Archives for October 2015

Clinton Needs A Kubrick


Congressional Republicans’ three-year inquiry into the deaths of four Americans during a violent 2012 incident at the U.S. Embassy in Libya entered its eighth (waxing gibbous) phase last week when the newly empaneled House Select Subcommittee on Benghazi followed in the footsteps of seven previous Congressional committees, convening for their first and only hearing with their one and only witness: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Coming off a relatively shart-free performance in the first Democratic debate, Clinton’s stock was rising: every media outlet insisted that she won the debate, even though public polling and that one annoying guy in your News Feed told a different story.

In any case, Republicans reasoned, whatever bounce Clinton might have seen in the days after the debate would certainly crumble when the valiant Trey Gowdy, armed with two stacks of printed emails and an overmatched antiperspirant would rip off her mask and reveal the malevolent puppet master that engineered the attack. Or ignored it? Mislabeled it! She definitely did something wrong, and it probably had to do with her email, and the Republicans were all set to keep her in that hearing room until she confessed to something.

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Live at Brit Pack NYC, 10/9/2015

0:00 — “Your Little Finger”
3:45 — “Chosen Girl”
8:30 — “Gentrify”


Parting Ways with Bernie


As much as it pains me to say it, I’m afraid Hillary Clinton wrapped up the Democratic Presidential nomination this week, roughly nine months ahead of schedule, at the CNN-Facebook debate in Las Vegas. Not because she had a particularly strong performance, because she didn’t. Not because she ritually sacrificed a donkey wearing a tousled white wig and drank its blood backstage, though she probably did. But because Bernie Sanders, the rival she never saw coming, whose fundraising and poll numbers improbably grew to challenge her own without the 15-year head start, name recognition, war chest, or flexible moral compass inexplicably handed it to her for no apparent reason.

Asked by moderator Anderson Cooper about her use of a private e-mail server, Clinton gave a long, rambling answer about how it was allowed by the State Department, but it was still a mistake, and anyway it’s nothing but a political witch hunt, and anyway she’s cooperating and wouldn’t we all rather be talking about something else, like what a great president she’s going to be?!

It wasn’t a great answer, and it did little to convince anyone that their misgivings about the secret email server were overblown, but in the middle of it Sanders raised his hand to indicate he wanted to respond. When Clinton finished, Cooper called on Sanders, who bafflingly didn’t just throw her a life preserver, he pulled up alongside her in a 50-foot yacht, helped her aboard, and handed her a chilled prosecco.

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Guns N’ Assholes


So another one of these assholes armed himself like the Terminator and indiscriminately shot a bunch of strangers, this time at a community college in Oregon, killing nine people and wounding 10 more. It seems that This Asshole, like so many Assholes before him, purchased his weapons legally. It also appears that he blogged on a bit-torrent site about previous assholes, specifically the Last Asshole, the one who shot the newscasters:

I have noticed that so many people like [the Last Asshole] are alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems like the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.

It’s unclear whether This Asshole was in it strictly for the limelight, or if there were other factors. It seems he had some religious hangups, and he closed his eyes knowing he’d be famous forever.

But the joke’s on him, because we hardly even notice these things anymore. It’s a big thing on social media for a day or two and then pffft. And this was pretty garden variety stuff. Just marching around shooting everyone in sight? That’s been done. The next asshole is going to really have to do something special if he wants to be remembered for more than a couple of news cycles. Like put on a RoboCop outfit, or commit the massacre from the seat of a unicycle. He could broadcast the whole thing on Periscope and get all super theatrical about it, like a 21st-century Zodiac! In today’s super-competitive asshole marketplace, you’ve really got to go the extra mile.

Does anyone remember the Last Asshole’s name? What about the Charleston Asshole? Anyone? Anyone even remember which Asshole came before Charleston? Was it the “Trainwreck” Asshole, or the Santa Barbara Asshole? I feel like the Fort Hood Asshole was in there somewhere. No, not the first Fort Hood Asshole that killed 17 people, that was 2009. There’s been like a dozen more assholes since then. I’m talking about the second Fort Hood Asshole, he only got like three. You don’t remember the second Fort Hood Asshole?

Since the 1999 Columbine Assholes, when (half) the nation first sat up straight and resolved to Do Something About This, when Michael Moore made BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and became the Right wing’s favorite piñata, there have been 31 Flavors of these Assholes, so many that I had forgotten most of them.

I certainly seem to have grown some thick emotional calluses. These things used to bring me to tears, and now they rate little more than a solemn head shake, a deep sigh, and then back to business. My Facebook is full of all the same arguments as the last time, and the time before that, with both sides saying all the same things as last time, and nobody’s minds changing, myself included.

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