- Washington runs on many things—power, bureaucracy, and the frenzied exchange of business cards, to name a few—but if there's one resource we have more of than any other city in America, it's outrage. True, most of Washington's outrage is utterly insincere, offered up in an attempt to get people angry at one's political opponents over what are usually mundane sins (or no sin at all). But it's still the coal we shovel into the great steam engine of our politics, keeping everything chugging along at a comfortable clip. So who's feeling outraged today?
- Senator Dianne Feinstein is outraged that the CIA, she says, was spying on staffers from the Senate Intelligence Committee (which she chairs) who were investigating the agency's torture program. For his part, CIA Director John Brennan is outraged that anyone would accuse the CIA of sneaky, duplicitous behavior, because they would never do that sort of thing. Never.
- Conservatives are outraged over President Obama's appearance on the web comedy series "Between Two Ferns." Said Bill O'Reilly, America's foremost purveyor of anger and contempt, "All I can tell you is Abe Lincoln would not have done it." Indeed—ask any historian what happened when the sixteenth president was invited to make an appearance on the 1860s traveling stage show "Whimsical Occurrences Amidst Foliage."
- Poverty expert Paul Ryan explained yesterday that the real problem is this: "We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work." Representative Barbara Lee, who represents Oakland, CA, was outraged. "Let's be clear," she said, "when Mr. Ryan says 'inner city,' when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black.'" There are also poor people who do not live in the "inner city"; perhaps in a later speech Representative Ryan will explain how rural poverty in the Midwest is a product of those people's culture of laziness.
- Conservatives are outraged over the continued (albeit limited) availability of abortion, and even more outraged at the people who advocate for such availability. At a meeting of an anti-abortion group in Washington, Senator Ted Cruz told the crowd that abortion rights supporters in Texas walked "arm-in-arm, chanting 'Hail, Satan,' embracing the right to take the life of a late-term child." No word yet on whom the Prince of Darkness is supporting in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.
- The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs the protocols on Internet addresses, will soon be expanding the list of suffixes beyond the current ones (.com, .org, etc.). Senator Jay Rockefeller is outraged that one of the proposed suffixes is ".sucks", which he says will be used solely for the purposes of calumny and extortion. Seems like a fair bet.
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