COMBAT!

Oppositional culture for an occupied age

Times finds that Walsh plagiarized large portions of War College thesis

Senator John Walsh (D–MT) wears a facial expression he plagiarized from a box of Lemonheads.

Senator John Walsh (D–MT) wears a facial expression he plagiarized from a box of Lemonheads.

It is extremely generous of the New York Times to say that Montana Senator John Walsh “confronts questions of plagiarism,” given that the last 800 words of his master’s thesis are taken verbatim from a paper published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The document that Walsh turned in to get his degree from the US Army War College in 2007 contains several uncited passages from related papers on the internet, along with several passages that are footnoted but not quoted, despite being copied from the original sources word-for-word. I encourage you to read the Times article, if only to get a sense of what a mash-up Walsh’s thesis appears to be. There’s also a rad denial from the Senator himself, but you’ll have to click on the jump to read that.

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Palin uses speeding ticket to establish honky bona fides

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin practices saying "hooah!" in the mirror.

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin practices saying “hooah!” in the mirror.

Can we take a moment to marvel at how quickly Sarah Palin became what she is now? A scant six years ago, she was the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States. She once claimed to read all newspapers and magazines. Now she’s a female version of Larry the Cable Guy, except instead of making jokes she tells people to buy guns. All right, I guess she also makes jokes: after getting pulled over for speeding last week, she told TMZ that “I wasn’t speeding; I was qualifying.” She also claimed it was because she was listening to Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55.” I think I speak for all of America when I say “no, you weren’t.”

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Appeals court bars Obamacare subsidies on federal exchanges

Again

Again

The Affordable Care Act required states to set up health insurance exchanges when it was passed in 2010, but 34 states refused. The federal government set up exchanges on their behalf, which seemed like a reasonable expedient at the time. This morning, however, a DC Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that the ACA prohibits the IRS from offering subsidies to people who bought their insurance on federal exchanges. That includes about 70% of the people getting subsidies, meaning that 4.7 million people just got some very bad news. For reference, it also means that 70% of the people who needed Obamacare the most live in states whose governors fought it the hardest.

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Close Readings: Kerry nominalizes a war crime

"Last person to die for a mistake" -era John Kerry, when words meant something

“Last person to die for a mistake” -era John Kerry, when words meant something

Secretary of State John Kerry argued Sunday that Russia was heavily involved in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines 777 over eastern Ukraine, and he did it in the most tepid way imaginable. Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to consider what an insanely awful thing happened Thursday. Someone used a military anti-aircraft missile to shoot down a commercial airliner carrying almost 300 people, either accidentally or because they could. Probably, it was the second one. Regardless of how you feel about the conflict in Ukraine, it has enabled at least one crew of surface-to-air missile operators to kill 300 civilians for sport. According to the US State Department, that’s Russia’s fault. And Secretary Kerry is here to tell the world, in roughly the same tone as stereo instructions.

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Friday links! Love it or shoot somebody edition

America

Let us take a moment to note that the guns are real in the photograph above, but the guitars are not. Somewhere there is a continuum of fantasies that runs from Rock Band controllers to the Bushmaster AR-15 with extended clip. I call that continuum America, and the good news is that you are in it. The bad news is that 350 million other people are in it, too, and their fantasy nation is slightly different from yours. Today is Friday, and America is the dream we dream together. Won’t you wake in a cold sweat with me?

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