“It’s been a half century now. Unless and until someone can show me something besides political talking points to the contrary, the embargo was simply not working. The Castros remain in power and the government has not significantly changed. And as we have repeatedly demonstrated in our negotiations regarding sanctions and punishment of other nations such as Iran, Iraq or Russia, sanctions and embargoes do not work unless you can get significant buy-in from your allies. Nobody is joining us on this. Canadians regularly vacation in Cuba. Nearly every other western nation trades with them. We simply don’t have any backup here,” – Jazz Shaw, Hot Air.
“This is really, really bad. It means, of course, that when I dismissed Richard Bradley and Robby Soave’s doubts about the story and called them ‘idiots’ for picking apart Jackie’s account, I was dead fucking wrong, and for that I sincerely apologize. It means that my conviction that Sabrina Rubin Erdely had fact-checked her story in ways that were not visible to the public was also wrong. It’s bad, bad, bad all around,” – Anna Merlan, Jezebel. Award glossary here.
“What is the point of this bill? Does this bill not in fact play into the hands of those who seek to slander us? Into the very hands of those who wish to show that even among us, there are those who see contradiction between our being a free people in our land, and the freedoms of the non-Jewish communities in our midst? The declaration of independence, in its depth and greatness, bound together two components of the state as Jewish and democratic, democratic and Jewish,” – Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, a Likudnik who has become the country’s conscience in its rush to becoming an apartheid state.
“I cannot shake the image of “Jackie” being serially raped on a broken glass table by a fraternity gang a few hundred yards from my office at UVA, perhaps by men who have taken a class by me, especially knowing that her rapists have paid no legal or educational price for their heinous deeds. My own sense of horror and outrage is only deepened by what I found out yesterday: In my Sociology of the Family class, in an anonymous survey, seven of the 103 female students that I am teaching reported that they had been “forced into a sexual act against [their] will,” and an additional 33 of these students reported that a “UVA friend” has experienced such a violation. So, in one large class at the University of Virginia, fully 39 percent of the female students report having been directly affected by forcible sexual assault. To be sure, there are important debates about the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, but UVA’s experience indicates that there are more cases of campus rape than many might expect,” – W. Bradford Wilcox, NRO, in a piece called “The Right And Campus Rape”.
“As I was blearily trying to indicate last night, I am open to the argument that McCulloch was in fact not right. I said his critics have a point. And as I read up on the proceeding this morning, I think that point gets stronger. For those who believe Michael Brown was murdered, what they see is a prosecutor who bent over backwards for a police officer in a way he never would have for nearly any other criminal suspect in the dock. McCulloch let Wilson testify at great length … If McCulloch was determined to get an indictment, this process wouldn’t have taken nearly as long … For those who want me to be all on one side or another of this (Twitter has been an ugly place for the last twelve hours), all I can say is that I am honestly conflicted. Even in this obscenely polarizing chapter of American life, not everything is black and white,” – Jonah Goldberg, NRO.
“No person, or presidential administration, is perfect. Mistakes happen. But this steady stream of screw-ups means that “people are going to be more skeptical of HHS figures in the future, for understandable reasons,” Cohn writes. When the White House releases monthly enrollment numbers — figures that are expected to be higher than last year — the public will doubt them. And it’s just at the moment that Obamacare’s marketplaces are running better than ever that this series of sloppy mistakes make it look like worse than anyone thought,” – Sarah Kliff, Vox.
“The reasons for rethinking the intervention go beyond Libya itself. I had placed a great deal of emphasis on the demonstration effects of an intervention. My hope had been that the intervention would act to restrain other autocrats from unleashing deadly force against protesters and encourage wavering activists to push forward in their demands for change. Unfortunately, this only partially panned out and had unintended negative effects. U.S. cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council states in Libya compelled it to turn a blind eye to the simultaneous crushing of Bahrain’s uprising.
The worst effects were on Syria. The Libya intervention may have imposed a certain level of caution on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, leading him to search for just the right level of repression to stay beneath the threshold for international action. But that didn’t last for long and his violence quickly escalated,” – Marc Lynch, in a bracing reflection on his misjudgments in the fast-moving era of the Arab Spring.
I await the other advocates of the Libya debacle to approach this kind of intellectual honesty. Larison, meanwhile, notes that
the demonstration effect and deterring-dictators arguments never made much sense, as I said many times back in 2011.
What I found the most troubling was the argument that such a major move, with unforeseeable consequences, was justified urgently to avoid a potential massacre. In other words, a humanitarian emergency was used to brush away all the usual weighing of the pros and cons of such a grave decision as to go to war. Which, to my mind, only underlines the necessity of restoring the Congress’s full control of war powers.
“The current climate of McCarthyism within some segments of feminism and the left is so ingrained and toxic that there are active attempts to outlaw some views because they cause offense. Petitions against individuals appear to be a recent substitute for political action towards the root causes of misogyny and other social ills … The “ban this sick filth” approach is starting to look more like censorship than progressive politics. Political protest and heated debate has been replaced with a witch-hunt mentality …
It is hugely important to hold abusive men to account, but we feminist campaigners have learned that the state allows men to perpetrate individual crimes, and have therefore tended to focus on making root and branch change. Lately we appear to have gone backwards. It is as though we have lost the strength and confidence to effectively challenge institutions.
Moral superiority and “call out” culture has trumped political activism. Feminists have a proud history of taking state institutions and corporations to task. It would seem this is being lost in a sea of vitriol. We built this movement on a desire and willingness to question and challenge old assumptions and truisms. We are in danger of becoming autocrats who would rather organise a pile-on than try to change systems. The life blood of feminism is in danger of becoming bile,” – Julie Bindel, The Guardian.
“In my experience, the people who see their lives as part of a great drama tend to be the most liberated of all. That doesn’t mean individual chapters aren’t difficult and painful and confounding. But if you believe that your story has an Author and direction, that there is purpose even in suffering and that brokenness in our lives is ultimately repaired, it allows us to live less out of fear and more out of trust. That is true of us as individuals, and it’s true of us as citizens.
‘We used to be the home team,’ one person of the Christian faith said to me. ‘Now we’re the away team.’ The challenge facing Christians in America is to remain deeply engaged in public matters even as they hold more lightly to the things of this world; to rest in our faith without becoming passive because of it; to react to the loss of influence not with a clenched fist but with equanimity and calm confidence; and to show how a life of faith can transform lives in ways that are characterized by joy and grace. How all this plays out in individual cases isn’t always clear and certainly isn’t easy. Some circumstances are more challenging than others. But it is something worth aiming for.
Engaging the culture in a very different manner than Christians have–persuading others rather than stridently condemning them–may eventually lead to greater influence. But whether it does or not isn’t really what is most important. Being faithful is. And part of being faithful is knowing that God is present in our midst even now; that anxiety and hysteria are inappropriate for people who are children of the King, as a pastor friend of mine recently told me; and that hope casts out fear,” – Pete Wehner. (Awards glossary here.)
“Joe Biden is what you see. You know, he’s genuine. Yes, he’s prone to gaffes publicly, and he’ll admit that. He’s very self-deprecating like that. And I’m certainly not one who agrees with Joe Biden on all things—we probably disagree more than we agree—but from a human and relationship standpoint, the guy’s awesome,” – Eric Cantor.
Yes, he probably had to lose his seat before he could say that, but still …