Bad Readers Reviews: "A Higher Loyalty" and the Current State of the Union

Bad Readers Reviews: "A Higher Loyalty" and the Current State of the Union

After reading "A Higher Loyalty," my perception of Comey has not changed

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When I was 15, the house two doors up was purchased and soon, there was a rotating cast of black-clad, buff men coming and going. Ex-FBI Director James Comey's family and mine had both lived along the border of two towns, each of us on one side. After his appointment as director, his detail moved into the nearest house for sale and I made some new friends.

Because of my experience with his detail (they liked blueberry muffins, couldn't come for Thanksgiving, and gave me a patch right before I moved in exchange for the baked goods I would bring them), I always saw Comey as a good man, albeit pretty naively. During the months leading up to the election in 2016, however, my opinion of him soured when I as a strong-willed Hillary supporter believed he was playing too intensely for Trump's team. After November, though, it became increasingly clear that Comey had made his decisions to discuss, conclude, reopen, re-conclude the Clinton email investigation for moral and non-partisan reasons. My view of him turned more sympathetic and forgiving, returning back to the friendly feelings for my surrogate neighbor.

After reading "A Higher Loyalty" (and the Department of Justice Inspector General's most recent report), my perception of Comey has not changed: Comey acknowledges publicly that he made errors in handling the Clinton investigation and those errors helped Trump get elected. Most importantly, it is clear the decision was not politically driven nor did he intend for the consequences that arose.

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However, and I mean this from the sincerest place in my heart: the man cannot write a book. The stories he told were entertaining, thoughtful, and chosen to be impactful. But it was clear from the very first page that Comey did not rely on a ghostwriter for any part of his narrative. With that said, I was easily engrossed by the book and would recommend to any weary member of today's American society. Just as he himself acknowledges, James Comey is not a perfect person. But in the grand scheme of things (and in the much smaller scheme of comparing his leadership directly to Trump's), he is a good one.

While I've never been subtle or quiet about my political beliefs or my stance on Trump, I have remained fairly quiet online and on social media regarding my positions. As we've progressed further into his tenure as president, I've noticed that although his words, policies, and executive decisions have become arguably more erratic and divisive, Americans have seemed to grow more tired and the fight against ignorance and intolerance has wavered a bit. It seems today that even though more troubling stories have arisen, we have grown numb and the most we can work ourselves up to is to say, "Trump is wrong." I myself have fallen into this trend as there's a lot of things I've stopped myself from saying for fear of starting a fight. We are in an age where if two or more individuals disagree on literally anything, the result is a fight, not a discussion.

I can go on an write out all of these opinions I have, but that will take away from the message Comey intended to send with his book: "What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay." Most notably, we can't get lost in the headlines and forget what Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was established to look into: the focus, despite the frequent cries that it is a partisan witch-hunt, is not on Trump or Trump's collusion with Russia. Rather, Mueller was called to look into how an aggressive and often enemy foreign body influenced the 2016 Election and what the extent of that influence was. It is a known fact that Russia interfered with the election; Trump and his campaign's collusion is speculatory as of now. Thus, just as the investigation into Clinton's emails was necessary, so is the investigation into Russia's involvement in our democratic elections. After experiencing firsthand the damage provoking and partisan headlines can induce, Comey's argument (and what we should all take away from not only his book but Trump's administration) is that we need to sift between all of the opinions and the headlines and look at the facts that lay before us in the current state of this union.

***As I'm writing this, I have to acknowledge that news is coming to light about Comey's actions during 2016 and the lasting effects it has had on the FBI. For the time being, my opinion of James Comey remains and hopefully it is not proven incorrect.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Sharp

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!

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We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness

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What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst

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It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen

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Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad

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Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin

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Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate

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Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny

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More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body

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Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 

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Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.

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I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.

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One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.


In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.


Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.


After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.


Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.


Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?



The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.



The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.



Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

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