Friday, July 17, 2020

Happy Friday fun time news

Voting by mail has worked without problems for years in states as politically diverse as Oregon and Utah, but it's impossible to manipulate by the usual means (demanding photo ID, closing polling stations, accidentally mislaying power cords, intimidating minority voters, etc.), so the Republicans hate it.  Leader McConnell has said out loud that it spells defeat for him and his cult.  Trump rants about it regularly, claiming idiotically that people (Democrats) will photocopy "millions of ballots" because he does not understand bar codes.  (His family's last attempt to vote by mail went hilariously wrong.)  A few people have tried to justify his panicky complaints by requesting ballots for live pets and dead relatives, but there are no instances of the ballots being returned.  The few confirmed cases of fraud, oddly enough, have all involved Republicans, like Rep. Steve Watkins of Kansas, who got indicted today. 

It's not clear if Senator Elizabeth Warren had heard of Watkins's legal troubles when she tweeted that her dog Bailey is voting for Biden, though it is clear she was joking.  Desperate to distract from the multiple catastrophes caused by Trump's malfeasance and stupidity, Steve Guest, who luxuriates in the title Republican National Committee Rapid Response Director, responded rapidly, "Elizabeth Warren endorses voter fraud, says her dog will be voting Democrat."  This led to a cascade of merry tweets wherein Ted Lieu, Mark Hamill, Mia Farrow and others posted canine endorsements of Biden and ridiculed the silly human with no sense of humor. 

By any estimate, there is a lot of unfunny stuff going on, from the still-spreading pandemic to the storm troopers in Portland, but Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House minority leader and part-time Steve (that's what Trump calls him) knows what the most important problem is.  He says he will soon introduce legislation to protect out nation's wonderful statues of dead traitors and slave drivers, which "Democrats" want to tear down because they hate our "rich history."  This one is, of course, DOA, but you can't have too many distractions as your party leader wobbles toward November with a 38 per cent approval rating. Maybe McCarthy could bring back "Satanic Panic," which began in his district back in the 1980s. 

When the weather clears enough for Air Force One to land safely in New Hampshire ("Live Free Or Die Tryin'"), Trump should invite Dianna Ploss to be his opening act.  The right-wing radio host was on her way to work when she passed a group of men speaking Spanish.  Naturally, she stopped and demanded to see their papers, as you do, and filmed herself in the act.  Did you know that people who don't speak English (or maybe are bilingual) are doing actual work possibly paid for by taxes?  In a blast from the past Ploss identified this as "communism."  At that point a Black man politely asked what she thought she was doing, and he soon became part of the show, sneeringly labeled a "social justice warrior."  And that's when she made her mistake and posted the whole encounter on Facebook, and now her job at WSMN has gone away because CANCEL CULTURE!  The station says it won't tolerate racism or hatred, so apparently they never tuned in to her show. 

In Georgia ("Florida With Less Citrus"), Governor Brian Kemp not only won't make masks compulsory, he's suing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta because she has.  With 106,000 cases and 3,100 deaths, Georgia is number five for new infections but could catch Arizona anytime, because their governor is also a moron.

In normal times it attracts attention when paramilitary thugs without badges or ID grab people off the streets of American cities and drive them to jail in unmarked vehicles.  These are far from normal times, so hardly any attention has been paid to Portland, Oregon, where DHS thugs (acknowledged by Acting Secretary Chad "Chad" Wolf) are roughing up "rioters" because the police won't.  Neither the mayor nor the governor wants this but they're Democrats who don't love America enough.  Besides, Trump's campaign needs some testosterone-soaked video for the ads that will run in places like West Bumpstock, Arkansas.  "A major American city is being softly Pinochet'd in broad daylight," writes Charlie Pierce, who fears worse to come.  He's seldom wrong.

All right, that's about as funny as Justice Ginsburg's cancer, which has returned.  Try this:  The UK tabloids must be seething because Princess Beatrice was married in a small, private ceremony at Windsor.  That must be why the Guardian story reads like a palace press release and omits the name of the bride's father.   Did they keep it small and secret because of covid, or because Prince Andrew's legal troubles require him to stay out of sight?  Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

More amusing, here's Chris Wallace, somehow still employed by Fox News, giving Trump as hard a time as any reporter is ever allowed.  It's like he wants to prove he's Mike Wallace's son after all.

Our laid-back neighbor Canada is a confusing place.  By law it prohibits "inciting hatred against any identifiable group," but it has at least two monuments to Ukrainians who joined the SS during World War II and participated in the Holocaust.  We know this because one of them was vandalized in a cemetery in Oakville, Ontario.  Some Ukrainians (and Russians, Lithuanians and others) joined the SS to get out of hellish POW camps, some out of nationalism, some because they hated Jews.  In other words, it's complicated, and I'm happy to let Canada sort this one out.  But don't vandalize cemeteries.  It's trashy.

At the daily White House briefing, K-Leg referred to Lori Lightfoot as "the derelict mayor of Chicago," provoking the response, "Hey, Karen.  Watch your mouth."   Oh, it's on.  No one should be surprised -- last May Mayor Badass said, "I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump.  It's two words.  It begins with 'f' and it ends with 'you.'"  Because mayors have to be polite.   

A Finnish company is optimistic about a breathalyzer test for coronavirus.  They say it's fast, it's cheap, and it's more accurate than a nasal swab.  We'll know it works if Jared Kushner tries to corner the market.

I watched Mary Trump on Rachel Maddow's show last night and I'm 95 percent sure she was adopted.  For one thing, no one else in that family looks like Judy Collins.  The complete sentences, the obvious intelligence -- she's the Marilyn Munster of the Trumps.  I hope that gives her comfort.


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