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Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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Here's something that's going to drive our friends on the right nuts. Salt Lake City officials will put free tampons in men's restrooms in all city facilities.

Wait till Tucker Carlson gets ahold of this! He will announce, as he has on numerous occasions, that it's the end of civilization.

The staff here at Smart Bomb has just reviewed Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley's new book, Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs, and nowhere in the brilliant tome does he delve into tampons for men. And frankly, we're surprised Utah Reps. Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart haven't seized on the issue in their campaigns for reelection to Congress.

You're right, Wilson, Republicans really don't have to campaign in red-state Utah. But we may soon hear from David Ibarra, who ran for Salt Lake City mayor in 2019 and lost. He's always complaining that Mayor Erin Mendenhall—et al.—isn't doing anything about homelessness.

That sounds like sour grapes, but if he really wants a campaign issue for 2023 this could be it: "Mayor Mendenhall is destroying civilization with tampons!" That's the ticket.

Of course, there's always the issue of potty parity, which has some folks wondering whether Salt Lake City would put free condoms in women's restrooms. Condoms! This is the end of civilization—call Tucker Carlson!

OMG—No Dijon in France!
OK, this is serious, the French are running out of mustard and they are even more dyspeptic than usual. Life without Dijon just can't happen. Ça n'est tout simplement pas possible.

"France's mustard shortage fuels drama and panic in grocery stores," screams one headline. This is a real crisis—if you've scheduled a trip there, you might reconsider because your French hosts will be in a gnarly mustard withdrawal.

Blame it on climate change and the war in Ukraine. Mustard is now a hot item on the black market and prices are up 25% in stores where you can find it—limit one bottle per person. The French consume an average of 2.2 pounds of mustard per person each year. That's enough mustard for 250 hotdogs. They use it on many things, including in sauces and salad dressing, pork with sauerkraut, roasted rabbit and on and on.

Desperate, the French are using alternatives, such as horseradish, wasabi, and even Worcestershire sauce, according to The New York Times. But it's just not the same. Imagine eating wasabi on a hotdog—it would clear your sinuses for months. The shortage of Dijon could even hit the U.S., according to Kraft Heinz Co., the maker of Grey Poupon. Imagine having to eat ketchup on your hotdog. Pass the Grey Poupon? Not on your life.

Jon Huntsman Screwed by The Tribune?
You wouldn't think a newspaper owned by a candidate's brother would submarine him in the race for Utah governor. Paul Huntsman bought The Salt Lake Tribune in 2016 and in this drama, one version holds that Jon Huntsman lost the 2020 gubernatorial race to Spencer Cox, in part, because Tribune reporters and editors were in the bag for Cox.

At the time, Jennifer Napier-Pearce was editor in chief. She's now Cox's spokeswoman, affecting heartburn across the Huntsman family. "As for Mr. (Paul) Huntsman's ludicrous assertion that I suppressed investigative reporting in order to get a state job, nothing could be further from the truth," Napier-Pearce told USA Today.

After the 2020 election, Paul Huntsman formed an investigative unit outside the newspaper to look into Cox's actions as lieutenant governor when no-bid contracts worth $84 million were awarded as COVID-19 advanced. It was no vendetta, said Paul Huntsman, but an effort to uncover corruption—one that Tribune staffers weren't up to, he told The Washington Post.

Rick Edmunds of the Poynter Institute told USA Today that it's unheard of for a board chair to create a personal investigative unit. As for Tribune staff morale: Well guys, when the going gets tough, the tough get drinking.

Postscript—That's a wrap for another week here at Smart Bomb, where we keep track of global warming so you don't have to. Fun Fact: Salt Lake City recorded 21 days in July where temps hit 100 degrees or more. We weren't alone, heatwaves struck most of the U.S., as well as Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, breaking many long-standing records.

And speaking of heat (clever segue), Congress was broiling as the Jan. 6 committee turned up the BTUs with eye-popping testimony from former White House officials. The head inquisitor, Wyoming's only House member, Liz Cheney, took dead aim at Donald Trump and his toadies in what can only be seen as a heroic suicide mission.

It's reminiscent of Thomas Babington Macaulay's 1842 poem "Horatius at the Bridge," where a single Roman soldier holds back the Etruscan Army in ancient Rome at the Tiber River: "Oh, Tiber! Father Tiber! To whom the Romans pray, a Roman's life, a Roman's arms, take thou in charge this day!"

Cheney is sure to lose her seat up in cowboy country in defense of our democracy. She admonished her estranged GOP colleagues as she marched into history: "There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain." Chew on that, you MAGA mothers.

Well shucks Wilson, between tampons and mustard there's no shortage of drama out there. Maybe we ought to do something for those poor French folks who are jonesing for Dijon like a Camel smoker for a butt on the 12-hour non-stop from Salt Lake City to Paris:

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man

No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"

No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find
You get what you need

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill

We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was "dead"
I said to him
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"—the Rolling Stones

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