The first amendment has a tough day.
Yesterday was a tough day for the First Amendment in this country. First, Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's nominee for
Aunt Lydia the Supreme Court struggled with naming the five freedoms (a question that may have put someone in danger of failing a naturalization test) in a question that should have been a layup by Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska who thinks he is a whole lot smarter than he is. Turns out maybe he's just Nebraska smart. (Wow, that was off sides, wasn't it? But as a resident of a state than can claim dependents and whose votes count less, I grow increasingly salty about the state of our democracy and those doing their best to kill it right now.) The five freedoms are: Speech, Press, Religion, Assembly, Protest. Which one did she forget? Protest. Given all of "handmaid" chatter about this woman and background on some extreme religious groups, you would not be alone if this brought to mind the protest scene from The Handmaid's Tale, one of the most haunting scenes I remember ever seeing. And yet... it looks familiar, doesn't it?
If you are not acquainted with AXIOS as a "news source", it's super abbreviated news for low information citizens or Nebraskans or something like that. I actually reached out to them months ago after they published a chart demonstrating the decline of the coronavirus in America. Hilarious right? They took totals that made it appear to be on the right path, but when you removed NY & NJ it was clear that the virus was actually on the rise all over the country. So... they don't appear to be very good at this. Yesterday they put out a story headlined: Joe Biden is the luckiest, least scrutinized frontrunner, which contained this: "Since Aug. 31, Biden has answered less than half as many questions from the press as Trump — 365 compared with 753 — according to a tally by the Trump campaign, which the Biden campaign didn't dispute." So apparently now we just care about answering questions, not the veracity of the answers. Seem legit. Sure AXIOS, maybe people want bullet point news. But you know, you still need to be good reporters. And no, I won't link to that steaming pile of focus grouped "news for people who still say outside the box".
If journalism is just concerned with sheer numbers then we can congratulate Wolf Blitzer on his very testy interview with Nancy Pelosi, asking her why she doesn't just take the President's offer of $1.8T taxpayer dollars (of which Trump personally contributed $750) and is holding out for closer to $2T. Okay, Wolf, this isn't a salary negotiation. WHERE the money goes, the actual plan, is perhaps EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than the figure. Okay? And then quoting Andrew Yang and Ro Khanna, NEITHER of whom is involved in the negotiations is just dumb. I mean, if Trump could, he'd direct all that money to his own pocket, we all KNOW this. Is accountability that unimportant? Then CNN had Chris Cillizza weigh in on it and, honestly, he's the worst. And instead of linking to his article calling Pelosi over-the-top while ignoring the facts of the matter, I give you this instead, because I like you.
Then, the New York Post, a Murdoch owned tabloid, put out an article about Hunter Biden. The whole new email story seemed to dissolve under scrutiny, full of shady characters and general fuckery. In fact, the alleged corruption is so minor compared to the Trump Corruption Machine 2020 that it's almost cute. Retweets and amplification of this story led to the locking of the White House lie factory Kaleigh McEnany's Twitter account.
Despite Trump-driven allegations of self-dealing and corruption, multiple investigations by Republicans and Democrats have shown no evidence that Biden — the Obama administration’s point-man on diplomacy with Ukraine — took actions counter to official U.S. policy. In fact, multiple senior officials testified during the House impeachment inquiry last year that Biden’s work made it more likely that Burisma would face a robust corruption investigation, his son’s position on the board notwithstanding. Though some officials indicated Hunter Biden’s board position created the “appearance” of a conflict, they said it never affected official U.S. policy.
And finally, NBC should at this point just change their chimes to the Apprentice theme song. Someone decided it would be a good idea to host a Trump town hall opposite the Biden town hall on ABC -- which came into existence when Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate because it would deprive him of the opportunity to infect people or something... probably more about the ease with which someone could cut his mic. Can we all just agree that he was looking for any reason to skip out after his disastrous performance last time? How many times must we spare him from the consequences of his actions? How has that worked out for us? Don't watch. Tune all your tvs, phones, tablets and laptops to ABC. Don't worry, brave Twitizens will bring us the highlights. But today would be a great day to release some Apprentice outtakes if some disgruntled person at NBC is so inclined.
Bottom line, I am a First Amendment voter. You know why it's first? Because it's the most important. I love the press and journalism and protests and the idea of people not forcing their religion on me (which ironically freedom of religion BS from GOP actually seeks to do) assembly and the freedom to write snarky stuff with curse words and put it out into the world. Which is why we must critique it and make sure it is healthy. That's how we show love -- by working to improve that which we love, rather than abandon it when it fails. You know, treat it more like Ivanka than Tiffany.
Less than three weeks to go. What's your plan to vote?
Best voting ad ever. pic.twitter.com/tUqoatW4VD
What we're reading...
Pete Buttigieg has been making media appearances as a surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign - showing up on national TV networks and on Instagram Live. But Buttigieg's hits on Fox News have been gaining attention for his ability to cut through the fog of Trump boosters on the network.
To those who imagine Trump as Mussolini, this scenario will sound crazy. But what stopped it from happening was not that Trump found his inner duce. The first intervention was reality: The president who sleeps away a year in office does not awake to find his ship on course for safe harbor.
The California Congresswoman on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's incompetence, how the government has dropped parents flat, and the best way to roll out a vaccine Rep. Katie Porter became a breakout star of Congress' class of 2018 by wielding a dry-erase marker.
On a surreal day of GOP-generated alternate reality, every Senate Democrat tried to get America to awaken out of the Matrix but only one succeeded. "This is not normal," said Senator Cory Booker, before asking a Supreme Court nominee if she would condemn white supremacy. (Good news: she did.)
President Trump's conspiracy theories arrive with a bang and leave with a whimper. The latest to suffer this ignominious fate is the "unmasking" scandal: the claim that members of the Obama administration did something nefarious by unmasking Michael Flynn's name in transcripts of his conversations with the Russian ambassador while he was advising the Trump campaign.
"Thank you, honey," Trump says of Iowa's governor. pic.twitter.com/N21mqiu50f
The cynicism of NBC execs, who gave us The Apprentice and thus this President, is stunning and shameful. ABC should call their bluff and move Biden so he talks after Trump. https://t.co/XSItenQNaz
It didn't have to be this way. With competent leadership we - like other nations - would be at the office, in school, in social spaces. Instead, there's at least another year of this, with countless business closures, mental health crises, and deaths. https://t.co/l6x5dX9x3n