Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

While mainstream media outlets popularize the notion that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are safer and saner than the rest of the White House rogue’s gallery, John Oliver isn’t buying it. As he explains in the latest installment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, this president “can’t even get nepotism right.”

And indeed, as he recites the list of Kushner’s assigned tasks — from bringing peace to the Middle East to remaking the federal government — the audience laughs uproariously. Unlike various cable show personalities and hired hacks, they’re in on the joke. For those who aren’t, Oliver presents the true facts about Jared Kushner’s actual background and experience, which render his rise to power all the more astonishing and unnverving.

As for Ivanka, who poses as a “moderating influence” on her loony dad, Oliver points out how she essentially says nothing of substance yet does everything possible to bolster her father — no matter how extreme his words and actions. Oliver’s staff also digs up even more creepy footage of Ivanka and Donald, including her appearance as a hostess for the Miss USA Teen Pageant. And they also found a revealing video clip of Ivanka prevaricating about Hillary Clinton’s child care platform, proving that “when it comes to lying about easily observed facts, the apple doesn’t fall far from the orange.”

No, they’re not Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, but that’s a rather low bar, isn’t it? If you can stand to have your illusions shattered — or especially if you have no illusions about this pair — you don’t want to miss this.

Sen. David Perdue

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) pulled out of his final debate against Democrat Jon Ossoff on Thursday —because he'd rather attend a Donald Trump campaign rally.

The Nov. 1 Senate debate was planned months ago, but Perdue's campaign said he could not participate as promised because he has been too busy doing his job.

"Senator Perdue will not be participating in the WSB-TV debate but will instead join the 45th president, Donald J. Trump, for a huge Get-Out-The-Vote rally in Northwest Georgia. For 8 of the last 14 days of this campaign, Senator Perdue went back to Washington to work for much needed COVID relief," his spokesperson John Burke said in a statement, referencing a failed attempt by Senate Republicans to pass Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) "skinny" $500 billion proposal.

"To make up for the lost time, Senator Perdue has over 20 campaign stops planned for the closing days of this race, and he is excited to welcome and join President Trump in Georgia before November 3rd to campaign for both of their re-election efforts," Burke added.

WSB-TV noted on Thursday that it offered Perdue's campaign other time slots to accommodate the Trump rally, but the overture was rebuffed.

Ossoff's campaign blasted Perdue's "cowardly withdrawal," saying in a statement that the move "says it all: David Perdue feels entitled to his office, and he'll do anything to avoid accountability for his blatant corruption and his total failure during this unprecedented health crisis."

The incumbent's decision to break his promise to debate came one day after a video of Jon Ossoff criticizing Perdue's anti-Obamacare record at a Wednesday debate went viral. As of Friday morning, a 72-second clip of Ossoff has been viewed more than 12 million times.

Perdue responded to that attack by making the odd claim that he repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act — which would take insurance away from hundreds of thousands of his constituents — because he believed doing so would cover more people.

"I voted against the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, because it was taking insurance away from millions of Georgians. Today almost 18 percent of Georgians don't have any health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act," he falsely claimed.

This is not the first time Perdue has put Trump ahead of the interests of Georgians. According to FiveThirtyEight, he has voted with Trump about 95 percent of the time, including backing his right-wing Supreme Court nominees, his tax cuts for large corporations and the very wealthy, and his repeated attempts to take money from military families to pay for a massive Southern border wall.

Medical experts and data analyses have suggested Trump's rallies have been super-spreader events for the coronavirus. Trump has refused to adhere to social distancing rules or to require mask usage at the events and the mass gatherings have frequently been immediately followed by case spikes in the communities where he holds them.

One poll this week found that voters across the country said they are less likely to vote for Trump because of his "large, in-person campaign rallies where wearing a mask is not required of attendees."

The race between Ossoff and Perdue is considered a "toss-up" by election experts, and polls show it as virtual tied.

If no candidate gets a majority on Tuesday, the top two finishers will face off in a January runoff.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.