The Year the Culture Bifurcated

Passion of the Christ Fahrenheit 9:11

Armond White has an essay in the latest issue of National Review in which he argues that 2004—the year the media trashed Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and the film establishment lavished praise on Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11—is “The Year the Culture Broke.” Here’s White:

Wisconsin, LSU, and the State of NCAA Football

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Of all this week’s match-ups, there’s no better example of the state of college football than Wisconsin/LSU. The gap between the Big Ten and SEC has been widening for years, and Saturday’s game is a barometer for whether it will persist.

Obama’s Immigration Policies Are So Popular Democrats Are Begging Him to Delay Them Until After the Election

(AP)

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that President Obama may postpone his sweeping executive actions on immigration until after the midterm elections. Why? Because Democrats are begging him to:

The two-step plan would bow to the concerns of Democratic lawmakers running in Republican-leaning states who have expressed opposition to Obama’s plans to act unilaterally on the hot-button issue. Some Democratic senators have said he should wait for Congress to pass legislation.

Wait. Why would they want to do that? Aren’t the policies Obama is proposing on immigration wildly popular? That’s what they keep telling us, anyway. “I promise you, the American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs,” he said earlier this month. If Democrats would simply stand with the president, then surely voters will reward them. Right?

Angelina Jolie Is a Movie Star Because She’s Talented, Famous, and Sells Tickets, I Guess?

AP

There’s an odd piece by Tom Scocca over at Defamer headlined “Why Is Angelina Jolie a Movie Star?” This is a weird question to ask. One could easily rephrase it thusly: “Why is this tall, attractive, charismatic Oscar-winning actress who is pretty reliable at the foreign and domestic box office while maintaining a high public profile a movie star?”

It’s a real mystery, I guess.

Granted, I’m biased. If you can’t tell from the opening grafs of my Maleficent review, Angelina Jolie’s one of my favorite people in Hollywood. I hold Hackers and Gone in 60 Seconds in bizarrely high esteem. Even still, though, I think Scocca’s question is a strange one. The meat of Scocca’s argument is thus:

Ellison’s Election Tip Sheet

Ellison Barber election tip sheet

SENATE: LOUISANA

Republicans are reportedly considering legal action as questions are raised surrounding Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D., La.) residency.

Daily Peel

The U.S. Air Force Academy is on a list of suggested terror targets published in a new magazine distributed by Al Qaeda. 39% of Americans “strongly disapprove” of President Obama. The Southern Utah University Outdoor Engagement Center has removed Harry Reid’s name from its building. Jake “The Snake” Roberts is in the hospital! Texas A&M …

Hillary Clinton Chose an Unusual Venue to Finally Address the Ferguson Tragedy

(AP)

A mere 19 days after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Hillary Clinton has decided to weigh in, something liberal pundits have been urging her to do for some time. In other words, Clinton’s political team has finally concluded its focus group on the issue.

Clinton took a brave stance against tragedy, offering bold declarations, such as: “Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone, not in America.” The timing of the remarks—just as the media was beginning to acknowledge the Russian invasion of Ukraine—was interesting, as was the venue.

One Area Where the Luddites Are Winning

Luddite (AP)

A few weeks back, Alan Jacobs wrote an eminently reasonable response to claims that luddites were winning the tech wars that can be summarized thusly: “Hooey.”

What world does Michael Solana live in? Apparently, a world where Luddites have taken power and have driven our kind and benevolent technologists into some pitiful hole-and-corner existence, where no one dares to suggest that technology can solve our problems. … I have to say, it’s pretty cool to get a report from such a peculiar land. Where you and I live, of course, technology companies are among the largest and most powerful in the world, our media are utterly saturated with the prophetic utterances of their high priests, and people continually seek high-tech solutions to every imaginable problem, from obesity to road rage to poor reading scores in our schools.

This is all spot on: Tech will save us everywhere and in every endeavor, and there are no shortage of folks selling that idea. There is one area where the luddites are having remarkably more success, however, and that’s farming.

‘What Invasion?’ The Obama Administration Finally Responds to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

(AP)

The Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine is proceeding apace. The Obama administration acknowledged Thursday that up to 1,000 Russian troops have crossed the border in recent days, along with assorted military hardware. NATO concurs.

Lithuanian ambassador to the United Nations Raimonda Murmokaite put it rather succinctly:

So why is the Obama administration refusing to call it an invasion?