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- Forget Trump. Let's Have Some NICE THINGS.It's Sunday, and that means it's time for a break from the ongoing grind of awfulness out there. Let's dive into some cool, funny, thoughtful stuff to fortify ourselves before we get back to the daily madness, shall we? Artificial Weirdness One of our favorite online distractions -- but we repeat ourselves -- is the AI Weirdness blog by computer research scientist Janelle Shane, who likes to program neural networks to consume a bunch of information and then spit out their own versions of... things. Like for instance some Valentines Day candy hearts, which was the post that got me to sign up for her weekly newsletter last year. Some of the messages seemed almost plausible, if a bit unorthodox: Of course, what makes AI Weirdness fun are the examples where the AI gets close, but eats the cigar and calls it a sweaty llama: If you sign up for Shane's weekly newsletter, she'll send you content that may be a little less PG-rated than the stuff she puts on the blog for just anyone. From the candy hearts supplement, a few samples of a neural net working blue: SWEET PISS DOOO ME TIME 2 WANK SWEET GAOL PISS ME ANL LOVE MEAT MATE MY PISS WET MINE BEAT ME TAME SWEET HOLE BONG LOV Shane has her own meatspace network of educators and other assorted nerds working with AI, and they often provide her with post topics, like for instance a middle school teacher in Austin who had her coding classes program a text generation program (textgenrnn) to create ice cream flavors. As it happens, Shane had that very week been playing around with the very same idea. Here are a few perfectly cromulent flavors the kids in Anita Johnson's classes came up with: It's Sunday Cherry Poet Brittle Cheesecake Honey Vanilla Happy hmm Holy Lemon Monster Cookies & Red Hot Lover Inevitably, some flavors veered toward the Uncanny Ice Cream Valley: Cupsie Core Washing Chocolate Peanut Cinnamon Budge the United Bacon de Vanilla Texas Boy Nut Strawberry Moons Pretzel Egg Cookies and Green Sea Cheesecake Mango Cats Lemon Cream Grassplay Not to mention the ones that might just as well be products of the Whizzo Chocolate Company: Pumpkin Trash Break Peanut Butter Slime Gravy Cashew Bug Lament Ants-Almond Cheesecake Chocolate Gingerbread Bum Caramel Livers Elk Peanut Southe Sand & Cream Toffee Frog (!!!!! but was it crunchy?) Snake Vanilla Cream Cheesecake Turns out the kids came up with far more edible-sounding flavors, probably because the program "remembers" a little bit of its previous dataset. In Shane's case, that had been a project to generate heavy metal band names. Yes, there was some overlap: Silence Cherry Strawberry Cream Disease Chocolate Sin Bloody Coffee Sock Caramel Chocolate Raven Moan Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Blood Colon Bane Shane tried again with a different program that didn't "remember," but darned if she still didn't end up with some really edgy flavors. She blames "Death by Chocolate" and "blood orange" in her dataset for at least some of the delicious iced mayhem, but not all or it:"nose" was nowhere in the input, candied or otherwise. Nor was "turd," for that matter. Ice cream places are getting edgy these days, but not THAT edgy.Her flavors:Bloodie Chunk Death Bean Goat Cookie Peanut Bat Candied Nose Creme die Chocolate Moose Mange [A mangey Møøse once bit my sister] Lime Pig Beet Bats Blood Sundae Kaharon Chocolate Mouse Gun Gu Creamie Turd We could probably fill a whole post with this stuff! But there's other great stuff to get to, so let's just remind you to check out the AI-generated cookie names ('Sugar person sugar masts," anyone?), Joke-shaped things that are not jokes (many sound like something tiny kids would come up with), high school Robotics Team Names ("MERM!" and "Robot Robotics of the Robotics"), and Burlesque show names ("Sex Your Eye Out!" "Gourdraiser!"). One of the show names generated for that post, "My Rear's On The Sexy," went on to grace a real burlesque show in Seattle, although we'd gladly attend some of the others, like "The Stripper Stripper Dave Burlesque Show." Also worth noting: the burlesque post was apparently steamy enough that Tumblr's algorithm briefly censored it as "adult material." Ironic coincidence, or AI-ception? History Coolness! The Washington Post's Retropolis feature is just full of history goodness today. First up, there's a piece on the very first congressional investigation of the executive branch, which looked into why a 1791 military expedition was wiped out by Native Americans in what's now Indiana. Over 600 troops died in the surprise attack, the US military's worst defeat by Native people ever. The investigation involved a bunch of firsts, like the basic question of whether Congress had the power to investigate the executive at all (both branches decided yeah, although initially some in the House wanted to direct George Washington to do the investigation himself). And it involved the first call to invoke executive privilege: According to Jefferson, Hamilton had reservations about giving Congress access to executive branch documents because lawmakers "might demand secrets of a very mischievous nature." But the Cabinet, including Hamilton, nevertheless agreed that the president should give the committee all papers that "the public good would permit," but "ought to refuse those the disclosure of which would harm the public." Ultimately, Washington turned over all the papers the House committee asked for, and the resulting report mostly exonerated Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair and blamed War Secretary Henry Knox instead. (Oh, hey, spoiler warning.) Knox lobbied for further investigation, and must have influenced at least some in the House, since, after the election of 1792, the new Congress let the matter drop without a vote on the committee report. We bet Trey Gowdy still wants to know find out whether Hillary Clinton ordered St.Clair's troops to stand down.History Coolness II Omar ibn Said, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale UniversityThe Post also brings us an article about an amazing acquisition by the Library of Congress this month: the 1831 autobiography of Omar ibn Said, who was captured and sold into slavery in 1807 at the age of 37. He was already a scholar in West Africa, where he had studied for 25 years, but once enslaved on a North Carolina plantation, he was called "Morro" or "Uncle Moreau." And at a time when teaching literacy to enslaved people was illegal, he wrote his own brief memoir in Arabic, the only known slave narrative in that language. And unlike many slave narratives, its author penned it while still held in slavery -- Ibn Said never saw freedom. He died in 1864, before he end of the Civil War. Perhaps because he knew almost no whites could read it, ibn Said was remarkably frank in his contempt for the institution of slavery, according to Mary-Jane Deeb, head of the LOC's African and Middle Eastern Division. The manuscript opens with the Koran's Surah (chapter) 67, which WaPo notes "states that God has dominion over all things.""Of all the chapters in the Koran, he picked that one," Deeb said. "In Islam, everything belongs to God. No one really is an owner. ... So the choice of that verse is extremely important. It's a fundamental criticism of the right to own another human being."His own text is hardly any more sparing of the institution or his first owner:My name is Omar ibn Seid. My birthplace was Fut Tûr, between the two rivers. [I sought knowledge under the instruction of a Sheikh called Mohammed Seid, my own brother, and Sheikh Soleiman Kembeh, and Sheikh Gabriel Abdal. I continued my studies twenty-five years. Then there came to our place a large army, who killed many men, and took me, and brought me to the great sea, and sold me into the hands of the Christians, who bound me and sent me on board great ship and we sailed upon the great sea a month and a half, when we came to a place called Charleston in the Christian language. There they sold me to a small, weak, and wicked man, called Johnson, a complete infidel, who had no fear of God at all. Fut Tûr is in modern-day Senegal. He ran away but was recaptured and sold to plantation owner James Owen, who would eventually serve in Congress. He wrote that unlike "Johnson," James Owen and his brother John (eventually a governor of North Carolina) were "good men, for whatever they eat, I eat, and whatever they wear they give me to wear." And yes, kids, the Owens were examples of the mythical "good" slave-owner, a trope used before the war and ever since as a rhetorical excuse for owning human beings. Why, yes, you can still find the "good masters" praised in modern right-wing "Christian"-school textbooks. After all, they brought the heathen blacks the Gospel and then the slaves sang spirituals, how beautiful. But we digress -- go read the WaPo piece, and then look at the Library Of Congress manuscripts, which include other documents as well, like an undated translation of the narrative by Isaac Bird, which is surprisingly readable, or this transcription of Bird's translation. It's a hell of a read. History Coolness III Tomorrow is the official Martin Luther King Jr. holiday (his actual birthday was Tuesday the 15th), so hey, how about we remember some of King's speeches BEYOND the 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech? It's a great speech, but there was so much more to the man than his biggest hit. Bernice King celebrated her father's legacy with this tweet of MLK answering a bigoted question (Why aren't The Blacks successful like other 'immigrant' groups were?) with characteristic brilliance, leaving the "what are you, an idiot?" part up to the viewer, who could hear it all the same. Anyone painting King as a conventional "patriot" has to contend with his April 4, 1967 sermon at New York City's Riverside Church, "Beyond Vietnam," in which King explained how the anti-war views he'd been talking about since at least 1965 dovetailed with his Civil Rights work. King argued the Vietnam conflict was undermining the progress of the movement and the nation's tentative steps toward ending segregation: We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools [...] For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957, when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." [...] Now it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read "Vietnam." It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. Here, give a listen: While we're at it, let's spend time with King's message of economic justice, his "Other America" speech, delivered just ten days later at Stanford University. In one America, the wealthy one, it's easy to "experience every day the opportunity of having life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in all of their dimensions." In the other, that's just not so: In this America millions of work-starved men walk the streets daily in search for jobs that do not exist [...]In a sense, the greatest tragedy of this other America is what it does to little children. Little children in this other America are forced to grow up with clouds of inferiority forming every day in their little mental skies. As we look at this other America, we see it as an arena of blasted hopes and shattered dreams. Many people of various backgrounds live in this other America. Some are Mexican Americans, some are Puerto Ricans, some are Indians, some happen to be from other groups. Millions of them are Appalachian whites. But probably the largest group in this other America in proportion to its size in the population is the American Negro.Next time some rightwing idiot starts arguing the "Dream" speech magically proves King wanted a "color-blind" America that ignored real racial disparities -- or worse, suggests King would somehow be a Republican today -- feel free to say "Oh, REALLY? and hit 'em with these two speeches. Martin Luther King was a troublemaker of the very best sort. Never let them turn him into a nice fellow who uncritically loved America and waved the flag, goddamn it. OK, dang, this turned into a long history dive on heavy stuff (we have an odd definition of "nice things," which tends more toward "Holy wow, look at this!" than "isn't that sweet"), so next week we'll hit more stuff, like occupational and literary Twitter games, and Truckers with Cats. Yes, a place on Reddit that's NICE! [AI Weirdness / WaPo / WaPo / Library of Congress / WETA-TV / "Beyond Vietnam" / "The Other America" / Omar ibn Said photo: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Libraries / Top photo by Daniel Stockman, Creative Commons License 2.0]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Send us money! That would be REALLY nice!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Look Out Chuck 'N' Nancy, President WALL Made A SPEECHAfter watching President Arty McDeals twist in the wind for a month, IRL politician Mitch McConnell finally decided to throw the mook a lifeline. Despite constant screaming about women with duct tape over their mouths, Trump is getting blamed for the shutdown and even his own supporters are starting to turn on him. So Ol' Yertle summoned Mike Pence and Jared Kushner to his chambers for some #RealTalk. "Tell Donald that he has to offer something so it looks like the Democrats are the ones who won't compromise." He said. (Probably.) "That's great," squeaked young Jared (allegedly), "Democrats are desperate. We've got them right where we want them." McConnell blinked hard. "No, Jared," he probably said. "They're not going to take the deal. We'd have more luck getting Mexico to pay for it. The point is to offer something silly so they turn us down, and then we try to convince the public that the shutdown is Democrats' fault." "I don't get it," said Jared (allegedly), as Mother's boy Pence furrowed his brow and sighed through his nose. (Not allegedly, it's his signature move.) "I know," Mitch might have said. "Believe me, I know." Which is how President Teleprompter wound up giving a MAJOR ADDRESS yesterday offering to hold off on deporting some of the Dream Act kids for a hot second if Democrats will just give him $5.7 billion for WALL and let him expel future child arrivals without a hearing. Trump himself rescinded protections for up to a million immigrants brought here as kids as soon as he took office, but he'll let some of those hostages go if Democrats will just give him cash for that WALL that Mexico is "indirectly" paying for. Heck, he'll even let 300,000 people who fled war and natural disasters and put down roots here over decades to stay a little longer, if that's what it takes. He plans to deport them all in three years anyway, or else use them for another round of hostage negotiations. (If we re-elect That Orange Idiot, spit on the ground/sign of the horns/God forbid.) Okay, so he can't actually deport DACA kids and immigrants on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) right now, since courts told him to piss off and SCOTUS just punted on DACA, meaning he likely can't deport those kids for another year. Trump's actually not offering anything at all, just desperately trying to fling this flaming sack of dog crap into the Democrats' yard. But maybe the public won't bother to read the fine print, and they'll decide this stupid shutdown is all Chuck and Nancy's fault. See, Jared? Even before the "deal" was announced, Democrats were telling Trump to piss off, with House Speaker Pelosi calling it a "non-starter" and vowing to keep passing spending bills to get the government open without WALLBUX. No one but Jared is stupid enough to think they'll peel off seven Democratic senators with this stunt, much less get it through the House. This deal is even skimpier than Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin's "Bridge Act," which Trump put the kibosh on two weeks ago when he thought he was actually winning this debate. The Washington Post reports:But Trump's proposal was far smaller in scope, covering fewer immigrants, and Democrats said his plan was akin to trading "permanent" border wall for "temporary" protections for immigrants that Trump could reverse in a second term. Asked about that criticism, Pence replied: "I read that turn of phrase." He then paused and changed the subject. Odds he did that stupid brow-furrowing nasal sigh thing: 100%. It also landed like a turd in the punchbowl in MAGAland. Hey, remember that time in December when Trump was going to sign a temporary budget deal to keep the government open for three weeks so it could shut down on Democrats' watch, but then Ann Coulter called him a limpdick so he refused to sign it and staged a press conference where he said he'd be proud to take responsibility for the shutdown? Area man whose boss just cut his nuts off worries that we are simultaneously overrun with other people's babies and running out of brown people to hold as hostages.And poor, sad Breitbart seems to have lost the plot entirely. Riiiiiiight. Meanwhile 800,000 government workers "gotta go to fuckin' work without getting motherfuckin' paid," a fact which Trump failed to mention in his speech. Because, spoiler alert, he doesn't actually give a shit about federal employees lining up for impromptu food banks. And he's still at it this morning, nine BATSHIT INSANE Tweets in before 10am, including this one where he threatens mass deportations if Speaker Pelosi won't play ball, and offers the one thing that could possibly cause his base to turn on him. We're beginning to think that Republicans might be bad at this whole governing thing. Just a theory, probably needs more study.NO DYSFUNCTION! NO DYSFUNCTION! YOU ARE THE DYSFUNCTION! [WaPo / Vox / NYT]Follow your FDF on Twitter!Please click here to fund Your Wonkette, so we never shut down!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Laura Loomer Storming The Stage At The Women's March Almost As Cringey As The Time She Threw Herself At A Nazi.World's most embarrassing human person Laura Loomer has had a hell of a January. First, she fell for (and subsequently got the Wall Street Journal to fall for) a prank from Nathan Bernard and company convincing her that CAIR lobbied to have her kicked off of Twitter. Then she tried to break into Nancy Pelosi's house and also get some immigrants deported in the process. And today, she tried to storm the stage at the Women's March and grab the mic in order to proclaim that the Women's March was the REAL Nazi march. It was almost as cringeworthy as the time she aggressively hit on a Nazi. Loomer was swiftly brushed off by the speaker, who subsequently welcomed Jewish women to the march, at which point Loomer flailed her arms to and fro, furious that no one was taking her seriously. Which no one ever, ever will. Although there has recently been some controversy over Women's March organizers being in cahoots with Louis Farrakhan, the organization itself has released statements unequivocally denouncing Farrakhan's comments, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Via ThinkProgress:"We unequivocally have rejected the comments made by [Farrakhan] and on Jewish communities. We have said multiple times on our statements at womensmarch.com, we unequivocally denounce transphobia and ask people to ask us directly and read our statements and understand we have been doing this work before there was a Women's March,"While many Jewish activists have said they will not be taking part in today's marches because of the controversy, Sarsour said she is glad that there are others who are."We are grateful for the Jewish women who will be marching with us today. Those Jewish women will have joined our steering committee. Those who will be speaking on our stage today at the march."That doesn't mean they get off scot free, or that this isn't something that needs to be addressed, but it also doesn't mean that the march itself is anti-Semitic in nature. No one is going to the Women's March specifically because they have a problem with Jewish people. You know, unlike some other marches we could name. And now? YOUR OPEN THREAD.[Twitter]Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Killer Chicago Cop's Sentence Shows Black Lives Matter As Much As A Hot Dog With KetchupBack in October, the fortunately former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke shot the 17-year-old McDonald 16 times as he walked away from the cop, which would make him the black hat in a spaghetti western. It turns out Judge Vincent Gaughan, however, is a fan of western villains because he sentenced Van Dyke to just six years and nine months in prison. This was far less than the 18 years minimum the prosecution was seeking, and state sentencing guidelines allowed for up to 96 years or more. This is because McDonald was a human being, not a vintage automobile Van Dyke defaced with his keys because it was parked outside the lines. I'm sure the prosecution stressed this point. McDonald's great uncle, the Rev. Martin Hunter, movingly if perhaps futilely reminded the judge of his nephew's humanity when he read a letter that was written in McDonald's now silenced voice. "Please think about me and about my life when you sentence this person to prison," Hunter read. "Why should this person be free, when I am dead forever?" That's a good question. Van Dyke could likely only serve as little as three and a half years with good behavior, but let's not lose our perspective. It's not as if Van Dyke voted illegally. That can get you five years in Texas if you're a black woman. Illinois doesn't always dispense soft-serve sentences, either. Van Dyke received half the prison time of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who didn't actually kill anyone. You know Van Dyke's sentence was bullshit when McDonald's family is devastated and Van Dyke is giddy as a school boy on Christmas morning: "I got the Red Ryder BB gun and a miscarriage of justice! Thanks, Judge Santa!" The officers who allegedly helped cover up Van Dyke's killing of McDonald were acquitted Friday because it's apparently not a crime to support another officer's bullshit account of events. Van Dyke claimed McDonald failed to "comply" and made a threatening move to the police. Dashcam video later showed that Van Dyke was lying his ass off. During the sentencing, Judge Gaughan said, "You can see the pain on both sides of the family." Maybe he could, but if Gaughan or any other judge sentenced non-killer cops like they were Counselor Troi from "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Illinois state prisons would be empty. "I feel... pain from both sides, Captain. Let's give the Cardassian time served." It might shock even some well-meaning white liberals to learn that black people charged with crimes also have families who'd rather they not spend the rest of their lives locked away. Edward Douglas, once a Chicago Transit Authority employee, is serving life in federal prison because of ridiculously harsh drug sentences. Certainly, his family demonstrated enough pain? Maybe instead of better public defenders, we need pro bono theatrical training for relatives of the convicted: "Sing out, Louise! Your dad is looking at 20 to life!" We can appreciate that the family of someone who's committed a crime suffers greatly but it's beyond offensive to equate that suffering with what the victim's family experiences. We saw this repulsive "tragedy for both sides" narrative when Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. It's especially vile when one family clearly has suffered the ultimate loss, one that's irretrievable. Van Dyke's life has a good chance of returning to normalcy after he completes his wrist-slap sentence. His "Blue Lives Matter" social circle will hardly hold his killing of a black teen against him and withhold invitations to social gatherings. In a brief statement, Van Dyke said he'd have to "live with" McDonald's death for the "rest of his life," most of which won't be spent in prison. He'll be 43 when he's released, and his lead defense attorney, Dan Herbert said his client is "happy about the prospect of life ahead of him" and being reunited with his wife and two daughters, which are one spouse and two children more than McDonald will ever have. Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter. Yr Wonkette is supported ONLY by reader donations! We love you! You pay our rent. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- This Is The Future Republicans Want: MAGA Brats Mock Native American Drummer, Just To Be Assholes.Throughout the Trump presidency, things have gone really downhill politically and legally. But what's almost scarier than that is the way things have gone downhill socially. I'm not talking about "division" -- if people are terrible it is not a bad thing to be "divided" from them. I'm talking about people just thinking it's totally fine to be huge assholes. I'm talking about kids looking at this smug ass President and going "Yeah, this is a great way to be." Because how do you fix that? During the March for Forced Birth in Washington yesterday, some high school students from Covington Catholic, an all boys school in Park Hills, Kentucky, decided to take a break from demanding that women lose their reproductive rights in order to harass Native American drummer/singer and Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips of the Omaha Tribe and others participating in the Indigenous People's March simultaneously going on that day. It is, hands down, one of the creepiest goddamned things I've ever seen in my life. autumn rain on Instagram: “this is our reality. 2019. a swarm of young, unattended Trump supporters gathered to cause a scene, disrespect our cultures, and put fear…” One student just stood extremely close to Phillips, smirking at him, while the other darlings chanted "Build the wall!" and "Gone in 2020" while otherwise screaming like yahoos.The school's motto is "Educating Young Men Spiritually, Academically, Physically and Socially." Note that they do not specify how, exactly, they do this. Perhaps they have full-on classes on how to be a smarmy, repulsive assholes. Perhaps their school song is "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" from Cabaret. Given that such a large contingent of the school seems to think this is acceptable behavior, something is clearly up. Covington Catholic, by the way, does not appear to be a Jesuit school, which is not surprising as I really do not see this kind of behavior going over too well at one of those, en masse. I have to say -- while I certainly disagree with Catholic teachings on a lot of things, every guy I've ever met who went to an all-boys Jesuit school has been extraordinarily kind and smart (and, usually, by the time I meet them, an atheist), so they do something right as far as that shit is concerned. This school though. Whew. Let's get a close-up, shall we? I will be seeing this sociopath's face in my nightmares. But I hope the video gets shown constantly. I hope whoever ends up running against Trump uses it in their campaign ads. Because people need to see what he is turning their children into. The school has since locked down their Twitter account, which is a damned cowardly thing to do in a situation like this. If they had any kind of integrity they'd keep it open, apologize for the behavior of their students, and expel every damn one of them. But I guess a school that produces kids who think this is an acceptable way to act isn't too big on integrity. UPDATE: Here is Phillips' response video response to the students.[Earthchores Instagram]Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Your Weekly Top Ten Has Updated Its Signature LEWK For 2019Should we even try to say anything about the week that just passed, or is it Saturday and we don't care right now? That, the second thing, it is that one. Instead, look at Wonkette Official Toddler Donna Rose, in pics above and below, giving some fierce LEWKS for the camera, because she is a very famous model.And also we guess we will count down the top 10 posts of the week, like we do.Stories chosen as usual by Beyoncé:10. Wait, Is Putin Getting Paid During The Trump Shutdown? THE FUCK?9. FBI Been Wonderin' If Trump Is Literal Russian Intelligence Asset For LONG ASS TIME8. Liveblogging Confirmation Hearings For Bill Barr, Trump's Next Future Ex-Attorney General!7. The Top 10 NATIONAL EMERGIES The Next Democratic Prez Will Definitely Declare If Trump Does It For WALL6. Trump Spends Saturday Night With Judge Jeanine Screaming 'NO COLLUSION!' At Your Nana5. Trump To Pelosi: I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT IF I STEP ON MY DICK AND EAT IT AT THE SAME TIME?4. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Does Twitter Real Good Again, So That's A Surprise!3. In What Freaking World Is Swearing More Controversial Than Embracing White Supremacy?2. An Open Letter To The Men Irreparably Traumatized By The Recent Gillette Ad1. Whoops, Acting AG Whitaker May Have Committed Some NO COLLUSION With Trump!There you go! Those are good stories!Anything else? Oh, just more LEWKS from Donna Rose: She is so much more fashionable than you are.OK we are finished writing this post now.Go with God,WonketteFollow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Wonkette is the ONLY NEWS ON THE INTERNET. Please give us money RIGHT THERE BELOW if you want us to live FOREVER.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Relax, Everyone: Donald Trump Is Still A F*cking CriminalHOLY ACHTUNG TWITTER IS FREAKING OUT! Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office (SCO) has issued a statement, almost 24 full hours after Buzzfeed's story on Donald Trump ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the failed Trump Tower Moscow deal started blowing everybody's minds. Mueller's spokesman says actually BuzzFeed got it a bit wrong. This is significant because 1) Mueller's office NEVER talks, and B) well, they're not actually saying BuzzFeed got it WRONG wrong. Just, you know, kinda wrong. Wow, that statement is lawyered as fuck. BuzzFeed described "specific statements" wrong, and its "characterization of documents and testimony" was just an eensy bit off, and maybe if BuzzFeed moved this sofa over here it would take advantage of more natural light in the room, and honestly, BuzzFeed should trim up this one paragraph of its article, because those sentences DO NOT SPARK MARIE KONDO'S JOY.Otherwise, it's great!First of all, we want everybody to relax. Donald Trump is still a criminal. Have you guys even seen All The President's Men, where Woodward and Bernstein got a thing media0.giphy.com and everybody was like "YOU FUCKUPS!" and the Nixon administration was like "OBAMA, YOU LIE"? Woodward and Bernstein had only fucked up a little thing -- something Nixon campaign treasurer Hugh Sloan Jr. had supposedly told a grand jury about how Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman had the keys to a secret campaign fund "used for sabotage and espionage against the president's opponents." And he did have the keys! But Sloan didn't tell the grand jury that little detail. He told Woodward and Bernstein. But they said he told the grand jury, in the newspaper! YOU FUCKUPS!This reminds us of that. Let's hop back to that highly lawyered statement from SCO. BuzzFeed, according to SCO, got "specific statements" wrong, and its "characterization of documents and testimony" was not accurate. Does this mean Trump didn't tell Michael Cohen to lie at all, but that he was just freelancing? Nah, we don't think so, especially if we look at the Nov. 30, 2017, sentencing memo submitted by Cohen's lawyers, which admits that Cohen was in contact with Trump and his people, and that all the messaging on the Trump Tower Moscow project was highly coordinated: Got that? But stay with us for a sec. Because in that same memo, Cohen's lawyers explain why they address Cohen's campaign finance violations and Cohen's false statements to Congress on the Moscow Trump Tower deal in the same section:We address the campaign finance and false statements allegations together because both arose from Michael's fierce loyalty to Client-1. In each case, the conduct was intended to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives. Michael regrets that his vigor in promoting Client-1's interests in the heat of political battle led him to abandon good judgment and cross legal lines.IN ACCORDANCE WITH CLIENT-1'S DIRECTIVES. It's right there in this fuckin' document we've had for almost two months now!While we're at it, we should note that Robert Mueller's sentencing memo for Cohen also says this: While Cohen was writing out his lies to Congress, he was in "close and regular contact" with the Trump White House and Trump's lawyers. He was on message. Did Trump give him a specific order? Or were "Client-1's directives" in one case different from how they were in the other?Marcy Wheeler notes that in the very same sentencing memorandum submitted by Cohen's lawyers, their language is not quite the same about Trump's direction of Cohen's lies to Congress and Trump's very literal orders to Cohen to do campaign finance law-breaking porn payoffs to women:With respect to the conduct charged in these Counts, Michael kept his client contemporaneously informed and acted on his client's instructions. This is not an excuse, and Michael accepts that he acted wrongfully. Nevertheless, we respectfully request that the Court consider that as personal counsel to Client-1, Michael felt obligated to assist Client-1, on Client-1's instruction, to attempt to prevent Woman-1 and Woman-2 from disseminating narratives that would adversely affect the Campaign and cause personal embarrassment to Client-1 and his family. So maybe BuzzFeed isn't WRONG. It's just ... well ... you know ... it's nuanced! And maybe there is a a difference of opinion on what constitutes Trump "ordering" Cohen to lie.Many of the very smart people we follow on Twitter are pretty sure the "law enforcement officials" who are BuzzFeed's sources are close to the Southern District of New York (SDNY), where Cohen's case originated, and which, unlike Mueller's office, is leaky like a great big motherfucker. So maybe people close to SDNY's orbit saw documents from Trump Organization people and BuzzFeed is mistaken about what Mueller feels those documents reveal? Or the SDNY sources are reading the same evidence with a lot more FLAIR than SCO is? Lordy, we wish there were tapes!Regardless, we agree with all of those tweeting that Mueller is probably dick-slapping SDNY with his fists right about now. As many lawyers on Twitter have noted, without a "direct order," it's very hard for prosecutors to prove this type of obstruction of justice beyond a reasonable doubt. So we think Mueller is saying BuzzFeed got a little bit ahead of its skis, because yeah, Mueller knows Cohen lied because Trump and everybody around Trump wanted him to, but Mueller doesn't quite have a smoking gun recording of Trump saying "GO MAKE LIKE A COMMON TRUMP AND LIE TO CONGRESS." In other words, slow your roll, y'all, and SHUT THE GODDAMNED FUCK UP, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.BuzzFeed has issued a response, saying they're "continuing to report and determine what the special counsel is disputing. We remain confident in the accuracy of our report." Meanwhile, BuzzFeed news editor Ben Smith noted on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes" that BuzzFeed went to the special counsel's office for comment before the story went up (as the original story states), and as usual, SCO declined to comment. Smith added on "The Rachel Maddow Show" that they have no frickin' clue about MUELLER, WHAT IS U DOIN? and that BuzzFeed's sources are standing by their own story.In summary and in conclusion, Robert Mueller never made a statement to say no he did not have any evidence that Michael Cohen secretly went to Prague in late summer of 2016, as the Steele Dossier alleges in one of its juiciest unverified scoops, because that trip was allegedly to meet with Russians involved in the ratfucking of the election, and perhaps might have even included discussions of how to pay the hackers.Yeah.Remember how at the end of All The President's Men, Nixon had to resign in disgrace anyway, even though Woodward and Bernstein accidentally drew dicks all over one of their news stories? WOMP WOMP.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? 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- Trump Idiots 'Debunk' Michael Cohen Story By Shrieking HAW HAW BUZZFEED SUX!It's been a joy watching the reactions come in from TrumpWorld about the news that Donald Trump has committed YET ANOTHER CRIME, in this case suborning perjury by instructing his former lawyer thug fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. How many other people did he do that with? WE DUNNO! But that's not what this post is about.First of all, let's see what the big guy himself did. As with all presidential statements from the un-president, it happened on Twitter: Oh wait, that's (grapes) not it. Here it is: That's right, the president of the United States reacted to a bombshell news report exposing that he had tampered with a witness by suborning perjury by ... tampering with that witness some more in public, by threatening his father-in-law! (To be fair, Trump has been trying to intimidate the witness by encouraging the feds to investigate Cohen's father-in-law for a hot minute now. It's one of his things, like tweeting and pooping at the same time and comparing WALL to WHEEL.)We should add, not for nothing, that the Daily Mail is reporting (grain of salt) that Michael Cohen returned home to his apartment today with his arm in a sling and a black eye, wearing a hospital bracelet. And they have pictures! Personally, we are not seeing the "black eye," and there are a couple pics where it looks like his knuckles might be bloody, but who knows. For the record, his people say he had minor shoulder surgery today. Did Trump send somebody to rough him up, or was it a freelance job by one of the horse-fellating inbreds who still supports the president? Or did he just have surgery? WAS ONE OF THOSE HORSE-FELLATING INBREDS ALSO HIS NURSE? Dunno! Just letting you know it's out there.Anyway, so that is how Donald Trump is handling the news.In our morning post, we included some early reactions from the goons who populate Trump's orbit, which was funny, because literally nobody was denying the truth of the story. Rudy Giuliani's initial response, last night, was that if we believe KNOWN LIAR Michael Cohen, then he is going to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge for a bargain price. This, of course, intentionally ignored the fact that if you read the BuzzFeed article (a tall order for the average Trump supporter, we know), then you could see that Cohen was merely corroborating what Robert Mueller already knew, through interviewing other witnesses and reading internal emails and texts from the Trump Organization. Also, BuzzFeed's sources were two high-level law enforcement officials, not Michael Cohen. But those details didn't stop White House press dude Hogan Gidley -- yes, that is a real name, and is not the name of the lovable sidekick basset hound from an upcoming cartoon about a group of pedophile Klansmen -- who went on Fox News and explained what's really going on here: "... This is why the president refuses to give any credibility to news outlets ..."Fox News was like, "That's not a denial."" ... No, but the premise is ridiculous. We're also talking about a person, Michael Cohen, who, quite frankly, has now been proven to be a liar ..."Fox News was like, "That's not a denial.""... The president's attorneys already addressed this ..."Fox News was like, "That's not a denial." Also, at the time of that Hogan Gidley interview (HOGAN GIDLEY!), the only lawyerly statement from TrumpWorld was that horseshit above from Rudy Giuliani, so we guess that's what he meant when he said they had "addressed this."So, Gidley "refuted" the story by saying the fake news is stupid and Michael Cohen is a liar, even though Cohen wasn't the source for the story, ROBERT MUELLER'S RECEIPTS were the source of the story.Newt Gingrich gave it a try. (Newt Gingrich is also a real name.) We don't think Newtie really knows who or what a "BuzzFeed" is: Of course, if we were total dicks, we might point out that it sounds more like Newticles is talking about the National Enquirer than BuzzFeed News (which has been nominated for all the Pulitzers). You know, that rag Donald Trump committed campaign finance crimes with, by instructing Michael Cohen to have their Enquirer publisher pal David Pecker catch and kill stories from women claiming to have been mistresses to the man Russia cheated into the White House. Oh wait, we are total dicks, so we just pointed it out!Anyway, that was not a denial either.Kellyanne Conway went on Fox Business and attacked BuzzFeed's sources for being leakers, by saying BUZZFEED SUX, and by not denying the truth of the report. Indeed, the noise got so loud, attacking the sources, accusing Michael Cohen of being the source, attacking BuzzFeed as a news organization, and attacking the reporters individually, that BuzzFeed reporter Anthony Cormier, who shared a byline on the bombshell report, went on TV to yell at Trump idiots, for being idiots: He also went on BuzzFeed's morning news show (which is a thing!) to say it's "fucking bullshit" how stupid the president's supporters are, unable as they are to get it through their empty heads that Michael. Cohen. Was. Not. The. Fucking Source. At long last, though, we have a denial, maybe because fuckers on the internet couldn't stop pointing out how nobody in TrumpWorld had actually denied that Trump committed this crime. Of course, it came from Rudy Giuliani, a man with a broken brain and no reputation left to uphold: Dipshit still hasn't read the article.Anyway, doesn't Rudy Giuliani denying a thing usually mean Rudy Giuliani will accidentally admit to the same thing a few days/weeks/months/minutes later on live television? IT DOES.Oh golly, whom should we believe? The piles of human-animal hybrid excrement that surround President Russian Agent Unindicted Co-Conspirator, or excellent news reporters from BuzzFeed?IT IS A MYSTERY AND A CONUNDRUM.Anyway, see if you can answer that question in this, your OPEN THREAD.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Trump: Me, Impeached? LOOK, A TERRORIST PRAYER RUG!President Grampa took to the Twitter Machine to again make the case that we need WALL to protect us from all the scary terrorists streaming into our country, repeating a completely hearsay story from the rightwing Washington Examiner about a rancher in New Mexico who says she has personally seen a lot of "Muslim prayer rugs" discarded in the desert. It's simply logic: Scary Muslim terrists are secretly infiltrating our country through the southern border, and we can tell because they casually cast aside their extremist Muslim religious accoutrements for any rando to find. That suggests either terribly lax operational security on the part of the terrists, or maybe just proves how brazen they are, leaving their jihad rugs right out for anyone to see. There's a third possibility, which is that people are repeating some serious bullshit fresh from the border panic of 2014, and insisting any random scrap of fabric in the desert is a "prayer rug." But come on, that's surely a stretch. Errebody knows Obama allowed ISIS to operate "22 training camps" right here in the USA, and how else would all those terrists get here if not by sneaking up from the border, except not very sneakily? Here's Trump's dumb tweet about those scary prayery rugs: The Washington Examiner piece is awfully long on assertions and awfully short on evidence. The paper spoke to a rancher living in Animas, New Mexico, not far from the Lordsburg Port of Entry (where seven-year-old Jakeline Caal was detained before dying of dehydration last month). The rancher, who "asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by cartels," explained she has heard from trustworthy Border Patrol agents that there are just OODLES of Middle Easterners crossing the border these days. Look, here is some shocking video of her not showing us any terrorists or their prayer rugs either! So I obviously don't have any proof of it, but I've talked to several agents that I trust [...] the percentage of what Border Patrol classifies as OTM [other than Mexicans] has really increased in the last couple years, but drastically within the last six months. Chinese, Germans, Russians, a lot of Middle Easterns, Middle Easterners, those Czechoslovakians they caught over on our neighbor's just last summer.Yes, yes, "Czechoslovakia" ceased to be in 1993, but don't nitpick, they were from around that part of the Soviet Union anyway is her point.In any case, she KNOWS there are terrorists coming in, because she lives there and that's how she knows.There's a lot of people coming in from not just from Mexico. People, the general public, just don't get the terrorist facts of that. That's what's really scary. You don't know what's coming across. We've found prayer rugs out here. It's unreal. It's not just Mexican nationals that are coming over.Well, no, she's never actually seen anyone like that, though she has occasionally seen Messicans and Central Americans, but she knows the terrorists are there because she knows they're there. SHE HAS SEEN PRAYER RUGS!Oh, but never, like, brought one out of the desert, because physical evidence is hard to do. Maybe she worries about getting blowed up by a Muslim prayer rug booby trap, for all we know.Besides, the Liberal Media would just mock her, like the liberal media mocked Breitbart in 2014 for deciding a "Muslim prayer rug" wasn't really what you'd call a "shirt." As Adam Weinstein, then with Gawker, noted, the Muslim Prayer Rug looked to be made out of torn shirt material and 1) had a waist hemline, 2) sleeve openings, and 3) had a pattern that looked a lot to him like an Adidas knock-off soccer jersey for Arsenal F.C. As Weinstein noted on the Twitters today, the resurfacing of that old bullshirt as 2019 executive office gospel would have provoked a bit of a stress reaction in his 2014 self: As we pointed out at the time, though, just because it wasn't proof of ISIS infiltration, there was still plenty of reason for fear, because what if our borders are being overrun by dangerous English footy hooligans????In any case, now that the guy with the nuclear codes is recycling old bullshit from the border panic of 2014, we can only assume he'll also demand to know why this guy with an ISIS logo on his outfit is still running around free after being photographed in a Houston deli. As the geniuses who posted that thing back in 2014 noted, when you ENHANCE (or really, add in a stock image) that blurry logo, it's clearly an ISIS uniform, which your average ISIS infiltrator wears out in public while plotting terrorism. Also, burglars in their world wear little black masks black and white striped tops, and carry sacks of money with dollar bill signs on 'em. Oh, yeah, and about those "22 ISIS training camps" Trump insisted Obama was allowing to operate in the USA. You might think that, once he became "president," they'd have all been raided? Or maybe someone finally told him it was all bullshit based on a 2005 white-collar crime report about financial crimes in the '80s and '90s, some of which were related to fundraising for foreign radicals. Sorry, no infiltrators to arrest. Not that mere reality gets in the way -- after that weirdass New Mexico child abuse case last summer, the wingnuttosphere all said, SEE!? 22 JIHADI TRAINING CAMPS! because no bad idea ever truly goes away. Or perhaps he'll start yammering about the Tucson "sex trafficker camp" that was nothing of the sort.Oh, shit, now we've probably reminded Trump of the New Mexico thing and the "rape trees." Sorry, America.[Washington Examiner / Gawker / Politico / WaPo]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. If you don't donate, the terrorists win. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Anti-Choicers, Ben Shapiro March For Their Own Stunning Lack Of Self-AwarenessToday, a large group of people who care about children in literally no other contexts are taking to the streets of Washington DC to demand that women be forced to give birth against their will. They call it the March for Life, and this year it's packed with even more irony and less self-awareness than usual. Get this -- their theme this year is SCIENCE. In the spirit of the march, Mitch McConnell, who has been missing for days and has claimed it would be pointless to vote on any bill during the government shutdown, who has refused to even hear any bills to reopen the government, finally decided to make his way to the Senate floor to cast a pointless, symbolic vote to make the Hyde Amendment permanent. You know the Hyde Amendment. It's the extremely gross one that makes it so those who get their healthcare from the federal government -- those on Medicare/Medicaid, veterans and those currently in the military, federal employees, Native Americans, and those in the Peace Corps -- cannot have any part of their abortions covered by their health care. This is something the Republicans do each year, and each year it doesn't happen. This year, it also did not happen. The bill, which would need 60 votes to pass, got only 47.OI' Turtleface does not give a flying shit about all the federal workers who are going without pay -- many of whom probably even have babies -- but he will sure as hell show up for a bullshit vote to show the anti-choice crowd how excited he is about making sure the poors are denied access to basic reproductive care. Nice! As mentioned, the theme of this year's march is SCIENCE and how being anti-choice is totally not at odds with SCIENCE. You know, even though they keep having to make up their own SCIENCE in order to make it harder to obtain abortions. They have to make shit up like "fetal pain" being a thing that can possibly even exist at 20 weeks gestation, that abortion is unsafe, that abortions can be reversed, etc. etc.Thus, to kick things off at the march, Ben "Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings" Shapiro gave a speech that many are describing as "five commercials for products sponsoring his podcast." And at some point he explained that pro-lifers would not even kill Baby Hitler, which is not a thing anyone has ever suggested they would do. They would, of course, let a whole lot of babies suffer in detention centers. They would let a lot of babies starve to death. They'd be totally cool with the babies not having health care and maybe dying as a result of that because then they'd be murdered by the invisible hand of the free market, and that doesn't count. Because the hand is invisible. Plus, if you don't let some babies die from lack of health care, then how will the other babies have any incentive to work hard and make money? Checkmate, liberals.Shapiro, because he loves facts and not feelings, explained to the Washington Post that his opposition to abortion is rooted in SCIENCE, not the Bible or his own feelings. "When I speak about abortion, I don't talk in terms of religion. I might make a spiritual appeal at the end," said Ben Shapiro, the popular conservative writer and podcast host who will be a featured speaker at Friday's rally. "I always speak in terms of logic and science. I've never cited the Bible."Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew — not the typical religious background of an antiabortion activist — and he insists that there's no science on the side of those who advocate for abortion rights. "I don't think they make scientific arguments. I think they make emotional appeals," he said. "I don't think there are very good scientific arguments on the other side, which is one of the reasons I'm not pro-choice. The basic scientific definition of human life begins at conception. That is the most basic scientific definition of human life."That is not, for the record, the basic scientific definition of human life. Ben Shapiro is not a scientist. He is a person who makes his living telling other people his feelings on things while screaming that his feelings are pure logic and reason. Also in the Washington Post today is an op-ed from "March for Life" founder Jeanne Mancini titled "The March for Life wants you, Democrats, but it's hard when your party has become so extreme."Too bad my invitation got lost in the fire I threw it in.Mancini seems to think that it is only the elected officials of the Democratic Party who support reproductive rights, and that they only do so because Planned Parenthood gives them so much money to do so. And that, as a result of this, Democrats don't want to go to their march. Democratic leadership has become so beholden to the pro-abortion lobby that they have aligned themselves with Planned Parenthood. The group is under investigation by the Justice Department related to the transfer and selling of aborted baby body parts, Politico reported in 2017.Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Planned Parenthood reportedly spent $38 million in the 2016 election cycle and $20 million toward the 2018 midterm elections to elect pro-abortion Democrats. And Democratic political affiliation has become tantamount to abortion-on-demand because of groups like NARAL and Emily's List, which pump tens of millions of dollars into the campaign coffers of pro-abortion Democrats.OH. Except the weird thing is that people actually vote for pro-choice politicians and against anti-choice politicians on purpose. Because they, as voters, believe that reproductive rights are good things and that it is a bad thing to force anyone to have a baby against their will. And no, they are not being paid by Planned Parenthood to believe that. In fact, many of us give our hard-earned dollars to Planned Parenthood, or volunteer with them, in hopes of protecting those reproductive rights. There are lots of clubs that would probably have me as a member. The Scientologists, the Hare Krishnas, even the Manson Family probably would have taken me, had I been alive at the time -- I could go on! But I don't join those clubs because those clubs are terrible and believe things that I do not believe. There's a Groucho Marx joke in there somewhere. I'd laugh at these people some more, but the fact is that we are in an incredibly precarious situation right now, and are on the verge of losing our reproductive rights thanks to the appointment of yet another accused sexual predator to the Supreme Court who will almost definitely vote to overturn Roe the very moment he has the opportunity to do so. So while these people may not know anything about SCIENCE (or anything else for that matter), it's likely that they're going to get their way sooner than later and we're going to have to start preparing for that. [Washington Post]Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Trump AG Nominee Bill Barr Should Have Kept His Big Mouth Shut About Obstruction Of JusticeHOW YOU LIVIN', BILL BARR? Still glad you sent that memo to the president's lawyers saying there's no obstruction unless the president actually suborns perjury? Still psyched for your fancy new DOJ job? Or are you maybe thinking you should have kept your fat mouth shut and not opined on a prosecution you didn't know anything about, because now you're totally boxed in between that rabid dog in the Oval and congressional Democrats who got you to own your shit on the record?Let's rewind the tape to June 2018, when former Bush Attorney General Bill Barr sends an unsolicited memo to Rod Rosenstein and Donald Trump's lawyers expounding his theory of the case in the Mueller investigation. Because Barr is a good samaritan, see, not at all because he's trying to get the AG job for himself. Without knowing any details of the case, Bill Barr is certain that it was opened because Donald Trump fired James Comey, and for no other reason. (IT WASN'T.) And because the president has the right to fire the FBI director, he can't possibly be obstructing justice when he does it. Ipso facto ergo hence, the entire investigation is illegitimate. And PS, NO COLLUSION.The President, as far as I know, is not being accused of engaging in any wrongful act of evidence impairment. Instead, Mueller is proposing an unprecedented expansion of obstruction law so as to reach facially-lawful actions taken by the President in exercising the discretion vested in him by the Constitution. Those Bushies have such a raging hard on for their theory of the unitary executive as a President God King. Like they didn't preside over the wholesale destabilization of the Middle East based on an obvious lie about "weapons of mass destruction" and then fuck up the 9-11 prosecutions by torturing all the witnesses at black sites. But we digress.Samaritan Barr was so sure of his uninformed conjecture about the Mueller predicate that he helpfully laid out examples of what REAL OBSTRUCTION would look like. Because obviously Donald Trump would never encourage a witness to lie like a common Clinton or Nixon, right?Obviously, the President and any other official can commit obstruction in this classic sense of sabotaging a proceeding's truth-finding function. Thus, for example, if a President knowingly destroys or alters evidence, suborns perjury, or induces a witness to change testimony, or commits any act deliberately impairing the integrity or availability of evidence, then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction. Indeed, the acts of obstruction alleged against Presidents Nixon and Clinton in their respective impeachments were all such "bad acts" involving the impairment of evidence. Which was a truly bizarre position to take last summer. How deep into the Fox noise bubble do you have to be to think in June of 2018 that it's simply inconceivable that Trump would have encouraged anyone to lie under oath? The man sent his lawyer to dangle pardons for Flynn and Manafort, who were then refusing to cooperate with the FBI investigation. He'd made up a cover story for Dipshit Jr. about the Trump Tower meeting involving BOUNCY RUSSIAN BABIES. He lied for a year about the Stormy Daniels payoff, even going so far as to sue her to keep her quiet. And yet, in Bill Barr's mind, it was UNPOSSIBLE that Donald Trump would encourage a witness to lie under oath. But the Uranium One thing, that was the real deal. Bill Barr is a man of his principles, though. He believed last summer that it was impossible that Donald Trump would commit "real" obstruction, and doggone it he still believes it now. Michael Cohen has admitted in open court that he committed campaign finance fraud at the direction of the president, he's admitted to lying to Congress about the timing of the Trump Tower Moscow deal -- a lie repeated almost verbatim by Trump's son in his own testimony -- and still Barr gets cornered by Democrats, promising to LOCK HER UP anyone who suborns perjury. Because when you prejudge the evidence, sight unseen, sometimes you wind up vouching to prosecute the guy who just nominated you to lead the Justice Department. Remind us again, BuzzFeed:President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.Womp womp!Not for nothing, but what are the odds that Don Jr. just happened to tell Congress the same story about the Trump Tower Moscow deal dying in 2014 or 2015 of "deal fatigue" that Michael Cohen did, when in fact it went on through summer of 2016 and the whole family was briefed on it to the minutest detail? COUNSEL FOR SEN. FEINSTEIN: We've discussed the Agalarov family, Emin and his father Aras. Do you know if they were also exploring building a Trump Tower in Moscow? DON JR.: We had looked at it earlier than that, but it sort of faded away I believe at the end of '14 . COUNSEL: But not in 2015 or 2016? DON JR.: Certainly not '16 . There was never a definitive end to it. It just died of deal fatigue . No wonder DJ has been saying for months that he expects to get indicted any minute.And while we're on the subject, wonder how Trump responded to this question posed by Robert Mueller in April, assuming Trump's real lawyers allowed him to answer it: What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?Because either he told the truth, contradicting the congressional testimony of his son and his lawyer, or he didn't. And lying on your take-home assignment from Robert Mueller is a crime. Some might even call it "real" obstruction of justice. Some being guys who are just about to be confirmed as Attorney General of the United States who stuck their flabby necks out and promised to prosecute presidents who tamper with witnesses and suborn perjury. So get out those violins for the new AG, y'all. Enjoy the next two years of mean tweets and coordinated rightwing smears, Bill Barr, assuming Trump isn't so crazy as to pull your nomination right now. U R SO FUCKT.[Barr Memo / BuzzFeed / Don Jr. Testimony / Lawfare / NYT]Follow your FDF on Twitter!You liking these lawsplainers? Well click here to keep 'em coming. We have a feeling there will be more -- call it women's intuition!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Cardi B: Obamacare Helped Get Your P*ssy Checked!The government of the United States has been shut the hell down for a cool minute now. It's so bad that cracks are finally beginning to show even amongst Trump's broke ass farmers, while even people who HAVE money, like Cardi B, are becoming concerned as hell about government workers not getting paid. For 28 days (and counting) our president has been bumbling around DC in utter and complete failmode. With Nancy Pelosi busy at the moment trying to keep Trump from siccing actual terrorists on her, Cardi B decided to step up and try her hand at the Democratic Party pastime of completely owning Trump. In her minute-long rant, she hits important topics in politics like: Obama and previous shutdowns, Trump and racism, economic anxiety and social justice; healthcare topics like high blood pressure, and most important of all? How much easier it is to get your p*ssy checked out under Obamacare than it was before. She can tell you better than I can, let's watch. Cardi B Speaks On The Government Shut Down http://www.youtube.com From WaPo: "Hey Y'all. I just wanna remind you, because it's been a little bit over three weeks, okay. Trump is now ordering, as in summonsing, federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid." An issue that comes up often in the music of Cardi B is her damn money being exactly where it's supposed to be. Cardi B, just like many Americans, knows the sick emptiness and cold dread that accompanies genuine economic anxiety. The look on her face when she snapped about Trump asking telling ORDERING people back to work with no pay reflects on millions of faces across the nation. "Now, I don't want to hear y'all . . . talking about, 'Oh, but Obama shutdown the government for 17 days.' Yeah! . . . For health care! So your grandma could check her blood pressure!" Um, I clearly heard "so you b*tches could go check y'alls p*ssies at the mutha fuckin' gynecologist with no muthafuckin problems," right after that line about Grandma's blood pressure, WaPo. This was a problematic omission; we have a reported record high STD rate in the country right now, so she was being dead ass serious about the importance of getting regular women's reproductive health check-ups. Get your p*ssies checked out, ladies. "Our country is in a hellhole right now. All for a f‐‐‐ing wall. I feel like we need to take some action. I don't know what type of action, b‐‐‐‐, because this is not what I do. But b‐‐‐‐, I'm scared. This is crazy. And I really feel bad for these people that gotta go to f‐‐‐ing work to not get motherf‐‐‐ing paid." There comes a moment when each person has their own personal epiphany about Trump and it scares the living shit out of them. Realizing that your president is a fucking idiot who is also maliciously out of touch and vainglorious is enough to send even the strongest of women into a catatonic state. Not only is he willing to watch Barb and Bob Everyman suffer, willing to risk the economy crashing, and willingly losing popularity with his own base, but he also pretends the nation is totally on his side! Trump is lying, of course. The nation isn't on his side at all. But one person did kinda sorta maybe pick up some support from our Democratic legislators for her epic rant: Cardi B. After her rant took over Twitter, Senators Schumer, Schatz, and Murphy could NOT decide if it was appropriate to retweet Cardi B or not because -- gasp! Profanity. Oh, that's cute. But already, the voices of the Mediocre Man Brigade are pleading for her to STAY OUT OF POLITICS! From Independent: "Soo many people under my comments talking about I shouldn't talk politics ,I don't know what I'm talking about , I'm dumb ! Well I know a little something something.. I know 800,000 federal government workers won't be getting paid till the shutdown is over and government assistants program are shutdown as well as in NO WELFARE , NO WIC,SECTION 8. PAY ATTENTION !!! This can go on for months and it will affect our homes and Country." On the strength of that post alone, I'm already willing to replace Susan Collins with Cardi B, who obviously pays close attention to how politics affects her community, especially those who are in the most need. Fundamentally, Rap has always been a musical genre of politically minded storytelling that focuses on social issues, like poverty, that affect the black community on the micro and the macro levels. It's not surprising that someone like Miss Cardi B would speak out about the shutdown, ESPECIALLY since this shutdown is making everybody's money extra funny. Don't be surprised the next time she speaks out against the wishes of those who would prefer she " stick to rapping" or says she knows nothing. Cardi B says what she wants when she wants to. Respect it. And check your p*ssy. [ WaPo / Independent] How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Missouri Rep. Demands California Rep. 'Go Back To Puerto Rico,' Where He Is Not FromIt's been an embarrassing week for Republicans and the voters who pretend they aren't racist. The House voted Tuesday to reprimand relative-of-abolitionists Steve King for his latest in a long series of racist remarks. Concerned op-eds were written about how these racist incidents were distracting from the GOP's platform of starving people of all races. Then came Thursday and a Republican made another "racially charged" comment on the House floor. "Racially charged" is the media's favorite euphemism for "racist," because racism is actually the electric current powering the modern GOP. Missouri Rep. Jason Smith shouted, "Go back to Puerto Rico" at Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas, who was at the podium waiting to speak during a voice vote on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. Cárdenas is a representative from California, which is not in Puerto Rico. We checked. "I was shocked, because I often heard those kinds of comments when I was a kid growing up in Pacoima, California, where I was born and raised," Cárdenas said in an email. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer noted the outburst and said, "I'm not sure what's going on, but I object." (This is also a common form of pillow talk from Mike Pence.) "I would hope that we could refrain from any implications which have any undertones of prejudice or racism or any kind of 'ism' that would diminish the character … of any of our fellow members," the Maryland Democrat said. Jesus, do they pay this guy by the word? His loquaciousness could render upon oneself an ache in the cephalic region. "No racist shit, please" is the most cogent retort. But poor Hoyer was distraught. Didn't the House just send a white supremacist member to his room without supper? Now more members are acting out. Whatever happened to old values, fine morals, and good breeding? Now nobody even says "oops" when hurling tired old "go back to where you belong" racist rhetoric. Cárdenas said Smith called him to apologize. However, Smith's public response through his communications director, Joey Brown, argued that his remarks were aimed at "all the Democrats who were down vacationing in Puerto Rico last weekend during the shutdown, not any individual." Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico not even a year and a half ago. The Trump administration botched its response to the disaster through a fatal combination of incompetence and malice. People are still hurting there. All our politicians should regularly visit Puerto Rico -- certainly more so than, say, Iowa. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus that Cárdenas leads organized last weekend's trip to Puerto Rico, but it's unlikely they were "vacationing" there. It's a pretty "racially charged" implication that Hispanics are goofing off on the beach while federal workers "at home" suffer. It also reduces Puerto Rico, a functioning part of the US, to just a holiday spot where people make questionable decisions on girls' weekends. Conservatives also react this way whenever a Democrat visits Hawaii. Sure, unlike certain red states, there's more to do than just visit the gift shop at Cracker Barrel, but that doesn't mean any trip to Hawaii or Puerto Rico is inherently frivolous. Republicans acted like Barack Obama made up family in Hawaii so he could bilk sunny vacations from the US taxpayer. Kellyanne Conway jibed Nancy Pelosi for going to Hawaii during the government shutdown: "Less hula, more moola," she said because she is a moron. Hawaii has telephones and wi-fi. It's perfectly legal to work on the lanai outside your condo (we can confirm). Dave Wiegel at the Washington Post reported that lawmakers flew to Puerto Rico as Donald Trump was considering ways to raid hurricane relief funds to pay for construction of stupid WALL. That is the greater offense, not Democrats seeing "Hamilton" or relaxing on a beach. There is downtime during almost all work-related trips. Politicians clogging their arteries with assorted meats on sticks at the Iowa State Fair is an admittedly high price to pay to launch a presidential campaign, but it's still just as much an appreciation of the "local culture" as actually enjoying yourself in Puerto Rico or Hawaii.Besides, if Republicans wanted Democrats back in DC hard at work, why would Smith shout, "Go back to Puerto Rico"?Cárdenas, who we repeat is from California, is right there in room with him. It's like Smith wants two things or he's just being racist. Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.Yr Wonkette is supported ONLY by reader donations! We love you! You pay our rent.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Nancy Pelosi Was Going To Go To Afghanistan Anyway, But Trump F*cked That Up TooOn Thursday, Donald Trump finally retaliated against Nancy Pelosi for canceling his stupid gross State of the Union address, by canceling her CODEL to Brussels and Afghanistan, literally while she and the delegation were on the way to the airport. Because you can do a lot of things during a government shutdown, but you definitely can't go visit the troops! "FUCK NANCY PELOSI and FUCK THE TROOPS," Trump seemed to be saying. In his letter, he said Pelosi and her delegation were, of course, free to fly commercially to Afghanistan if they wanted to. We guess he thought he was being cute.The speaker of the House is not supposed to fly commercially for things like this. That change was made after 9/11, for security reasons, because the speaker is second in line to the presidency. But they have some leeway on when and if they want to use military jets and when they don't, and after Trump's announcement yesterday, Pelosi took him up on his dare. That's right, they were going to go anyway, because eat shit, Mister President, trips like this aren't "public relations events" or "excursions," they are vital for national security, at least when nobody named "Trump" is on the trip. (Don't worry, they didn't just spend their airline miles on a Delta flight to Kabul. They were chartering a plane.)But according to Pelosi's deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill, they had to scrap those plans too, because Trump leaked them, thereby endangering their security and potentially putting the troops in Afghanistan in danger, all because President BabyShits HAD A UPSET. So first of all, Trump put Pelosi's travel plans in danger by announcing the existence of the trip, albeit when he was canceling it. Then the Trump administration leaked the new travel plans to reporters, which Team Pelosi found out when reporters started asking them questions. (If you're curious how the Trump administration knew about the new plans, it's because the State Department still has to write the check for the travel, even if they charter a plane, according to the Daily Beast.)As we said, what a fucking baby the president is. And it may be that Trump really didn't want Pelosi going on this trip in the first place. We've been hearing a lot lately about how President Russian Asset has been wanting to destroy the West by pulling America out of NATO, and Pelosi's first stop in Brussels was to be a meeting with NATO leaders and our own military commanders, to reaffirm that America isn't going anywhere, no matter what that motherfucker says. He may be president -- and the clock is ticking on how long that's going to last -- but he certainly ain't the king. After that, they would have headed to Afghanistan, where Pelosi and the rest of the delegation would get intel briefings on what was happening on the ground, and just generally give thanks and support to the troops, in a place where Trump has never visited, and where, as the Daily Beast reports, morale is extremely low.Troops on the ground viewed the Pelosi trip as a chance to gain an inroad with someone, especially the highest ranking member of the House, in the U.S. government who could see the need to keep U.S. troops in the country. The announcement of [Trump's decision to pull 7,000 troops out of Afghanistan without a strategy or a plan] has significantly lowered morale among officials and soldiers.Indeed, due to Donald Trump's actions, morale is pretty low all over the military, after his stupid-ass Twitter announcement that he was pulling troops out of Syria without a plan put the troops in danger there -- oh look, there was an ISIS bombing that killed Americans this week! -- and after he used the troops as a political stunt during the midterm elections, sending them to the border for no fucking reason besides to act as props. Indeed, CNN reports that senior military officials are coming to them (speaking anonymously, of course) to tell them how fucked up shit is.We can't imagine why the new speaker of the House might want to get on an airplane and go see what she can do to reassure the troops that this, too, shall pass. Oh well! At least Melania got to go to Mar-a-Lago yesterday, on a military jet! None of this is OK, and none of this is normal. President Shitbaby literally put the person second in line to the presidency in danger, and he put the troops in Afghanistan in danger, because his thin-skinned feelings GOT HURTED. You'd think that with this, and in light of everything else we've learned lately -- from how Trump is probably literally a Russian asset all the way to how we now know he's ordered at least one of his subordinates to lie under oath, and probably many more -- that Congress and/or Trump's cabinet might want to deal with this situation immediately. And by "situation," we mean the continued status of Trump as president, and by "immediately," we mean that trashball motherfucker should be packing his bags by close of business today.Sadly, we are not holding our breath.UPDATE: Pelosi spoke to reporters about the day's events, and she was asked if Trump did this in retaliation for her canceling his State of the Union address. Her response was FIRE. We saw it on TV, so just read our tweet: Will add video if we see some!Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Mike Huckabee Brings The SexIf you're the sort of reader who enjoys the comedic Twitter Stylings of Mike Huckabee, you'll be delighted that some guy on Twitter called attention this week to the hilariously funny content on Huckabee's talk show on cable backwater TBN, gilded-toilet home of the Crouches. It's just like reading the failed presidential candidate's Twitter feed for an hour, only with a house band. Huckabee's show has been around since 2017, but we only watched the current episode thanks to the thread from some socialist calling himself "Endless Bummer," in which we're treated to some prime examples of great bland comedy. So of course we watched a recent full episode of the show for the week of January 12, 2019, although the look and feel is more late-night chat from 1992. Huckabee kicked off with a touching, sincere monologue about how most Americans are nice people wanting to go good, and isn't it sad too many of us get caught up in politics and partisanship? Then Huck -- please, call him Huck! -- moved to his desk and condemned crazy Democrats for wanting to impeach a duly elected president over nothing. Nobody seemed to notice the instant shift in tone, because why would they? He interviewed Alan Dershowitz, who's flogging a book about how impeachment might actually be illegal. Weirdly, the split-screen parts of the remote interview were framed over a looping video of clouds rolling by, as if Huck and Dershowitz were at 35,000 feet. OR MAYBE IN HEAVEN. Huck then interviewed a 9/11 first responder who was very patriotic, and segued into a funny news review about funny news, like a guy whose tattooed confession of all his infidelities not only didn't save his marriage, but also included several misspellings! There was also this amusing piece about a dumb guy who tried to steal a locked bike from in front of a police station, with a video camera recording the whole thing. Talk about comedy! Your browser does not support the video tag. Huck followed that with a story about selfie injuries, including a guy who died when he fell into the ocean from a cruise ship. "They got a great shot if the phone is waterproof, I guess." The audience merely chuckled at the man's hilarious death, so Huck repeated the line and emphasized waterproof, and the camera panned over the audience, who finally noticed the "Please Clap" sign. Then comedian Dennis Swanberg did a few minutes of evangelical standup, or as Huckabee described it, "Sharing his joyous and funny outlook on life and faith." This clip is a pretty good example: He plays off his deep-South accent ("Doily" is a funny word!!) a lot and makes very mild observational jokes about things that probably won't upset anyone much -- haha, millennials don't know cursive! Edgy! Your browser does not support the video tag. Swanberg also talked about his experience at Baylor University, which was a culture shock for him since he was raised Methodist and Baylor is a Baptist school:I'd watched Babtists all my life, and they go to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday night, Wednesday night, you know, prayer, meetin' -- I don't know when they find time to sin, but they do, they're very creative. Babtists are gonna get sin in. His drawl is a big part of the act -- sounds like he said "Babtists are gonna get CNN." But fortunately, Baptists at Baylor didn't turn out to be really weird and exotic, like maybe they'd all speak in Latinesque plainsong and cross themselves -- a bit he acts out and follows with "I just made some Catholics happy." But naw, They were normal. They didn't dance much back then. But the girls kissed real good. [grins and gives a thumbs-up] And I felt led to join up. I'd rather smooch than dance any day, I don't know about y'all. Next thing I knew, they had me in the baptismal pool, the baptismal poool [Like "doily," it's all about exaggerating his drawl here], and they wouldn't let me up until I said "tithe."It's all about as cutting-edge as the mild jokes of the Babylon Bee: safe for families and the sort of "good clean fun" that you can repeat in church without anyone getting too upset. Swanberg did some impressions, too, like a passable Bill Clinton: "Pray for Hillary. But do not email her at this time." On the interview couch, Swanberg pitched his book, which is about about finding joy in everyday life, and gosh, he's probably going to sell a few of those, isn't he? Huck had a pitch too: You can join him this August for a Baltic Sea cruise, with stops in Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, and if there's anything more depressing than the idea of taking a cruise with Mike Huckabee fans, we don't want to think about it. Next up, a hard-hitting news segment called "Facts of the Matter," because every bit of this show has segment names that could come from an SNL parody of talk teevee. Huckabee corrects all the liberal bias in the news! OMG, this is hard-hitting stuff, as the initial tweet by "Endless Bummer" points out: And what "bat-poop crazy" things did the Democrats do? Why, within hours of being sworn in, they "filed articles of impeachment," moved to "abolish the Electoral College," and OMG that Muslin lady said a SWEAR! So horrible and nasty! Also, Pelosi is a madwoman for suggesting she has any claim to power. "You'd think she'd at least know the difference between a president and a representative, having lived through 20 presidential elections. Add that up." Haha, she is SO OLD!Oh, and then there's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is SO YOUNG! Her radical "Green New Deal" will "vastly bloat the government, crush individual freedom, blow trillions of dollars, and remake America into a socialist utopia." And yeah, he followed that with more lies about how marginal tax rates work. Folks, God only demands I give ten percent! Liberals say I only get to KEEP ten percent! I'm just glad they're not God, even if they think they are.Hey, what does God say about bearing false witness? Huck explained that all those crazy taxes will surely swing Congress to the Rs, and big applause. Funny, seems all those terrible Dems who are bat-poop insane are women. Probably mere coincidence!The show wrapped up with the culture-war story of Jim Riley, a "living history" farm operator who's being CENSORED by two California school districts. They decided to stop taking kids on field trips to his Revolutionary and Civil War-era reenactment shows merely because he "expressed conservative opinions in his personal time." Oh, the monstrous political correctness and viewpoint discrimination! Huckabee said Riley is now "teaching them a lesson about free speech with a little lawsuit" against the schools, hooray! And what were Riley's simple expressions of conservative views on social media? Riley said nothing in his educational programs is remotely political or offensive, but he had stirred up the PC left by "expressing NRA opinions and conservative opinions" on his personal Twitter account, and is now being discriminated against for loving America so much. He's not indoctrinating kids at his little farm, so what's the big deal and why are these awful school districts trying to drive him out of business? Not quite mentioned on the Huckashow: The school officials didn't simply decide a guy had to be punished for his free speech; the schools suspended the field trips because parents complained about the tweets. And how about those tweets! Oh, look, some examples from his now-deleted account, where he offers "satirical" comments on Stormy Daniels, "Black Supremacy," those pussy teens protesting guns (and FREEDOM), and Elizabeth Warren, who thinks she's A INDIAN, woo-woo-woo, hey-ah-hey-ah, HAW HAW WAR PAINT. You can find more of Riley's amusing, no big deal conservative views in this article about his $11 million lawsuit against the schools. He gripes about "the shrew-cackle of some far left feminists with daddy issues," the need to "Let the teachers teach, by showing the kids how to kill a bad guy," and disparaging dumb liberals as "special needs children who need to be indulged" (always a good look for a guy running an "educational" attraction).The school districts argue no, their decision to choose different places to take kids on field trips isn't stopping Riley from expressing a damn thing, but they're under no obligation to patronize his business, seeing as how it's a private enterprise, not part of the school system. Doesn't look to us like Riley has much of a First Amendment case, since nothing obliges schools to keep doing business with him. Also, gosh, why didn't Huck read any of Riley's actual tweets to the audience? Bet they'd have HOWLED with approving laughter at the Elizabeth Warren one. In conclusion, Mike Huckabee's show sucks but now we have a TBN login; hope they don't mind the password includes "666," the end. ["Endless Bummer" on Twitter / TBN (account required) / San Jose Mercury News / Claremont Courier]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money so we can keep bringing you the finest reviews of rightwing comedy. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Impotent Mosquitos Could Help End Malaria, Insert Bob Dole Viagra Joke My God We're So OldSomeone who contracts malaria can typically expect a complete recovery with proper and timely medical intervention. However, even with that being the case, malaria still kills over 400,000 worldwide and infects over 200 million people a year. There are efforts from multiple organizations to bring these numbers down, and progress IS happening. In the year 2000, the WHO estimates that 985,000 people died, so in just under 20 years we've managed to knock deaths down 60%. Looking at the chart below, you can see it's a combination of both knocking down the incidence and the mortality. The former seems to be attributed to a massive campaign to provide insecticide-treated nets to areas where malaria occurs and the latter to making treatments more easily available. Percherie - CHU de Rouen - Paludisme en Amérique CHU de Rouen - Paludisme en Afrique CHU de Rouen - Paludisme en AsieWhile treatments are effective, getting them to patients in the poor countries where most malaria cases occur can be a challenge. Preventing the infection in the first place has an obvious advantage, but while vaccine projects are active, there are no effective ones yet. Physical barriers like nets and programs to bring mosquito populations down have obviously been successful, but now, the smarties at Target Malaria have a cool new approach that might wipe the nasty disease off the face of the Earth. Let's get to that after a quick primer on malaria itself.Malaria is a disease caused by single-celled little pendejos that hitch a ride in a mosquito and when THAT little pendejo bites you, they get in your blood stream and infect you. Now, this will be important later (so PLEASE PAY ATTENTION BITCHES!), but only the female mosquitos will carry the parasite. Maybe there's a motherhood joke to be made here somewhere but I don't want to come off as a sexist dick so I'll leave that for you all to make in the comments. The single-celled little pendejos come in a variety of flavors but all are part of the plasmodium genus. Once in your bloodstream, they get to your liver, infect it and replicate like crazy there. They then send more pendejos BACK into the bloodstream where they fuck up your red blood cells. A picture is worth … NIHThe general symptoms are flu-like, but the signature one that may give you a clue you have malaria is a cyclical pattern of sudden coldness, chills and then fever that repeats every two or three days. Some species of the plasmodium hit you with the two-day cycle and some with the three-day one. P. falciparum is a particularly nasty pendejo in the bunch that causes malaria. This guy causes most of the most serious cases with complications and nastier symptoms. By extension, it also causes most of the deaths. Another hallmark symptom is seen in severe cases where the patient has a pronounced yellow skin, which is why malaria got the name "yellow fever."Bonus trivia! Sickle cell disease evolved as a way to fight malaria. There is a wealth of info out there on malaria so if you want to read more about it, here are a couple of good starting points.WHO Malaria ReportMalaria Atlas ProjectNow back to smarties at Target Malaria. From their "Who We Are" web page:Target Malaria is a not-for-profit research consortium that aims to develop and share technology for malaria control.Target Malaria started as university-based research programme and has grown to include scientists, stakeholder engagement teams, risk assessment specialists and regulatory experts from Africa, North America and Europe.Target Malaria receives core funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from the Open Philanthropy Project Fund, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.They organize themselves into various types of teams, but the one working on the sterile mosquito project is one of the "science" teams. Yeah, I know they are not really impotent since they don't have tiny mosquito penises, but "sterile" isn't as funny in a title meant to pique your interest, so yes, I'm guilty of clickbait.Their end goal is to create genetically modified mosquitos so that when they get it on, the result is that 90% of their offspring are male. If they can make that the dominant breed in the wild, well man, that would really cut down the incidence of malaria since only 10% of the mosquitos could infect you, rather than 50%. Wait, why is that? Seriously? I TOLD YOU TO PAY ATTENTION IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH. Anyway, Target Malaria isn't quite there yet, but they ARE ready for phase I of their project. Sometime this year, they will release 10,000 sterile, male mosquitos in Bana, a small town in Burkina Faso, a country with the third highest malaria mortality rate. Now a bunch of male mosquitos that can't produce little babies may be a great selling point for mosquitos that want a relationship but don't really want to have kids, but how will that help fight malaria? Well, it won't directly. This is a monitoring exercise only. Like a dry run for when the genetically modified critters are ready. The researchers will follow the mosquitos for 10 days after release and then monthly for up to a year. If things go well, and they convince the local authorities that they did, then that clears the path for step two, releasing the ones that should bring female population way down. This tech could potentially be applied to other mosquito borne diseases like Dengue fever and Zika, so let's hope it all goes well!And no zombies.Wonkette is 100 percent funded by readers like YOU. Keep us going! Money please! How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Trump Told Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress. Is That Bad?Everybody knows Donald Trump is a shady dumpsterfuck mobster wannabe, and we've always assumed we would eventually find out he tampered with and threatened witnesses in the Russia investigation, because he's a shady dumpsterfuck mobster wannabe. So in that way, last night's breaking news from BuzzFeed isn't surprising at all -- that Trump literally told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project he was pursuing during the 2016 campaign, while lying repeatedly to the public and saying he had no business in Russia, NO RUSSIA, NO RUSSIA, YOU ARE THE RUSSIA. If you need a recap, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a deal Trump was pursuing to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, a deal that in and of itself raises many questions about whether it was part of the quid pro quo for Russia helping Trump steal the White House. Cohen told Congress that negotiations for the project had ended long before the campaign really got going, specifically before the Iowa caucuses; that Trump only ever discussed the deal with him three little tiny times and that he himself had only barely mentioned it to the kids; that he never considered going to Russia to work on the deal during the campaign, and that moreover, Trump had also never considered going to Russia to meet Putin about the deal during the campaign; and that he had only had limited contacts with the Kremlin about the deal after January of 2016. All of this was lies. The project was ongoing during the campaign, Trump's family was in on it, there was all kinds of talk of Cohen and Trump going to Moscow, and the Kremlin was heavily involved, specifically Kremlin figure Dmitry Peskov, Putin's right-hand man, all the way up to at least summer of 2016, when things started to fall apart for some reason. (Peskov also shows up in the Steele Dossier as the person who allegedly held the keys to the kingdom when it came to the Kremlin's plan to ratfuck the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton.)Oh yeah, and remember how the Trumps were going to give Vladimir Putin the $50 million penthouse in the tower, as a bribe to pay down part of their loan as a very normal gift?BuzzFeed is reporting that Trump was looped in on this entire process, that he and Cohen met at least TEN TIMES about the project, and that Trump literally directed Cohen to tell those lies to Congress, which is called suborning perjury, which is in any sane world an impeachable offense. Wingnuts on the internet and Rudy Giuliani are already saying, "OH YEAH, U GON BELIEVE A KNOWN LAHR LIKE MICHAEL COHEN?" This is because they are commenting on the article before reading the article, in which BuzzFeed specifically says its sources are "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter" and that they have texts and emails.More:Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. "Make it happen," the sources said Trump told Cohen.Trump knew ALL OF IT, and so did the Trump children, specifically Vanky and Dipshit Junior, whom BuzzFeed's sources say received "very detailed updates" on the project. (Of course they did. It was never plausible that they didn't. ALL TRUMP ORGANIZATION PROJECTS INVOLVE THE SPAWN.) We'd say the kids should start setting aside money for their commissary accounts in prison, but we don't want to unfairly assume the Trump family has enough money in the monthly budget to do that.Trump knew Cohen was dealing with the Kremlin, Trump was all in to travel to Moscow to meet Putin, he knew EVERYTHING. (If you remember from Cohen's guilty plea, his partner Felix Sater was working to make both the trips happen, for Cohen and for Trump. Cohen was supposed to go during the summer to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, and Trump was hoping to go see Putin after the Republican Convention.)BuzzFeed's sources say Michael Cohen told Robert Mueller's very good investigators that Trump told him to lie about all this, in order to keep the cover-up going. But the sources also say Mueller found out about this "through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents." In other words, Cohen was just confirming what Mueller already knew, affirming the well-known fact that if Mueller asks you a question, he already knows the answer. (This is the real reason Trump doesn't want to sit down for a real interview with Mueller, because Trump would lie his ass off, and Mueller would PERJURY TRAP him, by being aware Trump was lying.)Anyway, the point is that Mueller has the fucking receipts on everything. Longtime Trump Organization accountant Allen Weisselberg has been cooperating with the feds for-fucking-ever, and Mueller has Trump and his family dead to rights on this, and probably a thousand other things. And hey, just a guess, but maybe his is just a tiny piece of why Robert Mueller's team was way happier with Michael Cohen than the Southern District of New York was, in the filings they submitted for Cohen's sentencing. It sure sounds like Cohen gave up some goods!As BuzzFeed notes, this is not the first example we have of Trump obstructing the various investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 election and his campaign's conspiracies to help them interfere. Of COURSE it's not. He obstructs justice on Twitter at least once a week! But it's the first time we have Trump specifically telling witnesses to lie about his connections to Russia, in a verifiable way where we can point and say, "Yes, for sure, that happened." (There's public reporting that suggests we may also know of another instance of this specific behavior, though, regarding how it came to be that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, lied to members of the Trump transition/administration, and lied to the public about his secret negotiations with the Russian ambassador over lifting sanctions. It all kinda points to Trump directing the lies, from Mar-a-Lago. WHOA IF TRUE.)How many other times has Trump done this? We don't know, but we are going to guess the answer is ALL OF THEM KATIE, and that there are many more revelations like this to come.BuzzFeed has more details on the project, specifically about Ivanka's involvement, some of which it had reported previously:Vanky was gonna get to do a spa for the Trump Tower in Moscow! She always gets to do the spa! Why doesn't Eric ever get to do the spa? UNFAIR!Vanky knew some Russian jock weightlifter named Dmitry Klokov, and told Cohen to talk to him, so they could have "synergy on a government level" for the project. Vanky always knows the Russian jock weightlifters! Why doesn't Eric ever get to know the Russian jock weightlifters? UNFAIR!As for Junior, BuzzFeed reminds us that he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September of 2017 that he didn't have hardly any idea about this project. Most of what he knew he learned from reading the Fake News! Was Junior telling the same story daddy and Michael Cohen agreed everybody would tell? We don't know, but we're guessing maybe probably! BuzzFeed's sources, for the record, say Junior's testimony to the Senate was full of grade-A bullshit. It's all fun and games until Daddy suborns his own firstborn son's perjury!Congressional Democrats are PISSED.Lying to Congress is a crime. It's one that Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to, as we discussed a few paragaphs ago! Michael Cohen has also pleaded guilty to doing porn peener payoffs on behalf of Trump, for the benefit of his campaign, at the direction of Trump! And good God, that weird story from yesterday, where Michael Cohen was handing out bags of $12,000 in cash money in order to rig online polls LOLOLOL Jesus Christ. At the direction of Trump. And yes, that's pissant and stupider than words, but we are sensing a pattern here! So just exactly how many times is Trump going to end up being "Individual-1," AKA an unindicted co-conspirator, before this national nightmare is over? We don't know yet, but we all might want to stock up on BIG ABACUSES, once it's impossible to count them on our fingers and toes. We don't know if we'll look back on this report as the day EVERYTHING CHANGED, but we do know we're hearing the "I" word a lot more than we're used to hearing today, at least outside of those Tom Steyer commercials.By the way, the White House is SHOCKED I TELL YOU SHOCKED that everybody is talking about this dumb article from BuzzFeed, can you even believe that? What we mean to say is that they're not denying it, just like Rudy Giuliani is not denying it: Bet William Barr is SUPER-excited to be attorney general now!Just the other day, during confirmation hearings for Trump's attorney general nominee William Barr, senators specifically asked if a president tampering with witnesses and suborning perjury would be obstruction of justice, which is a crime. Below, enjoy questioning from Senator Amy Klobuchar, and also from Donald Trump's totally turnt asset -- when we say "asset," we don't mean "gay" -- Lindsey Graham, both of whom got Barr to agree that yes, that would, in legal terms, be a very big goddamned motherfucking crime! Have fun being attorney general, William Barr! I AM NOT A CROOK! I AM NOT A CROOK! PUSSY PUSSY PUSSY BIG MAC BIGLY NO COLLUSION YOU ARE THE COLLUSION CROOK!(That is our hilarious impression of your new boss, Bill!)Anyway, post over.[BuzzFeed]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- THOUSANDS More Kids Were Taken From Parents Than U.S. Admitted. So, Um, Good Job?With the government shut down for the sake of Donald Trump's wet dream WALL, it only makes sense we'd get another reminder of just HOW GOOD Team Trump is at cruelty toward undocumented migrants. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday released a report by its Inspector General, finding that oops, actually the number of children taken from their parents at the border is probably thousands more than the government originally counted. And no, nobody has a very clear idea of whether they were actually reunited, because the only court case demanding family reunification didn't include families separated prior to the official "Zero Tolerance" policy. Look, they BROKE THE LAW, so Jesus said America could do whatever it wants to them. The family separation policy was ended when Donald Trump generously recognized it was backfiring politically and issued an executive order in late June 2018. Shortly after, a federal judge ruled the administration had to reunite all the kids and parents separated since "Zero Tolerance" went into effect, and HHS's IG report mostly looks at the efforts made to reunite all the families subject to the ACLU's lawsuit (Mrs. L. v. ICE) against family separation. But as we've noted, before Jeff Sessions announced "Zero Tolerance" in late April of 2018, the Trump administration had already been experimenting for months with trying to scare asylum seekers away by taking their children. Stealing kids was near and dear to the pus-laden gangrenous heart of John Kelly, both when he ran Homeland Security and after he became the putative "adult" in Trump's cabinet. Kelly was SO PROUD of the brilliant "deterrent" he'd pushed through -- at least until it became embarrassing, and hence the Democrats' fault. Of course, as the new IG report acknowledges, those early experiments with separating families were largely opaque, and kept terrible (let's just say nonexistent) records of the kids and parents separated at the border. And how many separations happened before the judge demanded reunification? Oh, merely a hell of a lot: "More children over a longer period of time" were separated at the border than commonly known, an investigator with the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general told reporters Thursday morning. "How many more children were separated is unknown, by us and HHS."As the report itself admits, the IG couldn't really get more specific than simply "thousands" of kids taken away in the test runs that preceded "zero tolerance." The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown. Pursuant to a June 2018 Federal District Court order, HHS has thus far identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents. However, thousands of children may have been separated during an influx that began in 2017, before the accounting required by the Court, and HHS has faced challenges in identifying separated children.It's worth keeping the bureaucratic division of labor clear here: Homeland Security (Customs and Border Protection specifically) took the kids from their parents. ICE (still part of DHS) then took custody of the parents for prosecution as (misdemeanor) CRIMINALS, and transported the kids to HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to be housed and placed with a sponsor, usually a parent, guardian, or other family member. The report says the rate of reunification of families from the pre-"zero tolerance" period is simply unknown, because hey, nobody was really keeping records. How's this for specific? ASPR is HHS's "Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response," and as we've said before, we half suspect the government hoped to hide all those kids behind a wall of acronyms.In short, outside the family separations covered in the class action lawsuit, nobody knows. HHS thinks most of those kids were probably placed with sponsors or eventually reunified with their parents, but there's really no telling because they weren't covered by the lawsuit, oh well. For that matter, as became clear while the family separation story unfolded in the press, even after "zero tolerance" went into effect, record keeping was haphazard at best. The report says once the court required HHS to account for all the separated children from April 2018 going forward, the agency struggled to make sense of DHS records of family separations which were scattered across 60 different databases. Again, not a complete surprise, but it verifies that astonishing New York Times report that "In hundreds of cases, [CBP] agents deleted the initial records" listing kids and parents with a "family identification number" that could have been used to track and reunite them. And even since the judge's decision, more separated kids keep being identified. Hey, remember when HHS Secretary Alex Azar said back in June, "I could at the stroke of keystrokes … within seconds could find any child within our care for any parent," and so what was everyone so upset about? That turned out to be as big a lie as Kirstjen Nielsen's insistence there was never a family separation policy.Oh yes, and despite HHS's efforts to at least identify all the families covered by the Mrs. L. v. ICE decision, the agency remains uncertain it's found all the kids, but dude, it is TOTALLY Homeland Security's fault, man. It is not yet clear whether recent changes to ORR's systems and processes are sufficient to ensure consistent and accurate data about separated children, and the lack of detail in information received from DHS continues to pose challenges. This is why we need WALL: If we just pretend WALL has ended unauthorized border crossings, then the rest of the machinery of cruelty can't fuck things up further. [Politico / HHS Inspector General's report]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send money to help Dok get his foot looked at. He keeps kicking furniture for some reason.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- 'Make It Happen.' Wonkagenda For Fri., Jan. 18, 2019Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today! Trump personally instructed Michael Cohen to lie about plans for his Trump Tower Moscow project, according to Buzzfeed News. Citing sources close to the Trump-Russia investigation, Buzzfeed reports Trump not only told Cohen to lie to Congress about all the plans for his Russian trash palace during the 2016 campaign, but Ivanka and DJTJ knew all about it too! Trump even encouraged Cohen to set up a meeting with Putin during the campaign, reportedly saying, "Make it happen." WHOA, (HOLY SHIT) if true! Even though it's not sure how to pay them, the State Department is recalling federal workers, citing the "myriad critical issues requiring U.S. leadership around the globe." (Like cancelling congressional trips to visit the troops.) A message from the the State Department says workers may get paid in the next pay period, but notes it isn't sure how long it can afford to pay diplomats, foreign service officers, department staffers, or direct-hire foreign nationals, leading one State department staffer to tell Politico, "Neither diplomacy nor managing one's personal finances can effectively be performed in staccato." WaPo reports federal employees are now engaged in small acts of rebellion, like sick-outs and refusing to pay for travel on their personal credit cards, while the administration bends over backwards for key donors in the farm, oil and gas industries. Now that he isn't going to be hobnobbing and brown nosing in Davos with other fabulously rich people, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is trying to avoid testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee about how the IRS is processing tax returns during the government shutdown. Mnuchin says the committee should talk to the IRS, but committee chair Rep. Richard Neal issued a statement saying he "strongly believe[s] Secretary Mnuchin himself should appear." Trump may have thrown a tantrum after hearing about Nancy Pelosi's national security delegation to reaffirm US support for our NATO allies and speak with troops in Afghanistan, but that didn't stop him from sending Melon Trump to Mar-a-Lago on Air Force One! Why fly commercial when you have a private plane, or a government-funded military escort? CNN's Barbara Starr reports the Pentagon is privately freaking out about Trump's impulsive orders and repeated use of the military as a tool to achieve his own spastic political goals. Citing at least a dozen current and former military officials, many of whom can't criticize the president without being "You're Fired," Starr reports military brass has struggled to follow orders from the Burger King due to a high probability that they will harm US troops and foreign policy aims, like ordering plans to attack Iran, or the wishy-wash order to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan (via Twitter). After photos surfaced of Trump signing a MAGA hat for Navy SEALS, one anonymous official told CNN, "We are not a voting bloc for any president." A new OIG report has found that the Trump administration was separating migrant children from their parents long before they announced the zero tolerance policy, and potentially thousands of children were unaccounted for since nobody in Homeland Security or HHS bothered to keep track of how many kids were being thrown in or out of Trump's baby jails. NBC News is also reporting the administration considered speeding up the deportation process by denying asylum-seeking immigrants their legal right to asylum hearings, and maybe even deporting children without their parents. The administration purposely targeted migrant families, hoping media attention would scare the tired, huddled masses from seeking shelter in the land of opportunity. The Federal Reserve just confirmed what everyone under 35 has been bitching about for over a decade -- the dramatic increase in student loan debt is preventing millennials from buying homes and settling down with 1.7 brats, a crappy car, and a miserable mortgage in suburbia. The report goes on to say the $1.52 trillion student loan bubble will get worse in coming years thanks to rising education costs and the Trump administration's clawing back of federal aid. Thanks for nothing, jerks! After House Democrats initially rejected a Republican continuing resolution, Missouri Republican Rep. Jason Smith shouted, "Go back to Puerto Rico," at California Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas on the House floor. When Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee led a number of Democrats to almost beat the shit out of the Republican minority, Smith apologized. Cardenas tells Roll Call the two are "patching things up," though a spokesman for Smith tried to whitewash the comment as a reference to Democrats' recent trip to Puerto Rico. It's not "racist," it's "racially tinged." From the safety of his hidey hole, Mitch McConnell penned a WaPo op-ed crying about Democrats trying to restore voting rights, end decades of Republican gerrymandering, and force dark money donors into the light. SO UNFAIR! Aww, wittle Mitchey gonna' cry about his secret corporate da-da! Never Trump Republicans flailing in the outskirts of political power are pushing Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to primary Trump in 2020 because they think the 62-year-old cancer survivor, having just coasted to reelection, will be better than the indictable man-child who took over their party. Politico notes Trump's campaign team has been working behind the scenes to squeeze out old money neocons who try to encourage party loyalists to vote their conscience (again). Mitch McConnell has been greasing Mike Pompeo's gears, hoping to convince him to run for US Senate in Kansas. Sources tell WaPo that Trump is not happy about this, but it's rumored McConnell is trying to edge out a possible Senate run by Trumpian racist, Kris Kobach. The Nation has an interesting op-ed/analysis on why 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard doesn't know doodly squat about foreign policy, and why her authoritarian-leaning affinity for dictators, coupled with her long history of Islamaphobia, make her A Idiot. Gabbard did (finally) say she was sorry for hating LGBT people for over a decade, by blaming everything on her dad. A judge in Chicago has found three police officers not guilty of trying to cover up the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. The judge decided the officers didn't falsify police reports or lie to investigators after Van Dyke pumped 16 shots into McDonald, and that witnesses were "not credible." In related news, Van Dyke is expected to be sentenced later today. LOCK HIM UP! HuffPo's Ashley Feinberg sat down with Twitter CEO @Jack Dorsey and tried to get him to explain his "bohemian" (read: cowardly) bullshit on dealing with neo-Nazis, Alex Jones, and why he apologized to rightwing idiot Candice Owens. Dorsey tried to avoid responsibility for the possibility that Donald Trump might someday instruct his minions to murder journalists, because that's all hypothetical. Silicon Valley and corporate apologists are already calling Feinberg a "cyber bully." Look, all she suggested was that instead of deleting his account, @jack should delete his website. If you like getting thrown out of bars for arguing about nerdy policy details (like me!), check out this thinky piece in Wired that argues Donald Trump's stubborn and nationalistic racism may lead to a more globalized world where future leaders avoid Trumpian zero-sum pitfalls in the interest of greater cooperation and deal making. Cheers! And here's your morning Nice Time: Painted puppers! Wonkette is supported by your donations! Send us money, now! The puppers demand it!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Trump To Pelosi: I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT IF I STEP ON MY OWN DICK AND EAT IT AT THE SAME TIME?Moments after we published our last piece, on how Nancy Pelosi is the true boss of President Whiny Ass Titty Baby, and how she utterly shivved him when she canceled his State of the Union address, Trump finally responded. We knew he would, because he is a thin-skinned manchild whose entire self is crushed by every perceived slight, but we never knew how pathetic his response would be. Pelosi had been scheduled to leave this afternoon on a overseas CODEL (congressional delegation) to Afghanistan, a trip that was supposed to be a secret, because all trips like that are supposed to be a secret, especially when you're dealing with the person second in line to the presidency flying into war zones. Trump might know this, because he secretly went to Iraq over Christmas during the shutdown, after he was shamed into it, and he complained about how dark it was on Air Force One, because they had to keep it dark for security reasons.But now Trump has CANCELED NANCY PELOSI'S TRIP, because TAKE THAT, NANCY. And to show just what a dick he is, Trump canceled the trip after the bus carrying the delegation, which also included Reps. Adam Schiff, Mark Takano, Stephen Lynch and others, had already left for the airport.Here's the letter he sent, as tweeted by Sarah Knucklefuck Sanders: OK, a couple things about this illiterate shitshow: 1) it's MADAM speaker, not "Madame" speaker, you untrained fucking White House goats; 2) What is Up with all the Randomly capitalized wORDs? Did yoU all go To TrumP UNiversitY? Did Donald type this himself? Is that why it took 24 hours for the White House to come up with this lame-ass response, because they let him try to hunt-and-peck it out on a White House computer, all the while constantly having to replace the monitors because President Sundowner kept trying to fix his mistakes with Wite-Out? If it's not that, then REALLY? It took those syphilitic hamster brains in the West Wing over 24 hours to come up with THIS? (Yes, apparently, according to CNN's Kaitlan Collins! They started talking about it this morning and everybody agreed that it was AWESOME! Then they went back to jerking each other off while reading the Breitbart comments section, using leftover cheese from wrappers still strewn on the floor after Trump's Big Mac Football Guy Party as lube.)Oh one more thing for the kids in the back who somehow are dumber than the average Trump staffer: A secret trip to support the troops is neither an "excursion," nor is it a "public relations event." We understand how Trump might be confused, since most of his presidency (when he's not beached in front of "Fox & Friends" and bitching on Twitter) consists of "excursions" to Mar-a-Lago and "public relations events" where he gets to play grab-ass with the meth-addicted cousin fuckers he calls his "base" at his rallies, but that's not how it is for grown-up politicians.In case you're curious if Trump has the power to cancel congressional travel like this, yes he does. CODELs are arranged by the State Department and the Pentagon, so pause for a moment to realize how fucking pathetic it is that Trump White House people spent their day on the phone with State and Defense OWNIN' THE LIBS by canceling a Pelosi CODEL. Also, if members of Congress are traveling on military aircraft, obviously the president can cancel that. Every other president since the advent of air travel has had the class not to exercise such a power, but remember that the current squatter in the White House literally thinks squatting on gold plated toilets is elegant.According to Drew Hammill, Nancy Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, the letter is wrong in another significant way, namely that "Egypt" wasn't on the agenda at all. They had to stop in Brussels, where Pelosi and the rest of the delegation were scheduled to meet with NATO commanders and US military leaders, presumably to make sure they know the Congress of the United States is not about to let President Russian Asset destroy decades of peace by pulling out of the alliance. The reason for the secret trip to Afghanistan, according to Hammill, was to "express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines." So take THAT, Nancy Pelosi! No swimsuit piña colada vacation in Afghanistan for YOU!And take THAT, troops! No appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication for YOU! In Trump's America, you get thanks when Emperor BabyShits decides to give it, which is not very often!Clearly, with this move, Trump and the nine combined brain cells currently on the payroll in the West Wing have outdone themselves, if their goal was for Trump to stomp on his own dick and then set it on fire and then eat it like a Snausage.People are already pointing out that Trump's "reasoning" here is every bit as advanced as we've come to expect from Trump. Again, he traveled to Iraq during the shutdown, and GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin led another CODEL with a group of Republicans, during the shutdown.But that's different, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, because ... Because Kevin McCarthy doesn't know Hawaii is a state, apparently.Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other cabinet members and White House aides are still going to Davos to yuk it up with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch the Trump administration just un-sanctioned, maybe on Putin's orders, at the World Economic Forum. It's still OK to do that during a shutdown, apparently.You got that, Trump supporters and furloughed government workers? The oligarchs in the Trump administration can wine and dine with the global elite class at Davos during a shutdown, but it's not OK for the speaker of the House to visit the troops.Libs: OWNED AGAIN!Except wait, LATE BREAKING UPDATE! The libs did not get owned, actually! This is instead yet another example of Trump fucking his own self, because due to pressure caused by Trump's petulant fuckbaby actions this afternoon, he has now canceled the American delegation to Davos. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!Let's see, how else did Trump just set fire to his dick? David Frum, tell us! L-O-L!Well, this has just been another really good day in the Trump presidency! We can't wait to see what he fucks up tomorrow! (SPOILER: It will be "everything he touches.")Now you may have an OPEN THREAD.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Wingnuts Spend Day Thinking About Lindsey Graham Naked, Blame Muslim CongressladyYour Wonkette DGAF what Lindsey Graham does with his nasty bits. We have to write about all the ladies That Orange Idiot bumped his uglies with for work, and the last thing in the world we want to think about is the sex lives of any more evil, old Republicans. Clearly Senator Graham's sexual orientation is HIGHEST BIDDER, and that's all we have to say on the topic. But we do care if Lindsey Graham's abrupt about-face on Donald Trump came about due to outside influence. Because in 2016, Lindsey Graham knew Donald Trump was a pathetic conman. But the 2019 version pretends that the president's demented driblings are inspirational sermons and his dogged destruction of the post-war alliances that kept us out of a world war for 75 years is part of a grand strategic vision worthy of Churchill. FFS, yesterday Lindsey Graham voted in favor of allowing Oleg Deripaska's aluminum company to come off the sanctions list. Something's not right here.So when new Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says, "They got to him," we're thinking she's not that far off the mark. Indeed, as Richard Painter and Leanne Watt pointed out in a November Medium post, Graham's about-face can be traced to the second week of October 2017, when Lindsey Graham spent a couple of days on the links with the Golfer in Chief, and suddenly became his biggest fan. The guy who'd called Trump a "kook" and "bigot" and threatened "holy hell" if he fired Jeff Sessions just up and changed his mind.Following their October 2017 tête-à-tête, Graham began to contradict himself in a way that was totally out of character for him. In November of 2017, the senator repudiated his earlier remarks on Trump's character, stating: "What concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label [Trump] as some kind of kook, not fit to be President." And Graham now claims that he has "never heard him (Trump) make a single racist statement." And in August of 2018, Senator Graham defended Trump's desire to fire Jeff Sessions, insisting that the president is "entitled to an attorney general he has faith in."And, as Painter and Watt point out, Lindsey Graham himself claims his campaign emails were hacked by the Russians. Although he doesn't have to go all the way to Russia to find someone who likes to trade on personal secrets. Donald Trump himself had a decades-long alliance with The National Enquirer. And lest we forget, his fixer Michael Cohen kept the story of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's domestic abuse allegations in his back pocket just in case he might need it some day. We have no way of knowing what, if anything, people "have" on Lindsey Graham. But we're not going to be lectured on the wisdom of speculation from the party of birthers and Pizzagate truthers who have currently shut down the federal government because of a made-up border crisis that will only end when their leader gets to stick a few poles in the ground and pretend that he paid for them with confiscated pesos. THAT DOG WON'T HUNT.The wingnuts are currently working themselves into a frothy lather of santorum over Omar's suggestion that Graham is somehow compromised. This asshole here got the ball rolling by fabricating a quote of Omar suggesting that Graham is being blackmailed for being gay. Which she's clearly not doing. He's got a whole post going on some browser-busting site called Grabien, and Breitbart's picking up the baton for the next lap. WHAT. EVER. None of this has a damn thing to do with Omar's actual words, or even their subtext. The wingers got all the mileage they can out of Rashida Tlaib's Motherfuckergate. They got their asses handed to them when they tried to shame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for dancing. Gilletteghazi is basically played out. So now it's on to Ilhan Omar and her entirely made-up "homophobia." Next week they'll claim Ayanna Pressley doesn't recycle, Deb Haaland is on a fatwa to get Dan Snyder fired and rename the team the TeePees, and Sharice Davids once dated a boy in HS, so she's obviously just claiming to be gay for Sorosbux. Let's just cut to the chase here, shall we? The guy's a dickhead, but at least he doesn't try to hide it.The good news is that this shit's not working any more. Whatever digital advantage the edgelords once had, 2016 wised us up. The platforms still suck, of course, but young politicians know how to use them better. Where Elizabeth Warren will be dogged for life by that stupid DNA story -- and Lindsey Graham will probably face rumors about being closeted for the rest of his career -- millennials shrug that bullshit off and keep right on moving. So let's stop crapping on them and give credit where credit is due. In the immortal words of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "New party, who dis?"And also, WHAT THE HELL DO THEY HAVE ON YOU, LINDSEY?[Medium]Follow your FDF on Twitter!Please click here to keep Your Wonkette snarking foreverHow often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- So Are We Just Gonna Let Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg Ruin The Internet?Once upon a time, in 2013, Bryan Goldberg, owner of Bleacher Report, made an announcement. He, a man, was going to invent the world's very first website for women. Sure! There was already Jezebel, XOJane, The Toast, Bitch, Bust, The Hairpin, The Frisky, Slate's XX, Autostraddle, Refinery29, Feministe, Feministing, Clutch, Crunk Feminist Collective and approximately 25,000 other women's sites out there at the time, but he had never heard of any of those. So he was going to make the first women's site ever. Particularly the first ever site that combined both politics and fashion tips. Isn't it time for a women's publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips? What about a site that takes an introspective look at the celebrity world, while also having a lot of fun covering it? How about a site that offers career advice and book reviews, while also reporting on fashion trends and popular memes?Oh wow, what an amazing brand new idea he had! And following that were reports that he did not intend to pay writers very much, as well as later reports that the writers were making very little for the amount of work they were expected to do. There was that time there was a picture in the New Yorker of Goldberg using a female employee's legs as a desk. Oh! And read this bit from a former employee who helped him find women to write for the site:"We had a big database with hundreds of names of potential writers. He specifically wanted ones from small towns who would work for less than people based in SF or NY... he asked me to search for talented writers in Poughkeepsie or Pittsburgh or "other crappy cities that begin with P." In one of our meetings we went through some of the writers I picked... some from Jezebel, HelloGiggles, xoJane, etc. He had them up on the projector and we went to their sites and rated them on a 1-5 scale. There was a list of criteria — 'good grammar,' 'frequently updates blog.' Then there were qualities he didn't want — i.e. 'angry,' 'man-hating.' And everyone was rated on this scale. He told me not to contact so many "smart" writers (I think he meant something very specific by "smart") and that many of the ones I liked seemed to have big chips on their shoulders. He'd never heard of Bitch or xoJane, and I don't think he knew about Bust magazine before I told him about it... I told him about Bitch and he snarked on the name and said 'advertisers must love that.'"Are you screaming now?Late last year, Goldberg acquired Gawker -- a site that had continually reported on his awfulness throughout the years -- and is now relaunching it. He also acquired Mic, immediately firing everyone on its unionized staff. Nice!The Wrap reported yesterday that Mic had quietly begun publishing again this month, with two writers, Lauren Rearick and Emma Sarran Webster. But instead of social justice oriented politics and commentary, the only new articles on the site are about budgeting and applying for credit cards and "Six places to visit that are actually more fun in the winter." If you'll notice, these articles bear a lot less of a resemblance to the kind of articles one previously would have found on Mic than they do to the kind of advertorial clickbait you usually see in sidebars. You know, the kind that usually appears next to another article titled "Remember her? You won't believe what she looks like now!" The new writers, as you may have guessed, are not part of the Mic union. It's clear what Goldberg is doing here. He wants the name brand, he wants to sell ads off the traffic of older, higher quality articles while paying minimal dollars for new, SEO'd to oblivion content that is more advertiser-friendly. The kind of content that can go in those little clickbait boxes on the sidebars of other sites. That wasn't the only Goldberg news we got yesterday. Bustle Digital Group also announced who the first new hires for "New Gawker" would be. It doesn't seem like they're off to too great a start, as their editorial director is just as repulsive as Goldberg himself. Laura Wagner of Splinter (actual New Gawker) reports: Griffith was most recently the entertainment editor at Architectural Digest. Before that, she was a freelance writer, who delivered such gems as "Bill O'Reilly Reveals His Soft Side" (per public records from 2008, she's a registered Republican) and prolific tweeter.Prolific how, you ask? Prolific in terms of tweeting bunch of gross things about her maid. And being simultaneously racist and transphobic! And being homophobic! And, well... So that's nauseating! I have had a vendetta against Bryan Goldberg since he first stepped out with that misogynistic bullshit about women's sites, and my grudge has grown stronger and more resolute with each passing year. It's not just him, as a person, who's the problem (although he is definitely a problem!). The Bustle-ification of media is a problem as well. This idea of hiring a ton of new writers you don't have to pay a lot and working them to death to produce #content on every conceivable Google search? That's bad for me as a writer and, frankly, it's bad for you as a consumer if you want an internet filled with good stuff instead of content mills. So I don't link to his sites, I avoid even clicking on them, and I'd never write for one (not that they'd have me, given that I am such a man-hater and all). If you weren't already avoiding them, it's time to start.Those of us in media have enough working against us right now. More media sites are getting unionized and that's awesome, but we need help and support from consumers to ensure that this is a survivable profession. Between Facebook's wacky algorithms and failed pivots-to-video and constant layoffs and shitty venture capitalists buying up piles of sites and running them into the ground because they do not know what the hell they are doing, it's a precarious industry. I've had multiple offers for jobs in New York, and I've turned them down because I knew that if the sites didn't last I would be totally screwed (Narrator: the sites did not last) trying to survive in a city that expensive on freelancing alone. A thing you can do as a consumer to help this is by not supporting garbage sites or garbage people like Bryan Goldberg with your clicks and shares. You can also support good ones, like Wonkette (wink wink, nudge nudge)![Splinter]Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Trump Grappling With Painful Realization That Nancy Pelosi Is His Real DadDonald Trump is super chill right now, you guys. That's what the White House is telling us. He's cool and calm and collected over how he's losing his WALL fight, and hard, and he's totally easy breezy about Nancy Pelosi canceling his State of the Union lie-fest, just light as a feather, it's like Folgers in his cup and he can't believe it's not butter and "Countrty." Anything else? There it is. Is Schumer groveling? Not that we can tell. But Trump isn't all that scared of Schumer, so let's all project our pant-shitting rage fear on to him!Trump is scared of Nancy Pelosi, though. Oh damn, he is terrified, and he's got all kinds of excuses for why he's not attacking her, all of which are intended to deflect from how he hasn't quite processed yet that Nancy Pelosi is the boss of him (JUST LIKE WE SAID SHE WOULD BE).A woman? THE BOSS OF HIM? The fuck you say!The New York Times reports that Trump is confused and freaking the fuck out over why he's such a failure on this whole WALL thing (because America hates him and always will), but that he really thinks one day America will forget all about the government shutdown and remember how he STOOD FIRM for WALL (he's stupid). But he's not mad at Nancy Pelosi, though! (Is he allowed to be mad at Nancy Pelosi? She hasn't sent him a letter telling him if he's invited to be mad at her.)Anyway, it's no big deal. Even though Trump craves attention and wrongly thinks he's good at saying words good on TV, the Washington Post says he's "indifferent" to Pelosi doing a shutdown TO HIS FACE. Maybe it's because his defenders, like Rep. Steve Scalise, are propping him up by telling reporters Pelosi only canceled his State of the Union because she is "afraid of hearing what the president has to say." Yeah, maybe that's it. (That's not it.)Or maybe he's developed a thicker skin and is letting things roll off his back, like such as how Pelosi calls him the "whiner-in-chief" behind his back, and says talking to him is like getting an unsolicited golden shower from a Russian skunk hooker, or when she makes fun of WALL by calling it a "beaded curtain," or when she makes fun of his obsession with WALL by suggesting maybe he's got peener issues. (Nope, not that either.)Or maybe Trump has a real strategy here, a method to his madness when it comes to dealing with Nancy Pelosi, STOP LAUGHING, IT'S NOT "FUNNY" TO SUGGEST DONALD TRUMP'S BRAIN WORKS WELL ENOUGH TO FORMULATE "STRATEGIES":Trump is a proud counterpuncher, but when it comes to Pelosi, he has pulled back on his jabs. That is deliberate, aides and advisers said, because the president believes she would help protect him from impeachment and because he considers her more reasonable than other Democrats.Jesus Christ, what a fucking moron.Former Trump adviser and guy who cries a lot during MSNBC interviews Sam Nunberg has thoughts. For once, they are sorta correct thoughts!"I think that, as usual, he thought he would be able to charm her and that at the end of the day, they would have this great bipartisan type of dealmaking," he said. "I think it's completely naive."Correction, Sam Nunberg: It was completely naive. That ship has sailed, and now it's Nancy Pelosi's world, and Trump is just eating Big Macs with his thumb up his ass in it. Guess she was serious recently, when she was asked if she considers herself to be Trump's equal, and she replied, "The Constitution does."Politico quotes a couple of Democratic reps, explaining why Pelosi has the upper hand here. For Pramila Jayapal, it's that Pelosi is "just a badass," STOP THE PRESSES, PRAMILA SAID A CUSS, LET'S TALK ABOUT IT FOR 45 DAYS! For Anna Eshoo, it's that Pelosi is "satin and steel," to which Wonkette replies, OK, CONGRESSWOMAN ESHOO, THAT'S KINDA PORNY! Here is the zingiest zinger Trump has been able to come up with for Pelosi on Twitter in the past week: Weak. The boss of him responded: At press time, the president of the United States was wishing he could ask his original real dad for some money to stand up to the mean lady for him, but WOMP WOMP he can't, because his dad is in hell.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Meet Pam! Pam Is A Competent Trump Official Who ... Oh Wait She Just Quit, GOODBYE PAM!Time for another farewell to another government official who bucked the Trump system by being annoyingly competent. The Washington Post brings us the story of Pam Patenaude, who until today served as deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She was also one of the few people in top leadership who seemed to know a damn thing about HUD's mission and actually helping poor people get housing. The WaPo story is kind of amazing. A whole bunch of current and former HUD insiders paint Patenaude as the one competent person in the agency fighting to do good work while surrounded by nincompoops. But Patenaude, ever the loyal political appointee, insisted in an interview that she's leaving to spend more time with her family and no, no, she certainly has no issues with the administration or the leadership of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who has filled HUD with partisan hacks, suck-ups, and Trump campaign cast-offs who know nothing about HUD but needed well-paid government jobs. Ah, but we repeat ourselves.Patenaude, who has worked at HUD in one capacity or another since the Reagan administration when she was 21, told WaPo reporters, "It's a bittersweet farewell to HUD" [...]She denied that internal conflicts played a role and said she looks forward to spending time with her husband at their home in New Hampshire. "These jobs are all-consuming," she said. "There are no ulterior motives. I'm not mad at the administration."That's very different from the situation described by "five people with direct knowledge" of her 16 months as second in command at HUD, who say she was pretty much the main administrator keeping the place together. The whole story veers between the insiders telling WaPo about the bullshit Patenaude had to battle against, and Patenaude herself saying naw, it was all fine, really. One of her colleagues said there wasn't any single breaking-point issue that led her to resign in December, just a constant stream of frustrations from "pushing this rock uphill over and over again only to have it fall back down." You know, like the Greek myth of Wile E. Coyote. Here's a f'rinstance, with the sources explaining an issue and then Patenaude making nice and insisting everything's fine, just fine, OK?Patenaude disagreed with the agency's handling of an Obama-era fair-housing rule requiring communities receiving federal funds to address long-standing patterns of racial segregation, according to three people with direct knowledge of internal HUD debates. Carson had suspended the 2015 rule, calling it "burdensome."Patenaude told The Washington Post she did not support the rule as written by the Obama administration but said she wanted to educate communities about the law as the agency deliberated on a path forward. She said policy discussions continue."My position was we had a moral and legal obligation to get it right," Patenaude said. "Policy discussions are a series of explorations, and Secretary Carson and I are absolutely aligned on the need to educate America about fair housing." We sort of wish the reporters had looked into whether Patenaude's severance package includes treatment for Stockholm Syndrome. One of the final boulders Patenaude had to deal with was actually rolled at her by conspiracy theorist in chief Donald Trump, who back in September convinced himself -- on the basis of zero evidence -- that Puerto Rico was sneakily diverting disaster aid to pay off its debt. Didn't matter that it wasn't happening in reality. He'd heard it, and he believed it, so he wanted action, damn it: Trump told then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and then-Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney that he did not want a single dollar going to Puerto Rico, because he thought the island was misusing the money and taking advantage of the government, according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive internal deliberations. Instead, he wanted more of the money to go to Texas and Florida, the person said."POTUS was not consolable about this," the person said.Patenaude cleared things up with budget officials in a December meeting, made clear that since Congress had directed the money for Puerto Rico it would be illegal to send it to whiter more "deserving" disaster areas, and reassured them HUD was doing all the necessary oversight to keep those people in line. Patenaude, who had visited Puerto Rico more than half a dozen times during her tenure, was about to make her final trip to the island as deputy secretary and wanted to ensure that [OMB Director Mick] Mulvaney's team corrected any misinformation transmitted to the president, said a HUD official who was not authorized to speak on the record.And then, a week after Puerto Rico had finally been authorized to start accessing the disaster funds, Patenaude announced she'd be stepping down, whew. "She didn't want to abandon Puerto Rico," said the HUD official. "Once she felt like she left Puerto Rico in a good place, she felt like she could leave."Ah, but that's not how Patenaude put it in her interview with the Post.I didn't push back. I advocated for Puerto Rico and assured the White House that Puerto Rico had sufficient financial controls in place and had put together a thoughtful housing and economic development recovery plan.Patenaude also told the Post she will "continue to be supportive of the president and his agenda," and she plans to "be working very hard for his reelection." Again, more follow-up seems called for from the reporters. For instance, will Patenaude's dental plan cover any damage from the obviously strenuous teeth-gritting on display here? We worry about her. Oh, and thanks to the government shutdown, Puerto Rico may be eligible to access the appropriated disaster funds, but actually processing them? That'll have to wait for Trump to get over his WALL tantrum. As Michael Lewis details in his recent book The Fifth Risk, good functional government isn't solely about who's at the top of the org chart -- what really matters is having competent career people who know what agencies are supposed to do and how things actually get done. Of course, if the people at the top are incompetent boobies and they start filling appointed positions with fellow hacks and incompetents, things can start going sideways fast. Welcome to HUD in the Trump administration. [WaPo / Bloomberg]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money so we can provide deprogramming therapy to former Trump administration officials. Or at least pretend to -- you know, like a "mentoring program."How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Prissy Jerk Kevin McCarthy Thinks Badass Pelosi Is Behaving In A Frightfully 'Unbecoming' MannerYesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Donald Trump not to bother showing his raggedy ass at the Capitol later this month for his lie-addled State of the Union address. This is a bummer for those of us looking forward to watching Pelosi roll her eyes and shoot death stares at Trump from her reclaimed seat of honor. Pelosi articulated very reasonable national security concerns for dis-inviting Trump. It's a tremendous undertaking to ensure the safety of everyone present, and most of the folks who do the heavy lifting are furloughed or otherwise victims of Trump's shutdown. Does Trump remember that he shut down the government? GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks Pelosi's move is "pure politics." He's apparently never watched "Designated Survivor." Pelosi said they could come up with another date for Trump to demonize Democrats and minorities once the government is reopened. Trump could also just lie to to the public from the Oval Office or even submit his address to Congress in writing (this is also how they should handle this year's Academy Awards). However, McCarthy insists that Pelosi inconveniencing Trump in any way during a domestic crisis of his own making is "unbecoming" of the speaker. Yes, he used the word "unbecoming" like he's Lord McCarthy in a regional production of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan." "Unbecoming" is an interesting word choice. Is it "unbecoming" to shut down the government as a negotiation tactic and risk triggering a recession? Even if Pelosi is only playing hardball, that's entirely her right given how Trump himself escalated the stakes. No one will have to pull their kids out of child care because Pelosi has denied Trump a large audience for his Stephen Miller-penned white supremacist screed. The only person affected by Pelosi turning the screws on Trump is the toddler in chief. We have lots of recent experience of men half-assing the speakership, and "unbecoming" was never used to describe weaselly Paul Ryan or (alleged) day drinker John Boehner. McCarthy is acting like the State of the Union is some grand Victorian-era ball, and Lady Nancy of San Francisco shockingly and rudely rescinded the invitation to Baron Donald of Moscow over some petty slight. Pelosi isn't some common Chuck Schumer. She doesn't have to roll over for Trump. She is a leader from a co-equal branch of government. McCarthy, who lets the president call him "Steve," might not realize this, but Speaker Pelosi both knows it and flaunts it. There are a record number of women in Congress now, and Republican men should learn how to talk about them as if they are actual fellow human beings. Trump said that Rep. Rashida Tlaib "dishonored" herself and her entire family like she was Lydia Bennett run off with George Wickham. But the motherfucker doesn't wear a scarlet "P" because of his gross remarks on the "Access Hollywood" tape.Pelosi knows how to manage Trump. It's unfortunate so few of the non-badass women in her caucus do. Rep. Ro Khanna, who wins the "Silly Man" award for today, suggests that letting Trump give one of his hate rallies dressed up as formal address to Congress is somehow vital to our democracy. The very same democracy Trump actively attacks. This is how you "norm" yourself right into fascism. Trump's single greatest weapon has been the unwarranted deference politicians and pundits want to extend to him because of the office he holds. This only enables the narrative that Trump is owed respect he himself never returns. He has no "divine right of birth." He is a kinda elected president. He is obligated to earn the respect of those he hopes to govern. Cautioning his critics and political opponents to never "sink to his level" while simultaneously asking us to bend our knee to him is profoundly bad advice.Everything about Donald Trump is "unbecoming." Very little about Pelosi is. It was gracious of her to invite Trump to give the State of the Union address at all. She should've pulled the plug on it because of his endless corruption, pathological deceit, and gleeful abuse of the marginalized. The shutdown was just the last straw. The next and only time Trump should have an audience before Congress is at his impeachment trial. Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter. Yr Wonkette is supported ONLY by reader donations! We love you! You pay our rent. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Sexy Michael Cohen Stiffs Online Ratf*ckerOkay, before we get to the life and times of a crazy motherfucker by the name of Mike C. (straight outta Lawn Guyland), remember that we're talking about Donald Trump making a possible illegal campaign contribution for online ratfucking, all the way back in 2014. Because this story is hilarious, but don't lose sight of the fact that Cohen's inept poll rigging and hashtag manipulation look an awful lot like what the Russians wound up doing for Trump in 2016. NO COLLUSION, right Roods?According to The Wall Street Journal, Michael Cohen paid an IT guy from Liberty University to rig two online polls in favor of then-candidate Trump. Cohen met John Gauger, Liberty's CIO, through Jerry Falwell Jr., who keeps popping up in Act II of I, Trumpius. Which is weird, no? Also, really the guy's name is GAUGER? Fire the writers! But we digress ...For $50,000, Gauger's consulting company RedFinch was supposed to goose Trump's stats in a 2014 CNBC poll of America's top business leaders, and in a 2015 Drudge poll of Republican presidential candidates. Gauger appears to have done a pretty crappy job -- Trump never broke the top 100 business leaders and only picked up 5% of the Drudge sirens. Which may or may not be why Cohen stiffed him on the bill. In his Trump Organization office, Mr. Cohen surprised the man, John Gauger, by giving him a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter, Mr. Gauger said.Sounds legit.Cohen claims that he paid Gauger by check, and also, that he did it all for the glory of love. He does not, however, seem to be disputing the fact that he never coughed up the full $50,000. But Donald Trump did cough up the cash eventually, reimbursing Cohen in 2017 for the whole $50,000 "paid largely out of Mr. Trump's personal account." Seems like the word "largely" is doing a lot of work here. Did he use Trump Org money to rig polls in preparation for a presidential run, or didn't he? Presumably SDNY knows, since they charged Michael Cohen with hiding the reimbursement for "tech services" rendered "during and in connection with the campaign" in those $35,000 "retainer payments" the Trump Org used to make him whole for the Stormy Daniels payoff. But wait, there's more! You know that tingly feeling you get in your downtheres watching Michael Cohen's sexy SEZ WHO snarl? Maybe you should follow this Twitter account Gauger set up for him. For all the "Women who love and support Michael Cohen. Strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference!" Follow now! Apropos of which, check out the single most uncomfortable tweet EVER on that platform. OH, NO, BABY! WHAT IS YOU DOIN'?Rudy Giuliani gave the Journal his signature ad hominem non-denial, "If one thing has been established, it's that Michael Cohen is completely untrustworthy." Which is FACTCHECK TRUE. And also refutes none of the story.We look forward to seeing what's next for sexxxxy Michael Cohen. Perhaps a cinematic career awaits him after he emerges from Club Fed?Mike C. Nastee, Hard and Disbarred.Mickey Law, Pole Rigger.Okay, we'll stop now.[WSJ]Follow your FDF on Twitter!Please click here to keep Your Wonkette snarkin' on these mooks for the long haul!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- RUDY GIULIANI NEVER SAID NO COLLUSION, YOU SAID NO COLLUSION, YOU STINKIN' LIAR!HEY, KIDS! It's time to play a game! It's called "Is Rudy Giuliani Having A Psychotic Break Or Did He Just Say That Thing Because Something Is For Real About To Happen?" Time's up, we think the answer just might be BOTH.Giuliani went on the Chris Cuomo CNN Cat Video TV Time Hour and said ... Giuliani: I never said there was no collusion in the campaign http://www.youtube.com I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign. I have no idea.NO COLLUSION! NO COLLUSION! I NEVER SAID THERE WAS NO COLLUSION, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG YOU?Consider the goalposts moved! Imagine what Giuliani might say six months from now.IT DOESN'T COUNT AS A "PEE TAPE" UNLESS THE RUSSIAN HOOKER PEE ENDS UP INSIDE THE PRESIDENT'S MOUTH! CLEARLY IT JUST POOLED IN HIS NECK FOLDS AND MAYBE THERE WAS SOME IN HIS EAR, ACQUIRING A CHRONIC CASE OF SWIMMER'S EAR FROM CONTINUAL EXPOSURE TO RUSSIAN HOOKER PEE IS A TRAGEDY, NOT A CRIME!The Washington Post tees up the full exchange:"Mr. Mayor, false reporting is saying that nobody in the campaign had any contacts with Russia," Cuomo responded. "False reporting is saying that there has been no suggestion of any kind of collusion between the campaign and any Russians."Giuliani jumped in."You just misstated my position," Giuliani said. "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign."Cuomo's face contorted into an expression of disbelief. "Yes, you have," he shot back.As the Post notes, just months ago, Giuliani was asked on Fox News if he was sticking with his story that there was "no collusion whatsoever with Russians on behalf of the Trump campaign." He responded, "correct." Now he swears he meant it only about the president. YOU BET, RUDY.Giuliani continued by insisting that the only possible crime that could have been committed here was "conspiracy to hack the DNC," and says there's no evidence Trump was part of that. Giuliani's brain gets stuck on this phrase like Trump gets stuck on phrases like NO COLLUSION, and Giuliani should know, because he is a TECHNOLOGY EXPERT. Of course, his constant insistence that the DNC hacking is the only crime under consideration obscures the fact that there are many crimes Robert Mueller is investigating, and also obscures the fact that we actually don't know yet who all on the Trump campaign was in on the conspiracy to do the hacking, and also ALSO obscures the fact that "hacking the DNC" is literally exactly what they did in Watergate, which used to be considered kind of a big deal. We assume we'll find out sooner or later.Casual Rudy-watchers (it's a hobby, much like bird-watching, CAW! CAW!) know that Giuliani has a certain penchant for going on TV and accidentally/purposely admitting to crimes committed by his boss, the president, perhaps to soften the impact when the news breaks that the president has committed more crimes, and also perhaps because he's just nutfucking insane. So if Giuliani is out there changing the story to say that there might have been lots of collusion, but Trump didn't know about it, does that mean Donald Trump Jr. about to be indicted finally? Or Jared Kushner? Or any one of about a thousand other people connected to the Trump campaign who's guilty of Trump-Russia crimes? Because Rudy Giuliani NEVER SAID there was NO COLLUSION by all those people, just kidding yes he did!Or is Rudy Giuiani just having another one of his episodes and maybe we should call the doctor?Haha, we would never call the doctor for Rudy Giuliani, JUST KIDDING. The rest of the interview is about how it's totally OK that Paul Manafort did a bunch of NO COLLUSION with shady characters and Russian spies, and how could Donald Trump have possibly known about that, considering how Manafort was a mere intern on the campaign who only worked there for one day, but none of that matters, because the collusion part of the investigation is over and Mueller found nothin', according to Rudy Giuliani, who will amend that statement as many times as he wants to over the course of his next 46 TV appearances, THE END.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Guess Which Grifty Assholes Are Joining That Grifty 'GoFundMe' Wall Guy?Somewhere in your muddled recollection of the recent Sacred Baby Day holiday, you may remember some grifty dipshit who started a GoFundMe to raise money to give Donald Trump for WALL. The campaign raised about $20 million, proving that PT Barnum may have badly underestimated the birth rate of suckers. Unfortunately for the campaign's organizer, Brian Kolfage, the federal government doesn't actually have any mechanism for accepting donations earmarked for anything, because the socialists in Congress insist on "budgets" and "appropriations" and taxes." The only government program that takes donations is the website to pay down the national debt. (Hey, a government website that's still up!) Yeah, we know you wanted to contribute an F-35 to your favorite Air Force squadron, but tough luck. Once it was clear the funds couldn't go to the campaign's intended purpose, Kolfage announced he'd started a nonprofit group that would build its own wall "on private land" along the border, and that the donations would all go to that. But GoFundMe kind of noticed, and announced that the change in purpose (and falling short of the original one billion dollar goal) meant all the donations would be refunded unless donors specifically gave Kolfage permission to divert them to the new nonprofit. Well by gosh, Brian Kolfage must be one trustworthy guy, because he says a whole bunch of people still want him to build Donald Trump's wall! And some of them are faaaamous! Kolfage and the source close to the campaign claimed that $7 million had been redirected to We Build the Wall, Inc. Kolfage said more than 120,000 donors have chosen this option, a number GoFundMe did not confirm. After initially offering the $7 million figure Tuesday morning, Kolfage later said it was a "guess." "Our donors gave to us to get the job done, and they trust us to do so," Kolfage said in an email to CBS News.CBS asked how exactly the money would be spent, but Kolfage "declined to give specifics," instead directing them back to his GoFundMe page, which only says the money would "go toward wall construction only." No, you don't need to know how the Kolfage Wall will somehow synch up with Donald Trump's mythical WALL, or how building chunks of wall on private land is supposed to stop illegal border crossings. For all we know, Kolfage might take advantage of cheaper land by building his wall in Oklahoma, but definitely facing south. None shall pass. Still, looks like Kolfage managed to get a whole bunch of luminaries from the rightwing Griftosphere to join up with his completely legitimate endeavor. The board includes big names like grifty immigration panic expert Kris Kobach, grifty high-end mercenary Erik Prince, grifty Fox News Sheriff David Clarke, grifty former congressman and immigration panic innovator Tom Tancredo, and two of the "angel parents" Trump trots out to prove that undocumented immigrants are all rapists and murderers. This thing's gonna go BIG. Kobach told the Daily Beast he had high hopes for this wonderful project:"I joined the organization because its mission is of the highest importance to our country [...] The wall needs to be completed, and it needs to be done as soon as possible. The best way to accomplish that is through a combination of both public and private efforts.For the donors who didn't jump at the chance to repurpose their money toward the new vague goal -- which honestly, isn't that much more nebulous than the first -- the remaining $13 million will be refunded. If they do nothing, GoFundMe will send back the money in April, but if they request it immediately, they'll be repaid within three business days. Also too, since Kolfage's plan went viral in November, Buzzfeed has done some fine reporting on his background in -- hope you're sitting down! -- running a fake news website and a bunch of Facebook pages that reposted its content. What's more, former employees of that operation allege he's really not a nice man at all, and pushed them to fake up content whenever possible, and to "get creative with images" to maximize clickbait, as he suggested in an exchange of texts with one writer, Lindsay Lowery: "So get creative like using fake photoshopped images?" she responded. "I was kind of taken back at this...""Yup it's just a graphic. Best story of [the] day," he said."It's fake," she replied. "I don't see how this [is] making us a legit website""That's not for u to worry about," Kolfage texted back. "And it's only on Facebook. Not the website."Poor guy got kicked off Facebook eventually, and his website, Freedom Daily, has gone belly-up. (Yr Wonkette should probably buy the domain and redirect all the traffic here.) Lowery eventually quit, telling Buzzfeed that Kolfage "never wanted the truth. It was all just for clicks, and the more inflammatory, the better. I felt dirty writing the stuff." She also says after she quit, some really odd stuff happened, for some reason: [One] day last July, her husband called in a panic. FBI agents were at the door of their Colorado home responding to an anonymous tip that the mother of two was planning "on going on a killing rampage and talked about killing people," Lowery said, which she insists never happened [...] And then an anonymous tipster tried to cause trouble for her husband, who works at defense contractor Northrop Grumman, with a report that Lowery was working for "Macedonians" and wow, better do something about that security threat, huh? Fortunately, he showed his bosses screenshots of texts Kolfage sent Lowery saying "go fuck yourself," accusing her of "the highest level of betrayal," and promising to take down a new website Lowery had started, so nothing came of it. Nice guy! Oh, and then there's the scammy "mentoring program" Kolfage ran a GoFundMe for in 2015. He raised $16,246 with an appeal to help wounded vets turn their lives around through a wonderful mentoring program run by Kolfage, who himself lost three limbs in an IED explosion in Iraq. Here's an archived Facebook post claiming Kolfage had to seek donations because "obama" personally slashed funding for the mentoring program. Hooray for the Wayback Machine, eh? Damn you, obama, you e.e. cummings of vet haters! You can see why Kolfage would later want to photoshop obama's head onto another body and insist in all caps he'd been caught having an affair. It was a matter of justice. Despite the claim that the mentoring was done "in conjunction with" those military hospitals -- Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany -- Buzzfeed found a whole 'nother reality:But representatives for all three medical centers told BuzzFeed News that they have no record of any peer-mentoring programs or Kolfage working with patients at their centers."We do not have a record of Mr. Kolfage visiting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in any official capacity after 2012," Gia E. Oney, chief of public affairs for Landstuhl, told BuzzFeed News. "We have no record of a donation made in his name to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center."CBS News followed up with Kolfage, who said Buzzfeed had it all wrong, because duh, he knows from fake news: In an email to CBS News, Kolfage disputed the BuzzFeed report, claiming that he used the funds to travel to the hospitals where he conducted his mentorship program. He called the piece a "fake article.""They [sic] money was raised for my mentor program," Kolfage wrote in an email to CBS News on Tuesday. "The money wasn't raised for a hospital or another charity it was raised for me to travel for my award winning mentor trips to visit wounded veterans."So you just never mind, he never said any of the money went to hospitals, it was for him to go mentor vets at military hospitals, and he totally did, as a ninja, which is why there's no record of him ever visiting in an "official" capacity. He had to do the mentoring on the sly, so obama wouldn't assassinate him for his patriotism. Now give him wall money. You may not see the wall getting built, but it's there, in the hearts of all who love America. Believe. Oh, yes, and the brilliantly counter-trolling campaign to raise money for "ladders"? It's raised over $161,000, and the money really has gone exactly where the organizers said it would from the start, to the Texas-based migrant-rights group RAICES. No phony-baloney walls or "mentoring" at all there. [CBS News / Daily Beast / Buzzfeed News / Buzzfeed / Ladders to Get Over Trump's Wall]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Send us money to help us build a bridge -- to connect you to the finest commentary and fart jokes on the interwebs. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- OK, MAYBE There Was Collusion. Wonkagenda For Thurs., Jan. 17, 2019Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.Nancy Pelosi grabbed Trump by the balls with her letter discouraging him from delivering a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress while the government is shut down. Maggie Haberman gossips that Trump is privately screaming at his aides, "We're getting crushed!"Multiple outlets are reporting that both Trump's White House and all of Capitol Hill were caught off guard, noting that Pelosi's hilarious and legal move not only deprived Trump of the attention he so desperately craves, but also forces Republicans into the uncomfortable position of choosing between the party and national security. Commenting to Politico, Rep. Pramila Jayapal stated, "She's just a badass," adding, "There is some truth when she says, 'I'm a grandmother, I know a temper tantrum when I see it.'"Pencil pushers are starting to freak out about Trump's shutdown, warning that if federal workers miss another paycheck, a drop in economic growth coupled with the loss of consumer and business confidence, combined with Trump's trade war and the long term sting on consumer credit ratings, could trigger a recession. Lucky for Trump, who gauges his success on the ebbs and flows of stock market, Wall Street's 1% hasn't noticed rank-and-file federal workers are on the verge of quitting en masse.Trump's 2020 campaign manager and pubic beard-in-chief, Brad Parscale, says that they have all this polling data that says they're winning the war on messaging, but he refuses to show anybody. I guess Parscale's model is from a different school three towns over, and isn't available right now because it's currently vacationing in Russia. We're going to assume Rudy Giuliani was ALLEGEDLY drunk (again) when he went on CNN last night to walk back the whole NO COLLUSION narrative that Trump and Co. have been peddling for the past two years. Perhaps Giuliani suffering verbal diarrhea after a bad word salad, or maybe he was just foreshadowing the next Mueller indictment, but Chris Cuomo was dumbfounded when Giuliani blithered, "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign. I have no idea." [Video]Aside from cleaning up Trump's sticky messes, Michael Cohen ALLEGEDLY paid the chief information officer of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Liberty University $50,000 cash (in a Walmart bag with a boxing glove!) for attempting to rig useless internet polls, and creating a Twitter account with the sole purpose of making Michael Cohen a sex symbol. SERIOUSLY. Yesterday morning we told you how Robert Mueller wasn't done with Rick Gates yet; now the Daily Beast reports that Gates is spilling the beans on how the campaign worked with shady Israeli intel firm Psy Group to brainwash people on social media. According to the Beast, the Trump team asked an evil DC law firm if the whole scheme was was legal, and they replied with a high-gloss shruggy emoji. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Deputy HUD Secretary Pam Patenaude is leaving today over what WaPo reports as a "Sisyphean undertaking." Citing former HUD officials, they say Patenaude was fed up with making sure the administration abided by fair housing standards amid reports that Ben Carson's alt-right lackeys didn't care about civil rights, and was exhausted trying to explain congressionally appropriated disaster relief to Puerto Rico for Trump. A Marine combat veteran suffering from PTSD was almost deported by ICE after being detained and pleading guilty to trespassing and pulling a fire alarm in a hospital. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, 27, was born in Michigan and currently lives in the Grand Rapids area. The ACLU tells NBC News that ICE officials were unable to comment due to Trump's shutdown. The administration is expected to call for a massive investment in space lasers and anti-missile defense technologies in the (long-delayed) annual Missile Defense Review later this morning. Defense News has the nerdy bits and tech specs that include ramping up homeland defense against hostile actors like Russia and China, not just rogue states like Iran and North Korea, as well as drones with friggin' laser beams attached to their foreheads. About an hour after Trump announces his Star Wars program, US officials will sit with a North Korean delegation in DC. Administration officials are blabbing that this is the precursor to Trump's second meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but foreign policy nerds are quick to point out that the North Koreans have been ignoring high-level US officials for the last several months, including blowing off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is mocking reports that Trump might be a Russian agent, claiming the press has "lowered its standards," adding, "This right is under attack from Congress and this doesn't make these attacks constitutional or less illegal." #LifeProTip: Never take constitutional legal advice from Russian diplomats. Despite repeated assertions from CENTCOM that US was only selling weapons and providing "logistical support" for coalition forces in the the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the US has been training UAE forces in air combat operations. Nick Turse at Yahoo News got a trove of documents from the the Air Force Central Command that seem to show the US has been training coalition forces how to bomb Houthi rebels since 2016. They must not be paying attention, they keep hitting school buses and fruit stands.Yesterday at least 19 people were killed or wounded, including four Americans, in a terrorist attack in Manbij, Syria. Shortly after ISIS/"the caliphate"/whatever claimed responsibility for the attack that claimed the lives of two US service members, a US contractor, and a civilian working with the DOD, Mike Pence claimed victory over terrorist forces in the Middle East. Pence's office even released an official statement that condemned the attack in one sentence, and claimed victory in the next. Later in the day, Trump held a meeting with his NSC staff and several Republicans that prompted Sen. Rand Paul to tweet his ball gargling enthusiasm for Trump's Middle East pull-out, which was promptly mocked by Fox's Brian Kilmeade. #MissionAccomplishedFor the second time in less than six months, British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of "no confidence." Multiple political parties, former prime ministers and government officials, and even prominent business leaders are now calling on the liberal Labour party to join the growing chorus of people calling for a second referendum, or "People's Vote." Theresa May and her band of conservative morons continue to reject the idea, and are now trying to cobble together a "Plan B" by Jan. 29. Steve Carell is reuniting with Greg Daniels, the creator of "The Office," for a new workplace comedy series based around Trump's Space Force. The premise, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is all about figuring out how to make one of Trump's moronic ideas a reality. And Netflix already has the first teaser trailer.And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S MAYA, the polar pupper! Send Your Cutest Delivery Girl http://www.youtube.com Follow Dominic on Twitter and Instagram!We're 100% ad-free and reader-supported, so consider buying us coffee, or get a subscription!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Wait, Is Putin Getting Paid During The Trump Shutdown? THE F*CK?We had been wondering how GOP Senator Richard Burr was going to be in this era of divided government. He's the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and during the first two years of the Trump presidency, he seemed to take pride in the fact that the Senate was the All Growned Up body of Congress, and that his intelligence committee wasn't running around mouthfucking cows on the White House lawn like Devin Nunes's House Intelligence Committee. Burr seemed to care about doing a real investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and despite his status as a Republican, he seemed to be willing to accept it if that investigation led him directly up Donald Trump's butt.Well, today we have our answer about how Burr's going to be, and it's that he's definitely ended up inside Trump's ass, but he's apparently there to take a nice nap, and not to look for Russians. First he voted to un-sanction Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's companies, because after all, Russia has been very good and who is Richard Burr to say America shouldn't exist purely as a Kremlin satellite in this age of President Russian Asset?Then a reporter asked Burr if he's interested in getting his hands on the interpreter's notes from Trump's secret tête-à-têtes with Vladimir Putin, the notes Trump has literally confiscated and hidden from his aides, now that we are more sure than ever that President Russian Asset is a literal actual total fucking Russian intelligence asset.NAH! And Burr's reasoning is adorably stupid: O RLY? Would you claim "executive privilege," Richard Burr? Did we miss the part where Putin is actually on the White House payroll now? Because you kind of need that to happen before Trump's conversations with Putin can be called "executive privilege." Did Putin take one of the jobs Mick Mulvaney doesn't have time to do? Is he getting a W-2? Is he making the same salary as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or did she pull rank and say Putin is brand new and he smells, and she's walking out this fucking door if Putin gets paid the same as she does?IS PUTIN GETTING PAID DURING THE SHUTDOWN? Needless to say, conversations between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are not covered by executive privilege. We know Republicans are goddamned morons, but they don't have to be complete fucking buffoons like Rudy Giuliani on questions like "Executive Privilege: What Even Is It?" Or maybe they do. The point of this post is that Richard Burr needs to come to Jesus, and also we wanted to do a stupid headline asking whether or not Putin is getting paid during the government shutdown.And now, having said those things, it is time for your OPEN THREAD.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
New Civil Rights Movement: news and opinion focused on issues that affect the LGBTQ community
- 'Reading Comprehension Is Just NOT Her Bag': Internet Scolds Tomi Lahren for Saying #MarchForOurLives Is 'Against Everything'Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren is famous for making infamously idiotic statements. She's compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK, and claimed the Millennial vote will go to the candidate who offers "a little less talk about gay wedding cakes and little more emphasis on limited government."
- The Most Powerful Part of the #MarchForOurLives Protest Was When Emma González Stood and Said Nothing – And Yet, Everything'Fight for Your Lives Before It’s Someone Else’s Job'
- During #MarchForOurLives Trump Tweets 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Victims of Violence – in FranceAmerica First?
- Cameron Kasky at #MarchForOurLives: 'Either Represent the People or Get Out...Stand for Us or Beware: The Voters Are Coming''The People Demand a Law Banning the Sale of Assault Weapons'
- DOJ Uses Just-Passed $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill to Cancel School Safety and Violence Research StudiesOnce Again Trump Administration Chooses Conservative Principles and Actions Over Science
- Maher Trolls Trump: His Affairs Are Actually 'The Breakdown of the Family That Conservatives Warned Us About if We Allowed Gay Marriage'HBO host Bill Maher hilariously mocked President Donald Trump’s alleged affairs with adult film stars as an obvious violation of what should be moral Christian values from so-called evangelical conservatives.
- 50 States. 800 Cities. 30 Countries. Today Millions Will Protest Gun Violence and Demand Changes to Gun Laws500,000 to One Million Expected to Rally in DC
- Her Father Just Banned Transgender Troops Again So This Old Tweet From Ivanka Is Going Viral – and Not in a Good Way'Delete This'
- Trump Announces New Ban on Transgender Troops'Disqualified From Military Service Except Under Certain Limited Circumstances'
- Roy Moore Supporters Accused of Offering $10,000 to Discredit Woman Who Accused Him of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior'Two Men Worked to Discredit One of Roy Moore’s Accusers'
- 5 Weeks After Parkland Betsy DeVos Finally Forms School Gun Safety Commission – and She Wants to Hear From You"Members of the public with recommendations on how to increase school safety can send them..."
- Leaked Memo Reveals How Cambridge Analytica Used Duck Dynasty to Convince Undecided Voters to Choose TrumpA leaked document shows how Cambridge Analytica targeted certain types of social media users during the 2016 presidential campaign after harvesting personal data from Facebook.
- Trump's New Husband-Wife Legal Team of Fox News Pundits to Defend Him Against Mueller May Already Be OutCNN Reports Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing May Not Join the Trump Team
- Anti-Gay Hate Group Pulls Support From Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill Because It's Not Anti-Gay Enough'Trojan Horse That Will Do More Harm Than Good'
- NY TIMES: John Bolton Paid Cambridge Analytica $1.2 Million to Make Americans 'More Militaristic''Obsessed With How America Was Becoming-Limp Wristed and Spineless'
- Trump Threatens to Veto Just-Passed $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill – Over DACA, Which He Ended'I Am Considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill'
- Stormy Daniels' Attorney Brilliantly Trolls Trump With Mysterious Photo"If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth?????"
- Trump's New National Security Advisor John Bolton 'Wants to Go to War First, Diplomacy Second' Says Bush White House LawyerBolton Could 'Put Us in a Nuclear War'
- H.R. McMaster Out – Bolton InTrump Makes Announcement Moments After News Breaks
- A Trump Official Just Told the UN America Is 'A Pro-Life Country' and Advocated for 'Abstinence-Only' Sex EdPro-Life Anti-Transgender Activist Damaging U.S. Foreign Policy at the UN
Scholars and Rogues: a diverse band of political and social analysts, activists, jesters, and troublemakers
- To the kid in the MAGA capDear Kid, Yes, you. You know exactly who you are. So do your friends, teachers, and parents. Maybe this morning you still think that’s cool. Maybe you’re waiting for the interview requests […]
- Festival de la lumière, partie deux: #ArtSundayAbstract macro light bulbs… For Christmas, my girlfriend got me a portable StudioPro lighting rig – easily one the best presents in history. Until now I’ve shot all natural light, which is […]
- Dems: take the deal…with conditionsHere’s this gadfly’s prescription for bipartisan compromise Take the deal, with conditions. 1) Bipartisan oversight of the bidding process, including bipartisan vetting of bidders and whatever the usual public notice for comment […]
- In defense of Karen PenceWith commentary On the one hand, I’m with Mrs. Pence on this. She took a job at a private school. A lot of people find the type of school and Mrs. Pence […]
- Your Daily Devotional for January 18, 2019A mentally unstable drug addict lost in a soupy haze of dementia and untreated tertiary syphilis wouldn’t have been my first choice to lead this country is all I’m saying. Your Daily […]
- Your Daily Devotional for January 17, 2019What kind of shithole country shuts down its government for four weeks and forces its citizens to ration the insulin they can no longer afford to buy? Your Daily Devotional is a […]
- WTF is up with the Weather Channel app?Why doesn’t the Weather Channel at least agree with itself? Like many (most? all?) iPhone owners I have the Weather Channel app. (It comes installed on the phone and it’s easy enough […]
- Your Daily Devotional for January 18, 2019So is the president going to drag his fat goldbricking ass into the Oval Office today or is he content just to watch Fox News in his bedroom while jamming dozens of […]
- Long-form blogging in a tl;dr worldShort version: Hi! Things R awesome. Wish U were here. Mwah! Hi! It’s your friendly neighborhood contrarian and purple prose addict here, and I just want to take a short moment of […]
- Trump’s Wall vs the Berlin Wall: how much would it really cost? (Hint: more than you think)[UPDATED] All the estimates you’re seeing on the cost of Das Trumpenwand are leaving something out. Something important. And really, really expensive. NOTE: I figured out the flaw in my math and […]
Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Peter Sinclair, a long time advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives
- How Serious is GM About EVs?Advertisements
- Trump Shutdown Paralyzes NASA Climate ObservationsScience: The spreading effects of the partial U.S. government shutdown have reached Earth’s melting poles. IceBridge, a decadelong NASA aerial campaign meant to secure a seamless record of ice loss, has had to sacrifice at least half of what was supposed to be its final spring deployment, its scientists say. The shortened mission threatens a […]
- Bill Maher: Save the Middle Class to Save the ClimateIf you’ve been paying attention to the government shutdown, we’re learning a lot about just how close to the edge a lot of “middle class” Americans are, financially. It’s hard to get people to think of the next hundred years when they’re just struggling to get thru the next month.
- The Weekend Wonk: Potholer on the Conservative Solution to Climate ChangeTwo long vids from the legendary Aussie debunker. Financial Times (paywalled): The tragedy is that while the scientists and technologists have won the argument, the climate sceptics and deniers have effectively won the policy debate: we are doing far too little, far too late. It is now essential to transform the discussion from fear of […]
- New Florida Guv Denies Climate Change, but Has to Acknowledge Sea Level RiseAs evidence, uhm, floods in that Florida real estate is being impacted by sea level rise, even the climate deniers like newly elected Florida Guv Ron DeSantis have to respond. First Street Foundation: Scientists from the non-profit First Street Foundation find $7.4 billion has been lost in home value across 5 coastal states from 2005 […]
- How Captain Planet Failed UsPaul Barach in Medium: The day I learned that Exxon-Mobile knew about climate change in the 1970swas the first time in decades I’d thought of Captain Planet. Well, excluding this Robot Chicken sketch. (above) – For those of you not familiar with Ted Turner’s brainchild, Captain Planet was a Saturday morning cartoon about five teenagers […]
- Gen Z: Like Millennials, Progressive on ClimatePew Social Trends: Gen Zers’ views about climate change are virtually identical to those of Millennials and not markedly different from Gen Xers. About half in all three generations say the earth is getting warmer due to human activity. Boomers are somewhat more skeptical of this than Gen Zers or Millennials. Members of the Silent […]
- Andrew Dessler on the Threat to American ScienceYou don’t need education if you’re planning for a nation of serfs. Andrew Dessler on Twitter: As the shutdown continues to harm U.S. science in myriad ways, I worry a lot that we’re on the cusp of a long-term decline in U.S. science. U.S. research universities are the envy of the world. These research universities […]
- Fracking Will Fracture the ClimateHuffington Post: Amid mounting calls to phase out fossil fuels in the face of rapidly worsening climate change, the United States is ramping up oil and gas drilling faster than any other country, threatening to add 1,000 coal plants’ worth of planet-warming gases by the middle of the century, according to a report released Wednesday. […]
- Is Trump Compromised? Dear Media, Try to Keep Up..Maxine Waters had it nailed early on. There is a fossil fuel, climate denial connection with the greatest incidence of treason in the history of the United States. Below, I stand behind everything I said on an NPR call-in 2 years ago – just a few days after the election.
Title image: Bizarro, by Dan Piraro.