Dear Hillary: Please Go Away

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Leading up to the election last November, I was all-in on Hillary Clinton. This was due in equal measure to her impressive résumé as a career public servant, her capabilities as a politician, and her vision for America’s future. It also helped that, unlike a lot of people my age, I never fully bought into the notion that Bernie Sanders was a better candidate, even though Bernie’s views are far more closely aligned with my own than Hillary’s were. Many of Bernie’s proposals sounded wonderful, but they also demonstrated either a) an overabundance of wishful thinking, or b) a lack of pragmatism, neither of which are typically qualities I look for in a President. Sure, free college for everyone sounds wonderful, but with a Republican-majority Congress – one that doesn’t even see fit to allocate any money to keep people, y’know, alive – it’s a pipe dream. And while Hillary’s proposals were derided for not thinking big enough, in all likelihood, she had much higher odds of passing some of her more moderate legislation than Bernie would have if he were elected.

But it didn’t matter. She lost anyway.

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The Problem With Lindsey Graham

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Like his colleague John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham has established a reputation as a “maverick” politician, a gimlet-eyed straight shooter who isn’t afraid to cross swords with those in his own party when his conscience demands he do so. In this regard, he’s seen as a breath of fresh air in an increasingly divided political environment; partisan hacks like Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz will contort themselves in any manner of ways to defend clearly indefensible positions and justify their party’s actions, even if it means offering themselves up on the altar of public scorn. But Graham would never do that – he has too much respect for the office and for the sacred duty of his role as an elected official to represent all his constituents, not just the ones who voted for him to ever engage in such behavior. It is this perceived fortitude that has helped drive the narrative that Lindsey Graham is above the fray.

The only problem is, it’s not true.

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Stop Freaking Out About Neil Gorsuch

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There’s been a lot of hue and cry about Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Most of it is (rightfully) centered around the fact that Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee, sat in limbo for an entire year because Republicans (like this asshole) refused to even hold confirmation hearings. And the worst part about it was that Republicans appeared entirely content to keep that stalemate going indefinitely.

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Mitch McConnell Is Worthless

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From the moment he made his way down the escalator at Trump Tower and thrust himself into the conversation, Donald Trump has dominated the media’s reporting on American politics. Reporting on the latest misdeeds of Donald Trump has proven to be a full-time job, and criticizing Trump has become de rigueur. And while Trump has certainly done and said plenty to justify the constant media coverage, one problem with the media focusing all of its efforts on investigating and breathlessly reporting Donald Trump and the Terrible, Awful, No-Good, Very Bad Cabinet Appointments is that it inevitably takes focus off of others to whom we really, really should be paying attention.

Like Mitch McConnell.

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How Did We Get Here?

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Quite enough has been written about Donald Trump this election cycle. In fact, I would argue that too much time has been dedicated to his shambolic, unhinged and anti-political train wreck of a campaign. We’re all sick to death of hearing about Donald Trump, of reading the daily reminders that he doesn’t have the first goddamn clue how to run for President (much less actually be one, God forbid), and adding to the ever-growing ziggurat of evidence indicating that not only is he a bad politician, but a mediocre-at-best businessman and a lousy human being.

I know all this, just as I know another article isn’t going to change anyone’s mind or reveal new insight into the man who is unquestionably the worst Presidential candidate this country has ever seen. But at the same time, the fact that approximately 40% of American voters have proven themselves to be aware of (and unmoved by) his innumerable shortcomings as a politician/human being is, in my mind at least, a phenomenon that requires further exploration. So if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to take a little time to wade through this quagmire of an election cycle and the events that precipitated Donald Trump’s rise to power in the Republican Party. It might end up being a pointless endeavor, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least try to understand how we got to this point as a country.

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“Classic” Movie Reviews: The Bridge on the River Kwai

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It has recently come to my attention that, of all the movies I’ve seen in my lifetime, only nine are on AFI’s “100 Greatest Movies” list. In an effort to rectify that, I am making my way through the list one film at a time. As always, these reviews are purely subjective, and I reserve the right to retroactively change my rating whenever I want. (I don’t know why I’m telling you that.)

This week’s selection: The Bridge on the River Kwai.

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“Classic” Movie Reviews: Amadeus

 

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I was at a bar in Scranton, PA a few weeks ago with a friend of mine (he’s also my screenwriting partner in the rare moments when we’re both able to shake off our collective sloth and, you know, actually write something). On the TV behind the bar, Back to the Future was playing, and I mentioned that I’d never actually seen it before. I didn’t think there was anything particularly remarkable about that, but apparently it’s borderline treasonous not to have seen the comedic stylings of the impish Michael J. Fox and the (possibly pedophilic) madcap charm of Christopher Lloyd, because my friend was appalled.

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The Oscars Have Always Been Bullshit

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There’s been a fair amount of uproar (in fact, I’d go so far as to call it a hullabaloo) recently about the Academy Awards. Before the awards were given, many actors (rightfully so, mind you) decried the lack of diversity among the nominees, which led to thinkpieces about those actors, whether or not their assertions were valid, and what we can do about the astonishing whiteness of the Oscars. Continue reading

The Red Pill, MRAs, and My Diminishing Faith in Humanity

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Until about 3 weeks ago, I didn’t know what The Red Pill was. I was vaguely aware that it was a Reddit forum, but that was the extent of my knowledge; based on the name, I assumed it was some sort of conspiracy-theorist subreddit. You know, the kind of place where amiable, like-minded folks can come together to talk rationally about the Illuminati, whether or not Obama is a secret lizard person, and the Bilderberg Group. Your standard Reddit fare, I suppose.

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