Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Better Access To Birth Control,” in NPR.

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Pumpkins Are Great. Lay Off Pumpkins, Jerks

Tastes like freedom, America (AP)

I am not a Pumpkin Spice Latte person. I like pumpkin pie okay, but it’s maybe my fourth favorite pie. I drink pumpkin beer, but I don’t really look forward to it all year or anything. Eating pumpkin seeds strikes me as weird, but it’s a free country, brother.

I lay all this out so you have some sense of where I’m coming from when I say that I find the anti-pumpkin animus in this country wholly bizarre and entirely out of proportion to the influx of pumpkin-related products on the market. Consider, for instance, this tweet from Kemberlee Kaye, one of my favorite tweeters:

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To Save NFL, Roger Goodell Must Go

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell / AP

I am joining the hoards in calling for the resignation of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Under his leadership, the league has been set down the wrong path.

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “The Humbling of a President,” by Daniel Henninger, in the Wall Street Journal.

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‘Ultimately Destroy’ Means ‘Contain’

Barack Obama, Chuck Todd

Twice tonight, President Obama stated that the nation’s strategy towards the Islamic State is to “degrade, and ultimately destroy” it.

Bill Gertz will have a full analysis of the president’s remarks here at the Free Beacon shortly, but there is a simple point worth emphasizing by way of an immediate reaction to the speech: the modifier “ultimately” is a dodge of tremendous proportions. The timeline for the “ultimate” destruction of ISIS, according to the president’s advisors, may take two or three years—that is, potentially into the next presidential administration.

The President is thus using roughly the same form of rhetoric as the Congressman that tells you his plan will balance the budget, but ten years from now.

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Mike Tyson Explodes On Live TV: ‘F*** You,’ ‘You’re a Piece of S***’

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist. But, apparently, it’s “negative” to point out that fact to him and if you dare to, he’ll call you a “piece of s***,” even on live TV.

The convicted rapist was in Toronto doing a publicity blitz for his one-man theatrical show currently playing there. Earlier had had met with the city’s crack-smoking-mayor Rob Ford and endorsed him for reelection.

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Marilinda Garcia Will Not Be Denied

Marilinda Garcia Facebook

Marilinda Garcia’s win Tuesday night was never a matter of if she’d clear the primary, but a matter of by how much she’d win by.

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Kevin Drum: Wrong About Language; Wrong to Mix Star Trek/Wars Allusions

Given that Drum is wearing a USC shirt (the alma mater of George Lucas) he should know better than to mix his Trek and Wars. (Via Flickr user Tom Lee)

Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum admits to partaking in the murder of the English language and commits the sin of mixing his Star Trek/Star Wars metaphors. Here’s Drum:

I now routinely use they and them as gender-neutral singular pronouns. … What other options are there? None.

This is foolishness born of ideology. There’s a perfectly acceptable option: Just use “he” as the generic pronoun, as is grammatically correct. “Oh, but that ignores women!” the ideologically minded will wail. The technical term for that complaint is “horseshit.”

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is, “Rand Paul vs. the Real World,” by James Kirchick, in the Daily Beast.

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Global Warming Was Worth It. And Ending It Wouldn’t Be

Some people call this 'pollution.' I call it 'freedom smoke.' (AP)

David Harsanyi has a good post up over at the Federalist making the eminently reasonable case that increased health, wealth, and longevity at the international level are good things. We could stop a moment to ponder the oddity of being forced to make a case in favor of living longer, happier, healthier lives, but let’s not; it’s too distressing. Instead, let’s just note, for the record, that the industrial revolution was totally worth it:

As Indur M. Goklany meticulously explores in his excellent book “The Improving State of the World,” in recent decades we have made the world a lot cleaner, healthier and livable for humans. And we did so without surrendering much wealth or freedom. I suppose it makes me a technoutopian to trust that we can adapt and create ways to deal with whatever consequences – and obviously there are consequences – a thriving modern world drops on us. Historically speaking, though, would it have been better for humanity to avoid an “Age of Pollution” and wallow in a miserable pre-Industrial Age, where poverty, death, disease and violence, were far more prevalent in our short miserable lives? Or would we have chosen global warming? I think the latter. And I think we’d do it again.

“Obvs,” as the kids say.

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Of *Course* Jenny from ‘Forrest Gump’ Is Terrible

Dirty hippy drops acid, as they do

I realize this marks me as a philistine,* but I’m a total sucker for Forrest Gump. I know, I know. It’s schmaltzy and heavy-handed, and it does that annoying thing where a simpleton floats through history and we see it all fresh through his innocent virginal eyes (see also: Being There and Benjamin Button and a bunch of other flicks). And yes, it was a travesty that Pulp Fiction lost to Forrest Gump at the Oscars. That was dumb.

But still. It gets me every time. That scene where Forrest is talking to Jenny’s gravesite about their son?

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The War in Afghanistan Is Not Coming To ‘A Responsible End’

Marines in Sangin/AP

Last Friday I ran a review of Bing West’s new book, One Million Steps, a compelling account of the struggles of a platoon of Marines fighting in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in the winter of 2010-2011. After a great deal of bitter combat, the Marines West writes about—and those who replaced them in subsequent deployments—succeeded in bludgeoning the Taliban in Sangin District into a degree of submission. By 2012, rates of violence in the area had dropped, creating some space for the Afghan government to eventually take control of the area. Including the British troops who preceded the Marines in working to secure Sangin, coalition forces lost nearly 150 troops killed in action, more than anywhere else in Afghanistan.

So how are things going now?

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Wil Wheaton’s Divisive Tweeting < Andrew W.K.’s Inclusive Partying

Wil Wheaton staring down a drug lord in Toy Soldiers

My favorite thing about famous people on Twitter is when they tweet something really, really silly and then complain about all the people pointing out that what they just said was really, really silly. We saw a prime example of this last night, when Sharknado 2‘s Wil Wheaton* tweeted the following:

He then spent the next several hours a.) complaining that people were being mean to him for saying something designed to antagonize those people while also b.) retweeting his detractors to show how dumb they are and finally c.) spouting platitudes about income inequality and suggesting the conservative media hates their readers, or something. As you might imagine, it was an amazingly constructive way to mount an argument and Wheaton won lots of converts.**

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