Talk Back with Doug Spade and Mike Clement is heard every Saturday morning from 9 am to noon Eastern Time on WABJ, 1490 AM, Adrian.

Popular wisdom says the coronavirus pandemic’s roots were in China. Popular wisdom’s for the birds. As dedicated truth-seekers, we’ve spent many a sleepless night studying and researching the real story behind the outbreak---consulting the world’s foremost scientists, philosophers, and theologians---none of whom had clue one. In desperation we turned to our kindly and benevolent Uncle Google. And within seconds, we had our answer.

Years ago, a follicly-challenged Rhode Island family was gathered around the kitchen table, polishing a tarnished lamp they’d run across while dumpster diving, when---poof---a genie appeared. Realizing this was their long-awaited ticket out of Chromedomeville, the siblings sang, “Give us heads with hair. Long beautiful hair.” Well, even generous genies can experience a sorcerer’s apprentice moment. And so it was that granting The Cowsills’ wish 52 years ago became the gift that’s kept on giving.

Ensuring humanity will forever resemble chia pets on steroids.

Nobody told us there’d be days like these. UFOs over New York. And the asteroid that whizzed by 48 hours ago. Close enough that we could see the stars and bars on its face mask. You know. Those pictures of Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Moe’s Tavern. Strange days indeed. But none of it as bizarre as a recent court ruling that’s stood Michigan election law completely on its ear.

For most office-seekers, getting your name on the ballot is no big deal. Pay a hundred bucks and you’re all set. But running for Congress means collecting at least 1,000 petition signatures or it’s off to the showers till the next election cycle. It’s a requirement that’s been around for decades. But for Birmingham attorney Eric Esshaki, that threshold---thanks to the coronavirus---was robbing him of his rightful place on the ballot and stacking the deck in his opponent’s favor.

So he sued.

The mean old state, he argued in U.S. District Court, was out to get him---the stay-at-home order having forced him to remain cooped up in his house with no way to circulate petitions at places where throngs of people would normally congregate. Despite having announced his candidacy in 2019---long before the pandemic began---he didn’t have enough signatures. Therefore---tick, tock—he deserved more time to collect them.

And the judge bought it.

Lambasting the state for having pulled the rug out from under them, Judge Terrance Berg’s ruling not only gave Esshaki and all other congressional and judicial candidates an extra 2 ½ weeks to qualify for the ballot, but further found the state’s signature requirement to be so onerous and egregious it needed to be chopped in half. A jaw-dropping stunner dwarfed only by the miracle that occurred less than 24 hours later. When Eric Esshaki filed enough petition signatures to easily make the ballot under the old rules. And which 45 other congressional candidates---including 31 challengers--- had no difficulty duplicating. So much for the impossibility argument. Nevertheless, barring a reversal by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Berg decision stands.

Meaning our new state anthem is the song with no end.

Rules will vanish and deadlines will continuously be extended. Just like under executive orders. Down by 30 with a minute to go? Berg decision says tack on an extra five so a comeback is still possible. Work hard and deserve a raise? Berg ruling says give it to the slacker instead. Too engrossed in stupid cat videos to finish a column and turn it in on time? Berg says publish it on Friday anyway. Because in today’s new normal, everything’s made up.

And the points don’t matter.

Talk Back with Doug Spade and Mike Clement is heard every Saturday morning from 9 am to noon Eastern Time on WABJ, 1490 AM, Adrian, and on line at www.dougspade.com and www.lenconnect.com.