david clinton

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President Abraham Lincoln Gay

In 1837, the 28-year-old Abraham Lincoln arrived in Springfield, Illinois, to found a law practice. Almost immediately, he struck up a friendship with a 23-year-old shopkeeper named Joshua Speed. There may have been an element of calculation to this friendship, since Joshua’s father was a prominent judge, but the two clearly hit it off. Lincoln rented an apartment with Speed, where the two slept in the same bed. Sources from the time, including the two men themselves, describe them as inseparable.

Lincoln and Speed were close enough to still raise eyebrows today. Speed’s father died in 1840, and shortly afterwards, Joshua announced plans to return to the family plantation in Kentucky. The news seems to have stricken Lincoln. On January 1, 1841, he broke off his engagement with Mary Todd and made plans to follow Speed to Kentucky.

Speed left without him, but Lincoln followed a few months later, in July. In 1926, writer Carl Sandburg published a biography of Lincoln in which he described the relationship between the two men as having, “a streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets.” Eventually, Joshua Speed would marry a woman named Fanny Henning. The marriage lasted 40 years, until Joshua’s death in 1882, and produced no children.

From 1862 to 1863, President Lincoln was accompanied by a bodyguard from the Pennsylvania Bucktail Brigade named Captain David Derickson. Unlike Joshua Speed, Derickson was a prodigious father, marrying twice and siring ten children. Like Speed, however, Derickson became a close friend of the president and also shared his bed while Mary Todd was away from Washington. According to an 1895 regimental history written by one of Derickson’s fellow officers:

“Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the President’s confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln’s absence, he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him, and — it is said — making use of His Excellency’s night-shirt!”

Another source, the well-connected wife of Lincoln’s naval adjundant, wrote in her diary: “Tish says, ‘there is a Bucktail Soldier here devoted to the President, drives with him, & when Mrs L. is not home, sleeps with him.’ What stuff!”

Derickson’s association with Lincoln ended with his promotion and transfer in 1863.

If Hillary Clinton Had Won: The New Yorker Cover That Never Published

This cover, “The First,” by Malika Favre, is what we would have published had Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump to become the first female Commander-in-Chief.  

Read David Remnick’s interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton, where she opens up about her new memoir, the campaign, her stinging loss, and its aftermath. 


Why Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is SNL’s Best Sketch of the Year

It’s no secret that Saturday Night Live has grown more and more liberal over the years. Sure, they make fun of Democrats, but they really go after Republicans to the nth degree, certainly during this election cycle. With President Trump in particular, the SNL writers hold nothing back and neither does Alec Baldwin.

But in the latest episode, they found themselves a new target: Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The result? The best sketch of the year.

It’s a bold statement, especially after months of watching Baldwin channel Trump and Kate McKinnon doing an uncanny Hillary Clinton. But there are two reasons why this sketch in particular was best in the class.

First, it was brilliant satire. Melissa McCarthy captured Spicer’s hostility to the White House press corps. While Spicer in real life isn’t that angry, the sketch pokes fun at what he might want to do like jailing CNN’s Jim Acosta or squirting reporters with a water gun. And his now-iconic way to respond to tough questions was completely spot-on like his bickering with a reporter about who starting using the word “ban”. And like the real daily press briefings, the sketch covered a lot of topics including Steve Bannon, the White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos (played briefly by McKinnon). It was a long checklist and this sketch nailed every one of them. And the prop comedy was hysterical (”radical moose lambs” had me crying!).

Second, and most importantly, this was the first political sketch that was funny without having to be malicious. Nearly every sketch involving Trump makes him out to be a racist, a fascist, and an utter moron. Even in the cold open, there were more tiresome jokes that eluded to the president being a Nazi and Steve Bannon literally being the Grim Reaper. But in this sketch, SNL managed to poke fun at Spicer without outrageous personal attacks. The writing was good-natured and disciplined. Even the biggest Trump supporters should be able to laugh out loud at this.

Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is the greatest impression since Larry David played Bernie Sanders last season and this sketch is on-par with Tina Fey’s debut as Sarah Palin. Bipartisan humor that can have both Democrats and Republicans laughing is the winning strategy. While the odds are still strong that President Trump will angrily tweet about SNL at 3 o’clock in the morning, it’s sketches like this that can make SNL great again.

2016 was Unfortunate: A Dialogue
  • 2016: *David Bowie dies*
  • Everyone: 😱
  • 2016: *Harper Lee, Muhammad Ali, and Prince die*
  • Everyone: 😱 😱 😱
  • 2016: *election from hell*
  • Everyone: 😱
  • 2016: *election results from hell*
  • Everyone: 😱
  • Everyone: Almost done, what else could go wrong
  • 2016: *George Michael dies*
  • Everyone: 😱
  • Everyone: Well, surely nothing else bad can happen
  • 2016: Hold my drink
  • 2016: *Carrie Fisher dies*
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In January 1998, President Clinton invited a couple dozen people to Camp David for a weekend screening of the movie “Good Will Hunting”. The guest list included film actors Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, and Minnie Driver; along with film director Gus Van Sant and producer Lawrence Bender.

Other guests included National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Senator Tom Daschle, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Clinton friends Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe; Harvey Weinstein (Miramax); and actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

The weekend included a tour of the presidential retreat; watching the NFL football playoffs on a big-screen TV in Laurel Lodge; a formal five-course dinner also in Laurel; the Good Will Hunting screening in the movie theater in Hickory Lodge; and some late-night bowling.

Poetry about 2016

2016, boy what a year
It can’t get any worse, don’t have a fear
With Hillary and Trump neck in neck
And so many shootings, what the heck?
Everything’s red
Harambe is dead.
The world’s fighting terror
We did Brexit in error.
No longer Ebola we fear
But Zika fear is here.
Kim Kardashian was robbed
No one has jobs
Brangelia split
The world’s gone to shit
Flint still has no water
Each other we slaughter
Prince and Bowie are weeped for
We’re all invested in a silly war
Christina grimmie dead by gunshot
And the UK got too hot
What could be worse, in this fear riddled town?
Oh, I know, let’s throw in some clowns.

2016, you better not fuck up the last three months.