Welcome to the revolution, comrade.
You might not have noticed with everything else that's going on, but Meghan McCain has gone full Bolshevik over the the past few weeks. That's what a pandemic will do to you. You're so bored stuck at home, you wind up re-evaluating all your previous "rah-rah capitalism!" beliefs.
Last week on “The View," while asserting her "fiscal conservative" credentials, McCain expressed a degree of sympathy for people who've lost their jobs because of the coronavirus
McCAIN: I think we need to start easing up on rents and loans in this country for the average American family as well. It's not that people can't go out and work, it's that they are unable to.
This is still a very conservative principle. It's rooted in the idea that there are the “worthy poor" and “unworthy poor." The government should deign to assist the “worth poor" if we believe they didn't bring their poverty upon themselves through sheer shiftlessness. It's easy for conservatives like McCain to see the millions of laid off workers as having “done nothing wrong." Their financial difficulties aren't reflective of a perceived moral failing.
Why aren’t striking workers grateful for the opportunity to die while delivering his groceries?
Ben Shapiro, who is Ben Shapiro's idea of a smart person, is very disappointed with Amazon workers who are striking for better pay and working conditions. They aren't patriots! The true patriots during this time of crisis are people like Ben Shapiro, who can remain comfortably at home while Amazon and Instacart magically deliver everything he needs for his survival.
Shapiro sees a moral distinction between striking because of “bad worker pay" and striking because you “want more money." He believes this is an intelligent point that he made.
SHAPIRO: I'm sorry. Everyone else lost their job. Everyone else lost their damn job.
Not you, though, Mr. Shapiro. You're still paid to perform this rightwing dog and pony act for us. Broadway theaters went dark. "The Flash" shut down production, but "The Ben Shapiro Show" keeps on trucking. It's the cockroach in our nuclear winter of entertainment options.
They will not pass go or collect $200.
Shortly before the world ended, Mike Bloomberg was running for president. The billionaire's self-funded campaign was a Shangri-La for employees who received record-high salaries and perks beyond belief. A January Politico piece detailed the Robin Leach-style spectacle.
Bloomberg now has more than 1,000 people on his campaign payroll. Those employees got iPhone 11s and MacBooks and were put up in furnished Manhattan apartments if they relocated. Now, they enjoy catered meals throughout the long days they're expected to clock. The campaign's $750,000 travel tab, which includes the use of a private plane owned by Bloomberg's eponymous financial news organization, doesn't include airfare and hotels racked up this month as he zoomed in on California, Texas and Florida.
The campaign spent $10,000 on sushi alone.
Unfortunately, as with so many lifestyles of the rich and famous, Elizabeth Warren came along and ruined everything. Bloomberg's presidential ambitions are all over, and instead of sushi, his former campaign staff will have to settle for egg noodles and ketchup. Bloomberg fired everyone in early March, despite having promised most of them employment (at $6000 a month) through at least November. He graciously allowed them to keep their iPhones and MacBooks.
Wonkette said nice things about Bloomberg's beautiful promises before they were revealed as nothing but lies. We officially retract that and declare him a big suckball.
ARREST HOBBY LOBBY.
The Hobby Lobby is defying stay-at-home orders because presumably God wants people to die for arts and crafts supplies. How else are Americans going to make party favors for all the parties they can't have? The oh-so-Christian retailer is “quietly reopening" stores across the country, including in Kansas, Ohio and Wisconsin, whose governors have ordered residents to shelter-in-place. These orders close all businesses except for those that provide “essential services." Hobby Lobby does not provide “essential services."
Despite literally having the word “hobby" in its name, Hobby Lobby has tried to rebrand itself as an “essential" business. A hastily made sign on the window of one store claimed it's now operating as an essential business because it sells “PPE masks, educational supplies, office supplies, and various components for at-home small businesses." That's absurd. Bars and restaurants offer food, which is essential, but they're all closed except for takeout and delivery.
Hobby Lobby is not an actual grocery, pharmacy, or hardware store. There's no gray area here, and billionaire owner David Green is choosing to endanger his employees, and the communities they live and work in, in service of his bank balance. How evangelical!
STAY THE F--- HOME!
Everyone I know, probably everyone you know, is doing their best to keep at home, observing social distancing, washing their hands, making a lot of sourdough bread, etc. Some are making masks, others are participating in mutual aid societies, others are getting groceries for older and immuno-compromised people and generally doing whatever they can to not only get through this, but to help other people get through this as well.
But outside our bubbles, I guess you could say, there are those dying to tempt fate — like our friend Rev. Rodney Howard-Browne, getting arrested for trying to hold giant church services during the pandemic. Or Diamond and Silk just asking questions and suggesting that alllllllllll of the doctors could be lying about the numbers of people infected and dying, just to make Trump look bad and prevent him from getting to see churches packed full of people.
Or this dingbat saying he wants to have a Christian Woodstock on Easter.
They’ll pay for their own security, thank you very much.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are coming to America. The one-time royals are currently self-isolating in Los Angeles with their son, Archie, having left their rented home in Vancouver, Canada, shortly before the borders closed last week. The move is reportedly permanent, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already received a gracious welcome from the president.
Because yes, that's what the president of the United States was focused on yesterday. That and his ratings. But of particular note is that nobody asked him to.
Landlords might have to make a deal.
The coronavirus-related shutdowns began just a couple weeks ago, but we're already seeing the dramatic fallout in astronomical unemployment numbers — 3.3 million as of this morning. March might've felt like it lasted forever this year, but April is less than week away. Bills are due, including the pesky rent that permits you to shelter in place under a roof. Many landlords have been understanding of this unique situation. There's Mike Shelley in Portland, Oregon, who has agreed to reduce tenants' rent by $200 indefinitely. We all have to get through this together! Also, it's not worth it to just repeal and replace tenants who fall behind on rent.
SHELLEY: Then I have to clean the place, re-paint it, put in another ad, find another tenant, screen them, move them in — it's a hassle and it's a lot of my time.
Other landlords have been less understanding. Allentown, Pennsylvania, developer Nat Hyman took the “fuck you, pay me" approach. Hyman Properties sent a letter to tenants acknowledging that times are tough but there's still no room at the inn for deadbeats.
Just thinking outside the box, and into a pine one.
Among the many bad takes out there on how we should hurry up and ignore public health experts so Donald Trump can get Barack Obama's economy back in time for Easter, we should have known the rightwing brain trust at the Federalist would be the first to urge us to stop worrying and love the virus. In a bizarre piece that reads like Outbreak fanfiction, Douglas A. Perednia, a dermatologist from Portland, Oregon, explains that the best way to get the economy up and running again would be for lots of healthy young people to voluntarily get infected with COVID-19 so they could gain immunity, then get to work growing the economy. It would be entirely voluntary, he's sure it would work, and it would be ever so much quicker than waiting around for months, so Perednia thinks we should give it some serious consideration.
You bet, just as soon as we find out who funds the Federalist.
Yr Doktor Zoom is not a physician. But I am a Doktor of Rhetoric, and I can diagnose a shitty argument pretty handily. This monster of faulty logic should never have been allowed out of the dungeon of the old castle where it was stitched together, not even as a thought experiment. The possibility that some rightwing True Believers may rush out to try it makes publishing the thing even more irresponsible. We've already had one person in the US die after rushing out to try what they thought Donald Trump was prescribing, so there's at least a strong chance some bunch of patriots will rush out to get themselves infected to own the libs.
He’s a goddamn monster.
Donald Trump — out of the goodness of his own shriveled heart — recently declared California, New York, and Washington state coronavirus disaster areas. But the president has been a little tardy on releasing disaster unemployment assistance, which is a pressing need for the gig economy workers who are otherwise ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits. The only aid the Trump administration has offered so far is “crisis counseling." That's probably useful for everyone who needs counseling because the president won't fund their unemployment.
A senior White House official claims that Trump is holding off because the coronavirus stimulus package will provide similar protections, and Trump hates double dipping. That's certainly an explanation. Another, perhaps more likely, explanation is that Trump is a petty POS. He hates the Democratic governors of California, New York, and Washington state. He's feuded with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He's called Washington Gov. Jay Inslee “a snake" like he was a rival rapper not a political leader dealing with a national emergency.
Go hit up your buddies in Panama.
Donald Trump is a big fan of the cruise ship industry. Last week, he said it was a “prime candidate" for a bailout, along with actual useful businesses such as airlines and hotels. We're not monsters here, though. If we let Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines ... er sink that would negatively impact countless Americans.
Oh, I guess we can count them, and it's 20,600 people. According to Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, that is 0.013 percent of total employment in the US. Put in perspective, that's half the people reading Wonkette on any given day. I confess that even though I wouldn't take a cruise at gunpoint, I have a soft spot for the industry because of the 1980s Carnival ads featuring Kathie Lee Gifford, with whom I was briefly in love for reasons I can't explain.
Loeffler might become another McLoser like Martha McSally.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler from Georgia is busy cleaning up her mess after cleaning up her stock portfolio. Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, dumped a few million in stocks after an all-senators briefing with Dr. Anthony Fauci back in January, when we still had meetings. Her sales don't look quite as an incriminating as North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr's, but he's not running for re-election this year. Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to her seat in December and she has to actually face voters -- metaphorically, of course -- in a November special election.
Loeffler has never held prior political office. She's a Republican in Georgia and might've won her first actual race on partisan inertia, but now she has to really put herself out there. Unfortunately, Loeffler doesn't come across as the most honest and trustworthy person. She reminds me of the villain in a Lifetime movie who's threatening to foreclose on the family farm or bulldoze the family diner, both of which are run by Lacey Chabert.
This meeting of the Grover Norquist Bathing Society will come to order.
Ronald Reagan always got applause for his witticisms about how bad and useless government is. The Reagan Library, right on its homepage, features the campaign slogan that Reagan repeated in his inaugural address: "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." He was also fond of the very funny joke, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help."
Oh, hey, know what else is right on the Reagan Library's homepage right now?
We're sorry. Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum will be closed to the public beginning March 14th until further notice.
But Ronald Reagan must surely be proud of his achievement right now, forty years into the ongoing Republican effort to dismantle the federal government. We have a hell of a problem, with thousands of Americans infected with COVID-19, plus hundreds of thousands already out of work, or soon to be unemployed, as the nation grinds to a stop, since that's the only way to stop the disease from spreading. We can say with some confidence that right now, the government isn't anywhere close to a solution. Maybe tax cuts.
Also, what's left of the government is doing everything it can to assure you it's not here to help, so we bet people sure are relieved they won't have to worry about those terrifying words, either.
Bill-O the Clown is at it again.
Former Fox News lech Bill O'Reilly has some thoughts about the coronavirus, and why Donald Trump didn't effectively react to looming crisis: Democrats are to blame for not leaving him alone while he shredded the Constitution.
We all miss impeachment. It was a simpler time when we thought we'd always be able to leave the house. How did O'Reilly deduce that Trump's impeachment is why the coronavirus caught us with our pants down? (Now that we're in isolation it no longer matters if we're wearing pants or not.) O'Reilly combed that barren desert he calls a soul for clues and filled us in on his website.
Let’s see if our new “wartime” first lady can finally get her #BeBest on.
Melania Trump, who we hear is the first lady, is stepping up to help during the coronavirus crisis. The White House announced Wednesday that Trump will appear in public service announcements that'll detail "important ways Americans can protect themselves and those most at risk" from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. The PSAs will also feature Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx. They won't be filmed in front of a live audience of schoolchildren, so there's no chance the first lady will get booed.
The PSAs will appear digitally and on all the major broadcast networks, which soon won't have any original programming. Instead of “Ellen" or "Saturday Night Live," you can enjoy "Chillin' with Melania." It's neither entertaining nor informative!
Just a couple weeks ago, Trump was blithely tweeting photos of herself in a designer hardhat looking at plans for a neoclassical tennis pavilion at the White House. Now she's put on her designer surgical mask, but shockingly people aren't taking her seriously -- probably because she says stupid things on Twitter.
Try to understand, Mrs. Trump that if you're working from home, you're still “working." There's not much time for journaling or building tennis pavilions. Schools are also closed in many states, so if you're a parent, you're also trying to keep your kids, who are confined to the house, from going feral. It's The Shining, not a staycation.
No one has time for their bullshit right now.
The economy's about to collapse. Millions of people are losing their jobs. But free market, conservative whiz kids Stephen Moore, Art Laffer, and Steve Forbes are on the job. America has a quite literal fever, and the only cure is ... more tax cuts. Yeah, these Heritage Foundation geniuses are prescribing massive payroll cuts as a fix to the inevitable recession (that's if we're lucky and avoid a sepia-toned economic depression). Don't know how often we have to tell Flat Earth flat taxers that payroll tax cuts aren't much benefit to all the people who are no longer on payrolls.
They also released the following Scrooge-like joint statement. “Are there no prisons?"
Let the presidential hand-shaking continue!
We reported Saturday that Donald Trump had consented to testing after having French-kissed multiple people who later tested positive for the virus. The president should've quarantined himself like a common Ted Cruz, but instead he's shaken everyone's dirty-ass hand and stood shoulder to shoulder with his staff during a press conference about the coronavirus outbreak. Everyone who was concerned about the president's health can rest easy now: Trump doesn't have the coronavirus. He tested negative, according to a statement from the White House, which you should absolutely trust.
Trump will have his temperature checked regularly, and that's interesting because he looks like someone who sweats a lot. I'd assume he's a constant 100 degrees. But anyone else who has a slightly elevated temperature won't be allowed to come in contact with him. Melania Trump is probably already faking a phony fever. (We'd still recommend the clammy hands. It's a good, non-specific symptom.)
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