Around the Web

Chris Christie’s won the hearts of many conservatives for standing up to charlatans in the public education establishment, but does even he have a dark side? Maybe – Jonathan Tobin has the scoop on Christie’s recent judicial appointment of Sohail Mohammed, who has represented radical Islamists in the past. Consider this a shining example of why I say we shouldn’t be too quick to anoint standard-bearers.

“An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.” Surprised? Me neither.

My NRB colleague Walter Hudson explains how Twilight star Kristin Stewart’s plan to set up a halfway house network to help women escape prostitution is only possible because we let people get rich in this country. Love Twilight or hate it (I’ve neither read the books nor seen the movies), you’ve gotta give Stewart credit for this.

Also on NewsReal, Joseph Klein takes issue with Bill O’Reilly going easy on Bill Maher for bashing the Tea Party. It never ceases to amaze me that O’Reilly has a reputation as some right-wing fire breather, considering that he gives passes to abominable liberals all the time, and his definition of “stand-up guy” is basically “anyone willing to come on my show.”

Rep. Steve King wants to get to the bottom of whether or not your federal tax dollars are paying for Planned Parenthood’s telehealth services.

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New on NewsReal – Bill Maher Rewrites and Ignores History to Pit the Founding Fathers Against the Tea Party

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Left-wing satirist Bill Maher is taking his hatred of the Tea Party movement to the next level. Evidently epithets like crazy, stupid, and racist no longer satisfy him, and he’s decided it’s time to hit “teabaggers” where it really hurts: by mocking their reverence for America’s Founding Fathers, suggesting the Founders’ values aren’t their own:

“[T]he Founding Fathers would have hated your guts…and what’s more, you would have hated them. They were everything you despise. They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly bullshit.”

Maher got a crack in at the Founders as well, saying they had a moral code, but it didn’t come from the Bible…”except for the part about, ‘it’s cool to own slaves.’”


Here, Maher is repackaging the ridiculous straw man that conservatism is not only incompatible with reason and science, but that right-wingers actually pride themselves on disregarding the insights of modern intellectuals in favor of gut instinct and unchanging tradition. But this is a complete distortion of conservative arguments.

We have no problem with true intellectualism or reevaluating our positions in light of new evidence; what we object to is the arrogance of societal elites who look down upon the decision-making abilities of the average American, especially in decisions concerning the individual’s personal affairs. We object to “expertise” being taken as a license to make policy outside of the democratic process.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.