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Here's long-shot (OK, no-shot: he's actuallyfake) Tennessee Kentucky [not again, dammit, Dok!] Senate candidate Gil Fulbright, with a campaign ad that's doing this cool "meta" thing. It's far funnier than most real campaign ads that try to be funny, which you can do, we suppose, when you're not a real candidate:


Hi, I'm Gil Fulbright. The people who run my campaign, they've made this commercial -- and I'm in it. This campaign -- it's not about me, it's about crafting a version of me that will appeal to you. A version that visits random worksites with paid actors, pointing at things. A version of me that doesn't find old people loathsome or pointless. Has a conventionally attractive yet curiously still family.

Also, too, there really is a point to this: "Gil," or if you prefer, "Phillip Mamouf-Wifarts," is the creation of Represent.US, a group seeking to "end the culture of legalized corruption that has come to define modern politics." Among other clean-government luminaries behind the group are Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig, Norman Ornstein, who ticked off his colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute with his book It's Even Worse than It Looks, and honest-to-god dishonest slug Jack Abramoff, who is trying to redeem himself as an anti-corruption activist. Go figure!

We're kind of glad that "Gil Fulbright" is fictional, since he'd probably split the anti-Mitch McConnell vote and doom Allison Lundergan Grimes. Oh, damn, there we go being partisan hacks.

[HuffPo / PoliticalWire]

Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. Is it a bad thing that Ol' Gil is the Simpsons character he identifies most with?

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Photo: GoFundMe

Well, goddamn it, a wonderful person we'd never heard of until last night is dead. Lyra McKee was 29, an investigative journalist who specialized in looking at the legacy of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. She was murdered by someone shooting at police during rioting in Derry, or perhaps Londonderry, depending on who you want to piss off by using either name for the city. The rioting broke out after police "started carrying out searches in the area because of concerns that militant republicans were storing firearms and explosives" in advance of attacks planned to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Police are blaming the violence and McKee's death on the "New Irish Republican Army," a radical republican group formed a few years ago from several smaller groups. Despite the name, the group has no ties to the old Provisional Irish Republican Army, which renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supposed to have brought peace to Northern Ireland, and kind of did, at least much of the time.

McKee is being remembered by colleagues and readers as a promising journalist who was expected to go far. A year ago, McKee signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber; the first of the books, The Lost Boys, an investigation of eight young men who disappeared in Belfast during the Troubles in the '60s and '70s, will be published next year. A 2016 Forbes profile said "McKee's passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about." For instance, CNN reports, McKee spent five years investigating a story about the only rape crisis center in Northern Ireland and its long struggle to regain funding after the government eliminated it.

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