The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

The 2016 Olympic Games are set to begin today in Rio de Janeiro, but the event is already mired in controversy and a sense of impending doom.

Tonight’s Opening Ceremony will no doubt be gushing with overblown displays of optimism, but what if we were to envision an alternate version, a pageant that addresses all the disasters that Rio is juggling?

Here’s a peek at how it would all play out:

  • The festivities kick off with an announcement over the loudspeaker that attending the four-hour ceremony may be unsafe for pregnant women, small children, or anyone who drinks water.
  • Protesters outside Maracanã Stadium quietly disperse while under fire of nonlethal bullets, made from shredded Brazilian reales.
  • Back inside, animal handlers release into the sky a massive flock of Brazil’s national bird: a seagull with a plastic six-pack ring wrapped around its neck.
  • A chorus of adorable children premieres the 2016 Olympic theme song, “Everything Is Fine (I Don’t Smell Any Human Sewage).”
  • Hundreds of dancers take to the field, dressed as exotic rain forest flora. A paper-mache bulldozer chases them off the Olympic grounds. Chinese dignitaries in the audience scoff at how any nation could allow such an environmentally unfriendly event to take place.
  • Supermodel Gisele Bundchen debuts her new line of designer mosquito repellent. Priced at a reasonable $90 US per bottle, it sells out within five minutes.
  • The Parade of Nations begins. The small Russian team carries in their flag mounted on a giant syringe.
  • A huge cheer erupts when American superstar Michael Phelps waves to the crowd. A dozen attendants surround him, constantly spreading a goopy layer of hand sanitizer over his entire body.
  • The Olympic Torch arrives at the stadium, grasped by a severed arm that washed up on Copacabana Beach.
  • Interim President Michel Temer makes a few final remarks and promises a very safe Olympic Games. Unfortunately, someone picks his wallet while he’s onstage.
  • The world’s best athletes return to the Olympic Village for a well-deserved rest. Their beds are warm and toasty, because all of the buildings are on fire.

If the actual event follows the same disastrous course, don’t expect Rio to place among the best Olympics of all time. For now, it would seem to be a win if the athletes and spectators could make it out of the Games in tact and healthy.

Photo: Jun 28, 2016; Omaha, NE, USA; Michael Phelps after the men’s butterfly 200m semi-finals in the U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}