Welcome back to One Day at a Time, darlings—your trusted source for news that will make you laugh, cry, and projectile vomit! The Portland Mercury accepts no responsibility for any physical or psychological harm that may occur due to the aforementioned vomit. (Yes, that last sentence was mandated by the Portland Mercury’s “lawyer,” and yes, we did put “lawyer” in sarcasm quotes, because despite what our publisher says, forcing Skylar the Intern to watch Divorce Court and then asking him for “legal advice” is not... actually, know what? Forget it. Moving on!) MEANWHILE, IN CHINA... There are reports of a weird, creepy illness, because of course there are, because 2018. “The US State Department has sent ‘a number of individuals’ from the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China, back to the US after screenings showed they may have been affected by mysterious health problems,” reports NPR, sounding exactly like a TV news reporter in a movie about the apocalypse. “Two weeks ago, the agency said one government employee in Guangzhou experienced ‘vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,’ similar to the unexplained incidents—sometimes described as ‘sonic attacks’—that recently sickened staffers in Cuba.” Hmm. So an “unexplained” illness with “abnormal” symptoms that might be part of an international series of “sonic attacks”? Okay! We’re sure absolutely no one’s head is going to explode from this at all. MEANWHILE, IN WYOMING... Trump BFF Kanye West debuted his new album Ye via a livestream from Jackson Hole, and... wait. For some inexplicable reason, we seem to be experiencing vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure? It’s almost as if we’re under some kind of sonic attack!


A+ Legal Advice Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Yesterday, Kanye BFF Donald Trump (who lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes) declared himself above the law. “President Trump on Monday asserted an ‘absolute right’ to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing,” reports the Washington Post, sounding exactly like a TV news reporter in a movie about a presidential impeachment. The Post continued, “Legal scholars differ on the issue of whether the president can pardon himself,” while Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley told CNN, “If I were president of the United States, and I had a lawyer that told me I could pardon myself, I think I would hire a new lawyer.” For the Mercury’s own in-depth legal analysis, we now turn to Skylar the Intern! “Oh geez, I’d love to help, Ms. Romano,” Skylar said. “But honest, all I really know is stuff from Divorce Court!” Fair enough, kid. We’ll check back in once Melania’s episode airs.


It’s graduation season, which means that across our nation, countless people are sweating in high school gymnasiums, desperately pretending that we aren’t handing an irredeemably corrupted world to a generation that deserves far, far better. But also, uh, congrats? And special congrats to Ben Bowling, who, as the valedictorian of Bell County High School in Pineville, Kentucky, gave his fellow graduates a rousing speech! “This is the part of my speech where I share some inspirational quotes I found on Google,” Bowling said. “‘Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.’ — Donald J. Trump.” “The crowd burst into applause,” reports the New York Times! Except, wellllllll.... “Just kidding,” Bowling quickly added. “That was Barack Obama.” At which point the crowd fell silent and one guy booed. “Most of them probably got the joke,” Bell County High School’s principal, Richard Gambrel, told the NYT, adding he was surprised no one caught on sooner. “It proves,” he laughed, “that people don’t read or pay attention.” Yep, that about sums it up! Welcome to the real world, Class of 2018! (But hey, look on the bright side: At least you can’t make things any worse.)


Mattress King Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Undisputed fact, darlings: EPA chief Scott Pruitt is the swampiest of Trump’s swamp monsters. He’s repeatedly used his office for personal gain (a federal offense, don’cha know) which includes, but isn’t limited to, hiring a security team three times the size of his predecessors’; flying first class to avoid public heckling; and using EPA staff for errands such as apartment hunting and purchasing a used mattress from a Trump hotel (that one’s just EWW). But wait! There’s more. This week Pruitt was caught ordering his security agents to pick up his dry cleaning and find a particular brand of moisturizing cream. Oh, and he also used his official position to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise. LET’S BREAK THIS DOWN. One shouldn’t spend $3.5 million taxpayer dollars a year on a security team that picks up dry cleaning. (That’s why one marries Hubby Kip.) One also doesn’t use one’s political prestige to finagle one’s spouse a Chick-fil-A restaurant. (Reminder: Chick-fil-A is run by Christian trash.) As for ordering one’s employee to drive one around looking for the perfect moisturizer... welllllll, that depends. It’s probably better for Pruitt to stock up on lotions now, since his moisturizing situation in federal prison will be less than ideal.


If you were to peek in our closet, you’d find many adorable handbags and multiple pairs of snappy shoes designed by the irreplaceable Kate Spade. Meanwhile, our bookshelf boasts copies of Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw, and No Reservations—chef and author Anthony Bourdain’s electric writing on food and the importance of exploring world culture. The lives of both artists were claimed by suicide this week. Spade and Bourdain left behind beautiful objects and indelible memories—and a needed reminder that depression can overtake anyone. It’s a condition that’s not outwardly obvious; according to a CDC report, 54 percent of people who take their own lives have no record of mental illness. So while it’s perfectly appropriate to mourn the loss of such great talents, let’s also remember we don’t know what’s going on beneath the masks that people wear every day, and we need to take care of each other. That’s why we want to pause for a moment, look you squarely in the eye, and let you know that you matter. Your continued existence is important to us, and it’s okay to admit you need help sometimes. Admitting weakness is a strength, and there are friends, loved ones, and even strangers (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255) who are ready to listen and help. You—and we’re looking right at you—are such a sweet darling. And we want you to stick around.


In case you missed it, Rudy Giuliani is a pig. In his continuing battle to defend Donald Trump against the lawsuit brought on by successful businesswoman Stormy Daniels, Rudy had this to say to reporters: “I know Donald Trump, and look at his three wives,” Giuliani said without a trace of irony. “Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? Someone who sells his or her body for money has no good name.” He also said he respected criminals more than porn stars. OHHHH-KAY. For a more measured, less horribly misogynistic take, let’s turn to adult film director/writer Aurora Snow’s reaction in the Daily Beast. “Porn stars are also career women and women of substance. They’re working moms raising children, they’re young adults paying their way through college, they’re entrepreneurs and small business owners. The job does not make them degenerates, or criminals, or less than human. It is the shame of the porn consumer and the morally repugnant cultural attitudes regarding women’s sexual behavior that breeds such hatred.” Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani has squandered any and all good will by defending the indefensible lies and corruption of Donald Trump—who should really start hiring people of more substance, don’t ya think?


Pampered Jora Frantzis

And finally, if you have any pregnancy advice for rapper Cardi B—you may want to keep that to yourself. After preggo Cardi was spotted at a smoky club, the internet quickly offered its unasked-for opinions. “You’re ignorant af, I feel sorry for your baby,” wrote one particularly indignant observer. “You’re in a club full of smoke... your a disgrace.” Always attuned to the needs of her fans, Cardi teed up an appropriately sassy response. “SINCE YA CARE AND ARE SO CONCERN about my baby,” she clapped back, “hit me in my DM for my registry and send me some Pampers and baby formula. Don’t just comment like you care about my baby, show it!! SEND THEM PAMPERS!” Likewise, if you truly care about our country, it’s time for you to stop complaining and show it: SEND THEM PAMPERS to Donald J. Trump, care of the White House.