iOS app Android app

Jason Linkins
Jason Linkins is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, covering media and politics. He's based in Washington, DC. Previously, he wrote for HuffPo's Eat The Press, and has also contributed to DCist and Wonkette.

Entries by Jason Linkins

Get Ready For The Veepstakes, Everybody!

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 3:44 PM

For all we argue which American presidents were successful and which were failures, one has to be impressed with the glowing achievements of American vice presidents. Whenever a president is dead, or being driven from office, the vice president must rise to the occasion, and be not-dead, and...

Read Post

Jim VandeHei Has Some Terrible Ideas About A Third-Party Candidate

(1) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 9:34 AM

Every four years, someone comes along to write a terrible piece advocating for a third party, usually basing their argument on their own idiosyncratic ideas about what's missing from U.S. politics. The only thing this ever accomplishes is to reveal how wildly out of touch with reality the writer...

Read Post

Donald Trump Tramples Through Northeast, March To Nomination Goes On

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 1:49 PM

Republican front-runner Donald Trump beat out his rivals in Tuesday's string of primaries, bringing the former reality television star closer to notching the magic number of 1,237 delegates needed...

Read Post

10 Questions About The 2016 Race No One Can Answer

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 4:42 PM

Here at First To Last, we have a basic conceit. We examine the 2016 race, apply what we know about the past to the present moment, and try to offer you a tiny bit of our best insights. We hope it’s working out for you so...

Read Post

The Clinton Campaign Will Fight You On Twitter

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 11:20 AM

Over the course of the Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton's principal argument against Bernie Sanders has been that his agenda -- universal health care, free college tuition, et al. -- is impractical, too utopian, too "pie in the sky." This is especially true, she says, given the structural obstacles...

Read Post

This Is Not The End Of Bernie Sanders

(3) Comments | Posted April 21, 2016 | 4:46 PM

So, that happened. The Democratic presidential primary is not yet done and dusted, but it's getting there, and if trends hold, it is likely that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee of her party. It's not a possibility that the ardent supporters of Bernie Sanders prefer to face -- but...

Read Post

Media Goes Gaga After Trump Takes A Night Off From Jackassery

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 1:08 PM

The night was still young on Tuesday when it became clear that the New York primary election was headed for a major anticlimax, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each picking up massive and unsurprising victories. But with media types crawling all over each other in the most notoriously over-served...

Read Post

A Humble Suggestion To Make The Pulitzers Even Greater Again

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 3:30 PM

On Monday, journalists in newsrooms around the country gathered awkwardly together to celebrate the announcement of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes, which honored Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical "Hamilton," as well as a number of excellent works of journalism, but especially the musical "Hamilton."...

Read Post

All The GOP Has-Runs Who Could Still Become The Nominee

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 4:44 PM

"There are no second acts in American lives," F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said. The legendary author and observer of American society was prescient about Donald Trump: what is The Donald if not the Jay Gatsby of politics? But Fitzgerald's dictum could be way, way wrong if applied to...

Read Post

Bernie Sanders' Tax Returns Reveal He Never Thought His Candidacy Would Get This Far

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 4:26 PM

Bernie Sanders is certainly an unconventional presidential candidate. But did he ever really intend to be a big-time presidential contender in the first place? Or was his effort always supposed to be a sort of protest candidacy, originally intended to lend light to key economic issues, that now has become...

Read Post

What The Boston Globe Doesn't Get About Donald Trump

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 3:48 PM

Last weekend, The Boston Globe went Full Onion, distributing a paper with a fake front page that imagined what the world would look like on April 9, 2017, with one Donald J. Trump in the White House. The short version: It would be...

Read Post

What's The Proper Size Of Government? A Debate Inspired By Ted Cruz, Dildos

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 11:18 AM

One of the biggest debates in American politics involves the ideal size and role of government. Conservatives tend to favor a small federal government. Liberals more often contend that government should play a major part in our lives. Technocrats on all sides talk about the need for government to be, if nothing else, efficient. Everyone has their own opinion about when, exactly, the government crosses the line from being involved to being intrusive.

But one thing on which we should all be able to agree is this: Government ought to be small enough that Ted Cruz, if he one day becomes president, can never, ever use it to determine how we, as a people, masturbate.

Recent news has forced us all to consider how a President Cruz might use his executive authority to appoint himself the chaperone of our fun solo sexytimes. As Mother Jones' David Corn reports, in 2007, during Cruz's tenure as the Texas state solicitor general, his office defended a law that banned the sale of "obscene devices," like dildos, after purveyors of same challenged that law on constitutional grounds.

You can read the whole blow-by-blow here, but the salient part is this: In a 76-page brief filed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Cruz's legal team asserted that the state had "police-power interests" that could -- and should! -- be brought to bear on "discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors."

Moreover, Cruz's office contended that "there is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship." Or, as Corn summarizes, that "the pursuit of such happiness had no constitutional standing."

This is, in and of itself, very troublesome to learn. But on Wednesday, a tweet from Craig Mazin, Cruz's former college roommate, took the unpleasantness to an entirely different level -- framing for all of us, with laser precision, the way in which Cruz could have a chilling effect on everyone's sexual arousal:

Obviously, Mazin is painting Cruz as a hypocrite, but that's not the most important takeaway here. What Mazin has done, with one tweet, is create an image powerful enough to turn our imaginations into a Superfund site from which no sexual arousal can be produced, and force us all to come to terms with Cruz's intrinsic ability to induce global genophobia.

I'm typically skeptical of the power of the president's bully pulpit, but in Cruz's case, I fear he may possess the sheer boner-killing force of a supermassive black hole. (I'm referring here to both lady boners and original recipe boners, to use the precise anatomical terms.) And if he genuinely believes that the state has constitutional authority to crack down on our lust for flesh, I fear for us all.

Look, is masturbation somehow underhanded? For many people, it is. But we're not here to quibble about technique. The point is that Ted Cruz is uniquely able to quell sexual desire in most mammals, as anyone who has ever mistakenly Googled "Ted Cruz smile," or endured his endless quoting of "The Princess Bride," can attest. That ability, married to Cruz's beliefs about the role of government, and further magnified by the power of the Oval Office, could doom us all to a life of enforced monasticism, and do irreversible damage to our nation's entrepreneurial spirit.

You may not agree with the idea that government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub. But if it must be, we should still be allowed to enjoy ourselves once the drowning is done. So let's all take the moment to simply ask Ted Cruz: "Bruh, can u not?"

Cool, cool. And now I think it's best that we burn this after reading it.


Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.

Read Post

Martin O'Malley Wins The Debate Over The Democratic Debates

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 3:49 PM

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off at the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn, New York, for their latest debate on Thursday night. The head-to-head between the two was a contentious enough affair just to set up: Sanders, who is not winning the delegate...

Read Post

These 8 Senate Races Are Shaping Up To Be Barnburners

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 1:52 PM

Here at First To Last, we've largely been laser-focused on the weekly goings-on in the presidential primary. But the election cycle is not just about who will one day sit in the Oval Office, it's also about who will win seats in the legislature and make sitting in...

Read Post

The Gaffe Is Dead! Long Live The Gaffe!

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 10:25 AM

On July 31, 2012, in a far-off land called Poland, someone posed what was, at the time, a defining question in American politics: “What about your gaffes?”

That inquiry, hurled at then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker during the...

Read Post

Prosecutors Win Jail Sentence, But No Justice, For Upper Big Branch Miners

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2016 | 5:06 PM

Six years after an explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia claimed the lives of 29 coal miners in the worst disaster of its kind since 1970, a court has rendered a sentence on Massey's former CEO, Don Blankenship -- who was convicted of "conspiring to...

Read Post

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Wants Disenfranchised Wisconsinites To Stop 'Whining'

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 3:58 PM

Ruthelle Frank is an 87-year-old resident of Wisconsin who had voted in every election since 1948 and served on her local village board for nearly two decades. In October 2011, she found out that she needed to obtain, for the first time in her life, an ID card in order...

Read Post

Does Donald Trump Really Want To Win The Nomination?

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2016 | 3:04 PM

While April Fools' Day is a holiday worthy of universal condemnation, we at First To Last nevertheless found ourselves inspired by this year’s Fooltide season. And we had cause to wonder: What if we were all getting punked in this election year? What if the unrelenting...

Read Post

Why Don't Superdelegates Vote According To The Will Of Voters?

(2) Comments | Posted April 1, 2016 | 11:28 AM

As I've previously noted on these pages, the Democratic Party's tradition of permitting party elites to be "superdelegates" in their presidential primary process is a bad and undemocratic practice that should be thrown in the ashcan. After the superdelegates became a flashpoint for controversy and interparty animosity in 2008,...

Read Post

Donald Trump Accidentally Articulates GOP Abortion Stance A Little Too Loudly

(2) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 4:16 PM

So, that happened. Republican front-runner and caramelized Weisswurst Donald Trump famously has been all over the map with his position on reproductive rights, but this week he managed to sail straight into "here be dragons" territory. During an interview with Chris Matthews of "Hardball," he suggested that women should face legal sanctions...

Read Post