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Another Perspective

Archbishop of Canterbury Defends War on ISIS

By 10.2.14

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in contrast with more skeptical pronouncements from British Baptist and Methodist groups, morally defended Western military action against ISIS in his speech to the House of Lords last week.

“In the here and now, there is justification for the use of armed force on humanitarian grounds, to enable oppressed victims to find safe space,” he told his fellow lords. He explained that ISIS and similarly murderous groups like Boko Haram “have as their strategy to change the facts on the ground so as to render completely absurd any chance of helping the targets of their cruelty.”

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Political Hay

The ‘Do It for Bob’ Republicans

By 10.2.14

“….we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government.” —Barry Goldwater in The Conscience of a Conservative (1961)

Why is the GOP struggling? This was supposed to be a “wave” election. The money isn’t coming in, says Karl Rove in a cautionary column titled “Why a GOP Senate Majority is Still in Doubt.”

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Political Hay

Don’t Get Complacent If the GOP Wins in November

By 10.2.14

We’re sixty-three days out from the midterm elections, and by all appearances they will go well for the Republicans. Gains in the House and Senate are likely, with the majority in the Senate within reach. Pick-ups are likely at the state level as well—just as important, but frequently overlooked. So you can be relatively sure that on the night of November 4, there will a ton of backslapping and plenty of folks walking around with that winning glow.

Here’s the problem: Winning will give the Republican Party a new, and false, sense of confidence, which could mask the significant deficiencies that remain in the Right’s political infrastructure. These deficiencies, if not rectified on a national scale, will make it impossible for the GOP to win the White House in 2016.

Many factors determine a party or candidate’s ability to win the White House. Some reside in the realm that we can call luck or fate, but many others are controllable. What Republicans need to understand—yesterday—is that there are plenty of the latter, and myriad things the party can do, regardless of who the nominee will be in 2016, to make winning back the Oval Office much more likely.

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State Watch

In California, Every Love Scene Ever Filmed Is Rape

By 10.2.14

They say Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for the ugly. I can only imagine what this analogy makes Sacramento, which is inhabited by those ambitious California pols who can’t quite make it to Congress.

I’m not sure how those überuglies do the sex up there in Sacramento, and normally none of us should care how these elected frog people get laid. Except that they have now inflicted their ignorance of normal human sexual behavior on the other 38 million people in their state, in the form of a bill that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Monday. The law requires state colleges to impose safeguards that sound more appropriate in an autistic dating game: that is, students must obtain “affirmative consent” before engaging in “sexual activity” and then ensure that said consent is “ongoing throughout a sexual activity.”

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Car Guy

Bring Back T-Tops!

By 10.2.14

Some things — bell bottom corduroys, for instance — will never make a comeback. Well, hopefully. But I’d really like to see a new car with T-tops again.

Remember T-tops?

The ’68 Corvette was the first production car to offer them (though the idea had been patented in 1951 by Gordon Buehrig, automotive god/he-who-designed the ’35 Auburn Speedster and Cord 810, among other beautiful things) and by the late ’70s — by which time convertibles had all-but-ceased-to-exist — they had become a popular way to experience the wind in your hair.

They weren’t flimsy and easily damaged — stained/torn — like convertible soft-tops. And they weren’t heavy and unwieldy, like a removable hardtop. (This was before the invention/widespread availability of the folding retractable hardtop — which eliminated the need for a block and tackle or, at least, two strong men plus somewhere to put the damned thing once you got it off the car.)

You enjoyed the open-air experience when the weather was nice and you were so inclined. The rest of the time, you had the physical security against the elements (and the maggots) of a hardtop.

Well, except when it rained.

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Ben Stein's Diary

I LOVE CARS — The Greatest Invention of Mankind

By 10.1.14

Tuesday
So… It is a beautiful, spectacular day here in Los Angeles. I am sitting at my desk and looking out at the swimming pool and I am thinking a DEEP THOUGHT:

I LOVE CARS.

I don’t just like cars. I don’t just think it’s good to have a car. I LOVE CARS. And I include trucks there, too, of course. I LOVE CARS!!!!

The car is the greatest invention of mankind. The car is what makes all of the difference in life.

Before the car, man was pretty much just an insect. He burrowed and crept along the ground. He moved very slowly. He was subject to the cold and the heat and the rain and the snow and the sleet. He was pitiful. Even once he had the horse, he was still outside. He was still going to get pneumonia and die if he rode around in the winter. He was going to get soaked if he rode in the rain.

Even if he or she were an Emperor or an Empress like Napoleon or the Tsar or Queen Victoria, he was going to have a miserable bumpy ride in a carriage, lurching back and forth, getting miserable and nauseated and still sweltering in the heat and freezing in the cold.

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The Obama Watch

The Democrats’ Biggest Worry: Obama’s Fall From Grace With His Base

By 10.1.14

The Democrats’ biggest worry heading toward November is Obama’s fall from grace with his base. This could make things even worse for them than currently expected. Democrats’ only hope to offset Republicans’ anticipated midterm surge is their base’s high turnout. However, Obama’s deep drop with his strongest supporters seriously calls this hope into question.

Democrats know they will lose seats in November. The only question is: How many? At best, they hope to hang on to the Senate by a hair.

Losses for the party holding the presidency are nothing new. Simply, it happens because the presidential candidate, who brought in sufficient voters to win the White House two years earlier, is now off the ballot. The result: without the president’s additional supporters, his party suffers in Congress.

Four years ago, and just two years into Obama’s presidency, Democrats saw this play out spectacularly. They lost six Senate and sixty House seats — including control of the House. The reason was just as expected: a huge drop in their core constituents as a portion of the electorate.

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Politics

A Death Panel By Any Other Name?

By 10.1.14

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is director of the Clinical Bioethics Department of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been acknowledged as a prime mover and advocate for Obamacare. So his recent article in the Atlantic titled, “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” should scare the hell out of most of those still shy of that number. He is not kidding.

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A Further Perspective

‘A Workplace Violence Story’

By 10.1.14

Not so long ago the Left was mocking Oklahoma for joining the “anti-Sharia movement,” treating its worries about creeping radical Islam in America as paranoid. Liberals chortled over the silliness of the state’s measure to prevent judges from considering Sharia law in any of their decisions.

Last week those concerns looked considerably less idle. The state witnessed one actual beheading by a Muslim and another threatened one. The latter involved a Kenyan-born nursing home worker who was arrested after he reportedly told a co-worker he was planning to cut her head off, saying that he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians.”

The FBI is treating the beheading of a co-worker by Alton Nolen at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma, as an act of “workplace violence.” This has met with the approval of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, for whom the story contains no connection to radical Islam. “It is a story that I read as a workplace violence story,” she said.

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The Current Crisis

Can It Happen Here?

By 10.1.14

Can it happen here? It is happening in Europe where French polls show that the National Front’s Marine Le Pen would win the election for president if elections were held tomorrow. Something like it has happened in Italy where an anarchist comedian, the happily named Beppe Grillo, garnered 25 percent of the vote last year. Most spectacularly, it almost happened in the United Kingdom last month. What am I talking about? An election in which the lowly voters overcome the professional pols and vote their minds. Now there is evidence that it can happen here.

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