It’s the end of the week and, like most Americans, I’m asking the pressing question: What just happened?
The redacted Mueller report came out
I wasn’t too familiar with all this “Mueller report” business — I try to focus on more satisfying endeavors, like slowly chewing off my own phalanges — but apparently special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign for the past two years. Who knew?!?
Anyhoo, this Mueller fellow wrote a 400-plus-page report and a redacted version was released Thursday by President Donald Trump’s lead public relations representative and BFF, Attorney General William Barr.
If you like the president and didn’t read the report, it totally exonerates Trump and shows that he has never done anything bad, ever, in his entire life.
If you don’t like the president and/or are willing to look at long strings of words and comprehend their meaning, the Mueller report paints a picture of a presidential candidate who had many campaign workers eager to get help from various Russians while the Russian government was actively trying to swing the U.S. election in Trump’s favor. The fact that the actions of Trump team members didn’t rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy was more a result of ineptitude and dumb luck than any sense of patriotism or understanding of the law. Much like Trump, they seemed to fail upward.
On the subject of obstruction of justice, Mueller made clear it was not his job to rule on whether Trump broke the law. But the special counsel did highlight in great detail 10 instances in which Trump tried to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation, and noted: “… (I)f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.”
Or as the president would call it, “Total Vindication!”
Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire and everyone got mad
A massive blaze broke out Monday in the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Devastating images of the fire filled television screens the world over. After grim initial predictions, the main structure of the cathedral was saved, along with many of the works of art and artifacts it held, and the world seemed to exhale.
Then everybody got mad.
French President Emmanuel Macron pledged that the cathedral would be rebuilt and French millionaires, assorted global corporations and everyday people quickly donated more than $1 billion toward the effort. Then others started pointing out, accurately, that hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico remains hurricane-ravaged and humans in Flint, Mich., are still without drinking water and maybe it would be cool if lots of money first went to places where people are actually suffering.
People who love and appreciate Notre Dame and its historic significance didn’t like hearing that at all, so they got mad and wanted those other people to stop telling them which tragedy should get their money.
All the while, conspiracy theorists whose sole purpose in life is to make the world a less pleasant place were leveraging the Notre Dame fire to promote their own unique brands of idiocy, and people like me were angrily yelling at them to knock it off because, quite frankly, the world is about full-up on stupid.
Lollapalooza lineup announced!
Organizers announced the daily lineup for Lollapalooza 2019, the Chicago-based festival of music and perspiration, considered by many to be the single largest annual gathering of people who have made questionable life decisions.
The four-day festival in August will feature artists like the Chainsmokers, Japanese Breakfast, Your Mom’s Bunion, Gurgle the Flurp, the Nude Party, I See Eggs, Yung Gravy and Unsightly Mole Hair. (I only made up four of those band names. You figure out which ones.)
Mayor Pete announces presidential run
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced BERT-UNG-JUDGE-PHALANX) entered the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates Sunday, riding a wave of He’s-a-white-guy-but-he’s-not-an-old-white-guy! excitement.
BERT-UNG-JUDGE-PHALANX has vaulted himself into contention using an unusual political tactic known as “behaving like an authentic and reasonable human being who wants the world to suck less.”
The mayor is drawing large crowds at early campaign stops and managed to raise $1 million within hours of announcing his candidacy.
One stumbling block moving forward might be his difficult-to-pronounce name (BOT-EDGE-GEIGER-COUNTER), which is something I, a person named Rex Huppke (ROCKS CUPCAKE), have dealt with extensively.
I’m hoping to introduce Buttigieg to the idea of a name-changing ceremony. I’m thinking “Pete Rust” will play better in swing states.
‘Game of Thrones’ Is Back!
HBO’s popular documentary series “Game of Thrones” returned for its final season and a lot of things I still don’t quite understand happened.
But there were dragons and big swords and a child zombie nailed to a wall. And that’s good enough for me.
Until next week.