Another soldier commits atrocities in Afghanistan. Kobayashi conquers grilled cheese! And John Hickenlooper, a rising political star who put his foot in his mouth

It seems like we get one of these awful, horrible stories every few months.

Lately, more often. U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq, behaving horribly, making terrible decisions that seem unthinkable. A few weeks ago it was the burning of Korans, an insult that the Arab world is still pissed off about.

And now this: A “rogue” U.S. staff seargeant in Panjwai, Afghanistan went on a killing spree Sunday, walking into Afghan homes and killing 16 Afghan citizens.

Innocent Afghan civilians, slaughtered by an American soldier. Who then, according to this story in the N.Y. Times, turned himself in to American authorities.

Disgusting and despicable. And while the details may change from case to case, too damn familiar of a story. Ten years, we’ve been in Afghanistan. Ten years of killing terrorists and making the country slightly safer, yes, but also 10 years of drone attacks and civilian deaths and American military personnel embarrassing the rest of the hard-working soldiers time and time again.
Ten years of this damn war. And the people of Afghanistan surely hate us more than ever.

When the hell is it going to end? Haven’t we tried and failed enough? I’m sick of hearing about “slow withdrawls” and “we’ve got to take our time” and all that crap.

Bring. Our. Soldiers. Home. The war was a colossal failure, just like Iraq was. End it now, before we do any more damage to innocent people in a country far, far from home.

**I’m not really a fan of this “sport” of competitive eating, but I have to admit this was kind of impressive, and not just because I’m a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Takeru Kobayashi, who became famous for winning those 4th of July hot dog-eating contests, just set a world record by eating 13 grilled cheese sandwiches in one minute.
Watch and be amazed … or disgusted. It’s up to you.

**Finally today, a few words about a rising star in politics who had a couple of really, really bad days at the microphone lately. John Hickenlooper is the governor of Colorado and possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. He’s smart, eloquent, and a pretty smooth guy, normally. (Here’s a great NY Times Magazine story on him from last year. Except lately.

First, a little over a week ago Hickenlooper (great name, right?) was introducing his lieutenant governor, Joe Garcia, to a group of 40 elementary-school students. During the into, Hickenlooper referred to Garcia as “that rising sex star.”
Yeah. Seriously. Then he corrected himself: “Symbol. I mean symbol-not star.”
Why he’s talking about sex symbols to grade-schoolers, that part he never explained.
But oh, it would get so much worse for Hickenlooper.
At a Colorado Business Committee for the Arts luncheon last Tuesday, Hickenlooper reminded the 630 guests that the Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s wife, Mary Louise Lee, is an award-winning vocalist.

“We read about how President Obama sings to Michelle in the shower,” Hickenlooper began. “So, you can just imagine what the mayor gives his wife in the shower. Uh, I mean what SHE gives him in the shower. …”

Wow. Yeah. There’s no walking that one back.
Maybe the Governor ought to just decline all speaking engagements for a while, ya think?


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