In giant metaphor, Cruz announces 2016 candidacy at Liberty University

Why shouldn't I be president?

Why shouldn’t I be president?

Ted Cruz has formally entered the 2016 presidential race, announcing his candidacy this morning at Liberty University. And what better analogue for his brand of conservatism than a college founded by a televangelist? As the Telegraph reminds us, Liberty University teaches that the Earth is 6000 years old and notes the “strong possibility that horses, zebras and donkeys are all descended from an original pair of horses that were on Noah’s Ark.” That’s only a possibility, though; we shouldn’t assume anything until we can do more research. Cruz is a Baptist, but he didn’t go to Liberty University. He went to Princeton. That, dear reader, is the senator from Texas in a nutshell.

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Ted Cruz to New Hampshire three year-old: “Your world is on fire”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX), seconds before his charades team fails to guess "smarmy"

Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX) and what facial recognition software would call a smile

Personality profiles often describe Ted Cruz as the smartest guy in the room, which makes him seem that much more cynical when he panders. Addressing a group of conservatives in New Hampshire Sunday, Cruz criticized “the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind” and said that “the world is on fire.” This remark alarmed three year-old Julie Trant, who was presumably having a great Sunday already, and prompted the following exchange:

Trant: The world is on fire?

Cruz: Yes, the world is on fire. Your world is on fire.

[laughter]

Cruz: But you know what? Your mommy’s here and everyone’s here to make sure that the world you grow up in is even better.

Even better than on fire? Somebody give this man control of the US government.

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Is it wrong to question Shia LaBeouf’s rape narrative?

Shia LaBeouf does even this unnaturally.

Shia LaBeouf does this unnaturally, somehow.

More than one of you sent me news that Shia LaBeouf says he was raped during #IAMSORRY, the performance-art apology for plagiarizing Daniel Clowes that was itself plagiarized from Marina Abramovic. Sorry—we got sucked into a Baudrillardian whirlpool there. The important part of the sentence is that somebody raped Shia LaBeouf, or so he said in an interview with Dazed. His description of events—a woman entered the exhibit, lashed his legs with a cane, and raped him while her boyfriend waited outside—conflicts with reports from his fellow artists. Also, it is insane. But to even allude to these issues is to question the narrative of a victim of sexual assault, which is wrong. I quote the AV Club’s Sean O’Neal:

But to question any of these details…is to enter into the always-uncomfortable arena of casting doubt on a sexual assault allegation…to blame the victim. Timed as it is in the midst of the continued controversy surrounding Bill Cosby, LaBeouf’s story could also be seen as commentary on the way society treats rape accusations, particularly when they involve a celebrity. But, again, to even suggest there may be some other, “artistic” purpose to LaBeouf coming forward with this would be to trivialize a charge of sexual assault.

I swear, if that son of a bitch made us think about this on purpose…

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Paul Ryan: Rage Against the Machine was never my favorite band

A possibly Photoshopped image of Rep. Paul Ryan

A possibly Photoshopped image of Rep. Paul Ryan

We all remember the highlight of the 2012 presidential election, when then-Republican nominee for vice president Paul Ryan told the New York Times that Rage Against the Machine was one of his favorite bands. It wasn’t quite irony, exactly. It was more like the twist in Terminator Salvation: with a rush of existential horror, we realized this guy thought he was a real person. But don’t you worry—he’s corrected that misapprehension in a new interview with the Times. Quote:

They were never my favorite band. I hate the lyrics, but I like the sound. Led Zeppelin has always been my favorite band. Again, these urban legends get going.

By “urban legends,” Ryan means things he told the most respected and carefully fact-checked newspaper in America. But he was never directly quoted, so he has some wiggle room. Uncomfortable writhing after the jump.

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Paul Ryan invites us to save money by embracing false dichotomy

Paul Ryan, who has not held a job since 1999

Paul Ryan, who has worked in politics since graduating college in 1992.

After over-composing to make deadline yesterday, I am enjoying my first semi-day off in weeks. While I propagate a culture of laziness and entitlement, how about we check in with a guy who knows all about that stuff from the perspective of righteous election? I refer of course to Paul Ryan, who recently complained that poverty is largely due to people in the inner cities “not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” In case this blog post falls into a time machine set for 1954, “inner cities” is futurespeak for “people who are not white.” We need to stop spending money to help them, or this poverty thing might spread to another demographic.

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