Doublespeak, so to speak

Cobb County CEO Tim Lee put his name on a pro-police letter to the editor written by his assistant who, it turns out, didn’t write it, either.

Kellie Brownlow, who makes $105,000 a year in the executive role of deputy chief in Lee’s office, said she authored the letter for Lee, and acknowledged in an interview with the AJC that she took passages from Houlihan’s text. Brownlow said she did not tell Lee about using entire sentences from another source.

Brownlow said it is “common in political discourse for rhetorical phrases and language that concisely makes the point, or words that work, to be repeated.”

Actually, it is not common in political discourse for rhetorical phrases and language that concisely makes the point, or words that work, to be repeated.

What’s really sad is Brownlow probably worked for hours to come up with that nonsense.

“Well framed phrases and words are commonly repeated in public discourse. This was a letter to the editor, not an academic paper,” Brownlow said.

Imagine her blog posts.

Her boss Hogg  didn’t seem too bothered by his assistant’s dishonesty.

Lee did not answer directly when asked Tuesday if it is acceptable for his deputy chief to plagiarize in his name: “I’m not sure where you’re going, but it doesn’t change the intent of the message, and that’s all I have to say about that.”

Better stay profitable, Tom Cruise

The media’s unrequited love affair with (relevant) celebrities has long been an exercise in shameless, soulless pandering, but the wet kiss it planted this week on Tom Cruise marked a new low.

Just three months ago, Cruise was hit with allegations that he profited from slave labor provided by the Church of Scientology and sanctioned the humiliation of an auditioning girlfriend who, after she displeased the cult’s self-appointed messiah, was forced into menial labor.

Cruise has not responded to the allegations. Worse, the media hasn’t asked.

On the web site Grantland, Cruise has received Lifetime Achievement Award treatment, with glowing articles (“Which Tom  Cruise is the Best Tom Cruise?”) about his overrated performance in one of the most overrated flicks ever, “Magnolia,” and his campy turn in “Tropic Thunder.”

Jon  Stewart turned into Jimmy Fallon when Cruise visited “The Daily Show,” praising his resume, fitness and hair. Starfucker Fallon eagerly played along with the most impossible mission — making Cruise seem human — by engaging him in a lip-syncing contest.

At the very least he could’ve had him sing “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

At the very least, Cruise is the highest-profile advocate for an institution that’s been repeatedly charged with human-rights abuses over the past few decades. If Wright and Gibney’s accounts are accurate, he’s the second most-powerful person in Scientology, and he’s completely insulated from even the most irreverent television personalities in the country asking him questions about it.

That’s unlikely to change — as long as he’s profitable.

I’m sure the serfs who detailed his private jet are happy master wasn’t challenged.

Adam Sandler was never funny

I love when I’m proven right, even when people have a hard time admitting it.

Witness the sudden hand-wringing over the demise of Adam Sandler’s career, as if he just started making bad movies.

In fact, he’s never made a good one.

Sandler movies were gospel. I distinctly recall my babysitter taking me to The Waterboy and me laughing harder than I ever had at anything in a theater to that point. That was the beauty of Sandler’s early stuff: There was an unabashed immaturity to his movies that was kind of charming in how well it understood and reflected the transgressive spirit of a kid toying with the furthermost reaches of what he could get away with in good(ish) taste.

Since a babysitter accompanied him to “The Waterboy,” I assume the writer was no older than 12, which is about the age you should stop finding Adam Sandler funny.

“Billy Madison” is not a classic. Neither is “Happy Gilmore.” It’s revisionist history driven by adolescent boys who refuse to grow up.

A generation ago, you heard the same shit about the painfully unfunny Jerry Lewis. Maybe Sandler will start hosting telethons.

Judd Apatow goes there, calls O.J. a murderer

Oh no he didn’t.

The so-called “king of comedy,” who says he gave up stand-up because he knew he could never be as funny as Adam Sandler (a telling comment), is determined to prove to all us doubters that Bill Cosby is a rapist.

The bravery of comedian Judd Apatow knows no bounds: last night on the Tonight Show,Apatow returned to his favorite topic—rape—and guess what? He’s against it! So bold.

Apatow, of course, first came out publicly against Bill Cosby in January when he tweeted, officially, that the things Cosby has been accused of are bad. An unpopular opinion, perhaps, but one he’s courageously stuck to over, and over, and over, and over.

Even Whoopi Goldberg acknowledges the Cos is a rapist. But Judd Apatow, defender of Tim Allen and, now, women everywhere, is unbowed. Naturally the media can’t praise him enough.

Bill Cosby opponent Judd Apatow saw Hannibal Buress’s Dr. Huxtable joke and raised it a gasp-worthy stand-up takedown of his own. Yep, he went there. He really went there.

More like yawn-worthy.

Zombies for Clinton

No surprise this project was orchestrated by smear merchant turned propagandist David Brock, typical of the soulless apparatchiks the Clintons tend to attract.

One day in May, operatives from a Washington-based super PAC gathered New Hampshire mayors, state representatives and local politicos at Saint Anselm College for a day of training.

They rehearsed their personal tales of how they met Hillary Rodham Clinton and why they support her for president. They sharpened their defenses of her record as secretary of state. They scripted their arguments for why the Democratic front-runner has been “a lifetime champion of income opportunity.” And they polished their on-camera presentations in a series of mock interviews.

The objective of the sessions: to nurture a seemingly grass-roots echo chamber of Clinton supporters reading from the same script across the communities that dot New Hampshire, a critical state that holds the nation’s first presidential primary.

When heritage is hate

The Lost Causers are emboldened by a recent CNN poll that shows a majority of respondents believe the Confederate battle flag is more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism.

Among African-Americans, 72% see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism, just 25% of whites agree. In the South, the racial divide is even broader. While 75% of Southern whites describe the flag as a symbol of pride and 18% call it a symbol of racism, those figures are almost exactly reversed among Southern African-Americans, with just 11% seeing it as a sign of pride and 75% viewing it as a symbol of racism.

Heritage, not hate, say the flag’s defenders. Southern pride, they claim, not racism.

(I’ve never been big on the idea of pride when it comes to region, race, gender or sexual orientation. Pride is something you accomplish. I’m no more proud to be a Southerner then I am to be gay. I was born a gay Southerner — it took no effort on my part.)

It begs the question: What is it about the South’s past elicits such pride? The South I prefer to claim — and I’m as Southern as they come, descended from Confederate veterans, born and raised in Georgia, as was my father, grandfather, great-grandfather … — is made up of people who changed the region for the better.

They did so by exposing the elitism, demagoguery and bigotry that dominates the Southern narrative — instead, many continue to fetishize fairy tales, fostering a regional persecution complex that forwards the ridiculous claim that whites are the true victims.

Witness this post by the vice-chair of Georgia’s Civil War Commission, titled, without irony, “We are in a war to save American culture.

“I am certain I do not need to tell you that we are facing a crisis. In fact, we are facing the greatest threat to our heritage in modern times. The forces arrayed against us are formidable. Their first declared goal is to remove the Confederate Battle flag which flies beside the Confederate Soldier’s monument in Columbia, South Carolina. It was put there in 2000 as part of a political compromise. But do not be fooled into thinking they will stop there. The radical leftists who are driving this crisis are committed to the complete eradication of all things Confederate.”

No, the “crisis” is being driven by those who romanticize the Confederacy.

Nixon in a pantsuit

The shamelessness of Hillary Clinton knows no end.

Clinton, according to her would-be employees, has left full-time organizers with little choice but to criss-cross the country and work as “free help”.

Multiple political organizers and fair-wage advocates painted a picture of a candidate preaching economic opportunity while putting prospective employees in a bind: former campaign staffers are taking unpaid fellowships from now into August, with hopes of securing a job they expect to consist of almost the same responsibilities that they handle as fellows – only with the addition of a pay check and benefits.

Untrustworthy. Unethical. Perpetually aggrieved. Remind you of anyone?

But Hillary is lucky. Victimization is in. And, by the way, she’s a woman and a Clinton, so any criticism of her policies or lack of accountability will be interpreted as “the politics of personal destruction” by her chorus of irredeemable operatives/lackeys (Lanny Davis, Paul Begala, Bill Clinton …

The former president also highlighted what he saw as silver lining in the attacks on her trustworthiness.

“When people go to personal attacks this far before the election, that means they’re scared of you,” he said. “And they should be.”

The look

I tend to be frightened of couples who look at each other this way.

It’s particularly common among religious conservatives, a not-subtle declaration of female submission.

If either of the Duggars  were writing the caption for the picture above, it would probably read something like this: “Isn’t Jim Bob wonderful? What a handsome, inspiring, confident, awe-inspiring leader of men.”

“And didn’t he handle that whole molestation thing masterfully?”

Academy of the Overrated: The new class

I googled “most overrated” and came up with lists featuring names like Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow, which betrays the concept. You have to be rated highly by some to be overrated by others.

Here’s my list:

  • Judd Apatow
  • Lena Dunham
  • Kanye West’s intellect
  • Paul Thomas Anderson movies
  • Cocaine
  • Kale
  • Beyonce
  • James Franco
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Soccer
  • The Kennedys
  • Every New York Times’ columnist
  • Nate Silver
  • Apple
  • Elon Musk

Right-wing fanatic: Gay engineers can’t be trusted

So what caused Tuesday’s deadly Amtrak derailment? Some anti-gay zealots are suggesting engineer Brandon Bostian’s sexuality may have played a role.

Today on her radio program, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios also mentioned the engineer’s sexual orientation, saying it was likely “a factor” the crash.

“Now I am not saying, I am not inferring to those of you that are gay rights activists and like to monitor this show, I’m not inferring that this accident happened because he was gay, but I do think it’s an interesting part of the story and you can bet it would be edited out,” Rios said. She then suggested that the engineer could have possibly been “going through some confusion that has to do with the very core of who they are,” and mentioned the story of an airline pilot who “put his entire plane at risk because he had an emotional, angry outburst to something that happened,” which she says was related to hormone therapy he was receiving.

End it already

Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, Rev. Lovejoy, Lenny and Ned Flanders, is leaving “The Simpsons.” But the show will go on, even though it lost its edge around the time Barney stopped drinking.

Jean tells CNN Money that the characters Shearer portrays will not be “killed off” but producers will turn to “the most talented members of the voice over community.”

How much money does Matt Groening need? The “Family Guy” crossover was bad enough.