Obama Blames His Aides for Failure in Iraq, but Can’t Convince 60 Minutes

Barack Obama, David Cameron, Chuck Hagel

The better part of a year ago—the day after New Year’s Day, to be precise—I was returning from an overseas trip when I noticed, with a start, that my plane was flying more or less directly over Ramadi, Iraq.

The day is fixed in my mind because just before take-off I had been reading in the news that a group calling itself ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State or the Caliphate looked to be in the process of seizing Ramadi and nearby Fallujah from the Iraqi government. Yet, there it was, depicted on the inflight map in front of me. I cracked the window cover and looked down, but you can’t make out much in the way of gun-fighting at 38,000 feet. Putin’s special forces hadn’t yet shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, so no one on the plane was particularly concerned about our location.

Reflecting on what a difference 30,000 feet makes, I shut the blind again and thought about how crushing the loss of those cities would be to those of my friends who had fought for them a decade earlier.

So, that was the second of January, 2014. The press was covering the story extensively. From the following day’s New York Times:

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “The Revenge of Rand Paul,” in the New Yorker.

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Vox’s Business Model: Stupidity Clicks

Vox logo

I’ve often wondered aloud just how much traffic VOX DOT COM gets from generating outrage on Twitter by publishing something so remarkably aggravating that people feel compelled to pass it around. Ten percent of their traffic? Twenty percent?

I ask because last night it became blindingly obvious that Vox’s tagline, “The smartest thinkers, the toughest questions” is code for “completely made up stuff, targeted at stupid people.” Which is to say, it’s clear that VOX DOT COM isn’t going for outrage clicks. They’re going for stupidity clicks.

Consider that, as I write this, this has been retweeted more than 1,500 times:

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Everything Conservatives Hate About Liberalism in One Short Video

Barack Obama

That the nation needs policies to improve the quality of life for working families is not a particularly controversial position among conservatives. Indeed, whole subsets of the conservative movement have been defining themselves with this issue for some time now. There is plenty of debate over the details, but this is an issue on which many conservatives come together, and even one where one could expect a reasonable discussion with Democrats, with the possibility of finding common ground and passing actual legislation.

Oh, well.

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Kim Jong-un’s Gout Problem—and Mine

Kim Jong Un

At this moment, Kim Jong-un is feeling miserable. Little things annoy him. He finds it hard to concentrate. All he can think of is that swelling around the base of his big toe. The slightest pressure—a brush against a bedsheet—causes excruciating pain. He has gout.

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What Constitutes Victory in the Left’s War on Home-Cooked Meals? Bigger Government, Natch

Oppression, American-style. (via Flickr user Nedra)

Here are two stories worth paying attention to. The first—“Let’s stop idealizing the home-cooked family dinner,” which ran a couple weeks back in Slate—prompted so much snark that its author swore off Twitter. The second—“The problem with home-cooked meals,” which ran today at VOX DOT COM—covers much the same ground. Indeed, they rely on the same study and even recycle the same AFP image. They are in tone quite similar. Amanda Marcotte and Sarah Kliff desire to reduce in stature the home-cooked meal, from something that should be lionized to something that should be neutrally considered, only appreciated when it’s pragmatic, and, frankly, looked upon with some measure of suspicion.

From Marcotte’s piece:

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How the Obama Stimulus Helped Kay Hagan’s Millionaire Husband Get Even Richer

Kay Hagan terrifies a small child. (AP)

As of 2012, Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) was the ninth-wealthiest member of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of $24 million. Much of that is tied to her husband, Chip, who is a partner at a Greensboro law firm and holds investments in a number of businesses. One of those businesses is JDC Manufacturing, which he co-owns with his two brothers.

THE POLITICO reports that JDC Manufacturing received almost $400,000 in federal grants and tax credits for green energy projects as part of the 2009 stimulus package:

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Ellison’s Election Tip Sheet: Battleground Polls

Ellison Barber election tip sheet

SENATE: ALASKA

There are two new polls out of Alaska this week, and Republicans have the lead in both of them.

Any poll that places a candidate ahead is going to be seen as a positive by their supporters, but polls aren’t always right so it’s never wise to hold a single poll in high esteem. However, it obviously matters when multiple polls suggest a lead.

What makes these two particularly significant is that they’re results from well respected polling firms (Rasmussen Reports and Public Policy Polling), they were released and conducted around the same times, and they both found Republican Dan Sullivan ahead.

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Craft Beer Nation

Raison D'Etre: the true king of beers (photo via Flickr user Bernt Rostad)

Americans everywhere were outraged last week when some awful, no-doubt-Putin-allied Russian company purchased Pabst Blue Ribbon and National Boehemian (PBR and Natty Boh, for those of you who have never heard their full names). The ghost of Dennis Hopper was hardest hit:

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “Chuck Todd: The Breitbart News Interview – Part 1,” in Breitbart.

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Liberal Politicians Can’t Stop Killing Innocent Creatures

Another day, another adorable creature murdered by a liberal.

Yet another defenseless creature was slaughtered by a left-wing politician, the New York Post revealed on Thursday. Adorable groundhog Staten Island Chuck was “chucked” to his death during an appearance with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a raging liberal, back in February. Officials shad ought to cover up the creature’s demise, so as not to fuel public outrage over the disturbing trend of liberal politicians murdering cute animals. They even lied about the true identity of the victim.

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Obama’s Failed Presidency Has Ruined My Love Life

Love killer.

AR-RAQQA, Islamic State—It’s hard to put into words how much I enjoy waking up to the smell of dead terrorists. It is a feeling matched only by the exhilaration of waking up next to a woman. Any woman. Unfortunately for Biff (me), the former experience has become far more common than the latter. Barack Hussein Obama has ruined my love life.

Being a bachelor in the Obama era wasn’t always a bummer. During the 2008 campaign, I found love at every rally I attended. And let me tell you, I needed some love. Divorce number five was in the works. I was physically and emotionally exhausted after spending the better part of 2007 in caves. I had scurvy.

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Crucial Context: Christopher Nolan Films Are Getting Longer

My next film will be 300 minutes and you'll love it, sheeple! (AP)

As one of the nation’s foremost explanatory journalists—someone who really likes #charts and #graphs—I feel like it’s my duty to put into context the latest news about Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Here you go: As you can see, I’ve* put this #data in #chart form in order to explain just what’s going on with Christopher Nolan’s …

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “Republicans label Clinton ‘Obama’s 3rd Term,’” on CNN.com.

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FACT CHECK: A Koch Brothers Utopia Would Be Like Heaven on Earth

Welcome to paradise.

What would America look like if the Koch brothers were in charge? American Bridge, a George Soros-funded outfit recently described by Democratic strategist Paul Begala as an army of “nerd virgins” who have never tasted alcohol or gotten laid, thinks it would be pretty awful.

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