Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stemwinder: Rand Paul rips Obama’s Syria plan, McCain, Kerry, Hillary, interventionists, anti-war hypocrites, you name it « Hot Air

Stemwinder: Rand Paul rips Obama’s Syria plan, McCain, Kerry, Hillary, interventionists, anti-war hypocrites, you name it « Hot Air: "Most of the 41 minutes that precede that are spent on a largely accurate critique of O’s goofy, possibly disingenuous plan to arm the Syrian rebels, although he veers off course a few times to take shots at Democratic nominees future and past (“I would like President Obama to re-read the speeches of candidate Obama,” he says of O’s usurpation of Congress’s war powers). I give him credit for largely sticking to his guns here: At a moment when his party’s trending pro-interventionist, this is a vehemently anti-interventionist speech, particularly towards the end. Iraq, Libya, Syria: Getting involved in other people’s fights almost always makes our problems worse, he intones — before, er, endorsing intervention against ISIS in Iraq. Ah well. I’m viewing this speech mostly as a consolation prize for the libertarian commentariat, which understands that he’s probably going to have to lurch a bit further towards the hawks to stay competitive next year. He may regretfully sell them out on foreign policy to win votes, but he can at least give their criticisms of hawks a showcase on the Senate floor."



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If We Can’t Trust Neil deGrasse Tyson, Who Can We Trust?

If We Can’t Trust Neil deGrasse Tyson, Who Can We Trust?: "Considering that Tyson is speaking at Apostacon on Friday night — to an audience full of skeptics — it would behoove them all to be on the lookout for these quotations or others like them. Do some fact-checking while you’re listening to him. Challenge him if you can’t verify what he says.
If a pastor or right-wing conservative did it, we’d be calling them out on it immediately. Tyson doesn’t deserve a free pass just because his intentions are pure. It certainly wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) get by in an academic setting, and just because he often speaks to a lay audience doesn’t mean he should make up quotations or fail to cite them if they’re real."



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Cranky T-Rex's Blog: Why #GamerGate Matters

Cranky T-Rex's Blog: Why #GamerGate Matters: "Gamers do not think girls are taking away their toys nor are they angry about women increasingly entering the industry, but they are tired of watching people who claim to be journalists pushing their particular social agenda, smearing people with the actions of the few trolls that exist in every community, and getting into bed with the subjects they cover.

Yes, the spark that ignited this firestorm involved the personal sexual activities of a female developer, but even then gamers were hardly concerned with her sexual proclivities, only the resultant conflict of interest her choice of partners had created. Rather than investigating if the accusations of malfeasance leveled against her and her partners had any merit, the games media sought to suppress any discussion of the issue at all. Were it not for that attempted censorship, the simmering pool of discontentment that had been building for so long within the community likely would not have been set ablaze."



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Andrew Kelly and Kevin James:The Democrats' Student-Loan Weapon - WSJ

Andrew Kelly and Kevin James:The Democrats' Student-Loan Weapon - WSJ: "Sen. Warren would likely argue that we are unfairly framing this as a zero-sum game. After all, her legislation supposedly pays for itself by raising taxes on millionaires. But policy makers always have an obligation to ask themselves whether they're tackling a problem in the most effective way before asking for even more money.

This is not a choice between billionaires and students. Instead, it's about a political party that has figured out that young, college-educated borrowers are a growing constituency who can be energized with generous post-college handouts."



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Watch ISIS’s Hollywood movie trailer goading U.S. to again invade Iraq « Hot Air

Watch ISIS’s Hollywood movie trailer goading U.S. to again invade Iraq « Hot Air: "ISIS is an amalgam consisting of disaffected youth, displaced Iraqi and Syrian opposition fighters, and anti-Western fundamentalists. It is a relatively small force, and has only enjoyed the military successes it enjoys because of the weakness of its adversaries. ISIS is a group unworthy of much of the awe they have inspired in the West.

It is, however, an organization that does seek to function more like a state than a terrorist organization. ISIS has organized municipal services and humanitarian services. It collects taxes and fields a police force which enforces Sharia law. It provides water, electricity, and sewage to its residents. It produces oil and petroleum products and sells them on the black market for a reported $3 million per day in revenues. Perhaps most consequentially, ISIS has a propaganda arm as sophisticated as anything Goebbels ever managed."



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Rand Paul: If it was wrong not to protect the Benghazi consulate, it’s wrong not to protect the one in Kurdistan « Hot Air

Rand Paul: If it was wrong not to protect the Benghazi consulate, it’s wrong not to protect the one in Kurdistan « Hot Air: "Telling our Sunni “allies” to fight their own battles is gooooood politics, and potentially a killer app when the rest of the field onstage at the debates next year is trying to one-up each other on who’s the hawkiest hawk of all. There’s a sound response to Rand’s point but it’s a response that his rivals will be reluctant to give — namely, that the populations of Saudi Arabia and Jordan are sufficiently pro-Islamist themselves that sending troops to fight ISIS in Syria might destabilize those regimes. We have to fight their battles for them to some extent, especially since ISIS might now be powerful enough to fend off an Arab military assault. As I say, though, no one wants to talk about that and Rand’s take on it has immense populist appeal in a war-weary country. He should stick with it and build on it."



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Audio: Joe Biden being Joe Biden, Jewish outreach edition; Update: “Poor choice of words” « Hot Air

Audio: Joe Biden being Joe Biden, Jewish outreach edition; Update: “Poor choice of words” « Hot Air: "Olivier cites a few of Biden’s greatest hits, including his 2006 statement on needing an Indian accent to go into convenience stores and his 2007 assessment of Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” The media gave Biden a pass on these statements in the past, even though any Republican who uttered anything remotely similar would get pilloried for it, and the entire party with it. The term “Shylock” from a GOP politician would be held up as an example of the party’s latent anti-Semitism and analyzed to death.

Don’t expect the same thing here, although my first instinct last night was to think this might get more scrutiny. Even apart from the media bias on issues like this and the general pass that Democrats get on political correctness, Joe Biden is … well, Joe Biden. If he had an important job people might take his rhetorical flubs more seriously. As it is, though, Biden is the clown prince, and very much not the heir apparent, in the Democratic Party. He’s there for amusement purposes, and Indians, African-Americans, and Jews had better just get used to it until a Republican takes control of the White House. At that point, the national media will be sure to man the Perpetual Outrage Towers, along with the Homelessness Crisis beat positions."



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