Best Of Banter: Presidents On Drugs, Rand Paul's Alex Jones Connections, and Rick Scott's Corruption

The week that was.

From chickenshit Republicans opining on the tyranny of employee hand-washing requirements to the ongoing nuttiness of the Paul family, you might be excused for reaching the conclusion that someone released a hallucinatory gas in the Capitol Building at the start of February.

No such luck, but we do have an op-ed calling for politicians to get super high and stare at clouds before they have time to speak again. Here's the week that was, at The Daily Banter.

Illicit Drug Use Should Be a Requirement For All Presidential Candidates


Presidents need to have a lot of qualifications: political savvy, policy knowledge, experience running large organizations, a willingness to drone the shit out of anyone that even so much as looks at the U.S., etc.

Mike Luciano makes a compelling argument that the president should also be required to have done a ton of drugs. I think my chances of one day sleeping just shot up!

MEMBERS ONLY: It’s Okay if You Hated ‘Boyhood,’ and Here Are Many Reasons Why


Boyhood, the recently-released Richard Linklater movie filmed over the course of 12 years and which quite literally features actor Ellar Coltrane aging throughout his entire adolescence, has received near-universal acclaim from critics. But Bob Cesca wasn't nearly as happy with the film, and he builds a pretty strong case for why it's not the masterpiece everyone is raving about:

Frankly, since watching it on Saturday, I’ve felt like a crazy person, because the movie I watched ranged from being mediocre to unintentionally schlocky ... Cutting to the chase, I didn’t like Boyhood because it wasted my time with mostly unlikable characters, trivial content, occasional bad performances, predictable events, narrative dead-ends, generally bad storytelling and a whole lot of nothing.

Read Bob's review here.

Rand Paul’s Wacky Conspiracy Theorist Tendencies are Finally Exposed to the Press and General Public


At some point during this week, Rand Paul's Senate officers were roused from their usual routine of picking their teeth clean of hay and exchanging casually racist jokes by a blaring siren repeating "Warning. The senator has been asked about vaccines. This is not a drill. Warning."

Bob does an admirable job of not only picking apart Paul's ludicrous vaccine conspiracy theories, but explaining how they're just the latest in a series of bizarre ideas Paul has trotted out on every topic imaginable. From the imaginary Bilderberg Conspiracy to Paul's "guarantee" that shadowy elites were planning to merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada into one super-state called the North American Union, Paul's conspiratorial nonsense should be heard by every American who could one day have the chance of voting for him.

‘Vox’ Tries To Spin Obama’s Vaccination Comments, But Here’s the Full Context


Tommy Christopher exposes some incredibly weak reporting by Vox, which used an out-of-context quote from 2008 to make it seem as though Obama was a vaccine truther. As Tommy shows, the original clip makes it clear that Obama was being somewhat sarcastic with his reference to the supposedly inconclusive state of research linking autism and vaccines.

Obama has not undergone any vaccine flip-flop, just a concerted effort to make it seem that way. Seriously, it would have taken maybe 30 seconds to find this clip.

Republican Senator: Let Restaurants Opt Out of Hand-Washing Regulation


Rand Paul wasn't the only Republican to come out with some interesting opinions on health policy this week. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina has an interesting proposal to allow restaurants to opt out of regulations requiring employees to wash their hands after taking a dump, "just as long as they post a sign." As Bob notes, "we might as well order our meal with a drizzle of urine."

Just How Corrupt is Florida Governor Rick Scott?


According to a lawsuit filed by a former Democratic candidate for attorney general, Gov. Scott doesn't just look like Skeletor, he's as evil as Skeletor.

We're talking $200 million in hidden assets that the governor desperately wants to make sure aren't seen by the public, probably because even a cursory analysis of his holdings would reveal how incredibly corrupt he really is. Sooner or later, Scott might end up in cuffs.

Move Over, Saudi Arabia, There’s a Jewish Community In New York Where Women Can’t Drive


Mike pops in to remind us that the horrifically sexist Saudi Arabian monarchy isn't the only religious entity demanding women get off the roads and let men get behind the wheel.

In the 22,000-strong ultra-Orthodox community of Kiryas Joel, just 50 miles northwest of New York City, women aren't legally prohibited from driving. But the ultra-Orthodox community there holds so much sway that a female caught driving would risk being shunned, having her kids expelled from school, or even excommunicated from the town entirely. It's not quite creeping sharia, but it is "sexist, stupid, and downright backwards."