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Why We Fired Eric Cantor

Here’s all you need to know about Eric Cantor’s stunning loss in the Republican primary for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. For almost as long as I’ve lived here, which is coming up on 20 years now, the purpose of the seventh district has been to re-elect Eric Cantor every two years. It’s a strongly Republican […]

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Obama Stops Going Though the Motions

Last week, President Obama was widely criticized for the emptiness of his big speech on foreign policy and national security at West Point. This weekend, with the trade of five high-level Taliban leaders for ransomed American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, we saw the consequences of that emptiness. There is one thing that wasn’t quite captured in […]

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When You Want a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail

Post-racial politics is officially over. The hope that electing the first black president would put an end to the era of racial politics has long ago seemed quaint, along with many other exaggerated expectations for Barack Obama. But now we have proof that a whole new era of racial politics is just beginning. The new […]

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The Contest Between Homer and Hesiod, in Space

There is not much about Andy Weir’s The Martian that ought to work. And yet it works. The novel is like a twisted literary experiment: can you write a story that is about 5% dialogue, 10% action, and 85% exposition? And can the exposition be about scientific problem solving and the technical details of NASA […]

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The Rungs of the Ladder

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the “War on Poverty” (announced in January of 1964) and the “Great Society” (announced 50 years ago yesterday). These were America’s two great experiments in using the power of the federal government to transform and radically improve the country. Fifty years and some 15 or 20 trillion dollars—depending […]

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LBJ, Hippie

Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the University of Michigan commencement speech in which Lyndon Johnson laid out the concept of a “Great Society.” This was the wider framework for the “War on Poverty” he had announced earlier in the year in his State of the Union address. Reading through it, it strikes me that […]

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Crucial New Ideas That Are Not Hers

I recently published a commentary on how certain basic ideas about how to organize the Objectivist movement that were formulated in the 1980s have begun to fall away, implicitly rejected even by those who used to advocate them. Of those ideas, the only one on which I have seen any real debate is the question […]

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To Love Man for God’s Sake

An Atheist Read the Bible, Part 5 Over the past year or so, I’ve been slowly whittling away at a long-term project I call “An Atheist Reads the Bible.” Unlike the “New Atheist” Richard Dawkins types, I’m not reading the Bible simply to refute it or to highlight every time the Judeo-Christian god seems to […]

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Are You Not Entertained?

Recently, I wrote an article criticizing the bloodthirsty esthetic and moral cynicism of “Game of Thrones.” In a nutshell, my argument is that at some point, the gore and violence and torture and depravity no longer serve the plot. They are the plot. I am reminded of Russell Crowe’s signature moment in Gladiator. He has […]

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The Party of Inequality

So now we know why the Democrats are adopting economic inequality as their central issue: because their constituents, the people who live under policies crafted by the left, are the ones who experience the highest degree of income inequality in their own lives. That’s the upshot of a recent study of income inequality organized by […]

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