Democratic Senator Appears to Want Kids to Smoke

Senator Richard Blumenthol (AP)

Like Paul Krugman, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) knows a nefarious conspiracy when he sees one. Blumenthal has called on the National School Board Association to end its recently announced partnership with Right Decision Right Now, a program designed to prevent youth tobacco use.

That sounds like a good thing, right? Why would Blumenthal oppose the partnership? Well, because Right Decision Right Now was founded by R.J. Reynolds, a tobacco company that obviously wants children to smoke (or something). He called the partnership a “deadly deal” that must be stopped.

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The Media Bubble, Redskins Edition

The spear makes it less offensive, right?

Matthew McConaughey, American Icon, believes that the Redskins should not change their name or logo. Writing at Uproxx Sports, Andy Isaac argued, “McConaughey will likely get killed for this, as his opinion is far from mainstream.” This is, quite simply, wrong. In September, the Washington Post reported on a poll showing that 71 percent of respondents believe the name should not be changed. Earlier this week, the Post reported on another poll that showd 83 percent of respondents believed the Redskins “should not” change their name. In other words, Matthew McConaughey is firmly in the mainstream.

So, as I said, Isaac was wrong. He quickly realized his mistake and corrected his post; I’m not interested in rubbing his nose in it. It is worth briefly highlighting, though, because he was wrong in an interesting way. I am not surprised that Isaac believed that McConaughey is out of step with the mainstream. That’s because within Isaac’s area of interest—the universe of sports writers and writing—McConaughey undoubtedly is out of the mainstream. He is out of step with the nation’s major columnists and websites. He wouldn’t fit in with the Deadspin bros. At some point in the last 18 months or so, a critical mass of sports journalists have decided that it’s totes terrible to use a name that’s been used for decades without a peep. And the rest of the sports journalists have been made to realize that they need to keep their mouths shut if they disagree.

As Bryan Curtis noted at Grantland, this is the golden age of the liberal sports writer:

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You Won’t Believe These Shocking Findings About Liberals That Are Hard to Believe

AP

Pew has released a wide-ranging survey on “political polarization and media habits,” and some of the findings about liberals are pretty interesting. They aren’t actually that hard to believe, though. They are entirely predictable. For example:

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The Jaguars Pool Deck Has Changed My Life Forever

@jagspoolbooty

The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the National Football League. But, unlike the miserable Oakland Raiders, the Jags have found a unique way to boost stadium attendance: A swimming pool. With girls.

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DC Expected to Legalize Pot for the Unemployed and Elected Officials

AP

In two weeks voters in the nation’s capital will vote on a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The latest polls show over 70 percent of likely voters favor the initiative.

However, the new law will provide no job protection for those tokers whose workplace prohibits pot use amongst their employees. Making pot legal will not negate employers the right to fire any of their employees who test positive for the devil weed in random drug testing.

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Buy This Book! ‘The Seven Deadly Virtues’

Seven Deadly Virtues

Andrew Stiles and I, your loyal Editor’s Bloggers, have contributed chapters to the forthcoming book The Seven Deadly Virtues. Amazon suggests you should be able to purchase it now (in both hardcover and Kindle formats!) so get on that. Imagine an irreverent version of Bill Bennett’s The Book of Virtues: serious topics handled with a bit of fun.

You shouldn’t buy it because Stiles and I contributed; we’re a couple of pikers.

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “Obama on Dems Running Away from Him: ‘These Are All Folks Who Vote With Me,” in the Weekly Standard.

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Paul Krugman Conspiracy Theory: Koch Brothers May Be Colluding with Amazon to Suppress Anti-Koch Book Sales

AP

Paul Krugman thinks Amazon.com is too powerful and that the federal government should do something about it. In his latest column, Krugman criticizes Amazon over its dispute with publishing company Hatchette, and even compares the online retailer to Standard Oil, the Gilded Age conglomerate that was declared an illegal monopoly by the Supreme Court:

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Ebola v. Obesity: The Politicized NIH

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, with President Obama

For over a year, the Washington Free Beacon’s Elizabeth Harrington has been documenting research grants provided by the National Institutes of Health to recipients like an obvious conman who said he wanted to bring origami condoms to the world ($2.5 million) and teams studying if obese people could be persuaded to lose weight by having the government text message them ($2.7 million). Last week, with the NIH’s budget in the spotlight—courtesy of the director of the NIH himself, Dr. Francis Collins, who claimed that an Ebola vaccine would likely exist today were it not for a “10-year-slide in research support” for his organization—Harrington wrote a round-up of her work on this issue, observing that the total amount of absurd NIH funding she had chronicled amounted to nearly $40 million, all of which would obviously have been better spent on an Ebola vaccine—or on cancer, or on HIV/AIDS, or on any number of worthy medical causes.

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#GamerGate Makes the Left Uncomfortable Because Gamer Gaters Have Adopted the Left’s Tactics

Via Flickr user joo0ey

Since last we checked in on #GamerGate, there have been a couple of rather silly arguments leveled against the grassroots hashtagtivist campaign.

Let’s deal with the dumber of these first. This argument goes something like: “#GamerGate has been totally discredited because some small number of people have threatened violence against some other small number of people while using the hashtag in their attacks.” This has led luminaries such as Joss Whedon to explicitly compare GamerGaters to the Ku Klux Klan:

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “A Tiny Alaskan Island Halfway To Russia Could Decide Control of The Senate,” in Talking Points Memo.

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Poll: Obama Worse Than Bush

AP

Voters in battleground states think President Obama is worse at “managing the basic functions of the federal government” than his predecessor George W. Bush, according to a POLITICO poll released Monday. In other words, voters think Obama is a less effective manager than the man he stills blames for his failures.

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Frank Gehry: Right for Ike?

Dwight Eisenhower

Good news from Paris. Frank Gehry’s newest completed design, an art museum made for the owner of the luxury brand LVMH and built in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, was opened to the press today, and is soon to be dedicated by the president of France, Françoise Hollande.

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Obama Donor Blocks Access to Hagan Stimulus Records

AP

An incumbent senator voted for a massive taxpayer stimulus that just happened to benefit businesses owned by that senator’s immediate family members. That same senator later recommended someone to lead a government agency that is currently stonewalling journalist requests to obtain documents related to that stimulus funding. Some would call that cronyism. Either way, it looks pretty bad for Senate Kay Hagan (D., N.C.).

Hagan has come under fire in recent weeks amid reports that businesses owned by her husband, son, and son-in-law directly benefited from the federal stimulus package Hagan voted for in 2009. The Carolina Journal has been all over the story, but encountered a roadblock recently while trying to obtain documents related to the stimulus award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

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Kay Hagan Flip-Flops on Ebola Travel Ban

AP

Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) on Friday announced her support for a temporary travel ban on non-U.S. citizens from West African countries affected by the Ebola virus. She claims to have supported such a ban “for weeks,” and while she has said in the past that a travel ban might be “one part” of a solution to the Ebola crisis, Hagan never fully embraced the idea, and just days ago dismissed a travel ban as something that “is not going to help solve this problem.” Now she’s calling it “a prudent step the President can take to protect the American people.” So, which is it?

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