Happy Bastille Day, everyone!
So much has happened this week, and all of it was bad. If you were not paying attention, here is most of it.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is showing his deep contempt for the revised Senate health-care bill by sending out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to defend it. Cruz has tacked on a fun new amendment that gives people more freedom than ever before, the very sort of freedom the Founders themselves had: namely, the ability to die quietly without access to modern medicine. Alarmingly, given that the whole trend of this bill is to make it easier for people to die alone without fanfare, everyone in the Senate seems as if they are trying to keep this unsustainable thing on life support.
The sketchy Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer (who gave him NO INFORMATION whatsoever, of course, so what is the big deal?) is getting bigger and bigger all the time. Now it turns out that eight people were there, including a lobbyist and veteran of the Soviet military. Every time they count, they discover more and more people. It is time the question was asked: Did they notice a horrid, sulfurous smell at any point? Is one of them a Goatman? Also, why cap it at just eight? Was I there? I have no memory of such a meeting, which is usually the first symptom of being present.
The commission on voter fraud has already resulted in people unsubscribing from voter rolls, so that is working great! Voter fraud is already way, way down. (You can tell that voter fraud has happened when someone has registered to vote as a Democrat.)
For Bastille Day, President Trump went to Paris explicitly because he heard there would be a big parade. He loves a parade! His friend Jim, a man who may or may not exist (I am not making any of this up) but who cannot go to Paris anymore because Paris Is Not The Same, did not go with him. The French press (not to be confused with a thing that makes coffee; this is a thing that makes covfefe) asked about Jim, and Trump said that Paris was fine now and that he would go back because the president was a good president, adding threateningly that if Emmanuel Macron did not do a good job, Trump was going to look pretty bad. Is this supposed to be an incentive?
The Handshake Wars continue. I would say that “now it is getting out of hand,” but the problem is that it DOESN’T get out of hand. They just refuse to let go. First, Trump yanked French first lady Brigitte Macron, then her husband and Trump stood there locked in a forceful grip for approximately 30 years while the sun rose and set and seasons changed around them. This is going to end in someone losing an arm.
Trump has a new lawyer named Ty Cobb, like the baseball man, but with a handlebar mustache. At this point we are just making things up.
Unrelatedly, the Department of Education started the week wondering whether rape is actually a real thing that happens on campus or whether it might not just be just one more myth ripe for debunking by the Trump administration, like “democratic norms” and “government ethics.”
Trump wants the border wall to be transparent in case someone were to throw a 60-pound bag of heroin over the side without looking and knock you dead. Again, this is an actual thing that he said was a concern. It must be see-through so that you will be able to duck that heroin in time! You will not be covered by health insurance on this side of the wall, so it is good to think about these things.
Trump also wanted everyone to know that he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin TWICE in different ways about the election meddling, and that Putin said no BOTH TIMES. Then he stopped asking because he did not want things to become heated. This sort of keen dealing is why everyone says that Trump has the best brain.
Speaking of which, the Rock might be running for president. He’s exploring it, at any rate. (I blame my colleague Alyssa Rosenberg.) And Kid Rock might be running for Senate. Or it might just be a publicity stunt. Then again, the last time we said, “This is ridiculous. Nobody wants this. It is clearly just a terrible publicity stunt to sell dumb-looking hats,” we elected Trump president. Did we not learn the sole lesson of 2016, which is that OF COURSE anyone can be elected president, but not anyone can BE the dang president? No Rocks in office, please. I draw the line at electing Rocks. As far as Rock presidents go, Rushmore is enough.
A new Post report suggests that Ivanka Trump thought that “women who work” was supposed to describe the people she employed in her factories for hours in grueling conditions.
In good news, Beyonce posted a picture of her twins, Rumi and Sir, and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is out of the ICU! And Jimmy Carter is recuperating after getting too hot building houses in the sun. And David Brooks protected his friend from exposure to dangerously confusing lunchmeats!
The White House press briefings continue to be off camera, but it is not as though they ever have any information anyhow.
Oh, and a giant chunk of ice the size of A STATE OR COUNTRY OF YOUR CHOOSING is now floating freely off Antarctica and may soon be coming for us.
(A report in New York magazine about how the world is definitely about to be engulfed in floods, plagues, famine and flames was denounced for being overblown and thus paralyzing and depressing. It is nowhere nearly as bad as that. Probably it will not be more than one of those things at a time.)