Fashy haired Congress creep and Palmer Luckey’s new stepdad Matt Gaetz has apparently been the focus of a 419 scam / Burn After Reading mashup that would never have risen above the Trump universe’s cosmic background grift if he didn’t suddenly need a distraction from the DOJ underage-sex investigation that made Bill Barr spend his last weeks in office carefully ensuring he and Gaetz never appeared in the same room. Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett covered what the so-called extortion is about, for the Washington Post, and Jeff Stein filled in more of apparent ringleader Bob Kent’s backstory in Spy Talk. If you enjoy a buffoonish cloak-and-rubber-chicken style spy scam please read them, but if you’re busy you can trust me that none of this has anything to do with Gaetz’s teen troubles, apart from making him a wealthy, desperate target with no friends. The only congresspeople to stand up for Gaetz so far are QAnon’s den mother Marjorie Taylor Greene, who only cares about child sexual abuse when it’s pretend, and “Gym” Jordan, who ignored teen sex abuse for a living before he was elected to Congress. The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona and Asawin Suebsaeng asked various right wing media orgs if they’re interested in hiring Gaetz and the networks all said “we don’t know her.” Meanwhile, Gaetz’s office is looking for new interns.
15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s wholesome human vaccine got contaminated by AstraZeneca’s cursed spirit ectoplasm. Sounds like a real boner at the Johnson factory! Also cursed: Alex Berenson’s whole recent career of being aggressively wrong about everything.
SuperStacks: Dirt’s Daisy Alioto on the punk geography of NYC. And now Patti Smith has a newsletter, I guess? (Is it Pro?) Heather Havrilesky in Ask Polly: “Clever quotes the cool novel of the month in the hopes that you won’t notice that lately, clever can’t pick up a book without being seized by the urge to text someone or tweet or check the latest news.” I feel personally owned by this, but it’s not wrong. Ryan Broderick helpfully covered Chet Haze and “White Boy Summer” so now I don’t have to. Namasté. Ashley Feinberg wrote the Callie Gingrich Instagram deep-dive she was born for.
“Just to set the record straight: Major Biden is still a good boy.” Major Biden is my President. Dep’t of Lost Soul Coughing Lyrics: They found 15,000 bees in a Buick in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They were all going to Reseda to make love to a model from Ohio whose real name they don’t know. My sources say Andrew Yang is definitely going to be New York’s next mayor. I am pro-math and take no pleasure in reporting this. Gender claims two more lives, when will Congress act to outlaw this menace? In 2015, Hallie Bateman guest-Tabbed a cartoon about Duck Day. This week, she has a new book out called “Directions: Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There.” Are these two things related? Are any two things not related? The guy who built IsTheShipStillStuck.com wrote a delightful after-action report about what it’s like running a briefly viral website. Did you know: “The Jewish Roots of Old Bay Seasoning.”
Today’s Song: Soul Coughing, “Screenwriter’s Blues”
~ Jewels cleaving skin between… tabs ~
The Teletubby Coin thing is a joke and I am so mad that those cowards didn’t actually commit to it and make it both a joke and a real coin, like Satoshi did. Intern apps are closed, thank you everyone who applied! If you did and you haven’t gotten an email back from me yet, please reply to this and tell me! Tomorrow’s Open Thread is TBD but subscribe if you want to comment. Twitter is my motor.