Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke poses for a photo with supporters following a campaign rally last month in Austin, Texas.

This should get me something

Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke made a calculated political move last week, revealing he and his wife descended from slave owners.

He didn't immediately say whether he hoped to get the votes of other slave-owning descendants, more blacks because he admitted his past or groups who push white privilege, but his announcement came the same week his meager second-quarter campaign contributions were revealed.

"Something that we've been talking about in town hall meetings — the legacy of slavery in the United States — now has a much more personal connection," O'Rourke said.

He said his great-great-great grandfather owned two women slaves and that an ancestor of his wife owned slaves and that another of her relatives served in the Confederate Army.

In an article revealing the situation in Medium, O'Rourke explained he would as president, among other things, "support reparations" and "home health visits to women of color."

His ancestors "were able to build wealth on the backs and off the sweat of others, wealth that they would then be able to pass down to their children and their children's children," he wrote. "In some way, and in some form, that advantage would pass through to me and my children."


Looking before leaping again

Actor Chris Pratt recently became the most recent victim of shaming because he was pictured wearing a T-shirt bearing the Gadsden flag, which includes the motto "Don't Tread on Me."

The tweeted out photo by Vulture brought comments such as one on Twitter: "I like him, but all these things about his politics makes me wonder when he'll say something transphobic, tank his career, and do the full heel-turn into a Fox commentator."

No, no one else knew what "all these things" referred to, either.

But Forged Clothing, which made the shirt, posted on Facebook a little lesson for the clueless haters.

First, it wrote, "we are a Navy SEAL-founded, patriotic, and military-inspired brand. Our CEO and members of our Forged team served alongside military members of all races, cultures, and ethnicities. As we fought for our country, many of us wore the 1st Navy Jack flag on the sleeves of our uniforms, which the Gadsden military-authorized flag is based on. This incredibly powerful symbol was one of the first flags flown by our Continental Navy and is still widely used by our military forces today."

It went on to tell about how Pratt has helped the company raise millions of dollars for military and law enforcement families and foundations, and how Pratt has never sought anything in return. "We will ALWAYS have his back," the post said.


Parroting what they've been told

Cabot Phillips of Campus Reform recently read random Georgetown University students a president's quote about deporting illegal immigrants.

"We are a nation of laws," it read. "Undocumented workers broke our laws and I believe they must be held accountable. Especially those who may be dangerous. That's why ... we're going to keep focusing on threats to our security."

The students, based on what their professors and the rest of the left tell them, were outraged, saying the quote "comes from a place of white American nationalism" and that "Donald Trump has embraced this rhetoric of racism and xenophobia [that is] not beneficial to our country at all."

The quote, Cabot told them, was uttered by Barack Obama.

Naturally, the students were shocked, one saying "it never occurred to me that it could be him."

Since they possess a memory, understanding and curiosity that don't stretch back more than two and a half years, we hope none of the students were history majors.


Why not personholes?

The city of Berkeley, California, is getting rid of its manhole covers. It's not replacing them as such, but it's just renaming them. They'll now be known as maintenance holes.

The city's Berkeley City Council last week voted without discussion or comment to replace gendered terms in its municipal codes with gender-neutral ones. "Manpower," for instance, becomes "human effort." In addition, the standard gender pronouns "he" and "she" will become "they."

That last one in itself should be interesting. Imagine the 911 operator: "They were last seen running down Elm Street. They were wearing a red hoodie and black pants." Police individual: "Were they male or female or one of each?" 911 operator: I'm not allowed to tell you, but I can tell you there was only one."

"Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality," resolution sponsor Rigel Robinson said. "Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that."