Kori Schake at Foreign Policy: “The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is running a brilliantly effective social media campaign. With the group rebranded as the Islamic State (IS), its grisly messaging gets attention and discourages resistance to its military operations, both where it is fighting and among countries that might be inclined to intervene against it. After it took Mosul, IS streamed video of its men executing dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers — which very likely helped encourage the choice of Iraqi security forces to quietly desert their posts … Sun Tzu would give them a standing ovation.
“By contrast, the U.S. government’s efforts at hashtag diplomacy are pathetic. Just take first lady Michelle Obama’s maudlin-looking picture of her holding a handwritten sign reading “#BringBackOurGirls” — a public appeal for someone, anyone, to do something to effect the release of the Nigerian students kidnapped by Boko Haram. As if she didn’t sleep at night with the person who has the greatest ability of anyone in the world to free these captive girls.…”
Married to the feds
Kelly Williams Brown at the Daily Beast reports that Fox News has “figured out why the Hobby Lobby ruling has caused such a flap. No, not because it’s deeply unsettling that a corporation can impose a religious, unscientific belief on its employees. It’s because there are lonely ladies whose bitter singleness has calcified and become malignant.
“ ‘I call them the Beyonce voters, the single ladies. Obama won the single ladies by 76 percent last time, and they made up about a quarter of the electorate. You know, they depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands,’ said contributor and noted Lady Expert Jesse Watters. ‘They need things like contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay’ …
“So, Watters has me — and all of us! — on this one. Or one-quarter of the American electorate, at least. For those of you who aren’t Beyonce voters, I’d like to give you a peek into our world. … We are a monolithic block, each and every one dedicated to premarital sex, hedonism, socialism, white wine and tweeting about misogyny. We are unmarried. Since we have no husbands, we have been dropping constant hints to the federal government … Sadly, the federal government has stopped texting us back …”
Obama vs. Hirohito
The Borowitz Report: “A new poll released Wednesday revealed that people rank President Barack Obama as the worst president since the Second World War, and also blame him for starting the Second World War.
“While the respondents slammed the president for his handling of the economy, Iraq and a host of other issues, his perceived role as the primary cause of the Second World War was the biggest drag on his numbers … In other poll results, the most popular president in the survey was Ronald Reagan, widely credited with ending the Second World War.”
I’d miss Palin
Jessica Grose at Slate on a poll showing that a slight majority of Americans wish Sarah Palin would basically go away: “While I haven’t agreed with almost anything Palin has said since she was nominated for vice president in 2008, I think it would be a shame if she stopped speaking out, and not just because she provides endless blogger fodder.
“I would miss Sarah Palin because she defies all stereotypes and ideas of ‘appropriate’ behavior for women in politics. … Palin does not wear the careful, colorful sheath dresses or dignified suits that other female politicos wear. She wears Superman T-shirts and clunky heels and cowboy boots … She doesn’t talk like other women in politics either … Palin never feels the need to tamp down her anger and she’s often snide. She destroys the stereotype that mothers in politics need to be perfect angels, lest they be judged too harshly by the public.
“In a piece about why other women should challenge Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination, Rebecca Traister [for The New Republic] wrote, ‘We’re in a tricky, potentially explosive stage: bursting with ideas about how to normalize the concept of women in power, but still constrained by a system that politically, economically and culturally remains dominated by white men.’ Part of what will move us past this stage is having all different kinds of political women in the public eye. Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is sui generis.”
Compiled by Greg Victor (firstname.lastname@example.org).