Maybe we should let people stay home when they're not well.
Writer Lauren Hough posted a compelling Twitter thread Thursday that's worth reading, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It reminded us that the people who prepare our food, clean our homes, and otherwise keep the world spinning aren't robots. They get sick and because they aren't tech executives, they can't afford to take time off to recover from the sniffles or that pesky walking pneumonia.
Most of the Democratic candidates have some plan for paid family leave. Washington Senator Patty Murray introduced the Healthy Families Act last year. The legislation would provide up to seven job-protected paid sick days each year for workers at businesses with 15 or more employees. If you work somewhere with fewer than 15 employees, your sick time is unpaid, which means you won't take any because you enjoy eating and living indoors. You can also use this time to care for a sick relative, so parents specifically will likely use up their days playing nursemaid to sick kids and return to work with turbo-charged versions of the same illness.
We'll take a tab at this.
Yr Editrix will be back (to work, not from her friend's beach house in Mexico) Monday, but for now you get guest tabs again. And don't expect any recipes either, because Yr Dok Zoom is a philistine when it comes to food. And most other things!
What Does Your Hannity-Obsessed Uncle Fear More Than Death? Bernie, Socialism, Liz Warren, Sharks, Stairs ...
HAVE SOME POLL PORN!
Here is a fun poll porn survey experiment for you to look at, as you are carefully thinking about how you will vote in the Democratic primary, assuming you have not already voted nine times like most liberals.
We know, going into the 2020 election, that based on the results of the 2018 midterms, people's voting habits are motivated more and more by what pollster and all-around data badass Rachel Bitecofer calls "negative partisanship," i.e. the idea that people are much more motivated to vote against those they oppose, and that the team that's most pissed off and ready to go wins the election. Bitecofer, who almost exactly predicted the results of the 2018 midterms, is fighting against the "Chuck Todd theory of American politics," which makes supposed "swing voters" objects of worship and veneration, as if there's really a giant portion of the population that just vacillates back and forth between the parties like a bunch of idiots. Bitecofer argues that while these folks exist, they're not the dominant part of the equation, not in American politics in 2020.
SeniorLiving.org is out with a new poll Wonkette is exclusively reporting on first, MUST CREDIT WONKETTE! It examines something we think probably goes hand-in-hand with Bitecofer's model, asking a very interesting question of Americans: What do you fear more than death? In other words, what would you rather DIE than have happen? The results are illuminating!
This is just a very good lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the Trump 2020 campaign filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times, whining that an opinion piece about Russia and Donald Trump being BFFs wasn't very nice to the Trump campaign.
And yes, it's just as dumb as it sounds.
Donald Trump and his buddy, lawyer Charles Harder, are big fans of using bullshit lawsuits like this to intimidate journalists and use as press releases. They believe they are entitled to abuse the legal system by suing over news they don't like and using their money to silence people who disagree with them. Lawsuits like this one, styled Donald Trump for President v. New York Times, are no more than attempts to use American courts to frighten dissenters into silence.
The op-ed in question, titled "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo," was written by Max Frankel, former Times executive editor, in March of last year. The first paragraph of the piece sets the tone:
Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump's pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin's oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration's burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.
I mean ... seems pretty accurate thus far.
Awesome. This is how we're gonna do public health crises in Trump's America. Neat.
Bad news, y'all. Rush Limbaugh, the well-known Nobel-Prize-winning epidemiologist, has figured out what is going on with this whole coronavirus thing.
Actually, we should say good news, because knowing is half the battle, when you are fighting a pandemic. And if there's anything Donald Trump's coronavirus press conference on Wednesday taught us, it's that the Americans in charge of the response to coronavirus know stuff. For instance, Trump knows it's just not gonna be that bad, because there's only like one American who has it, his name's Dale, and as long as Dale stays home instead of coughing all over everybody at Cracker Barrel like he usually does, we're all good. Oh, and Mike Pence! He knows viruses, and that is why he is the new czar of finding out if coronavirus is gay, praying the gay out of the coronavirus, refusing to let it share clean needles, and other scientific responses to disease. And if there's anything else Pence needs to know about coronavirus, he will have a meeting with the CDC, as long as it's not a lady CDC, because he's not allowed to be alone with lady, as per Second Lady Mother's instructions.
Relax, everyone, they GOT THIS.
But anyway, Rush Limbaugh. He knows where the hysteria over so-called coronavirus is coming from. You see, there's a woman from the CDC, Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She really pissed Trump off when she said there will be "community spread" of coronavirus, and that "It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness." She said America needs to start preparing for that.
Where does THAT lady get off? Trump is trying to make the stock market great again by lying about coronavirus, HOW DARE SHE say real science!
You will understand HOW DARE SHE when you realize who Dr. Nancy Messonnier is. Tell us, Rush!
Or maybe he will just do for coronavirus what he did for HIV in Indiana. Either way, God help us.
There were two big takeaways from Donald Trump's big coronavirus presser last night. One that the scientists know what they're doing, and they're concerned, but Donald Trump wants you to look on the bright side and share his assumption that everything's gonna be just fine. The other is that Trump has handed the job of coordinating the government's response to Vice President Mike Pence -- apparently without informing HHS Secretary Alex Azar beforehand! -- and that should really make all of us worry more than a little bit, given Pence's shitty record on public health.
We refer in particular to Pence's mishandling of an HIV outbreak when he was governor of Indiana. At least there will be plenty of Thoughts and Prayers to keep the virus at bay. Unfortunately, several top posts at the Centers for Disease Control are held by women, so it's unclear at this point how long containing coronavirus may be delayed by having to work with Karen Pence's schedule to make sure Mother can attend all meetings between the VP and those temptresses.
Let them fight dot gif.
These crossover episodes are out of control! Why have acting DNI Ric Grenell and alt-right troll Cassandra Fairbanks wandered into the Julian Assange extradition trial subplot?
Because everything under Donald Trump is bloody ridiculous is why!
Okay, let's walk through this one slow. But to avoid confusion, let's just stipulate from the start that we're going to wind up with Grenell -- the ambassador to Germany -- possibly leaking classified information about Assange to right-wing media hitman Arthur Schwartz, who in turn leaked it to Fairbanks. And yes, this is on top of all the shadyass countries Grenell took money from without bothering with a FARA registration. ALLEGEDLY.
Right now, Assange is in a London courtroom fighting extradition to the United States to face charges of conspiracy to receive, obtain, and disclose national security information, and to commit computer intrusion. Last week his legal team disclosed that then-GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher attempted to broker a pardon if Assange would submit proof that someone other than Russia (i.e. Seth Rich) hacked the DNC's emails.
Yesterday his lawyers argued that, since national security offenses are classified under the Espionage Act, and since espionage is a purely political crime, Assange should be shielded from extradition as a political prisoner. We couldn't possibly comment on the vagaries of the English legal system, except to note that keeping the defendant in a glass cage separate from his counsel and barred from addressing the court directly is ... bizarre.
Isn't SCOTUS season just the best?
Oh goodie, the Roberts Court is doing things again.
Tuesday, in an absolutely horrific opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that the parents of a Mexican child shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent could not sue over his death.
Because why shouldn't we let federal law enforcement murder children with impunity?
Everything about this, from what happened to what SCOTUS has to say about it, is awful.
The opinion is exactly what it sounds like. Using justifications of vague concepts like "national security" and "border protection," Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion heartlessly describes the fatal shooting and blithely brushes off arguments that will likely affect people's rights for decades to come.
My face basically looked like this the entire time I read it:
Yup, goatee and all.
"The best way to stay healthy is to buy lots of stocks."
We're getting set for special coverage of Donald Trump's big press conference on the US response to the coronavirus, which he announced this morning in a tweet that whined about how the media and Democrats are blowing this very minor inconvenience out of proportion to hurt the stock market and hurt his chances for reelection, because that's exactly how his brain works.
Remember? Remember how he misspelled the virus and it's still up all these hours later?
The presser, to feature officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is supposed to get underway at 6:30 Eastern, after Trump has attended a briefing on the virus, what the public health system is doing about it, and, presumably, why he can't actually fire the virus.
In related news, Dr. Ronny used to hide vegetables inside Donald Trump's food. Dr. Ronny is also running for Congress.
Dr. Ronny L. Jackson is running in the GOP primary to replace Mac Thornberry as the congressman for Texas's 13th District. It's one of the most conservative in the country, with a Republican partisan lean of 33 points, which is why the primary is filled with 15 anti-abortion, anti-immigration, Trump-huffing candidates. Jackson, of course, was once Donald Trump's White House physician and was probably somewhat qualified because Trump didn't hire him. He was a holdover from Barack Obama's administration, but Jackson hopes the good people of Texas's 13th will forgive him for helping to keep Obama alive and focus instead on how tight he is with the current president.
Jackson boasts that he's the only one "who can walk in the Oval Office unannounced and say, 'Sir, I need you to stop what you're doing and listen to me,' and he will stop what he's doing and listen to me." Far be it for us to suggest that Jackson is full of shit, but Trump doesn't seem like someone who pays that much attention to medical advice. Jackson claims one of his biggest regrets is that he left his job as the mad king's physician before he could moderately alter Trump's Caligula-like lifestyle.
bUt hE sAiD hE iS A sOcIaLisT11!!!!
James O'Keefe's "Project Veritas" -- that's Latin for small coffee cup -- has come out with another blockbuster hidden-camera exposé of unspeakable liberal bias in the media, this time revealing that veteran ABC political reporter David Wright has thoughtful opinions about how the business side of news coverage has made TV news crappier, and saying on camera that the media in general aren't very good at covering Donald Trump. It's all relatively unsurprising stuff, but O'Keefe frames it as shocking, especially Wright's braggy-sounding comment that he considers himself a socialist because he thinks there's too much economic inequality. Also, Wright expressed frustration at how TV news in general is too superficial, even when it comes to Trump, saying, "We don't hold him to account. We also don't give him credit for what things he does do." See? The media is totally out to get the president!
In response, the chowderheads in ABC management announced today Wright would be suspended from his job, and when he returns to reporting, he'll be given non-political assignments. Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi suspects the suspension may have had relatively little to do with Wright's comments on his own politics or the coverage of Trump, and a lot more to do with his criticisms of ABC, like his complaint that Disney, ABC's owner since 1995, is ruining the news:
Like now you can't watch 'Good Morning America' without there being a Disney princess or a Marvel Avenger appearing. It's all self-promotional.
That's not a sinister confession by a member of a liberal media cabal, that's a reporter who wishes his bosses cared about serious reporting. Shame on him!
Is Acting DNI Ric Grenell A Literal Actual Foreign Agent Like Michael Flynn? No, He Couldn't Possibly!
We feel like we've seen this movie before.
We already know many reasons why Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell is uniquely unsuited to be Donald Trump's acting director of national intelligence, even if, as they SWEAR, he's only keeping the seat warm for a little bit before Trump nominates a REAL idiot to be his fully confirmed director of national intelligence. Grenell knows nothing about "intelligence," he's an obnoxious Twitter troll, his host country despises him, and former National Security Advisor and UN Ambassador Susan Rice says he's a "hack and a shill" and "one of the most nasty, dishonest people I have ever encountered." But he knows about kissing Donald Trump's grundle, and that's all that matters in Trump's White House.
But there's other news percolating out there about why Grenell might REALLY, on top of all that, be unqualified for the DNI position, even if he's just rubbing his butt on it until they make him leave. It has to do with all the foreign clients he worked for during his time in the private sector, work that, in a sane America, would prevent him from having any sort of security clearance, much less allow him to oversee the nation's 17 intelligence agencies.
Great Man has America's best interests in mind, because he is America.
Donald Trump is getting worried about the coronavirus outbreak. He's not so much worried about the health of Americans, because no one who gets sick will be allowed within a quarter mile of him. But stock markets are dropping all around the world on fears of how the disease will affect global supply chains, and the Washington Post reports Trump is "furious" about that display of disloyalty, especially in an election year.
Trump explained on Twitter this morning that everything is just fine, and that the stock markets are being deliberately lied to by his enemies, who are lying about the "Caronavirus."
Don't believe the media! Instead, listen to the guy who has the best information! Trump is on top of the Corollavirus. It's far easier to contain than the Camryvirus, especially the version with the 3.5 liter V6 and heated seats. Now if Trump could just explain why European markets are also down. Must be a whole lot of French investors watching MSNBC.
We've taken a screenshot of Trump's misspelling, but frankly we expect that by the end of the day the virus will be officially renamed from its current designation as "SARS-CoV-2" (turns out "Covid-19" is the disease, not the virus, please update your files) to "Caronavirus Democrat Death Virus." At least on Fox News.
What's he doing Friday night? Slow dancing with girls.
Y'all remember Hot Johnny, yeah? John McEntee used to be Donald Trump's "body man" at the White House, until one day in 2018 when he got ass-walked off the premises because he was being investigated for Serious Financial Crimes, couldn't get a clearance, or apparently even pass a background check. Turns out it was gambling problems of some sort, but the point is we named him Hot Johnny because in Trump's sea of unfuckable deplorables -- see: Stephen Miller -- he had a pretty face.
Johnny (everybody calls him Johnny) got shuffled off to the Trump campaign, and then recently came back to the White House to lead the Presidential Personnel Office, where he has been masterminding The Purge of Trump White House officials deemed insufficiently loyal to
America the regime. This is probably good for White House morale, because reportedly everybody just loved Hot Johnny, he made them feel good, and he was also Johnny With The Good-Natured Practical Jokes. Sometimes he even wrote people fake notes and said they were from Donald Trump, hahahahahahahahahahahaha Hot Johnny, just fucking shut up and take your pants off.
Hey look, it's Hot Johnny:
ANYWAY, Politico reports that Trump's fresh-faced fascist purge boy has made a new hire of his own, to be his right-hand man, and it is ... some college guy! Is it Hot Johnny's college boyfriend? Who can say! Point is, Hot Johnny's (Allegedly!) College Boyfriend is 23, his names is James Bacon, he goes to George Washington University, and he is allowed to have pizza whenever he wants and stay out past curfew, HAHA JUST KIDDING, JIMBO DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A CURFEW, on account of how he is a grown-up man now, with body hair on his Down Theres and everything!
Chris Matthews Thinks Mike Bloomberg Too Busy Chopping Down Cherry Trees To Lie About Mistreating Women
Why is Chris Matthews still on our TV?
Political pundits might've forgotten Elizabeth Warren is running for president, but she still showed up at last night's Democratic debate in South Carolina. That wasn't good news for Mike Bloomberg. During the throwdown in Charleston, Warren mentioned how she'd lost a teaching job almost 50 years ago because she was pregnant. She tied this injustice to her favorite new punching bag.
WARREN: At least I didn't have a boss who said to me, "Kill it," the way that Mayor Bloomberg alleged to have said to one of his pregnant employees.
Bloomberg denied on national television having ever said this, which might've been a trap Warren set for him.
The Massachusetts senator later sat down for a migraine-inducing, post-debate interview on MSNBC with Chris Matthews, who was shocked Warren would believe a "former New York City mayor" would say something so dehumanizing and misogynistic. Warren reiterated that she believed the woman who stated as much under oath.
How many times are you gonna make Chuck Schumer beg?
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is desperate to flip the Senate. Unfortunately, he's had trouble convincing Democrats in some key states to join this noble cause. Stacey Abrams wasn't interested in challenging David Perdue in Georgia, despite having equal favorability. Beto O'Rourke has declined to run against John Cornyn in Texas. But Schumer still hopes Montana Governor Steve Bullock will come to his senses and help save the nation. Bullock, a former presidential candidate, has insisted that the Senate isn't for him. Still, the filing deadline is two weeks away. Maybe Bullock will do the right thing like a common John Hickenlooper.
Schumer met with Bullock in Montana last weekend. We don't know the extent of Schumer's begging or whether it had any effect on Bullock, who we assume doesn't enjoy seeing grown men cry. You'd think convincing people to run for Senate would be the easiest part of Schumer's job, but it's like he's out there selling vacuum cleaners. The Democrats who've turned their noses up at the Senate claim that it's just not a place you go if you're interested in accomplishing anything useful. O'Rourke even called out Schumer by name when he was running for president, and that name was feckless Chuck.
BETO: Ask Chuck Schumer what he's been able to get done ... We still don't have [universal] background checks. Didn't have them when he was in the majority, either. So, you know, the game that he's played, the politics that he's pursued have given us absolutely nothing and have produced a situation where we lose nearly 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year..
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