My WAFCA Ballot

The Witch

The Washington Area Film Critics Association, which was foolish enough to induct me into its ranks years ago, released its nominees for its annual year-end awards yesterday; winners will be announced tomorrow. In the interest of transparency,* I figured I’d share my nominees and some thoughts on the choices with y’all. (I’ll update this post Monday morning when the winners are announced.)

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NFL Week 13 Picks, with Paige Spiranac


It has been almost a year since golfer Paige Spiranac has appeared on the Washington Free Beacon. That is my fault, and I apologize. I failed to keep up with the women’s circuit during the presidential election, and unfortunately missed Paige win her first professional event over the summer. Won my first tournament as a professional today on …

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Clinton Campaign Blames James Comey for Losing

FBI Director James Comey testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy" in Washington July 8

A real headline: Clinton’s Campaign Manager Blames James Comey For Her Loss.

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Buzzfeed and Late Capitalist Decadence; or, Gay Marriage is False Consciousness Part 454


I couldn’t stop laughing. A day after Buzzfeed ran Kate Aurthur’s breathtaking scoop about how—brace yourself—not all American Christians are Unitarians, I saw this hilarious letter written by some flunky on the business side of things at the former cat blog’s London bureau in response to employees’ attempts to unionize. Forgive me for quoting it in full: Dear …

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Jim Mattis Is Going to Make the Military Great Again

Gen. James Mattis

He commanded the first Marines to take the fight home to al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11. The first conventional U.S. troops into Afghanistan, these Marines made their way to Kandahar on the longest ship-to-shore assault in American history.

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New Substandard Podcast Tackles ‘Die Hard,’ Christmas Gifts

Pajama Boy Die Hard

Fantastic new episode of the Substandard podcast, in which JVL is wronger than usual (he both believes Die Hard is a Christmas movie (it isn’t) and thinks that A Christmas Story is a bad Christmas movie; he’s basically history’s greatest monster) and Free Beacon director of food and beverage services Vic Matus is bluer than usual (seriously, it was gross). Check it out:

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Important Questions (About Movies) for Trump’s Incoming Treasury Secretary

Snyder, Zack. Neocon Jesus of Steel at Golgotha. 2016.

So, Steven Mnuchin is going to be Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary. I don’t have particularly strong feelings about Dodd-Frank or anything like that—what do I look like, some kind of nerd?—but I do have very strong feelings about the fact that he has served as executive producer (read: financier) of a number of films over the last few years.

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Why ‘Westworld’ Works (Spoilers)

My fan theory is that Dr. Ford is the hero of Westworld; he's the only one trying to prevent a robot uprising!

Plot points up to and including the ninth episode of the first season of Westworld discussed below.

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Thanksgiving NFL Picks, with Holiday Advice and Great Pictures

nowthatsamerican Instagram

Every Thanksgiving a bunch of pieces pop up about how to argue about politics with your family around the dinner table. The New York Times offered its readers a crash course of the “most effective ways to argue” that was crafted by psychologists and philosophers. The geniuses at Vox have prepped their readers to win arguments on topics …

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New Substandard Podcast Tackles ‘Arrival,’ Thanksgiving, Rest Stops


I don’t want to oversell it guys, but this is the best Weekly Substandard podcast yet. We discussed Arrival and alien invasion movies, Thanksgiving dishes, and, um, highway rest stops. (What is it with Jersey kids and their obsession with rest stops? I don’t get it.)

The Weekly Substandard now has its own iTunes location: you can download this week’s episode as well as previous episodes right here. Subscribe today! Or listen below. Or don’t do either, whatever. You probably have better things to listen to.

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Scenes From a Reaction

Donald Trump

Jon, 38, enters a Nebraska Starbucks he had just last year sworn to boycott because its owner asked patrons not to carry firearms inside. Two weeks ago, Jon was complaining about triggers and safe spaces. Today, he wants to buy a latte (venti, triple, no foam) and demand that the woman at the counter (Elisha, 27, who, unbeknownst to Jon, voted GOP for the third straight cycle) write “Trump” on the cup in the hopes that she will refuse him service and he can claim a grievance against her and the company writ large. He hopes, like all good Americans, to “go viral.”

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95 Theses on The Beatles


Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, Mr. Matthew Walther, high-school dropout, and associate editor at Rosslyn, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence via Twitter. In the name of &c. &c. &c.

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NFL Week 11 Picks, With Trump Voter Paris Hilton


Some people love Paris Hilton but a lot more people hate her.

I had no strong feelings on the hotel heiress before yesterday when I heard that she told some Australian talk show hosts that she voted for Donald Trump.

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The Trump Counterrevolution in Military Affairs


After eight years of an Obama Pentagon, certain defense issues were meant to be settled, finished, over, dead—shot by a firing squad composed of History and Progress and rolled without ceremony into shallow graves. The list included the integration of women into combat jobs, the normalization of transgender troops, and the importance of green energy to the military. The imposition of draft registration on women, though not yet accomplished, was thought to be all but inevitable.

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NFL Week 10 Picks—and I’ve Made Them Great Again


I didn’t publish picks the past two weeks—I was busy and figured the country was too focused on making America great again to even care about the NFL.

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