Bernie baby: A Washington state woman made national headlines in June when she showed up at the state’s Democratic convention with a life-sized crocheted Bernie Sanders doll — or at least the top half of the presidential candidate. Well, it turns out making DIY Bernie Sanders crafts is a thing. Crocheted Sanders dolls populate Etsy, as do Sanders paper dolls, clay figurines, action figures and a bouncy Bernie for the dashboard. We also came across a Donald Trump voodoo doll and a Hillary Clinton prayer candle.
Six years missing: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s campaign commercials have a glaring omission: They don’t mention he’s served in the Senate since 2011. Critics say that’s because he (a) has nothing to show for it and (b) doesn’t want voters examining his record. Of course, in this election cycle, it’s probably wise for an incumbent to try positioning himself as an outsider. What’s dumb is thinking he can get away with it.
Bumped over ‘best butt’: At least one manager is out on his can at Scotty’s Brewhouse in Southport, Indiana. He was fired over an “unsanctioned and unapproved” staff awards contest that recognized one employee with a “best butt” prize. The winner was asked to turn around for co-workers who wanted snapshots of the appreciated derriere. Other employees were recognized for being the “best bartender” and “best server.”
Summer Loon: The wife of Maine Gov. Paul LePage is working a summer waitressing job. Her husband, considered the nation’s looniest governor as well as its lowest paid, told a town hall meeting his wife needed the job to supplement his $70,000 salary. But maybe she just wanted time away from him. Among other stunts, LePage has threatened to veto his own bills, compared the IRS to the Holocaust and told the NAACP to “kiss my ass” after its leaders complained about his refusal to attend a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.
Off the money: Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King has filed legislation to block the U.S. Treasury Department’s plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. He says it would be “racist” and “sexist” to replace white slave-owner Andrew Jackson’s image with that of the African-American woman who risked her life conducting slaves to freedom.
Too good to be true?: A phony story about President Barack Obama signing executive orders restricting gun sales and gun ownership resurfaced and went viral on Facebook and Twitter in the days after the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Liberals cheered as they shared the false news report that the president was putting a 30-day moratorium on gun sales and conservatives raged as they shared the bogus bulletin that the president was limiting Americans to just three guns each.
Incompatible software: Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, who is gay, hosted a fundraiser for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who is not only openly anti-LGBT and an advocate of regressive economic policies, but also a backer of racist Donald Trump. The June 28 event followed Apple’s corporate decision to pull funding and tech support from the Republican National Convention. Facebook, Google and Microsoft have said they will provide some support to the convention.
Feeling the love?: Franklin Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham, held a prayer gathering at the Wisconsin Capitol in mid-June. About 4,000 people attended the event, part of Graham’s Decision America tour to motivate Christians to get involved in politics. At the Madison gathering, the minister led a prayer for the victims of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub. Later, he told the press he loves gays but homosexuality is a sin and LGBT people must repent.
Not a girl’s best friend: On the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show, Charlie Sheen told a story about being given diamond cufflinks by Donald Trump a few years ago — right off the Donald’s own wrist and engraved with his name. A few months later Sheen took the “diamonds” to an appraiser who said, “In their finest moment this is cheap pewter and bad zirconias.” Sheen shouldn’t take it personally. The New York Post reported that Donald Trump has been giving fake diamond jewelry as gifts for years.
He who lives by the sword …: The owner of a gun shop in Amelia, Ohio, died of a gunshot wound to the neck. He was struck by a bullet from an accidentally discharged weapon during a concealed-carry seminar sponsored by his store.