Afternoon Links

What was the deal with Hawthorne and Melville?

In 1927 Frank Lloyd Wright designed a gas station. It was finally built in 1958 and is still operational today.

I’m old enough to remember when DC “experts” slammed Netanyahu for likening Hamas to ISIS.

#FourLionsin case you’re unfamiliar

A lot of Marines died taking Helmand away from the Taliban but, like in Iraq, Americans decided they wanted to take their ball and go home before the enemy was defeated, so now they will have died for nothing and more Americans will die when we have to return at some point.

Amid all the other Obama foreign policy catastrophes, he has now succeeded in getting the IAEA to whitewash Iran’s weaponization program.

Yes, every word of this. Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing.

Up until last night, Sen. Ted Cruz’s refusal to attack Donald Trump was defensible. Without question, it was smart politics, as his rise in the polls would attest. But it was also defensible on the merits as a guy who is a solid conservative in good standing, who was just refusing to criticize any of the other Republicans in the race, preferring rather to point out, like a good white knight should, how much better all the Republicans were than Hillary Clinton.

Last night, though, what the country watched was a Sen. Ted Cruz who called Sen. Marco Rubio a liar several times to his face, and also on more than one occasion treated him like someone who was ignorant of the issues. After the way Cruz has treated Trump throughout this contest, that’s a major problem. Prior to last night, Cruz had engaged in substantive disagreements with some of the other candidates (including Rubio), but he had always kept it on an above the fray level. Even when Trump came after him personally, he responded with a tweet that was positively fawning towards the Donald in response.

Listen, this is all fine and good, and as I acknowledged, it’s smart politics. It earned Donald Trump a rebuke from Limbaugh and Levin, which probably contributed to the fact that last night, Trump was back praising how great Cruz was on stage. For people who are sympathetic to Trump, they no doubt like to see the way that Cruz refuses to tangle with Trump no matter what. For the rest of us – including the ones who grudgingly accepted that it was necessary for Cruz to do this for political reasons – last night’s sparring with Rubio was borderline infuriating.

It’s not just that Cruz disagreed with Rubio. It’s that his disagreement was laced with biting sarcasm and personal attacks. For many (if not most) of us who are not already in Camp Trump, Rubio is considered to be an acceptable choice for the nomination (if not our first), and only a fool would not concede that he presents the best chance in the general to defeat Hillary. Watching a guy who’s turned turtle repeatedly to a fake conservative insult comic, only to turn around and show some fighting spirit against a guy who is actually conservative was a little hard to stomach…People who realize that Trump represents an existential threat to the credibility and future existence of the conservative movement as a political force have been forced to grind our teeth as Cruz – who really has been a champion for our causes – held fire on this charlatan for months. Now we are treated to the spectacle of Cruz treating Rubio in the same way many of us wish he had treated Trump from day one? It’s frankly galling.

It’s Cruz’s prerogative to attack whoever he wants, wherever he wants, for whatever reason he wants. After all, he is trying to win a race. But if he continues to go after the actually conservative Rubio while at the same time playing public footsie with the fraudulent Donald Trump, I’m less and less going to consider him one of two equally acceptable choices for the nomination.

Ted Cruz apparently hopes to be the thinking man’s Trump. Sadly operating under the false assumption that Trump backers want a thinking man.

No surprise here. Iran is funding ISIS in the Sinai.

Amazing. As we watched Charlie Brown Christmas this year we said it was only a matter of time before Linus’s part was cut out.

Oh.

Let me put on my shocked face.

Read Leon Wolf on the increasingly meaningless term “Establishment” with regard to GOP candidates.

Gothic is a challenging style for the modern architect

The strangest new Star Wars merchandise

Cruz was at his lawyerly worst when it came to the immigration question on Tuesday night.

Great gift ideas for the men in your life

Is Bruce Jenner allowed to think for himself?

Jenner’s relative conservatism and his Republican affiliation ought not be surprising — as my friend Rob Long says: “Of course Jenner’s a Republican. She’s a rich old white lady.”…Under the current rules of the progressives’ game, a gay man’s mind — a black man’s mind, an immigrant’s mind, Bruce Jenner’s mind — is not his own. If you are a gay man, you are forbidden from finding your situation “pretty comfortable” and hence believing that it is more important to enact Marco Rubio’s national-security agenda than Hillary Rodham Clinton’s gay-rights agenda, whatever that is this week. That simply is not permitted. The price of enjoying the special status associated with cultural victimhood is mandatory conformity with the self-appointed progressive advocates who tell others what to think about you and tell you what to think about you, too.

That is one of the reasons why the Left works so tirelessly to destroy prominent conservatives who are not white men, savaging the likes of Clarence Thomas and Nikki Haley. That is why the success of immigrants from India and Nigeria so scandalizes these so-called progressives: These immigrants aren’t going along with the game, which insists that we pretend that this is an oppressive, abusive, racist society that hates blacks and the foreign-born even as its armed forces salute a black man with a Kenyan father. Amy Chua became a hate totem for suggesting that “tiger moms” see to the success of these communities by declining to coddle their children too much, rejecting the ethos of minority victimhood for the practical proposition that nobody can look down on you if you’re at the top. That kind of thinking, left unchecked, would mean a lot of unemployment among kindergarten diversity officers and media censors tut-tutting about celebrities’ oppressive attitude toward parts of speech. And that is not how the game is played. One wonders why so many people choose to be pawns in it.

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