NBA Distances Itself from Hong Kong Protesters
This week, the National Basketball Association (NBA) took steps to try to distance itself from a tweet by the Houston Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey. In his tweet, Morey urged "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver publicly apologized for the "insensitive remarks made by Mr. Morey. We understand that members of our organization are entitled to their political opinions. We have stood behind teams' refusals to visit the White House while Trump is president. We sympathize with players who are insulted by the racism of the National Anthem. However, the financial consequences of disrespecting the government of China are substantial and we will do whatever that government requires to atone for the offense created by Mr. Morey's tweet."
The initial acts of atonement so far have included an apology from Morey and the deletion of his tweet, an enforced "gag rule" forbidding players and managers from expressing any opinions regarding the Chinese Government's oppression of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and efforts to refocus attention on "the despicable history of the United States."
An opening salvo of the "refocus" effort came from the mouth of Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr. The Coach said he was "proud to boycott the invitations from Trump for my team to visit the White House for a celebration of our championships. We cannot allow this tyrant to ride the coattails of our greatness. Especially considering all the human rights abuses committed by Donald Trump and his minions since he stole the presidency from Hillary Clinton."
Kerr rebuffed queries from the media regarding China's concentration camps for dissenters, saying "it would be unfair for me to comment without being fully informed. I hear people say that millions have died under the policies of Mao, but I have no personal knowledge of these claimed atrocities. On the other hand, the Chinese Government has freely allowed their citizens to play and watch basketball. These positive developments should not be endangered by errant comments."
"Even worse, the recent action of the Trump Administration making the freedom of two million persecuted Muslims a condition for improved economic trade with China unnecessarily complicates the better business relationship the NBA is trying to accomplish," Kerr added. "To me, Trump is clearly the bigger threat to a better world."
In related news, the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers announced they are terminating a commercial partnership with Leupold—a manufacturer of a variety of scopes, binoculars and rangefinders—because the company also sells its products to the Israeli Defense Forces. Omar Streicher, spokesman for team, said "when it was brought to our attention that rifle scopes manufactured by Leupold were aiding the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel, severing the partnership became a 'no brainer.'"
Biden Says Study Vindicates His Ukraine Extortion
A study conducted by OpenTheBooks.com showed that the practice of politicians trading favors for cash is common. The case study involved eight members of Congress: Republicans Tom Cole, Kristi Noem, Erik Paulsen, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democrats John B. Larsen, Jim Cooper, Debbie Dingell, and Brenda Lawrence.
The study found a repeated pattern in which members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom billions of taxpayer dollars flow. Members sponsor or oppose legislation that affects these contractors. Then, the contractor's lobbyists advocate for or against the legislation to help the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor's lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this abuse of office is that it is not illegal. It is this last finding that former Vice-President Joe Biden heralded as "proof that I've done nothing wrong. The travesty is that the salaries allotted to those of us in government are abysmally low. Corporate executives are paid millions to run private businesses. We ought to be similarly paid, but could never garner much support for higher salaries. Allowing ourselves to make money on the side has been the way to right this injustice. Using my influence in Ukraine to help my son doesn't make me a crook. It makes me a good dad."
In related news, Biden slammed the New York Times for running an op ed by Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash. "Here is a guy trying to profit by attacking the legal influence peddling of great Americans like the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and me, the former Vice-President of President Barack Obama. We're at war for the soul of this country. The Times shouldn't be giving aid and comfort to our enemies. They need to stay in the ranks and use the power they have to help us win back the White House and Congress."
California Enacts Anti-Voter Suppression Law
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new law that will allow voters to register on election day at any polling place in the state. According to the Governor, "this will overcome some serious deficiencies that previously held the number of ballots cast below what could've been achieved."
Among the deficiencies cited by the Governor were "the disenfranchisement of procrastinators. Why should people who can't plan ahead be barred from voting? Under this law, anyone can wait until the final hour and still be allowed to vote. Another defect of previous law was its failure to adequately allow for enthusiastic voters to have a say as great as their passion. Under the new law, a person with the dedication and energy would be allowed to register and vote at as many polling locations he or she could reach during the 30 day period in which votes are allowed to be cast. Why shouldn't people who feel strongly be accorded a greater weight in the decision than those who are just going through the motions to cast a single ballot each election cycle?"
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger exuded enthusiasm for the new rules, saying "I will cast as many votes as I can for Sen. Warren. Her vision for the future of America is how we keep America number one."
LGBTQ Town Hall Brings Out Worst in Dem Candidates
This week at CNN's "Equality Town Hall" inspired several of the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential contenders to advocate some bad ideas.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke vowed to "strip tax-exempt status from any religious organization that refuses to recognize gay marriage. In fact, this will be one of my top priorities as president. The Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is just as valid as a traditional marriage between a man and a woman. No one has a constitutional right to oppose this. Any who do must be punished. Imposing taxes on churches and siccing the IRS after them would be the most merciful tool for achieving compliance. You know, we could learn a thing or two from how China handles religious deviations from its policies. In China, churches must get government approval before anyone can be a priest or minister. This strikes me as the ultimate safeguard for ensuring obedience to the government's wishes. Maybe we should make this a requirement in our country."
Former Vice-President Joe Biden averred that "same-sex marriage is the perfect remedy for alleviating the health threat posed by gay bathhouses. Before gay marriages were the law of the land, gay men were forced to look for love with anonymous strangers in round-the-clock sex orgies at these bathhouses. Now they can practice safe sex with a committed long term partner. I'd call that a major step forward toward a healthier America."
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren acknowledged "the solid reasoning of my colleagues," but chided them for "overlooking the need to broaden our concept of marriage to cover the 30+ different genders that have recently been discovered. Every person has the right to be any sex he or she wants and to marry any other person of any gender. We will need to craft laws to deal with all the potential combinations. Even if we restrict marriage to two individuals there are nearly 1,000 possible types of marriage that will need to be codified. However, I wonder if such a restriction might be too narrow-minded. Who says a marriage has to be between only two people?"
The Senator also took the occasion to announce that "prison inmates are entitled to gender reassignment surgery." This position contradicts her 2012 opposition to using taxpayer money to fund such surgeries. "I was wrong then," she admitted. "My error can be blamed on the false premise that there can be any money that is not rightfully the property of the government. I was mindlessly thinking 'why should taxpayers foot this bill.' I now know that the correct way of thinking is that any money not taken from taxpayers is a gift from the government. No one is entitled to expect a gift. It is the government's right and duty to use whatever funds are necessary to heal these suffering individuals. Reshaping their genitals is a small down payment on what society owes them."
To help her with issues like these, Warren promised to consult with nine-year-old transgender Jacob Lemay. "An individual to be so wise at such a young age and brave enough to take action to escape the erroneous body he was born with is the kind of adviser every president needs to forge the transformation our country needs," the Senator maintained. "For more than 200 years presidents have sought out old white men for these crucial roles. I intend to break away from that stilted practice and get ideas and inspiration from those unconstrained by the out-dated reality of the past."
In related news, Warren promised to give "back pay" to illegal aliens. She brushed off criticism that "this, like my other plans is 'communistic," by reminding these critics that "they are neglecting to admit that under communism in Russia and China no student has to pay for college, no one has to pay for health care, the government provides adequate housing for everyone, and people cheerfully line up to buy the low-cost food the state supplies to all."
Anti-Trump Conspirator Admits Steele Dossier "Had Flaws"
Fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe admitted to former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein that "the dossier compiled by Steele had its flaws. Steele warned us that he couldn't verify its contents and that we should not take it as 'gospel.' But President Obama was pressing us on the need to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the next president. Under these circumstances I think people will understand that a rigid adherence to the law would not have allowed us to do as he asked."
"By nature, much of the information spies like Steele obtain is hearsay, innuendo, and inference," McCabe explained. "But if that's all you have there's no alternative but to go forward and hope for the best. Did we make mistakes? Of course. In hindsight, perhaps swearing under oath to the FISA Court that the dossier was verified might have been a mistake seeing that our expectation we would be successful in throwing the election to Secretary Clinton didn't pan out."
"What I offer in my own defense, and that of the numerous intelligence community members who participated in the mission, is that taking extreme risk, breaking laws, and neutralizing enemies by any means possible has been the essence of the intelligence community's work going back at least to the foundation of the CIA. We do the dirty work required to protect this nation from threats to our way of life. Trump posed such a threat and President Obama's endorsement of the measures we carried out gave all of us the impetus to try to save America from a dire fate. My greatest regret is that we have, so far, failed in that endeavor."
In related news, CNN contributor Wajahat Ali reports that "the FBI now considers conspiracies theories, such as that there is a deep state plot to drive Trump out of office, to be a domestic terror threat. This designation will allow the intelligence community to take the kind of severe measures needed to protect against this threat. This includes surveillance, infiltration, propaganda, and the type of executive action deployed against President Kennedy when he posed a similar threat as perceived by the CIA."
Minneapolis Mayor Removes Porta-Potties Outside Trump Rally
Frustrated that he was unable to prevent President Trump from holding a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey took action to bar porta-potties from being set up outside the arena for use by the overflow crowd or those there to demonstrate against Trump.
"The provision of portable toilets is the very definition of treason in the US Constitution," Frey contended. "And I quote...Treason against the United States, shall consist of giving enemies aid and comfort. The whole purpose of these facilities is to give aid and comfort. In fact, they are also known as 'comfort stations.' Since Trump and his supporters are enemies of our democracy any step that would discomfort them seems to me to be both inherently justified and required."
Asked about the discomfort inflicted on the anti-Trump demonstrators, Grey expressed regret, but pointed out that "in war there sometimes is collateral damage. I think our Anti-Fa friends understand this and will, in revolutionary fashion, relieve themselves on the streets as are our fellow revolutionaries in San Francisco and Los Angeles. So, we're confident that most of the suffering will occur in the ranks of the deplorables."