The Atlantic honors “First Time” video star Lena Dunham, nanny state champ Michael Bloomberg

The Atlantic magazine has released its 2012 list of Brave Thinkers,”people risking their reputations, fortunes, and lives in pursuit of big ideas,” and two of the winners might surprise you.

Mixed in among the likes of Fawzia Koofi, an Afghani woman running for president of her country despite death threats, and Taylor Wilson, an 18-year-old skipping college to find a way to harness energy from nuclear fusion, are two familiar names — Lena Dunham and Michael Bloomberg.

The Atlantic honors the actress in HBO’s series “Girls” for her “radical message” that “women do not necessarily exist to be liked.” This doesn’t seem like a new concept, and the magazine avoids discussing a disturbing instance of Dunham radicalism: her creepy and insulting “First Time” ad for the Obama campaign. The ad compares first-time voting to losing one’s virginity, harping on how uncool it is for a young woman to say she hasn’t done either. Apparently Dunham’s “pursuit of big ideas” includes the message that women don’t necessarily exist to be respected, either.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also on the list for what the magazine calls “the Bloomberg way.” A look at the ideas Bloomberg has championed, however, reveals how overbearing this “way” has been. For example, Bloomberg pushed and passed the large soda ban, something that earned him criticism and the nickname “Nanny Bloomberg.” If throwing the rights and individual choices of his city’s residents out the window is considered a brave big idea, then let’s add some dictators to the list. Bloomberg claims he is fighting obesity, but even good intentions can cross into dangerous territory if they come at the risk of personal freedoms.

It is also interesting to note that on The Atlantic‘s website readers can rate these brave thinkers from one star — “not taking much risk” — to five stars — “risking it all.” Dunham is ranked lowest out of all 22 honorees, with an average of 1.8 stars at the time of this article. Even the “Sticker Lady,” who was jailed for vandalizing Singapore with stickers, has garnered an average of 2.9 stars. Bloomberg is middle of the pack, with an average of 3.2 stars.

Surely two other people in the world must exist who have done more original — and constructive — thinking than Dunham and Bloomberg. Fingers crossed for next year’s list.

Comments

Polititainment

HOC star wants Bill Clinton cameo

"House of Cards" star Michael Kelly in an interview with The Hill at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner late last month said that he would "love" to see Bill Clinton land a cameo role on the Netflix political drama.

Stewart plays 'Let’s Get Rid of Cruz'

Jon Stewart came up with a super clever game to narrow the GOP field—it’s called “Let’s Get Rid of Ted Cruz.”

Letterman hits Boehner, Clinton and Cruz
In David Letterman’s opening monologue Tuesday night, the comedian presented “John Boehner: News You Can Use,” featuring what would seem irrelevant when taken out of context. For instance, Boehner says in one clip, “We spend more money on antacids than we do on politics.” Letterman also cracked wise about Hillary Clinton’s Mother’s Day fundraiser where she will […]
Sofia Vergara: Obama charming, handsome

The actress told Howard Stern Monday that she had a brief and pleasant encounter with the president during a tour of the White House in 2013 with her "Modern Family" costars ahead of that year's White House Correspondents' dinner.

Stewart weighs in on Garland shooting

Jon Stewart had a message Monday night--and he repeated it a lot, because people were seemingly not getting it.

2016

Millennial calls Hillary out for hypocrisy

National Review's Katherine Timpf, a self-described "middle-class Millennial female," recently penned a hilarious letter to Hillary Clinton that perfectly captures her hypocrisy on a number of issues.

Clinton will go further than Obama on amnesty
It’s hard to believe, but Hillary Clinton is taking an even more extreme stance on immigration and executive actions than President Obama. At a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Clinton vowed she would fight for “full and equal citizenship” for the millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. “I will fight for comprehensive immigration […]
Huckabee claims he never criticized Beyonce

Mike Huckabee doesn't think calling Beyonce "vulgar" is criticizing her--it's just "making observations."

Former Clinton aide: Hillary likes wine, vodka

Two former Clinton aides spilled the secrets about Hillary's drinking habits and biggest regrets during a roundtable on HuffPost Live with Bloomberg's Josh Green and Politico's Glenn Thrush.

Scott Walker approves regulations for Uber, Lyft
Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law this month that regulates rideshare companies, including Uber and Lyft. The law stipulates certain safety features including the prohibition of hiring sex offenders, people with drunk driving offenses or habitual traffic violations. The company must also electronically transmit the driver’s photo and license plate number to the […]

Policy

Amnesty comes at a high cost in California
Amnesty comes at a high cost in California. California State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is hoping to grant health care coverage to illegal immigrants at the cost of $740 million per year, according to the Senate fiscal analysis. The bill, proposed last year by Lara, would extend government-subsidized healthcare coverage to 1.5 million people, according […]
Millennials least likely to support free speech
The results of a recent Pew Research Center poll on free speech should probably come as no surprise in this era of “trigger warnings” and “microaggressions.” But the poll found that Millennials were least likely to support free speech rights, particularly when that speech could be seen as offensive. The Pew Research Center polled a […]
Scott Walker approves regulations for Uber, Lyft
Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law this month that regulates rideshare companies, including Uber and Lyft. The law stipulates certain safety features including the prohibition of hiring sex offenders, people with drunk driving offenses or habitual traffic violations. The company must also electronically transmit the driver’s photo and license plate number to the […]
Emergency room visits have gone up under Obamacare
Another day, another lie stemming from the creators of the Affordable Care Act. Despite President Obama’s promises to the contrary, the number of visits to U.S. emergency rooms — one of the most costly parts of healthcare in America — has actually gone up under Obamacare. “Such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us […]
Anna Wintour comes out for Hillary & against guns
In an interview with New York Magazine, Vogue’s longtime editor and chief Anna Wintour, was asked about how “Hillary balked at the idea of being Vogue” during her 2008 presidential run. Despite being snubbed, Wintour announced she’s ready for Hillary. She said, “I hope so! Of course. Yes. But it’s only just started,” when asked if […]