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Richard Bensam

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It turns out Trump's awfulness is a vital part of getting this monstrosity passed. That realization does not lead to a good place.
OPINION | How much is Obama willing to harm his party in order to pass the TPP?
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Richard Bensam

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I knew something was wrong with that letter when I got to the part saying "Trump's health is huge. He has the most classy health ever. If Abraham Lincoln had been as healthy as Donald Trump he would have survived being shot in the head, no question."
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Richard Bensam

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There are jokes that surprise you with an unexpected insight and this moment of realization makes you laugh. I'm going to call that kind of joke funny. Then there are jokes that don't surprise you with anything and don't actually make you laugh, but which make people nod and say "This is a good joke because it reaffirms what I already thought." I'm going to call that kind of joke boring.

(This observation inspired by the state of political humor in 2016.)
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I think of those as choir jokes: you laugh because it reaffirms something you believe or because you don't want anyone to think you're not part of the team.

Richard Bensam

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A year ago I was telling people my fear wasn't Donald Trump, but the guy who was watching him and taking notes for next time.
Yeah, Hillary will probably win. But unless Democrats can be more than the Whole Foods party, they're doomed
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I was hoping someone would do a quick roundup of Kissinger's awfulness for the sake of younger folks who may only know him as a head in a jar on Futurama.
Bernie Sanders should call on her to repudiate him as the war criminal he is.
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As far as I can tell, these days both parties want to be the party of Nixon: the Democrats want to copy his foreign policy and obsession with secrecy, and in return the Republicans want his popularity with hard hat voters.

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"Between 1950 and 2000, St. Louis’ population grew by 48 percent while its land area grew over 260 percent. Nationwide, over 475,000 households were displaced to make way for highways that often serve those passing through better than they serve the people right next door."
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If Tim Burton's Superman Lives warrants a critical reappraisal thanks to a documentary film, this movie certainly deserves the same privilege. I will go to my grave insisting that Corman's version was the best cast and most sincere of any attempt at filming the Fantastic Four, and the first part of the film is nearly perfect.

(hat tip to +Ben Grimm for bringing this to my attention)
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Richard Bensam

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"Fidget was Kenny Baker, we made him the cute one, the one that everybody liked, but in a sense that’s the way he is, so we were definitely using their real characters in some sense."
Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits is a dark fantasy classic. But nobody would fund his movie about time-traveling robbers, and George Harrison had to mortgage his office to get the film made. That's just one of the secrets of Time Bandits in this exclusive excerpt from the book Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing Story of HandMade Films. $15 Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of HandMade Films From amazon 57 purchased by readers Gawker Media may get...
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Richard Bensam

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Chris Stein has been posting his old photos of New York City in the Seventies as well as current stuff on Instagram. I've been skimming his pics for old views of Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side...but the main thing I've gotten is a greater appreciation that if Stein weren't famous for being part of Blondie, he would still be a well known photographer.
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On one hand, we have fine arts BA and tech writer Clay Shirky declaring that protest voting doesn't even exist - on the other, Morrison Professor Emeritus of American history at Berkeley John D. Hicks insisting that a mere "glance" at history proves that protest votes are the most powerful votes that exist.
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The man responsible for "I'm A Lumberjack" and "Spam" passed away on July 17, but the obituary is only appearing now. I assume it was delayed by the lengthy introductory section of the All-England Summarize Proust Competition.
Fred Tomlinson, who has died aged 88, was the founder and leader of the Fred Tomlinson Singers, who provided vocals for Monty Python’
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