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The Morning Banter: The GOP Madness Isn't Over, Peter O'Toole Dies, Gun Activists Profit from Sandy Hook, Beyoncé Sucks, and We Start with the Airing of Grievances

It's Monday morning, so you know the drill. Time to get back to work. But take heart: the next few weeks should provide ample room for slacking off. Unless you're me, of course. Here's some crap for you to read.
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It's Monday morning, so you know the drill. Time to get back to work. But take heart: the next few weeks should provide ample room for slacking off. Unless you're me, of course. Here's some crap for you to read.

1. Supplying Demands

If you figured the recent budget deal in the House meant that Republicans were getting the hint that hostage politics hurt them and only them with voters -- as opposed to nearly blowing up the global economy, which would of course hurt everyone -- you should probably know that as usual they didn't learn a fucking thing. Paul Ryan is promising that the GOP will once again attempt to extract concessions in exchange for the next debt ceiling hike. Here we go again.

The Huffington Post: Paul Ryan Says GOP Wants Ransom For Another Debt Ceiling Hostage

2. Losing a Legend

There simply aren't words to describe how cool Peter O'Toole was and how much that coolness made him a transcendent figure in pop culture across generations. The man truly was one of a kind, an icon of stage and screen. While you could count his great performances on both hands and with your shoes off, as well as on the hands and feet of the person next to you, for some reason one of my favorite O'Toole roles was his self-effacing turn in the thoroughly charming 1982 comedy My Favorite Year. Regardless of what you remember him for, Peter O'Toole will absolutely be remembered -- by millions.

The Daily Mail: Film Legend and "Lawrence of Arabia" Star Peter O'Toole Dies at the Age of 81

3. Sneak Attack

I was in a public place when I first learned of the Sandy Hook shooting. I stood with a group of people gathered around a TV watching the details flood in. I broke down crying as I called my mother and explained to her what had happened in Newtown, Connecticut. I say this not to make the tragedy of Sandy Hook in any way about my own pain, but to hopefully illustrate how devastating the event was even to people with no direct connection to anyone involved. If you checked Twitter on Saturday, the one year anniversary of the armed rampage that killed 20 children and six of their guardians at an elementary school, there were plenty of offensive comments from sociopathic assholes who marked the day as the beginning of the end for liberty and the hallowed 2nd Amendment (because as you know it's been real tough for gun-owners and would-be gun-owners since the shooting). But quietly, in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, some of these activists have been taking action to strike down any and all gun control laws across America.

Mother Jones: The Gun Lobby's Stealth Assault on Small-Town America

4. Surfing Before Safari

The answer is, apparently, yes. But the porn's really gonna look like shit.

The Verge: Can a 27-Year-Old Mac Plus Browse the Web?

5. The Airing of Grievances

With the War on Christmas seemingly nowhere near at an end, despite hints of a potential armistice and eventual troop withdrawal from Wal-Mart, it looks like we'll all be forced to endure this annual madness a little while longer. For the record, it really has made me hate this time of year, so if that was Fox News's idea all along -- to make everyone dread both the holiday season and specifically Christmas -- mission accomplished. Maybe you heard, but Festivus poles are going up at a couple of state capitols as a lovely little fuck-you to this manufactured silliness -- and the man who actually wrote the episode of Seinfeld that gave us Festivus is, in the spirit of that particular holiday, sounding off about Fox News and its rank stupidity. Put it this way: If you really think there's a War on Christmas, he's got a lotta problems with you people.

Gawker: Seinfeld Writer Behind 'Festivus' Calls Bullshit on Fox News Grievance

Oh, also, Megyn Kelly is has now gathered her feeble thoughts and is commenting on the response to her monumentally stupid white Santa and white Jesus comments from last week. She says she was the victim of race-baiting by the left. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Mediaite: Megyn Kelly Addresses White Santa Remarks, Slams Critics’ ‘Knee-Jerk Instinct’ to ‘Race-Bait’

6. Cé No More

I can't stand Beyoncé. I think she's an infinitely overrated walking PR campaign whose music in no way correlates quality-wise to the extent of her fans' rabid devotion to her. Thankfully, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Flavorwire: Why ‘Beyoncé’ Makes Me Want to Die

7. ...It'll Last Longer

Don't think social media is literally changing how you see the world? Look closer.

The Atlantic: How Instagram Alters Your Memory

Finally, a couple of TV notes: Brian returned from the dead on Family Guy (of course) and Homeland gave us a truly moving and elegiac season three finale (what felt more like a series finale). It's a clean slate next year.

Have a good one, kids.