Some Good News For Week 176 Of Hell

It's been another crappy week in the Trump Era (week 176 since he took office, don't you feel old? WE DO). So you could probably use some nice news for a change! And even now, while the "president" is pledging fealty to the Confederacy, there's good news out there! Take heart, or Zoloft, and be of good cheer!

NASCAR Puts Confederate Flag Where It Belongs

As we mentioned earlier, the motor sport organization announced Wednesday it would no longer allow the Confederate flag (yeah, yeah, "battle flag" or "flag of the Army of Northern Virginia," we know) to be displayed at its events. In a tweet — pinned to the top of the account, so nobody will miss it — the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing gave the Lost Cause the heave-ho, because damned the bejillion-dollar enterprise wants to be associated solely with race cars, not race scars.

Was there pouting and crying about NASCAR, which grew to prominence in the South, somehow rejecting its "heritage"? You bet there was, but it was drowned out by the people saying damn well about time. Some fans vowed they'd known all along the organization was full of liberals because the cars only turn left. Quite a few drivers said it was a good move. And one crybaby driver, Ray Ciccarelli, said he had no choice but to quit because of all the political correctness, announcing on Facebook that he was done, not out of any love for the Confederacy, but because PRINCIPLE:

“I don't believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love," he posted. "I could care less about the Confederate Flag, but there are ppl that do and it doesn't make them a racist all you are doing is (expletive) one group to cater to another and i ain't spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!

The poor dear. We should note that Ciccarelli races in NASCAR's Truck Series, so he isn't even doing stock cars. Also, we'll let historian Kevin Kruse show him the door:

José Andrés: Let Everybody Vote! Give EVERYBODY Eat!

Following Tuesday's insanely fucked up primary election in Georgia, chef José Andrés, who just keeps insisting on making us love him more and more, announced that, in keeping with his habit of feeding people in disaster zones, he'll make sure that if folks are stuck in long lines during this fall's elections, he'll make sure they at least get fed.

That's not just Georgia, that sounds like a multi-state initiative. There aren't any details on the plan posted yet at the website for his charity, World Central Kitchen, which has been cranking out boxed meals to feed people during the COVID-19 crisis, or at the Emerson Collective, the education and social justice nonprofit Andrés tagged in the tweet. But we have a feeling both he and his nonprofit partners will be far more ready to help people on Election Day than a lot of Republican secretaries of state.

Now if we could find a way to put José Andrés in charge of organizing elections. But wait! He's not the only guy working on ensuring a clean vote this fall, because ...

LeBron James Is Doing Voting Rights

The New York Times has a hell of a nice story about an effort led by LA Lakers basketball guy LeBron James to make sure African-Americans get registered to vote, and beyond that, to make sure they can vote.

"Because of everything that's going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we're finally getting a foot in the door," Mr. James said in a phone interview on Wednesday. "How long is up to us. We don't know. But we feel like we're getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference."

To that end, James and several other sports people have formed a nonprofit called More Than A Vote, which will do the usual get-out-the vote work, but also more than that.

Mr. James, 35, said he would use his high-profile platform on social media to combat voter suppression and would be vocal about drawing attention to any attempts to restrict the franchise of racial minorities.

"Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we're also going to give you the tutorial," Mr. James said. "We're going to give you the background of how to vote and what they're trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting."

He didn't mention Donald Trump by name, but then he didn't have to, now did he? He did, however, say that he has a goal for America: "We want to be beautiful once again."

Among the prominent current and former athletes joining the effort are Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jalen Rose, all excellent people whose names I do not actually recognize, because what is sports?

James told the Times that the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis helped convince him to "get out and do a little bit more," and then he added a reminder that sports used to be more political back in the day,:

"I'm inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I'm inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons — those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today," Mr. James said. "Hopefully, someday down the line, people will recognize me not only for the way I approached the game of basketball, but the way I approached life as an African-American man."

We would also like to think he really looks forward to making Ben Shapiro very sad so he will cry for a safe space.

More Than A Vote isn't just a bunch of athletes and celebrities, however; the group is getting advice and collaboration from experienced political people like Jocelyn Benson, Michigan's secretary of state, as well as "Adam Mendelsohn, a former political strategist who has worked with Mr. James for nearly a decade, and Addisu Demissie, who ran Senator Cory Booker's 2020 presidential campaign." It's already teaming up with other voting rights groups like When We All Vote and Fair Fight, as well as other prominent sports people, musicians, and comedian Kevin Hart.

We're already looking forward to the TV commercials.

And now it is your OPEN THREAD

[NYT / World Community Kitchen / Emerson Collective]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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