UVA Faculty Want Abolition of Greek System, Emails Reveal

Protestors in front of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia / AP

University of Virginia faculty members are floating the abolition of Greek life on campus after an explosive Rolling Stone article on sexual assault, emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon reveal.

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Chuck Hagel: A Legacy

Couldn't even defend his face. (AP)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resigned was fired on Monday, vindicating critics who had long argued that Hagel was unfit for the job.

“Chuck Hagel has been no ordinary secretary of defense,” the man who fired him (President Obama) said in a statement.

And this is certainly true. An ordinary secretary of defense, for example, probably could have defended his face from a kitchen cabinet. Hagel could not. Also, he couldn’t get anyone to return his phone calls.

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Who On Earth Would Want to Replace Hagel?

Let's go, Chuck.

On the one hand, it makes sense why the White House needed to leak so emphatically this morning that Hagel’s departure was “under pressure” and not an amicable split. First, Hagel and his people were saying that he had initiated the split over his frustrations with the White House, and the president’s aides no doubt felt that such a narrative needed a strong response.

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GIVE IT UP ALREADY: Liberals Need to Stop Freaking Out About Benghazi

do u even derp, bro?

Liberals have seized on a new AP report about the Benghazi terrorist attack:

While most normal Americans were enjoying their weekends,liberals were tweeting about Benghazi, a tragedy that happened more than two years ago.  

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Socialist Realism Is Out. Environmentalist Realism Is In

Interstellar

Socialist realism was the style of art championed by the Soviets during the reign of Josef Stalin. The tenets of socialist realism were both remarkably simple and remarkably complex. Simple because the primary—the only, really—goal of socialist realist art was to educate the masses as to the “correct” way of thinking. Complex because, as we all know, the “correct” way of thinking in the Soviet Union was ever-changing, bound only to the whims of Stalin.

“Socialist realist art aimed to do away with the distinction between ‘is’ and ‘ought,’” Peter Kenez wrote in Cinema and Soviet Society. “Through the medium of film, ‘reality’ became what it was meant to be according to Bolshevik, Stalinist ideology.” The films that hewed closely to socialist realism were those that encouraged purity of thought and deed, denigrated the kulaks and the capitalists, and attacked whichever foreign power Stalin had arrayed the USSR against at the given moment.

Little things like “artistic merit” meant almost nothing to the fans of socialist realism: camera work, set design, acting—all secondary concerns to the plot and dialogue and theme.* Didacticism was all that mattered.

The release of Interstellar, and its reception on politically oriented websites, shows that the socialist realist impulse hasn’t died out. But it has transformed for the times. We’re now living in an age in which films are criticized for failing to live up to environmentalist realism. The distinction between “is” and “ought” has once again become a fuzzy one.

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

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My must read of the day is “Everyone on the Hill Gets Ethics Training – Except House Members,” in National Journal.

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

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My must read of the day is “Mandatory House Ethics Training? Some Incoming Freshmen Don’t See the Point,” in Roll Call.

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The Democratic Party Is an Anti-Clinton Party (They Just Don’t Know It Yet)

2016 underdog? (AP)

Hillary Clinton remains the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. However, some liberals are beginning to question her inevitability.

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A Liberal Explains Why Obama Is an Imperial President

Seat of power. (AP)

President Obama is under fire from conservatives over his proposed executive action on immigration reform, which is scheduled to be unveiled Thursday evening. By acting unilaterally on such a controversial issue, they argue, Obama would be continuing a disturbing trend with respect to the abuse of executive power.

It wasn’t long ago that liberals were the ones complaining about executive overreach. Yet, after denouncing President George W. Bush for abusing our democracy for the better part of a decade, liberals have spent the Obama administration defending the president from similar charges.

Looking back on some of the left-wing criticisms of the Bush administration, it is fairly easy to use the exact same arguments to make the case that the Obama administration has been “the least democratic in the history of the modern presidency.”

That last line, for example, was taken a 2004 cover story for the New Republic by Jonathan Chait (who, in fairness, has been somewhat critical of Obama’s executive action proposal). Chait’s points about the Bush administration’s abuse of power can be easily applied to the current administration. The following has been appropriated, more or less verbatim, from Chait’s piece, titled “Power from the People.”

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America Deserves Better Than CNN

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A cable news network defines itself by how well it covers a breaking news story. That’s why it’s instructive to evaluate CNN’s performance during Tuesday morning’s developing story of the bloody terror attacks in Jerusalem.

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#TBT: Jim Webb’s Video Team

omg when will it end

Jim Webb has, it seems, decided that the Democratic Party is aching for a middle aged white guy to be their standard bearer in 2016. Good for him! I wish him all the best.

But if he truly wants to enter the Oval Office, he’s got to hire a better video team. Just look at this … thing.

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

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My must read of the day is “How Countries Across the Globe Are Tampering with Women’s Wombs,” in Vice.

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Berkeley City Council Approves Warning Labels for Gas Pumps

Gross.

Berkeley, Calif., could become the first city in the country install warning labels on gas pumps. The city council voted late Tuesday to move forward on a plan to festoon the city’s fueling stations with stickers warnings that “burning fuel contributes to global warming,” the Associate Press reports.

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Democrats’ Biggest Problem: They’re So F*cking Boring

So old, so white. (AP)

After getting blown out in this year’s midterm elections, the Democratic Party appears to be in genuine disarray.

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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

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My must read of the day, “GOP Hawks Sink Libertarian Bid to Lead Key House Conservative Bloc,” by Lachlan Markay, in the Washington Free Beacon.

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