All the lovely people in the news

After the good Lord Sumption hit the news for telling a woman with stage 4 cancer that her life is less valuable than other people’s, reporters started digging into his past writings and some clever devil found that when he was a Supreme Court justice he was involved in a case weighing whether doctors should be able to help patients end their lives.

The sanctity of life, he wrote, is a “fundamental moral value.” 

Unless it involves the country going into lockdown, which he’s against. If it ends lockdown, we get to ask which life is less sanctified. 

In fairness, he’s trying to dig his way out of that hole by insisting that it was all a misunderstanding: He didn’t say the woman’s life wasn’t at all valuable, only that it was less valuable. 

And besides, he didn’t mean her specifically. Just, you know, people like her.

I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

Irrelevant photo: Moose. Because we need something cheerful here.


Switching countries

These next stories come from the wrong country–I’m supposed to be writing about Britain here–but I can’t pass them one up: 

A Texas real estate agent and radio host flew to Washington DC  in a private plane (a cute guy invited her, she said; who could turn that down?) and she social-media’d the whole experience, from getting on the plane to invading the Capitol.

“We’re gonna go and storm the Capitol,” she said in a Facebook video. “We are going to fucking go in here. Life or death. It doesn’t matter. Here we go.”

As she climbed the steps, she said to the camera, “Y’all know who to hire. Jenna Ryan for your realtor.”

Having since been arrested, she’s outraged:

“I’m facing a prison sentence,” she told a news program. “I think I do not deserve that. I would ask the president of the US to give me a pardon.” (For clarity, that was still Trump when she said that.) She’d been “displaying her patriotism,” she said. “I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol.”

If you ever need to define entitlement, think of Jenna Ryan. If you need a realtor–well, you’ll make your own decisions, of course, but I’d think of someone else.

Now that the dust has settled, a lot of it has settled on her and in the cold light of morning, when you’re running around with a feather duster trying to clean up you image for the courts, she’s said, “What I believed to be a peaceful political march turned into a violent protest.” 

She added that she doesn’t condone violence and that we should all come together, Republican and Democrat and independent and resolve our issues in peace. 

Then we’ll sing “Kumbaya,” have a group hug, and accept a presidential pardon.

One of the things she posted, peacefully, from the attack was a picture of a broken window. It said,  “Window at The capital. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next.”

Oh, lo-ord, kumbaya.


With the Trumps leaving the building, the news is leaking out that Ivanka and her husband wouldn’t allow the Secret Service officers assigned to protect them to use the toilet in their house. 

I’m sure you understand. They only had six.

Sorry, six and a half.

Or to put that in American, they wouldn’t let them use the bathroom. In American, it’s not polite to mention that porcelain thing you sit on. It reminds us of what you do on it. In British, toilet’s a fairly normal word, although you get into all sorts of weirdly British class issues about who will use the word and who’ll avoid it. But never mind the complications: Some people will use it and no one will call a toilet a bathroom.

A hundred years ago, when I was new to Britain, I asked someone who worked in a fast foodery where the bathroom was. She did a visible double take, thinking I wanted to wash up.

Which in British is what you do with dishes, not (as it is in American) what you do with your own grubby body. So she thought I was looking for a tub of water to jump into.

But back to our point: First the Secret Service set up a porta-potty outside, but the neighbors objected. Then they used the houses of the Obamas and of the Pences, plus the occasional local restaurant. Since 2017, they’ve been paying rent on a studio apartment just so they can use the toilet/bathroom/loo/can/etc. That cost $3,000 a month. 

A White House spokesperson denied the story, saying it was the Secret Service’s decision. The Washington Post, which broke the story, stands by it. It’s being called WaterClosetgate.