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Gee, Ya Think?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) admitted Friday that he reopened bars too soon in the state as cases continue to surge.

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars now seeing the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spreads in the bar setting,” Abbott said in an evening interview with KVIA in El Paso.

The lesson Abbott said he learned is that “a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic.”

Duh.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott: Bars must close at noon.

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Texas’s Lieutenant Governor Says Dying Not as Bad as Living in State Where He Is Lieutenant Governor

Satire from The New Yorker, by Andy Borowitz:

AUSTIN (The Borowitz Report)—Urging Texans to “keep things in perspective,” Texas’s lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, said on Wednesday that dying is “surely not as bad” as living in a state where he is lieutenant governor.

Patrick, whose vehement anti-living message has stirred controversy across the country, said that he was speaking out to remind Texans that there are “some things worse than dying.”

“It’s time for a reality check, folks,” Patrick said. “If you wake up every morning and remember that I am the second-highest-ranking elected official in your state, maybe dying doesn’t look so bad, after all.”

Arguing that “dying has got a bad rap,” he blasted the media for what he called its “flagrant anti-death bias.”

“All these media people who go on about how dying is the worst thing in the world have never spent any time with me,” he said.

Dan Patrick speaking to the press

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Trump’s Big, Dumb, Imaginary Wall Is Now Even More Important Than Free Money

From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

Back when the Affordable Care Act was new, and Republican governors were turning down the FREE MONEY! being offered to their states for the purposes of expanding Medicaid, I remember thinking that everything I’d learned about politics in the Massachusetts State House had been thrown in the hopper forever. One of the first things I learned was that, regardless of the source, you simply never turn down FREE MONEY! And, of course, FREE MONEY! from the Feds is extra-double-good because, relative to other sources, it’s fairly clean. But, as it turns out, times have changed and stretching poor people on the rack to entertain your base and to own the libs now take precedence over other, more traditional political incentives, god help us all.

We’re seeing the same kind of thing going on now that El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago is diverting $3.6 billion in military funding to pay for construction of his big, stupid, and largely imaginary wall along the southern border. This diversion includes $48 million from Texas, where Republican Senator John Cornyn is standing for re-election next year, $80 million from North Carolina, where Republican Senator Thom Tillis is standing for re-election next year, and eight-million from Colorado, where Republican Senator Cory Gardner is standing for re-election. There was a time, and not so long ago, where senators would fight like rabid bats to keep their states from losing this kind of FREE MONEY!

Can you imagine trying to pry $48 million in military spending, money earmarked for child-care and new schools, away from Texas when Lyndon Johnson was the senator there? They’d need dental records to identify what was left of your presidency. But this is a new world and nothing is more important than indulging a batty president* and his big, stupid, and largely imaginary wall. And, of course, owning the libs.

US-POLITICS-TRUMP-WALL

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Only in America

From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:

Other countries have people who suffer from mental illness. Other countries have racists and white supremacists. But only the United States of America has these mass shootings all the time, like a drumbeat in our collective consciousness. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which classifies a mass shooting as an event where four or more people are injured, there have been 255 in America this year. It’s the guns, and it’s about time for Objective Journalists to say so.

The time for Listening to Both Sides Until We Move On Without Doing Anything is over. What is the Republican Party’s solution to the gun violence epidemic? They talk about mental health, then attempt—by any means necessary—to strip millions of people of their healthcare. Right now, more than 20 Republican attorneys general are suing to abolish the Affordable Care Act, threatening the health insurance of 20 million Americans and the pre-existing conditions coverage of 50 million more. Will that help with mental health?

All the coverage of these events and the discussions that follow should reflect this reality. One political party wants to institute modest reforms to the ways Americans can acquire weapons and which weapons they can acquire. The other side seems to believe the current system is working perfectly, and has offered zero solutions. The president has come out for background checks—the absolute fucking minimum measure, which he’s motioned towards before and is attempting to tie to “immigration reform,” a surefire way to kill it—but Mitch McConnell is holed up in Kentucky and will probably never put the bill the House passed five months ago up for a vote in the Senate. Unless, of course, this reality was represented in the Very Objective Journalist Zone. Do not ask questions of fact and pretend you don’t know the answer. You can’t climb the stairs if you continually pretend the first step isn’t there.