Marlowe Dobbe

MONDAY, MARCH 19

Dearest darling dears: Welcome back to One Day at a Time, where you can always find the latest news about Ben Affleck’s massive back tattoo depicting a phoenix rising from the ashes! (C’mon, rich white men! DO BETTER.) As you undoubtedly recall, Benny has previously denied the existence of his back tat, telling Extra in 2016 that the body art was “fake, for a movie.” Welp, that’s some temporary tattoo—because a photog recently snapped shirtless Ben in Hawaii, and the phoenix was still there! (Apparently “rising from the ashes” takes a smidge longer than expected.) MEANWHILE... Today we learned the unsettling news that Cambridge Analytica, a digital company hired by Trump’s campaign, reportedly stole 50 million Facebook users’ personal information in order to influence the 2016 election (all under the watchful eye of pineapple-faced evildoer Steve Bannon). Weirdly, people weren’t happy about that: Facebook’s stock nosedived, and the company suffered a $50 billion loss in market value. By Wednesday, the #DeleteFacebook hashtag took hold on Twitter, and untold numbers of users deleted their Facebook accounts... including our fave celeb Cher, who said she was doing so out of “love for my country.” However, at least one person is refusing to get rid of Facebook: Hubby Kip, who claims that deleting his account would “irreparably harm those who have come to expect daily photos of my lunch (usually a bologna sandwich and Cheetos) or selfies with my life-size cardboard cutout of Worf, son of Mogh and Lieutenant Commander of the USS Enterprise.” #DeleteHubbyKip


TUESDAY, MARCH 20

Today in celebrity romance: President Trump—who lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes, but won thanks to a rigged election—personally congratulated President Vladimir Putin for winning Russia’s election... which was also rigged. (These two have so much in common!) Unfortunately for Trump’s advisers, the plan was NOT to congratulate Putin, which the president would’ve known had he read their extremely specific pre-call briefing, which reportedly included the words “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” (Or maybe Trump did read it but just ignored it because he and Putin are in LUV? Who the fuck knows.) The president also decided against criticizing Putin for the recent poisoning of a Russian spy on British soil—which was also requested in the briefing that Trump did or did not read. But hey! Maybe we shouldn’t automatically assume that Trump is being congratulatory because he’s being blackmailed by the Russians with what may or may not be a “pee tape.” Perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he misread the note and thought it said “DONUT! CONGRATULATE!” (Maybe that’s why he’s been in such a bad mood. He was really expecting that doughnut.)


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21

Meanwhile, former Vice President “Grandpa” Joe Biden still doesn’t realize we’re not going to vote for him in the 2020 election. (We like him just fine... we’re just kind of done with “crazy” for a while, ya know?) But that’s not stopping him from hitting the pre-campaign trail and threatening to beat the stuffing out of Trump. “If [Trump and I] were in high school,” Biden told a University of Miami audience, “I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.” In response, Trump ignored the comments. Haha, JK! “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy,” the president Twitter-spewed while picking McDonald’s fries out of his dentures. “He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way.” First of all, both of you need to take your gout medication. Secondly, it’s kind of hard to take Trump’s physical prowess seriously when the heaviest thing he’s lifted in the past six months is his comb-over.


THURSDAY, MARCH 22

Because he has so much faith in Trump’s innocence, John Dowd, the president’s top lawyer defending him in the Russia probe, has resigned and was last seen running from the White House screaming, “Get him away from meeeeeee!” Shockingly, Trump is now having trouble finding a lawyer to represent him. So, if you’re a lawyer who doesn’t mind if your client reeks of corruption, obstructs justice on a regular basis, is clearly guilty of crimes on an international level, and ADMITS TO IT in national interviews and out-of-control Twitter rants, have we got a client for YOU! MEANWHILE... As expected, Trump fired National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, replacing him with known neocon hawk John Bolton, who (A) wants to launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, (B) bomb Iran, too, while we’re at it, and (C) is so far to the right, Chief of Staff John Kelly barred him from entering the White House. (In other words, this is the worst decision since Ben Affleck’s back tattoo. And it’s even more dangerous.)


“HA! I’M TERRIFYING!” Alex Wong / getty images

FRIDAY, MARCH 23

“Trump’s decision to name John Bolton as his new national security adviser was made despite his distaste for John Bolton’s mustache, according to multiple reports,” dishes the Hill! “Aides told the Washington Post in 2016 that Bolton’s facial hair was one of several reasons Trump didn’t pick him as his secretary of state. The New York TimesMaggie Haberman reported Thursday that Trump spent a significant amount of time deriding Bolton for the mustache.” AND NOW... We turn to an insider’s perspective! “First, I’d like to say thank you for all this attention!” John Bolton’s mustache told reporters in Washington, DC! “After all, it’s way less depressing to focus on, say, how fucking stupid I look, rather than the fact I’m attached to a war-mongering zealot who wants to nuke everyone! Ha! Anyways, this morning in the Oval Office, Trump just like, kept looking at me, and he was clumsily trying to hide a razor and a bottle of Elmer’s glue behind his desk? Right by the button he pushes to have someone bring him Diet Coke? Honestly, I’m kind of worried he’s going to steal me and glue me to his head. That sounds ridiculous, now that I’m saying it out loud! Am I being paranoid? I don’t know! This job is weird.”


SIGN OF THE TIMES Natalie Behring

SATURDAY, MARCH 24

Today in “Hurry up and die, old people,” we come to one of the most remarkable and inspiring events in recent memory: the March for Our Lives demonstrations, which, as organized and fronted by Parkland, Florida, students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, rallied hundreds of thousands across the country! “The students, as they seized the nation’s attention on Saturday with raised fists and tear-streaked faces, vowed that their grief about school shootings and their frustration with adults’ inaction would power a new generation of political activism,” reported the New York Times. Parkland student Delaney Tarr was one of the speakers in Washington, DC. “If they continue to ignore us, to only pretend to listen, then we will take action where it counts,” Tarr told a crowd estimated to be 200,000 strong. “We will take action every day in every way until they simply cannot ignore us anymore.” MEANWHILE, IN PORTLAND... “An estimated 10,000 people swarmed downtown Portland this morning to protest lawmakers’ general inaction to the steady drumbeat of mass shootings across the nation,” reported Mercury News Editor Alex Zielinski, who, along with reporter Kelly Kenoyer, was on the ground with the crowd, interviewing protesters and taking photos of young protestors’ signs: “I should be writing essays not my will,” read one. “The only thing easier to buy than a gun is a politician,” said another. One, written with multicolored marker on construction paper, was the handiwork of a remarkably young girl: “No gun’s use your word’s.”


FROTHY Christopher Furlong / getty images

SUNDAY, MARCH 25

Following yesterday’s stunning day of action, we now bring you... the Republican response! Brace yourselves, dears, because—heavy sigh—it’s even more stupid than you’re expecting. “How about kids, instead of looking for someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that?” asked former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who has accepted over $115,000 in campaign contributions from gun rights groups. Oh, we don’t know, Rick—maybe because children shouldn’t be shot in the first place? IN RELATED NEWS... Longtime Mercury readers will, of course, remember sex columnist Dan Savage’s successful 2003 campaign to have “santorum” defined as “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex”—a campaign Savage launched following Santorum spewing anti-gay rhetoric, and sent the new definition of “santorum” to the top of Google search results, where it proudly remains to this day. (In 2011, Santorum asked Google to remove it. Google refused.) We mention this only because we still think it’s hilarious, and because fuck that guy.