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Editorial: Short takes on rent holidays, plain speaking, and Q unmasked

Editorial: Short takes on rent holidays, plain speaking, and Q unmasked

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There, rent problem solved

Just in time for Tuesday’s local St. Louis elections, in which the progressive message was ringing loud and clear, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-St. Louis, decided to up the ante for admission into the local club of far-left leaders. It’s no longer sufficient, as Bush and her local allies have done, to advocate for immediate closure of the medium-security “workhouse” jail or to recite the simplistic mantra of defunding the police. It’s not even enough to demand a continuation of the moratorium on evictions during the pandemic.

No, Bush now says it’s time to get rid of the entire concept of rent. Apparently that means free (or, more correctly, taxpayer-funded) housing for all.

As Bush stated on Twitter Tuesday afternoon: “Evictions are violence. Evictions are deadly. Evictions are continuing, despite moratoriums. Moratoriums are not enough. We need to cancel rent.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, 43.5 million housing units in the country are occupied by renters, who pay a median monthly rent of $1,062. The median cost to American taxpayers for Bush’s plan would come to about $554 billion per year — money that the nation simply does not and will not have. Bush has yet to explain where the money would come from, but our sneaking suspicion is that it has something to do with her previous, equally unworkable plan announced on Twitter to “defund the Pentagon.”

Unmasking Q

The supposedly high-level government operative who led the loony Q-anon conspiracy movement has potentially been identified in a new HBO documentary series. And it is (cue the drumroll): the administrator of the message board where the conspiracies originated.

The anonymous character called “Q,” who claims to have inside knowledge of former President Donald Trump’s imaginary war against a global cabal of high-ranking pedophiles, has only ever posted on the 8kun message board. It’s a formerly obscure hate-monger site run by an administrator named Ron Watkins, who has long claimed to be nothing but a neutral bystander to the Q phenomenon.

But while being interviewed in the recent HBO series, “Q: Into the Storm,” Watkins apparently slipped when talking about “teaching normies [normal people] how to do intelligence work. It was basically what I was doing anonymously before, but never as Q.”

After a tense silence, Watkins says again: “Never as Q. I promise. I am not Q.” Later, as if to continue protesting too much, Watkins posted on his site: “Friendly reminder: I am not Q. Have a good weekend.”

Smooth.

Plain-speaking speaker

When former Republican House Speaker John Boehner was recording the audiobook version of his recent memoir, he ad-libbed some choice (and unprintable) comments regarding Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Early excerpts indicate Boehner’s upcoming book, “On the House,” is bluntly critical of all kinds of people, including many of the fellow Republicans swept into the House in the tea-party revolution of 2010.

“You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name,” he wrote, “and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category.” The book also blasts Cruz as “dangerous” and “a reckless a--hole.”

With those comments appearing in print, it wouldn’t seem that any open-mic faux pas would be possible — but while recording the audio version, Boehner managed. Jonathan Swan of Axios reported that during the “wine-soaked” recording sessions, Boehner “would deviate from the book’s text and insert random violent attacks” on Cruz. Swan tweeted an audio excerpt in which Boehner reads a passage then adds, unrelated to anything: “P.S., Ted Cruz: Go [expletive] yourself!”

In Georgia, don’t vote. Don’t even knock.

The fact that Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon was handcuffed and arrested last month merely for knocking on Gov. Brian Kemp’s door to witness his signing of a voter-suppression law was outrageous from the start. She violated no law and, in fact, was attempting to exercise her responsibilities as an elected state official. Others who were present at the time of her arrest demanded that police cite whatever law she was breaking, but the arresting officers declined to respond.

“Facts and evidence showed to the world that Rep. Cannon committed no crime and should not have ever been arrested,” her lawyer, Gerald Griggs tweeted.

Apparently, prosecutors agreed. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she reviewed the evidence and has decided not to present the case to a grand jury.

Blame the woman

Egypt’s first female ship captain was hundreds of miles away when a cargo ship recently got stuck and blocked the Suez Canal. But that didn’t stop the misogynists from falsely alleging that it was her fault. For six days last month, the massive container ship Ever Given was wedged in the canal, blocking commercial traffic through one of the world’s busiest waterways and disrupting global trade. The incident has spawned a flurry of litigation.

The incident had nothing to do with Marwa Elselehdar. But her highly publicized role in breaking the gender barrier among Egypt’s ship captains apparently spawned the online blame-game — including an article from a legitimate news site about her that had been photoshopped to make it appear she was involved in the mishap.

Elselehdar, 29, told the BBC that most of her professional colleagues are “older men with different mentalities,” adding: “People in our society still don’t accept the idea of girls working in the sea away from their families for a long time.”

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