‘Seven Deadly Virtues’ on C-SPAN
November 17th, 2014




In case you missed it last night because you were washing your hair, it’s here.

I haven’t looked at the video yet, but it’s possible that there’s a Matt Labash Easter egg somewhere a little past the half-way mark. I’m just saying.






‘Virtues’ Update
November 13th, 2014




A few things:

1) I highly recommend AEI’s Banter podcast in general, but the episode with Rob Long and James Lileks talking about the book is fantastic. How’s this for a tease: Lileks has, in his house, a place he calls “the closet of mysteries.”

2) In other podcast adventures, I had a fun time with David Madeira the other day; you can listen here.

3) Also, I did a long, rambling interview with Katherine Jean Lopez at National Review Online. It’s not as entertaining as the one for WTE. But I did sneak in Lucille Bluth and Mister Bob Harris.

4) The Seven Deadly Virtues is sold out on Amazon right now, but still available at Barnes and Noble. Amazon should be resupplied shortly. All in all, it’s a high-class problem to have.






TNR on Lena Dunham
November 11th, 2014




It’ll be interesting to see if this James Wolcott blowtorch of a review costs The New Republic more subscribers than its endorsement of the Iraq War. It’s unclear which is more of a betrayal to the left. Sample hotness:

Such is the critical protection racket for the Lena Dunham legend that even Daum’s comparison of her subject to Woody Allen and J. D. Salinger was found not flattering, but mildly deflating. “Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair—To Lena Dunham,” contended a headline at the Indiewire site, assuming a contrarian stance. “Likening the ‘Girls’ Auteur to Allen and Salinger predictably raises hackles,” the subhead read, “but what had they done at her age?” The author, critic, and hackles-tamer Sam Adams, wrote, “It’s worth pointing out that at 28, which is Dunham’s age now, Woody Allen was a successful but not widely known comedy writer and standup comic who had yet to release his first album, and J. D. Salinger was still four years away from publishing The Catcher in the Rye.” The article neglects to note that perhaps the reason Salinger didn’t match Dunham’s precocious output was because his early twenties were interrupted by something known as World War II (it was in all the papers), during which the future novelist was drafted, landed ashore at Utah Beach on D-Day, took part in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, interrogated prisoners of war as a member of the counter-intelligence division, and bore witness to one of the newly liberated concentration camps, a sub-camp of Dachau; after the war, Salinger entered a mental hospital, suffering from what today would be designated post-traumatic stress disorder. So the guy was busy.

The section on the New York Times’ Dunham obsession–which is largely based on this bit of progressive samizdat–is truly amazing: These tools have been swooning over her since she was a teenager.






For the Clip File
November 11th, 2014




Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare as bamboozlement:

“You can’t do it political, you just literally cannot do it. Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay? So it’s written to do that,” Gruber said. “In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in, you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This clip ought to be part of every 2016 Republican campaign ad.






Google’s Robotic Karate Kid
November 11th, 2014




What could possibly go wrong?

Kill it. Kill it now.






Free Beacon = AWESOME
November 10th, 2014




Michael Bay levels of Awesome.

By the time Hulk slams Andre, you’ve already had “where will you run when the darkness takes hold,” “I’m baaaack,” and drunk Uncle Joe.

There’s no other publication in America that’s this much fun.






Note on Comments
November 8th, 2014




Still shaking out the redesign a bit here and there. Comments exist, but only on the stand-alone post pages, so you have to click on the headline to get to them.






Congressional Question
November 6th, 2014




Galley Friend X submits the following question. I don’t know congressional politics in granular detail, but maybe there’s an obvious answer:

Honest question: Have white Democrats ever elected a black congressman? That is, has a black D ever been elected from an non-minority-majority district? I can’t think of any. But every black R is, essentially, elected by white people. (And we’re the racists!)

There’s probably an obvious answer to this–maybe a big-city district that isn’t quite minority-majority, but is maybe 35 percent African-American. But like I said, I don’t know off the top of my head.