HOT SHEET: Nobody cares what I have to say about the #election2020, but I’m saying it anyway

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM FIRST: Nobody cares what the typist thinks about the presidential election, but he’s going to talk about it anyway. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker is happy that Joe Biden won the presidency. Donald Trump is a horrible human being who embodied the worst traits of this country and forever lowered the standard of person it takes to occupy the Oval Office. The typist struggles to understand how his fellow Iowans voted so heavily in favor of this person who in every way refutes the image of kindly neighbors Iowans have always sought to project. He will struggle with this as he continues to move forward with life.

ITEM SECOND: Iowa political historians should study the campaign of Theresa Greenfield for the Senate because it was hysterically poor from its media standpoint. If you watched Greenfield’s ads — and if you watched a sporting event live since September, you couldn’t have missed them — her entire campaign centered around how her husband died in a work accident, he once owned a Chevy Nova, she played high school basketball and, most embarrassing of all, she has a twin who thinks her sister would be a good senator. These saccharine confections are the kinds of things that win middle school class presidencies, but not U.S. Senate campaigns. Whoever managed her media campaign should go into hiding for a while.

Even the dark money groups trying to help Greenfield fumbled. They took shots at Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa’s Dollar Store Sarah Palin, because she — GASP! — lives in a $400,000 condo in Washington, D.C. The typist is not one to defend Ernst, but she does work in D.C. and a $400k condo in D.C. is a cheap hole-in-the-wall, not a swank luxury pad. Trying to go after someone for daring to have a residence in D.C. when they’re a senator is almost as dumb as filming an ad with your twin sister and expecting voters to give a flip about it.

ITEM THREE: If anyone is fool enough to think Joe Biden’s presumptive election to the presidency settles anything consider the following: This election was so close it took almost five days to figure out and there are still court cases to go through.

And then consider the cool, calm and even-handed response from the College Republicans at Iowa State, which tweeted “Everybody needs to arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites want revenge on us.”

The typist won’t bother to try to figure out how Donald Trump, a billionaire by inheritance, con man, philanderer and failure at everything but being a reality TV host, somehow became an avatar for the downtrodden and disrespected.

It does remind the ol’ Paragraph Stacker of how foolish the notion that dangerous and horrible ideologies will not die out generationally.

ITEM FOUR: Withheld to give everybody a chance to count to 10 and settle down.

ITEM FIVE: The Hawkeyes and Cyclones were both winners Saturday. Iowa stomped Michigan State. It’s always fun to see Sparty lose. The Cyclones almost laid an egg against Baylor, but scored 28 unanswered points to earn their fifth win of the season. Iowa State is now 5-1 in the Big 12, the best record in program history and making the Cyclones real contenders for the league title. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker mocked this idea at the beginning of the season, but what the hell does he know?

ITEM SIX: Watch David Chappelle opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live.” I can imagine no better thing to see, laugh at and think about than this.

Daniel P. Finney is still optimistic enough to believe he may one day be in a torrid affair with a celebrity.

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HOT SHEET: Will the endless parade of ads for Joni Ernst and Theresa Greenfield end before we all lose our damn minds?

Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: The Senate race between incumbent Republican Joni Ernst and Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield could decide the balance of power in the Senate, per CNBC. The campaign packed in the usual cartoonish bitterness. Ads for Greenfield showed alleged Republicans who believe Ernst is a liar. Ernst ads displayed Democrats who believe Greenfield wants to burn down small businesses and end law enforcement testimonies. Both candidates made use of grief porn. Ernst is a domestic abuse survivor, thus she cares about domestic abuse laws. Greenfield’s first husband died in an industrial accident, thus she cares about Social Security. One might argue that a candidate for office could have enough empathy for their fellow humans that they would care about Social Security and domestic abuse without personal experience. One can certainly argue that personal experience with said issues does not necessarily qualify either to be a good lawmaker. That said, in a race that has so much importance, it’s a shame that regardless of who wins, any Iowan with a TV is already sick of both of them.

ITEM TWO: Worth a click: The Omaha World-Herald points out that both Nebraska and Iowa have Republican governors soft on mask orders and restrictions during the pandemic, yet Iowa deaths are 72% higher per capita than Nebraska’s. Give Henry Cordes’ deliciously titled piece “What’s the matter with Iowa? Why COVID-19 deaths east of Missouri River are so much higher” a read.

ITEM THREE: Dark money — political spending by not-for-profit organizations such as special-interest activists — already dominates our state and national politics. The cash now swamps President Donald Trump’s selection for the U.S. Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Big money has been spent by groups that support Trump, groups who wish abortion to be abolished and groups who fear Barrett’s ascension to the high court will result in abortion’s abolishment. This is gross, but not unexpected. If anything proves true in American politics, it’s that anybody can be bought.

ITEM IV: The reign of Caesar Itemus Aggressivus IV ended after its assault on the cubicle of Item Six failed. Four teenagers and their anthropomorphic dog thwarted Caesar Itemus Aggressivus IV with a half-hour onslaught of frightened running, pratfalls, eating of special snacks and a complex exposition by a girl in an orange sweater. The kid named Fred pulled a rubber mask from the face of Caesar Itemus Aggressivus IV revealing him to be Item Four, who had faked his death by COVID-19 in a grand real estate heist meant to take over the entire Hot Sheet and replace it with a new social media site controlled by the same cabal of algorithms that outlawed bunts and stolen bases in baseball. Item Five, located after a police dragnet, testified as an unindicted co-conspirator to Item Four’s culpability in the scheme. Item Four and Item Five were returned to their regular spots in the Hot Sheet and reprimanded for excessive silliness.

ITEM FIVE: The typist loves free streaming service Pluto TV. It hosts a dedicated channel to classic James Bond movies. The current Bond flick, “No Time To Die,” is mired in pandemic hell with theaters unable to gather the crowds necessary to support true blockbuster franchises. Classic Bond on a loop gives fans a chance to appreciate all the unrealized potential of wristwatches (lasers, grappling hooks, etc.) and the aesthetic masterpieces of underground lairs with great brutalist architecture style combined with the best in mid-century furniture and fur rugs.

ITEM SIX: Congratulations to the Iowa State Cyclones on another victory in the college football season. The typist has no rooting interest in the endless patter about the Cyclones and Iowa Hawkeyes, however he recants his earlier prediction of misery in Ames.

ITEM SEVEN: They’re playing pro football this Sunday. It should be enjoyable because the Chicago Bears are not playing. The Bears, though 4-1, play the losingest winning football possible.

ITEM EIGHT: The NBA Finals continue today. This is not a misprint. The end of the pro basketball season is in October, but teams in the Big Ten have yet to play a college football game.

ITEM NINE: The Hot Sheet mourns the end of another baseball season, even one as disjointed and bizarre as the 2020 season. The eagle-eyed retired English teachers might point out that the Major League Baseball playoffs continue. This is irrelevant. The typist believes the words of the late, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Frank Miller, who often said a World Series was only official if the Yankees played in it.

ITEM LAST: A former newsman himself, the typist respects the need for news websites to sell advertisements and have them viewed by visitors. However, even when he stacked paragraphs for a local corporate news outlet store, the typist used an adblocker on his browser because news sites were practically unnavigable with the advertisements interrupting text every few sentences. The typist would like to make a deal with news organizations: He will unblock their ads when they find a way to present the news in a way that doesn’t look like a 1996 GeoCities page assembled by a Doctor Who fan who figured out how to get their cartoon TARDIS to spin and play a MIDI file.

Daniel P. Finney fights for your rights in his satin tights.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help Daniel P. Finney cover expenses as he studies to earn his master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

HOT SHEET: Monkeys are taking selfies and the Peeps are on hiatus

From the Desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: The knockdown, drag-out brawl between Des Moines public schools and Gov. Kim Reynolds continues. Iowa’s largest school district is suing the state for an exemption from Reynolds’ order that districts provide at least halftime in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Des Moines school officials argue they can’t adequately social distance, especially in their high school classrooms. Des Moines schools continue to defy the governor’s orders and offer online-only instruction. Meanwhile, Reynolds’ minions in the Iowa Department of Education are threatening to strip Des Moines schools of their accreditation. The whole thing feels like a Popeye-versus-Brutus throwdown and nobody has a can of spinach. We live in a society that doesn’t seem to give a good goddamn about right and wrong, only which team they’re on. So people inclined to believe Reynolds is the best governor Iowa’s had since Terry Branstad will likely back her “smack them on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper” approach. Those inclined to believe Des Moines schools are doing what they believe is best for their students, faculty and staff based on Centers for Disease Control recommendations will likely see the governor as a big meanie for asserting her lawful powers. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker can’t help but wonder how Gov. Bob Ray would have handled this situation. He tended to be the kind of fellow who found the middle ground with opponents and worked out compromises that served people rather than party or power. Of course, Ray is dead, and his brand of politics preceded his death by a good 20 years. So, in the absence of even a granule of moderation, Iowans are doomed to watch schools fight the state – apparently to the death.

ITEM TWO: Campaign minions for Iowa’s Dollar Store Sarah Palin, Sen. Joni Ernst, is lying about her challenger’s support of law enforcement to score points with her base, per an article on the left-leaning website Iowa Starting Line. The right-wing website Breitbart, which Hot Sheet refuses to link to the way one would not eat food off a gas station restroom floor, attacked Ernst opponent Theresa Greenfield for “calling all Iowa police departments racist.” What Greenfield actually said, in an interview with WHO-TV : “I can tell you we do need to address systemic racism, not only in our policing but in our housing policies and systems, in education, in health care, in financing, lending, and so much more.” Earlier this month, ol’ Empty Suit Ernst riled up her followers with more lies about Greenfield’s views on law enforcement. “My opponent, just about a week ago, said that our law enforcement officials, right here in the state of Iowa, are systemically racist … which means that every single sheriff’s deputy, sheriff, every police officer, every trooper out there, she’s calling them racist. I don’t believe that, do you? No. … I’m going to stand with our men and women in blue.” Surely, we haven’t gone through all of this social upheaval this year just to come to the moronic conclusion that one is either for Black Lives Matter or for the police. If all Ernst offers is more with-us-or-against-us mentality, the ol’ Paragraph Stacker hopes Sen. Pig Castration finds herself on the cutting room floor come November.

ITEM THREE: The ol’ Paragraph Stacker must make an embarrassing correction. Earlier this week, the typist wrote about the death of his 92-year-old grandmother, Lois Newcomb. But it turns out, Lois’ first name was actually Margaret. The typist has been a member of this family for almost 30 of his 45 years and not once has heard the name Margaret mentioned until her obituary was published online Thursday. An investigation to the cover-up is ongoing.

ITEM FOUR: Quarantined pending COVID-19 test results.

ITEM FIVE: “Planet of the Apes” is closer to reality than you might think. A Malaysian teenager reported his smartphone was stolen by a monkey, who used it to take selfies and videos before burying it the mud behind his family’s home, the Associated Press reports. On the one hand, the monkey’s grasp of technology is terrifying. On the other, since the primate used it to take selfies, one can assume when the primates rise up to take control of the Earth, their culture will be as vapid and self-obsessed as it was under human control.

ITEM LAST: If there’s any good news to come from COVID-19, it’s this note out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Pandemic protocols forced the company that makes Peeps to pause production until next Easter, per the AP. That means none of those horrible marshmallow confections coated in a hard sugar crust dyed in colors that are an abomination to nature will be available for Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Hot Sheet respects this news may be triggering to some, but the ol’ Paragraph Stacker suggests you get yourself a couple bags of Snickers and learn what real candy tastes like.

We can close the book on this one. Donate if you can, we sure need the help.

Until next time, behave and be kind.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.