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Today's Big Stuff


It's Monday. There are 85 days until the presidential election. 97,000 kids got COVID in two weeks and Trump wants to be on Mt. Rushmore, Trump drops some bullshit executive orders and a fawning media does the rest and a Friday night massacre at the postal service. 

Note: Hey everybody! So we hate to do this to you on a Monday, especially since you appear very rested and super attractive, but man have we got a shitload of bad news to throw at you today. It was that kind of weekend. And as shocking as it might be to ponder, things are about to get way more fucked up than they have been. We're gonna start this week by canceling college football, where millions of dumbshits will refuse to accept the irony that they could've prevented this but chose to spout off some bullshit about individual freedoms and make a gameshow host president instead. At some point, we're probably gonna get a running mate for Joe "I can ride a bike, bunker bitch" Biden and that will open the sewer gates of mainstream media sexism. Then we've got conventions that aren't really conventions. While all of this is happening, Trump will continue to work with Russia to win his election, and Biden will have to fend off a number of hostile countries, a media desperate to seem fair, a gutted post office and the U.S. Senate, which is going through with the same scummy hitjob that Ukraine refused to do. And to make matters even worse, we're gonna leave you high and dry for a couple days this week. Yeah, we're gonna take Thursday and Friday off to unplug and recharge the ol' batteries. We're sorry. We feel like shit for doing it. But y'all know once we hit 60 days, nobody's feet will touch the ground for the rest of the way. So in between all the kicking ass y'all do, make sure to take a minute or two for yourself. 

Note two: With all the legitimate concerns about voting by mail being messed with, we give you this list of things you can do to protect your vote courtesy of actor Josh Gad, who was great in Pixels but will always be Olaf to us. (Don't worry. The list was signed off on by Democratic super lawyer Marc Elias, and we only slightly modified it in a way so subtle you probably won't even notice). 

  1. Vote early in person.

  2. Use a ballot drop box.


  4. Drop off your ballot at an election office or polling location. 

  5. Organize community ballot collection

More: Democracy Docket

Note three: A huge thank you to CBS's Paula Reid. After three years and the same lie told almost 150 times, Paula was the first journalist to push back on Trump's claim that he signed the Veterans' Choice bill which President Obama signed in 2014. It is truly an embarrassment to the White House press corps that this took so long. Well done, Paula. Only 20,000 more lies to go. More: CNN

Note four: If you can't get into Canada, you're not winning, you're not great again and you're not anything to be proud of. Christ this is embarrassing. More: New York Times

Note five: Rush Limbaugh says Joe Biden uses religion as a crutch. We're not even gonna make any jokes. More: Media Matters

Note six: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The orgies at Liberty lost their orgymaster. More: The Daily Beast

Note seven: This is the whole ballgame. Slate has reconstructed how the president of the United States let thousands and thousands of Americans die from a preventable death. It is today's must-read. More: Slate

Note eight: This weekend was the anniversary of the deaths of Jerry Garcia and Bernie Mac. No wonder everything sucks so much right now. 

Note nine: Congratulations to everyone who had Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro as guests on their television shows this week. You and your audience are now dumber. 

Note 10: To the freedom fighters in Belarus, we see you and we are sending our love and support. If we were still America, our president would too. 

Note 11: And 11th note Monday?! They said it couldn't be done. Or maybe they said it shouldn't be done. Since it's a short week here in TBS land, we're gonna do our best to give you some kick ass newsletter business in just three days. We know we can do it. And if you're concerned about us being gone, we can probably work out a way to text you a joke about Rudy banging his cousin. We hope y'all are holding up ok. This nightmare is so fucked up, and there really is no end in sight. We love y'all, and we're damn grateful you joined us today. Have a fantastic week!

The kids aren't alright

Despite our super creepy president's boasts about our children's "little immune systems," the NYT reports that at least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID in the last two weeks of July. And remember that scene of those kids at that school in Georgia? Well six kids and three teachers have COVID now, and the school has shut down for two days. And we already mentioned that college football is about to be canceled. While the media starts to get bored and Trump tries every distraction imaginable, the pandemic in America is out of control. We passed 5 million cases this weekend. About 10,000 Americans died from it in the last nine days (h/t David Gelles), and according to Steven Dennis, "one out of every 2,000 Americans alive at the start of the pandemic has now died with COVID." This is a failure at every level of American government and media. We have been left to die, and the beltway crew is still thinking about their book deals. AND THIS MOTHERFUCKER ASKED ABOUT BEING ADDED TO MT. RUSHMORE?!!!!! More: AJC, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, The Daily Beast

Country club governance

Remember when the media cared about optics? It was the last time a Democrat or a woman did something they didn't like. But oddly, when Trump announces he's cutting benefits for hurting Americans from his fucking country club while a bunch of rich wine-sipping golfer assholes look on and jeer the press, reporters run out to carry Trump's water, repeating his lies and spin and just forgetting how horribly out of touch he looks. At some point, we really need to reckon with the conservative media bias of mainstream political reporters. But for today, let's just quickly talk about those executive orders that weren't really orders and didn't really do anything but still got reported that way. Despite Trump's claims, there is no eviction moratorium or money to cover rent. Unemployment is cut in half to $300 a week for five weeks. The payroll tax shit is such a mess that we won't even pretend to describe it except to say it's clearly an attack on social security and Medicare. In short, Trump took a truly terrible situation and somehow made it worse, and the media coverage was that he was riding in to save the day. Yay America! More: CNN, Washington Post, The Daily Beast

Going postal

On Friday night, while the rest of the country was in flames, Trump's megadonor postmaster decided to gut the postal service after a week of claiming he would never do anything partisan or detrimental to the delivery of the mail. Yeah, turns out he was lying. Twenty-three high-ranking officials with decades of experience were either let go or moved to a different department. But don't worry for a second. Our people are tweeting and sending sternly worded letters like nobody's business. More: Associated Press. CNN, Washington Post

Today's clips

More than 3½ years into his presidency, Trump increasingly finds himself minimized and ignored — as many of his more outlandish or false statements are briefly considered and then, just as quickly, dismissed. The slide into partial irrelevance could make it even more difficult for Trump as he seeks reelection as the nation's leader amid a pandemic and economic collapse.
More: Washington Post

When Kevin Alfaro noticed a masked police officer befriending a counterprotester who had threatened him at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Nutley, N.J., on June 19, he whipped out his phone and took a picture.

Then he tweeted: "If anyone knows who this b---- is throw his info under this tweet." 

Now, Alfaro and four others who retweeted the post have been charged with cyber harassment, a fourth-degree felony that carries up to 18 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
More: Washington Post

West's presidential effort has largely sputtered since he formally filed to run as an independent candidate representing the "Birthday Party" in July. He has held just one campaign rally last month in North Charleston, S.C., where he appeared onstage wearing a bulletproof vest and broke down in tears, prompting his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to post messages on Instagram asking for the public's "compassion and empathy" as he struggles with bipolar disorder.
More: Washington Post

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.
More: Axios

Saudi Arabia reveled in Donald Trump's decision to make the kingdom his first overseas destination as president. It will have to decide how welcoming to be for Joe Biden if he wins the White House in November.
More: Bloomberg

Census experts and advocates warn that the Trump administration's decision to end the decennial count a month earlier than expected will result in a dramatic undercount of Black and Latino communities across the country, which could have grave effects on federal funding and political representation in their neighborhoods.
More: Washington Post

A federal agency has put a planned $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak Co. on hold after the deal came under congressional and regulatory scrutiny.
More: Wall Street Journal

After months of debate and disagreement over the handling of inflammatory or misleading posts from Donald Trump, Facebook employees want CEO Mark Zuckerberg to explain what the company would do if the leader of the free world uses the social network to undermine the results of the 2020 US presidential election.
More: Buzzfeed News

Madalena McNeil is accused of buying red paint before a protest. Under aggressive new criminal charges, it could mean she spends the rest of her life in prison.
More: The Daily Beast



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