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- Come Up For Air And Have Some Nice ThingsThe news continues to be terrible, and so we continue to need these weekly reminders that not everything is horrible -- just the biggest things going on right now! There, don't you feel a lot better?In hyper-local news, a Boise man continues to enjoy having adopted a cat recently: What's the deal with cats and boxes, huh? Next Wonkette Book Club: The Handmaid's TaleThe results are in, and as I suspected, most of you said you wanted to read, or reread, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (1985) before we tackle the sequel, The Testaments, which was published this week. Get to reading, you! If you have an Amazon Prime membership, the ebook of Handmaid's Tale is actually available free for nothing; if you don't have Prime, the ebook is $9.99, or the paperback is $7.99 using the handy Wonkette kickback linky. Or you can just get it from the local libarry or used book store, or even grab it off that bookshelf where it's been sitting for years like my old edition of Chaucer from college which I will never open again, don't judge me. Yr Dok Zoom is taking a little vacay starting late next week, so there'll be no Nice Things column next Sunday; when I get back on September 29, we'll start discussing Handmaid's Tale, through Chapter 24, which is almost exactly halfway. Then we'll finish up on October 6. After that, we'll take a break of a week or two before diving into The Testaments sometime in late October. (I'm guessing probably the 27th, but that's not set in stone or anything. If y'all clamor for the 20th, I can do that too!)Also, I want to acknowledge some comments from last week, when I said we'd be reading Handmaid and its sequel: several commenters said they'd be taking a pass on the book club this time around, because Atwood's dystopia is simply too traumatic to read, or at least too close to the current political climate to subject themselves to. I absolutely respect that, and briefly considered having an alternate selection for those readers to talk about instead, but then realized that would mean doing four alternate posts, and I am far too slow a writer and reader to attempt that. So I'll have to settle for acknowledging that Atwood's Republic of Gilead is a terrible place to visit, and you're in good company -- when I mentioned the selection to Kid Zoom and offered to buy a copy, they let me know they'd sit this one out, thanks. And indeed, that also fits perfectly well with Atwood's own observation on the genre: It's a sad commentary on our age that we find dystopias a lot easier to believe in than utopias. Utopias we can only imagine; dystopias we've already had.Which, of course, is why it also feels like we need to read the book again, if we're able -- even as we acknowledge some readers will decide it's a "thanks, but nope." UPDATE: Via alert Wonkette Operative "Twinkie 223" in the comments, You might want to go check out this fine interview/profile of Atwood in the Atlantic. Is it required reading? Isn't EVERYTHING? It's George Orwell's World; We Just Live In ItThat Atwood quote above is one of two epigrams to the book I'm reading at the moment, a brilliant work published earlier this summer: The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell's 1984, an amazing, comprehensive study by Dorian Lynskey. The other is straight from 1984 itself: There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.The first half, which I'm nearly finished with, is a brief bio of George Orwell focused on how he came to write Nineteen Eighty-Four (the British title of the novel; in America, it's 1984). The second half is about how the book has been read over the years, including the basic weirdness of Orwell's having to keep insisting that while it was a satire and warning about Stalinist totalitarianism, Orwell himself remained a democratic socialist to his dying day. I won't call this a book review since I'm still only halfway through, but I can certainly recommend giving this a read. While Lynskey started the book long before the 2016 elections, Donald Trump and his administration's embrace of "alternative facts" are a constant presence in the book; Trump's recent attempt to revise the very weather is the sort of thing for which the adjective "Orwellian" was coined -- and of course, Lynskey notes that right after Sean Spicer insisted Trump's sparsely-attended inauguration had the largest audience in history, 1984 was suddenly a bestseller again. It's a hell of a good read, and Lynskey keeps reminding us what a remarkable effort Orwell made to be honest, even as he acknowledged his biases and shortcomings:Because he refused to outsource his judgement to an ideology or party line, even when he was wrong, which was quite often, he was wrong in a sincere and interesting way.Lynskey aims for similar honesty with his subject, teasing out as far as possible what Orwell was thinking and reading and obsessing over at important points in his career, and noting various accusations that Orwell borrowed elements of 1984 from other novels -- not that there's much of a case to be made for Orwell as "plagiarist;" even when he took some notions from other writers, he fit them into a framework that was altogether his own. Orwell reviewed all the works he adapted ideas from, so he certainly wasn't trying to pull a fast one. And as Lynskey observes, utopias and their dystopian cousins all tend to share so many thematic elements that you might just as well accuse any writer in the genre of theft. The thing that really impresses us is the depiction of Orwell's social world: he socialized with writers who he might savage in a review, if he thought their work wasn't up to snuff, and went out of his way to engage with writers he profoundly disagreed with. He had a huge falling-out with H.G. Wells, whom he accused at dinner of being altogether too optimistic about human nature. Weeks later, Wells, who considered his utopian novels warnings about how we might avoid self-destruction, was still fuming that his host thought him so naive. He wrote to Orwell, "Read my early works, you shit." Cats As Non-Newtonian FluidsSomebody recently retweeted this tweet from 2017 that brought our attention to a science word we hadn't known before! Rheology, it turns out, is the study of the flow of matter, primarily in a liquid state, but also as "soft solids" or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force. It is a branch of physics which deals with the deformation and flow of materials, both solids and liquids.And by golly, that sure sounds like a cat, huh? The tweet shared some illustrations from "On the Rheology of Cats," by Marc-Antoine Fardin. Fardin won the 2017 Ig Nobel Prize in physics from the scientists at play who publish the Annals of Improbable Research. As Fardin explained for PBS, At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container. The action must also have a characteristic duration. In rheology this is called the relaxation time. Determining if something is liquid depends on whether it's observed over a time period that's shorter or longer than the relaxation time.If we take cats as our example, the fact is that they can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid.The problem with cats as non-Newtonian liquids, Fardin found, is that "the flow rate, which is the usual dimensional control parameter, can be hard to compute because cats are active rheological materials." The Ig Nobels were awarded again this week, and if you want to see some of the winners explain their work in five minutes or less, you can watch that here. In the early years, if acceptance speeches went over their allotted time, an eight-year-old girl stepped onstage and repeated, "I'm bored! Please stop talking!" until they did; harsher measures -- a clicker that drowns the speaker out -- have since been adopted. Among the winners this year were researchers who looked at how much saliva the average five-year-old produces daily (the Chemistry prize), scientists who measured how pleasurable scratching an itch is (Peace Prize), and the authors of the Physics prize, on how wombats produce cube-shaped poo.The Molly Ivins Documentary Is Finally Here! Goddamnit, we missed Molly Ivins's birthday this year. So it goes. So by way of apology here is NPR's piece on the brand new Molly Ivins documentary, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, which is finally in "select theaters" this week. Yell at your local artsy-fartsy movie house to book it! Here's the NPR piece, by mellifluous-voiced Texas correspondent Wade Goodwyn: Looking back on her early days as a reporter, Ivins told Goodwyn not long before she died in 2007, Being tall helped — being 6 feet tall. You know, nobody ever looked at me and said, "Oh, you poor, sweet, dainty, fragile little thing — we couldn't possibly send you out to cover a fire." It was always, "Ivins, get your ass out there!"And here's the trailer for the movie! Raise Hell: The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins - Official Trailer http://www.youtube.com And Now, On To The Dogs, Cats, And Dad Jokes: "Once a male has won over a female, the lizard will perform exotic head bobs and head swinging to court her" -- WikipediaSounds like Peter Parker, all right. And we'll close out the week with this pure toddler wonderfulness. Now get outta here and go read a book, hug a friend, or pet a pet. We'll get back to the nasties soon enough. [The Handmaid's Tale / The Testaments / The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell's 1984 / On the Rheology of Cats / PBS Newshour / The Ig Nobel Prizes / NPR]Yr Wonkette is entirely supported by reader donations. 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- CNN Guy Bravely Sticks Up For Insurance Company Lovers Who Are Feeling Personally Attacked By Warren And SandersI shouldn't have clicked. Here I was, looking around for something PERKY for the open thread (which is difficult for me because I don't really have a good understanding of what perky is), when I came upon the following CNN headline:Warren and Sanders say Americans don't like their health insurance. Polls don't back that up.And I knew! I knew it was going to be stupid, I knew it was going to be terrible, I knew it was going to make me want to put my fist through a wall, but I clicked anyway and it was worse than I had even imagined. So I am going to yell about it, if that is OK with all of you! CNN journalist Harry Enten points to a few polls about what people want and what they like, re: health care, and then proceeds to use that to explain that actually, people LOVE their private insurance and would prefer a slightly better Obamacare with a public option (maybe) to Medicare For All. Poll of the week: A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that when it comes to expanding coverage and lowering health care costs 55% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents prefer to vote for a candidate who does so by building on the Affordable Care Act. Only 40% want do so by voting for voting for a candidate who replaces the ACA with Medicare for All.This poll is consistent with previous Kaiser polls on the subject in finding Democrats wanting to vote for someone who builds on the ACA.What's the point: Another Democratic presidential debate was defined by whether it's best to improve health care coverage through Medicare for All with minimal private insurance or having private insurance with a government run health care option. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued the former, while some others, most prominently former Vice President Joe Biden, argued the latter.Polls like the one I just cited indicate that the candidates who favor a public option hold the majority opinion within the Democratic Party.There isn't much point to a half-assed solution unless that point is for it to suck just enough so that people who don't want single-payer can go "See how TERRIBLE this is? Single payer would be even worse!" I'm sorry, but it's true. The fact is, a public option or whatever will not be as good as Medicare For All, for a variety of reasons. The first reason, quite frankly, is that if it's only for poor people, there will be very little impetus to actually make it good. If rich people also have to use it, if middle class people also have to use it, they will put pressure on politicians to make sure it doesn't suck. Poor people don't have that kind of leverage! It's the same reason why the voucher system make public schools worse. Another big reason is that a whole big part of why Medicare for All saves money has to do with billing. The administrative costs of sending bills to 25,000 different insurers account for a major part of healthcare expenditures. Expenditures that would not be necessary if all the bills automatically went to one place. Let me just restate this to be extra clear: You pay more for a thing that you buy than you should, because someone has to be paid to argue with the people you are paying that they should give you the thing you paid for. That's like going to the supermarket, getting some milk, paying for the milk, and then paying an extra dollar for the milk so that the supermarket will let you take the milk home. Dig? But let's go on!The polling shouldn't be too surprising when you look at how Democrats feel out their own health insurance: they like it.According to Gallup polling from late last year, 82% of Democrats said the quality of health care they received was either good or excellent. A large majority, 71%, believed their health care coverage was either good or excellent. Even when it comes to health care costs, 61% of Democrats said were satisfied with what they paid in health care.On Thursday, Warren argued that, despite these numbers, she has "actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company."It turns out that Kaiser posed this question to Americans back in 2013 "Do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of your own health insurance company?"In that poll, 72% of Democrats they had a favorable view of their health insurance company. That's triple the 24% who said they had an unfavorable view.People don't love having private insurance. They love having health care. As with anything else, they are aware of when they have good health insurance or bad health insurance, and would prefer the kind of insurance that is less bad. That doesn't mean that insurance companies don't suck. Because they do. The entire point of an insurance company is to collect money from you and then, when you have some kind of medical procedure, to say "No, we won't cover that." "No" is the default. "No" is automatic. In order to get them to cover it, someone at the hospital needs to bargain and negotiate with your insurance company, which costs money. Is that a good system? Really? It's better than everything just being covered with no middleman? Now, I will not argue the fact that there are some people who do love that kind of thing. I worked in a boutique, so I am well aware of the fact that there are a whole lot of people who like spending a whole lot more than is necessary on something just because they can and someone else can't; who are more than happy to spend $200 on a purse we got in Koreatown for $10, but would never deign to go to Marshall's and get a much better bag for far less than that. That is just how some people are. I will contend, however, that this is a very stupid way to be and that we should not really build our national healthcare policy around those instincts. Given the option, it is always less stupid to get things at cost or in bulk pricing than it is to pay retail. That is why people go to Costco. Single payer is Costco, private health insurance is a stupid boutique where they charge you $200 for a plastic $10 purse that I, a shopgirl working on commission, would tell you is "vegan leather." I actually do have a solution to this whole problem for people like Harry Enten, who apparently just really, really love giving a lot of money to health insurance companies for basically no reason. Hear me out! Instead of diabetics going on GoFundMe in order to get insulin so they don't die, the soon-to-be-former CEOs of health insurance companies can go on their instead. And Harry Enten can funnel as much money to them as he likes! It's a win-win, really. He goes on:This polling is probably the reason that most of the Democrats on the Thursday debate stage don't want to mostly eliminate private insurance companies. It might also explain why Biden continues to lead the Democratic race. He's closer to the median voter on the marquee issue this primary season than either his two leading competitors Sanders or Warren.If Sanders or Warren win the nomination, it will be in spite of their health care positions, not because of them.Really? I mean, I suppose it's possible with Warren, but Bernie Sanders' whole thing is health care. What possible demographic would exist that would go "You know, I really like Bernie Sanders, except for his position on health care?" I'm gonna say something really mean here, so prepare yourselves: If you combine the poll numbers of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they are beating the living hell out of not only Joe Biden, but of everyone else there. Combined. It's just math! And the thing is, they're doing that well in spite of the fact that "the serious people" of the pundit class said no to both of them, initially (they're getting more OK with Warren these days). This is actually a big deal! Hell, when "the serious people" said that Howard Dean had to go because he yelled weird one time (but let's be real, it was because he opposed the Iraq War), everyone immediately went along with them. I am not going to lie, I kind of love it. I absolutely love it when people don't go along and do what they're told. It's a thing I have. Anyway, the odds are that a lot of the people who are saying they will vote for Joe Biden are not saying that because they are so over-the-moon about what a fabulous candidate he is, but because they have been told, over and over again, that "he's the ONLY one who can beat Trump!" and they're just going along with that. But I digress. Let's let Enten continue his paean to the gloriousness of private health insurance:Moreover, 58% of all Americans told Gallup last year they were satisfied with their health care costs and clear majorities answered good or excellent on the quality of their health care (80%) and coverage (69%). And similarly to Democrats, 74% of all Americans told Kaiser in 2013 that they had a favorable view of their own health insurance company.Perhaps the best hope for Sanders and Warren is to not make health care personal. Americans may like their own insurance and their own insurance company, but just 20% are satisfied with the total cost of health care in America. A minority (43%) have a favorable view of health insurance companies at large. But when you propose eliminating private insurance, it's pretty hard not to make it personal to the many voters who rely on it.And that last sentence there, my friends, is where I lost my shit. "HARD NOT TO MAKE IT PERSONAL." What does that even mean? Does he think that people feel like, personally attacked by Elizabeth Warren denying their love for their insurance companies? Who are these people and my god, can we get them some help? Also... and I just need to say this. The whole point of Medicare For All is that it covers everything. Why would anyone want to "rely" on an insurance company (whose job, again, is to tell you NO) if everything is covered? What is it that they would get out of that? WHAT SENSE COULD THAT POSSIBLY MAKE? OK, I am done blowing my gasket here. Please go talk amongst yourselves, as this is now your open thread!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
- Seth Rich's Family May Now Sue The Pants Off Of Fox News, Appeals Court RulesFor the past God knows how many years at this point, the family of Seth Rich, a former DNC staffer who was murdered during a botched robbery, has had to deal with an onslaught of completely absurd conspiracy theories about his death — conspiracy theories pushed, in no small part, by Fox News and Sean Hannity in particular. You've probably heard it before, but just in case you haven't, it goes a little something like this — Seth Rich was working for the DNC one day, when he realized that the DNC was actually very bad and decided to leak a bunch their of emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks, and then Hillary Clinton found about about it and immediately figured out (magically!) that this random guy she'd never met before was the one what done it and she was so mad that she had him murdered or something, and oh my God #ClintonBodyCount!!! It is very stupid, but so are the people who believe in it. In March of 2018, Joel and Mary Rich filed a lawsuit against Fox for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" after the network boosted the formerly fringe conspiracy theory about his death. In August of this year, the lawsuit was dismissed, but on Friday, an appeals court ruled that it could go forward, deeming Fox's reporting on his death as "extreme and outrageous conduct."Via Mother Jones:The lawsuit describes a lurid and elaborate plot where a Fox News reporter, Malia Zimmerman, and contributor, Ed Butowsky, befriended the Riches and urged them to hire a private investigator, Rod Wheeler, without disclosing that he was a paid contributor to Fox News. Without the Riches' knowledge, the suit says Wheeler coordinated with Donald Trump's White House and fed Fox News false information peddling the Wikileaks conspiracy theory, which resulted in a May 2017 Fox News story: "Slain DNC Staffer Had Contact with WikiLeaks Say Multiple Sources."Rich's family asked Fox News to retract the story, which they did five days later. But Fox News guests and hosts like Sean Hannity continued to peddle the false story for months afterward. After what this poor family has been through, we sure hope that they win their lawsuit and get lots and lots and lots of money from Fox News — a network that sure as hell needs to be taught a lesson about spreading stupid conspiracy theories to stupid people. [Mother Jones]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
- Anti-Vaxxer Throws Bloody Diva Cup At California State Senate, 'For The Dead Babies'On Friday afternoon, while the California State Senate prepared to go into recess, some wacky-ass anti-vaxx lady went and got herself arrested after she "threw a feminine hygiene device containing what appeared to be blood onto the Senate floor" at the senators... while screaming that she was doing it "for the dead babies." How PETA!Naturally, all of the senators in the building responded to this action by saying, in unison, "Oh wow, we hadn't thought about that before! Never mind, it is totally cool if you want to send your unvaccinated children to school so they can infect children who have compromised immune systems with the measles!" Except not. Because throwing a diva cup at someone is not a good way to make a point about anything. It is mostly just gross.According to at least one person, the assailant reportedly claimed it was, indeed, menstrual blood. For those of you who have never used a menstrual cup, let me tell you what that means. It means that she would have had to have just pulled it out. While there. Because those things do not travel with anything in them. They are made of soft silicone and there is pretty much nothing you could cover them with. Saran Wrap would not work! It's too squishy. If you tried to tote that along in your purse, it would leak and you would have a purse full of menstrual blood. In order to make this happen, she would have had to do one of two things. She could have taken her underwear off (or not have worn any any), squatted down and and straight up reached in to pull that sucker out (very gently, to avoid spillage!) and then thrown it at the senators or she could have brought along some other kind of red liquid in a Thermos or something, and then poured it into the Diva Cup before throwing it. And that almost makes less sense, somehow. Because in that scenario, a Diva Cup would probably be the worst possible fake-blood toting choice. Unless menstrual blood symbolizes something in anti-vaxx land that I don't know about. The woman, identified as Rebecca Dalelio, 43, by the California Highway Patrol, was at the State Senate along with many other anti-vaxxers to protest the final approval of several bills that would remove a variety of vaccine exemptions for children going to school. Over the last few years, in California and elsewhere, there has been a rise in anti-vaxx parents getting "medical exemptions" for kids who do not actually need them. They've been able to go to certain doctors, get a note, and then send their kid to school, totally unvaccinated. Now that SB-276 has passed, these medical exemptions will be tracked and if fewer than 95% of a school is vaccinated, or if one doctor writes over five or more exemptions a year, those exemptions will be reviewed in order to make sure that they are actually necessary.If people don't want to vaccinate their children, we can't really force them to. But no, those kids should not get to go to school and screw up the herd immunity and give everyone the measles, just because they have idiot parents who think vaccines cause autism or whatever. That is not fair. If they want to pull that shit, they can homeschool their kids. It is unclear what, if anything, this bullshit has to do with menstrual blood. [San Francisco Chronicle]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 Is Too Busy To Talk To You Right NowSorry, haters, ain't got time to talk to ya right now, our big annual drunken neighborhood festival starts in a few minutes and we gotta get our shit together. So let's DO THIS.Before we count down the top ten stories of the week, here is your obligatory money beg, because if you love Wonkette, we need you to SUPPORT WONKETTE. Give us money to keep the lights on up in here! Better yet? SUBSCRIBE MONTHLY! Or up your subscription! Thank you, we love you, you pay our rent.Also, have you been to the Wonkette Flea Market lately, in order to find some rare finds? We have all kinds of merches, like t-shirts and coffee cups featuring your favorite candidates, and also just Wonkette-branded swag. Maybe there is some you do not have! GO FIND OUT.Ready to count down the top stories? Yes, you are.Stories chosen as usual by Beyoncé:10. University Of Alabama Dean YOU'RE FIRED For Tweeting While Black9. You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know We've Got The Nice Things8. Laura Ingraham Triggers All The Libs Who Think She Can't Drink A Steak Or Eat Light Bulbs7. Michael Flynn Is A Very Serious Person With A Very Serious Lawyer6. It's Time For Donald Trump's Daily Alabama Hurricane Watch, Starring Donald Trump!5. NO CUSSING! Your Fucking Democratic Debate Liveblog4. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Unclear On Why She Is Not A Feminist Icon3. Fine, Here Is Your Damn 'Todd Palin Quits Marriage Halfway Through Term' Post, YOU HAPPY NOW?2. WONKETTE DEFEATS THINKPROGRESS1. Jerry And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcock: The Jerry Falwell Jr. Story! Allegedly!Those are good stories! Mostly about awful things!Couple more pix: OK that's all, go with God, etc.Love,WonketteFollow 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 keep the lights on, please. We appreciate you, most of the time.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: What If We Just Did The Obama Iran Deal ... BUT STUPIDER?Let's end this week the way we start and end every week: by shaking our heads and marveling at how goshdang DUMB the current occupant of the Oval Office is.After all the fanfare of Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal ostensibly because the Iranians weren't in compliance (they were), but really because it had Obama's name on it, Trump has decided that maybe he would like to do some Obama Iran deal for himself, albeit in a specifically dumber and Trumpier way.Approximately eight and one quarter seconds after Trump ridded himself of this meddlesome John Bolton, the Daily Beast reported:President Donald Trump has left the impression with foreign officials, members of his administration, and others involved in Iranian negotiations that he is actively considering a French plan to extend a $15 billion credit line to the Iranians if Tehran comes back into compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal.Trump has in recent weeks shown openness to entertaining President Emmanuel Macron's plan, according to four sources with knowledge of Trump's conversations with the French leader. Two of those sources said that State Department officials, including Secretary Mike Pompeo, are also open to weighing the French proposal, in which the Paris government would effectively ease the economic sanctions regime that the Trump administration has applied on Tehran for more than a year.That sounds really cool. Sanctions relief for compliance with the nuke deal, it's like ... deja vu all over again!Basically, France would extend a $15 billion credit line to Iran, backed by Iranian oil, and all Iran has to do is follow the rules of the thing it agreed to and abided by way back in 2015. Neat. So what's changed? Oh, well, you see, we are just guessing Trump noticed that he doesn't have a photo op with Iran on his Wall Of Dictators I Am BFFs With, and with Bolton outta the way, it's time to get one! It's like an Elizabeth Warren selfie line, but evil and stupid.As the Daily Beast reminds us, Trump seemed to be caught a bit off guard at the G7 when all of a sudden Iranian Prime Minister Javad Zarif showed up, afterward trying to say that Emmanuel Macron had asked him permission to have his Iranian pal over, whereupon Macron made clear that he had informed Trump that Zarif was coming over to play Naked Twister, and if Trump didn't want to play, he could be the guy who spins the wheel, we guess. (Sorry, we know it is Friday and we have just given you a mental image of Donald Trump playing Naked Twister. All our condolences for what's happening in your brain right now. HE ONLY LOOKS SO ORANGE BECAUSE OF THE ENERGY-SAVING LIGHT BULBS, DAMMIT.)To Robert Malley, who worked on Iran policy during the Obama administration, that visit indicated that "Trump must have signaled openness to Macron's idea, otherwise Zarif would not have flown to Biarritz at the last minute.""Clearly, Trump responded to Macron in a way that gave the French president a reason to invite Zarif, and Zarif a reason to come," he said.OK."I do believe they'd like to make a deal. If they do, that's great. And if they don't, that's great too," Trump told reporters Wednesday. "But they have tremendous financial difficulty, and the sanctions are getting tougher and tougher."Yeah, sure, great, yep.The Daily Beast notes that these recent events -- the stick of slamming Iran with sanctions, combined with the carrot of saying you'll stop if Iran will sit the fuck down and play nice -- is a lot like what happened just before the Obama Iran nuclear deal was signed. But don't call it the Obama deal! Obama BAD!Of course, and obviously, John Bolton was very much against this. Now that this news is coming out, it seems like the Iran situation might have been the real reason Bolton left, as opposed to his anger over Trump's naked hair-braiding slumber party with the Taliban at Camp David, which the president wanted to happen SO BAD. (We apologize, we know, it is Friday, and now you are also thinking about a nude Donald Trump lounging among the Taliban getting his Yeti pubes French-braided. Thoughts 'n' prayers for however long it takes you to recover from all this. It's a pity we'll be leaving you alone with your anguish soon.)Steve Benen at the MaddowBlog notes that as recently as this very week, Mike Pompeo and the Munch swore up and down that they are still doing "maximum pressure" to Iran, and that it's just working great. Of course, it never was working great. Indeed, it was reported on Monday that Iran was hitting the accelerator some more on its nuke program, which is golly such a surprise, since Trump pulled out of the nuke deal that incentivized Iran to cut that shit out. You know, the one Obama negotiated.And now he, Trump, is thinking maybe he will do the Obama thing. Ayup. Have we mentioned that Trump really really really really really really really really really wants to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the UN General Assembly this month? And ... mayyyyyyyyybe get a selfie for his wall mayyyyyyyyyyybe pretty pretty please Mr. Art Of The Deal wants everybody to think he did some Art Of The Deals, and if he's too dumb to create one for himself, he can always just tear down an Obama deal so he can put together the same-ass deal Obama already did, and call it something different? PLEEEEEASE?Senator Chris Murphy, expressing his feelings: Ours too. The president of the United States is a dipshit.All righty! Have an open thread and a good weekend, if you can get Trump's French-braided pubes playing Naked Twister out of your brains, LOLOLOL BYE![Daily Beast / Maddow Blog]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Get Elizabeth Warren's Government Hands Off Our Social Security! Just Kidding, Liz, FEEL IT UP PROPER!Elizabeth Warren has a crazy idea: Instead of acting like Paul Ryan should ever have been taken seriously, even once, how about we improve Social Security? She proposes increasing monthly Social Security benefits for everyone currently receiving them by $200 a month, and also taking steps to improve the retirement incomes of those who traditionally have not been able to get much out of Social Security because the system was never very kind to some kinds of workers: "women and caregivers, low-income workers, public sector workers, students and job-seekers, and people with disabilities." Not surprisingly, it's paid for by increasing Social Security taxes on the top two percent of Americans, who currently pay a far smaller portion of their income into the system than most workers.It's a heck of a good plan, and an economic analysis by Mark Zandy of Moody's Analytics found it would raise 4.9 million seniors out of poverty, increase economic growth, stabilize the Social Security program, and even reduce the federal deficit by a trillion dollars over 10 years. Let's take a look at this sucker, and then have a nice nap. Is there a draft in here? Warren and her policy team note that with private pensions rapidly becoming a thing of the past, Social Security has become the main source of Americans' retirement income, remarking that About half of married seniors and 70% of unmarried seniors rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. More than 20% of married seniors and 45% of unmarried seniors rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.For seniors of color, the numbers are especially worrying: For very large percentages, Social Security is their only source of income. But thanks to decades of stagnant wages, average benefits have shrunk over the years. For someone who worked their entire adult life at an average wage and retired this year at the age of 66, Social Security will replace just 41% of what they used to make. That's well short of the 70% many financial advisers recommend for a decent retirement[.]And hooray, that trend is predicted to get even worse for coming retirees, like some of us will even be able to afford to retire, which Fox News thinks is just the nicest news ever. (Ask me how I'll be paying my student loans well into retirement! No, don't; I cry ugly.)To reverse that trend, Warren calls for an increase of $200 a month for all current and future Social Security recipients. And that extra $2,400 a year is just a start. She wants to make the system more fair, because Social Security has been a lousy deal for some Americans: Broadly speaking, Social Security benefits track with your income during your working years. That means pay disparities and wrongheaded notions that value salaried work over time spent raising children or caring for elderly relatives carry forward once you retire. That needs to change. In addition, she'd rejigger the formula for cost of living increases to make them more responsive to the actual costs retirees face, like higher medical care needs. And she rolled out a fun little calculator widget for you to play with, telling you how your own Social Security benefits would change under her plan, regardless of whether you're retired yet. We won't get into the details, because you can read 'em yourself, but the idea here is to help alleviate the disparities in retirement income that are a legacy of the long-term devaluing of women and their work -- both as mommies, but also right goddamn now, as caregivers for retired parents, for instance; women and men who do caregiving work for relatives would be credited as having ... gosh ... worked. Similarly, Warren proposes adjustments to benefits for widows and widowers, and increased benefits for retiring low-income workers, because -- get a load of this genocidal Khmer Rouge socialism! -- "No one who spends 30 years working and contributing to Social Security should retire in poverty." Warren would also bring back the survivor benefit for full-time students with a parent who dies or becomes disabled. Congress killed that off under Reagan, and I and Paul Ryan were among the last college students to receive that benefit. ONE of us turned out not to be an Ayn Rand-worshiping asshole, at least. (I may be an asshole, but not the Rand-worshiping variety.) Warren notes that benefit was especially vital for college attendance by lower-income students, children of parents who hadn't been to college, and African-Americans, and that when Congress dropped the benefit in the 1980s, "college attendance by previously eligible beneficiaries dropped by more than one-third." Not only would she bring it back, she'd increase the eligibility period from age 21 to 24, because college takes longer these days, especially if you're poor or a minority. Oh look, Stuart Varney, MORE DAMN PEOPLE GETTING OPPORTUNITY, HOW HORRIBLE. Warren's plan would even encourage more people to take apprenticeships and get into training programs by allowing people in such programs to exclude up to three years of wages from their overall average, thus increasing their monthly benefit. She notes, without actually mentioning the Green New Deal, that America is "about to enter a period of immense transformation in the economy," and so there shouldn't be any disincentives to get in the way of people preparing for those newfangled windmill-building jobs. There's also a heck of a lot about the need to make the very rich pay their fair share. Lots of reasons to do this besides just soaking the rich, which we're all for anyway. But wage inequality has led to an artificially low cap on the total earnings subject to FICA tax, even as top earners make more money than ever: In 1983, 90% of total wage earnings were below the cap. Now it's just 83%. The top 1% of earners have an estimated effective FICA contribution rate of about 2%, compared to more than 10% for the middle 50% of earners. That amounts to billions of dollars every year that should have gone to Social Security but instead remained in the pockets of the very richest Americans, while the Social Security system slowly starved.Add to that the fact that the very rich tend to get more of their income from investments than from a paycheck, and you've got a lot of lazy rich takers. So Warren would increase the FICA tax on incomes over $250,000 a year, and impose a Social Security tax on investment income, again limited to those who make over $250,000 a year. That's the top 2 percent of earners. No, no millionaires will be left homeless. Warren may be on the right track here. For one thing, former Republican senator Phil Gramm took to Fox News yesterday to insist that increasing Social Security benefits for everyone would have a terrible effect on retirees and old folks, because of course he did, the Social Security slashing old asshole. [Team Warren on Medium / NYT / Fox News]Yr Wonkette is supported entirely by your donations. Please send us money to help keep the servers humming, the writers paid, and Dok reading policy papers well into his dotage.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Russia Wants Its CIA Asset Spy Back, HECKUVA JOB, EVERYONE!That didn't take long. Ayup, that is the spy we've been talking about all week long, the one who helped the Obama administration figure out things like "Vladimir Putin personally ordered the ratfucking operation to hurt Hillary Clinton and help install Dear Orange Leader Trump in office." Heckuva job, literally everyone!Business Insider with some more details:The Russian news agency RIA reported that the Russian government said in its Interpol request that the asset, Oleg Smolenkov, disappeared two years ago and that now, with the media involved, it's "important to carefully study everything and check it again."The Russian government also expressed concern that the "spy scandal" was created to hurt President Donald Trump "because an electoral campaign has begun in the United States."Awwww, concern troll is CONCERNED (about its intelligence asset, Donald Trump).The basic tick-tock of this week is this:Monday: CNN reports on the very special spy who was extracted in 2017 during a family trip to Montenegro, at least partially over concerns that Trump would burn the spy's identity to Putin, but doesn't say his name, because no shit.Monday night: NBC News's Ken Dilanian goes to Smolenkov's house, then spends the evening making the rounds on all the shows saying FOUND HIM! FOUND HIM! LOOK AT ME I FOUND HIM! NOT GONNA SAY HIS NAME BUT YOU CAN PROBABLY FIGURE IT OUT IF YOU TRY REAL HARD! FOUND HIM! FOUND HIM! LOOK AT ME I FOUND HIM! Ken Dilanian is a shitty reporter.Also Monday night: The New York Times follows up with its own story, gives way more detail on what this Russian source did for America, and more context about why the spy was extracted. Does not name Smolenkov, because again, no shit. Specifically says US officials didn't want it leaked, because of how dude's life could be in danger.Also too Monday night: Smolenkov and his family reportedly GTFO of their house and go somewhere else.Tuesday: Russian state media names the guy. Acts like PFFFFFT no big deal, he was the coffee boy, got the coffee for the people, didn't know the things. Dmitry Peskov -- the Stephanie Grisham of the Kremlin (dunno if he's as good a driver as she is) -- says the CNN report is "pulp fiction." The Washington Post also names Smolenkov that day, without saying for sure that he is definitely the spy in question, but by that point, everybody is like "OK wink wink nudge nudge."Thursday: Russian state media posts a picture of the alleged coffee boy the Kremlin is totally not concerned about. And Russia does the Interpol notice thingie! But for real, Russia is NOT WORRIED ABOUT IT, and DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO TRY TO ASSASSINATE SMOLENKOV ON AMERICAN SOIL OR ANYTHING. You know, unless they do. YOLO!All of this is totally great. Again, heckuva job, everyone! We live in the most fucked up timeline.Do we really think Vladimir Putin had no idea where this guy, whom America extracted in 2017 for his own safety, really was? Nah. He knew. But it's not all that important to a person like Putin until or unless that person becomes a source of humiliation for the Kremlin. Like, say, if the media won't shut up all week about how they found this guy and he's living under his real name in the DC suburbs, and oh by the way, we cultivated this guy who rose through the ranks to the point that he could see shit on Putin's desk. Then it becomes embarrassing. And what does Russia particularly not handle well? Humiliation. We sure do hope the Smolenkov family is under good CIA protection somewhere, and that Donald Trump isn't being allowed anywhere near the truth of their whereabouts, unless we're all in the mood to watch Trump help his Real Daddy Vladdy kidnap or murder a CIA source right before our very eyes. Hell, even if it weren't for Trump's strangely lovey-dovey relationship with Putin, we know that Trump doesn't like spies, not even if they're the foreign kind that helps America. He thinks they're disloyal to their own governments, especially the strongman authoritarian leaders whose approval he so desperately craves, therefore they are bad. Clearly, this guy was exfiltrated to America for his own safety, but unfortunately, and as we've seen this week and ever since the beginning of the Trump presidency, it looks like he's not safe here either.Fucking hell.[Business Insider]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Who The F*ck Is Elizabeth Heng And Why Is She Setting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez On Fire?During last night's Democratic debate, a seriously weirdass ad ran in a number of large media markets, depicting a photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez catching fire and burning. Behind the burning face of AOC was the "real face of socialism": photographs of skulls and dead bodies from Cambodia's killing fields. The point, in case you miss it, is that all socialism leads to genocide, as narrator Elizabeth Heng, a failed 2018 GOP congressional candidate, explained: This is the face of socialism and ignorance. Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism? My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life. That's socialism. Forced obedience. Starvation. Mine is a face of freedom. My skin is not white. I'm not outrageous, racist or socialist. I'm a Republican."I'm not outrageous," huh? Citation Needed, as they say.Not surprisingly, a lot of viewers wondered what the fuck that was all about, and why ABC would accept an ad that accuses a sitting member of Congress of being in league with mass murderers. (Quick answer: It was an ad buy through multiple local markets; the ad didn't air nationally, so tweeting #BoycottABC won't accomplish anything.) But now people are talking about Elizabeth Heng and her one-woman PAC, "New Faces GOP PAC," which the Daily Beast reports "appears to be purely a Heng-related venture." So who is this loon and why is she insisting AOC will genocide you? Here's the ad, which is a real piece of work: New Faces GOP youtu.be Slate offers this brief review of Heng's résumé:Who is Heng, you might ask? She's a former staffer for Rep. Ed Royce, worked on Donald Trump's inaugural committee, and ran unsuccessfully in the 2018 election against Democratic incumbent Jim Costa in California's 16th Congressional district. As a young, minority woman, and the daughter of refugees, running as a Trump supporter, Heng attracted some national media attention during the midterms, with the Wall Street Journal even suggesting she could be "an Ocasio-Cortez for the GOP." There was also some controversy when Facebook blocked one of her campaign ads, which told her parents' story, because it featured graphic imagery of the Cambodian genocide.So she's trying to become the person who proves just how friendly Donald Trump's GOP is to people of color, and we're sure she and Tim Scott can have long chats about that. She really is the daughter of a survivor of the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge genocide, and that truly was among the most horrific events of the 20th century. It also has about as much to do with the policies of democratic socialists like AOC as the Holocaust had to do with national health insurance. Which is to say, Republicans can't see any difference between them. The Khmer Rouge didn't seize control of Cambodia by promising universal healthcare or even a Green New Deal, which was totally the wrong color for a bunch of insane Maoists. And to be sure, the Khmer Rouge did receive aid from the Chinese Communist party, at least until they turned out to be too maniacally murderous -- or, more to the point, not all that helpful to China's regional goals. Again, the problem here is that no matter how much you yell it, American Democrats are not Maoists. (Or at least that's what we want you to believe, while we secretly write love poems about tractors.) Incidentally, you know who drove the Khmer Rouge out of power and ended the killing fields? A wholly different bunch of communists, the very very communist government of Vietnam. And let's not even START on how the Khmer Rouge were able to come to power amid the corruption and chaos caused by the Nixon administration's secret war in Cambodia. If only the Land of the Free had bombed the country a bit more aggressively and the Democrats had let US troops invade to ensure no one would ever have socialist healthcare, things would have been just fine, probably. This isn't Heng's first attempt at accusing Ocasio-Cortez of genocide. Back in June, she wrote an op-ed for the Fresno Bee explaining that the Fresno Grizzlies minor league sportsball team was absolutely right to compare AOC to Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Un as enemies of freedom, because some folks said the person who made that briefly controversial video should be fired. This proves the socialists all want to end Free Speech forever. In any case, it remains to be seen whether Elizabeth Heng will be able to spout Free Republic comments loudly or effectively enough to have any influence beyond this debut national-ish appearance. As the Daily Beast explains, her PAC is so far a sequel to her unsuccessful campaign last year, right down to the funding and the staff: Of the group's 22 publicly disclosed donors, Federal Election Commission records show that at least 13 of them also contributed to Heng's 2018 congressional campaign, which she lost to Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) by 15 points. New Faces GOP's treasurer also ran the finances of Heng's congressional campaign. The super PAC's top vendor, Strategic Perception, also produced ads for the campaign.The article also notes that while the PAC was formed in March, nearly everything on its website "were uploaded or created this month." We suppose it all depends on what Heng goes with as a follow up. Possibly Beto O'Rourke's plan to ban assault weapons as a clear echo of the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto? She certainly can't compare any Democrats to Kim Jong Un, the last actual communist leader anywhere. He writes such lovely letters about peace. [Daily Beast / Slate / Deadline / Fresno Bee]Yr Wonkette is supported 100 percent by reader donations. Keep sending us money so we can help you understand where all the crazy is coming from. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Unfunny Racist SNL Hire Shane Gillis Hopes His Non-Apology Will Save His CareerYesterday, Saturday Night Live announced three new hires for its upcoming 45th season: Bowen Yang, the show's very first East Asian cast member, Chloe Fineman, a woman, and Shane Gillis, some tool who enjoys making terrible racist jokes about Asian people and claiming that women are not funny. After the announcement, freelance writer Seth Simmons posted a video of Gillis on his podcast ("Matt And Shane's Secret Podcast"), from September of 2018, in which he and whoever the hell Matt is made a stunning variety of gross Chinese jokes, did bad impressions of Chinese people talking, referred to Chinese people as "ch*nks," whined about the existence of Chinatown, and said a bunch of stupid shit about MSG. Not the point, I realize, but the whole "MSG makes you dizzy and gives you headaches!" thing is some extremely racist nonsense. Glutamate, the source of umami flavor, is in, like, 90 percent of all delicious foods (cheese! soup! tomatoes! anchovies! proshoot! bacon! fish sauces!), and if those don't make you "dizzy" and give you a headache, then you are full of shit. Hell, there is more glutamate in Italian food than there is in Chinese food. As of right now, Gillis still has his job on SNL. One would think, in this day and age, that there would be some form of background checks for these types of jobs, but I guess not!In another clip from their show, Matt and Shane make a bunch of stupid jokes about how Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard are "white fa**ot comics" and "gayer than ISIS" and then proceed to rank the "funniness" of stand-up comics by gender, race, and sexual orientation"Black chicks are very funny, especially when they're sassy…. White chicks are literally the bottom. Ali Wong is making it so Asian chicks are funnier than white chicks."Nice. In a statement on Twitter, Gillis apologized "to anyone who's actually offended," explaining that he's just a comedian who likes to "push boundaries." Racist jokes, gay jokes and "hur dur women aren't funny" comments do not make for a comic that "pushes boundaries." They make Jerry Fucking Lewis. Who died two years ago at the age of 91. No one gravitates to "comedy" like that because it's hilarious or because it's "boundary pushing." It's been done a thousand times before. They do it because it's easy. In fact, that's the whole reason why dumb ass frat bros always pitch a fit when someone like Shane Gillis gets torched. It's not because they are so faaaaabulously devoted to the "art" or sharp-witted humor of going "ching chong ding dong" or their best "gay voice" or whatever. It's because they're not actually funny and that is the way they get laughs from their equally unfunny friends. Without it, they've got nothing.People like being funny. Being funny feels good. People laughing at something you've said feels good. But not everyone is funny, and some of those unfunny people rely on cheap, racist, sexist, homophobic bullshit that racist, sexist, homophobic boring people have said for over 100 years, in hopes of getting those laughs without actually having to put the work into coming up with something clever. They're lazy. Shane Gillis does not simply deserve to lose his spot on SNL because he's a racist, sexist, homophobic twerp. He should lose it because he's not funny. Excruciatingly unfunny, in fact. I can walk down the street and find five people, at least, who are funnier than Shane Gillis. Perhaps SNL might want to try that next season, they'd probably have better luck. [Variety]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's Final Homeless Solution Will Be TERRIFIC, By Which We Mean Terrifying."I'm glad I'm living in the land of the free / Where the rich just get richer / And the poor you don't ever have to see" -- Randy Newman, "The World Isn't Fair"Donald Trump has reportedly been demanding that the federal government clear out all the homeless people in California -- not because he's particularly concerned about homelessness nationwide, but because 1) Fox News has been harping on homeless people in California for the last few months and B) bashing California gets his rally crowds worked up. And that is how policy in the USA gets made these days. Yes, really; the Washington Post's initial story Tuesday on Trump's suddenly discovered need to clean up homelessness makes that quite clear: Fox News has aired at least 18 segments on California homelessness in 2019, according to a review of Fox closed-captioning transcripts. None of the segments aired before June, and 10 aired in August alone. We deeply appreciate the explanatory coda to that paragraph: "Trump is known to absorb content and ideas from Fox News." Which is why the Great Man's minions are now preparing to put on a show of doing something, anything, that can be seen on video to satisfy him. No, actually funding housing and programs that would keep people from becoming homeless is not visually interesting enough. Something along these lines would be a lot more exciting. Could we try this please? Soylent Green. Bucket detain http://www.youtube.com Then we could replace WIC and SNAP benefits with monthly shipments of Soylent products. They're packed with protein and shelf-stable! But because Fox has him all worked up, and what gets the "president" all worked up gets the Base all worked up, Trump aides are now scrambling to make him happy by coming up with a plan that would meet Trump's demand to find out "how the hell we can get these people off the streets," as one "senior administration official" put it. It doesn't need to be a solution, it just needs to look like a solution. In pursuit of that goal, a team of officials from a whole bunch of cabinet departments took a quick tour Tuesday of Los Angeles-area programs that work with the homeless, as well as looking at an empty Federal Aviation Administration facility that might be converted into a shelter, or maybe a jail. A jail would be good! Trump is expected to travel to California next week, and some White House sources are saying the Great Man wants to use the trip to launch an initiative to clean up the state's homeless camps, which contain not real people with complex problems, but a smelly mass of unsightly examples of why Democratic leadership inevitably fails. Opinion in the White House is, to say the least, not yet unanimous, says WaPo:Some administration officials expressed skepticism that the federal government wanted to get in the business of operating a large homeless shelter in Los Angeles. There were also questions about the feasibility of turning the FAA facility into a shelter and how it could legally be done.One administration official with knowledge of Trump's visit to California said there were discussions about a homelessness announcement next week.Senior administration officials said that forcing people into new facilities was not under consideration, with one official telling The Washington Post: "We're not rounding people up or anything yet. You guys in the media get too ahead of yourselves."But the likely action -- whatever it is will be half-assed, poorly thought out, and probably in violation of federal court decisions -- was important enough to involve a junket by "members of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Justice Department." And of course the action will be taken without any coordination with state or local officials, who are worthless because they're a bunch of Democrats who think "housing" or "mental illness" or "poverty" have something to do with why people are homeless. What's really needed is toughness, which would solve all the problems in the world. California and LA government officials had initially thought the feds were touring to learn about the problem, and were "blindsided" by the talk of razing homeless encampments and stuffing people into a government building of some kind. "They were very cagey with us about what they were doing," said a Los Angeles city official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. "Our only understanding from them coming into this was they wanted to poke around and learn more about what we were doing out here. All this stuff about cracking down and sweeping people out of skid row was a total surprise to us."See? They don't understand toughness. The Trumpenjunket also met with the LA police union to kick around ideas for arresting the homeless and concentrating them somewhere they could get showers and maybe some social services, or at least be out of sight of respectable people. The LA Times reports the feds were especially interested in neat devices that could be put quickly into place, according to Rev. Andy Bales, who runs the Union Rescue Mission and showed the tour around the skid row area.Bales said the officials took particular interest in mobile bathrooms that have been set up and spoke with attendants who manage them.Bales said the group asked him about "sprung structures," massive, rigid tents that can be set up quickly to provide shelter. They can be heated and air-conditioned, and the Union Rescue Mission has one in the works in its parking lot for 120 women."It really is an immediate answer," Bales said. "They are here to bring resources to assist the city and county and state in addressing homelessness. I believe they were sincere individuals."Is Rev. Bales that easily fooled, or trying to put a strategic positive spin on anything that might provide even some temporary relief in an incredibly complex crisis that isn't amenable to TV-friendly remedies? We're inclined to think well of people who help, so we're going with strategic. Not that Team Trump is interested in actually addressing people's problems, but there are California leaders who have some real ideas about that. The LA Times noted that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Gov. Gavin Newsom "put out statements listing steps they said the administration could take right away if it truly intended to help solve the crisis." WaPo interviewed Michael McConnell, a San Diego homeless advocate who warns that most of the arrest-everyone ideas he's heard discussed would be flat out illegal, and wouldn't do a thing to decrease homelessness. San Diego's Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, has tried opening great big tents to concentrate homeless people in, but McConnell noted a census of homeless people that found an increase in the homeless population: McConnell said the city continues to rely on methods that "criminalize" homelessness. The city's tactic of issuing public nuisance tickets and fines has not led to a decrease in the homeless population, as the recent census showed, but pushed them into more remote parts of the city."We invest a lot in the front end — storage for homeless belongings, safe-parking areas, tents — but we're not increasing funds at the back end to get people out of these beds and into housing," McConnell said. "I hope Trump isn't looking at us as a model. The example we are is how to hide homeless people."Count on it: That's going to be the "solution," and the rally crowds will cheer. There don't appear to be any Trump administration plans to meet with any of the local officials or experts to get their input, and again, why would Team Trump want to talk to them? They'd just blather on about stuff like low-income housing, boosting mental health treatment, and not slashing food assistance programs, and that shit's expensive -- plus, that would all take time, and there'd still be some scruffy-looking people out on the street.We'll give the last word to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who actually does give two shits about the people who are homeless, instead of treating them as unsightly refuse that needs to be disposed of. Steinberg tells WaPo, "I am wary because every time this president does anything involving people who are vulnerable, they are the ones who get hurt," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg (D), who is chairman of the state Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing. "And yet, that being said, we have an obligation to better understand if there are federal resources out there to help address California's homeless problem" [...] Steinberg said that a member of the homeless task force accurately summarized the politics around homelessness by saying, "The only thing people oppose more than homelessness are the solutions to homelessness.""The opposition to many of these projects and initiatives is real, but it is our job to forge through this," he said. "People have to realize the problem is already in their backyard."That sounds awfully complicated. Bulldozing some homeless camps would be far faster, and would look GREAT on Fox News. Then the homeless could go be somebody else's problem.[WaPo / LAT / WaPo / WaPo]Yr Wonkette is supported entirely by reader donations. Please send us money so we can help you cut straight through all the bullshit.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Justice Department Will Get Andy McCabe, Or Die Tryin'Looks like Donald Trump finally found his Roy Cohn. Attorney General Bill Barr is doing his darnedest to deliver Andy McCabe's communist head to the old drunk heading up HUAC, or rather the teetotalling president of the United States of America.The Washington Post was first to report that the DOJ intends to file a criminal indictment against the former deputy director of the FBI. The Justice Department's Inspector General concluded that McCabe lied under oath about authorizing Lisa Page and another agent to speak to the Wall Street Journal about Hillary Clinton's BUT HER EMAILS. McCabe contends that he never misled investigators intentionally and that he sought to revise his statements upon further review. But these arguments appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with line prosecutors at the DOJ and US Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu agreeing that McCabe should be charged. Negotiations between McCabe's lawyers and Deputy AG Jeffrey "The New Rod" Rosen ended yesterday, with the DOJ informing McCabe that "The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney's Office's decision in this matter." Because we all know that the Trump administration cannot abide lying or leaking in any form!So, should Andy McCabe prepare to be arrested imminently? Well, MAAAAAYBE.The Post reports that the grand jury empaneled to hear the government's case against McCabe had been on hiatus for months. Yesterday it reconvened, and then ... nothing happened. It appears that no indictment, sealed or otherwise, has been filed, leading to widespread speculation that the jurors are unhappy with the government's case. Prosecutors only need to convince 12 of 23 jurors to sign on the dotted line, and yet this ham sandwich remains un-indicted. Even aside from Trump's constant braying on Twitter for Andy McCabe's head, The New York Times describes a case riddled with irregularities. One of the Justice Department's lawyers, Kamil Shields, recently left for private practice because she "was unhappy with the lengthy decision-making process." A second prosecutor, David Kent, was transferred off the case, which is not how any of this goes when charges are imminent. Lisa Page herself testified that McCabe had no motive to lie, since his position allowed him to authorize media contacts. And the Times reports that yet another witness "could not immediately remember how the leak unfolded." Which lends credence to McCabe's claim that he just forgot the details of one particular incident at the busiest, most stressful time of his long career.Not for nothing, but the same US Attorney's Office just went down in a stinging defeat in its case against Skadden, Arps lawyer Greg Craig for lying to the FBI about his work for Paul Manafort and his Ukrainian backers. If they couldn't make false statement charges stick against Craig, they might not like their chances of getting a DC jury to convict McCabe, an infinitely more sympathetic character who is currently suing the FBI for wrongfully terminating him just hours before his pension would vest, contravening its own procedures just to satisfy Donald Trump's lust for vengeance.So now what? Well, now we and Andy McCabe wait to see what happens. If the grand jury fails to return an indictment, the DOJ could impanel another jury and start over. Or, it could eat the shit sandwich and charge McCabe anyway, even without a seal of approval from the grand jury, which would be an embarrassing public admission about the weakness of its case. The DOJ would then have 30 days to get another panel to return an indictment. In short, their case against McCabe is pretty weak. But if the goal is to make the Dipshit in Chief happy by forcing a career public servant to spend millions of dollars and put his life on hold for two years to defend himself in court, then an eventual acquittal is still a win.[WaPo / NYT / NYT, again] Follow Liz (AKA your FDF) on Twitter!Please click here to keep your Wonkette snarking at you without gross ads that break your browser!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 Briscoe Cain, The Texas Rep Idiot Who Death Threated Beto Last Night. WHAT A BIG MAN!Beto O'Rourke had a good debate last night. First of all, he was warned beforehand that he was not allowed to say his normal campaign speech, which is "COCK DICK MOTHERFUCKER PISS WHISTLE BOOTIE HOLE WEENER WEENER WEENER" -- fits on a long bumper sticker! -- because there wouldn't be a delay to bleep out his naughtiness, and he mostly remained cuss-free! Candidates on the stage seemed like they were having a competition to say nice things to Beto, specifically about how amazing he's been speaking out after the horrific mass terrorist shooting in his hometown of El Paso. We reckon that while Beto may not be in striking distance of becoming one of the frontrunners in the presidential race, he's about at the front of the pack when it comes to the veepstakes, especially if somebody like Warren wins. (Those frontrunners are not idiots. They would like to win Texas.) And one of Beto's big moments came when he was asked if he was FOR REAL when he said he was gonna grab yer guns, specifically your AR-15s and your AK-47. His answer? Fuck yes he is. Or rather, because he was not allowed to say cusses, FUDGE YEAH! "I am, if it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body, because it was designed to do that, so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers.When we see that being used against children, and in Odessa, I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15, and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa and Midland, there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in time. Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."It's like the Got Yer Nose game, except Beto is going to play it with idiots with AR-15s. GOT YER GUN!Beto's campaign followed up with a tweet: He also called out Donald Trump several times, saying correctly that the El Paso attack and others like it are directly influenced by the white supremacist in the White House. Like we said, he had a good debate.Any-hoo, this caught the attention of a BIG MAN TEXAS LAWMAKER GUNHUMPER named Briscoe Cain (really), who was sorely displeased with the notion, so displeased indeed that he stupidly decided to tweet a death threat. Or maybe it was an offer to give Beto his gun. Or maybe it was a weird come-on of some sort. Point is Cain insists it was not a death threat, and that we are stupid for thinking it is, and those are the only other possibilities we can think of. Beto called him out, and was smart enough to do it with a screengrab of Cain's tweet, since it was pretty clear from the number of people reporting the tweet that Twitter would be taking the threat down sooner or later: Briscoe Cain responded back: This entire week we have been surprised by nothing more than the apostrophe in "you're" in that tweet from Briscoe Cain. Isn't that wild? Maybe one of his kids did it for him.So who is Briscoe Cain and did his mom really name him after a gay porn character, you may ask? Well, you won't be surprised to learn that he is a BIG MAN. On Twitter, he describes himself as a Texas state rep, a "father of 4 boys," and also as a "gorgeous wife." Don't believe us? Look. So Gorgeous Wife Briscoe Cain is threatening Beto O'Rourke. This story is interesting!He's also a very smart man. In ranking the best and worst state legislators, Texas Monthly called Cain, who represents the Deer Park suburb of Houston, one of the worst, noting in 2017 that this is a man who tried to defund palliative care, because he thought it was a death panel. (UPDATE: We forgot to tell you! OMG can't believe we forgot! He also wants to ban "Austin." Because Austin found a way to keep funding abortion providers after the Texas lege tried to stop them. Read all about it here!)And he's, of course, one of those creepy southern gentlemen who's obsessed with where trans folks pee. He has referred to violence against transgender people as "dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up." Strangely, though, when he was running for his seat, he himself became a target of an anti-gay flier, disavowed by Republican primary incumbent opponent Wayne Smith, but pretty clearly in support of Smith, which claimed Cain was "well known to those who frequent Montrose area night clubs and gay bars." (That is where a lot of gay stuff is in Houston.) The flier, which featured old pictures of Cain doing snorkels and making out with naked man statues, was rightly condemned as nasty gay-baiting, and Cain denied the allegations therein. Cain, for the record, is married, and this is presumably why he refers to himself as "gorgeous wife" in his Twitter bio, because he doesn't know how the fuck Twitter bios work. What he intends to say is that he HAS A "GORGEOUS WIFE," OK? That is probably information he wants to make sure you know, on account of how he's got nothing to prove, much like Jerry Falwell Jr. and his LARGE LIGHTHOUSE WONDERCOCK THAT DOESN'T FIT IN HIS WIFE.Anyway, Cain obviously won that race, and he did it with the endorsements of all the worst anti-gay bigots in America behind him. And here he is now, BIG MAN-ning at Beto O'Rourke and saying "GOT YOUR AR-15 RIGHT HERE, ROBERT FRANCIS!"All we're saying is that we're starting to get a pretty good composite picture of who this dude is. And if the FBI is doing its fucking job, it's doing the same.In summary and in conclusion, here are two more pictures of Briscoe Cain, who is NOT a gay porner starring in the upcoming Titan Men production of "TEXAS TOPS 3: EVERYTHING'S BIGGER IN TEXAS!" because that is not even a film (hi, Titan Men!), and Briscoe Cain would never audition for a role like that, because he's NOT A GAY PORNER. BRISCOE CAIN![transcript via NPR]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Supreme Court Did Thing Again. It Was Not A Good ThingWe're treating immigrants like shit again.This week, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump regime to bar immigrants who arrive at the US border from seeking asylum, unless they have sought asylum in another country first. The decision in Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant means the Trump regime can, in essence, bar all people from Central America arriving on foot from seeking asylum in the US, no matter how terrible the conditions they are fleeing. The rule does not allow for any consideration of whether the immigrants would be safe in that third country. Giphy Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, joined by RBG, reminding us that there is some good left in the world.Trump v. Non-White ImmigrantsTrump hates immigrants, especially immigrants who aren't white. He has suggested that people who come here should have "special skills," like being Norwegian. He has succeeded in decimating our refugee program and implementing his Muslim ban. Now he has moved on to a new type of legal immigration to fuck up: seeking asylum.It seems like it took a while for someone to sit the president down long enough to teach him that seeking asylum in the United States is, in fact, legal immigration, but apparently someone finally succeeded last summer. In response, Trump and his cronies came up with a new rule to try to at least stop the brown, Spanish-speaking people from coming here.The vast majority of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the US arrive on foot, meaning they pass through other countries on their way here. Trump's rule says that anyone who does that will automatically have their request for asylum denied, no matter how unsafe it is for them in their country of origin or the other countries they passed through to get here. This redefines US asylum law, creating an automatic denial for asylum claims at the southern border for everyone except Mexicans. And this was all done without an act of Congress or even a public comment period. So that's all just great. Giphy Lawsplainin'The Supreme Court's decision is only the latest development in a case that began working its way through the courts when immigrants' rights organizations, represented by the ACLU, challenged the new rule. As described by Amy Howe:After immigrant- and refugee-rights groups challenged the new rule, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar barred the government from enforcing the rule anywhere in the United States. Tigar concluded that the interim rule "is likely invalid because it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws," such as the provision barring asylum for an immigrant who can be removed to another country where he will be safe.The 9th Circuit narrowed the scope of Tigar's order. It prohibited the government from enforcing the new rule in the geographic area covered by the 9th Circuit – which would include the U.S.-Mexico border in California and Arizona – but allowed the government to enforce the rule elsewhere in the United States (including along the 1,254-mile border that Mexico shares with Texas). The court of appeals also left open the possibility that the district court could add to the record and once again extend the scope of its order to cover the entire nation.The picture changed on September 9, when Tigar entered a new order once again barring the government from enforcing the asylum rule anywhere in the United States. The government returned to the Supreme Court the next day, asking the justices to rule promptly and allow it to enforce the rule nationwide. The government stressed that the ban on enforcement of the rule "greatly impairs the government's and the public's interest in maintaining the integrity of the border, in preserving a well-functioning asylum system, and in conducting sensitive diplomatic negotiations." The government agreed with Tigar that it is important for the entire country to have a consistent immigration policy. But the way to do that, it argued, is for the Supreme Court to take up and resolve conflicts among the courts of appeals, "not for an individual district court to enter a universal injunction the moment it confronts a rule or policy that it views as unlawful."A majority of the Supreme Court threw Judge TIgar's well-reasoned opinion in the trash and summarily reversed it. Because who needs things like facts?Two of our favorite wonderwomen, Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg, were unamused with Trump's fuckery. Their dissent begins by noting the high stakes and cruelty of what's going on. Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution. Although this Nation has long kept its doors open to refugees—and although the stakes for asylum seekers could not be higher—the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law. The dissent appeared to be persuaded by the district court judge who had stayed the rule and noted the importance of this major change to immigration law.The rule here may be, as the District Court concluded, in significant tension with the asylum statute. It may also be arbitrary and capricious for failing to engage with the record evidence contradicting its conclusions. It is especially concerning, moreover, that the rule the Government promulgated topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere—without affording the public a chance to weigh in.Although Sotomayor and Ginsburg were the only noted dissents, that doesn't necessarily mean this was a 7-2 decision. Other justices may have dissented without noting it for the public. On Twitter, Trump's former DHS spokesman remarked on how "activist judges" are only a problem for the Trump regime when they're not on the far right. It's important to note that this is just a preliminary decision on whether or not to allow the rule to go into effect while litigation over the rule continues. It doesn't mean the Supreme Court will necessarily uphold the rule in the future. However, it does give us a good idea of where they'll ultimately end up.What does all of this mean?Nothing good. Hundreds of thousands of lives will be at risk because of this decision. As noted by the Washington Post, "[t]he change most affects Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans leaving behind gang violence and high levels of crime in their countries. It could also turn away migrants fleeing oppressive regimes in Nicaragua, Venezuela and elsewhere."And as noted by BuzzFeed, "[t]he vast majority of the 688,375 immigrants apprehended at the southern border this year have traveled from Central America through Mexico." On what this decision will mean for people fleeing violence, Omar Jadwat, Director of the ACLU's Immigrants Rights Project, did not parse his words. A lot of people are unhappy with this recent turn of events, including people who work for the government to process potential asylees. Unlike CBP officers, most asylum officers are good people, and a lot of them are unhappy with this cruel new rule. Two of them spoke to BuzzFeed."This is dispiriting news after Monday's injunction. We're in the midst of a refugee crisis on the southern border and the administration's response are policies of exclusion enacted through this kind of bureaucratic violence," said one asylum officer. "The administration is dismantling, misusing, and perverting this country's asylum system."Another asylum officer said they were "crushed" upon hearing word of the ruling. The officers spoke on the condition of anonymity."In the months this will take to resolve, thousands of claimants will be denied even a chance at asylum," the officer said.As a result of this decision, every asylum seeker arriving at the US border after July 16 will have their claims denied. This rule is yet another Trump regime attack on vulnerable people fleeing violence and horrific living conditions. Asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable people in the world. And despite this -- or perhaps even because of it -- Donald Trump has repeatedly used his office to ensure their persecution.The cruelty is the point.[SCOTUS / Howe / WaPo / BuzzFeed]Wonkette is ad-free and funded ENTIRELY by you. If you like what you read, please click the clickie!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 Loses His African-American, Now Down To A Mismatched Burlap And PebbleDonald Trump has lost his African-American. If it's any help, we're usually the last place you put us. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump spotted Gregory Cheadle -- who is black and not the actor Don -- in the crowd at one of his rallies. He paused his rambling nonsense to point at Cheadle and exclaim, "Look at my African-American over here! Look at him. Are you the greatest?" We don't recommend dehumanizing black people by assuming we're your personal property. That fad only lasted for 400 years. Trump's African-American tried sticking it out in the GOP's "One of The Good Ones" club, where membership has no privileges. But he's finally had enough. Cheadle revealed to PBS News Hour that he's done with Trump's ragtag band of racists and is now a free agent. CHEADLE: President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme. Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.Cheadle hasn't been back on the plantation that long and already he's race-baiting and waging class warfare. It was all building up inside during the eight goddamn years he wasn't supporting Barack Obama. Trump Praises to 'My African American' Supporter http://www.youtube.com Trump is so consistently racist it's hard to imagine what single incident could've triggered Cheadle's #Blexit. Apparently, it was a specific racist combo platter from this summer: First, Trump vomited racism at four congresswomen of color. Then, just a couple days later, he called the Maryland district Rep. Elijah Cummings represents, which is in America, "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess." Meanwhile, Cheadle watched in horror as his Republican Facebook "friends" posted defenses of Trump's vicious bigotry. CHEADLE: They were sidestepping the people of color issue and saying that, "No, it's not racist." They were saying these people were socialists and communists. That's what they were saying. And I thought this is a classic case of whites not seeing racism because they want to put blinders on and make it about something else.Did Cheadle just recently discover Facebook? We guarantee his "friends" have been racist for a while. Now we enter the phase of a friend's bad breakup where we patiently listen while they tell us what we already knew about the no-good piece of human garbage they were dating (against our advice). Cheadle even suspects Trump might have a "pro-white" agenda. Has he alerted the president?CHEADLE: When you look at his appointments for the bench: White, white, white, white white, white, white. That to me is really damning to everybody else because no one else gets a chance because he's thinking that the whites are superior, period. THAT IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION! http://www.youtube.com Trump was asked Thursday about Cheadle leaving the GOP and had no idea who Cheadle was, which is surprising for someone with so few African-Americans. The president lied some more about his enduring popularity among black people.TRUMP: We have tremendous African American support. I would say I'm at my all-time high. I don't think I've ever had the support that I've had now. I think I'm going to do very well with African Americans. African American support has been the best we've had.There are so few black Republicans that Trump literally pointed at one at a rally like he'd spotted a leprechaun. And more leprechauns support Trump than black women. TwitterCheadle hasn't traded in his MAGA hat for a Biden polo just yet. He's an independent again, which he was before 2001 when soul brother George W. Bush won him over. Bush's funkadelic cabinet was one where Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were judged not for the color of their skin but the content of their cherry-picked intelligence. Cheadle probably longs for the days when his friends didn't share their racist thoughts on Facebook because that technology did not yet exist.Now Cheadle plans to run for Congress as an independent candidate. He's tried this five times before and California's 1st District has repeatedly said no thanks. The district is solid Republican and the incumbent, Doug LaMalfa, crushed his Democratic opponent despite last year's blue wave. We won't judge too Cheadle too harshly for living 62 years and only now figuring out that Republicans suck. Someone once showed up at our house for a party a full week late. But we didn't turn her away. She'd brought wine though.[PBS News Hour]Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money to keep the writers paid and the servers humming. Thank you, we love you.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- DEBATE-A-PALOOZA! Wonkagenda For Fri., Sept. 13, 2019Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today. Last night's debate was pretty rough for the old white guys leading in the current polls. This time candidates focused many of their attacks on the current resident of the White House instead of trying to beat up the black guy who used to live there. With this being the first debate of the top 10 polling candidates, it was a make-or-break night for those in the second and third tiers. By most accounts, Elizabeth Warren had the best night by sticking and moving, letting others soak up the punches. Joe Biden's foot in mouth disease seemed to get the better of him, but he was still standing -- at least until the end of the night when he gave a rambling answer about his record on racism. Julian Castro is facing criticism this morning for essentially calling Biden a senile old man (dick move!), and everyone is praising Beto O'Rourke for saying "Hell yes" he would take semiautomatic liberty sticks from gun humpers by making owners of AR-15s an offer they can't refuse. Fuzzy math magician Andrew Yang used the debate to double down on his scheme to give out a so-called "Freedom Dividend," announcing he'd give $1,000 a month to 10 random people, but legal nerds think this might be a bit illegal. If (like me) you skipped last night's debate to take a self-care night, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah has your TLDR. 2020 Democratic Debate in Houston | The Daily Show http://www.youtube.com BONUS: After Beto said "Hell Yes" he was coming for your murder machines, Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain tweeted that his "AR is ready for you." Beto responded by calling it a death threat and reported it to Twitter. Briscoe cried that Beto was "a child," and Twitter says it's now investigating the incident. While Democrats were debating some of the most pressing social issues affecting modern society in the 21st century, Trump was in "disgusting, rodent infested" Baltimore rambling for over an hour about how Democrats are "colluding" with the LIBERAL media and "obstructing" his attempts to grab Uncle Sam by the pussy. Speaking at the GOP's annual policy retreat, Trump bragged about his tax cuts (for the super rich), and claimed Democrats were coming for your plastic straws and lightbulbs, and confused himself with Hillary Clinton in saying she "didn't like stairs, didn't like airplanes, didn't like a lot." Republicans are in Baltimore freaking out over the recently announced $1 trillion dollar deficit hole they created, and all their members bailing out ahead of 2020. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says they'd drive America out of their debt-filled hole by retaking the House and making more cuts to the social safety net. McCarthy tepidly pitched environmental programs, like carbon capture and ocean clean-up, primarily by blaming the problem on "shithole countries." Residents of Charm City welcomed Trump and Republicans with a sizeable protest and giant inflatable rat. About half a dozen counter-protesters bitched to local reporters that THOSE PEOPLE shouldn't be allowed to vote. Gee, hun, hope these fools remember to tip after they hit the red light district. Ballda-mur's a working class city on the wooder; they don't take any shit. If you watched the debate last night you probably rolled your eyes at an awful ad showing a burning photo of Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez from New Faces GOP, a new GOP PAC from failed 2018 California congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng. Once a staffer to Republican Rep. Ed Royce, Heng says she founded the pac to diversify the GOP. On Twitter AOC said the ad was aimed at convincing Republicans that they weren't racist, later adding that it was "a love letter to the GOP's white supremacist case." [Ad] Gregory Cheadle, the 62-year-old California real estate broker whom Trump called his "African American" has left the Republican Party after (finally) realizing the GOP uses people of color as pawns to distract from a "pro-white" agenda. When Trump was asked about Cheadle abandoning the party due to its "pro-white" agenda, Trump said he didn't know Cheadle. Last month Cheadle, who says #HesRunning in 2020 to unseat the Republican incumbent Doug LaMalfa in the California 1st, says he hopes other Republicans will be "strong enough" to "step out."The Air Force says it's found a few dozen instances of Air Force crews staying at Trump's Turnberry trash palace over the last four years, however the New York Times reports anonymous staffers at the resort saying members of the military come sometimes by the literal bus load during the middle of the night. The Pentagon reports that there have been 259 military refueling stops at the nearby Prestwick airport this year alone, compared to 145 in 2016, with the number of overnight stays clocking in at 220 this year (compared to 75 in 2016). Service members also complain that the resort is expensive and remote, with a burger clocking in at around $26 after currency exchange rates. #MAGATrump's White House has stopped blocking $250 million in aide to Ukraine after Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham threatened to be "the strongest voice" in support of Ukraine in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Republican Sen. James Lankford tried to defend the administration by saying Trump should try taking Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, out on a couple of dates before giving him a bunch of money Congress already approved. Late this morning the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google asking them for internal operations, EMAILS, and info on the other tech companies they've gobbled up. This latest step in the looming antitrust investigation isn't an official legal demand, but it signals Congress isn't fucking around. After all, it's election season!INDICTED New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins has plead not guilty to a revised indictment to charges of insider trading. Roll Call reports that Collins had attempted to use the Constitution's Speech and Debate clause -- which protects members of Congress from arrest and prosecution for their political opinions -- to force prosecutors to turn over evidence seized from his staffers, but they just told him to fuck off. Yesterday the judge stated that he wouldn't move the trial date, adding, "Once a jury is in the box, they're in the box."The DOJ has rejected former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's appeals to avoid prosecution, multiple news outlets are reporting. Trump-appointed US Attorney Jessie Liu has reportedly recommended McCabe be indicted over his role in the 2016 investigation of HER EMAILS. Recode is reporting Mithril Capital, a venture firm co-owned by Peter Thiel (the most evil mother fucker in big tech), is being investigated for possible financial fuckery. Mithril is denying everything, but Recode reports the firm has seen a "contentious" exodus of staffers up and down the chain of command, and a lot of internal turmoil, including freezing staff out. Lucky Palmer, the "libertarian" tech bro who drives around Silicon Valley in a yellow Hummer with a pink plastic machine gun mount, has been making oodles of Ameros pitching a virtual border wall to Trump World.A Florida woman has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for ripping off A Idiot in Texas to the tune of $1.6 million over seven years. The Florida woman convinced her rube that her family had been cursed, and the only way to lift the curse was by spending crap loads of cash on magic crystals and candles. Winners of the annual 2019 Ig Nobel awards, a spoof on the Nobel Prize, include a study that found surgeons can be trained with clickers like dogs, pizza can (kind of) be a healthy food choice, and paper money is absolutely disgusting. HURRAY FOR PIZZA DAY! Saturday Night Live announced three new cast members, one of whom will be the show's first openly gay and Asian cast member. Normally the story would end there, but journalist Seth Simons dug up clips of one of the new cast members using racial slurs in his podcast last September. And not just racial slurs, just minutes of a whole racist premise that felt like it might never end. [Clip / Full Episode]Robyn wrote a thing for AV Club about Designing Women's Julia Sugarbaker. You'll probably want to read that, we're guessing.ICYMI: Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema was in Nice, France, competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship! She finished 271st in her division. James Corden called out Bill Maher for saying fat shaming needs to make a comeback. "A lack of shame is not the issue here..." James Corden Responds to Bill Maher's Fat Shaming Take http://www.youtube.com And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S AARON'S ANIMALS! World's First Cat Lifeguard 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
- NO CUSSING! Your F*cking Democratic Debate LiveblogOh well, Beto might not be allowed to cuss -- and no "F" or "B" or "C" words from you either, Andrew Yang! -- but Wonkette is. And why? Because we're only like 100 debates into this campaign season and we're already bored with every debate ever. So fuckin' whatever.Here's a fucking livestream: Democratic Debate 2019: WATCH LIVE Third 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate from Houston | ABC News http://www.youtube.com And here's a fucking liveblog:7:58: If this is anything like the CNN debates, the first 800 minutes won't matter because the moderators will be getting off on listening to themselves speak, so go take a break for 800 minutes if you want.8:01: Want to hear a more interesting story than "debate"? This afternoon we took a nap on the couch with HGTV on, and we ended up having a dream that we were at Christina's house (post-divorce from Tarek, obv) and we got attacked by a wild goat and she didn't save us, fucking Christina, isn't that always the way.OK back to the "thrilling" debate.8:04: Andrew Yang's opening statement is "gIvE yOu $1200o0 tHoSanD dOllaRs." LOL, shut up, fucking dork, unless I am one of the families, in which case I'M BANGIN' FOR YANGIN', or whatever his slogan is.Anyway, there are some opening statements happening, they are just great.8:08: Beto's opening statement was FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK, unless it wasn't, dunno, our dinner arrived and we had to go to the door and get it.8:10: Andrew Yang has officially offered to bribe everyone, but you have to audition to be one of the families at his website. Sorry, we are a very clever writer, and we have this in the bag.Anyway, everybody is laughing at Yang's bribe.8:11: Pete's opener: I am sane and not giving you a million dollars LOL sorry.Kamala Harris opens by taking it directly to Donald Trump, which, FACTCHECK, is what this is actually about."The only reason you haven't been indicted is there's a memo in the Department of Justice that says you can't be charged with a crime."8:13: "And now, President Trump, you can go back to watching Fox News." And the crowd goes wild.LOL Bernie had to follow that. "I! Would also! Like to take the fight! To Donald Trump!" Or somethin', dunno.8:16: All the rest of the opening statements were boring, Kamala Harris wins the "opening statement" competition.8:17: Question! Joe Biden, why do Warren and Sanders want to murder Obamacare and make you sad? Biden says something stupid about how Warren is "for Bernie," well he's "for Barack," uh huh OK.8:19: Next question! Elizabeth Warren, tell Joe Biden why he is wrong and bad.Says we all owe a debt to Obama for changing healthcare, but now we have to keep fixing the problems. How do we pay for it? Says burden will be shouldered by Richie Riches at the top, then pivots to real stuff people deal with, like being told they can't see their preferred doctors because they're not "in network," blah blah blah, all that bullshit.Now to Bernie Sanders, who responds to Biden saying Medicare For All will cost $30 billion, notes that the status quo will cost $50 billion. Also Bernie said a cuss: "I wrote the damn bill!" Bernie broke the cuss rule, Bernie broke the cuss rule!8:25: Warren: "I've never met anybody who likes their health insurance company!" This is true. What people like is their doctors, and they like the security of knowing they can go to get whatever healthcare they need, whenever they need it, wherever they want. It's a distinction with a difference.8:26: Ooh, zinger from Klobuchar! "Bernie mighta WROTE the bill, but I READ the bill!" Nailing him over people losing their private insurance, etc.Warren clarifies to say people will have access to WHATEVER, nobody will lose private insurance, etc. Love all these arguments, but literally none of these people's exact plans is actually going to become law, no matter which of them gets elected.BUTTIGIEG: The problem with the "damn bill" Bernie wrote is that it doesn't trust Americans to make their own choices on what kind of healthcare they want.PETE SAID A CUSS.8:29: QUESTION: Kamala, you used to love Bernie's Medicare For All bill, why you hate Bernie's face now?HARRIS: We need to give Obama credit for getting us here. We need to give Bernie credit for pushing Medicare For All. That's why I decided to make both of their plans better!And then she says literally everybody up there wants to fix healthcare and pivots to how Trump has spent his presidency trying to take away people's healthcare. Clearly, her strategy is to debate Trump on this stage, while the other fuckers fight."This discussion is giving the American people a headache." TRUE FACT, KAMALA HARRIS.8:35: George Snuffalupagus like "oh yeah, there's like nine other people on this stage. OK, everybody else has ELEVEN SECONDS to say something about healthcare."That leads to BIG ZING FIGHT between Julian Castro and Joe Biden! Castro says people won't have to buy in to his plan like you will with Biden's. Biden says he didn't say that. Castro says "DID YOU FORGET WHAT YOU SAID TWO MINUTES AGO?" (Because Joe Biden is a "forgetful.") Then Castro says HE is the one living up to Obama's legacy, NOT BIDEN. Damn! Big zings!Pete Buttigieg says all this shit is why Democratic debates are becoming unwatchable, and Castro responds that "Um, it is called an election, Stupid Pete," and Amy Klobuchar says something about "a house divided cannot stand."Now Andrew Yang is telling everybody to look under their seat, where they might find tHoSanD dOllArS!8:40: Forty minutes on healthcare, zero was accomplished.Now we move on to racism. Beto O'Rourke gets to go first.8:42: O'Rourke goes through a laundry list of racial discrimination and inequality, says he's going to sign a damn reparations bill and says we have a fucking white supremacist in the White House. Factcheck: TRUE. Also, Beto did not say "fuck" right there, so nobody has to give him a spanking, unless they're into that, not that there's anything wrong with that.Cory Booker says nobody gets a gold star just for calling Trump a racist, big deal, no shit.8:44: Question: Pete Buttigieg, are you worried you are alienating racists when you say people who vote for Trump are "at best looking the other way," regarding his racism? Yes, that was really kind of the question right there.8:46: We will say that Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke were both very awesome on this question. MAYBE ONE OF THEM SHOULD RUN FOR THE SENATE.Anyway, time to talk about criminal justice reform, so kAmAlA is A cOp!!!1!11!!!!!!11111ghazi!!11!!!!seriouspoliticalcommentatorstatement!!1!!And the question to Harris was "hey, you are for legalizing marijuana and all kindsa other good stuff now, WHY DIDN'T YOU SUPPORT THOSE THINGS WHEN YOU WERE ACTUALLY IN POWER?" It was a dickish question, but Harris is defending her record ably. "Was I able to get enough done? Absolutely not." 8:49: Question: Amy Klobuchar, you are also a cop. (Lists some bad things about Klobuchar's record when she was a prosecutor.)Klobuchar: Says "That's not my record" and proceeds to explain her record on racial issues as a prosecutor.8:51: Biden saying very good things about how when you've done your time, you need to have the full rights and opportunities of somebody who has done their damn time. It was a good answer. This is actually a quality conversation, and the candidates aren't really fighting, of course they'll probably start fighting now that we just said that.8:54: OK, that's enough on criminal justice reform. Let's talk about mass shootings.QUESTION: Joe Biden, you always says you can reach around the aisle so much, why couldn't you get a gun control bill passed after Sandy Hook? BIDEN: What a movement Sandy Hook created! Young people marching on Washington! Everybody hates the NRA! Everybody wants to ban assault weapons! His point is "THINGS HAVE CHANGED." Also giving props to Beto O'Rourke for how he handled El Paso after the mass shooting. Anyway, Biden didn't answer the gotcha question.QUESTION: Kamala Harris, why is Joe Biden wrong when he says you're not allowed to use executive orders to do president stuff?HARRIS: Hey Joe, instead of saying no we can't, let's say YES SHE CAN! (Harris could have delivered that line better.)BIDEN: Let's be constitutional!(We are pretty sure Kamala Harris, A LAWYER, will make sure what she does is constitutional, JOE.)Now she is pivoting to #VerySerious, saying she's seen more autopsy photos than you can imagine, how kids literally go to school to do shooter drills, that is effing insane. Also says, "Beto, GOD LOVE YOU!" for being so awesome after El Paso. They are all loving on him right now.And on Trump's responsibility for mass shootings: "Obviously he didn't pull the trigger, but he's been tweetin' out the ammunition!"9:02: BETO: "Hell yes, we're gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47s!" Says he went to the gun show in Conway, Arkansas, and said he met tons of people who would gladly give them the fuck up.9:07: Hot take, 10 people on a stage is too many. Warren and Sanders are literally raising their hands like "CAN WE TALK? IT'S BEEN A MINUTE."9:08: Elizabeth Warren finally got to say words on guns! All of them are good, but what matters is that she's actually saying we have to GET RID OF THE FUCKING FILIBUSTER, JOE BIDEN AND BERNIE SANDERS. She is correct.Bernie reaffirms that he does not support getting rid of filibuster. He will pass it all in budget bills, though legislative hokey pokey.9:10: Are they ever going to take a commercial break? We would like to get up for a moment.Anyway, immigration! Did Joe Biden and Barack Obama make mistakes with deportations? Joe Biden says it is just not fair to compare their administration to Donald Trump, which is an understatement. Obama was not great on deportations, though!9:13: CASTRO: Agrees it is unfair to compare Obama to Trump, who has a "dark heart" when it comes to immigrants. But now is attacking Biden, saying Biden takes credit for the Obama administration when it's a good thing, but runs away when it's a bad thing. This is a pretty valid criticism of Biden.9:15: Let's check in with VERY SERIOUS PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM PERSON Michael Tracey! Hooray, we have now checked in with VERY SERIOUS PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM PERSON Michael Tracey!9:19: QUESTION: Pete Buttigieg, are Trump's supporters a big basket of deplorables?PETE: Anybody who supports his deplorable bigotry is a deplorable.(The word "deplorable" was not said, we just like reminding everybody of that time Hillary Clinton was correct about everything at all times.)9:22: Finally, a damn commercial break! Beto just said a great Immigration speech, including a Spanish sentence, and BRB.9:28: VIEWER QUESTIONS! Will you repeal Trump's stupid tariffs?YANG: Says he will not, says we need to make a deal, pivots to some bullshit.PETE, talking about China: "Trump has no strategy." Tells joke about Trump saying he'd like to see Mayor Pete do a deal with President Xi of China. Pete says he'd like to see TRUMP make a deal with Xi! Zing!9:34: Warren gets to talk again, this time about what Obama got wrong with the TPP. Warren says our trade policy has been broken for all time, because it only benefits the bigwigs and the oligarchs. She wants to have EVERYBODY at the table. And what do you use as leverage? "The leverage? Are you KIDDING? Everybody wants access to the American market!" Says we can use THAT to push countries to not treat their workers like shit and build our own economy and other stuff, also too.9:38: Harris's answer on Trump's trade policy is that he conducts it with his "fragile ego," and that he reminds her of that guy in The Wizard Of Oz, where you pull back the curtain and turns out there's just a really "small dude" back there. We THIIIIIINK that was a dick joke!Speaking of, WONKETTE POLL: Do dicks look like lighthouses, OR DO LIGHTHOUSES LOOK LIKE DICKS? 9:41: We must point out to the Kamala team, and we know at least one of you will read this, but the "guy from Wizard Of Oz" is named "The Wizard Of Oz."9:42: Oh good, time for 12 seconds of foreign policy, like THAT even matters. (We say bitterly.)Will you bring troops home from Afghanistan without a Taliban deal?WARREN: Yes. Period. What we are doing in Afghanistan is not something we can solve militarily. What we are doing is dumb as shit, and we need to be working with our allies, etc., and so on. One of the best things about Warren is that she really knows what the fuck she is talking about, no matter what she is talking about.9:45: Question: Pete Buttigieg, you know everybody about foreign policy. Say Afghanistan things.BUTTIGIEG: You could officially, today, on September 12, 2019, and be old enough to serve, and have not been born on 9/11. That is INSANE. Says will go back to days when Congress has to authorize war, because if troops have the courage to go to war, Congress should have courage to take a damn vote on whether they should be there. Also decries (decries! we are bored so we are thinking of expensive words now) Trump using troops as props.9:52: Y'all, we are sorry, but both Bernie and Joe are coming across as OOOOOOOLD tonight. Joe Biden went through an answer on Afghanistan and Iraq that ... had good parts? ... but then rest of it just seemed like babble. Then it was Bernie's turn to respond and this was his face: Can everybody just step aside and let Warren, Harris, Beto, Castro, Booker and Buttigieg be president? Thanks.9:55: Bernie, why is your socialism different from Venezuela and Cuba and Nicaragua socialism? In other words, PLEASE EXPLAIN what the hell Democratic socialism is for people who don't understand.BERNIE: Think Canada and Scandinavia. Healthcare! Fair wages! Paid family and medical leave! Fuck the millionaires and billioniares!9:57: Cory Booker, are you going to steal everybody's meat and make them a yucky vegan like you? (Yes, that was the tone of the stupid question.)Booker answers in Spanish: "NO." Everybody laughed, which in Spanish is "jajajajajajaja."10:00: OK, pretty sure the moderator just asked something like "what is the ONE thing you will do to fix climate change," which is ... just a really bad question? Maybe we misheard. We hope we misheard. We hope we hallucinated that on account of our devastating boredom watching this debate. Maybe we are having waking dreams now. Maybe!10:05: Kamala Harris just ignored the moderator telling her to STFU for like a whole minute because she was talking about how she knows how to fix climate change, because remember how the sky in LA used to be brown? Well it's blue now, THANKS KAMALA.10:07: Andrew Yang, tell us about education.YANG: I wasn't there for my kid to start school last week because I was running for president. (ONE HUNDRED MINUTE PAUSE.) Anyway! What was I saying? Oh yeah! I like good schools! And teachers!10:08: Pete Buttigieg, tell us about education.BUTTIGIEG: Betsy DeVos is a fucking dick.10:09: Elizabeth Warren, tell us about education.WARREN: Pretty sure I'm the only person up here who's been a teacher! Also, I agree that Betsy DeVos is a fucking dick.10:12: Everybody is now ignoring the time clock, because fuck the time clock, these are bad moderators and they should feel bad. Kamala Harris started it, like she does. Anyway, she said some awesome things about HBCUs, as a graduate of one, and about how black kids have more opportunities if they have black teachers, etc.Bernie Sanders begins his answer on education by saying "GUESS WHAT!" And then he stopped, so people could guess. "You're guessing!" said Bernie, who was probably correct that people were trying to guess.10:15: Joe Biden, you said a kinda racist thing 44 years ago. Care to respond to it? He did respond, and it was a decent response, and the moderator tried to cut him off, and he said NOPE, GONNA KEEP GOING LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES, NO MORE RULES FOR OLD HANDSOME JOE, WHO IS PISSED OFF!Castro, responding to Joe Biden: Wow, that was quite a lot of things that just fell out of Joe Biden's mouth! Anyway, he also said it's bullshit that charter schools are better than public schools, and he is correct about that, because fuck charter schools.10:20: Is it time for another commercial? YES IT IS!10:26: Final round of questions! It is what's the biggest time you fucked up or had a professional setback, what did you learn, and how did you get better at not fucking up?BIDEN: I don't think any setback is ever PROTESTERS YELLING PROTESTERS YELLING PROTESTERS YELLING!10:28: Anyway.BIDEN: Tells his story about the loss he's experienced, and how he's dealt with that and risen above it. WARREN: She was very tough but fair with the dollies she lined up when she was a kid who wanted to be a teacher. Tells story of how in her first year as a special needs teacher, she got pregnant and got fired, because that's how things used to be. Went to law school! Was lawyer for "about 45 minutes." And the rest is history! She fought back! 10:31: SANDERS: Resilience to me is taking on all the special interests I always take on all the time! Nobody remembers the fucking question anymore, and we don't blame them.10:32: HARRIS: Actually remembers the question, sort of. Has always been told that everything she's ever gone for, people tell her she's not the one people are looking for, has been the first black woman to do a lot of things. "It's not your time, they're not ready for you." She ain't give a shit. BUTTIGIEG: Tells story of serving in military under Don't Ask Don't Tell, and being a closeted mayor in a state controlled by Vice President Who Calls His Wife "Mother." So, his story of what he thought was going to be his professional setback was when he came out, and turns out he got re-elected with 80 percent of the vote.YANG: One time I had tHoSanD dOlllArS and then I lost it and that was a setback but then I found it and I had tHoSanD dOlllArS again. Just kidding, Andrew Yang hasn't gone yet. 10:37: Oh wait, our bullshit joke about Andrew Yang's response wasn't that far off.BOOKER: Booker says if you're going to have a big professional setback, you should have a documentary team shooting the footage, which you can see in the Oscar-nominated movie Street Fight. 10:39: BETO: The question is about professional setbacks, but fuck it, he's going to talk about El Paso more, and how Dnald Trump helped that mass murder happen. Don't like it? Then maybe Beto will say "FUCK" and you'll have to deal with it.10:41: KLOBUCHAR: Story about the difficulties she dealt with as a new mother with a baby who was born with a rare illness, and what she did with that.CASTRO: I am going to tell a story about being on San Antonio city council that is probably very nice and important, something about building a golf course on top of an aquifer, but his law job was FOR the deal and he NEEDED THE MONEY (get $1,000 from Yang!), but anyway he quit his job and voted against the deal. Good story, Castro!10:46: Oh thank God, it is over. Lovelies, we love you! If you love these liveblogs and if you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE FINANCIALLY, because we are only funded by you! The buttons are below! Give us money!Good night!Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? 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- Beto, Let's Get It Out Of Our System Now: COCK DICK MOTHERF*CKER SH*T BONER ASSWHISTLE!Tonight is the ONE NIGHT ONLY THANK GOD Democratic debate, and can you believe ABC News and the DNC put out a special NO CUSSING notice to the candidates, because of how there won't be a delay and therefore BETO they just want all the candidates BETO to be on notice BETO that if you start saying "fuck" BETO then they can't edit it out for the little children at home, who have never heard cusses ever, especially not from the president who currently sits in office.BETO.(Beto says cusses. That is why the DNC and ABC sent out their dumbfucking notice, probably. Or maybe it's directed at Amy Klobuchar, we dunno.)This is the shortest debate preview we are ever going to write, so let's cover the details. When is the fucking thing: Tonight, dipshit.What time is what we meant, you fucking asspisser: 8 o-fucking-clock, you fucking buttplug.How do we watch this bullshit: Um maybe on your televisions you dumb cum-rocket? ABC and Univision, to be fucking specific.Which fucking assholes do we have to watch say words tonight? These ten damn dickweeds: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, and Julián Castro. Oh yeah and filthy-mouth himself, Beto O'Rourke.What is the official cuss of tonight's festivities? Fucktart. Whenever a candidate says it, you have to drink a whole fucking gallon of alcohol. But when a candidate BETO merely thinks it, you must take a shot. LOL, you're drunk, because he's already thinkin' it!Good luck to all the candidates! Only one of you can be the one to go out there and beat the Pussy Ass Bitch, so everybody better bring their "A" game!As for Wonkette, we'll see y'all later for the liveblog. Until then, this is 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. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Now Stuart Varney's Gone And Made An Elizabeth Warren Campaign Ad, Too!Fox Business host Stuart Varney is very worried about the prospect of Elizabeth Warren making all of us a lot poorer. Especially the billionaires like Jeff Bezos, who might have to someday get by on a few tens of billions of dollars less. In yet another clueless attempt to make Warren's Eat The Rich tax sound like it would be terrible, the cable host predicted ruin for the very wealthiest among us, because if they're not rich, we will all starve.Varney's stern lecture about the dangers of a Warren presidency follows a CNBC segment earlier this week about how big banks are terrified of Warren, who might reduce their profits from "fucking obscene" to merely "outrageous." Let's get warned about the scary socialist lady! Oh no! She would surely wreck the economy by magic, because only in a supply-sider's fantasy does shifting wealth from the top to the middle make the middle poorer. Varney fretted about the dire implications of Warren's wealth tax, which would tax fortunes over $50 million at 2 percent annually and fortunes over a billion dollars at 3 percent. Without actually mentioning he was cribbing from a Bloomberg article published Tuesday, he asserted that Warren's wealth tax would whittle billionaires' accumulated fortunes down by half -- without mentioning the article looked at how that would be the case if a wealth tax had been in place since 1982, which you may have noticed is not the case. Mind you, the economists who helped Warren write the plan argue that wouldn't exactly be a tragic outcome: Over 10 years, a wealth tax would mean a fortune of $100 million would still grow over a decade -- but by a few (19) million dollars less, is all: HOW WILL THEY LIIIIIIVEAnd poor Jeff Bezos -- maybe he'd have had a fortune of only $86.8 billion before his divorce, instead of the more comfortable $160 billion he had in 2018. (We wonder a little about that, since he only became a billionaire in 1999, not 1982...)The big picture, says Varney, is that private accumulation of vast wealth is the only thing that makes for a strong economy, and therefore we must care for and nurture our billionaires lest we lose our own precarious grasp on financial security. Please save us, invisible hand! Varney also attacked Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act, which would allow workers a say in choosing corporate boards and require companies to act in the interests of their workers, not just their shareholders, and make companies' political expenditures subject to the approval of directors and shareholders. Horrifying visions of socialism! Somehow Varney turned that proposal to save corporations from eating themselves into a vast confiscation of every last penny of profit, because "less" is secretly equal to "zero."Sen. Warren would force all big companies to take a lot of their profit away from shareholders. And it would be given to -- the workforce, the community, customers, the local and global environment, and 'community and societal factors,' whatever that may be. America's great companies forced to dance to a socialist drumbeatSee? Any profit at all going to anyone but the shareholders = total confiscation, and no one will have money ever again. Which is how Elizabeth Warren will steal from you in your old age, because a lot of wealth in stocks is held by old people's retirement accounts, and when Warren crashes the economy, YOUR SAVINGS will go with it, because she hates you. Mind you, if you wanna get all technical, 10 percent of Americans actually own 80 percent of the value of all stocks, so Warren's UNSPEAKABLE ASSAULT ON THE FREE MARKET would actually mean more money going to the rest of us. And we have a feeling the stock market would muddle along somehow! What a horrifying prospect that is, because like any good American, we hate the workforce, the community, the customers, and especially the environment. Damn, next the wingnuts are going to warn us about how terrible it would be to wipe out student debt, get young people into college, and provide decent childcare for all families. But what about the filthy rich? WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE FILTHY RICH? [Eric Kleefeld on Twitter / Bloomberg / Politifact / New York / Elizabeth Warren]Yr Wonkette is supported 100 percent by reader donations. Please send us money -- we promise to make better use of it than Stuart Varney ever would. How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Whom Should Facebook Believe About Medically Necessary Abortions, Actual Doctors or Lila Rose?On Wednesday, following complaints of "bias" from four Republican senators, Facebook opted to remove a "fact check" on a video from a Live Action video that claimed, ridiculously, that there was no such thing as a medically necessary abortion and that all any doctor had to do to preserve the lives of the mother and child was to deliver the baby early. Back in August, following a review from an independent fact-checking organization, the International Fact-Checking Network, Facebook put up a warning on the post noting that it contained inaccurate information and explaining that, yes, there are indeed situations where an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. They also sent notifications to those who follow the page, letting them know that this information had been deemed false. Additionally, as a result of Live Action having made a number of equally absurd and fact-free assertions, they received a notification that they were being put on restriction for having shared so much "false news." "Your Page has reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news. People will also be able to see if a Page has a history of sharing false news."In response to this, Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Braun, Josh Hawley, and Kevin Cramer sent a letter directly to Mark Zuckerberg accusing the site of bias and of "censoring" conservative speech, which apparently relies on saying things that are untrue. Their reasoning for this was that two of the doctors consulted by the fact-checking organization were known to be pro-choice. Of course, being pro-choice or even being "biased" does not make one factually incorrect. For instance, I can personally believe that both Lila Rose and Ted Cruz are morons who have no business whatsoever talking about women's reproductive health — and yet, were I to say "Lila Rose and Ted Cruz both have brown hair," that would not automatically make them blonde bombshells. Behold, the extremely "biased" fact-check:Inaccurate: Certain medical conditions such as placenta previa and HELLP syndrome can make abortion a necessary medical procedure in order to prevent the mother's death.Misleading: While it is possible for early delivery to preserve both the life of the mother and child in the event of a life-threatening condition, as the video suggests, it does not mention that this is only applicable when a fetus' gestational age is advanced enough that its survival outside the womb is possible (generally >24 weeks old). In situations where a fetus has not developed sufficiently, it would not be possible for expedited delivery to save its life.Ah yes, the well-known liberal bias that an undeveloped fetus cannot survive outside of the womb. The fact is that I — a person who failed 10th grade biology on account of the fact that I thought that my time was better spent chainsmoking at a Perkins than being anywhere near the vicinity of dead frogs or "owl pellets" — am just as qualified to determine that this statement is false as any doctor is. Is it because I am so very informed as a result of many years of advocating for reproductive rights? Is it my own bias that leads me to this conclusion. No, it is not that.It is because I can Google. I, like almost anyone else in the world with access to Google, can type in "denied medically necessary abortion death" and find multiple examples of people dying after being denied abortion. For instance, the case that led Ireland to legalize abortion, the extremely preventable death of Savita Halappanavar, who died after being denied an abortion. Or the case of a 14-year-old Peruvian rape victim who also died after being denied an abortion. I can also type in "deaths pre-eclampsia" and "deaths ectopic pregnancy" and see that there are, indeed, people who have died from pregnancy complications who would not have been dead had they had an abortion. I can see that bleeding from ectopic pregnancies — which are not viable and have absolutely no chance in resulting in a baby being born alive — caused the deaths of 876 American women from 1980 to 2007 and is the leading cause of first-trimester maternal deaths. I do not need a medical degree (or to have ever dissected any owl shit) to provide evidence that this is bullshit, because of all the dead people. The dead people, in this case, are the evidence. Dead people, Facebook. Dead people. I can be biased all day long, it does not make those people undead. Only a Necronomicon can do that. Or a Pet Sematary. Or the bite of a Sumatran rat-monkey.This is, per Facebook, just a temporary measure until they can figure out what the actual deal is and who it is here that is "biased." Is it the medical professionals and the actual dead people, or is it Lila Rose, a moron who makes her living lying about abortion, birth control and Planned parenthood, and Ted Cruz. It is a difficult decision, I guess. [Buzzfeed]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
- Is Mike Pompeo A Heat-Seeking Missile For Henry Kissinger's Ass? The News Says Maybe!History lesson time! Once upon a time Henry Kissinger was a very bad man who was the secretary of State and also the national security advisor and he served a criminal president named Richard Nixon in both of those roles and then Richard Nixon got Watergated to death but he got better but then he died at a later date. Oh boy, Wonkette is the historian Kevin Kruse DREAMS of being!Rumor has it that Mike Pompeo might be the next national security advisor. (CALLED IT.) Wait, but isn't he secretary of State? Yes, but pffffft, who cares, Trump loves Pompeo because Pompeo eats Trump's butt for breakfast. Wait, but isn't he secretary of Defense? Haha, no, silly, that is POP QUIZ BET YOU CAN'T REMEMBER THAT GUY'S NAME. Wait, but isn't he CIA director? Haha no, silly, just kidding kind of.According to a senior Trump administration official CNN talked to, Donald Trump might be interested in "double-tapping" Mike Pompeo, which is a very gross way to put that, dammit, CNN! We were thinking about eating lunch, but we are not thinking about that anymore.Just one day after President Donald Trump dismissed national security adviser John Bolton, administration officials are discussing the possibility of replacing Bolton with his chief rival, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Under this scenario, the country's top diplomat would absorb the national security adviser role and do both jobs, according to a senior administration official and a source familiar with the possibilities.As CNN notes, when Nixon did it to Kissinger, he did it the reverse way. Kissinger was NSA, then Nixon DOUBLE-TAPPED him and sent him to State also too. But how serious is this possibility? Here is what Donald Trump had to say about it:"I have five people that want it very much... Five people that I consider very highly qualified, good people."Bullshit. Nobody fucking wants to work in the Trump administration, but Trump always says there are like a million people vying for every job. He probably thinks they're all calling him "sir" too.CNN reports that, until a decision is made, Pompeo is going to kind of de facto be Trump's NSA -- as opposed to the actual acting NSA -- which we're pretty sure he was already, so no change there. However, another "administration official" says if Trump does "double-tapping" to Mike Pompeo, it might go poorly, because it could make Pompeo "too powerful for Trump's taste." In other words, Pompeo might start thinking he is Donald Trump's real dad. Who does he think he is, VLADIMIR PUTIN?Anyway, Trump and Pompeo are having lunch together today, so maybe there will be some news. Or maybe Pompeo's heat-seeking missile will get all the way swallowed by Trump's ass, and then there won't be a Mike Pompeo no more.But Maybe Trump Will 'Tap' A Bunch Of Other People Instead!So many names are floating around! When Wonkette wrote of John Bolton's untimely dismissal/quitting, we proffered a bunch of possibilities, based on nothing but our dickish disdain for the stupidest president on earth. ON TOP OF suggesting Pompeo, which we were actually dead serious about, we suggested Devin Nunes and his certified Angus methane farts, the My Pillow guy and his not-that-great pillows, Sebastian Gorka and his 4-cylinder Mustang, and a handful of other possibilities. All of these are still on the master list, as far as we are concerned, because why the fuck not. But serious reporting has some other names. CNN says it might be US special representative for Iran Brian Hook or special envoy to North Korea Steve Biegun. Since our Iran and North Korea policy is going so fuckin' well, we think these would be great ideas for President Picks-The-Best-People. The New York Times has some more possibilities, including:Charles Kupperman, the dude who is now the acting national security advisor (supposedly) Douglas MacGregor, a retired wingnut colonel who (surprise) goes on Tucker Carlson a lotRic Grenell, the piece of shit obnoxious gay quisling ambassador to Germany, who seems to view his entire job as pissing off Germans, which is factcheck the OPPOSITE of his jobAnd ... WHAT? H.R. McMaster? The last national security advisor, whom Trump hated because he was too honest about Russians fucking with our elections? It's a longshot, but NBC News reports that Trump has called McMaster to say he misses him, awwwwwwwww, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS CLOWNSHOW?In other news, Donald Trump continues to be very SASSAFRAS about John Bolton's departure, saying he just wasn't playing well with others in the White House, which is one statement from the president we actually believe."He made some very big mistakes when he talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong-un," Trump said. "That was not a good statement to make."KIM JONG-UN IS DONALD TRUMP'S BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD, YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT GOING "LIBYAN" ON DONALD TRUMP'S FRIEND, OMG, WHO WILL SEND HIM LOVE LETTERS IF YOU DO THAT, SURELY NOT MELANIA, JESUS CHRIST, JOHN BOLTON!Trump also said that Kim "wanted nothing to do with John Bolton," and so obviously he had to leave the American White House, because of the North Korean dictator's feelings. Ayup. Oh yeah, Tucker Carlson didn't like Bolton, and Trump thought John Bolton's mustache was gross, and you know who doesn't have a mustache? Mike Pompeo.Wouldn't wanna chafe the president's buttcheeks when you're heat-seeking missile-ing his ass, after all.[CNN]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Eugene Scalia As Trump's New Secretary Of Labor? Smother Us With A Pillow, We're Dead!Donald Trump has sent to the Senate his official nomination of Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court justice murdered by Hillary's death squads, to be the next US secretary of Labor. That's about what you'd expect from the guy whose first Labor secretary nominee, Andy Puzder, was a fast food CEO who advocated replacing minimum wage workers with burger-flipping robots, then withdrew when somebody recalled he'd been accused of beating up his wife. Not that there's a pattern or anything. In July, Secretary Alex Acosta resigned -- and Trump reluctantly let him go -- over his role in helping Jeffrey Epstein get a sweetheart plea deal years ago, because it's not great when the US Attorney sides with the child-raper.Thank goodness no one has ever accused Eugene Scalia of ever being involved in abusing women, unless you count his arguing in 1998 that companies shouldn't be held liable for supervisors who sexually harass employees -- unless the company endorsed the harassment, you see. He also explained, Saying "You're an incompetent stupid female bitch" a single time is not actionable environmental harassment.One time is just having a bad day, we suppose, not a pattern. Beyond that, he argued that the concept of Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment -- demanding sex in exchange for keeping a job, or getting a promotion -- should be done away with because it's "redundant and ambiguous in theory, and cumbersome and confusing in practice." And then there's his war on protecting workers from being injured on the job. As a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, Scalia helped roll back a Clinton-era OSHA regulation on repetitive stress injuries, because preventing crippling pain in workers was really harshing big industries' mellow. In a report for the libertarian Cato Institute, Scalia had called the ergonomics regulation a "folly" based on "thoroughly unreliable science." Bush convinced Congress to rescind the rule under that fun Congressional Review Act, meaning that OSHA was forever banned from setting ergonomics standards ever again. Hooray for profits! Oh, yes, and hooray for lots of workers suffering chronic pain at work, which in part is why we have an opioid epidemic today, did we mention hooray!?Back in 2001, the Senate refused to confirm Scalia as Solicitor of Labor because of his opposition to worker health and safety regulations. But it's a new day, and workers don't need "rights" as long as Donald Trump promises to be really cruel to brown people. The Economic Policy Institute offers a few additional reasons Scalia shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a cabinet department intended to protect workers. He opposed rules that would have required UPS to buy workers' safety equipment, because obviously that's the worker's own lookout. He fought the fiduciary rule that required investment advisers to act in the interest of their clients, not their own enrichment. Bummer about your pension! He's opposed collective bargaining rights, consumer protections, rights of workers with disabilities -- you name it, whenever it was the rights of a worker against the interests of a corporation, Eugene Scalia has sided with his fellow millionaires. Well of course he's a millionaire. As an attorney, he's represented big banks, the oil bidniss, and the vaping company, Juul, to the tune of some six million bucks last year. Donald Trump certainly wouldn't send some scruffy friend of unions to run the Labor Department, would he? Scalia's confirmation hearing is scheduled for next Thursday, to make sure there's not too much time to build opposition. Like that would even matter to Republicans. [Bangor Daily News / Politico / EPI / NBC News / Allied Progress]Yr Wonkette is entirely supported by reader donations. Send us money so we can keep reminding you to Fight The Power.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Biden Guy Ed Rendell Hits Elizabeth Warren And It's ... Really? That's It?During the 2016 presidential campaign, former governor of Pennsylvania and smooth talker Ed Rendell predicted that Donald Trump would lose based on the scientific principle that there are more "ugly women in America than attractive women." Turns out there were more hot women voters who are also xenophobic bigots than Penthouse Forum ever led us to believe. Donald Trump is now president and Rendell should've never been heard from again. But aren't we lucky! Rendell, a surrogate for Joe Biden, is back with more words about women, specifically the woman known as Elizabeth Warren. Rendell called Planmaster Liz a "hypocrite" in a Washington Post op-ed yesterday. He also claims to like her. He thinks she's a great senator and happily co-chaired a fundraiser for her 2018 re-election campaign. But Warren the presidential candidate wants nothing to do with "high-dollar fundraising events." What makes Warren a hypocrite in Rendell's mind is that she transferred $10.4 million from her reelection fund to her presidential campaign. RENDELL: The senator appears to be trying to have it both ways — get the political upside from eschewing donations from higher-level donors and running a grass-roots campaign, while at the same time using money obtained from those donors in 2018. Rendell argues that Warren's big money fundraising stash gave her "a substantial head start in building a presidential-campaign staff and doing other things for which money is essential." (We have no idea why those last eight words are in that sentence.) If Warren wasn't a big phony, she would've set that money on fire or at least the half from rich people. The Dark Knight - The Joker - Everything Burns http://www.youtube.com We like Warren a lot and not just in the "write a critical op-ed the day before you debate our preferred candidate" kind of way. Still, it's hard to see the conflict between Warren's words and actions here. She's not opposed to money. She's a real-live capitalist. She just doesn't want to spend her political career giving shoe shines to robber barons. If an actor decides they don't want to make Marvel movies anymore, they're not morally obligated to return all their Disney dollars. Yes, Warren did blast Joe Biden for kicking off his campaign with a "a swanky private fund-raiser for wealthy donors." However, it's not hypocrisy. It's solid political strategy. Biden wants to present himself as working-class Uncle Joe. Shattering that image by holding a mirror up to the reality is a smart move. Besides, taking the moral high ground all by yourself is a quick way to lose elections. Once Warren threw down the gauntlet, it was imperative for her to pressure her political rivals to do the same. This ain't beanbag. Warren didn't seem to have any trouble taking our money in 2018, but suddenly we were power brokers and influence peddlers in 2019. The year before, we were wonderful. I co-chaired one of the events for the senator and received a glowing, handwritten thank-you letter from her for my hard work. Rendell helped organize Biden's big fundraiser, so we get that he takes this personally. But the fundraising email Warren sent her supporters was primarily intended to inform them that a major player had entered the race and was raising money hand over fist. She's a nice woman who handwrites polite thank-you letters we presume only metaphorically glow. That doesn't mean she's a pushover. She's going to hit her opponents in their weak spots, as well as the even weaker spots they didn't know were there. Warren didn't specifically call major Biden donors "power brokers and influence peddlers." One compelling argument she's made for her fundraising position is that she deliberately avoids situations where she's not expected to "keep it real." She's not going to pander or wrap her policies in a candy coating so it's easier to swallow. We don't think the wealthy are inherently bad people but their concerns are not always aligned with the majority of voters. Candidates can run the risk of playing to their audience, and this small segment of the electorate can artificially influence what they believe is feasible or worthwhile. Rendell has trouble accurately defining "hypocrisy." He claims Barack Obama, "one of the greatest presidents in [Rendell's] lifetime," was hypocritical for refusing to accept any money from Wall Street PACs in 2008 and yet he swam in veritable vaults of golden ducats from individuals who worked for Wall Street firms. Those are literally two different things. Rendell might disagree with the distinction Obama made but it still exists. What's interesting to us is that Rendell never calls Obama a "hypocrite," like he does Warren. Obama's behavior only makes him hypocrisy-curious while Warren is a flaming hypocrite.Nonetheless, Rendell assures us that if Senator Hypocrite wins the nomination, he will gladly support her and campaign on her behalf. He was such a great surrogate for Hillary Clinton, Warren would have to be in her right mind to refuse. media.giphy.com [Washington Post]Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.Get your Planmaster Liz swag here.Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money to keep the writers paid and the servers humming. Thank you, we love you.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- AOC, Ayanna Hold Hearings On Sick Immigrants. Like ICE And USCIS Gonna Answer Questions From A GIRLThe House Oversight subcommittee on civil rights held an emergency hearing Wednesday on the Trump administration's decision last month to try to deport immigrants who are receiving treatment for severe illnesses. The policy change, which came without any announcement or public input, only became known when immigrants got letters telling them their application for "medical deferred action" had been denied and that they had just 33 days to leave the country or face deportation. Leaving the US would be a death sentence for many, since the life-sustaining treatment they need isn't available in their home countries. On Labor Day, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a notice that it would reconsider some applications, but insisted limiting the deferrals "is appropriate."Advocates for the relatively small program, along with two people who received the go-home-and-die letters, testified about the very real consequences of ending the medical deferrals. But officials from USCIS and from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is supposedly taking over administration of such deferrals, didn't offer any clear answers. Republicans on the subcommittee used their time to argue the whole hearing was a waste of time, because what about the INVASION AT BORDER, huh? The Washington Post summed up the few facts that could be pried out of the two government witnesses:[The] two-year, renewable deferrals, which allowed patients and their families to stay in the country and obtain temporary work authorizations, are no more. Instead, critically ill people would have the opportunity to ask ICE for a stay of their deportation after receiving a final order of removal from the United States, and ICE would use its discretion on a case-by-case basis to offer delays of up to one year, they said.Not surprisingly, that's not a terribly satisfactory "replacement" for the existing process, because severely ill immigrants would have to wait until ICE had already begun deportation proceedings against them before they could even apply for deferral. Presumably, someone in Stephen Miller's office figured that would really make sick immigrants, or parents of sick kids, think twice about whether "continuing to live" is worth all the fuss. And no, the You Have 33 Days To Leave letters offered no information on how to appeal the decisions, no mention of applying for a deferment from ICE, nothing. At yesterday's hearing, a representative of ICE would give no details on the "path going forward for deferred action," insisting that "those are internal discussions we are not prepared to discuss."USCIS associate director for field operations David Renaud made a truly impressive display of dodging virtually every question about why the policy change was deemed necessary, who was behind it (Obersturmbannführer Miller, duh!), or even what exactly the new policy will be. Can't talk about any of it, because there's a lawsuit, you see: Subcommittee chair Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) was incredulous: Raskin: You can't tell me why there's a new policy. You can't tell me what motivated the new policy. And you can't tell me what the policy is. Is that a correct assessment of the situation?Renaud: That is my testimony, sir.Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), who represents some of those who've been told to pack up and leave, tried to get Renaud to at least say what office of the government the decision came from, but of course, he really couldn't say, sorry. Finally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) told Renaud that Congress actually has some legal authority under the Constitution, and suggested to Raskin that subpoenas might be in order And through it all, Renaud insisted everything was fine, and the deportation threats weren't really deportation threats, because after all, ICE handles deportations. Pressley was referring to 16-year-old Jonathan Sanchez, a medical deferred action recipient who has cystic fibrosis and testified to the committee, "In my point of view, I think that deporting sick kids like me, it will be a legal homicide." Fortunately, Republicans on the committee spent their time insisting there was no problem at all, because Democrats just made up the whole issue to scare people. Their invited witness, former ICE director Thomas Homan, now a Fox News Deport-'em-all talking head, testified that USCIS had no legal basis to issue medical deferrals anyway, and so surely ICE would do just fine (yes, there is much Milleresque hair-splitting in that claim). Homan went on to accuse the committee of hating on law enforcement and the Dear Leader, and of "choosing to ignore a bigger problem that affects many many more lives, many more than this policy change," because INVASION and besides, only a few hundred people might die if we send them back -- although nobody knows, really, exactly how many people will be affected by the end of the program. Republican Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin asked him if he could see sick immigrants "getting kicked out of this country," and Homan -- who is not an actual policy maker -- said naw, that wouldn't happen. See? Grothman insisted, this is just a lot of panic over nothing. Strangely, Isabel Bueso, who has been in the US since she was seven years old and was in a key clinical trial that saved her life and led to a treatment that's saving others with her rare genetic disorder, doesn't seem reassured by the nice sociopaths in the suits. Rachel Maddow interviewed Bueso last night, and she noted that so far, she has received no reassurance at all that she'll be allowed to stay in the US to receive the weekly treatments that are keeping her alive. Medically Fragile Immigrant Appeals To Congress In Fight For Life | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC http://www.youtube.com She probably shouldn't worry, though. When have Republicans ever lied?[House Oversight Committee / NYT / WBUR / WaPo]Yr Wonkette is supported entirely by reader donations. Support your daily helping of the web's most accurate combination of incandescent rage and snark!How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Wondercock Gonna SUE YOU SO HARD! No, HARDER!Last week we had daily updates on Hurricane Dorian's unfortunate track through Alabama (in the president's brain). This week we have daily updates on JERRY FALWELL'S WONDERCOCK OF JOY AND LAMENTATIONS, DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU'RE SITTING AND WHETHER YOU'VE DONE YOUR BREATHING EXERCISES, ALLEGEDLY.If you'll remember, there was a big Politico piece this week, where journalist and Liberty University alum Brandon Ambrosino got lots of Liberty people to talk off the record about Jerry's little fiefdom, and also some other things. By the way, "little fiefdom" isn't his name for HIS COCK, because have you heard how it WON'T FIT IN HIS WIFE?Allow us to remind you:At Liberty, Falwell is "very, very vocal" about his "sex life," in the words of one Liberty official—a characterization multiple current and former university officials and employees interviewed for this story support. In a car ride about a decade ago with a senior university official who has since left Liberty, "all he wanted to talk about was how he would nail his wife, how she couldn't handle [his penis size], and stuff of that sort," this former official recalled. Falwell did not respond to questions about this incident.MULTIPLE people confirmed to Politico that Jerry just hearts talking about his cock. And they also told Politico about how Liberty University isn't really a college (knew that), but rather a "real estate hedge fund" that's "not educating," but rather "buying real estate every year and taking students' money to do it."And now Jerry Falwell Jr. is MAD and he is going to SUE EVERYBODY who told SECRETS about his COCK, which is weird, because doesn't the Bible say DON'T HIDE YOUR COCK UNDER A BUSHEL, JERRY?Falwell, son of the university's founder, also says he is considering filing a civil suit against "6 to 8" unnamed former employees and board members, accusing them of breaking confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements they had signed with Liberty.OK, so he's going to sue people for breaking their NDAs and dishing to reporters about HIS RESPLENDENT COCK and also his grift. Yes, this is after he also said this week that he's going to tattle to the FBI about the obvious RICO conspiracy everybody at Liberty is doing to him, by "stealing" their own emails and leaking them to reporters. We bet that's right at the top of the FBI's list. Anyway, Jerry is just mad as a tick, and you don't want to be in the path of JERRY'S WONDERCOCK when it is angry! (Unless you're into that sort of thing! Not that there's anything wrong with that!)Anyway, all the conspiracies against Jerry Falwell Jr., he says, are because he loves the president too much, which is usually why people do RICO conspiracies. We are not a lawyer, and we are not a psychologist -- OR ARE WE? -- but we feel like this is the behavior of a person who might perhaps be worried there are more revelations to cum we mean come. Hey Reuters, whatcha got?In emails to his colleagues over the years, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr has denigrated students and staff at the Christian university he runs, referring to one student as "emotionally imbalanced and physically retarded" and calling the school's police chief a "half-wit."Oh, OK.As scripture says, love the lord thy God with all your heart AND ALSO YOUR COCK, and if you're the president of a Christian clown college, be sure to call the students retarded. What a man!Reuters has a screengrab of that email: In the emails Reuters has, Jerry Falwell Jr., chosen of God and adored among nations, does indeed call Liberty's police chief a "half-wit," and in 2012 said about Kevin Keys, who was the associate athletic director, that you should "[o]nly get Kevin involved in something if you want it not to work." That's rude but it's not that bad. We just bring it up because you should read this article about how Falwell's been staffing the Liberty athletics department with Good Christian Guys with recent sex scandals of different sorts in their immediate past. There's Liberty athletic director Ian McCaw, who as the Washington Post reports was "forced out at Baylor — itself a private Baptist university — following a wide-ranging sexual and domestic assault scandal involving football players." And then there's Hugh Freeze, the former Ole Miss coach who now coaches at Liberty, who lost his job at Ole Miss after he for some reason used his school-sponsored cell phone to call an escort service. Less well-known is that Freeze was the subject of allegations of inappropriate behavior with high school girls when he coached at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee. (FULL DISCLOSURE: That's where yr Wonkette graduated high school. Yes, during the time in question.)Point is, Jerry Falwell just has really good taste, in personal trainers and poolboys and also in athletic directors and coaches!One more update you should know about, as a sidebar to this story has been Jerry Falwell Jr.'s weird and ever-changing explanations for why there are pictures of him clubbin' it up at the club in Miami. The Politico journalist was "terribly mistaken"! They were faked! They were "likely photo-shopped"! He was dead at the time! (And the photographer responded EAT ME.)Now there is a new explanation: Love going to the very gay-friendly club in Miami Beach for 30 minutes to listen to music with my conservative Christian family. That is just totally a thing.This has been your daily update on THE JERRYCOCK! Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip! [CNN / Reuters]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- No, THIS Is A Bad FeministSo Lisa Bloom fucking sucks.Lisa Bloom, lauded "feminist," "women's rights" attorney, and daughter of Gloria Allred, has spent most of her career representing women and crime victims. But for a little while, she decided to take a break from women who had been victimized to help one of the most prolific rapists of our time: Harvey Weinstein. And she helped Weinstein come up with a plan, not to defend himself in court, but to smear and bribe his victims.A new book about the Harvey Weinstein saga came out this week, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. It was written by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor -- the women who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's web of rape, harassment, and lies -- and details not only the deeds of Weinstein, but also the people who helped him cover his tracks for so long. One of those people was Lisa Bloom.Bloom decided she just had to get in on helping out Harvey Weinstein. And in the process of getting onto Weinstein's payroll, she wrote him a memo detailing how they could smear the women he had raped and make himself look good in the process.Journalist, women's rights ally, and Twitter User Extraordinaire Yashar Ali posted the memo in full (with permission from Kantor and Twohey). And it's horrifying. Parts of Bloom's email read more like a love letter to Weinstein. Loom opens by saying it was a "treat to speak with" Weinstein and saying that actress Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein's rape victims, "truly comes off as a pathological liar." Bloom also used the opportunity to attack McGowan specifically while at the same time throwing some anti-feminist shade generally, saying: I guess we need more films glorifying male murderers, or something?About McGowan, Bloom also ominously says: And can someone teach Ms. Bloom that truth is an absolute defense to a claim of defamation? Eat shit, Lisa.As for why Weinstein should work with her, Bloom said: Wow. There's a lot to unpack, there. Bloom is basically calling all of the women she's represented liars. Apparently women who are sexually assaulted and harassed are "the Roses of the world," who sometimes masquerade as "impressive, bold women," but in truth are weak liars. Yikes.Bloom then goes on to talk about how they should proceed to smear McGowan and make Weinstein a "hero." Her plan lays out six steps.Step One: Befriend and attempt to blackmail Rose McGowan. Step Two: Smear Rose McGowan. Step Three: Try to silence Rose McGowan. Step Four: Make Weinstein a hero. Let's just do it and be legends, man. Step Five: Use Weinstein's money to try to make him look good. Step Six: Try to rig Google. After laying out her plan to destroy McGowan, Bloom closes her email by saying she was "really honored to be brought into this team."For her part, Rose McGowan is ... not pleased with how Bloom handled things for Weinstein. Et tu, Aunt Lisa?She Says and Bloom's memo are startling reminders of how even self-identified feminist women are complicit in propping up the straight, white patriarchy.We already knew that Lisa Bloom had worked for Weinstein -- but seeing Bloom talk about how to hurt a rape victim, in her own words, is really striking.Monica Hesse at the Washington Post explained "how Lisa Bloom, feminist attorney, became just another complicit Aunt Lydia," noting that Bloom's plan was "to use her insider knowledge of victimology to attack Weinstein's victims."Bloom's motivation in all this seem pretty clear.What possible motive could Lisa Bloom have had for undermining the values she had publicly championed for so many years?The last paragraph of her memo gave up the game: "Would you please connect me with David Boies so I can get retained?"Bloom's initial payment for assisting the man who would become the reviled symbol for the unchecked abuse of power was $50,000.Bloom billed Weinstein at a rate of $895/hour.This is gross.Yup, it is.Bloom has represented women accusing Bill Cosby, Bill O'Reilly, and scores of other powerful men of sexual assault and harassment. She has represented a number of other women who have been raped and abused. She is currently representing some of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers. And it is just really disheartening to know how little Bloom thinks of her clients, as well as women as a whole.At some point every lawyer represents someone whose actions they find repugnant. It always pissed me off when people complained about that time Hillary Clinton represented a child rapist -- she was doing her job and upholding her ethical responsibility to defend a client she was appointed to represent. Lawyers are ethically bound to zealously represent their clients. It's all part of the job.But smearing rape victims in the press is not in any lawyer's job description. And the insights Bloom gave Weinstein were both disgusting and harmful. As noted by Hesse:The most horrible thing about Lisa Bloom's memo to Harvey Weinstein wasn't the advice it offered. An experienced male crisis manager could have come up with a similarly odious battle plan.The most horrible thing was the life experience she brought to writing it. She knew, intimately, how women were treated in the court system and the public eye. She knew how accusers can be portrayed as crazy — "increasingly unglued," was the phrase she used when detailing how they would frame Rose McGowan for the general public. Lisa Bloom knew everything that would happen to Weinstein's victims if they executed her plan, and she wrote that memo anyway.As for Bloom, she apologized. Again. Though the "apology" reads more like a press release and rings pretty hollow, especially compared to Bloom's prose in the message she sent to Weinstein. It just still doesn't seem to have dawned on Lisa that she helped a Harvey Weinstein come up with a plan to smear, silence, and ruin the life of a woman he raped.Like Weinstein, Bloom seems unable and unwilling to accept responsibility for her actions. When news of Bloom's representation of Bloom broke the first time she told the AP, "I've often wished I could get in on the other side and knock the guy around a little and tell him to knock it off ... Remarkably, I now have the opportunity to do that."HOLD ON A SECOND, I JUST ROLLED MY EYES SO HARD THEY ALMOST GOT STUCK. Giphy Both Bloom and David Boies -- who attempted to silence, intimidate, and undermine Weinstein's victims -- now each represent several victims of Jeffrey Epstein. I truly hope their work on behalf of these victims is as zealous as their work on behalf of serial rapists. And I hope they've both left their Aunt Lydia antics behind. Otherwise, their clients are in for an interesting ride. Giphy [WaPo / Lisa Bloom / Yashar Ali]Wonkette is ad-free and funded ENTIRELY by YOU. Please keep us going! Click the thing below!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 Took 'Blue' Anniversary of 9/11 A Little Too LiterallySeptember 11th, 2001 was a day that forever changed the course of history. It started a war we are still waging (Afghanistan), created new government departments (DHS, ICE), gave the government wide authorizations to violate privacy (Patriot Act), and created the security theater we all perform every time we want to go on a flight. (Because somehow a 16 ounce bottle of shampoo is bad, but two eight ounce bottles next to each other is cool. It's just science!) And as each year has passed, we've seen the anniversary of 9/11 cravenly used as a political tool, mostly by Republicans. There is no better example of this than Trump's personal lawyer, former mayor of New York City and Nosferatu-looking fuckmouth: Rudy Giuliani. As America somberly remembered the day, Giuliani decided to post this video to Twitter: Seems someone told Giuliani that the 18th anniversary is the "blue one" (maybe his cousin/first wife), and he decided that meant he should "Blue Lives Matter" the fuck out of it. There's plenty to examine from this commercial, for instance the obviously conservative strawman idea of what police brutality or a dreaded "Antifa" protest looks like. The weird flashback method used to convey the history of the police officer about to violate the protesters' First Amendment right to protest by burning the US flag, as asserted by Texas v. Johnson and this very liberal Supreme Court justice: The commercial's Michael Bay-style flashbacks are scored by a haunting rendition of "America, The Beautiful," used to justify the officer's decision to put his face shield down and extend his baton with a "snikt" usually only found in X-Men movies, and they include: The police officer getting his badge pinned. The officer as a soldier saluting a flag draped casket. The officer, we assume, as a teen, standing for the anthem in a high school football game. The officer, we assume, as child, watching the 9/11 attacks on TV. The video ends with abruptly with the words "This We'll Defend," without revealing the source or organization that produced it. This seemed weird, but a little research revealed it as a ad from 2018 by a t-shirt apparel company called "Grunt Style." Here is the original with the tag at the end: While Grunt Style says it was "intended to be our commercial in the Big Game (you know the one)," there is no record it was ever under consideration at all. In fact, the company admits it was never "denied or rejected by anyone" and says "it was our own decision to not run it," because "in the end we just couldn't take the big money risk," despite putting a misleading title on the video, Seems being a shill for military chic apparel was too embarrassing for Rudy Giuliani, but he couldn't help reusing a forgotten piece of propaganda to communicate his message. That's on brand for a guy who's used 9/11 to smear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, excuse Islamophobia in the guise of patriotism, and run an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008. Giuliani's co-opting of 9/11 for his own purposes was summarized best by a current presidential frontrunner in 2008: Giuliani (a noun) should fuck off (a verb) for every 9/11 anniversary (covered!) from now to eternity. As someone who served during that time, served in the manufactured Iraq war Giuliani and the GOP used 9/11 to excuse in 2003, please stop using OUR sacrifice for your fascist fantasies or as shields you'll discard as soon as inconvenient (like you did the 9/11 first responders). We are not your tokens and you do not get to trademark patriotism.Wonkette is fully supported by readers like you. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE FINANCIALLY.How often would you like to donate? Just once Monthly Select an amount (USD)$2$25$5$50$10$100$15$500$20$1000
- ROUND THREE! Wonkagenda For Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019Morning Wonketariat! Once again there's a torrent of things spewing from swamp this morning, but here's SOME of the things we may be talking about today. The third Democratic presidential debate starts tonight at 8:00 pm and will air on ABC and Univision. It will be the first single debate between all 10 main contenders in the 2020 Democratic primary thus far, and be the first time Joe Biden will face off with his top three opponents, senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Earlier this week the DNC warned candidates to watch their potty mouths as there will be no delay on the broadcast, and Amy Klobuchar grinned wickedly. WaPo adds that all these new rules might seem like a dramatic change, but believe or not, the debates have been pretty standard so far. Stephen Colbert thinks all those words about no cusses tonight might be directed at one or two mother fuckin' candidates who can't control their MALARKY. Several Democrats are Beating Trump in Head-to-Head Polls http://www.youtube.com Administration officials are getting a little more loose with reported federal plans to round up homeless people and warehouse them in concentration camps shelters. Officials from HUD, DOJ, EPA, Veterans Affairs, and the Domestic Policy Council were recently poking around a housing project and an old FAA facility, and meeting with Los Angeles police unions in order to figure out, as one senior official puts it, "how the hell we can get these people off the streets." The LA Times reports city and state officials are skeptical of the administration's efforts, quoting Breelyn Pete, the chief of state and federal affairs for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, as saying "They're just not thoughtful — and, quite frankly, not smart enough to know what we're doing."The Supreme Court has upheld a the Trump administration's new asylum policy that bars refugees who've traveled through Mexico or another country without first applying for asylum there. Joined by the notorious RBG, Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented with the ruling, writing, "Once again the Executive branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution," adding, "the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law." [Order]NPR noticed that there's a hell of a lot of empty chairs at Trump's White House. Even though Trump routinely brags about all the people clamoring for gigs in his administration, more senior staffers are now working two jobs while other senior level positions remain vacant, or occupied by acting officials. WaPo reports that a lot of this may be because Trump's MAGAlomania has left him with an inner circle of "Yes" men who are desperate to avoid being "You're Fired" via tweet, and Trump's view of advisers as props to be used and abused. [Infographic] Image via NPRIf you like beating yourself up, Politico has a quick run-down of the "Yes" men Trump is considering to replace John Bolton. There's your typical cadre of Fox News talking heads, neo-cons, and even an (ALLEGED) white nationalist. Who are we kidding, Trump's just going split the job between Mick Mulvaney and Jared Kushner. Our mad king has decreed he won't shove a legally dubious tax cut on capital gains down our throats (for now). The idea to give MORE tax cuts (for the super rich) had been floated by a number of Republicans (*cough* Ted Cruz! *cough!*) and the super rich jackoffs he calls economic advisers. Instead, Trump is shitposting about the Fed and negative interest rates again.The CEOs of 145 US companies are begging the Republican-controlled Senate to do something to control America's gun humping problem. The letter is signed by an interesting collective of business leaders, including Jared Kushner's brother and Sen. Mitt Romney's old company, Bain Capital, and urges the Senate to pass so-called "red flag" laws and take up legislation already passed by the Democratic-led House. The fancy suits write, "we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country," adding, "Doing nothing about America's gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety." [Letter]A new tentative work law in California aimed at helping the bajillions of slobs working in the gig economy has pissed off a bunch of businesses who can't/won't call their workers "employees." Pushback against the law is coming primarily from Uber, which says its drivers don't qualify as employees, adding that it won't comply with the law. Small businesses and religious institutions are also worried they might lose money or be forced to bump faith leaders to part-time gigs that serve people who believe in their particular 31 flavors of God(s) in order to comply with the law. We're finally getting a look at the receipts for Mike Pence's little vacay to Trump's failing golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland. According to the State Department, ground transportation alone cost taxpayers half-a-million dollars. NBC notes that, by comparison, when B. Barry Bamz skipped around Ireland in 2013 it only cost $114,000. Last night Samantha Bee did a quick round up of the grifting for which Trump World has been caught billing tax payers in just the last week. Here's How Taxpayers are Funding Trump's Resorts | Full Frontal on TBS http://www.youtube.com The Daily Beast reports the administration is considering an $15 billion bailout for Iran in order to entice the regime into coming back in line with the JCPOA. Initially conceived by French President Emanuel Macron, the deal would leverage a credit line for oil sales, provided Iran mashes the "Stop" button on it's nuke program, stops dicking around in the Persian Gulf, and shows up to future Middle East talks. Part of the fallout of the quit-firing of John Bolton (whom unnamed State Department officials call "an arsonist hell bent on setting fire to anyone's agenda that didn't align with his own"), the plan is still up in the air and hinges on Trump admitting he fucked up by killing one of Obama's landmark foreign policy achievements. We kid -- he'll just insist a far worse deal is an improvement. Politico reports US security officials are pretty sure Israel secretly installed "sting rays" near the White House to get an inside look at the raging dumpster fires on the Trump Show. Security officials say it's "pretty clear" Israel was spying, and that the Trump administration has just kind of shrugged off the incident. For its part, the Israeli embassy told Politico it "doesn't conduct espionage operations in the United States, period," which is a pretty standard denial for them. Israel is trying to avoid accidentally triggering World War III with Iran that could be triggered by its fighting a series of proxy wars against Hezebollah. The Israelis have been utilizing a combination of traditional and unconventional methods, reports the Wall Street Journal, and attempting to balance all potential conflicts just as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces contentious elections next week. In what may be a bleak sign of things to come, DC's little commuter newspaper, The Express, announced it's shutting down. A survivor in a vast sea of similarly dead papers in cities across the country, The Express won't be missed as much now that most of the federal workers risking life and limb on DC's public transit system -- its primary readers -- no longer have government jobs.Finalists for the annual Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards have been announced. You're welcome! Samantha Bee 'splained how the electoral college gives a minority of dipshits in flyover country way too much power in presidential elections, and why we should ditch it with the rest of the Republican-fueled dumpster fires (even if it means fewer corn dog blow jobs). It's Time to Cancel the Electoral College | Full Frontal on TBS http://www.youtube.com And here's your morning Nice Time: SQUIRREL WARS! Squirrels Savagely Stealing Acorns | Spy In The Wild | BBC Earth 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
- Michael Flynn Is A Very Serious Person With A Very Serious LawyerIt is so hard to figure out what Michael Flynn is angling for these days. (A pardon.) And it's super hard to suss out exactly what his new batshit Fox News lawyer Sidney Powell is trying to accomplish, as she throws bullshit in the judge's direction about how HE WUZ FRAMED and the government has SECRET DOCUMENTZ that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE WUZ FRAMED. (She wants to throw as much Deep State bullshit at the wall as she possibly can, possibly because she actually believes the stuff, which is scary, but most certainly because she wants to influence public opinion to create space for Flynn to get a pardon, because he was just so unfairly treated.)Michael Flynn, who spent decades in the military and literal WEEKS as Trump's national security advisor, lied to the FBI. That is what he is being sentenced for. Of course, wrapped up in there is alllllll his literal actual foreign agent work, which he was secretly doing while he was advising Trump's campaign and as national security advisor, and which he had to plead to in order to get his sweetheart cooperation agreement with Robert Mueller's team. All of this has been established. All of this has been admitted to, in court, by a man named Michael Flynn!So of course the Flynn hearing on Tuesday was totally normal and very legal and very cool, and exactly what you'd expect. Rachel Maddow read from the transcript, like she does. (Thanks, Maddow graphics team, as usual! Wonkette will send you a gift card ... sometime!)Here is Sidney Powell telling Judge Emmet Sullivan about how Michael Flynn is innocent, she just knows it, even though he already pleaded guilty. EGREGIOUS GOVERNMENT MISCONDUCT! WILL EXONERATE FLYNN IN ANY NUMBER OF WAYS!So ... they're pulling the plea? Nah. Probably. Probably nah, said Sidney Powell, who sells these really cool rObErT mUelLer iS A cRoOk t-shirts on her website, as all serious lawyers do. We guess once Sidney Powell pulls the smoking gun out of the fever dream whereupon she first saw it, the judge will cancel the entire Mueller investigation retroactively and add several years to Trump's first term as an "I'm sorry" gift. Sure thing!BuzzFeed's Zoe Tillman was in the courtroom and pulled more nuggets of deliciousness from this very serious lawyer and her very serious client being very serious. Tillman notes that the judge set a hearing for October 31 (Halloween! Spooooooooooooooooky!) so Powell can prove that the government is hiding all kinds of secrets that somehow say Michael Flynn The Literal Actual Foreign Agent did not lie to those FBI agents about talking about lifting sanctions with the Russian ambassador. At issue is that Powell claims the feds are withholding what's known as "Brady" material, or in other words, exculpatory evidence.Back to the Maddow graphics: Judge Sullivan assumes the government will say that yes, they have turned over all the relevant Brady evidence. And Sidney Powell is like "Chuckle-fuckle-dickory-dock, you silly goose! That's what they WANT YOU TO THINK! Show me the IRRELEVANT EVIDENCE!"Like we said, serious lawyer, serious client.Sullivan, pissing on Powell's joy:Sullivan said that any argument about Flynn being entitled to additional evidence would need to be in the context of being "relevant and helpful" during sentencing. Dammit, foiled again!Powell replied that "there is far more at stake here than sentencing."Well of course there is, Sidney! You're fightin' the entire Deep State, aren't ya! Bless your fuckin' heart, just bless it.So what kind of SERIOUS EVIDENCE is the government allegedly withholding? Well, Zoe Tillman reports that some of it is texts between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which show that they didn't like Donald Trump. Not sure what that has to do with Michael Flynn, but obviously in the love language of Sean Hannity and Fox News, it means WITCH HUNT! Also, Tillman reports that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack said in court that Flynn's legal team -- his original one, before he hired BatFarts McNormal -- received all that stuff, and that they got it before Flynn pleaded guilty.As for other alleged exculpatory evidence, if you travel into the inner asshole of the internet, you will find that Hannity's favorite "reporter" Sara Carter is telling tales of a BOMBSHELL MEMO from January 2017, wherein the Department of Justice allegedly wrote "MICHAEL FLYNN, NO COLLUSION," presumably using one of Trump's Sharpies. In truth, we don't know what the #MyPrecious that Powell is seeking is even really supposed to say, but hell, you read Sara Carter's piece and see if you can decipher that babbling. It's mostly just an idiot shouting about James Comey. Or you can just read Renato Mariotti's thread debunking Carter's entire dumbfucking blog post if that sounds more fun. Spoiler: It starts with the collective lie that the supposed memo TOTALLY EXONERATES Flynn of NO COLLUSION, when the actual thing he is being charged with is lying to the FBI. Another spoiler: Sara Carter and Sidney Powell are full of it.Powell officially filed this afternoon for all the secret Brady information the government is definitely hiding. Most of the documents she's demanding have jackshit to do with the case at hand, but it'll play well on Hannity tonight. Deep State! DEEEEP sTtataaaAAAaaaAAaAaatEEEEEEEEEE!!11!!!1!!One other interesting thing happened in that courtroom yesterday. Last December, in what was supposed to be Flynn's sentencing hearing, prosecutors said Flynn had been a #VeryGoodBoy, and recommended that he serve no jail time. Judge Sullivan disagreed, and repeatedly asked things like "Are you SURE I should not put this man to death for treason?" (Slight paraphrase.) After that Flynn buckled and decided maybe he should cooperate a lot more. Well now, the prosecutors seem a bit less interested in that whole "no jail time" thing. Got that slide ready for us, Maddow Graphics Department? The prosecutors will let you know at a later date on how much they'd like Sullivan to LOCK HER UP.Everything Michael Flynn and Esquire BatFarts are doing right now is going to fall on its ass, but we kinda think that doesn't matter, at least not for their purposes, as they seem to be doing everything they possibly can to amuse the hell out of Judge Emmet Sullivan, who just loves being amused. (He is probably also very amused by how Michael Flynn is telling the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena to fuck off.) It's almost like they want Sullivan to throw the biggest book he can at Flynn, because won't that make it easier for Trump and Fox News to say NO FAIR and drop a pardon on Flynn before he even gets butt-searched at the prison?Of course, we can scarcely imagine that Judge Emmet Sullivan is too dumb to see what these Clever Cathys are doing right now.Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on December 18, which Rachel Maddow notes is the one-year anniversary of his sentencing hearing last year, when Sullivan almost gave Flynn a one-way ticket to hell.We'll see what happens!For now, have your OPEN THREAD.[BuzzFeed]Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.How often would you like to donate? 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- North Carolina God Damn!You might recall that expert report a few years back which determined North Carolina's democratic institutions are a mess, roughly on a par with those in Cuba, Indonesia, or Sierra Leone, and not quite as good as Rwanda. Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives apparently think the state needs to slide down a few ranks, so today they pulled a funny little trick to pass an override of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the state budget. All they had to do was tell Democrats that no votes would be taken in the morning session, and then, in the half-empty chamber, the Rs forced a vote on the budget override, which passed 55-9, HA! HA! Gov. Cooper had vetoed the budget bill in June because it didn't include funding to expand Medicaid, and also because it skimped on pay raises for teachers while giving tax cuts to corporations. Oh, and for an extra bit of awful, many of the Democrats were reportedly out attending 9/11 memorials, although the Associated Press notes "it wasn't immediately clear how many lawmakers may have been attending memorials." Look, if they're too wrapped up in silly distractions, that's on them!Following the vote, Democrats condemned the outrageous fuckery, noting that none of their leadership had been present in the House, and that Republican state Rep. David Lewis had told state Democratic Leader Darren Jackson there wouldn't be any votes taken Wednesday morning. With that assurance, Jackson had told his caucus they didn't need to attend the morning session. And then came the switcheroo!Jackson told the Raleigh News & Observer, that when a person with power says something will or won't happen, you tend to trust them. Lewis is the chair of the House Rules, Calendar and Operations committee, so that sounds like a guy with power to us! "If we can't trust each other, this place will fall apart, it's just too big an entity to run, too many processes to require for everything to be in writing," Jackson said [...] Jackson said he wants Lewis to recall the veto vote before it goes to the Senate, which is a simple majority vote.Haw-haw, you wish, loser! As proof that everything was just ducky and that no rats had been fucked, Republican Speaker Tim Moore, who had called the vote immediately after the day's session began, made a great show of pointing out that there had been no announcement on the floor that there'd be no voting, and even got the House's clerk to check the minutes to prove it. News & Observer reporter Lauren Horsch said on Twitter that, regardless of any announcement, "several reporters were told on background that no votes would be taken. So this was a shock to us as well."The bullshit "we never promised you a memorial garden" excuse didn't seem to satisfy the few Democrats who were on the floor when the vote was suddenly called. State Rep. Deb Butler objected angrily, "This is a travesty of the process and you know it." No matter! With just 64 members present, the Rs pushed through the budget veto override, and an override of a second, unrelated veto, too, because they were there, weren't they? Then they voted to recess, and the Rs went off to a closed caucus meeting where we imagine a little girl showed them how to hold a football and yank it away at the last moment, with hilarious results. Butler was livid, shouting, "How dare you Mr. Speaker? [...] The trickery that is being evidenced this morning is tantamount to a criminal offense." Here's video of part of the session, with Butler demanding justice and Republicans owning the libs: Rep. Deb Butler speaks out against veto override by NC House Republicans http://www.youtube.com Moore had Butler's microphone turned off, that'll learn her! Butler also said she was threatened with arrest; other Democratic lawmakers circled around her to prevent that. In an editorial today, the News & Observer said North Carolina Republicans "are beyond shame" and called the episode a "stunning display of contempt for democracy." The editorial called on the Senate -- which, again, can override the governor's veto with a simple majority, requiring only a single Democrat to join the Rs (if everyone shows up) -- to reject the bill. As if that's likely to happen. Senate leader Phil Berger was no doubt aware of Moore's plan to end run Democratic opposition. It's a grim reality that there are likely no Senate Republicans who — however they may feel about the budget — would turn away from participating in this act of subterfuge. In a sense, the budget that comes before them to be made into law is the legislative equivalent of stolen goods. So what, they'll figure, our side stole it; Democrats shouldn't have been so trusting. Tough.But this isn't a case simply of hardball politics and sly legislative maneuvering. This is a case of breaking faith with the people of North Carolina and with all who strove and sacrificed over generations to protect and advance North Carolina's political system as one based on a true representation of the people's will, a true democracy.Yeah, but this is a republic, not a democracy, and if you did the people's will, the people might choose Democrats. So the illegally gerrymandered Republican majority has to make sure that shit won't happen. The editorial noted that now the state has "an illegitimate majority acting in an unethical way."In other words, it's Republican politics as usual. Thank goodness there's an election in 2020. If Democrats can manage to get something like 95 percent of the vote, they might even overcome the gerrymander enough to squeak out a bare majority in the state lege.[Raleigh News & Observer / AP / Lauren Horsch on Twitter / News & Observer]Yr Wonkette is supported entirely by reader donations. Please give generously so we can keep reminding you why we can't ever trust these fuckers.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
- Your Daily Devotional for September 13, 2019please tell me again how Andrew McCabe and a bunch of lifelong Republicans in the FBI colluded with Russia and Hillary to lose her own election so that Trump would win so […]
- PinheadConeflower – Echinacea Sunrise
- Your Daily Devotional for September 12, 2019never forget that Trump spent the whole day on 9/11 sitting on a gold-plated toilet in his ugly tower and phoning into TV and radio shows to brag about having the tallest […]
- Your Daily Devotional for September 11, 2019Ivanka to replace John Bolton, because Jared is busy bringing peace to the Middle East, Don Jr. is busy printing out emails and shredding them, and Eric accidentally locked himself inside the […]
- Your Daily Devotional for September 10, 2019the CIA had to extract their own top spy from Russia because they feared our Putin-worshiping blabbermouth president would get him killed but yes please tell me again how electing the woman […]
- Your Daily Devotional for September 9, 2019hey, remember when Obama spent five days arguing with a map and then browbeat two government agencies until they finally agreed to go along with his imaginary weather report? of course you […]
- White America still pretending slavery didn’t happenTo be forgiven, one must first repent. Plantations are talking more about slavery — and grappling with visitors who talk back CHARLOTTESVILLE — A Monticello tour guide was explaining how enslaved people […]
- Your Daily Devotional for September 4, 2019I’ve been searching the Bible for god-given rights and while I’ve found the right to get your father drunk and sleep with him (Genesis 19:30-38) and the right to sell your daughter […]
- Your Daily Devotional for September 3, 2019my favorite Bible story might be the one where Jesus tells all the sick immigrant children that they have 33 days to get their cancer-stricken asses the fuck out of Nazareth and […]
Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Peter Sinclair, a long time advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives
- Saudi Attack Shows Why Renewables are Essential and InevitableAs long as we remain committed to fossil fuels, that are by nature scarce and under the control of venal corporations and corrupt governments, we will be vulnerable to price manipulation, terror, and war. Washington Post: ISTANBUL — Iran on Sunday rejected U.S. accusations it was responsible for devastating attacks on two oil installations in […]
- Trailer: “Radioactive”
- The Weekend Wonk: Decarbonizing the HeartlandPatti Poppe is CEO of Consumer’s Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, which has been a quintessential, conservative, coal based, rust belt generator for decades, up until just a few years ago. Now things are changing. See if you can detect it.Talk is 20 minutes, followed by Q and A. Below, David Saggau is Chair of Minnesota’s […]
- Why Dim Bulbs Love TrumpIn other news, The Trump administration proposed new supports for Typewriters, 8 Track tape players, and Beta max video cassettes.
- Fukushima: Still SimmeringReuters: TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T) will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of room to store it, the environment minister said on Tuesday. Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has collected more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water […]
- Lost Among the Scandals, Saudis Begin Enriching UraniumForbes: Saudi Arabia new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has announced the kingdom plans to enrich uranium for its future civilian nuclear power program. The move could mark the start of a race for nuclear weapons in the Gulf as attempts by the United States and European Union to strike a new deal with […]
- Climate Catastrophe Animal Vid of the WeekAnother week, another animal abandoned and lost in the climate catastrophe.
- The Emperor’s New SharpieIt’s official, 2+2 really is 5. After the President changed an official weather map with a sharpie pen, bureaucrats scurried to avoid embarrassing him. Summary above and below. Washington Post: Nearly a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly backed President Trump over its own scientists, a top NOAA official warned its staff […]
- Post Dorian Bahamas -“This is Hell”
- Dorian Leaves Climate Refugees BehindWith large parts of the Bahamas wrecked by the stalling behavior of Dorian, survivors are doing what they can to survive. Some are trying to come to the US – @BrianEntin – a Miami investigative reporter has been tweeting on their progress. There has been a change in US rules that has blocked some of […]
Title image: Bizarro, by Dan Piraro.