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

Clooney throws fit after Obama name-calling

No one puts President Barack Obama in the corner — at least not on George Clooney's watch.

Fallon jabs Obama with 'depressed panda' joke

This depressed panda joke is definitely going to turn any frown upside down.

George Will to Colbert: Liberals don't want change

Conservative commentator and hapless Chicago Cubs fan George Will swung by "The Colbert Report" Tuesday to plug his new book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side," but naturally, the conversation didn't stick to baseball.

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder'

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

White House

President Obama bows to ASIMO the robot

Finally, an individual to match the administration's artificial intelligence.

Donald Trump is really upset with the way Obama walks

President Barack Obama just can't seem to do anything right, especially in the eyes of real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.