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The Syrian way of war

Check out this photo of rebel fighters in Aleppo, which, according to some reports today, is slipping out of the regime's control. Note the guy in the lefthand corner casually shooting the scene with his cell phone, while the dude manning what looks like an anti-aircraft gun fires away.

AFP/Getty Images

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Is the Obama campaign taking commercial ideas from Vladimir Putin?

I see the Obama campaign has a new YouTube ad featuring Girls star (and fellow Oberlin alum!) Lena Dunham:

"Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy," she says, referring to casting your first ballot for Obama. (What were you thinking?)

It's a clever conceit, but feels a bit familiar. Perhaps because the same joke was used in an ad for Vladimir Putin's presidential campaign earlier this year:

A suggestive ad rallying support for Putin's presidential campaign shows a young woman seeking a fortune-teller's advice. "Let's find out, cutie, who is intended to you by destiny," the mystic says. The girl replies, "You know. I wish it to be for love -- It is my first time."

Here's that one:

Another ad from the same campaign featured a doctor telling a young woman, "The main thing is to be sure it's safe. Especially the first time."

Let's just hope the campaign doesn't delve further into the Putin catalog.

Update: Looks like Reagan may have beaten Putin to this joke by a few years. 

Also, whether you like the Dunham commercial or not, describing it as "further proof we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire" is um... going a bit far.