Where in the World is Samantha Hoopes?

Samantha Hoopes Instagram

Samantha Hoopes has come a long way from her humble beginnings in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania (We Are). Ever since she landed a coveted spot on this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue rookie roster, she’s been on the 365-day grind of jetting across the globe to wear microscopic bikinis. She’s a hard worker.

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Scottish Independence: Tell Me How This Ends

Scottish Independence Referendum, Scotland, Britain - 18 Sep 2014

In the words of David Petraeus shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003: Tell me how this ends. Scotland, you may be aware, is voting on the question of independence from the UK today. The polls show a tight race, with all of the passion on the pro-independence side. When the votes are tallied early Friday morning, the results may well end the political connection between Scotland and England that has been in existence since 1707.

Yet the unanswered questions about how an independent Scotland might actually function are innumerable. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which drives the independence movement, has invested a level of detailed planning in the post-independence aftermath that makes the U.S. post-war scheme for Iraq in 2003 look like the Schlieffen plan.

Among the problems: how will Scotland pay for the vast welfare state that currently subsists on wealth transfers from England to the north? How will its presumed anti-nuclear stance square with membership in NATO? What will its currency be, considering that the Westminster government has said it won’t want them on the pound anymore? SNP answers to these questions are characterized by their wild optimism and thoroughgoing vagueness. Better to be free of the Westminster yoke now, and work out the details of a more perfect social democracy later.

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Behold, the Most Terrifying Movie Prop Ever Put Up for Auction

This is not the most terrifying prop ever put up for auction. It's just kind of cool.

Confession: I’m a total sucker for Profiles in History’s Hollywood memorabilia auctions. I can’t actually afford anything in the auctions, mind you*; I just enjoy looking at all the crazy stuff up for sale. This is because I’m a big nerd. Sue me.

Anyway, I was flipping through the new catalog yesterday when I came across the creepiest prop I’ve ever seen up for sale. We’ll get to that in a minute; to get the full sense of revulsion you need to have some semblance of how these auctions proceed. For those of you not in the know, the first day of the auction usually involves vintage photographs, all of which go for rather shockingly high amounts of money. I’m not sure what one does with these photos; display them, I guess? With a one-off lot, such as the one below, that makes some sense:

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day “Phoenix Wait-Lists ‘Contributed’ to VA Deaths,” in ABC News.

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The Genevieve Morton Diet

Genevieve Morton Instagram

In all of my staring at photos of beautiful women, I have seen both post-workout selfies and swimsuit selfies. When do these gals ever eat? I know you need a hand to hold the camera, but can’t you use the other to hold a sandwich?

That’s why Genevieve Morton should be lauded for her unabashed enthusiasm for proper nutrition.

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The Ninth Circuit Versus Free Speech

He is definitely banned from California high schools on Cinco de Mayo.

You may recall some months back that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that agents of the government had the right to discriminate against students wearing American flag-themed apparel on the fifth of May because that particular sartorial choice angered another group of students. The second group of students threatened the first group of students with violence for their peaceable expression, causing the administration to censor the first group of students (who, I shall remind you, were guilty of aggressively wearing the American flag on American soil).

Over at National Review, David French notes that the Ninth Circuit has refused to overturn this absurd ruling en banc. While some will be tempted to incorrectly argue that students have no First Amendment rights, French notes why this is foolishness:

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BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: These Photos of Hillary Clinton Doing Yoga Will SHOCK You


Last week, the New York Times reported on the steps Hillary Clinton is taking to prepare for a presidential run in 2016. Among them: “She is building stamina through tough new workouts with a personal trainer and yoga.” It could be a sign that the 66-year-old homeowner’s physical health is improving.

The good news is that you can see for yourself, thanks to an exclusive scoop from the Washington Free Beacon. Our investigators recently uncovered the following photos of the soon-to-be grandmother performing a series of unconventional yoga poses.

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The Obama Way of War


Among the many reasons things are such a disaster in Afghanistan is that President Obama’s initial plan for that country—which was meant to reverse the tailspin the place was in as of 2009—generated more confusion than it did clarity, and was never fully accepted by the generals meant to execute it. This is happening again.

The press doesn’t cover it much, but in Afghanistan the Taliban is coming back and the national government is held together by a combination of sticky tack and shoestring. The Kabul government may well fall before the year is out, which would likely precipitate a large-scale civil-war.

President Obama inherited a bad situation in Afghanistan in 2009. After an incredibly long deliberative period, he authorized a substantial troop increase, and gave his generals the task to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while denying them a safe haven in Afghanistan. In addition, they were to “reverse the Taliban’s momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government.” The Afghan government, as a key part of the plan, was to be strengthened to be able to hold its own against its enemies. Simultaneously, the president announced a deadline for the end of his troop increase.

His plan had the sort of sophistication and nuance of which a University of Chicago (adjunct) lecturer could be proud: fight the Taliban this much (but not too much!) and at the same time fight al Qaeda harder—but only in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, fight them a little bit less. Help the Afghan government, but only until a certain pre-determined time. Then, sayonara. It’s almost like achieving a good end-state in Afghanistan wasn’t the president’s priority, but that he felt he had to do something for reasons of domestic politics.

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Congrats to Washington’s Baseball Team on Clinching the Division!

DC is Orioles Country

I just wanted to take a moment to praise the region’s oldest baseball franchise for clinching the toughest division in baseball last night. Despite ups and downs and injuries aplenty, The D.C.-area’s most-storied franchise has put together a miraculous season and won a division replete with consistent contenders. I’m talking, of course, about the Orioles. In …

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is “Marco Rubio,” in Esquire Magazine.

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Move to Ban Homework Good for Kids, Bad for Parents

School choice rally Lisa Leslie

A professor of education out of University of Arizona South is making the case for schools to ban homework from their education practices.

Dr. Etta Kralovec is the author of The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning claims that children’s time at home could and should be used in more meaningful ways and homework actually ends up undermining the overall learning process for students.

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President Obama Declares War on Ebola: An Address to the Nation

Barack Obama

NOTE: The news arrived Tuesday that President Obama will be sending U.S. forces to Liberia to fight the deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus. The president has not yet addressed the nation on this important and pressing matter. But what if he did? Here’s what we think he would say.

My fellow Americans, tonight I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to diagnose, degrade, and ultimately destroy the virus known as Ebola.

Let me be clear. As commander-in-chief, among my highest priorities is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to those diseases which threaten our country.

Some folks are saying that the world has gotten rather ill on my shift. That’s not so. The world has always been sick. We’re just noticing now, in part because of social media.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson, Call Your Office


Over at the Federalist, Sean Davis has been slowly but credibly destroying Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reputation as a honest broker, the sort of truth-telling straight-shooter that we need in these dark days of ignorance. Today’s entry is the fourth in an apparently ongoing series of posts in which it is revealed that NDT, as his sciencebro fans call him, is just making stuff up, willy nilly. Here’s Sean:

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read

My must read of the day is, “Carney: Midterms to be tough for Democrats,” in Politico.

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