Nice Time

Look For The Helpers. They Seldom Need Capes.

Besides, we all know what Edna Mode thought of capes.

Today has been another hell of a week! Let's take a quick look at some of the things people are doing to help each other through this, whatever it is (It is a pandemic — wash your damn hands).

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Rita Wilson Is The Mack Daddy Momma Mack We Need Right Now

She is a national treasure.

Famous acting couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus almost two weeks ago. In retrospect, this unpleasant news was an early sign that life would never be good again. We were officially sinners in the hands of an angry God or at least suckers doomed by an incompetent president.

Hanks and Wilson were hospitalized in isolation for a week before they were discharged last Monday. They're now recovering in self-quarantine at their Queensland home, which is probably nicer than yours. It's been a tough week. More and more states are on total stay-at-home lockdowns and we're all bummed and reliving the middle part of The Shining.

This is why it was so awesome to see Wilson rapping along to Naughty by Nature's 1992 classic, “Hip Hop Hooray." This wasn't a drunk bachelorette party at karaoke night. The girl's got flow. She's damn good.

Rita Wilson Raps Naughty By Nature

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Nice Time

More Songs About Buildings And Nice Things

Your Sunday breather.

Everything continues to be nuts, but we keep being reminded that in addition to all the anxiety and toilet paper hoarders, there are also the online performances by Yo Yo Ma and the kids playing music for their neighbor. Life goes on, and we're going to get through this with each other's help. So let's do some nice things!

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Nice Time

Minnesota And Vermont Doing Universal Childcare (For Hero Grocery Store Workers)

Kevin the produce manager would like some goddamn respect please. And maybe a siren.

Minnesota and Vermont have both added grocery store workers to their lists of essential or emergency workers, making them eligible for free childcare during the coronavirus outbreak. In an executive order Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz ordered the state's public schools, which are closed otherwise, to provide free childcare for the state's emergency workers and an update sent Tuesday added grocery store staff to the essential workers eligible for the free childcare, because you gotta keep people fed. And in Vermont, the state also added grocery workers and others in the food supply chain to the list of those eligible for free childcare.

Now all we need is for universal childcare to become the norm for everyone, not just during emergencies.

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Nice Time

Cardi B Losing F**king Mind, Asks F**king Pentagon To Let A Bitch Know When She Can Go Out Again

Celebrities need to develop a blogger mindset.

Rapper Cardi B betook herself to Instagram to complain that she's not enjoying being locked up to avoid coronavirus any more than anyone else. She also pleaded for someone at the fucking Pentagon to get in touch with her and let her know when this will all be over and she can go out on the town again.

Thank goodness we encountered the story at military blog Task & Purpose, which gave the story the professional defense-oriented context it needed.

Although the DoD has been issuing daily updates regarding numbers of infected service members, and holding briefings on how the military is dealing with the spread of the virus, fundamental questions still remain: how long is this damn thing going to last? How bad will it get? Should we be freaking out?

Plenty of experts and non-experts disagree over all of those things, but perhaps there is some top secret document buried deep inside the defense secretary's office that holds the key.

Normally we wouldn't air the grievances of someone who thinks the military is withholding a secret timeline for ending the outbreak, but this is Cardi B and we have no idea how seriously she believes it anyway — probably not much? It's kind of awesome. Fortunately, someone recorded it:

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2020 Congressional Elections

Ding Dong, Dan Lipinski Is Gone!

Marie Newman, a badass progressive woman, won her primary against one of the worst Democrats in Congress.

Marie Newman is great. She has promised to fight for abortion rights, single-payer healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, and gun control. And last night, she successfully primaried Dan Lipinski, who's basically a right-wing Republican who happens to have a "D" next to his name.

Dan Lipinski inherited his seat in Congress from his daddy and has represented Illinois's Third District since 2005. This is a reliably blue district that encompasses part of the Southwest Side of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. Newman's primary win ends almost four decades of Lipinski rule of this district.

In 2018, after narrowly defeating Newman in the primary, Lipinski won reelection by 48 points. So this seat is probably not in danger of going Republican any time soon.

Lipinski has a long history of voting against women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, workers, and people who need healthcare. He vocally opposed and voted against the ACA. He voted for DOMA, opposed marriage equality, and was the only House Democrat who wouldn't co-sponsor the Equality Act. He voted against the DREAM Act. In January, Lipinski signed on to a Republican amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. In 2012, he refused to endorse incumbent president Barack Obama.

So yeah, he's just a gem.

But now, he's gone! And that's not all — he lost to a badass, qualified, progressive woman!

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Nice Time

Nice Time: Closing Restaurants Give EVERYBODY Eat!

When life gives you social distancing, make social justice.

As more states and cities order shutdowns of gathering places like restaurants and bars to prevent the spread of coronavirus, restaurateurs are faced with a dilemma: What to do with all the perishables they have on hand? In New York City, Jason Wang decided last Friday to shut down all locations of his Xi'an Famous Foods chain of noodle restaurants, even before any order to close, because he just didn't want to risk any customers or staff spreading the virus. He was able to put a lot of meat into the deep freeze, but that left a lot of stuff that would go bad soon:

He had 25,000 lamb dumplings and 20,000 spinach dumplings that wouldn't freeze well. There were 35 boxes of cabbage weighing in at 100 pounds each. There was the spinach, the enoki mushrooms, and the cucumbers, not to mention 3,000 buns and 450 prepared salads.

Wand was able to arrange a pickup from the nonprofit City Harvest, which redistributes unneeded restaurant ingredients (no, not your half-eaten hot wings, don't be gross) to food pantries and soup kitchens across the NYC area. The organization has been coordinating similar efforts across the city, so it was slammed: It could send a truck, but had no volunteers to load it, so Wang and the driver (and, we assume, any available helpers from Wang's business) would need to load it up with produce. Which sure beats letting it all spoil.

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Nice Time

Nice Time: Listen To The Helpers

'Music is how we're going to get through this.'

As Americans are hunkering down to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we're also hearing about lots of the little acts of kindness that will help us all get through this. In another of a series of his Worst Columns Ever, David Brooks predicted last week that the coronavirus would surely murder compassion, because during pandemics, "Dread overwhelms the normal bonds of human affection." Or maybe the coronavirus is more of a Rorschach test for your view of human nature. I'm more inclined to go with Kurt Vonnegut's dictum that "We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is" — although now that I look it up, I see he attributes that line from Timequake to his son Mark. Kurt raised him right.

And so, here's a story from the Washington Post about two siblings in Columbus, Ohio — Taran and Calliope, aged nine and six respectively — who played their cellos on the porch of their next-door neighbor, Helena Schlam, who's 78 and keeping herself indoors as much as possible these days. The kids' mom, Rebecca Tien, was inspired by all those quarantined Italians singing to each other, so she called Schlam and volunteered her musical family's services.

"I said, 'Would you like the kids to come play [a concert] on your porch?' " Tien recalled in an interview with The Washington Post. " 'You can listen through your living-room window.' "

Ms. Schlam, who lives alone, decided to come out on the porch, while staying a safe distance away. She also used a webcam to share the little concert with her grandchildren in Israel, who are also in self quarantine.

Neighbor kids play music for self-isolating elderly neighbor during coronavirus pandemic

Schlam told the kids they'd just performed "their first international concert," and if that isn't nice, I don't know what is. And if you haven't read Robyn's piece on the singing Italians — and especially Puccini's batshit opera Turandot — well there's some assigned reading for you!

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Nice Time

Maine Landlord: It's A Crisis, So I'm Not Collecting Rent

What if ... capitalism is kind of bullshit?

Yr Wonkette is pleased to bring you another Nice Time story to remind you that it's not all gloom and doom out there. Take this landlord in Maine, Nathan Nichols, who announced on Facebook last Friday that for the time being, he's not going to collect rent from the families living in two units he owns in South Portland, because we have to look out for each other:

His tenants are economically vulnerable right now, and he isn't, so hell yes he knows the right thing to do:

Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April.

Beyond his own action, Nichols added, he called on other property owners to "take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well." It's not quite The Revolution, but it's going to make a hell of a big difference for two families in South Portland, Maine.

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Nice Time

Holy Nice Times, Batman! Penguin Escapes, Watches Fishies!

OK, it was Chicago, not Gotham, penguins not Penguin, there were no Bat-Men, and it was supervised.

Kids, we know it's stressful right now, so Yr Wonkette is going to make an effort to keep you supplied with frequent reminders that there's more going on in the world right now than pestilence and fear. Keep things in perspective: The coronavirus outbreak is a serious problem, worthy of serious attention, but we're not all gonna die. And there are lots of helpers for us to look for, too, as Mr Rogers liked to remind us. And that's why we'll be bringing you a bunch of short posts on nice things as often as we can — a spray of nice times droplets, as it were.

Let's start with this here news from the Windy City of Chicago, so named because the Beach Boys wrote their 1967 hit "Windy" there, about a gal with gas, whose eyes flash at the sound of lies like the one we just told.

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Nice Time

The Curious Incident Of The Dogs In The Nice Things

Not really any incident here. But plenty of dogs. Also cats.

Ready for some Nice Things? You bet your ass you are. Wash your hands again and take a break from the news, you!

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Nice Time

You Can't Get Coronavirus From Doggies And Kitties. Here, You Probably Need Some!

Pet your friends, as they say.

Some news you can use: The World Health Organization says "There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19." USA Today notes that

Last month, the pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong tested "weak" positive for COVID-19 and was put in quarantine. Scientists concluded that pet cats and dogs can test positive for low levels of the pathogen if they catch it from their owners, but pets can't get sick from the virus.

So that's encouraging! You probably could use something to help you de-stress right about now, so here are puppers and kitties and other animal friends to help you cheer the fuck up. You should probably wash your hands after petting your pets, but mostly because they lick their butts, not out of fear of coronavirus.

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Nice Time

Nice Time: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Lifts Up Young Voters Feeling Bummed About Bernie

AOC's video is well-worth watching, regardless of your primary candidate.

Joe Biden continued his march toward the Democratic nomination Tuesday, which is great news for John McCain Biden but less exciting news for Bernie Sanders. I can appreciate the urge to rejoice when a candidate you don't like crashes and burns, but we shouldn't forget that every Democratic primary candidate, except for Tulsi Gabbard, had supporters who were passionate about their campaign and were devastated to see it end. Hell, even Gabbard inspired folks to donate hard-earned rubles to her ingrown toenail campaign, and they're likely drowning their tears in Stolichnaya right now.

Tuesday night, on her Instagram live chat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared some nice words of comfort for Sanders supporters, many of whom are young and perhaps first-time voters. Ocasio-Cortez wanted to lift their spirits and keep their eyes on the larger prize of removing Donald Trump from office. She took the time to do this while some people on Twitter were "joking" about conducting a "wellness check" on her, Rashia Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and other prominent Sanders supporters. Look, I get that a lot of "Bernie Bros" showed their asses online and in public, but to borrow from Nietzsche, if you gaze too long into the Twitter abyss, the abyss gazes back into you with suicide "humor."

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Nice Time

Cat: A Hell Of A Nice Animal, Frequently Mistaken For A Meatloaf

We have a fond farewell to Hamper Cat, Elizabeth Warren on SNL, and the mandatory Twitter goofiness!

"In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this." -- Terry Pratchett

A little while ago, we learned of the death of Hamper Cat, the always glorious Bengal cat who ruled over the home of Wonkette Operative "Horrible Pourable." HC -- real name Raj -- was a constant presence in the comments here. He was a gorgeous cat and a joy to look at, and appeared to be a feline embodiment of snark. One look at that face and you knew you'd seen a kindred smartass, and we mean that in the best possible way.

Our thanks to Horrible Pourable for sharing these HC pics! We've added a few nice cat-related quotes, too.

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Fuckin' A It's Not That Hard!

We'll Call It 'Grander For Sanders'

You can be heroes!

I've got a secret to tell you that I haven't told ANYBODY: I am a Warren person!

Oh I am just joshing, you all knew that already. What fun and #jokes we have here at the Winemom Cafe!

Now, after "Super" Tuesday, it is not looking good for our old gal. And I woke up this morning ... kind of okay with it, actually. I think it really really really helped I had a Mexican vacation last week. I have my opinions on both our current frontrunners, the B Almost Octogenarians Boys, and I sorely wish my fellow Americans had done what I wanted and made me the king of choosing presidents. But it did not happen. Maybe E Dubs will stay in! Maybe she really is gonna persist until there's no more persisting! It's crazy that people wanted her to drop out before Super Tuesday, since literally every contest so far had had a different winner, and yesterday's might have been hers! But it wasn't, and I am, extremely surprisingly, chill.

(It helps that I am envisioning Senate Majority Leader Elizabeth Warren. Will you join me?)

Joe's an all right fella in a lot of ways, but Bernie's more to my liking policy-wise, and damn oh damn I wish some of his worser followers weren't "worser." Because sure, not everybody lives on the Internet, but you do, and I do, and the reporters do. And for every "DON'T CALL ME A BRO" out there who's been alienating natural allies like most Warren supporters by telling us we just elected Trump and have blood on our hands, because somehow there is always a woman to blame, there is a media person seeing that shit and internalizing "BROS ARE ASSHOLES WHO WANT EVERYONE TO BEND THE KNEE," because of how that is what they themselves keep saying, out loud, with their mouths.

So I had an idea, and it is a free idea, and it is a sincere idea, and I'm literally not even being a bitch:

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Nice Time

What We Talk About When We Talk About Nice Things

We're going to the dogs this week -- at the Smithsonian!

A good Sunday to you all! After last week's festival of weird AI-generated cat pictures, we thought we'd try to bring balance to the Nice Things with a feature on dogs (despite our ridiculously low midichlorian count). You'll be relieved to know that this time, we're not going to focus on creepy artificial-intelligence-created doggos, although they do exist. (We also want to play around with a tool that allegedly will morph your dog into a cat, vice-versa, or even other animals.) Instead, we're gonna give you some dog art, via the collections of the Smithsonian.

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