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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
July 21, 2024

Republicans Accuse Democrats of Plotting to Nominate Winning Candidate

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Calling it “the most crooked conspiracy in American history,” on Sunday Donald J. Trump and other Republicans accused Democrats of plotting to nominate a winning presidential candidate.

“I’ve seen the Democrats do some pretty evil things, but I never thought they’d choose a nominee with a chance of winning,” Trump said. “This should never be allowed to happen in our country.”

“What we are witnessing is no more and no less than a shameless scheme to mount a successful election campaign,” House Speaker Mike Johnson charged. “As God is my witness, this will not stand.”

Senator J.D. Vance attacked the Democrats’ “blatant use of strategy” and warned of more sinister machinations to come.

“In a matter of days, be prepared for them to announce that they’ve chosen a qualified and appealing VP candidate,” Vance said. “We Republicans would never do that.”


July 20, 2024

'We're going to head into a civil war.' Bill Baird, the 'father' of birth control, on the religious right and the Court

Bill Baird has been called many things: butcher, murderer, pied piper of sex, unholy deviant. It’s hard to imagine the 92-year-old man on the white couch once evoked so much wrath. But it was a dangerous time when Baird — who was shot at and punched, who lost his family and was jailed — won a 1972 Supreme Court decision that legalized contraception for unmarried women, earning him the nickname the “father” of birth control.

The privacy issues raised in Eisenstadt vs. Baird were cited less than a year later when the court voted to protect a woman’s right to abortion in Roe vs. Wade. Baird was elated but prescient about what was to come. He knew the persuasions of preachers and the power of the Bible to provoke America’s morality police. He warned a complacent abortion rights movement that the victory was in danger from a well-organized Christian right that would galvanize the Republican Party.

In 1980, he appeared like a party-crashing, secular prophet at a Dallas religious convention where televangelist Jerry Falwell and other right-wing pastors were mobilizing Christian voters and calling for Supreme Court justices to oppose abortion: “This is the first time in the history of this great nation of ours,” Baird said at the time, “that any single group has tried to seize control of the U.S. Supreme Court to force a particular religious viewpoint.”

And he says it’s happening again.

“No one listened. Look at today,” said Baird, sitting in a sunroom in a house in the green hills north of Philadelphia. “We’re going to head into a civil war. They [evangelicals] believe this ‘orange Jesus’ — this Trump — has special powers from God. I saw it developing back then. I knew it was coming. I’m still fighting it. This is the worst Supreme Court I’ve ever seen.


July 20, 2024

NASA cans lunar rover after spending $450 million building it

NASA announced Wednesday that cost overruns and delays have forced it to cancel a planned moon rover it already spent $450 million to develop, marking a significant setback for the agency's lunar exploration program.

The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) was intended to explore the lunar south pole in search of ice and other resources, paving the way for planned crewed missions by American astronauts under the Artemis program later this decade.

"Decisions like this are never easy," said Nicky Fox, NASA's associate administrator of the science mission directorate.

"But in this case, the projected remaining expenses for VIPER would have resulted in having to either cancel or disrupt many other missions."


July 19, 2024

I Grew Up in Appalachia Too. J.D. Vance Is a Hillbilly Phony

I was raised in Coal City, West Virginia and when Monday’s big news about Trump’s vice presidential selection was announced, I felt instant rage. I wrote to my friends:

“J.D. Vance was named Trump’s running mate, which means people are talking about his stupid fucking book again, in which a venture capitalist from suburban Ohio who spent a couple of summers in Kentucky praises himself for pulling himself up by his bootstraps and blames the continued poverty of his ‘fellow’ hillbillies on their poor choices.

“Instead, read literally anything else. Read Appalachian Reckoning which responds to J.D. Vance’s stupid fucking book. Read Demon Copperhead. Read Another Appalachia. Dump a can of alphabet soup onto the floor and read whatever comes out of that. I guarantee it will be better than J.D. Vance's stupid fucking book.”

Vance fills me with rage, in part, because I’m a lot like him.


July 19, 2024

Can chess games and toilet paper change prison culture? Inside San Quentin's big experiment

SAN QUENTIN — To someone living outside these dank walls, the changes might seem small.

A sergeant greets a prisoner with “good morning” rather than barking an order. Guards start calling the prisoners “residents.” They shake hands, exchange jokes.

The toilet paper locker gets replenished when its empty. The men don’t have to ask.

At California’s oldest and most infamous state prison, a monumental shift is underway through an experiment dubbed the California Model, an effort Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in March 2023 to reimagine prison life, starting at San Quentin.


July 19, 2024

The vibe at the RNC is worse than you can imagine

Hello and happy Thursday. There are 109 days until the election and Lord help me, I’m in Milwaukee.

Nothing against cheese curds and it’s certainly not a “horrible city,” as Trump described it. But I am on Day 3 of the Republican National Convention, and that is a lot of RNC.

I am not going to start by making fun of Trump’s giant bandage, taped over his ear like he was sleeping with Barbie and her pillow got drool-stuck to his head, because it’s too soon, people. Too soon!

But I’m here to walk you through what’s it’s like to be on the ground with 2,000-plus Republican delegates and an additional 48,000 MAGA guests (though, honestly, I think half of those might be press).


July 19, 2024

Perks of old age: Nobody says, 'Grandpa, would you please move this refrigerator?'

Aging has its drawbacks, if you hadn’t noticed.

But are there any benefits to getting older, other than the fact that it beats the alternative?

I asked that question of readers a few weeks ago, and apparently the answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes again, according to the hundreds who chimed in.

“When I asked for pre-boarding on a flight this month,” said Betty Hechtman, “the airline person didn’t even ask why but just gave it to me.”


July 19, 2024

Ben Sasse Will Step Down as President of University of Florida

Ben Sasse, the president of the University of Florida and a former Republican senator from Nebraska, announced Thursday that he was resigning his position so he could dedicate more time and attention to his ailing wife.

Dr. Sasse, 52, took office in early February 2023. His resignation will be effective July 31. Mori Hosseini, the chair of the university’s board of trustees, said in a separate announcement that the board would work quickly to appoint an interim president and would begin the search for a new president.

In a long and heartfelt message on X, Dr. Sasse said that his wife, Melissa, who had an aneurysm and a series of strokes in 2007, was in recent months diagnosed with epilepsy and had been “struggling with a new batch of memory issues.”

Although his two daughters are in college, his son is just turning 13, he said in the post.

“I’ve got two spectacular callings in life right now: First, I’m a husband and dad,” Dr. Sasse wrote. “Second, I’ve been blessed to serve as president of the best dang public university in America — Go Gators! — and I’ve loved the challenge of giving this university everything I’ve got. But here’s the bottom line: Those callings are significantly at odds with each other right now.”


Well that didn't last long. I also suspect he had issues with DeSantis' notorious anti-educational policies.

July 19, 2024

RNC Ends on High Note as Ghost of Jeffrey Epstein Endorses Trump

MILWAUKEE (The Borowitz Report)—Attendees at the Republican National Convention gave a thunderous ovation to the ghost of Jeffrey Epstein after he made a surprise appearance Thursday night to endorse Donald J. Trump.

“I know Donald Trump better than I know just about anybody,” the spectral Epstein told the MAGA faithful. “Check my phone logs. There’s no one I talked to more.”

Visibly emotional, Epstein said he had never endorsed a presidential candidate before but was making an exception for Trump “because we were so close.”

“Donald Trump shares my vision, my values, my core beliefs,” he said. “I stand before you and the American people to deliver this message: A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Jeffrey Epstein!”

The MAGA crowd roared their approval of Epstein, who got the warmest reception of the many felons who spoke at the RNC.


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