(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)
Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where you pay in blood, but not your own.
Omaha baker Chris Janicek sent a group message June 4 to at least five people, including a female staff member who subsequently filed a complaint with the Nebraska Democratic Party. His text said they needed to “get her laid,” referring to the female staffer, who has since quit the campaign. The World-Herald obtained copies of the text messages. Janicek’s texts described lining up multiple partners for group sex with the staffer and suggested that the “three guys” could be paid.
“Thoughts?! money” he wrote. Janicek said that his texts did not come out of the blue, that his messages reflected the tone of an earlier office conversation he overheard. A lawyer for the female staffer said no such conversation involving her occurred.
OK, so mulligan, right? Not so fast.
Janicek’s own party is calling on him to leave, and Nebraska Republicans, who have taunted him for months as “The Cupcake King of Omaha,” are piling on. His campaign said he will not heed calls to quit. Janicek has come under fire for sending sexually explicit texts to campaign staffers.
“There has been no change,” said Scott Howitt of the Janicek campaign. “He apologized.” The two Democrats who finished closest to Janicek in Nebraska’s May 12 Senate primary — community organizer Angie Philips and mental health practitioner Alisha Shelton — sharpened their calls for him to quit during a joint press conference Wednesday in downtown Omaha. They called it “a demand.”…
Democrats could put Shelton’s name on the ballot if Janicek resigns by Sept. 1. If he doesn’t, Shelton would be ineligible to file as a write-in candidate because she lost in the May primary. Philips, citing the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, said Shelton, who is black, is the right person at the right moment to help bring Nebraskans together. “I believe Chris Janicek will do the right thing and step down,” Shelton said. “He will realize the mistake he’s made.”
This is all very unfortunate, as nobody deserves a proper campaign more than Young Ben Sasse. And, as we see in other Nebraska news, the state’s Republicans generally never will be confused with William Jennings Bryan. Also from the O W-H:
But when it comes to the state’s 93 courthouses and other local government offices, he doesn’t want local officials to require masks. In fact, he’s told local governments that they won’t receive any of the $100 million in federal COVID-19 money if their “customers” are required to wear masks…
In Lincoln, the state’s second-largest city, officials were preparing to require all visitors to wear masks when entering the City-County Building. But the draft rules were promptly dropped when officials were informed that Lancaster County wouldn’t receive CARES Act money if it instituted a mask requirement. Deb Schorr, a longtime Lancaster County Board member and past president of the Nebraska Association of County Officials, said county officials “love local control” and are better informed about conditions in their county, particularly concerning COVID-19. The virus has hammered several parts of Nebraska, even as 18 rural counties have not recorded a single positive case.
I am beginning to doubt the sincerity of our conservative brethren as regards their remarks about how “the governments closest to the people are best.”
Let us stay on the Great Plains and bop on down to Wichita, where, it seems, the mayor’s advisory committee on civil rights has discovered the razor blade in the apple. From the Wichita Eagle:
Since being appointed to the Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights, appointee Allen Stoker has written or shared dozens of posts, memes and essays on Facebook assailing the Black Lives Matter movement, highlighting crimes committed by Black people, defending the confederate flag and downplaying slavery and racism in America. Whipple said he was not aware of Stoker’s attitudes on racial issues when he appointed him to the civil rights panel created by the City Council at Whipple’s request on June 2…
In recent days, his own missives on race relations included: “400 + years of hurt… Ya might want to get out your calculator on that one.. 2020 – 1776= not 400+,” and “So, if people are so pissed off about being brought here against their will. .why aren’t they buying tickets back home? Must not be that big of a deal.”
It’s nice to have such a clear baseline for debate and discussion.
And speaking of public servants who fail to serve the public, and their proper comeuppance, which is all too rare, we slide on over to Arizona, where the Arizona Republic tries very hard not to say it told him so.
[Sheriff Mark] Lamb posted on the Pinal County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page that he had been invited on Tuesday to join President Donald Trump at the White House and was tested before the meeting as part of the protocol. “Unfortunately, as a law enforcement official and elected leader, we do not have the luxury of staying home,” Lamb wrote. “This line of work is inherently dangerous, and that is a risk we take when we sign up for the job. Today, that risk is the COVID-19 virus.”
In early May, Lamb made waves when he said he wouldn’t enforce Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order in part because he thought it was unconstitutional. At the time Lamb said he also thought, as a policy measure, the steps to slow the virus’s spread had gone on long enough. “The numbers don’t justify the actions anymore,” he said in early May. “Three hundred deaths is not a significant enough number to continue to ruin the economy.”
The virus does not bluff. The virus does not fck around. The virus doesn’t care about The Economy. Or about your badge.
We move on to South Carolina, where things are changing in the home office of American sedition. Its primary inventor is coming down off his pedestal. Literally. From the Post and Courier.
City officials said they expect the statue at the top of the monument would be removed in a relatively swift time frame after the council makes its decision. Tecklenburg said removal of the entire monument, starting with the statue, will occur in stages. A challenge by state officials, citing a law enacted 20 years ago, is possible, but city officials said they’re confident of a successful outcome if taken to court. Charleston’s decision, and any case that might follow, could set a precedent for other cities grappling with whether they should remove similar memorials.
Losing Calhoun can rightly be seen as the last Union victory of the Civil War in South Carolina, where the articles of secession are still carved into the walls of the state capitol building. But I would call your attention to another piece of the story, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, but is worth repeating, over and over again.
The statue has been unpopular since its first incarnation, defaced regularly by African American residents who felt the statue was meant to keep them “in their place.” A much shorter monument built in 1887 was replaced in 1896 so that it would be unreachable.
The statue went up 37 years after Calhoun’s death and 12 years after the great end project of Calhoun’s entire political philosophy crashed and burned at Appomattox, but right on time for Plessy v. Ferguson and Jim Crow. It was a tribute to the state’s heritage, for sure, but that heritage was white supremacy, a Cause that never was Lost.
Sean RayfordGetty Images
And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, whence Blog Official Virus Dodger Friedman of the Plains took a break from digging the shelter in preparation for the president*’s arrival to send along the saga of some folks who are doing some serious appreciatin’ and encouragin’ in advance of thesuperspreader event. From Fox23News:
“We appreciate the President and his team of advisors for preparing temperature checks, face coverings, and hand sanitizers for Saturday’s event, and we encourage the public to closely follow all public health guidance and procedures established for the event in order to protect yourself and loved ones. As outlined by the CDC, individuals looking to attend Saturday’s event, or any other large-scale gathering, will face an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and becoming a transmitter of this novel virus. In preparation for participating in large-scale events, we encourage the following public health measures to be taken to minimize risks.”
The most obvious public health measure—telling the president* to forget about holding what literally will be a viral video—will not be followed. Anyone who’s been to one of these projectile-saliva wankfests knows how seriously the CDC guidelines will be followed in Tulsa. Especially this one:
While attending the event, wear a cloth face covering, frequently use hand sanitizer with 60% rubbing alcohol, do not touch your face, and do your best to keep six feet of physical distance from others.
How’d you like to be the first person to walk into that crowd wearing a mask?
This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.
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Charles P. Pierce
Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976.
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