So don't lose any personal belongings or children in those cities.


MSM Attempting to Ban the N* G* Z*** Word

Not only do they not exist according to the MSM but by the newly issued PC rules you can no longer even talk about them in public.

But in the following days, the counter-attack against those calling attention to the growth of Islamist extremism in Europe has now gotten to the point where it is no longer possible for anyone to mention the existence of a "no go zone" for non-Muslims anywhere in Europe. But those who are trying to portray the entire topic as a conservative or anti-Muslim meme that must be stamped out are forgetting some important information. It wasn't Fox News or any conservative outlet that helped popularized the idea of such zones; it was the impeccably liberal New York Times.

The backlash against mention of no-go zones has gotten to the point where CNN anchor Anderson Cooper actually apologized for letting several guests mention them on his program. Though had he interviewed Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo who speciously threatened to sue Fox News for mentioning no go zones in the region of the French capital and had heaped scorn on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for doing the same, Anderson also did a mea culpa for letting some guests say the dreaded words.

In the wave of the Paris attacks, several guests on this program mentioned 'no-go zones' in France. I didn't challenge them and twice referred to them as well. I should have been more skeptical, I won't make the same mistake again.

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:34 PM | Comments (855)
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Al Jazeera's English Bureau: You Can't Say "Extremism," "Terrorism," "Jihad" or (of course) "Islamism"
— Ace

What if they threw an aggressive hegemonic theocracy and the left, as usual, didn't show up to fight it?

Shortly after news broke of a deadly January 27 attack by Islamic terrorists on a hotel in Libya’s capital, Al Jazeera English executive Carlos van Meek shot out an email to his employees.

"All: We manage our words carefully around here," the network’s head of output wrote to staff at the Doha-based news channel’s New York and Washington, D.C. newsrooms. "So I'd like to bring to your attention some key words that have a tendency of tripping us up.:

In an email obtained by National Review Online, van Meek warned the network’s journalists against the use of terms including "terrorist," "militant," "Islamist" and "jihad."

"One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter," the Al Jazeera executive wrote.

Grotesque. I wonder, if some right-wing privateer jihadist fighters decided to just blow up him and his family with a rocket, if he have such difficulty distinguishing between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter."

I'm beginning to hope these Murder Enthusiasts will be visited with just such an opportunity.

The word "extremist" was labeled off-limits. "Avoid characterizing people," van Meek said. "Often their actions do the work for the viewer."

"Do not use," van Meek's said of the term 'Islamist." He described it as "a simplistic label."

Dullards and savages and ignoramuses always imagine themselves to be so complex, don't they?

This isn't the first Al Jazeera email chain linked to NRO. Just after the Charlie Hebdo Freedom Fighter Incident, someone slipped NRO emails from Al Jazeera staffers arguing that the Charlie Hebdo murders were more complicated than believed by many Westerners.

Below was a list of "suggestions" for how anchors and correspondents at the Qatar-based news outlet should cover Wednesday’s slaughter at the Charlie Hebdo office (the full e-mails can be found below).

Khadr urged his employees to ask if this was "really an attack on 'free speech,'" discuss whether "I Am Charlie" is an "alienating slogan," caution viewers against "making this a free speech aka 'European Values' under attack binary [sic]," and portray the attack as "a clash of extremist fringes."

Noe the left has joined the Muslim jihadist-sympathizers in that effort, to portray the Charlie Hebdo "battle" as a "clash" between "two equally invalid extremist fringes," one which shoots people, and one which provokes people into shooting them by drawing doodles. The left has pushed this idea since they got over the initial shock of 9/11 -- that the War of Terrorism on the West is actually a war between terrorists and violent right-wing Christians, having nothing at all to do with the peaceful, rational, nonsectarian lefties in the middle, like Barack Obama, currently MIA from the War on Terror.

These nasty little moral retards refuse to comprehend that any jihadist would give us a quick slash of the knife to wound us in order to get by us to cut off their heads.

Sure, we right-wingers, being largely male and mostly straight, religious, and sexually modest, are natural enemies of violent radical Islam, but we're not the actual Targets of violent radical Islam.

The targets they're most interested in are almost all on the left.

And yet, when we attempt to protect these venal little monsters, what do they do? They accuse us of being violent warmongers.

For protecting them!

Posted by: Ace at 01:21 PM | Comments (627)
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Mike Huckabee: I've Got All Sorts of Strong Opinions About How You Live Your Life
— Ace

There was a Peanuts cartoon I remember. Linus was watching TV, and, without a word, Lucy entered the panel, walked in front of Linus, and turned off the TV.

"You shouldn't be watching this program," Lucy stated with Lucy-like certitude.

"Just what I always wanted," Linus said to himself. "My own personal censor."

Well, Mike Huckabee wants you to know he's got some opinions about your use of spicy language.

During an appearance on the Iowa radio program "Mickelson in the Morning," last Friday (comments at the 6:00 mark), Huckabee said that he found it "trashy" for a woman to curse in the workplace.

Host Jan Mickelson asked Huckabee, a Republican flirting with a 2016 presidential run, whether the former governor had experienced any "culture shock" by traveling from Arkansas to New York to host his own show on Fox News.

"Absolutely," Huckabee said, before explaining the differences in profanity usage between the South and the Northeast.

"In a business meeting ... in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the f-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting," Huckabee said. "In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it!"

Tell me more about what you remember of the Techno-City, Grandpa Wanderer.

"This is worse than locker-room talk," Huckabee added. "This would be considered totally inappropriate to say these things in front of a woman and for a woman to say them in a professional setting. ... As we would say in the South: 'That's just trashy.'"

That's terrific. It's the height of manhood to begin carrying on like a 90 year old grandmother.

Posted by: Ace at 11:39 AM | Comments (566)
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Andrew Sullivan Will Stop Blogging "In the Near Future"
— Ace

Who cares?, you ask.

Um, no one, actually, but I needed a quickie post and look how quick this is.

As you can imagine this news from Andrew Sullivan has been greeted with a tasteful level of Seething Hatred. Various whoop-de-doos are linking their favorite dissections of Sullivan.

Through the Looking Glass With Andrew Sullivan

23 Jun

by Christopher Badeaux

Perhaps the single, common life goal of every intellectual, pseudo-intellectual, and intellectual aspirant, is to be a true Renaissance man -- a genius whose force of will and flexible, dominating intellect allows him to master or nearly master not one or two, but a whole host of related and unrelated fields of study and practice.

Sadly, not everyone can be Leonardo da Vinci or Karol Wojtyla. Or Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan, who has worn dozens of hats in his lifetime, is truly unique. He stands astride the worlds of politics, journalism, theology, foreign policy, and applied obstetrics like the Colossus of Rhodes....

Few among us have the raw intellectual firepower to go where he has. Fortunately, the internet tubes allow us to track his movements over time -- an otherwise dizzying effort made more vertiginous by Sullivan’s kaleidoscopic mind. As with all things Sullivan, the best place to start is with human genitalia.

To say that Sullivan has focused his laser-like mind on human reproductive organs is to engage in an understatement worthy of the master himself. We could simply look at Sullivan’s relentless, years-long focus on circumcision (a relentlessness not well-captured by the internet tubes, as Sullivan’s archives traditionally become difficult to search when he moves from site to site), an unusual genre for a man who will never have children and who is not Jewish or Muslim, though perhaps not so unusual given his general interest in the member in question---

But to spend too much time on mere ponderings on the presence or absence of foreskin is to do Sullivan an injustice. Anyone can bloviate on that. Few men of letters -- indeed, few doctors -- can diagnose a woman's pregnancy forensically from a handful of news articles and photographs. Few are gifted with the ability to toss out thousands of words as tightly organized as Ulysses at the drop of a hat and still able to offer informed medical opinions on changes to the female body during mid- and late-term pregnancy --opinions at odds with normal understandings of human biology and the preeminent textbooks of the field.

But then again, few men are Andrew Sullivan. Depending on the day, Andrew Sullivan might not even be Andrew Sullivan.

Dr. Sullivan on Sarah Palin’s Reproductive Abilities

[A] select group of internet personalities decided that Mrs. Palin's son Trig must, in fact, be her daughter's, who was then a senior in high school. This being modern American political online writing, proof of this ridiculous assertion was neither offered nor demanded, and a thousand would-be obstetricians immediately began poking at pictures of a teenaged girl to demonstrate, for all the world to see, that those photos showed she was large enough to be pregnant. That these same people would be the first to cry in fury if the child being subjected to this humiliation were not the child of a Republican was, again as usual, lost on the lay doctors caught in their five-minute hate.

Andrew Sullivan immediately leaped into the fray. Unlike the rest of these non-experts, many of whom began to back off of the story when word emerged that Mrs. Palin's daughter was pregnant and had been close to the time of Trig's birth, Sullivan, who apparently received a secret medical degree while attending Harvard, began obsessively following this story, turning the Atlantic from a fairly uninteresting opinion website into a leading journal of gynecology and obstetrics. Rarely in human history has a gay man been that obsessed with a married woman's vagina.

This became, perhaps even more than the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, Sullivan’s driving motivation during the 2008 campaign, if the quantity of his writings are any indication of his drive. While others were intimidated by photos of Mrs. Palin in late-stage pregnancy looking like a woman in late-stage pregnancy, the biological impossibility of a seventeen year-old girl giving birth to two non-fraternal children less than eleven months apart, and other indicia of what the rest of us take for ordinary reality, that laser-like mind knew no fear. Without a blow by blow of those two months of Herculean effort, it's impossible to fully capture the way in which the Atlantic rivaled the New England Journal of Medicine in pushing the edge of medical consensus; a sampling will have to suffice.

Great stuff.

Of course I noted that Andrew Sullivan was a gibbering maniac as well. (Do NOT comment on old threads-- the system will ban you.)

And of course, given Andrew Sullivan's penchant for claiming to be the victim of such outrageous betrayals as would make Christ Himself weep, there was this:

Posted by: Ace at 09:09 AM | Comments (633)
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Our Asshole President Drops His Asshole Proposal to Tax the Education Savings of the Middle Class
— Ace

It is becoming impossible to avoid the conclusion that Obama has a visceral hatred of America and its middle class which has largely (and positively) shaped its civic culture for 200+ years, but that won't stop the media from ignoring it anyway.

President Barack Obama is abandoning his proposal to eliminate Section 529 -- the popular tax break used by millions of Americans to save for college -- following a big backlash, not only from Republicans and parents, but also from his own Democratic allies.

"Given it has become such a distraction, we’re not going to ask Congress to pass the 529 provision so that they can instead focus on delivering a larger package of education tax relief that has bipartisan support, as well as the president's broader package of tax relief for child care and working families," a White House official said Tuesday.

Actually I think it was a stunt from the start. The point of it is to propose an outright attack on the Middle Class so that our energies are expended defending against that attack and not expended on offense repealing ObamaCare.

We then get a the feeling we've "won one" and have less of an appetite to fight.

In fact we won nothing. This was always a Negotiating Point, proposed only to be bargained away.

It is interesting that Obama can propose such attacks on the middle class and yet the middle class seems cool with it so long as he is ultimately blocked from actually executing the attack. I assume that is because of his Media Flanking Cover -- I'm pretty sure a Republican who proposed aggressively attacking the Middle Class would get pinned on that, even if he later retreated.

According to The New York Times, Obama and his advisers were lobbied directly by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi while she flew with the president on a flight from India to Saudi Arabia. Other Democrats, including House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, were also big critics of the proposal.

So: Barack Obama is more left-wing, and more of an anti-Middle-Class class warrior, than the socialist Nancy Pelosi.

Posted by: Ace at 07:40 AM | Comments (471)
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Open Thread
— rdbrewer

Robert Julian Onderdonk, "Bluebonnets at Late Afternoon,
near La Grange" (191

Posted by: rdbrewer at 05:54 AM | Comments (525)
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