Ben Dreyfuss

Engagement Editor

Ben Dreyfuss is the engagement editor at Mother Jones.

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Happy Easter! The Obama Family Is Pretty Adorable.

| Sun Apr. 5, 2015 4:27 PM EDT

I'm a secular Jew. I don't know much about Easter—it has to do with rabbits and Jesus—but as far as I can tell it's a lovely holiday. 

Here is the Obama family's Easter photo. Isn't it so adorable? They're a pretty adorable family. 

The dog looks less than thrilled.

Happy Easter! I'm going to Benihana. 

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BREAKING: Iran Nuclear Deal Reached

| Thu Apr. 2, 2015 1:43 PM EDT

Wow.

The U.S. and other international negotiators reportedly have agreed to the outlines of an understanding with Iran that would allow for a final phase of nuclear talks.

The Associated Press, citing officials, reported on the agreement, while noting that negotiators are still in a dispute over how much to make public.

A press conference is about to begin to announce the details (WATCH HERE), but according to Reuters it looks like Iran has agreed to suspend much of its nuclear program.

UPDATE: Here is the White House fact sheet on the deal:

 

 

Michele Bachmann Just Posted One of the Most Hateful Obama Rants You'll Ever Read

| Wed Apr. 1, 2015 8:35 PM EDT

Michele Bachmann was a member of the United States House of Representatives for 8 years. Here's a thing she just wrote on Facebook.

Facebook

I need a drink.

Update: The Washington Examiner's T. Becket Adams noted earlier today that this is a day old and no one noticed. Once upon a time the media would have pounced on anything Bachmann wrote this incendiary. We had Google alerts set up, damnit! Now? It took a day for the national media to stumble on to this. I mean, I guess this could be considered...progress?

This Is the Only Funny April Fools' Prank That Has Ever Been Pulled

| Wed Apr. 1, 2015 12:56 PM EDT

It's April Fools' Day! Or is it? It is. But how could you know? I'm just some schmuck stating a fact. On most days you could believe me—but on this day, April 1, according to tradition, anything stated as fact must be viewed with suspicion. Because it's April Fools', and on April Fools' otherwise normal, sane, decent, jazzy, fun, neat, and cool people lie. For no real reason, really. Rarely are the lies funny. Mostly they're just "haha, I tricked you into believing something that could be true but isn't. GULLIBLE IS WRITTEN IN THE SKY, DIPSHIT."

The internet is so awful on April Fools'. It makes me want to put a knife in my head. The information superhighway is filled with hoaxes and bullshit on a normal day! On April Fools' Day, it's extra unreliable. Sometimes the "pranks" aren't even pranks. Here is the front page of Amazon today:

"Whoa, what happened to Amazon? This new design is crazy! It looks like it's from like olden days or something! Oh, snap! It's an April Fools' Day prank! This corporate web portal just S-E-R-V-E-D me good." Except, not really, because it says in big bright words "Amazon.com has gone retro—April Fools." It's explaining it's own awful prank. It's supposed to be what? Cute? Is that what April Fools' Day is now? An opportunity for #brands to be #cute? It's ironic because in reality April Fools' is about misleading people and #brands spend every day doing that.

To be totally real, April Fools' essentially exists to allow boring unfunny people to let loose one day a year by lying to their friends and colleagues.

Want an April Fools' joke? Here's an April Fools' joke:

Man runs into apartment. A beautiful woman with a very sad way about her is there. He says, "honey, baby doll, light of my life, I love you!" "Leave me alone," she says. "No, honey, you don't understand. I did it." "Did what?" "I left her! I left my wife!" He shows her his left hand. There is no ring on his ring finger. She's overjoyed. She jumps into his arms, wraps her legs around him, kisses him hard and long, and they fall back onto her bed and make passionate love. Then the guy gets out of bed, puts the ring back on his finger and says, "April Fools'!"

Resolved: April Fools' is evil. (And OVER.)

However there was once a funny April Fools' prank. It happened once and only once and it will be told about in stories for generations to come:

Greg Stekelman

In 2012, this image made the rounds on the internet purporting to show how the BBC "won April Fools" with a great prank. (For some reason many news organizations prank their readers on April 1.) But it was not the case. It was actually a joke created by writer Greg Stekelman.

As he put it in a comment on this Gothamist post, "It seems ironic that an article about April Fools you didn't take the time to check whether the article was actually from the BBC. I thought it would be fun to do an April Fools' story that was so implausible that no one would think it was real. Oh well."

So on April 1 let us think of Greg Stekelman, the man who told the only funny April Fools' joke ever.

"The Americans" Is One Of The Best Shows On Television—And It Just Got Renewed For Another Season.

| Tue Mar. 31, 2015 3:49 PM EDT

Do you watch The Americans? You should watch The Americans! Why don't you watch The Americans? Do you not watch it because it's about Soviet spies who love each other and also work together to bring down America by wearing wigs and having sexxxxxxx? Well, guess what? That's only sort of what it's about. It's really about a marriage. Are you married? If you're married, you'll relate to this show a lot.

You'll watch it and be like "God, my wife and I just had a very similar fight about how to raise our daughter." Just replace spying for the Soviets with whatever you do for a living. They're so cute together, The Americans! They love each other so much, but they're torn in different directions by competing loyalties, and they don't know what to do! Bonus: I recently found out that The Americans are dating in real life, which is so cute OMG.

I love The Americans. I'm not nuts about the dumb kids, and some of the storylines are dumb, but the show is really great. The one thing I don't like about the show is that The Americans are not actually Americans, they're Soviets and I don't like rooting for people who are trying to bring down America. I keep hoping they're going to defect.

But I think they probably won't. They seem to like communism a lot. But at the same time they also like living in America and enjoying the fruits of capitalism. Their minds are all messed up! You can see what a complicated situation they're in. A lot of D-R-A-M-A.

Anyway, it's maybe the second best show on television (after The Good Wife).

The problem is, not that many people watch it. :(((.

The ratings for season 3 are in the hole. A cloud of pessimism and fear has overshadowed the last few episodes; I figured it was unlikely to get renewed by FX for a fourth season. But, guess what? Good news! It's coming back!

So start watching it please oh dear god I beg you please watch it, please! We can be best friends if you watch it.

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