About Andrew Sullivan
January 29th, 2015

I don’t have any interesting thoughts about Andrew Sullivan leaving his blog, but Galley Friend X emailed in with some:

His “retirement” will spark no shortage of ponderous reflection on the end of blogging—it’s already starting—but isn’t there a much more obvious force driving this?

We’re in the last two years of the Obama Administration, and so of course a number of its journalistic proponents are exhausted. TNR has collapsed, the American Prospect is collapsing, and now Sully’s quitting too. All of them were well energized (and well supported) when they were the loud opponents of a Republican administration. But after six years of a Democratic president, they’ve all lost their mojo. I don’t blame Sully for quitting now—if I were him, I wouldn’t want to spend the next two years defending Obama and promoting Hillary, either.

When this happened eight years ago, it sparked all sorts of discussion (on the Left) of whether conservatives were intellectually “exhausted.” But this time around, when it’s liberal journalists and intellectuals who are exhausted, they’ll turn it into a process story.

In any event, I suspect that Sully’s “retirement” from blogging won’t last more than six months into a Republican presidential administration. Hell, if the polls are close after the Republican convention, Sully’s blog will probably reappear, magically, on a major media website.

The Patriots Are Evil, Awesome
January 28th, 2015

Come for the Marshawn Lynch imitation, stay for the Belichik/Brady mancrush.

Updated: In addition to L.B. point in the comments, Galley Brother B.J. adds the following dissent:

I think people forget a very important fact when talking about the Patriots dominance over the last decade, the rest of the AFC East is terrible. The Bills, Jets, and Dolphins have been horribly run for the past what 15 – 20 years? Just being competent pretty much guarantees the Patriots a division title and home play-off game every year.
 The Bills, Jets, and Dolphins have 9 combined playoff appearances since 2000 that’s tied for the lowest for a combination of 3 teams in the same division with the Jags, Titans, and Texans. So, the Patriots are tied with the Colts for the easiest division for the past decade and a half.
The division victory as the minimum for your season makes it really easy to look good.

Marvel Decides to Ape DC
January 23rd, 2015

Because the New DC was such a profitable, artistically rich masterstroke, Marvel has decided to blow up its two comic-book universes, too. Sigh.

On the one hand, I’m surprised that Disney is allowing this. Why monkey with a formula that has created the raw materials for billions of dollars worth of intellectual property?

On the other hand, excepting the Matt Fraction Hawkeye, I don’t think I’ve read a Marvel book in two years that wasn’t better than meh. Most of them have been terrible. The company has clearly been in a creative rut since Ultimatum. (I blame Civil War, myself, which kicked the annual maxi-series obsession into high gear.)

I wonder what the ripple effect will be on the cinematic universe. You can already see the seams starting to show in the project’s being announced for Phase 3 of the Marvel movie universe: Why do they need to kill Captain America? Why do they need to put Civil War on screen? Why do they need to start breaking up the Avengers?

The answer, I think, is that Disney has absorbed the notion that instead of using the existing characters to tell interesting stories,  they need to be constantly morphing and changing the universe itself so as not to lose the attention of moviegoers.

Which is obviously how the Marvel group thinks about their comic book universe, too.

Santorum. Scalia. Incest.
January 23rd, 2015

Here’s law professor Josh Blackman explaining why banning adult incest is likely to be very difficult:

First, the father and daughter are both consenting adults who are claim to love each other, and enjoy sexual relations with each other. Why should the state have any interest in their private lives. They aren’t even seeking any recognition of their relationship.

Second, as we learned in Windsor and its progeny, the state has no compelling interest in encouraging responsible procreation. That incestuous relationship may yield children with birth defects, under strict scrutiny, is not a sufficient reason to stop them from cohabitation. . . .

Third, we learned in Windsor that traditional notions of morality are grounded in animus, and do not provide a valid basis for infringing on personal relationships. The New Jersey legislator said as much: adult incestuous relationships “violate our acceptable moral standards.” That’s a per se violation of the principles of Romer.

Fourth, to the extent that we look abroad to international law to inform evolving standards of decency, experts in Switzerland and Germany have proposed decriminalizing adult incest.

He then goes on to ask (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) on what grounds we might deny marriage to incestuous adult couples:

And if siblings are allowed to have sexual relationships, why shouldn’t they be able to receive a marriage license. Why should the government deny them a license if the couple asked for one? Granted, there is no social movement pushing for incestuous marriages, like there is for same-sex marriage.

Ah, but if there were a social movement . . .

But don’t worry; it’ll be here before you know it. After the transgender campaign is won, the left will need another frontier. That’s the thing about the sexual revolution: It’s one of those endless wars that never really concludes.


Romney 2016!
January 22nd, 2015

In which I jump totally in the tank for Mitt.

Living the Dream
January 22nd, 2015

Top baseball prospect? Check.

Spends his off-season living in a van? Check.

Uses the van to just drive around and surf? Check.

Daniel Norris is my hero.

The Vindication of Rick Santorum (cont.)–Updated
January 21st, 2015

Remember that interview with the guy who loves horses? (Not in the Ann Romney way.)

Let’s add this interview, with an 18-year-old girl who’s “dating” her dad. No, really.

Sorry–did I say “dating”? I meant “engaged to”:

How many people know about it?
Everyone on my mom’s side of the family sees us as father and daughter. Those who know that he’s my dad, and that we are engaged, include my father’s parents (they can see we are happy together and they can’t wait for us to have babies — they treat us just like any other couple), the woman we live with, and my best friend.

You’re engaged?
I’m planning on a full-on wedding but it won’t be legally registered. And personally, I don’t believe you need a piece of paper to prove that you want to be with the person you love. When you get married, you are signing part of yourself over to somebody. We’ll tell everybody that we got our marriage license, but they don’t have to see it. One of our friends will act as the celebrant.

But don’t worry–changing one foundational part of the culture couldn’t possibly alter others.

Update: You must–must!–read this extra-special, bonus incest confession. Courtesy of Galley Friend A.K.

Be sure to read all the way to the end. Don’t bail on it early. I promise.


Hugh Hewitt. Pope Francis. Bill Donohue
January 15th, 2015

One of the post-Charlie Hebdo flare ups last week was an on-air argument between Hugh Hewitt and William Donohue. You can listen to the whole thing here, but the short version is that Hewitt attacked Donohue’s position on the duties of free speech; Donohue insisted that he had been supported, privately, by plenty of people high up in the Catholic Church; Hewitt asked for some examples; Donohue refused to name names. And then it got even more heated.

Well, in Donohue’s defense, he can now add the name of one very prominent Catholic: Pope Francis, whose position–that people who provoke shouldn’t be surprised when there’s a reaction–seems to be even more equivocal than Donohue’s. Here’s Francis on the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.” . . .

“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,” he said. “They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit.”

From God’s lips to the Holy Father’s ears.