Welcome back to One Day at a Time, dears—where we’re thrilled to start this week’s column with good news! Disgraced Disney star/current queen of redemption Demi Lovato was released today from the hospital following an alleged overdose. In a statement, Lovato said, “Your thoughts and prayers have helped me navigate through this difficult time.” Hey, look at that: Thoughts and prayers actually did something for once! MEANWHILE, IN THE SWAMP... Rick Gates casually glanced at his cuticles, buffed his fingernails on his shirt, and then said, out loud, that he and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort “committed crimes together.” And everyone politely nodded and went on with their days, because, duh, of course they committed crimes! Anyone who’s ever been in sniffing distance of Trump’s well-done steak with ketchup has committed crimes! But what a yawn of a quote! “We committed crimes together.” Who cares, Rick Gates? Your testimony is less juicy than a well-done steak. With ketchup. IN LESS-AWFUL NEWS... Say, what’s Beyoncé up to? Oh, just gracing the cover of Vogue, in a stunning cover story photographed by Tyler Mitchell, the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover, and speaking with Black writer Clover Hope. Throughout, Queen B says fantastic stuff like, “It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.” Dears, we really recommend you stop reading this and go read Vogue. Or should we start calling it Bogue? Hm. Beygue? No, that looks like “Bey-goo.” Look, Beyoncé is the boss of Vogue now, is what we’re saying.


All done reading Beyoncé? Good job! Now get ready to die. Congrats to the Mendocino Complex Fire on becoming the largest fire in California’s history! (Maybe Demi can forward some of those thoughts and prayers?) Oh, and also? Hawaii is being ravaged by an angry volcano and a furious hurricane. Place your bets, dears, on which state will get raptured first—and then wish you lived there! SPEAKING OF... things getting wiped off the face of the earth, the city of West Hollywood has voted to remove the Walk of Fame star dedicated to Donald Trump (who lost the popular election by 2,864,974 votes), not because of its repeated defacing, but because he’s a disgusting person with terrible values. Bye, Don! We’re truly sorry we never got a chance to spit on your star.


Paul Manafort’s trial finally got to what we’ve been waiting for: extra-marital affairs! We don’t know why affairs are relevant to Manafort’s 18 charges of tax evasion and fraud... but his crime-buddy Rick Gates allegedly had five affairs? Five affairs! To think we were worried all of Gates’ scenes in the HBO adaptation would lack juice! Now we’re thinking they’ll be juicy as hell. SPEAKING OF EROTIC TELEVISION... Manic pixie power lesbian Ruby Rose has been cast as Batwoman in an upcoming series on the CW—news that’s doubly delightful, because there are far too few onscreen heroes who are (and who are played by) members of the LGBTQ community, and because the announcement enraged basement-dwelling neckbeards who hate empowered lady characters! Plus, not only is Rose’s Batwoman gay, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, she’s also “armed with a passion for social justice and flair for speaking her mind.” In other words: She hates those neckbeards, too! COUGH, COUGH... Wait, asbestos is back in the news?! *Checks phone.* Nope, we haven’t been transported back to the 1960s by a secret time machine! It’s actually 2018, and Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is protecting our environment by relaxing rules on the cancer-causing material. Next up for a comeback: Polio, probably? MAGA!


Now, we’d hoped all that Space Force bullshit was merely the senile ramblings of a demented old man who’d eventually get distracted by a French fry in one of his skin folds. Alas, it’s actually happening, and Mike Pence (who, #neverforget, calls his wife “Mother”) is talking it up at TrekkieCon, Michigan’s premier Star Trek convention the Pentagon! “Vice President Pence laid out an ambitious plan Thursday that would begin creating a military command dedicated to space... as soon as 2020,” reports the Washington Post! Meanwhile, Trump is reportedly asking people for opinions about Space Force logos (only some of which he’s drawn himself using a crayon and Big Mac wrappers) and tweeting, “Space Force all the way!” Clearly, America’s Space Force will be respected throughout the galax—THIS JUST IN... Luke Skywalker is tweeting from the Battlestar Galactica! (Or wherever. We don’t care, nerds!) “For those of you worried that SPACE FORCE is the leaked title of #EpIX... Relax!” tweeted Mark Hamill, referring to the title of his next Star War. “Turns out it’s just lie #3,253.” And Jedi masters aren’t the only ones clowning on Trump—so are those pesky Russians! “The Russian Embassy in the United States... seemingly mocked President Donald Trump’s campaign for a [Space Force] logo,” gabs Politico, citing a tweet that read, “Good Morning, Space Forces!” along with an image of a rocket that “features the Russian flag.” Hey, that gives us an idea: How about Trump and Putin take the first ride on a Space Force rocket ship? And once they’re in orbit, everyone on Earth refuses to let them land?


“The Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian newsprint is hastening the demise of local newspapers across the country, forcing already-struggling publications to cut staff, reduce the number of days they print, and, in at least one case, shutter entirely,” mourns the New York Times. Skip Bliss, the publisher of The Gazette in Janesville, Wisconsin, pointed to profound damages to American life and democracy in the absence of a free and local press. “When they’re gone, they’re gone. They’re not coming back,” Bliss said of local papers. “That means those communities—everything we do to hold governments and schools and law enforcement in check—there’s not going to be anyone to do that.” We mention this, dears, not to add another depressing bit of news to 2018, but rather to say: Hey, thanks for reading the Mercury! (Especially those of you who pick it up just for our column. MWAH!) For the record, we’re not planning on going anywhere—even if we end up having to write this thing with crayons on Big Mac wrappers.

NICE WORK, DC Mark Wilson / Getty Images


This weekend saw the one-year anniversary of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville—and, like the unrepentant shitbags they are, America’s Nazis decided to celebrate. A group of alt-right creeps, white nationalists, and MAGA hat-wearing Trump voters vowed online that hundreds would march on Washington, DC. The city braced itself for another vile, dangerous march, but... um... “White nationalists dwarfed by crowds of counter protesters in Washington,” reported CNN, adding that the “approximately two dozen” racists who bothered to show up were “vastly outnumbered by throngs of counter protestors”! “Everywhere they went,” CNN continued, “‘Unite the Right 2’ rally goers were confronted by counterprotestors, who had been gathering throughout the day as part of a series of demonstrations led by members of 40 anti-racism groups.” Nice work, DC! If only the politicians who work in your town would do anything remotely as meaningful, maybe we’d get somewhere.


Hey, remember how we started off the week with good news? And how yesterday had good news too? Wellllll... maybe go back and reread those! Just some advice. You should take it! Can’t say we didn’t warn you! “Fortified by fences and patrolled by more armed personnel, schools will open their doors to students for the start of the new year with a heightened focus on security intended to ease fears about deadly campus shootings,” writes the New York Times, noting that American school districts have back-to-school shopping lists that include more armed guards and facial-recognition systems. “The massacre in Parkland, Florida, one of the most lethal in American history, unnerved school administrators,” the NYT continues, adding that many administrators devoted their summers to “reinforcing buildings and hiring security,” with some faculties practicing active shooter drills while school nurses were trained for a “mass casualty event.” Welcome back to school, America’s beloved children! Hope you’re excited to learn! IN RELATED NEWS... Six months since Parkland (and 19 years after Columbine), there’s been zero meaningful reformation of gun laws. Which, hey, call us crazy, but maybe that’d be more effective than teaching nurses how to put tourniquets on children? Sorry to leave you on a bummer, dears! For real, go read that thing about Beyoncé again! That was a good one, right?