President Obama, Gitmo, and the Persistence of Magical Thinking


Here’s an exercise for anyone laboring on the State Department’s seventh floor, or in the inner recesses of the White House, or in any of the handful of places where people seem to believe that the continued existence of the prison at Guantanamo Bay is a potent recruiting tool for terrorists. Pull up the most recent issues of Dabiq and Inspire, the English language magazines of ISIS and al-Qaeda, respectively. Then search the texts for the words Guantanamo, Gitmo, and Cuba.

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Wanted: A New Politics of Character

All images via AP

I spent the weekend re-reading David Frum’s Dead Right. Published in 1995, Frum’s slim book is a gripping and devastating account of the failure of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to limit government. Frum’s thesis, which I do not believe he has ever recanted, is that the conservative movement became enamored with the trappings of power during the Reagan presidency, and stopped making the argument that America’s problems stem from our sprawling and dilapidated welfare state. Instead conservatives, like Reagan, told Americans they could indeed have it all: tax cuts and entitlements, big government at half the price. Frum’s solution was for conservatives to step back from the Republican Party, care somewhat less about elections, and spend more time convincing Americans that a radical reduction in the size and scope of government is necessary and just.

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‘Scariness’ Is an Overrated Value for a Horror Film

The Witch

At the risk of sounding like a mindless contrarian, allow me to suggest that judging a horror film solely by how often it makes you jump in your seat is a rather uninteresting way of assessing its quality. As Matt Zoller Seitz put it:

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‘The Witch’ Is a Radicalization Narrative (SPOILERS)

Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy)

I’m going to discuss the whole plot of The Witch below in an effort to dispute some of the critiques of the film. So, if you’re not into spoilers, avert thine eyes. If you want a non-spoiler (or, I guess, very modest spoilers) take, you can read my review.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About John Kasich

John Kasich

John Kasich, the most consistent and principled opponent of drug use in the Republican field, is also the author of several books, including Stand for Something and Every Other Monday. I found them charming, full of mid-2000s period flavor, and very revealing about the man who won second place in the New Hampshire Primary.

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New CNN Poll Confirms Old Free Beacon Poll: Nevada’s a Dead Heat

you know who else liked to raise their hands like that (AP)

Last week, we here at the Free Beacon scraped together our pennies and paid for a poll of Democrats in Nevada in order to get a sense of the state of the race out there. In a modestly surprising turn of events, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were tied 45-45 among likely caucusgoers.

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What About Our Interpreters?

A U.S. Marine and an Afghan interpreter, 2009 / AP

This morning Alana Goodman reported on a maddening, immoral development in the ongoing effort to rescue Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. military loyally, only now to find themselves in grave danger as Afghanistan falls apart:

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The Washington Free Beacon Guide to Sports Illustrated Rookies of the Year

Sofia Resing Instagram

Voting just opened for the only 2016 poll that matters, a poll that doesn’t mention Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.

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Why Deadpool Was a Huge Hit, EXPLAINED

Morena Baccarin, one of Deadpool's many highlights (AP)

I mean, I think it’s obvious, right? I mean, what other explanation is there for the fact that Deadpool grossed something like $150 million over the four day weekend that included Valentine’s Day? Ladies Love Cool Ryan, so it’s no wonder that they made up 38 percent of the film’s record-breaking gross. Who am I to …

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Why Are Liberals So Racist When It Comes to Clarence Thomas?

Clarence Thomas (AP)

Here’s an interesting piece, by Charles Mudede. It seems that the death of Antonin Scalia brought to mind the cinema!

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Today in ‘Things That Are Problematic’

so problematic right now

I will probably never get tired of watching the left go to war with members of the left for committing some minor transgression of leftist thought. This is, in part, because I’m easily amused. But it’s also because, well, they created this hypersensitive world filled with ever-shifting norms about what is appropriate and what isn’t, and it’s kind of fun to watch them try to live in it. Here’re just a few of the people and things that are “problematic” today.

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Carly Fiorina’s Finest Moment


Carly Fiorina announced this afternoon that she is leaving the race. I am sad to see her go.

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NEW POLL: Most Women Oppose Having to Register for the Draft

Marines-Female General

A fair few conservatives believe that imposing draft registration on women is survivable policy and good politics—and there are plenty of others who disagree. Those who favor allowing the change to happen tend to see the issue as another culture war the GOP is destined to lose, harming Republicans at the ballot box and stealing oxygen from more important matters. Either way, it’s a hot issue: just within the last 24 hours one prominent Republican Senator has come out for registering women, while another has said he’s introducing a bill to stop any such thing from happening.

Just now, Rasmussen released a survey which provides some clarity and basis for political calculation.

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New Hampshire Winners and Losers

Emily Ratajkowski, queen of the Bernie Bros, was definitely a winner last night (AP)

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

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6 Nice Jeb-Related Things in Barbara Bush’s Memoirs


Over at Gawker they are laying into Jeb Bush, suggesting that, of all people, his wonderful mother, Barbara, is his “biggest bully.”

While there is no denying that the Silver Fox is sparing in her praise, especially for her children, it would be a huge mistake to think that there is any love lost between our greatest living First Lady and the former governor of Florida. Here, pulled at random from her charming two volumes of memoirs, are 10 counter-examples:

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