2020 Congressional Elections

Martha McSally: Pobody's Nerfect!

You're saying the quiet part out loud again, Senator.

Martha McSally, who specializes in losing Senate races, is desperately trying to hold on to John McCain's old seat, which she received because she was the tenth caller to a radio show. She's currently trailing her Democratic challenger, former astronaut Mark Kelly, in almost every poll not conducted in her kitchen. NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard spoke with both candidates this week and although Kelly tried to cloud our minds with carefully considered policy goals, McSally cut to the chase with boilerplate conservative talking points explaining why the sky is falling.

Both candidates wore masks because Arizona is lousy with COVID-19. However, Kelly's mask was a simple black, like he was a common Morrissey. McSally's mask bore the image of the US flag because that's how we know she's a patriot and loves God. The self-described “feisty" McSally probably realizes no one wants to vote for her specifically, so she's made the election about the fate of the Senate and how awful it would be if Democrats were in the majority.

First place, “they" (Democrats, presumably) can't make DC and Puerto Rico states without the consent of those who live there. It's not just a big scam to give Democrats a larger Senate majority so they can pass the Green New Deal. McSally also has no argument for why DC and Puerto Rico shouldn't become states aside from the perceived negative political impact for Republicans if more Black and brown people are represented in the Senate. She's just straight up admitting that the Republican Party is a white identity party that can't compete within a diverse electorate. We all know that's true but you'd think Republicans would at least do us the courtesy of keeping their racist motivations on the down low.

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Cops Behaving Badly

Louisville Cops SO ANNOYED People Still Protesting Breonna Taylor’s Murder!

Police prefer no justice, no peace.

Police in Louisville, Kentucky, announced Sunday that they are banning street marches and protest caravans after a “violent clash with police" that resulted in 12 arrests. This is a standard First Amendment suppression tactic from the police — escalate tensions with their presence and then declare the assembly “violent" and thus unlawful.

In a self-serving Twitter thread, the Louisville Metro Police Department declared that it "continues to balance the First Amendment right to protest with the public safety needs of the entire community."

That's a laughable assertion considering Louisville cops didn't seem to “prioritize the public safety needs of the entire community" when they burst into Breonna Taylor's home on March 13 and shot her dead while she slept. Taylor's name isn't mentioned once in a message spanning five tweets, but her senseless death is why people are protesting.

For nearly 75 days, Louisville residents have taken to the streets to express their desire for accountability and change.

This isn't a parade. If people are still celebrating the Fourth of July in the middle of September, that's annoying, but protesters had specific demands, none of which have been met. The most obvious was the arrest of the officers who killed Taylor.

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Stephen Miller Not Saying Americans In Mexico Can't Come Home ... Yet

The first rule of 'It's Still In Draft Form' Club is you can't talk about what's still in draft form.

Time for some more security theater from the Trump administration. They don't have a plan to deal with COVID-19, but they're queuing up some more empty gestures, so get ready to please clap.

The New York Times was first to report that Trump's helpful minions are debating a plan to fight the virus by excluding American citizens and legal US residents from entering the country if border agents believe they may have been exposed to the virus. Never mind that we're arguably the worst hotspot on earth, with endemic community spread. Forget about the big, beautiful wall around the country since no one else will let us in anymore. Ignore the fact that the president is now scream-tweeting a demand that college football players risk their longterm health for our amusement.

Because it's A MERGENCY, and so the federal government has no choice but to tell Americans to keep out! And in case you hadn't guessed, it's not the Canadian border that the Trump administration has on its mind.

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Ben Sasse Is Willing To Sacrifice Your Kids For College Football. Why Aren’t You?

You a commie or something?

The Broadway League announced in June that the New York theaters would be closed through the end of the year at least. It's also uncertain when movie theaters will fully reopen. For some reason, though, Republicans assumed their favorite fall pastime, college football, would remain unscathed by the nation's piss-poor COVID-19 response.

The United States needs a lot of things right now, including a comprehensive coronavirus testing strategy and 160,000 Americans to no longer be dead. We could also use a new president and fewer Republicans in Congress. We don't need college football. This isn't just a coastal elite dismissal of something “real Americans" enjoy. We don't need theater or movies, either. We want them. We'd desperately like to have them again. They are an important part of our lives, but the people who complain the most about our current lack of a “normal life" have done nothing to alleviate the situation. They've arguably made it worse, refusing to wear masks or social distance. Actions have consequences. Conservatives might think this unpleasant fact only applies to the poor, but they're wrong. And now they have no college football.

The Big Ten presidents voted Sunday to cancel the 2020 college football season because they aren't sociopaths and have a sneaking suspicion that the coronavirus exists. A formal announcement is expected Tuesday, although no “final decisions have been made."

Sports Illustrated obtained a draft of a letter Republican Senator Ben Sasse plans to send urging the Big Ten to reconsider. It's a doozy.

SASSE: We should not cancel the college football season.

Life is about tradeoffs.

This is already not the most inspiring version of the St. Crispin's Day speech. Sasse isn't risking his life or health. He's suggesting other people do so — mostly young Black kids.

SASSE: There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe — that's absolutely true; it's always true.

Yes, college football players were also at risk for traumatic brain injury even when there wasn't a pandemic.

SASSE: But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18-to-22-year-olds will be if there isn't a season.

It's almost impossible to interpret this in a way that isn't grossly racist. The implication is that these mostly Black kids are “safer" in a controlled environment run by white men. They are somehow less safe either at home where they aren't recklessly exposed to COVID-19 or on the college campuses that are still open.

SASSE: As a former college president, I know many of you actually agree — because I've heard multiple presidents say it when the cameras aren't rolling.

Well, duh, it's no surprise that college presidents who are mostly white men might privately say callous and racist shit. College presidents aren't medical experts, either. Dr. Anthony Fauci has clearly articulated the risks football poses during a pandemic that's not even close to contained.

From NBC Sports:

FAUCI: This is a respiratory virus, so it's going to be spread by shedding virus. The problem with virus shedding is that if I have it in my nasal pharynx, and it sheds and I wipe my hand against my nose—now it's on my hand. You see, then I touch my chest or my thigh, then it's on my chest or my thigh for at least a few hours. Sweat as such won't transmit it. But if people are in such close contact as football players are on every single play, then that's the perfect set up for spreading. I would think that if there is an infected football player on the field—a middle linebacker, a tackle, whoever it is it—as soon as they hit the next guy, the chances are that they will be shedding virus all over that person.

Even with the best testing regimen, we'd have to trust that college football teams would bench — that's the term, right? — their best players if they tested positive before a big game. When a US senator is already publicly referring to “tradeoffs," such trust seems misplaced.

This is all about money. College football generates billions in revenue, none of which student athletes see for themselves. And although college athletes are required to have health insurance, the NCAA doesn't mandate that colleges pay for students' policies. COVID-19 is arguably a greater known risk than even “normal" physical injuries on the field, but it's not clear that coronavirus-related treatment would quality as an athletic-related injury. (First rule of Fight With Your Insurance Club is not to count on your insurance covering any “gray areas.")

Many young people who've “recovered" from COVID-19 suffered longterm, potentially permanent, health issues. Beyond the risk to athletes' lives, rushing them on the field now could jeopardize their academic and professional futures. The chances of going pro are already small but shredded lungs and blood clots won't help. Sasse doesn't even suggest guaranteeing scholarships for students who risk their lives for the college football.

SASSE: Here's the reality: Many of you think that football is safer than no football ...

What idiot thinks that? Football was never safer than no football, even without COVID-19.

SASSE: ... but you also know that you will be blamed if there is football, whereas you can duck any blame if you cancel football.

Yes, college presidents will be blamed if they let student athletes get sick and die. No one's “ducking blame" by approaching the spread of an infectious disease with an abundance of caution. Is this asshole really going to try to spin a “let the chips fall where they may" approach as bold, decisive leadership?

SASSE: This a moment for leadership.

Guess so. Fuck you, Senator.

SASSE: These young men need a season. Please don't cancel college football.

What these young men need are elected leaders who care whether they live or die. Cancelling college football until we've contained COVID-19 is the responsible, humane choice, so naturally, we'll have to fight Republicans on this one, as well.

[Detroit Free Press / NBC Sports]

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