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Small Is Beautiful

The History of Small-Batch Bourbon

Amin Akhtar/laif/Redux

Bourbon always had an off-the-rack reputation, but its distillers knew better: A chapter on small-batch bourbons from ‘Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit.’

Hedonism, decadence, profligacy, debauchery—such words may have made infrequent cameos in the Sunset Strip vernacular of the glam metal band Mötley Crüe, but as axiomatic principles, they were embraced as unquestionably and wholeheartedly as the ever-winking umlaut. Because to be a rock star was to push the boundaries of excess ever further, toward that self-fulfilling longitude—invisible, but mortally real—where glitter and doom became twinned on the horizon.

READY, AIM, FIRED!

Cleaning House at Nuke Command

Eric Draper/AP

The recent firings at a Montana Air Force base address cheating, but not the real issue, says a retired officer: the lack of leadership within the nuclear missile group.

Nine Air Force officers were fired Thursday and dozens more disciplined for their roles in a cheating scandal involving airmen in charge of the nuclear weapons arsenal. But one source familiar with the Air Force program told The Daily Beast that the punishments handed out were more show than substance, and that problems in the nuclear program go far deeper than what has been addressed so far.According to a retired senior Air Force officer familiar with the Global Strike Command (the headquarters responsible for the Air Force nuclear arsenal), who spoke with The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity, the punishments issued yesterday at the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana were a good show, but wouldn’t affect much substantive reform.

Texas Pro-Choicers Arm for Battle

Mike Stone/Reuters

Despite a disappointing ruling in the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, the pro-choice movement is only gearing up for battle.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit gave a victory to anti-abortion advocates Thursday and as a result, pro-choice Texas is refusing to cave into Rick Perry and co.Judge Edith H. Jones wrote in the three-judge panel ruling that the state law requiring all abortion providers to meet the standards of ambulatory surgery centers (ACS) did not cause an “undue burden on the life and health of a woman.”The stipulation, which means a physician performing an abortion must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, will not take effect until September, but since the law was enacted, a third of Texas’ abortion clinics have shut down.

MAMMOTH IDIOCY

Creationists Kill Fossil Bill

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Eight-year-old Olivia McConnell’s idea to have the woolly mammoth become the state fossil of South Carolina is being blocked by two senators, who want to amend the proposed bill to emphasize God created all creatures.

When eight-year-old Olivia McConnell was perusing a menu at a restaurant that features all 50 of the official symbols of her home state of South Carolina, she noticed a glaring vacancy. South Carolina has a State American Folk Dance, a State Grass, a State Opera, even a State Lowcountry Handcraft, but—no offense to square dancing, Indian grass, Porgy and Bess, or sweet grass baskets intended—McConnell thought something was missing: a state fossil.

OOPS

Colbert Caught in Twitter Storm

Scott Gries/PictureGroup

A Tweet from his show joking about ‘the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever’ provoked fury on Twitter aimed at Stephen Colbert. He says it was nothing to do with him.

We can add Stephen Colbert to a long list of professional funny people who have leapt off the comedy high-diving board, hoping that there’s water in the pool, only to crash into dry cement.        Rosie O’Donnell, Jimmy Kimmel, Gilbert Gottfried, The Onion, and many other standups have been compelled to abjectly apologize, lose their jobs, explain themselves or otherwise suffer severe pain for their ill-fated attempts to make people laugh.        In Colbert’s case, he seems to have been pushed off the high-dive by the Comedy Central public relations staff, who provoked a racially outraged firestorm after tweeting a bit of satire from Wednesday night’s Colbert Report without any context or humorous affect.

Capital Offense

Snyder’s Trail of Crocodile Tears

George Gojkovich/Getty

The Beltway’s NFL owner can buy winter coats for Native Americans until the end of time, and it won’t change the fact that his team’s name is indefensible.

Some weeks ago, I was talking with a few neighbors of mine here in Montgomery County, Maryland. They’re older. Somehow Washington football club owner Dan Snyder came up in conversation. Turns out a few of them had kids who’d gone to high school with Snyder. Any juicy stories, I wondered. They shook their heads: No. In fact, they told me, when Snyder took over the team, and it said in the paper where and when he graduated, they asked their children.

New Rule

Bill Maher for Congress?


The Daily Beast

It’s not so far-fetched. Political comedians are already grassroots political candidates.

Bill Maher wants your vote for Congress this November. No, Maher’s name won’t be on the ballot, at least not yet. Maher recently announced his “Flip a District” contest where he will pick one “terrible, entrenched” member of Congress and “see if we can’t send him scuttling under the refrigerator on Election Night.” (Translation: Beat him)  The contest is now heating up after Maher announced on his HBO show last Friday the first two House members under consideration to be chosen as the big “winner.

CONTROL

Can Boys Be ‘Coerced’ Into Sex?

Jonathan Cavendish/Corbis

The notion of teenage boys as sexual aggressors is so engrained, the results of a new study, which reveal that they are being coerced into sex by girls and young women, will surprise many.

There was nothing outwardly headline-grabbing about Bryana H. French’s latest study, published in the august and largely unread pages of Psychology of Men and Masculinity, an academic journal that typically reaches an audience of dozens. While her findings were depressing, they were depressingly banal: according to French and her team of researchers at the University of Missouri, “sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States.

Confessions

9 Strangest Taco Bell AMA Moments

Keith Bedford/Reuters

Taco Bell president Brian Niccol claims he doesn’t know what “4/20” means and swears the fast food chain gets its meat from real cows. The best answers from Taco Bell’s Reddit AMA.

Reddit users worldwide went loco for the opportunity to ask the president of Taco Bell anything. Naturally, the chat room was filled with sarcasm, but Brian Niccol—celebrating the launch of Taco Bell’s breakfast menu—proved he could hold his own with the trolls. Now that the crumbs have settled, The Daily Beast takes a look at some of the funniest questions—and best answers—from the Taco Bell AMA.Q: What’s the worst thing about being the president of Taco Bell?A: It is the greatest job ever.

Crisis

Waiting for Death in Washington

Rick Wilking/Reuters

With bodies recovered from the landslide but no names released, the town of Oso hopes for the best and anticipates the worst.

On the fifth day after a tremendous mudslide buried a portion of a village nestled in the bottom of a picturesque western Washington river valley, anxious residents received sobering news.The list of the missing—which had once been as high as 220 and on Tuesday sat at 176—has been definitively reduced to 90 names. Another list includes 35 names about which “we just don’t know,” said a Snohomish County official at a press briefing Wednesday evening.

Who Is Frazier Glenn Miller?

Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon dissects the story of Miller, a 'nightmare image' of 'hate groups nestled in the heartland' who went on a Kansas killing spree on Sunday.

  1. Buried in Mud, Washington Grieves Play

    Buried in Mud, Washington Grieves

  2. Winter Wonderland on the Border Play

    Winter Wonderland on the Border

  3. The Spoiled Generation Play

    The Spoiled Generation

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