Creeping authoritarianism, the failure of Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, a racist president who lies with impunity, children in cages, a trade war, the destruction of the Western Alliance—happy July 4, everybody!
Remember Rep. Jim Jordan? He's the Ohio Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus who was all over the news late last week. Jordan came for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and it was riveting, cringe-inducing, collapse-of-our-democracy-fear-inducing television. "In a tense exchange, Jordan suggested that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's Russia investigation and has earned Trump's ire, was withholding key information from Congress about the probe. Jordan badgered Rosenstein for several minutes, clearly trying to get under his skin," the Washington Post reported. "But then things fell apart for Jordan, and he undermined his own case. He turned to media reports about an alleged threat by Rosenstein to members of Congress." The media reports Jordan cited were from Fox News—so they were bullshit and Rosenstein was able to slap Jordan down hard.
Well, Rep. Jim Jordan is in the news this week for a very different reason:
Rep. Jim Jordan, the powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, is being accused by former wrestlers he coached more than two decades ago at Ohio State University of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting them and other students. The university announced in April that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.
Jordan, who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring, and continued to deny it on Tuesday. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team. Three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments, and said it would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware; one wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse.
There's more and more damning evidence in NBC's report. Jordan denies everything and is now calling his accusers liars. His accusers are calling Jordan a liar. There are echoes of the Michigan State sex abuse scandal in the Ohio State case—both involved doctors who molested young athletes for decades—and the Michigan case led to a trial, large settlements, and numerous resignations. We'll see if Jordan can Trump this out—deny everything, attack the media, accuse accusers—but Missouri's disgraced governor Eric Greitens tried that and it didn't work.
Kevin Spacey May Face Charges in the UK: Scotland Yard won't say whether it's Casey they're investigating... but it sure sounds like it's Spacey.
The Shunning: Anyone who hasn't invited lying Trump apologist Alan Dershowitz to lunch is part of the problem.
Everybody Hates Trump: No one who's anyone wants to perform at Trump's 4th of July party. "Big arena acts such as the Killers, Cedric the Entertainer, Brad Paisley, Pitbull, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae and more have performed at the White House’s barbecue, concert and firework viewing party," the Washington Post reports. "That was then," during the Obama administration. "This year, taking the stage will be... two “American Idol” finalists. As in, not actual winners. Ever heard of Jax? Jonny Brenns? Not ringing a bell? You’re not alone."
No Fireworks For You, Snohomish County: An ongoing contract dispute between Frontier and CBS affiliate KIRO-TV means the good people in Snohomish County won't be able to watch Seattle's July 4th fireworks display on KIRO 7, which has been broadcasting the fireworks for the last six years. "Customers north of Seattle have [also] been unable to watch popular programming like 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Big Brother,' or CBS coverage of the PGA Tour," the Seattle Times reports.
It's Not Just Us: The executive branch of our government is doing incredibly shitty, traumatizing things to immigrant children while the legislative branch sits there with its thumb in its ass—excuse me: while legislators "express concern" in between making fundraising calls—and what's left of the judicial branch pushes back while it still can. But Denmark wants in on the abusing-immigrant-kids action:
In Denmark, children over the age of 1 who live in low-income, heavily Muslim immigrant communities that the government classifies as “ghettos” will soon be subject to mandatory training in “Danish values.” Once children turn 1, they will be required to attend daycare centers for at least 25 hours a week, where they will be taught about the Danish culture and language, including Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. If parents refuse to send their children, they could lose their welfare benefits.
Armpit of the Day: German model Jö Ni does his crunches. And because we're probably all going to need more than one armpit to get through this day: extremely bendy Broadway dancer/Cirque du Soleil performer Reed Kelly.
Save the Whales: A record number of whales are washing up on Washington state beaches, becoming stranded, and dying. "The number of whales washing ashore and dying in Washington are at their highest in at least 10 years, and scientists aren't sure why," King5 News reports. Ocean temperatures are rising, sick whales are washing ashore with plastics in their stomach, and the numbers of whales that die entangled in fishing gear is rising. So there's really no mystery here: we're killing the world. Or as Charles Mudede aptly put it: "Humans are to the animal kingdom what that asteroid was to the dinosaurs."
Star Wars Fans Are the Worst: Seriously.
America Is Already Great:
Regardless of how you're feeling about the country right now, you can still celebrate at the Seafair Summer Fourth, Plant-Loving BBQ Block Party, and more events you'll find on our Fourth of July calendar.