Washington (AFP) - The World Health Organization declared Latin America "a new epicenter" of the coronavirus pandemic as President Donald Trump ramped up pressure on state and local governments to speed up the reopening of the reeling American economy. Surges in infections across much of Central and South America have driven the global case count to nearly 5.2 million, with more than 337,000 deaths, even as hard-hit Europe and the United States cautiously move into a recovery phase. The death toll in Brazil has soared past 20,000, and with 310,000 reported cases, it has the third-biggest caseloa...
Comedian Bill Maher facetiously suggested Friday night that Democrats should grant former president Barack Obama a third term by having him "gay-marry" President Joe Biden.
Pointing to Biden's record-low approval ratings, Maher said during the season premiere of HBO's "Real Time" that it's time to "move him into a more ceremonial role."
According to Maher, the problem is that even when Biden does something good, he gets no credit.
"This is what happens when you lack passionate defenders, as opposed to Trump, who every day sh*t the bed, and 90 percent of Republicans blamed the bed," Maher said. "And Biden may well have even further to fall, because there's no die-hard Biden base. His is a coalition of the un-enthused. No one ever fainted during one of his speeches, or claimed Biden was appointed by God, or asked him to sign their tits."
Quipping that the Democratic Party lacks any "big-d*ck energy," Maher said the "bench is so thin" that "they're even talking about running Hillary (Clinton) again." He added that Vice President Kamala Harris' approval rating is even lower than Biden's, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is "too old," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is "too young," and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "didn't work out."
"But there is one guy all Democrats could rally behind and would love to see back in the White House," Maher said, referring to Obama. "Of course, you're saying Obama can't be president again — he's had two terms, and that's the rule. You know, politics, often called the art of the possible, really is now the art of whatever you can get away with, something only Republicans seem to realize, like when they just made up that presidents can't appoint a Supreme Court justice in an election year, or when they changed their mind and said, 'Oh wait, they can when our side is in power.'"
"To them, hypocrisy is not a bug, it's a feature," Maher said. "They're all about grinning in the mirror as they shove it up your ass, like Jesus would do. That's the essence of Trumpism."
He compared the GOP's tactics to the 1970s Disney movie "Gus," about a mule who gets signed to kick field goals for a football team because there's no specific rule that prohibits it.
"Trump pulled a 'Gus' every day when he was in the White House," Maher said. "What the Democrats have to do now is their version of a 'Gus.' And it goes like this: Biden and Obama must divorce their wives — not leave them, just officially legally divorce them. Then, Biden will gay-marry Obama, thereby putting him back in the White House. The law says Obama can't be president again, but there's nothing that says he can't be first lady."
Noting that all first ladies have pet projects, Maher said Obama's would be "running the federal government."
New Rule: First Lady Barack Obama | Real Time (HBO) www.youtube.com
An ad released Friday by a group called "Remove Ron" mocks former president Donald Trump's alleged rift with Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“What’s the matter, Donald?" the ad's narrator states. "Is it something Ron said? Or perhaps something he hasn’t said yet? Am I right, Donald. We keep hearing reports that you're grumbling to friends at Mar-a-Lago, trashing Ron in private, calling him gutless, all because he hasn't ruled out running against you for president."
"Rumor is, you’re still waiting for those magic words from Ron," the narrator continues. "Isn't that so, Donald? But after all this time, if Ron weren’t thinking of challenging you for president, don’t you think he would have told you by now? Time's running out, Donald. If Ron wins re-election, he's coming for you in 2024. Your only hope now is to stop him before it's too late."
During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night, Trump dismissed reports about his rift with DeSantis as "totally fake news."
"Those comments came in the wake of widely reported tensions between the two, including claims it would be 'too much to ask' for DeSantis to preemptively endorse another Trump term in 2024, while he lamented a 'dull' DeSantis and alluded to 'gutless' politicians who wouldn’t say whether they had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19," Florida Politics reports.
Remove Ron: Magic Words www.youtube.com
On Friday, Politico reported that former President Donald Trump's social media director Dan Scavino was behind a "secret" lawsuit against the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection filed last month.
"Scavino had originally tried to file the suit anonymously in federal court in Washington, D.C., but Judge Beryl Howell rejected his attempt to sue anonymously on Jan. 19, writing Scavino had 'failed to demonstrate a need for secrecy or identify consequences likely to befall' him for proceeding in the suit by using his own name," said the report.
"The Capitol riot panel had subpoenaed the phone records of Trump social media chief Dan Scavino in December, prompting him to sue Verizon," according to Politico. "Scavino, through his attorney Stan Brand, sought to fight the subpoena by arguing the select panel had no 'valid legislative purpose' to seek his information and thus their effort to force Verizon to cooperate was unenforceable. His argument echoes those made by others fighting subpoenas like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and pro-Trump commentator and radio host Sebastian Gorka. More than a dozen top Trump allies are suing the panel, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, attorney John Eastman and Meadows."
Scavino was first served with a subpoena in October, although it took the committee several days to reach him after he apparently hid to avoid being served.