Taylor Lorenz and Libs of TikTok face off. (via YouTube)

TGIF: Bad Things Happened

Marc Benioff has your number. The Communists are rebranding. No one at the Times ever said ‘Chick-fil-A.’ Plus: Hunter goes on the record, and much more.

Welcome back to the week that was. Writing to you from New York City, where we’ve been for a bit, and where I’ve had a cold the entire time. Unclean place, buildings too tall.

→ The latest swing state polls: Trump is in the lead in almost every swing state, as per polls released since February 20. You’ve got Arizona: Trump 46%, Biden 43%. There’s Nevada: Trump 46%, Biden 40%. And what about Georgia? Trump 48%, Biden 42%. It goes on and on. Now, let’s slow down. These aren’t Biden-should-just-give-up-and-go-home-and-eat-ice-cream numbers. And Florida and Ohio aren’t on the list. But they’re still numbers. Aren’t numbers supposed to be good? 

For a hint about the disconnect going on, here’s MSNBC interviewing the authors of a new book called White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy this week. Host Mika Brzezinski gamely begins: “Tom, I’ll start with you. Why are white rural voters a threat to democracy?” Oh, boy. Tom’s ready. Here’s Tom Schaller, who is a white man but based in Washington, D.C., thank God: “We lay out the fourfold interconnected threat that white rural voters pose to the country. First of all, they are the most racist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-gay demographic in the country. Second, they’re the most conspiracist group: QAnon support and subscribers, election denialism, Covid denialism and scientific skepticism, Obama birtherism. Third: anti-democratic sentiments. They don’t believe in an independent press, free speech, they’re most likely to say the president should be able to act unilaterally. . . . they’re also the most strongly white nationalist and white Christian nationalist. And fourth: they’re most likely to excuse or justify violence as an acceptable alternative to peaceful public discourse.” 

The American press spent years sending 23-year-old Harvard graduates to small-town diners, years funding foray after foray into Trump country, and this is the best that was learned? This is the sum of that knowledge? These are the intellectuals of the Biden era? I have rural family, and yes, absolutely, it’s exactly as Tom described, in that there were all these tiny humanoids running around, almost like hairless micro-labradoodles, if you can picture that. I forget what they call them, mids, tids, or something. Terrifying. Anyway, with these pundits at the helm, swing states are going to go great.

→ Very mild Michigan protest: Much has been made of the 13.3 percent voting “uncommitted” in the Michigan Democratic primary this past week. Those are supposedly the protest votes from the left saying they might not vote for Biden because of his Middle East policy being too Israel-friendly, instead throwing the state to Trump. Which would be even worse for their cause, but which will prove a very important point. I don’t know, guys, the logic doesn’t check out to me, but I’m just sharing the strategy. In Dearborn, the area with the highest percentage of Arab American voters in Michigan, the winner of the primary was “uncommitted”: 57 percent voted uncommitted, while only 40 percent went for Biden. Looking at the whole state, the impact was small, but it’s interesting to know that the universal Hamas strategy is make things much worse to prove a point. So sure, I guess you can throw Michigan to Trump? I have a feeling this is about to be the reverse-reverse psychology election, and I’m personally too congested to understand any of it. 

→ Trump’s reprieve! Dearborn, you’re in luck. This week the Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump’s argument for “total immunity” from prosecution, which may grant him a reprieve until the election’s over. Because SCOTUS has to make a decision first, there is less time for a trial to declare Trump guilty, let alone for it to begin. But in his New York judgment, he’s stuck: a judge denied Trump’s request to delay his obligation to post a $454 million penalty. So to pay it off, he may have to start selling properties (this, to a Boomer, is the worst possible punishment). Meanwhile, the Koch network is ending their funding for Nikki Haley, signaling the end of the dream for my Haley Hive. Stingers down. But we may be in a situation now where Trump is running for president and either wins and pardons himself or loses and ends up broke and/or jailed. Readers, if this ends in a cell with malfunctioning cameras in Lower Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, just bring the lights up on America. Until then, I gotta say that I didn’t think this race was interesting, to be honest, depressed as I am with these choices. But now that the alternative for one candidate is a pit of fire, honestly, it’s spicing it up for me. I’m back in. Now I’m excited. Stingers at half-mast!

→ GOP blocks IVF bill: Ever since the Alabama decision declaring every embryo a person (and therefore every millennial woman a mother to 14), effectively outlawing IVF in the state, Republicans have been trying to walk things back and say we’re not really against IVF. Well, one good way to show that you don’t actually want to ban IVF is by passing a law in the Senate protecting IVF. But the GOP this week blocked that bill. You gotta hand it to the pro-life lobby, the Abolish the Police of the right, the group of true believers who simply will never compromise. They are going against the vast, vast majority of Americans, and the crazy part is that they keep winning. Like, police departments in California didn’t actually get abolished in the end, but IVF in Alabama sure did! Soon the movement will learn to modulate their message a bit more. It’ll be: “We’re extra pro-IVF! Every embryo made in the petri dish must by law be turned into a child!” Or here’s a real Heritage Foundation researcher’s headline this week, testing another strategy: “IVF Legislation Would Open Door to Child Abusers Creating Kids.” Congratulations to these maniacs for somehow always winning. Now which one of you is paying for summer camp for my dozen ice-children? 

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