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Nice Legs Pork Chop 

Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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It's a mad, mad, mad world and it's getting angrier all the time. Republican Kevin Smith—a candidate to challenge New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan—once called a female subordinate in Londonderry, "Pork Chop." In what context? We're not sure, but it can't be good.

In the land of the angry, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh ducked out the back of a Washington, D.C., steakhouse when activists outside arrived to protest his vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Some quipped on twitter—there is no constitutional right to dine in peace. Yikes.

A S.W.A.T. team swarmed right-wing strategist Steve Bannon's house in a so-called "swatting" attack after someone called in a false report of a man with a gun. Bummer. Yep, we're just getting nastier.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and soccer star Megan Rapinoe—recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—are "losers," according to Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who pushed dozens of failed lawsuits arguing that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Shame—never.

We're up to here in fear and loathing, so things like this are no longer surprising. A Subway restaurant employee in Atlanta was killed after a customer shot him during an argument over mayonnaise. Mayonnaise, really?

What would have happened if they had words over pickle relish? Good grief.

Up Yours John Oliver
OK, that does it. John Oliver, the silly Brit on HBO's Last Week Tonight, is making fun of Utah. Don't you just hate it when that happens? Oliver thinks it's hilarious that we have this badass drought turning the Great Salt Lake into a dust bowl and all we're doing is praying for rain. Real funny.

Michael Safsten was so mad he wrote this in the Deseret News: "What was communicated to the viewer was not just that Utah was doing nothing, but that Utah is full of rubes who pray to a mythical sky-god and are deserving of mockery." The nerve! If that weren't enough, actor Brian Cox appeared as God: "You can't pray yourself out of a drought," he said, adding that Utah brought it on itself by using more water than anywhere else.

Well horse pucky, our governor wasn't having it. You can't make fun of Utah and you can't make fun of God. And you can't make fun of the Great Salt Lake, our sanctimonious legislators or Moroni. It's true Oliver's show is largely about using current events to make fools of people—usually fat cats, politicians and idiots, like Majorie Taylor Green. That's his schtick.

Some say we should be able to laugh at ourselves instead of turning red and muttering bad words. Well, we do have a sense of humor—we do—but screw that, you can't make fun of us, you stinkin' limey.

Indulging the Trumpers
How "the supplicant fanboys permitted Donald Trump's depravity to be inflicted on the rest of us," is the story Mark Leibovich just had to tell in his new book, Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission.

Former Attorney General Bill Bar is the "Yo-Yo Ma of White House toadyism." South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is "Gilligan to Donald Trump's Skipper." Others are a "collection of pet rocks." The entire Trump project was a scurrilous joke—a parody of American political life and decline—writes Joe Klein in a Washington Post review of the book.

The subject isn't new but still boils the blood. "[T]he joke was on us, the American people," Klein writes, "especially those of us, the dreaded elite, who took things like health care and pollution and education and overseas authoritarians such as Vladimir Putin seriously." Why are those MAGA Trumpers, who are up to their ears in cell phones, flat-screen TVs and souped-up pickups so damn angry? Leibovich writes: "[A]t a certain point, our attempts at 'understanding' become indulgence ... a lesser version of the Republicans' capitulation to the slovenly ignorance of the Trumpers. Why can't we be as angry at them as they are at us?" Because we know better, says Klein, if we don't figure this out, we won't have a country.

Postscript— That's going to do it for another hot week in Zion, where the staff here at Smart Bomb keeps track of disinformation so you don't have to. Well, not exactly. No one can keep tabs on the misinformation tsunami flooding this country.

The Biden Administration tried in April by creating the Disinformation Governance Board within the Department of Homeland Security. It would coordinate responses to false information aimed at social, political and financial targets. Not surprisingly, Fox News and right-wing Republicans compared it to George Orwell's "Ministry of Truth." The ACLU objected, too, saying a federal agency ought not to be policing "the truth."

The board was put on permanent hold and is now a fading memory. In this country, we have the freedom to lie our asses off—something about the First Amendment. "Stop the Steal," anyone?

In the end, misinformation is about money and power. Fox News demonstrates that a steady stream of outrage is very profitable. Social media giants, such as Facebook and Youtube, spread misinformation through algorithms that direct users to watch other similar content. Then those users pass it along and so stuff—like Trump's Big Lie—goes round and round until it takes hold. Hello brave new world.

Well Wilson, it's confusing out there and Americans of all stripes are none too pleased. We are, once again, going to hell in a hand-basket. FYI: That expression comes from the French Revolution, where heads fell from the guillotine into a basket. For real. At any rate, you and the guys in the band must have something that will keep us from losing our heads. So pick it, Wilson:

Summer rain taps at my window
West wind soft as a sweet dream
My love warm as the sunshine
Sittin' here by me, she's here by me

She stepped out of the rainbow
Golden hair shinin' like moon glow
Warm lips soft as a soul
Sittin' here by me, she's here by me

We sailed into the sunset
Drifted home, caught by a gulf stream
Never gave a thought for tomorrow
Just let tomorrow be, now, let tomorrow be

She wants to live in the Rockies
She says that's where we'll find peace
Settle down, raise up a fam'ly
To call our own, yeah, we'll have a home

The snow drifts by my window
North wind blowin' like thunder
Our love's burnin' like fire
And she's here by me, yeah, she's here with me
Let tomorrow be
"Summer Rain"—Johnny Rivers

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