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  • Trump Guesses He Won't Send Michael McFaul To Putin's Gulag THIS TIME
    And now it is time for your weekly reminder that in the Trump era, FUCKING APESHIT OUTRAGE WORKS. On Monday, Donald Trump, the transactional president who for some godforsaken reason sees Vladimir Putin has his one true father, discussed making an Art Of The Deal with Russia that involved letting Robert Mueller interrogate the Russian spies who hacked America in 2016 (with Russian supervision, of course, in Russia) in exchange for sending Putin whichever American citizens hurt Putin's poor fragile butthurt pansy-ass feelings the past several years. One of Putin's targets is Michael McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia, whom Putin just hates. Hillary Clinton isn't on the official list yet, but give it a few weeks. On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders looked at reporters and told them Trump's people were considering the idea, but hadn't decided yet, because it's so hard for the Trump administration to decide how many treasons to do per week. But hooray! The White House has decided that, after literally every American with a patriotic bone in his or her body said, "THE FUCK YOU SAY," they will not send Americans to Putin's gulag after all. The Washington Post reports:The White House announced Trump's opposition Thursday as the Senate prepared to vote on a resolution telling the president not to honor Putin's request, which would have exposed former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul, among others, to Russian questioning."It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.Oh my fucking Lord, Shuckabee, did you really type that Putin's offer was "sincere," or did Donald grab the statement after you finished with it and add those words in illiterate Sharpie in the margins, along with "DOES NOT MEAN PUTIN IS NOT MY BEST FRIEND" and "NO COLLUSION"?By the way, that resolution passed the Senate with flying colors: WOMP WOMP, Trump! Sorry American freedom and democracy stepped all over your dick again! Guarantee it's gonna happen again! Go fuck yourself! Enjoy the 48 Big Macs you have for dinner tonight! Don't talk directly into the soccer ball Putin gave you, 'less you want it to talk back to you in Russian!OK post over.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.[Washington Post]
  • Rand Paul Bernie Sanders Cage Match, GO
    Bernie Sanders offered a little resolution in the US Senate today, calling for his colleagues to back the intelligence community's assessment of Russian fuckery in the 2016 election and also to insist that Donald Trump should actually enact the sanctions against Russia that Congress passed last year. By golly, Senator Rand Paul simply was not going to stand for such crazy warmongering from people who are seething with hatred against Donald Trump, and he blocked the resolution, because why is old Bernie "Nuke 'Em All" Sanders rattling his saber like that?Here's that crazy warmongering resolution, via NBC congressional reporter Frank Thorpe:Sanders's resolution states that the U.S. Senate: 1. Accepts the assessment of the United States intelligence community with regard to interference by the Russian Federation in elections in the United States and in other democracies: 2. Must move aggressively to protect our election systems from interference by Russia or any foreign power. and work closely with our democratic partners around the world to do the same; 3. Demands that the sanctions against Russia that were passed last year be fully implemented by the president; 4. Will not accept any interference with the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel Mueller, such as the offer of preemptive pardons or the firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. and that the president must cooperate with this investigation; and 5. Declares that the President must cooperate with the investigation of Special Counsel Mueller Damn, that's some aggressive language, or at least it sure sounds a lot more aggressive when run through the Rand Paul Crazy Filter: Paul fretted that "Trump Derangement Syndrome has officially come to the Senate" and you know what that means: Democrats and Bernie Sanders would prefer to incinerate the planet in nuclear war than to let a good man try to make peace. It's really that simple!Nobody is saying or excusing Russia's meddling in our elections. Absolutely, we should protect the integrity of our elections. But simply bringing the hatred of the president to the Senate floor in order to say, 'We're done with diplomacy, we're going to add more sanctions and more sanctions" -- You know what? I would rather that we have more open channels of discussion with the Russians. Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, had a direct line to Khrushchev, and it may have prevented the end of the world!Paul ranted on a little bit more about how Democrats have decided to give up on diplomacy and just want war all the time. The evil Democrats won't even let us have a beautiful denuclearization deal on the Korean Peninsula, which the Russians would dearly love to help with, but NOOOOOOOOO, We're not going to have it if we just simply heap more sanctions on and say we're not going to talk to the Russians, and anybody that talks to the Russians has committed treason [...] This has gotta stop. This is crazy hatred of the president. This is crazy partisanship that is driving this!Then he broke in to an impassioned rendition of "Give Peace a Chance" and, with tears welling up in his eyes, placed a single daisy in the barrel of each of the Democrats' M1 rifles. The Gentleman from Vermont just happened to have Bernie Sanders right there, who pointed out the gentleman from Kentucky knew nothing of his work. As wily sneaky warmongers will do, he called attention to the minor detail that his resolution had "nothing to do with ending diplomacy." As for sanctions, Sanders's resolution only called for enforcing the sanctions Congress passed nearly unanimously back in January (for the record, Paul and Sanders himself were the only no votes in the Senate, but with the law passed, you're supposed to follow it).Under Senate rules, Paul's objection was enough to kill Sanders's call for unanimous consent, so it looks like Rand Paul has saved us once again from nuclear devastation, as well as from calling on Trump to cooperate with the Mueller investigation, which is roughly the same thing. [A note from your editrix: If you can't say something nice when Bernie Sanders does a good thing -- you know who you are -- let's sit this post out, 'k?]Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help us go toe to toe with the Russkies.[C-SPAN on Twitter / Frank Thorpe on Twitter]
  • Oh, Republican Women Are Having A Hard Time These Days, Are They?
    Today in Politico: an article all about how super tough it is being a Republican woman these days, what with the fact that liberal women don't "support" them, and also the men in their own party prefer to vote for men. This bed they made sure is uncomfortable!The article is titled 'A difficult situation': Republican women run in the Trump era" -- and subtitled "If this is the 'year of the woman,' GOP women on the ballot aren't feeling it." Oh gosh, why might that be? Could there perhaps be a downside to belonging to a club that doesn't want you as a member? Let's Wonksplore! We start out with the very sad tale of Martha Roby, who "stood up" to Trump before he was elected -- or, at least, said she wouldn't vote for him -- and now "has" to kiss his ass in order to keep her job. What is a girl to do? "I cannot look my children in the eye … and justify a vote for a man who promotes and boasts about sexually assaulting women," the mother of two said in the fall of 2016. Needless to say, her constituents — many of them Trump-loving Southern men — didn't like that much. Roby quickly changed her tune after Trump won the presidency, unfailingly praising him and his policies as she went on to survive a primary runoff Tuesday that almost ended her career. Roby's plight highlights the unique challenge Republican women face campaigning for office with Trump in the White House. While their female Democratic counterparts have benefited politically from going against the president on women's issues, GOP women don't have the same luxury. That luxury? That luxury? I would hope, sincerely, that any Democratic woman -- or man -- in Congress thinks of going against Donald Trump not as a fabulously convenient luxury that will benefit her political career, so much as an obligation and a sincerely held belief that he is an absolute monster. One congresswoman explains: Retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who called Republican women an "endangered species," was blunter: "The base is with Donald Trump, and he can do no wrong. […] He's going to be hanging on you like an albatross around your neck. Ugh! It is a real knot for female candidates." Call me crazy, but I think I know of a solution to that! It is, you know, not belonging to a party led by a man who thinks sexual assault is adorable and charming "locker room talk." Or, you know, at least not voting with him the majority of the time, as another Republican woman has. "There are ways of disagreeing without being disagreeable … of doing it without making it personal," said Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri, one of the most outspoken women in the House GOP Conference, who frequently votes with the president. "A lot of it is in the approach."As we all know, the most polite way of "disagreeing without being disagreeable" is to just agree with everything a person does. Obviously!The balancing acts come amid a record-breaking year for women seeking public office. More than 123 Republican women have filed to run for Congress, three times as many as in the previous cycle, according to Wagner, a deputy National Republican Congressional Committee chair.Still, the energy surrounding female candidates is predominantly on the left side of the political spectrum. Some Republican women say they've struggled to ride the wave of empowerment that their Democratic counterparts have.This "wave of empowerment" did not come out of thin air. It was not any "Rah Rah Generic Sisterhood!" Spice Girls Girl Power thing. It came about because women and their allies were and are legitimately scared to death by this president, his agenda, and his pussy grabbing ways. Reproductive rights are at risk, trans women and men are already losing rights, immigrant women are being torn from their children, and a black woman cannot even use a damn coupon at CVS without Baby Huey of the Log Cabin Republicans calling the police to come protect him. Giphy If the worst outcome of Donald Trump's presidency for you is that you do not get to "ride the wave of empowerment" that started out of opposition to him, because you support him, then you are doing a lot better than the rest of us.Some conservatives said the women's movement has discriminated against conservative-minded female candidates. [Rep. Cathy] McMorris Rodgers said female business owners in her district have lost clients because they've endorsed her. In response, she created a new group in her district for politically like-minded women. "For many that are on the left, if you don't agree with them 100 percent, then you're 'anti-women,'" she said in an interview. "Because I'm a Republican, that it's almost like I'm dismissed or [my work for women] doesn't count."Well, Cathy, we know that you have been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage over the years, and that you have also opposed laws meant to protect LGBT citizens from discrimination ... so it is at least fair to say that you are anti-lesbian and anti-trans women. We know that you have voted to defund Planned Parenthood and oppose abortion, so you're anti-women who would like to exercise their reproductive rights. That's a lot of women! If you have "dismissed" those women, Cathy, then is it not fair for them to "dismiss" you? Of course, it's not just the mean lefty ladies who won't let them ride the wave of empowerment by voting for them and also against their own interests, it is also the fact that men in their party seem to be kind of sexist! Weird!"For the men, it is a challenge for a lot of them," said Rep. Kristi Noem, who's running for governor of South Dakota, a state she referred to as "a good ol' boys club." "For some reason, they were willing to vote to send a woman to Congress for years, but to put a woman in the governor's office, it's very different."She added: "I didn't anticipate that being an issue. And we think, in our primary, we lost several points because of that."Oh gosh, who would have anticipated that, besides anyone who has ever paid attention to anything, ever. Of course, then there is the conundrum of what to do when "unfairly" confronted about something Donald Trump does or says that women aren't so keen on:Beyond feeling left out of the women's movement at times, Republican women are often forced to answer for Trump — a reality they find unfair. When confronted with questions about something Trump has said or a policy he's implemented that is especially unpopular among women, they try to pivot."I say, 'I'm focused on results,'" [Rep. Mimi] Walters said when asked in May how she responds to questions about Trump's tone toward women. "That's the most important to me, the results."Walters said she sees an "opportunity," where some would see a problem, "to really connect with this group of women where the president is not as well liked." "We can be the face of the party to say, 'Hey, these are policies that we're implementing with our president, and we support him and ... and we're just like you.'"There are lots of things in life that are unfair. I am sure that the women affected by having to back "something Trump has said or a policy he's implemented that is especially unpopular among women," feel that those things are unfair. You know what is not unfair? Expecting grown adult elected officials to answer for shit the leader of their party is doing. Especially when they support him and those policies! In fact, it is a pretty big part of their job. But no, Mimi, no. You are not just like us. If you were "like us," you would be screaming in horror every day. It is fair to say that literally every other woman in America is having a worse time right now than these Republican women are, and yet they have the gall -- the utter gall -- to be sad that we are not cheering for them. There have always, always been women working against women. Women, in fact, made up the majority of the anti-suffrage movement. Then, you know, there was Phyllis Schlafly. They were not our friends, and you, Republican women of today voting with Donald Trump and feeling real bummed that you are not benefiting from a movement created in opposition to him, are not our friends either. Our friends are those fighting him. And if, in the true spirit of Girl Power, you wanna be our lover, you gotta get with our friends. [Politico]Wonkette is woman-owned, independent, and fully funded by readers like you! Click here to keep us ranting FOREVER!
  • Didn't We Recently Tell Kirstjen Nielsen To Go Fuck Herself? WELL, IT'S TIME FOR THE REMIX!
    It's gotta suck when you get a new job and there is just SO MUCH TO CATCH UP ON! And if you're a member of the Trump administration, you have the added stress of trying to do a crash course on everything you missed while also putting little babies in jail and lying about it! Boy howdy, and we thought our schedule was busy!Almost exactly one month ago, we told Kirstjen Nielsen to go fuck herself, because she was just MASSIVELY bullshitting about Russian election inteference, saying technically true facts about how Russia is meddling in our democracy to sow chaos in general, but conveniently ignoring all the intelligence we have that says that in 2016, Russia absolutely 100% positively no fucking question about it picked sides, and the side it picked was Donald Trump. In other words, where patriotic Americans were "I'M WITH HER," Russia was "MAGA MAGA MAGA!" all the way. In other other words, last month Kirstjen Nielsen apparently hadn't gotten around to reading our intelligence community's unanimous assessment that when Russia went to its polling place in November 2016 and got its finger purple like a common voter, IT VOTED FOR TRUMP. Russia was probably even wearing one of those "Trump that bitch!" t-shirts, because Putin hates Hillary Clinton, because she makes him a-skeered.Well, Nielsen has goddamn gone and done it again, because apparently our gentle encouragement for her to go fuck herself last month didn't remind her to go read the fucking IC's report. At the Aspen Security Forum, Nielsen was asked what happened in 2016, and she said this: GRRRRRRRRRRRR DAMMIT WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER?OK, Secretary Nielsen, Mr. Rogers always said in times of crisis or when you're just being an ignorant ass fool that you should look for the helpers, and Wonkette is a Certified Fucking Helper, so here it is, from the IC report in January of 2017:We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence. Did you read that, Secretary Nielsen? Here, we'll paste it again, and we are such a helper that if you read all the way to the end, there will be funny picture of a puppy! Do you like puppies? Probably not, since you're a fucking monster who puts babies in baby jails and lies about it:We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.LOOK AT THAT PUPPY! IT IS WEARING SUNGLASSES AND WALKING ON ITS HIND LEGS ON A BUNCH OF HUNNERD DOLLAR BILLS, MUCH LIKE THE STACKS UPON STACKS OF HUNNERD DOLLAR BILLS VLADIMIR PUTIN PROBABLY LAUNDERED TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN IN ORDER TO ENSURE VICTORY!By the way, that quote from the IC assessment is under a larger heading that reads, "Putin Ordered Campaign To Influence US Election," so don't tie yourself up in knots like your boss Trump, trying to pretend like Putin didn't do that. (Of course, your boss fucking knows Putin did that. He saw the receipts the same month that IC report came out! Also, Putin said he supported Trump in 2016 this very week, in a little press conference the secretary might have seen.)Fuck it, we're through typing about this shit. Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.
  • Official WH Transcript Accidentally Does All The Colusion
    Hey, remember how it made really big news when a reporter asked Vladimir Putin Monday if he'd wanted Donald Trump to win in 2016, and Putin said, Oh, yeah, the most, because eww, Hillary. Funny little detail about that: The main part of the question is missing from the White House transcript, so the official record is just slightly glaringly inaccurate. As Barack Obama observed t'other day, we live in strange and uncertain times, so our public records may as well reflect that, huh? In the for-real version of the presser that most people saw, the exchange went like this: While the Russian interpreter was finishing up the English translation of Putin's previous answer, Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked a two-part question. Mason: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal.All very clear and not at all colludy, because who wouldn't want better relations between our two great nations? Ah, but here's a screenshot of the White House's transcript, still not corrected as of this morning. It goes straight from the end of Putin's suggestion that it might be fun if the US would please turn over British citizen Bill Browder for questioning, to the second half of Mason's question. The way it shows up here, it looks like Putin is totally saying "Yup, I certainly helped him do that," whoever "him" and "that" might be: Future historians may well conclude from those dangling modifiers that Putin confesses here to collusion, or to helping Meatloaf do that one thing he previously said he wouldn't do for love. Strange times, my friends. The official White House YouTube video leaves out the question, too. National Public Radio compares the full clip with the White House version in this audio right here: Mason had asked Putin the previous question, but says he held on to the mic for a follow-up. He noted "someone was sort of pulling the cord for me to give it up," and then he got to the question everyone heard on the news outlets' feed. Mason speculates the gap in the official audio and transcript may have been a matter of a technical boo-boo in the White House's audio feed:I don't know if the mike was partially turned off or turned off when the presidents were speaking and then turned back on again once we had a chance for a question. I don't know if it was a glitch. I really have no insight into why that happened.We're happy to buy that, because this White House is too fucking lazy to look up how Theresa May spells her name, so no way would they go to all the trouble needed to snip the first half out of a question in a YouTube vid. So a transcriptionist might well have just gone with some screwy audio and left it at that. And him. And because his White House is too fucking lazy to be bothered, it's also perfectly happy to leave the error in the record than to fix it, because oh god, having to open a file again, god this job sucks. The Presidential Records Act and the lamestream media can bite themselves, because when we did try to cover the Big Man's ass for him we just got mocked for it. Screw it, is it Five yet? Three thirty? Good enough. Then again, the official Russian transcript took an even more creative approach: It just snips out the entire exchange, going from the end of Putin's please-give-us-the-head-of-Browder answer to the next damn question. You know what this means, of course: Trump will now brag about how much more transparent his media team is than Russia's, so no colusion, no colusion, no colusion. Everything is perfectly Normay. It's been a doubleplusgood week for the memory hole. Or perhaps we meant to say it has NOT been. We'll let you know what we decide.When the going gets stupid, Wonkette points and laughs. Point and click here to keep US going![Atlantic / NPR / The White House /]
  • Rachel Maddow, Stop Beheading The Trumps!
    Hey! Got any exciting plans this weekend? I am supposed to be here (at Wonkette, where I am your weekend cruise director), and have made plans with friends, which shall go unnamed in case any of you are creepy stalkers. Alas, it looks as though someone (Rachel Maddow) has disregarded all of our dinners and coffee klatsches -- without even checking with us first -- and planned a whole White House coup for this weekend. At least according to Rick Wiles, of TruNews. You know, the same guy who warned us all of the army of zombie cannibals Obama was creating? Yes, him.Anyway! According to Wiles -- who, again, is very reliable -- Rachel Maddow sent out a secret signal to all of us this week, and in less than 72 hours, we're supposed to stage a coup at the White House, complete with special outfits, and culminating in the decapitation of the Trumps on the White House lawn. Man, the airport will be a BITCH this weekend, amirite?The secret signal was apparently part of a segment Maddow did on Trump possibly being compromised by Russia -- which I did not even see! "America, you've been homosexualized. You've been Jewdy-ized. I'm just telling it how it is. She was spewing out, last night, calls for revolution. She was telling the left, 'Take a deep breath, we're at the moment, it's coming, we're almost there, we're going to remove him from the White House.' We're about 72 hours — possibly 72 hours — from a coup. "Be prepared that you're going to turn on the television and see helicopters hovering over the roof of the White House with men clad in black rappelling down ropes, entering into the White House. Be prepared for a shoot out in the White House as Secret Service agents shoot commandos coming in to arrest President Trump. "That is how close we are to a revolution. Be prepared for a mob — a leftist mob — to tear down the gates, the fence at the White House and to go into the White House and to drag him out with his family and decapitate them on the lawn of the White House."Good thing we have Rick Wiles to explain this to all of us! Otherwise, we all would have missed out on all this beheading that is definitely, for real, going to happen. Also the rappelling, which seems like fun, but is apparently only for the boys. Unfair!For reasons I don't 100 percent understand, maybe because I wasn't raised with religion, these people always think we are trying to behead them -- which is super weird because most liberals are against the death penalty, and probably a good chunk of us (ME) didn't even want to dissect frogs in bio. Strangely, there was a recent direct call for murdering the opposition this week, but the call did not come from inside the Left. It, in fact, came from former CIA officer and ardent Trump supporter Michael Scheuer, who argued in a blog post that it was time for Trump supporters to start killing those who do not support him. As this week's end, it seems likely that it is quite near time for killing those involved in the multiple and clearly delineated attempts to stage a coup d'état against the legitimately elected Trump government and thereby kill our republic.[...]Finally, this week saw a significant and quickening advance toward the moment when those millions of well-armed citizens who voted for Trump, and who have been abused or wounded by Democrats, their Antifa-thugs, and their thug-civil servants for exercising their franchise to elect Trump, cannot be, in good conscience, patient for much longer.He even knows exactly who needs killin':Fortunately, they have in hand a long and very precise list of the names and photographs of those who hate and threaten them, their families, their way-of-life, their liberty, their livelihoods and their republic. No self-respecting and determined-to-remain-independent citizenry can let themselves forever be held hostage by thug-civil-servants like Strzok, Comey, McCabe, Page, and Rosenstein; worshipers of tyranny, like the Democratic members of Congress, the Clintons, the FBI, and the Obamas; apparent traitors like Brennan, Hayden, and Clapper; all of the mainstream media; and the tens of thousands of government-admitted-and-protected, violent, criminal, and illegal immigrants.Wow! That sure is a lot of people -- but as long as he's being "precise" about it, I guess that's fine. [RightWingWatch]Wonkette is independent and fully-funded by readers like you! Click here to tip us!
  • Trump Came At The Intel Community. He Missed. Was That Smart, Do You Think?
    BREAKING!!! BREAKING!!! Our president is a LIAR FUCKING LIAR!!!Okay, that part's not breaking. But last night's gonzo story from the New York Times is HOLY FUCKING SHIT. This is definitive proof that Donald Trump knew before the inauguration that Putin himself authorized the DNC hack and electoral ratfucking in 2016. And the intelligence community wants you to know it. Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.If you're wondering why James Clapper, John Brennan, and Admiral Mike Rogers always look like they're about to lurch across the table and stab Donald Trump in the neck with a fountain pen, it's because the former DNI and heads of CIA and NSA sat down with that lying sumbitch and showed him images of pilfered DNC emails floating around Russian government servers. And then that lying traitor spent 18 months screaming WITCH HUNT and siccing the howler monkey mafia on the US intelligence service. Better to burn down the entire intelligence service than bruise his fragile snowflake ego and admit that he only lost the popular vote with a bigly illegal assist from a hostile, foreign power!Moreover, it wasn't just SIGINT. Clapper, Brennan and Rogers brought HUMINT, too. (Don't give us that side-eye. It's not our fault we're living in a John LeCarre novel -- we voted for her!)And ultimately, several human sources had confirmed Mr. Putin's own role.That included one particularly valuable source, who was considered so sensitive that Mr. Brennan had declined to refer to it in any way in the Presidential Daily Brief during the final months of the Obama administration, as the Russia investigation intensified.Instead, to keep the information from being shared widely, Mr. Brennan sent reports from the source to Mr. Obama and a small group of top national security aides in a separate, white envelope to assure its security.That's a giant, screaming intelligence leak, and it damn near broke NatSec Twitter last night! Who the hell is Mr. Envelope? And why are we finding out about him NOW? After Trump humped Putin's leg in Helsinki and offered up Ambassador McFaul and Bill Browder for Russian interrogation, did the Bat Signal go off inside the Intelligence Community? Are they about to take down the Traitor in Chief? The Daily Beast got some amazing quotes from current and former diplomats who think that the dam has broken after the Finland fuckery.The current U.S. diplomat said the openness to turning over McFaul capped off a shocking week for U.S. geopolitics."The president has first and foremost his interests at the top of his mind, as opposed to the government's. That's very clear over the past week and a half, between shitting on our NATO allies and kissing Putin's ass," the diplomat said. "He cares more about himself than the nation and any of us who serve it."The diplomat continued: "Either he's compromised by Putin or he's a pussy, in which case he should grab himself."But before we get day drunk at the prospect of the intelligence community coming to TAKE HIS ORANGE ASS OUT, national security expert Matt Tait is here to remind us that people wind up dead when the IC starts burning its own house down. Well, shit! That's a buzzkill. But maybe the source is already dead? Here's a fun CNN story on all the prominent Russians who mysteriously GOT DEAD in the nine months after the Steele Dossier was released. The list includes the Russian Ambassador to the UN, who died in February 2017 of a "heart attack," and a possible Steele source who climbed into the back seat of his car before succumbing to -- you guessed it -- a "heart attack." Oh wait, we mean "unknown"!Oleg Erovinkin, who had close ties to Russian intelligence, was found dead on December 26 sitting in his car on the streets of Moscow. Russian news outlets reported that he was 61 years old. Russian government agencies have not released an official cause of death.He was a former general in the Russian law enforcement and intelligence agency known as the FSB. He also served as chief of staff to Igor Sechin, the president of state-owned oil giant Rosneft. Sechin enjoys a close relationship with Putin that dates back to the 1990s.So maybe Mr. Envelope is long dead. Or maybe he's very much alive, and that's what Devin Nunes and the Treason Squad have been fighting about for a year. Maybe those anti-patriotic weasels are about to impeach Rod Rosenstein because he won't let them splash Mr. Envelope's name all over Fox in an effort to discredit the Mueller investigation. That guy would shackle up his prize cow and hand her over to Vladimir Putin if he thought Trump would get a positive news cycle out of it!So what the hell is going on here? Are we about to see an avalanche of damaging leaks from the IC that make the pee tape look like a Flinstones rerun? Have the spooks decided they have to destroy the village to save it? SO MANY QUESTIONS! And the answer is ...Follow your FDF on Twitter!Please click here to fund us. It is ALWAYS breaking o'clock![NYT / Daily Beast / CNN]
  • Meet Paul Erickson, Maria Butina's Middle-Aged, Balding, Debt-Ridden 'Boy Toy'
    Accused Russian agent Maria Butina is currently safely tucked away in jail, pending her trial and likely conviction for spying without proper permits. Folks seem baffled at how this Anna Karenina of Green Gables managed to infiltrate "elite" conservative circles when it seemed so obvious she was a spy. However, she did have some inside help from longtime GOP gadfly Paul Erickson.An article in The Daily Beast described the 56-year-old Erickson from South Dakota as the 29-year-old Butina's "boy toy," which is not in any way how that concept works. When I applied for the open position of Madonna's "boy toy" in the early '90s, the job description made clear that youth was a required attribute. (I also looked awful in a cone bra, so I never got a second interview.) Erickson, in truth, is a bald, gross patsy, to whom Butina attached herself for his connections -- not that they were all that impressive. Their "relationship" didn't even pass the government's giggle test when determining if Butina had legitimate ties to the community. The whole point of "boy toys" is that they serve no "necessary" functions. They aren't your accountant. Butina more likely viewed Erickson as the stationary bike in her basement she felt obligated to ride a couple times a week. Erickson hooked up with Butina in Moscow sometime around 2013. Why all these loyal, patriotic Americans were hanging out in Mother Russia is beyond me, but the supposed point this time was for a mixer organized by the "Right to Bear Arms," a front group Butina created to trap suckers who'd think, "Hey, gun rights! Second Amendment! She's totally not a spy!" Russia has fairly restrictive gun laws, so it would look to aforementioned suckers like Butina was defying Putin's tyranny and embracing the sort of all-American liberty that results in regular school shootings. Naturally, Butina would support the NRA as she helps them funnel money to Putin's preferred candidates. As scams go, it was an impressive one.Erickson was enjoying a fairly undistinguished existence before his "meet cute" with Butina. He was an adviser to Mitt Romney's failed presidential campaigns (both of 'em) and served as the national political director/campaign manager for racist toad Pat Buchanan's 1992 "right-wing rebellion" against George H.W. Bush. Buchanan's biographer "described" Erickson as "the best there was at the price Pat could afford." (There's a glowing LinkedIn recommendation for you.)He's been sued "multiple times" for defrauding business partners and was described as a "kind of like a taller, more physically unappealing Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can." (So, he might've actually resembled the real-life serial scam artist DiCaprio played.) He was executive producer for the anti-communist action film Red Scorpion starring Dolph Lundgren and was "media adviser" to John Wayne Bobbitt, whose wife cut off his penis but they were later reunited (Bobbitt and his penis, not his wife). I dunno: Maybe Erickson was using Butina. She had a full life of espionage ahead of her before she met this clown. She was assistant to Alexander Torshin, who is a deputy governor of the Russian central bank and a key figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party. This should have concerned Erickson, but his dumb ass just got in deeper. He helped Butina set up "Bridges, LLC," a "business" Erickson later claimed was created to help Butina with her graduate studies. (If that's his story, he should find another, less ludicrous one.) He is clearly not the master spy Butina was: He sent an email in May 2016 to Trump's campaign manager of the week with the cleverly disguised subject line "Kremlin Connection," the purpose of which was to ask for advice on setting up a meeting between Putin and candidate Trump. He's also claimed that he advised Trump's transition team, but no one wants to own up to that. It was a match made in sucker's heaven. Erickson thought he could piggyback on Butina to a more profitable future, but his near future likely involves federal prison with limited access to Russian redheads. Unfortunately, Erickson probably can't afford a lawyer. He's already gone to court over unpaid debts, and The Rapid City Journal uncovered $421,212 worth of court judgments against him since 2003. Follow SER on TwitterYou love Wonkette very much, yes? Please DONATE to our snarky cause.
  • Vladimir Putin Can Have Michael McFaul Over America's Dead Fucking Body
    Wednesday, during Sarah Huckabee Sanders's first public explosion of lies in 16 days, she gave a very unclear answer to a question from the New York Times's Maggie Haberman, which was "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?" Specifically the question was about Russian reports that Putin's rogue shithole state would like to question/detain 11 Americans for their supposed "crimes" against Russia, in exchange for Russia's cooperation in letting Robert Mueller interrogate the Russian military intelligence officials he indicted last week for hacking our 2016 election. Putin's list of pals he would like to have for a chat starts with businessman Bill Browder, who used to be Russia's biggest foreign investor, who is actually a British citizen (LOL Russia is stupid), and who is Vladimir Putin's arch-enemy because Browder and his Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky (whom Putin later had killed in jail) exposed massive Russian government corruption that led to the creation of "Magnitsky Acts" all over the world that sanction the ever-loving fuck out of Putin and his buddies. Getting rid of the Magnitsky Act is Putin's number one foreign policy priority, so it's probably safe to say it's high on Donald Trump's list too. Indeed, during Trump's shameful press conference with Putin, Trump said Putin had made an "incredible offer" during their private meeting, and it was MOAR PEE HOOKERS! for the quid pro quo we described above. How sweet of Trump's KGB boss to offer to make such an Art Of The Deal with him!If we had a president who loved America and had an IQ above 75, something like this would never be discussed in a million fucking years, obviously. But with Trump, we have to wonder. For all we know, in his mind, fair is fair, and if the DEEP STATE gets to have a NO COLLUSION WITCH HUNT, then Putin should get an actual witch hunt of his own.Also on Putin's list? Michael McFaul, Barack Obama's ambassador to Russia. (You know him from the TV! He's on MSNBC frequently! He's kinda cute! AW SHUCKS!) Vladimir Putin hates McFaul, because if you read McFaul's book and also David Corn and Michael Isikoff's excellent book Russian Roulette, you learn that McFaul was not afraid to get in Russia's face and tell the truth about what was happening under Putin's rule, especially regarding human rights, to an Obama administration that really really really wanted to reset relations with Russia. Putin says McFaul is part of the "crimes" Bill Browder "committed," because Putin is full of shit.Let's look at that answer from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which was helpfully tweeted by MSNBC's Katy Tur: NO CHEESE PLATE FOR YOU, ASSHOLE. (AGAIN!) The one and only answer to that question was "The fuck you say! Vladimir Putin can suck DEEZ NUTS."Somehow, Heather Nauert, the lunatic former Fox News idiot who now is the spokesperson for the State Department, was the voice of reason on the same question when asked about it Wednesday: "I can't answer for the White House with regard to that, but I can tell you that the overall assertions that have come out of the Russian government are absolutely absurd."It's disturbing Nauert can't quite speak for the administration, as if Trump's White House is some rogue operation down the street and Trump's State Department is like "DUNNO WTF THEY'RE DOING OVER THERE, BUT OVER HERE WE'RE STILL VAGUELY SANE, KINDA SORTA." But otherwise Nauert sounds like what the American government should sound like.Likewise, FBI Director Chris Wray was asked about it at the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday, and he said Putin's little LOL request was "not high on our list."Regardless, WHAT THE FUCK? Is the White House seriously considering handing Michael McFaul to the Russians, because after all he is a Deep State Obama Hillary Bot, which means he is an enemy of the Russo-American state that exists in Donald Trump's nocturnal fantasies? Did Trump make an agreement like that when he was with his handler in Helsinki? Nobody knows! (Well, Trump and Putin know. And Russian intelligence knows, from listening to the "wire tapp" of the conversation.) This is why members of Congress are talking about subpoenaing the American translator who was in the room, just to see if she happened to witness any sort of treason. What we do know is that patriotic Americans everywhere are FUCKING PISSED and saying "over my dead fucking body." Spencer Ackerman from the Daily Beast talked to a bunch of American diplomat types, and the quotes he got about this administration, and this proposal, are full of rage and honesty the likes of which we're not used to hearing from diplomats. Long block quote, because you're going to want to read all of this:One serving diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was "at a fucking loss" over comments that can be expected to chill American diplomacy in hostile or authoritarian countries – a comment echoed by former State Department officials as well."It's beyond disgraceful. It's fundamentally ignorant with regard to how we conduct diplomacy or what that means. It really puts in jeopardy the professional independence of diplomats anywhere in the world, if the consequence of their actions is going to be potentially being turned over to a foreign government," the U.S. diplomat told The Daily Beast. [...]Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and spokesman for the Obama National Security Council, said Sanders' comments made Trump look "even weaker" than during Trump's Monday press conference with Putin. [...]"By failing to reject the idea out of hand – immediately and forcefully – Trump signaled that absolutely nothing is off limits when it comes to Putin. And just as shocking, he's willing to play Putin's brand of ball, in which the world is purely transactional and lives are expendable."The current U.S. diplomat said the openness to turning over McFaul capped off a shocking week for U.S. geopolitics."The president has first and foremost his interests at the top of his mind, as opposed to the government's. That's very clear over the past week and a half, between shitting on our NATO allies and kissing Putin's ass," the diplomat said. "He cares more about himself than the nation and any of us who serve it."The diplomat continued: "Either he's compromised by Putin or he's a pussy, in which case he should grab himself."In other words, DON'T START NO SHIT, WON'T BE NO SHIT.Here's some outrage from former Obama administration officials who have READ A BOOK in their lives and know how monumentally fucked up this is: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who is really making a name for himself these days, is ready to CUT A BITCH: Even Marco Rubio is mad enough to tweet a thing about it, like it's "Take Your Spine To Work Day" at the Senate or something: And of course, there are the named "defendants" themselves. They are pretty fucking pissed too! Here is Michael McFaul talking about it on "Morning Joe," and also a tweet where McFaul calls bullshit on Putin's claims about Browder: So is any of this going to happen? For now, we are going to cautiously say that no, this is just Donald Trump being a motherfucking un-American moron like he always is, and that his American handlers will stop this shit in its tracks. Of course, as we all know, Vladimir Putin doesn't mind targeting people (for murder) on foreign soil, so God knows what Russia will try to do while Trump is distracted watching "Fox & Friends" during Executive Time. (Up your security, McFaul! And get some for the rest of the guys on the list who aren't famous like you and Browder! AND NO OPENING FUNNY ENVELOPES!)But how stunning is that we are even talking about this? Is this still America?Better find out in November, by VOTING OUR FUCKING ASSES OFF.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.[Daily Beast]
  • Republicans Won't Fund Election Security Because It's Not Like Russia's Gonna Hack It For Democrats
    In an impressive display of fiscal restraint, House Republicans yesterday refused to fund security for election systems before this fall's midterms, because ... well, not sure, really. (Just kidding. We know why and you know why and they know you know and we know why!) More than a dozen Democrats lined up Thursday on the House floor to ask unanimous consent for an amendment to allocate an additional $380 million in grants to the states for election security, but Republicans said forget it, because the omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year funded an existing grant program, and it's not like anything new has come up that might require beefing up security. "The American people should be very worried about the commitment of this president and his Republican allies in Congress to securing our elections," said Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.). "This is a party that has worked with this administration to undermine and minimize the investigation surrounding Russian interference in our presidential election."Stuff and nonsense, insisted Rep. Pete Sessions, chair of the House Rules Committee. The Texas Republican said the states are simply wallowing in money from previous appropriations, and Dems' suggestion that electoral systems are at risk is naught but a "shrewd political shenanigan that has no merit to it." He added that Congress hasn't seen any proof that more money is even needed. You know how states are, always just rolling around in money. Sessions also claimed that the $3.5 billion spent on electoral systems since the 2000 election was plenty, perhaps glossing over the tiny detail that most spending under the "Help America Vote Act" was aimed at preventing another fuckup like Florida's vote, not necessarily fending off foreign intrusions into data systems. Besides, everyone knows election security is all about making it harder for blacks, Messicans, and youngs to vote, since they're more likely to vote wrong. But sure, said Sessions, if Robert Mueller would just wrap up his witch hunt, maybe there might be a need to improve election security: "Maybe the special counsel will announce something in two weeks: 'Oh, here's what the Russian indictments really are.' If we learn something, authorizing committees will come right back to it and we'll go to it," Sessions said. "But there is no new data or information, it's at the end of 3½ billion dollars, and there are no requests."Yup, if only Mueller would be a little more specific about everything he knows, then Republicans might take some action, maybe. It's not like there was anything specific in last week's indictment, for Crom's sake, except for the really specific stuff about the Russians conspiring to hack into the computers of U.S. persons and entities responsible for the administration of 2016 U.S. elections, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U.S. elections.Only the theft of 500,000 voters' information in a single state, plus the hack of the companies that sell the friggin' voting systems. Plus the recent news about internet backdoors built into voting machines -- meant to be used for technical support, but yeah, maybe a tad vulnerable to hacking. As in, the source code for the helpy software is already out there in the hacker community. But there isn't yet any proof Russians have changed votes, so maybe they'll decide not to, in the spirit of good sportsmanship. Another House Republican, Dan Newhouse of Washington, explained, "There is no crisis. There are funds available," so Democrats should just stop talking about election security and it'll go away. We suppose that also would include Democrats like Dan Coats, Trump's Director of National Intelligence, who said last week, "The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. It is why I believe we are at a critical point," and compared the current situation to the months prior to 9/11. So there you go. What we do now is tell him he's covered his ass, and then after it all blows up, blame gays and abortion. When the going gets weird, Wonkette keeps you going. Click here to keep US going![WaPo / CNN]
  • NRA Lobbyist Can Dish Out Thousands Of Gun Deaths, Can't Take Very Rude Cusses
    Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist in Florida and literally the author of many of the state's laws expanding firearms ownership, is standing her rhetorical and litigious ground after a Florida man sent her several "harassing" emails which left her aghast in a way that the state's body count simply does not. The emails from Miami-Dade dude Brian Fitzgerald, 66, contained no threats, but they definitely had cusses and insults, and even called Hammer an "old bag," so obviously Hammer had to bring a heavy instrument down on him, if only we could think of the word. The lawsuit against Fitzgerald is just one of several Hammer is pursuing to get satisfaction from very mean people who have sent her untoward messages, like someone who sent her photos of dead bodies that had been made that way by guns. Her suit against Fitzgerald, according to the Miami New Times, sounds like a doozy, accusing him of "harassment, cyberstalking, and intentional infliction of emotional distress." Good heavens! What sort of monstrous harassing and cyberstalking did that horrid man commit? Fitzgerald "has transcended mere criticism and has employed threats, harassment, and personal abuse to try to humiliate and intimidate Hammer in a manner that is utterly intolerable in a civilized community," Hammer's suit reads.Apparently, to Hammer's mind, a series of five emails sent in the days after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High constitutes an actual campaign of harassment, although to some of us, five emails is the minimum involved in getting a goddamned computer delivered to the right address. Still, the excerpts from Leon County Circuit Court documents reproduced by New Times are pretty rough stuff, especially for a nice person who regularly doxes Florida politicians and calls them "traitors" to the Second Amendment. She's clearly a sensitive person. Better send the children out of the room, because this is the sort of thing people sue other people over: Note: we've combined two images into one, if that matters.In other words, very rude, and about one-third as threatening as stuff on Twitter every five minutes. Still, maybe Hammer can scare some people into being a little more fucking civil. Mind you, as New Times reporter Jerry Ianelli notes, Florida's "stand your ground" law, largely the handiwork of Hammer and the GOP legislators who invite her to draft legislation, actually is linked with "an abrupt and sustained increase" in homicides across Florida, according to an AMA study published in 2017, so the accusation Hammer is complicit in murder isn't so much "harrrassment" as it is "science." In conclusion, let us just say, after having weighed the evidence, Marion Hammer is a mean old poopyhead who's gotten people killed, and who seems to have neither a sense of morality or irony. In keeping with our commenting policy, our deepest wish is that she eventually die of natural causes at a ripe old age, unloved and all alone, and haunted by the cries of anguished mothers whose children were shot to death because of policies she helped enact. Even worse, we wish she may someday be cursed with self-awareness. Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help us fight for more creative invective.[Miami New Times]
  • Blame The Black Guy. Wonkagenda For Thurs., July 19, 2018
    Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today. The schizoid narrative Trump has pushed about Russian fuckery is at direct odds with US intel officials who tell the NY Times that they showed Trump proof of that election fuckery two weeks before he was inaugurated. That included emails and text messages between top Putin aides ordering the campaign, material stolen from the DNC passing through Russian military intelligence networks monitored by British, Dutch and US intelligence agencies (and sent to Wikileaks), and even past examples of Russian intrusions in US defense networks and systems. But there was NO COLLUSION!At the end of yesterday's episode of White House Apprentice, Trump appeared to say Russia was no longer screwing with the US. Sarah Huckabee Sanders came out a short time later to say that no, we didn't actually hear what we heard. Russian officials have been trolling the US by talking about "important verbal agreements" made between Trump and Putin, and now the Pentagon is frantically trying to figure out what the fuck Trump just did. Trump sat down for another interview with CBS's Jeff Glor where he bullshitted his way through a condemnation of Putin and election fuckery, shittalked Joe Biden, and blamed Obama for Russian fuckery. Republicans are taking turns borrowing Marco Rubio's retractable spine to criticize Trump's continued spin on Russian fuckery. Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump is considering handing former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and Bill Browder over to Putin for a little chat, but State Department spox Heather Nauert called the idea "absolutely absurd." Buzzfeed News has an in depth story about Lane Davis, the "alt-right" neo-Nazi troll who went from peddling conspiracy theories to murdering his dad last fall. Trump's company failed to pay property taxes in five states last year, and now real estate experts are wondering if DJTJ and Eric are competent enough to run the family business. DJTJ and Eric have cost taxpayers almost $250,000 in Secret Service protection while they traveled around the world promoting the Trump family business. The Senate is flummoxed over the Trump administration's lack of concern about the more than 2,500 children being held in Trump's baby jails -- to the point where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto actually asked if HHS Secretary Alex Azar was a robot during a heavily scripted conference call. Later today the House will start negotiating the farm bill under the premise that poors will pressure their reps to support work requirements for food stamp recipients. Maybe you should give them a call? Amid fears that climate change might trigger massive flooding ahead of midterm elections, the House is trying to rush through an extension on flood insurance coverage, but it's unlikely to sail through Congress as nobody can agree on subsidies, premium increases, debt forgiveness, and private insurers. House Republicans have scheduled a vote for an anti-carbon tax bill today with the hope of using it against Democrats this fall, but the plan could backfire as vulnerable Republicans are already looking for trees to hug. Despite blood curdling screams from geeks and the intel community, House Republicans plan to deny additional funding for election security later today. Devin Nunes is fighting the "band of creeping correspondents" at his local newspaper who keep reporting on his shady dealings. With the largest war chest of any House Republican, and his own fake news website, Nunes is trying to paint himself as something other than a traitor. Good luck. NICE TIME: City legislators in New York have passed a bill that will allow inmates at Rikers Island correctional facility to make free phone calls. Police in the UK have ID'd several Russians suspected of poisoning former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Some of the biggest names in tech have pledged not to develop killer robot AIs, but experts stress that the definition "lethal autonomous weapon" is fuzzy, and many countries are already clamoring for kill-bots. Kara Swisher, the Ed Murrow of Silicon Valley, had a chat with Mark Zuckerberg on her most recent podcast. Zuck attempted to defend Facebook from allegations that it's complicit in Russian cyber fuckery and being an outlet for conspiracy peddlers and trolls, and pushed back against calls for regulation. After he appeared to defend Holocaust deniers, Zuckerberg later clarified his views ... and kind of things worse. [Transcript] The Brady Bunch House is for sale, but some of the potential buyers are considering tearing it down since nothing is sacred. And here's your morning Nice Time! We're 100% ad-free and reader-supported, so consider buying us coffee, or get a subscription! Follow Dominic on Twitter and Instagram!
  • Barack Obama's Here To Help Us Get Past These Hell Times
    Barack Obama delivered his first major address of his post-presidency Tuesday at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa, honoring the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth. It was -- as you'd expect for the occasion -- appropriately dignified and thoughtful. It was also every bit as inspiring as you might expect from the first black American president speaking in memory of the first black president of a nation that for most of its modern history was synonymous with apartheid. Let's take some time to bask in what an actual world leader sounds like, shall we? The speech was accurately billed as a "lecture," and while it's scholarly AF, it's also very much a Barack Obama joint -- and a nice long one, at an hour and 24 minutes, so you can truly soak in the man's intelligence and his mellifluous voice. While Obama never mentions Donald Trump directly, his illegitimate successor comes up any number of times, in obvious references like Obama's mention that we live in "strange and uncertain times" where "each day's news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines" or his warning that "we see much of the world threatening to return to a more dangerous, more brutal, way of doing business." Here, have the whole video: The last two years of what's happened to America also haunt parts of the speech that are focused on his primary topic, the life and work of Nelson Mandela, whose mission Obama described as sparking "the possibility of a moral transformation in the conduct of human affairs." Consider this bit where Obama describes being in law school and watching Mandela's release from prison in 1990: Madiba's light shone so brightly, even from that narrow Robben Island cell, that in the late '70s he could inspire a young college student on the other side of the world to reexamine his own priorities, could make me consider the small role I might play in bending the arc of the world toward justice. And when later, as a law student, I witnessed Madiba emerge from prison -- just a few months, you'll recall, after the fall of the Berlin Wall -- I felt the same wave of hope that washed through hearts all around the world. You remember that feeling. It seemed as if the forces of progress were on the march, that they were inexorable. Each step he took, you felt this is the moment when the old structures of violence and repression and ancient hatreds that had so long stunted people's lives and confined the human spirit -- that all that was crumbling before our eyes. We remember that. And we remember feeling that way for a while at least when our handsome young president and his beautiful family appeared before a crowd at Grant Park in Chicago, on election night 2008. But there's also an unpleasant reality there: Hope can move nations, but progress isn't inevitable. It's not guaranteed. It can be beaten back by those terrified their power is threatened. People who have been screaming for years they want "their" country back, because poor people got healthcare and it's sooooo unfair. Oh, but hope can't be extinguished, which of course is also the point. Mandela's life included both Robben Island and the Truth and Reconciliation process, in which the decision was made not to punish the oppressors, but instead to demand a full accounting. As Obama spoke of Mandela's "grace and generosity with which he embraced former enemies," it's hard not to think of his own near-fatal political flaw: believing if only he emphasized the good of the country, surely his opponents would deal in good faith, too. Obama certainly doesn't fool himself that we can smile and play nice with people who want to destroy us, however. Or at least not anymore: Gosh, what could go wrong? Obama offers the worst-case scenario as a hell of an incentive to bring change: Look at history. Look at the facts. The fact that countries which rely on rabid nationalism and xenophobia and doctrines of tribal, racial or religious superiority as their main organizing principal, as the thing that holds people together -- Eventually those countries find themselves consumed by civil war, or external war [...] We're stuck with the fact that we now live close together, and populations are going to be moving, and environmental problems are not going to go away on their own. So the only way to effectively address problems like climate change or mass migration or pandemic disease will be to develop systems for more international cooperation, not less. He's just not a fan of ignoring facts and shouting "America First!" (No wonder people think he's a snob.) Oh, but there's just so much we love about this speech. Another good bit: You'd prefer not to have anyone coming after you with torches and pitchforks? Higher walls won't help. Nor will fearmongering. The speech ends on an optimistic note, of course, urging people to get to work. "Things may go backwards for a while. But ultimately, right makes might. Ultimately, the better story can win out." But it's not guaranteed. Gotta make it happen: Damn right we miss him. But now we're the ones who have to do the marching and building and believing. Let's just roll out that Molly Ivins quote we're so fond of, just to remind us that we've made it through some apocalyptic-looking messes before -- not because it was predestined, but because politics should be all about making our corner of the world work a little better: So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was. Stay fired up. Stay ready to go. And now it is your open thread. Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to send us the change you want to spend on our words.
  • We Have Always Been At War With ... Montenegro???
    Guess what Vladimir Putin's getting for Christmas! He's been dropping hints, and you know the Big Orange Baboon can't say no to him for some unknown reason. Gonna be so cute when little Vladdy stumbles down the stairs in his PJs, brushes the sleep from his eyes, and finds MONTENEGRO all wrapped up with a big bow under the Christmas tree. Adorbz! Oh, but we are to kid! Just a little levity as President Treasonweasel slams a sledgehammer into the international framework that kept us out of another world war for the past 70 years. So why are we suddenly talking about a tinyass country whose chief export appears to be consonants? (Sorry, Montenegro. But your Predsjednik Crne Gore is Milo Đukanović, and your capital city is Cetinje, which is just cheating at Scrabble.) Well! Donald Trump just got out of a two-hour, closed-door meeting with Vladimir Putin, whose government tried to stage a coup in 2016 to assassinate Đukanović and stop Montenegro's accession to the European Union. Which might not be a coincidence! Last night Trump sat down with craven whore Tucker Carlson, who obediently furrowed his brow at those dastardly Democrats denying the plain truth that the president shits fragrant glitter balls. In this episode, Carlson was tasked with washing Trump's crackpot theory that the Montenegrins are on the verge of invading Russia and dragging us into World War III. Was Carlson up to the task? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BOWTIE HE WAS! CARLSON: Membership in NATO obligates the members to defend any other member that's attacked. So let's say Montenegro, which joined last year, is attacked. Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack? TRUMP: I understand what you're saying. I've asked the same question.You know, Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. CARLSON: Yeah, I'm not against Montenegro. Or Albania. TRUMP: By the way, they're very strong people. They're very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you're in World War III. Actually, President Reading Comprehension, our alliance with NATO requires us to defend another member country from attack. So the only way we wind up in a war is if your Best Pal Pootie starts shooting. The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. And the only time Article 5's joint defense obligation has been invoked was to protect the United States after a bunch of lunatics sponsored by our "allies" in Saudi Arabia attacked us in 2001. So Tucker Carlson can probably quit packing his boy Buckley's rucksack in preparation to ship him off to the Montenegrin Front. (Yes, Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson named his son Buckley. Not to be confused with Tucker's brother Buckley Carlson, who is a piece of work. Don't ask us why they all have the same horrible name -- we're Jews.) Montenegro is a tiny country on the Adriatic coast with 675,000 people. It is not about to invade Russia! So why the sudden focus on a country with the population of Baltimore? Is it possible that the former KGB officer convinced our Commander in Tweet that the US needs to pull out of NATO before those "aggressive" Montenegrins force the US into a war with Russia? COULD DONALD TRUMP REALLY BE THAT STUPID? Oh, we are silly today. Of course he could! Shit, his own people aren't even pretending otherwise. We just asked the Montenegrins to up their troop levels in Afghanistan, and they did. As Donald Trump said to Tucker Carlson, "Add that to your little equation on Montenegro." (Yes, really.) And a bunch of other nonsense lies about the US funding 90 percent of NATO's costs and gee, wouldn't it be swell if we could run the world as one, giant protection racket! So maybe Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis could let Congress know whatever Trump cooked up with Putin in Finland before THIS FUCKING MORON GETS US ALL KILLED. Follow your FDF on Twitter! Please click here to help us learn to stop worrying and love the bomb! [NATO Obligations]
  • Trump Admin Deletes All Medicine, Science, From Internet, Saves ONE MILLION DOLLARS
    Looks like some wealthy GOP donors finally got another of their wishes answered by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration: The Department of Health and Human Services has finally shuttered the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC), a project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It was a database of best practice medical guidelines for all sorts of treatments, but it had long been targeted for defunding by Republicans at the behest of very wealthy donors because it sometimes went against their interests. Can you even imagine such a thing?Like most Americans who aren't physicians or in the medical or insurance biz, we'd never even heard of the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which is now little more than a "We're Closed" sign on the internet, with some remaining links about what it used to do. In a terrific 'splainer at The Daily Beast, the Sunlight Foundation investigator Jon Campbell sums up what the thing did: Medical guidelines are best thought of as cheatsheets for the medical field, compiling the latest research in an easy-to use format. When doctors want to know when they should start insulin treatments, or how best to manage an HIV patient in unstable housing — even something as mundane as when to start an older patient on a vitamin D supplement — they look for the relevant guidelines. The documents are published by a myriad of professional and other organizations, and NGC has long been considered among the most comprehensive and reliable repositories in the world.Ah, but there were problems, you see. Although it was considered a vital tool by healthcare providers and others, the NGC also made some powerful enemies. It applied strict standards for what counted as best practices, so sometimes it wouldn't push stuff medical device manufacturers, medical specialist lobbying groups, or Big Pharma really thought would be the best practices for their bottom line:That gatekeeping role has sometimes made AHRQ a target. The agency was nearly eliminated shortly after its establishment, in the mid-90s, when it endorsed non-surgical interventions for back pain, a position that angered the North American Spine Society, a trade group representing spine surgeons. A subsequent campaign led to significant funding losses for AHRQ, and since then, the agency as a whole has been a perennial target for Republicans.In 2016, Campbell notes, AHRQ got the attention of an especially powerful opponent: Tom Price, then still a member of the House. AHRQ maintained on its site a 2010 study that said unkind things about a drug made by one of his big donors, and as Pro Publica reported, an aide from Price's office repeatedly pestered the agency to pull that critical study offline. The study stayed up, albeit with a notation that it was "greater than 5 years old. Findings may be used for research purposes but should not be considered current," which the agency said was added merely as part of standard practice for all research over five years old. Price went on to be Trump's first HHS secretary; he's gone, of course, but the study (and its note) are still up. Funding for the NGC database had been shunted into the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans engineered that line of funding to sunset next year, and with Republicans running everything, no additional funding was made available. So HHS made the decision to pull the plug, without so much as an archived version kept in place. AHRQ official Mary Nix, who was working to try to find outside partners to fund or take over the database, estimated even a static archive would cost "a "few hundred thousand" bucks annually to maintain. Out of all the crappiness, at least one bright-ish spot: The healthcare nonprofit ECRI (used to stand for "Emergency Care Research Institute" but its mission expanded to all patient care, so now, like KFC, it's just initials without words, please help) announced yesterday it will reopen the guidelines site this fall. But of course, there's a catch:"We will be making changes, improvements to make the site easier to use and more implementable," said ECRI spokeswoman Laurie Menyo. "Because we are a nonprofit and do not have financial backing at this time, we will have to charge a fee for this service." Also somewhat reassuring: ECRI refuses any funding from industry, so the database can be preserved and presumably built upon until some great day when a future Congress gives two shits about science again. In its story on the semi-resurrection of the database, Politico has some choice words from people who know things about healthcare (you know, enemies of the people):"Removing medical evidence from the public space is harmful to the practice of medicine, and thus harmful to patients," said Risha Gidwani, a Stanford health economics researcher. "This is a new level of stupid," tweeted former Obama administration health official Bob Kocher.For now, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality itself will continue limping along on such fumes as the R's allow it, at least until its last remaining dollars are siphoned off to build more baby jails. Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help us bring you more news of things you never knew you had 'til they're gone. We need to park somewhere.[Daily Beast / Mother Jones / Politico]
  • The Sarah Huckabee Sanders Lying Show Gon' Be GOOD Today, Y'all!
    This week has been fun, yes? Donald Trump made completely platonic non-romantic man love to Vladimir Putin on Monday and absolved him of all responsibility for hacking the 2016 election, and then he "walked it back" Tuesday by saying he guesses Russia did some hacking in 2016 (BUT IT COULDA BEEN OTHER PEOPLE TOO). Earlier today, reporters were talking to Trump, and somebody asked him if Russia was still attacking us with hacking. His answer? "No." To which everyone replied "FUCK YOU, ANTI-AMERICAN TRAITOR!" Now, to be fair, there was a lot of cross-talk, and it's possible his "no" was meant in response to another question. Maybe Kellyanne Conway had also just asked him, "You OK, Mister President? GOTTA GO STINKY?" Maybe that's what he said "No" to.Or maybe, much like his "walk-back" yesterday, what he really meant to say was not "no" but "yes," and when he goes back and reviews the one-word transcript of that answer he will realize where it all went wrong and WALK IT BACK.If he meant it, though, that is yet another "fuck you" to his own DNI, Dan Coats, who just said on Friday that the lights are literally currently "blinking red" on Russian interference not just with the mid-terms, but with our entire democracy. After Trump's abhorrent performance on Monday, Coats sent another statement, just saying that America really shouldn't listen to President Shit-Grundle on this issue, because DID DAN COATS FUCKING STUTTER BEFORE?Sarah Huckabee Sanders is about to do her first press briefing since all this shit went down, and this shit is going to be LIT. Shall we liveblog it? Yeah! 2:40: Oh hey! Sarah Huckabee Sanders was late as usual, but that is OK because we are having a monsoon and our power kept going out! But we are here now! And so is she! And she is going to lie!She was probably late because she has a vision board in her office, but for lying, and she was studying it. Let's see how this goes!2:42: Regarding Trump saying "no" about Russian election interference, SHS he was saying "no" to answering more questions, not about Russian election inteference.She also says the Trump administration is working hard to stop Russian hacking, UNLIKE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS. This is a total fucking lie. Here is SHS's current lie face: 2:45: SHS just read off a prepared list of things the Trump administration is "doing" to prevent Russian election hacking. We believe her not one bit. ZERO BITS.2:46: REPORTER: Oh hey, what about that Russian spy that's in jail right now, for infiltrating the GOP by infiltrating the NRA?SHS: You all are RACIST for saying that RUSSIAN SPY was in the OVAL OFFICE just because a lady in that picture with the RUSSIAN SPIES the day Trump jizzed CLASSIFIED INFORMATION all over the RUSSIAN SPIES in the OVAL OFFICE was a REDHEAD.WHY ARE YOU RACIST AGAINST RUSSIAN SPY REDHEADS?2:50: SHS yet again says the Trump administration is going to protect elections LIKE OBAMA DIDN'T.2:52: OH HEY, Sanders, what the fuck did Trump and Putin talk about during their little date?ALL OF THE ISSUES, KATIE!2:55: Why is Trump scared to say mean words to Vladimir Putin?SHS: HE IS ALWAYS SO MEAN TO RUSSIA, WE CALL THEM OUT, WE ARE TOUGH! Also, he is trying a "new approach" with Russia, which is lying on his back and wagging his tail and begging for belly scratches every time Vladimir Putin walks in the room. DO NOT QUESTION HIS STABLE GENIUS!2:57: A reporter is asking why Trump is so fucking stupid that he thinks Vladimir Putin offering to "help" Robert Mueller's investigation is an "incredible offer." SHS completely punts on it, because we guess even she doesn't have the energy to make up a lie on that one today.However, UPDATE, because sometimes the words go so fast that we miss things. Here is the transcript, flagged by MSNBC's Katy Tur, where Sanders doesn't rule out Trump trying to let Vladimir Fucking Putin "question" political enemies who happen to be Americans: 2:58: REPORTER: When Trump tries to deflect attention from Russia by saying "others" also hack, is he saying that based on intelligence, or is that just a thing that comes out of his ass-mouth involuntarily?SHUCKABEE: Puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunt!2:59: SHS: "The president has credibility!"Hahahahahahaha OK, asshole.Moving on!REPORTER: Say a time Trump was anything but adoring toward Putin! SAY ONE!SHS: Words that are lies.3:01: OOH, APRIL RYAN FIGHT!APRIL RYAN: *asks question about voter suppression*SHS: *calls on somebody else*APRIL RYAN: THE FUCK, ARE YOU KIDDING?SHS: *calls on somebody else*APRIL RYAN: I'm only yelling it at you because you refuse to call on me!SHS: *calls on somebody else*Christ, what an asshole.3:02: They are really going with this lie about how Trump "reviewed the transcript" and found only ONE WORD during his Putin presser that was bad. It's so stupid, because first of all, Trump does not read transcripts. Second of all, every fucking word he says is bad. 3:04: REPORTER: Did anybody record Trump's All By Myself meeting with Putin?SHS: Just Russian intelligence and a bunch of other intelligence services. No big.3:06: And now, it is over! Here is a picture of SHS telling her last televised lie of the day: This was the first briefing from Sanders in 16 days. Guess we'll see her again for some more lies sometime in August! Goodbye!Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.
  • 'Ted Nugent Concert' Only Acceptable Gun-Free Zone, According To Ted Nugent
    If there is one thing that decrepit "rocker" Ted Nugent hates, it is gun-free zones. Over the years, he has insisted that they are very dangerous and pretty much the number one cause of mass shootings. They caused Columbine and mean "more body bags" and "more crime" and even "workplace violence"! They are "killing fields"! THEY ARE ALL THE BAD THINGS! You see where we're going with this right?In 2007, he wrote:Zero tolerance, huh? Gun-free zones, huh? Try this on for size: Columbine gun-free zone, New York City pizza shop gun-free zone, Luby's Cafeteria gun-free zone, Amish school in Pennsylvania gun-free zone and now Virginia Tech gun-free zone.Anybody see what the evil Brady Campaign and other anti-gun cults have created? I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real fast that the brain-dead celebration of unarmed helplessness will get you killed every time, and I've about had enough of it.In 2013, in an essay on his very own site, Nugent said that "Gun-Free Zones Mean More Body Bags."We have a Second Amendment, a constitutional right – not a privilege – to keep and bear arms. Our rights should not be infringed upon because some disconnected bureaucrat or politically correct goon believes more regulations and controls on guns will magically make us safer. That is fairyland thinking.Professor John Lott said it best: More guns equal less crime. Because our government is operated and controlled by people who believe in stacks and stacks of regulations and controls, the ugly reality is: More gun control equals more victims.The real "workplace violence" is the very policies endorsed or created by uncaring bureaucrats who create victims instead of creating an environment whereby those who wish to protect their God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are allowed to do so.Gun-free zones are killing fields and should be thrown on the growing heap of other failed, dangerous, irresponsible and braindead liberal ideas. In 2015, he declared them "gun-free slaughter zones" and demanded they be banned. In 2015, he wrote another essay, titled "Ban All Gun-Free Slaughter Zones." So, you know, it is safe to say that it is Mr. Nugent's strongly held belief that "gun-free" zones are dangerous and will lead to more violence than non-gun-free zones. Which is why it is very, very strange that his concert on Tuesday in Roanoake, Virginia, was declared a gun-free zone at the behest of his very own management. You see, because it is a city-owned venue, the Berglund Center, where Nugent performs, can only ban guns if it is what the person performing there wants. And boy, did Ted Nugent's team ever want it. In fact, it was in his very contract!:It was Ted Nugent's management that made the decision to not allow guns into the show. The Berglund Center said because it is city owned, it can't keep guns out unless the performers are the ones who request it, and that it was actually in Nugent's contract all along, but was in a sub-contract between Nugent and his promoter that wasn't shared with Berglund Center management until the last minute."It happened about five minutes before we opened doors, we had a security meeting before we opened doors and the subject came up and we said, 'Yes people will be bringing firearms,'" Berglund Center General Manager Robyn Schon said. And Nugent's people said, "Uh, no, our agreement says no.'"Did Ted Nugent want people to get slaughtered at his concert? I guess so! I mean, if he really, truly believes, in his heart of hearts, that gun-free zones are dangerous, braindead celebrations of unarmed helplessness that will inevitably lead to murder, then why would he have it in his very own contract that he did not want guns on the premises during his concert? Surely, he is not a hypocrite.It is either that, or he is a giant hypocrite and did not trust that all of those good guys with guns would be able to take care of the bad guys with guns, and figured it would be safer to not have any guns at all. Or that screaming "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" seemed less appealing to him when he is the one who might get shot. HUH.[NBC]Wonkette is a gun-free zone and also independent and fully funded by readers like you! Click here to tip us!
  • The Top Five Reasons Russian Spy Maria Butina Needs To Park Her Honeypot (Her Vagina) IN JAIL
    Oh hey, Maria Butina the Russian spy lady, you are still in jail! Butina, who was arrested Sunday for being a Russian spy who infiltrated the NRA in order to infiltrate the GOP for her motherland, is supposed to appear in court this afternoon, and in advance of that, prosecutors have filed a really fun motion listing all the reasons Butina should be required to STAY IN JAIL until her trial, at which point she will be found guilty as a common Paul Manafort and have to go to so much more jail. In short, it is because she is a major flight risk, but the document is a much better read than that, and it has boning. Shall we give it a look?Because She's A Fucking Russian Spy, Is That Too Complicated For You To Understand?According to the memorandum, Butina has all these ties to the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, and just the other day the FBI saw her having KFC Double Downs with a Russian diplomat who is also probably a spy. Moreover, she has access to shitloads of ruble money from various Russian oligarchs she SnapChats with, so the FBI is pretty sure that no matter what kinda ankle bracelets they put on her, Butina could just run into the Russian embassy and be like "Oh hello, my spy friends, could you sneak me to Moscow real quick? My oligarch buddies will pay one billion rubles for my safe travels!"Really, it's not that complicated. STAY IN JAIL!Because The Spy And Her Handler Think She's Anna Chapman Or Some ShitFor real, y'all, if Aleksandr Torshin, Butina's spy handler, thinks she is just like Russian spy Anna Chapman, upon whose story the dramatic TV program "The Americans" was based, and they send LOL text messages to each other about how she is just like Anna Chapman, then HELLO, FUCKING RUSSIAN SPY, HELLO!Check out these messages: Butina and Torshin apparently talk about her super top secret status as a covert Russian spy all the fucking time. GO TO JAIL. Oh wait, you're already there!Because She's The Spy Who Made Her American Co-Conspirator Do 'College' For Her, While She Was Busy SpyingSo this is wild. It's been pretty much determined that the "US Person 1" in the criminal complaint against Butina is a conservative activist named Paul Erickson, who was part of the conspiracy. Well! Turns out the FBI has evidence that Butina, who entered the US on a student visa, totally made Erickson do her homework for her: GO TO DETENTION, SPY LADY! IN JAIL!Because She's The Spy Who Only Boned That American Guy For Spy Reasons, When She Wasn't Busy Boning The Rest Of The NRA For Spy ReasonsOK, so you know on TV how foreign spies are always like "I BONE YOU NOW!" but they are only doing it to get close to their targets? Anyway, we are still talking about Paul Erickson, who is definitely probably going to get arrested soon, if he hasn't already:Butina, age 29, and U.S. Person 1, age 56, are believed to have cohabitated and been involved in a personal relationship during the course of Butina's activities in the United States. Buuuuuuut!But this relationship does not represent a strong tie to the United States because Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities. For example, on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization. Further, in papers seized by the FBI, Butina complained about living with U.S. Person 1 and expressed disdain for continuing to cohabitate with U.S. Person 1. Yeah, Paul Erickson, you are GROSS TO LIVE WITH and GROSS TO BONE and you leave SKIDMARKS ON EVERYTHING PROBABLY, and not even a covert Russian spy doing conspiracies against America can put up with this shit, PAUL.In short, Maria Butina boned all the idiots, but she was doing it for nefarious purposes, so STAY IN JAIL.Because She's The Spy Who Ain't Got No Friends, LOL SpyLoser McNoFriends!The memorandum states that the FBI found in its surveillance that Butina's lease ends on July 31, and that everything sure looks like she's about to get the fuck out of the US and A. She and Paul Erickson ... excuse us, US PERSON 1 ... were seen transferring money to Russia from a bank on July 12! That was just last week! (Again, we're pretty sure it's time for US PERSON 1 to be arrested?)But here is the the thing: In other words, she ain't got nowhere to go but Russia, because LOSER DORK DORK DORK DORK DORK DORK NO FRIENDS LOL, so STAY IN JAIL, IT'S NOT LIKE YOU GOT "PLANS" OR ANYTHING.(Actually, the Washington Post says she and Erickson were going to move to South Dakota together, even though she was only gross-boning him for spy reasons? Weird. These people are weird. All of them.)This has been a very juvenile blog post about why Maria Butina needs to stay in jail.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.
  • 'Deep State' Continues Framing Totally Innocent, Non-Complicit In Sex Abuse Jim Jordan
    The Ohio State University sex abuse scandal is one of those stories of such escalating repulsiveness that you think it's gone on forever, when it's only barely been two weeks. Former team doctor Richard Strauss is alleged to have sexually assaulted a minimum of 1,500/2000 student athletes from 1978 to 1998 in at least 15 varsity sports, one of which is wrestling, and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994, so there's some overlap there. Jordan has repeatedly insisted that he "knew nothing" about all the sports-related rape and just sort of hopes the story will go away so he can't get back to helping bury the Russia investigation for his buddy Donald Trump. However, the victims of Strauss's unspeakable acts have different ideas. Two class-action lawsuits filed this week by former wrestlers claim Ohio State University turned a blind eye to a doctor's alleged sexual abuse of student athletes. In a suit filed Monday, four John Does -- formerly a part of the wrestling team -- allege they were "sexually assaulted, battered, molested, and/or harassed" by the team doctor in the 1990s, according to the lawsuit. One plaintiff claims this happened in the late 1980s and 1990s during approximately 50 physical examinations. Jordan isn't named in this suit, but again, there's that date overlap. His claims of obliviousness have been consistently called out as BS by 11 former students so far. That number keeps rising, and because this is a class-action suit against the college, more students can join the legally and morally justified pile-on. This is not great for Jordan, a leading member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus who had ambitions to replace human jellyfish Paul Ryan as speaker, which worried Republicans -- maybe because even they believe there's a limit to how many guys with convincing ties to sexual assault they can trust with the speaker's gavel. Strauss "earned" the nickname "Dr. Jelly Paws" because of his shameless and unfettered violation of the students in his care, to which Ohio State reportedly turned a "blind eye," like a corrupt, rape-enabling Stevie Wonder. Apparently, the most action they took to clean this up was to literally clean the locker room carpet. Who did they think Strauss was? A priest? Coaches and administrators were "repeatedly informed" of Strauss's serial sexual abuse, according to the first complaint. The lawsuit alleges that one student complained about Strauss to the university's student health center in 1978 and that, in the mid-'90s, two wrestlers reported Strauss to Andy Geiger, then the school's athletic director, while another reported the groping to the wrestling coach at the time, Russ Hellickson. Ohio State held a hearing on the allegations against Strauss in 1997, according to the complaint, and he was allegedly allowed to "quietly retire," without facing disciplinary action. A second lawsuit filed on Tuesday on behalf of a fifth unnamed wrestler mentions Jordan directly and details accusations from other wrestlers that the congressman "was also aware of Strauss' abuse but that he also concealed it." If true, Jordan goes from "knowing but not giving a crap" to being a "piece of crap participating in a coverup." Jordan isn't named as a defendant in either suit, but it's hard to see how he survives this politically. He has accused the "deep state" of putting a hit out on him, which is among the dumbest of non-faked-moon-landing conspiracy theories out there. Maybe Jordan will blame the lawsuits on the powerful allies of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whom Jordan wants to impeach? There are times when I fear the American voting electorate possesses the mental acuity of Sean Hannity after a couple Sea Breezes, but I'd like to think they won't stomach this. Jordan needs to resign. There are likely dozens of square-jawed right wing assholes who can replace him.Follow SER on TwitterYou love Wonkette very much, yes? Please DONATE to our snarky cause.
  • Arizona GOP Guy Killed His Mom To Prove Good Guys Need Guns. And Then Things Got Weird.
    Watch out Florida: Arizona may finally have the story that conclusively proves it's the craziest in the nation and can never be topped. (No, Texas, that's not a challenge. Just kidding, OF COURSE IT IS.) How about this tale of a GOP candidate for the Arizona state Senate, one Bobby Wilson? Wilson went to a candidate forum in Tucson last week to tell voters that guns save lives, and he oughta know, since he once used a gun to save himself from a crazed attacker whom he shot dead. Then he explained that oh, yeah, the attacker was his mom. And also, he'd been charged with the murder of her and also his sister, but he got better. Arizona Republic reporter Alison Steinbach has written one of the most completely What The Actual Fuck?! stories we've seen in quite a while -- every few paragraphs, it manages to get more insane. If you want to experience it in its pure unspoiled glory, go read the whole thing now, then come back and we'll chat. A summary can only convey part of just how balls-out batshit this candidate's self-defense yarn is. He's the batshittiest candidate we've seen in an election year in which running for office are a bunch of actual Nazis. A Man, A Mom, A Gun: Nugamomanama!For starters, the July 9 meeting in a Tucson church where Wilson told his story was sponsored by Moms Demand Action, the group founded after Sandy Hook to call for gun safety legislation. Wilson was one of just two Republicans at the event, and his good guy with a gun story didn't exactly win the crowd over, not even in the self-flattering version he told that evening. He was just 18 and living in Hugo, Oklahoma, when it all went down back in 1963, and here's his version of events:"You can pass all the laws you want to in this world, and when you've got somebody out there that wants to harm somebody, they're going to do it if you don't stop them," Wilson told the crowd [...]"(She) was hell-bent on killing me in my sleep one night. At three o'clock in the morning, I woke up to find a rifle in my face — a semiautomatic rifle at that — and the bullets started to fly, and I started diving for cover," Wilson said [...]He said he dodged six bullets before reaching for the gun under his bed, which he then used to shoot his mother. He said if not for that gun, he'd be dead.So that was one close call! Were it not for his single-shot rifle and a lucky shot, he wouldn't even have been alive to tell the tale. Look, here he is, telling that tale in video posted to Twitter by Arizona Daily Star reporter Joe Ferguson: Glass Jars Are For Pee, Not GasolineThe tale, as promised, gets weirder. Wilson was happy to tell more to Steinbach; he also wrote about his story in a self-published book, Bobby's Trials, which we have no plans to read, even though crazy Arizona gunslinger self-fanfiction is kind of our beat. You see, while his mom was shooting up the room with that semiautomatic rifle, he says, she was so crazy wild that when she saw a shadow out of the corner of her eye, she swung her gun at it. But the shadow was actually his younger sister, and his mom accidentally smashed her head in with the butt of her rifle, killing her! And also, all those stray bullets from his mom's gun hit some of the many glass jars and at least two metal gallon cans full of gasoline the family stored in young Bobby Wilson's room, because it was hard times and they had no air conditioning back then so the Wilsons stored their hoard of gasoline in glass jars in Bobby's room, the coolest in the house, as one does. It's easy to forget such folk wisdom from the old days in our modern world. You probably see where this is headed, huh? After the horrifying gunfight with his mom, whom he killed with an incredibly lucky shot through her eye, Wilson says, [He] then ran to the living room to call for help. As he turned on the light switch to reach for the phone, a spark ignited fumes from the spilled gasoline in the other room, he said."The house exploded," Wilson recalled.According to Wilson, he was blasted through the living-room window and into a barbed-wire fence. He said he received a concussion upon impact and was found unconscious and taken to the hospital.This is not the end of the weirdness. Court records and local newspaper accounts from the Choctaw County Weekly seem to have somehow got the story all wrong, as Steinbach recounts: the charred bodies of Lavonne and Judy Wilson were found lying together in bed "in a 'perfectly relaxed' position, indicating they died in their sleep from suffocation."Possible Holes In His Airtight NarrativeWilson -- say, did we mention that court records called him "Wiste" at the time because, he says, his mother was insane and hiding out from the law? He later legally changed it to "Wilson" after all the trouble -- was accused of murder, and even confessed, explaining he'd shot his mother and then beaten his sister with the rifle butt when she ran at him, then carried the bodies to the bed, poured gasoline and kerosene around the house, and lit the fire himself. Oh, and the local paper said he buried the gun and later showed cops where to dig it up, a detail strangely missing from his current retelling. Wilson now insists his confession was forced out of him while he was all loopy after the blast. Steinbach doesn't appear to have asked him whether the investigation turned up any bullets or the charred remains of that "semi-automatic rifle" his mom shot at him a bunch of times. Neither of the Choctaw County Weekly accounts she found mentions that alleged weapon, either. But heck, it's probably easy for something like a semiautomatic rifle with a multi-round magazine, and a lot of bullets, to be missed during a crime scene investigation, especially back in 1963. (No, still not buying the book to see if Wilson mentions it.)Wilson, the only witness to all this, claimed he had amnesia at the time, so after a hearing in which a jury deemed him incompetent to stand trial, a judge delayed the case until his memory came back. But since his memory did not come back before his right to a speedy trial was abridged, in 1973 Wilson moved to have the charges dismissed, and of course since he was a good boy who loved his mama, a judge complied. Wilson went to Texas, became an attorney, and eventually moved to Arizona.Jebus Ex Machina!And then last year, he told the Green Valley News about the wondrous day his memory came back to him in a flood of pure truth! "The full details didn't become conscious until I was investigating the case of one of my first law clients, who also had been falsely accused of murder," remembers Wilson. "She, like me, had no money or resources to defend herself against the heavily biased legal machine."Wilson was looking for clues in the vehicle the woman was driving the night her boyfriend was fatally shot. He smelled something unmistakably familiar — the scent of gasoline mixed with blood. It sent him staggering."The horrible, nauseating smells off the car plummeted me back like a lightning bolt to that fateful night in my childhood, and all the memories flooded in," Wilson says. "It was an incredibly disturbing experience, but it also brought relief: now I had the truth."Wilson blames the "sensationalist" local newspaper editor and "corrupt" sheriff for lying about him and railroading him, because you know how Big Choctaw County Media is all fake news, in cahoots with local law enforcement (OK, fine, that's one part of the whole mess that, by small-town standards of journalism -- like the fawning, credulous Green Valley News story -- may not be too big a stretch to imagine, but we think prolly not in this case. A room full of gasoline in jars? To quote top forensic expert Jimmy McNulty, "Fuck me.") Nope, no mention of mom's semi-auto rifle being found in the Green Valley story, either. There are additional WTF moments in the Arizona Republic story, like the note that Gabby Giffords was in the audience at the Tucson event (Wilson sez she "basically created a target" of herself by having that public meeting outside a Safeway store without armed guards, because crazy people with guns are everywhere). Also there, as one of the candidates, was Giffords's former intern, state Rep. Daniel Hernandez, who's running for reelection to the state House. Hernandez, you may recall, was the affable gay hero guy who helped Giffords survive immediately after the shooting. Wilson had something stupid to say about him, too:Wilson said he was aware of Hernandez's story and knew that he "supposedly" helped Giffords in the moments immediately after the shooting.But really, more guns woulda done the job. After all, said Wilson, there was an armed guard at the meeting, and aren't all these gun-grabbers big hypocrites? Smart people always have a gun handy, just in case someone needs shootin'. Like an insane mother in a killing frenzy with a semiautomatic rifle that seemingly vanishes after the fact, the end. (NO! NOT! BUYING! HIS BOOK!)One good thing about all this: The Tucson district Wilson's running in is heavily Democratic, and there's an incumbent, state Sen. Andrea Dalessandro. Wilson also has to get past the state's August primary. The other Republican in the race, Shelley Kais, diplomatically told the New York Times there are "other issues" for voters to focus on, although we have a feeling now this story is getting traction, that may change. When the going gets weird, Wonkette keeps you going. Click here to keep US going![Arizona Republic / NYT]
  • Voting Machines Helpfully Had Same Thingamajig That Let You Remotely Control Your Old Dad's Puter
    One of the largest manufacturers of voting machines has admitted it sold election-management systems with software that allowed remote access via the internet. They're pretty sure nobody hacked into a state election, but they're also not sure. From 2000 to 2006, Election Systems and Software (ES&S;) sold a specialized computer with a program that allowed tech support geeks to dial into election systems and take control. ES&S; says that the program, pcAnywhere, was only installed on a "small number" of the voting systems sold during that time, and they only put the program there so some nerd could fix glitches or send updates. The only problem is that we're just now finding out, and ES&S; is being very shady after being caught with their pants down. ES&S; says that they stopped using pcAnywhere in 2007 after the Election Assistance Commission changed voting standards in 2005. Yet public records show they signed a contract with at least one state in 2006 that specifically said they could use the program for "software support calls that cannot be resolved over the telephone." It wasn't exactly criminal to sell software they knew had dangerous holes large enough to drive a truck through, but it is a bit mysterious. A contract between ES&S; and the State of Michigan from January 2006 At the same time ES&S; was still installing pcAnywhere on a "small number" of computers in 2006, some hackers actually stole the source code. Like DNA, the source code is the program, holding instructions on what to do, how, and when. ES&S; didn't bother to mention the code had been stolen until 2012, and only after part of the code showed up online. Symantec, which actually created the pcAnywhere software, immediately told users to turn off or delete the program; ES&S; didn't do squat. Shortly after the code appeared online, some nerds found a bug in it that allowed enterprising SOBs to take control of any system with pcAnywhere. Ooops. The election management systems used by ES&S; are not the voting machines most of us use in a polling booth. They're the computers that crunch numbers and tabulate votes so that grandmas don't have to sit in an elementary school lunchroom until 3:00 a.m. on election night. For security reasons, election management-systems and voting machines are not connected to the internet. This is called an "air gap," and it is supposed to prevent someone from breaking into a computer and poking around. As long as computers remain unconnected to the internet, the only way they can talk to the outside world is through something like a thumb drive, or by connecting a bunch wires. It's not 100% safe, but it's closer. Silly internet, you can't see this computer! ES&S; is now in damage control and refusing to talk publicly about whether or not any of its customers were using pcAnywhere during the 2016 election, but records show the software was installed on some systems as recently as 2011. Instead, they've offered to chat privately with Sen. Ron Wyden, the loudest voice on e-voting fuckery. After hearing that ES&S; had sold election systems with remote access software baked in, Wyden told reporters it was "The worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner." While ES&S; purposely installed this hole in their software, cyber security experts have been warning that simply downloading updates and software patches puts other election systems at risk. Even uploading unofficial voter talleys on election night creates a big risk as the data and the system can be seen by other computers. Though those kinds of attacks don't really affect the voting machines the rest of us use, they're vulnerable to other attacks that don't require much time, money, or nerd super powers. Voting machine companies are trying to calm growing fears of electoral shenanigans by stressing how complicated it is to mess with an election. But cybersecurity experts point to old and outdated voting systems, shady practices by local officials, a lack of security protocols, and an ignorance of basic cybersecurity as proof that it's actually really easy to screw with an election. The Election Assistance Commission hasn't said much about election hacking, but Robert Mueller did when he indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for spear phishing attacks aimed at election officials, and for screwing with 39 state votings systems. A very dubious history surrounds e-voting systems, and calls for paper trails are growing among cybersecurity experts. As we learn just how vulnerable the democratic process has become, there are tools that allow you to check what voting machines your district uses. Good-guy hackers have been tinkering with voting machines for years, and the largest hacker convention in the world, DefCon, is inviting state election officials to learn how to hack voting machines in the interest of education and safety next month. Public officials may not be taking this stuff seriously, but there are some angry nerds who do. [Motherboard]Wonkette is ad-free and reader-supported, and we're all about taking apart our toys to see how they tick.
  • Chris Cillizza Knows Why Trump-Putin Summit Was Bad, And It's Here's Why!
    Wonkers, we must apologize, because we have neglected to cover a very important angle of Donald Trump's treason summit with HIS PRECIOUS VLADI-MEERKAT, the event historians will surely refer to as Trump's Stinky In Helsinki. Sure, we've written our own very smart analytical news pieces on it. We have even made dick jokes! And no, we're not saying we've neglected to point you in the directly of brutal opinion pieces written about it by people who are not Wonkette WARBLOGGERS, like James Fallows and George Will, but those are pretty good and deserve a minute of your time. Our failure, which is also your failure, if that we have not taken the time to visit our good old pal Chris Cillizza, and see what he is being paid 10 times as much as we are to shit onto a keyboard about the Trump-Putin summit. (Hit this donation link if Chris Cillizza's salary offends you.) Is he writing listicles? YES. Is he making dumbass observations that 16-year-old LiveJournal bloggers could make for free, and getting paid too many dollars for it? YES. Aren't you sex-cited to read the sage analysis of Christopher of Cillizza, Wonder God of the News? WAIT, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? Cillizza began his week's coverage with a piece devoted to the very unique and entirely brand new observation that Trump never says mean shit about Putin. He wrote like three paragraphs then outsourced the research to his intern, and together they turned it into a listicle! Then Cillizza wrote a whole piece about how the tweet Trump sent Monday morning about how US-Russia relations are bad because of the RIGGED WITCH HUNT is literally the worst one of his entire presidency. Sure, Cillizza allowed, Trump tweets some bad stuff on a pretty regular basis, but this one was the worst one. Why? #CillizzaReasons! But then the big press conference happened! And Cillizza very correctly called it the most "shameful, stunning moment of Trump's presidency." It was! That presser was the visual aid the Beltway media apparently needed to finally start understanding what Wonkette and many others have been writing about SINCE FUCKING 2016, that Trump is pretty obviously a Russian intelligence asset of some sort. Here is how Cillizza reacted: I mean, WHAT? W-H-A-T? Verily I say unto you that Chris Cillizza means WHAT? He means W-H-A-T? Furthermore: I mean, Putin denied he meddled in the election strongly. So we have to believe him, right? RIGHT??? RIGHT??? The point is that Chris Cillizza was v. surprised. So surprised, apparently, that he let the other staff writers on his site write the rest of the follow-ups that day, until he finally published a thing that night about how Republican condemnations of Trump's actions were kinda weak, which is factcheck: TRUE. Tuesday morning, though, Cillizza was ready with another CIL-LISTICLE! It was the 21 most wrong-bad things Trump said during that press conference, the one that shocked him like WHAT? W-H-A-T? It is definitely a list of 21 statements, along with Cillizza's surely very important commentary, like RIGHT??? Later that day, Cillizza was stricken with an intense need to do another follow-up, so he devoted many words to explaining why exactly it is bad that Trump and Putin met all by themselves in a Finnish bedchamber with nobody allowed to listen but the translators and the "wire tapps" placed by Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, British, and Russian intelligence. Cillizza came up with two main reasons why doing the meeting All By Myself was bad, and they were these: 1. It allows both sides to tell their own version of what happened without concern for what actually happened. 2. We now have to rely on two unreliable narrators. THOSE ARE THE SAME REASON, YOU MOTHERFUCKING FUCKHEAD. Now, lest you think Cillizza came up with those reasons all on his own, the bottom of the post clearly states that another CNN reporter helped: Wonkers, you know how great our pieces are, right? You know how we have done side-by-side comparisons of what we publish in a day, vis-à-vis what Cillizza publishes in a day? (We don't just mean how many posts we write either, which is about the same as that dipshit, but we provide quality Cillizza couldn't match if he was trapped in a paper bag and literally the only thing he had to do to get out of the bag was write a decent piece.) Can you imagine what kind of output we'd be capable of if we had assistants like Cillizza does? (Here's that donation link again!) For the rest of his Tuesday, Cillizza wrote things about how Dan Coats and Jon Huntsman should probably just quit the Trump administration, and finished up with this sage analysis of Trump's make-believe "walk-back" of his Putin-lover comments in Helsinki: OOH, OOH! WHAT ARE THE WORDS, CHRIS CILLIZZA? What did you find in the transcript that clued you in, that you are now sharing with we who rely on your analysis to understand stuff? Focus on the five words at the end there: "Could be other people also." By George, we think he's got it! "Could be other people also" does tend to suggest that Trump really doesn't give a fuck about our intelligence agencies' conclusions, and would rather just believe whatever Putin says. He wrote another 1000 words about it. He even quoted Maya Angelou. He got paid more than you do for his efforts. God is dead. Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW! Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.
  • Star Parker Been Watching ZooPorn Again
    Star Parker, black conservative pundit and author of "Pimps, Whores, and Welfare Brats," has a very imaginative and disgusting mind. Just Monday she decided to open up her uninspiring mouth and spew forth a stream of bullshit that would make her mentor Rush Limbaugh mighty proud. While pondering the "Gay Agenda" she breathlessly declared her suspicions about what the "B" in LGBTQ was really all about. And just like the worst Encyclopedia Brown that ever lived, she came up with the dumbest conclusion, obviously on purpose, and she felt quite proud of herself. Star Parker self-righteously declared that the "B" secretly means BESTIALITY!!"But notice they skipped over the 'B,'" Parker continued, apparently not understanding that same-sex marriage lets bisexuals get married to their same-sex partners as well. "There are some that say this 'B' is going to bombard us with real vileness in our society if they get what they want," she continued, "because it's not about bisexuality, it's about bestiality."See, Star Parker obviously knows these things because somehow she is a super secret spy who gets all the good intel on the Deep State Gay Agenda, and the battle has never been about equal rights. No, Dear Reader, it has always been about salacious and sinister acts of fornication with farm animals, and all those Gay Weddings have just been a ploy to ease the nation into sheep sex and high thread count sheets. Her nasty imagination notwithstanding, Star Parker possibly spends more time googling ZooPorn than in actually researching any topic that she decides to discuss that day. It's literally the only sensible conclusion. It would take years of Sundays to actually educate and inform people like her that there are actually those of us who like men AND women, so none of us will waste our time when we can just ridicule her for being stupid. And for the ZooPorn addiction? Knock it off, Star! Stop watching that garbage, it's bad for you and it's bad for the zoo animals.Since she was being so blindly dumb, the host of the show, Vocal Point, jumped in to ask Parker what the hell she was talking about. Parker had to admit that no, she actually has no idea what the hell she's talking about, yet somehow she held firm to her idiocy."When asked for clarification by the host of the show, Parker said they didn't know what the B stood for, but also said, "We do know that there is an agenda and we do know that there have been discussions about bestiality in their closed doors. I'm just saying don't be surprised if we find out that that 'B' is not what they said publicly."Oooooo! Apparently there are super secret meetings of the B gang where we discuss all manner of Donkey Konging and nobody invited me. I would have voted no on my imaginary ballot for sure. Honestly, while it feels bad to be attacked by such stupid people, at the same time it's rather nice to know that Bisexuality is as scary as the rest of the Gay Agenda for once. I'm not sure whether to fight this dumb ass attack or start barking "I'm BISEXUAL, GRRR!" at the next coven of Evangelicals I see. While it is obvious to the rest of America that the B has always stood for bisexuality, the forces of conservatism are at a loss when it comes to creating new monsters. The bestiality angle has been used before, like when Ben Carson (the pyramids were for GRAIN STORAGE!! PERIOD!!) compared same sex marriage to bestiality, so this is not very impressive. Even Pizza-gate had more hardcore believers.It is time for America to admit that conservatives really have no idea what the hell is going on outside their bubble of bitter bosom heaving recriminations and daily doses of deluded and disturbing dramas. They are like blind rats in a box filled with their own waste and rot, lashing out at anything that moves, trying to tear through the walls and biting themselves in the process. If you see one gnashing their teeth near you, back away slowly, it's contagious.Please click the link here to donate to your favorite source! Us![Daily Dot]
  • Paul Manafort To Be Visited By Five Spooooky Witnesses Of Christmas Past!
    Paul Manafort is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! And Wonkers, we are HERE FOR IT!First, his plan to stick it to Robert Mueller by insisting that his DC and Virginia cases be tried separately backfired; it's not for nothing they call the Eastern District of Virginia the "rocket docket." So Lil Paulie found himself barreling toward a July 23 court date -- hey! that's NEXT WEEK! -- and saddled with a second set of expensive lawyers. KA-CHING!Then his bellyaching about having to prepare for trial while locked up in the VIP wing of the Northern Neck Regional facility with his own private bath, laptop, and workspace blew up in his face. Last Wednesday, Judge Ellis ordered Manafort transferred to the crappy jail in Alexandria, 100 miles closer to his lawyers. (He'd been hoping for a postponement, and also to be released back into the wild, since that mean lady judge in DC revoked his bail after a wee spot of alleged witness tampering.) And yesterday Judge Ellis rejected Manafort's request to have his Virginia trial transferred to Roanoke, where everyone wears MAGA hats and watches Nascar.What's that charming expression Paul's buddy Corey Lewandowski likes to use? Oh, right!WOMP WOMP!But wait, there's more! Because yesterday the Special Counsel's Office (SCO) requested to file under seal -- that is, not publicly -- motions to grant "use immunity" to five witnesses in Manafort's case. Which means there are five people who want immunity from criminal prosecution before they tell the jury about all the dirty, filthy things they saw Paul Manafort do. ALLEGEDLY. And just in case they don't wind up having to testify -- if, say, Manafort decides to flip and avoid a trial -- filing under seal protects their identities from being sullied by association with noted scoundrel Paul Manafort.Sounds confusing? Let's see what THE STUPIDEST MAN ON THE INTERNET has to say about it. Well, that's just LAZY! Trix would fire us for stringing together five tweets and pretending it was an "article." Besides which, Manafort's being tried in Virginia for allllll the money laundering and bank fraud. Which has nothing to do with either of the Podestas. JIM HOFT, you remain undefeated!Here's a lawsplainer on use immunity from Yr FDF's first month at Wonkette. The topic was Michael Flynn, before he sang like a canary, hint hint Paul.Under Use Immunity, a witness's testimony cannot be used to convict him in a court of law. But if prosecutors find alternative evidence of the crime, they can use that to convict the witness.Example: Cletus testifies [...] that he robbed the Piggly Wiggly and hid the $427 in a bag of Funyuns. The prosecutors cannot go find the Funyun bag in his garage and use it as evidence against him. BUT, if Cletus's accomplice Jebediah has an attack of the guilts and tells the PoPo that he and Cletus done robbed the Piggly Wiggly and the money's in Cletus's garage, then the police can use it as evidence in court to convict Cletus for the robbery.Did Manafort rob the Piggly Wiggly? Did the witnesses hide his stolen rubles in a bag of Funyuns? Well, knowing Paul Manafort, MAYBE!!!!But probably not. Let's look at the actual indictment (Jim!) and make an educated guess who these witnesses might be. Pro Tip: Start with people referred to in the indictment as "conspirators!" Remember getting the giggles reading about Manafort and Gates's inside guy at the bank, who took one look at their bullshit profit and loss statement and said, TOO PHONY, DUMMY UP SOMETHING BETTER?In addition, another conspirator on MANAFORT's behalf submitted a falsified 2016 DMI P&L.; The falsified 2016 DMI P&L; overstated DMI's income by more than $2 million, which was the amount that Lender B told MANAFORT he needed to qualify for the loan. When the document was first submitted to Lender B, a conspirator working at Lender B replied: "Looks Dr'd. Can't someone just do a clean excel doc and pdf to me??" A subsequent version was submitted to the bank.Yes, we can imagine that the "conspirator" might want to be immunized before testifying about that hilarious time she/he coached a client on how to commit bank fraud!Same goes for the insurance broker who lied to the bank and said that Manafort and Gates owned a New York brownstone free and clear.To cover up the falsity of the loan application, GATES, on MANAFORT's behalf, caused an insurance broker to provide Lender B false information, namely, an outdated insurance report that did not list the Union Street loan. MANAFORT and GATES knew such a representation was fraudulent. After GATES contacted the insurance broker and asked her to provide Lender B with false information, he updated MANAFORT by email on February 24, 2016. MANAFORT replied to GATES, on the same day: "good job on the insurance issues."And remember that "antique rug store" in Alexandria where Manafort "bought" $934,350 of merchandise, paid for with eight wire transfers from Cyprus? We're just spitballing here, but if by some chance money was laundered in those transactions, the rug vendor might well want immunity from prosecution before testifying about it. Ditto Manafort's daughter and ex-son-in-law, who are probably not excited to tell the judge that they conned the bank into giving Poppy a lower mortgage rate by claiming they lived in the house he was using as an AirBnB.In an email on January 6, 2016, MANAFORT noted: "[i]n order to have the maximum benefit, I am claiming Howard St. as a second home. Not an investment property." Later, on January 26, 2016, MANAFORT wrote to his son-in-law to advise him that when the bank appraiser came to assess the condominium, his son-in-law should "[r]emember, he believes that you and [MANAFORT's daughter] are living there."Or it could be the Podestas, who are finally going down, dude for stealing Funyuns from the Piggly Wiggly in Roanoke! Who you gonna believe, Yr Wonkette or THE STUPIDEST MAN ON THE INTERNET? Follow your FDF on Twitter!You liking these lawsplainers? Please click here to fund 'em![Motion for Use Immunity for Trial Testimony / Manafort Indictment]
  • 9 Out Of 10 Stable Geniuses Fuckin' LOVE IT When Trump Follows KGB Daddy's Orders!
    Good morning, Grandpa Good Brain, what are the voices in the wire tapps telling you to tweet today? "Many people at the higher ends of intelligence." "His performance." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG LMFAO GIGGLESNORT!Well, we guess if there were a bunch of MENSA members who wanted to see what it looks like when the president of Russia dresses like a very pretty dominatrix and whips the president of the United States into submission, they were probably very pleased! If those same MENSA members get their jollies from observing an American president who is so stupid he thinks that Putin offering to help with the Mueller investigation is a good idea, then SQUEEEEEEE! People who love America were appalled, of course, just like we were appalled to see Good Brain's "walk back" of his pathetic "performance" on Tuesday, where he didn't "walk back" shit, insisting that he had only gotten ONE WORD wrong, reasserting that he doesn't really believe our intelligence agencies and crossing out lines in his prepared remarks so he didn't have to say he would bring election hackers to justice. Also, he wrote "NO COLUSION" on the paper, misspelling it like that because he's a very stupid man. (If you wondered why even his prepared remarks were written so poorly, the Washington Post reports that Stephen Miller was heavily involved in the writing process, so thank him.) Many palace intrigue articles have now been published about what happened on Air Force One on the way back from the president's latest failure, what led to his "walk back," and now how GRRRR MAD the president is that he had to pretend to "walk back" what he said, just like he was GRRRR MAD when he had to "walk back" what he said about how some of the Charlottesville Nazis were just really good people, BY SAYING IT AGAIN. Gabe Sherman at Vanity Fair always has #JuicyScoops, so let's see what he has to say: Ooh, SHITSHOW! Sherman reports that on the airplane ride home from #TreasonTown, Trump was just so confused why people didn't like it when he accepted the rose from Vladimir Putin, but then he got mad, we guess because people who are perpetually confused tend to become uncontrollably angry about that after a while. He probably needed a diaper change too. Apparently John Bolton wanted Trump to double down on being a traitor, but John Kelly was PISSED AT TRUMP and even called Congress and gave Republican leaders permission to mildly criticize the president. (In case you were wondering where those milquetoast condemnations from Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell came from!) But the part that really made Trump cry pathetic orange stupid tears was how Fox News wasn't even being nice to him (with the notable exceptions, of course, of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, who are as stupid, unpatriotic and unfuckable as the president). Moreover, according to WaPo, he was upset because Newt Gingrich gently scolded him! That's right, America, your president is such weak sauce that he poops his panties in sadness when NEWT GINGRICH hurts his feelings. So Trump finally agreed to pretend to "walk back" his remarks, something he wouldn't have had the balls to do were Vladimir Putin standing next to him in the White House, instead of just listening to him through the soccer ball he gave Trump in Helsinki. And guess what! Newt Gingrich is dumb like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and he says it's all better now! HOORAY! Let's see what the unemployable (and also unfuckable, according to Politico) White House staff has been going through ever since Trump gave America to Vladimir Putin in public: WaPo! Folks a little freaked out today," a Republican operative in frequent touch with the administration wrote in a text message Tuesday. "Almost like Zombies about how bad this was."Axios!A former senior White House official, who worked closely with Trump, immediately texted us: "Need a shower." Axios again!One of Trump's own former National Security Council officials texted: "Dude. This is a total [effing] disgrace. The President has lost his mind."MAGA Haberman!Now, Mr. Trump's aides fear the worst is still to come. If the past is any guide, they said privately, Mr. Trump will spend the coming days digesting the continuing fallout from his encounter with Mr. Putin, and he will look for someone other than himself to blame.This is all very sad and also funny. Maybe those Trump staffers should get new jobs, oh wait, nobody is hiring Trump White House idiots, not even the Big Lots off the highway. WOMP WOMP! Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW! Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.
  • I Got Your Apology RIGHT HERE! Wonkagenda For Wed., July 18, 2018
    Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today. John Kelly gave the green light for the chorus of loyal goons and milksop Republicans to denounce Trump for his embrace of Putin in Helsinki. Now White House aides are now waiting for Trump to explode and start blaming everyone but himself.This morning Trump started shitposting about the intel agencies loving his reacharound to Putin, bragging about doing bigly goodest in Not America, and how the lying liberal lamestream media keeps ignoring his yuge MAGA gains, or whatever.In the land of make believe, Hannity spent last night bitching about "pathological" liberal media bias, calling the fallout of Helsinki "the single worst 24 hours in the history of your mainstream media." And this morning on Fox and Friends, Newt Gingrich decreed everything's now dandy.Bloomberg reports it was Trump who gave Rod Rosenstein the go-ahead to announce the indictment of Russian hackers ahead of the Helsinki meeting. SURE he did...A US district court judge has declined a request by Paul Manafort's lawyers to move his fraud trial from the DC suburbs to Bumblefuck, Virginia, noting a "carnival or circus atmosphere" would exist no matter where the trial is held, and that the political views of the jury are irrelevant. LOCK HIM UP!Robert Mueller wants to give five witnesses immunity in Paul Manafort's trial, and hide their identities unless they're actually called upon. Aww, somebody's snitching!Here's a good 'splainer about how Trump doesn't know what he's talking about when he brings up the DNC server hack, and how he ends up looking like a bigger fucking idiot. Yes, it's possible. Apparently Paul Ryan has been saving Rod Rosenstein's ass as the rabid Freedom crazies froth at the mouth and snap at boogeymen. OF COURSE Dana Rohrabacher is defending Maria Butina, the ALLEGED Russian spy in the NRA. She's an American patriot, just like Natalia Vishnevskaya and Julian Assange.HHS has been quietly setting millions of dollars on fire to pay for Trump's baby jails. As they ask DHS for another several hundred million, Trump officials are shuffling around even more money for internment camps. Any price to protect us from tots in MS-13.House Republicans are still trying to cobble together $5 billion for Trump's wall in their homeland-security spending bill, but that still may not be enough for Trump, who's already threatened to shut down the government (again) unless he gets his wall.A number of people on the Homeland Security advisory council have quit in protest of Trump's baby jails. A DHS spox shrugged and called them Obama hippies. After Sen. Ron Wyden lost his shit amid a new rule from the Trump IRS allowing tax-exempt 501(c) groups from disclosing the names of donors who give more than $5,000, Trump's Treasury Department defended the move by telling everyone to suck it. What WOULD Jesus Do?A secret service agent died of a stroke while Trump was golfing in Scotland over the weekend. Trump still hasn't offered his thoughts and prayers, but we will because we are nice. Trump will repaint Air Force One red, white and blue. Apparently there's money for that. Somewhere. Five former wrestlers from Ohio State University have filed class-action lawsuits claiming university brass knew the team's doctor, Richard Strauss, was sexually abusing male athletes. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan isn't named, but one suit does cite news reports that state Jordan knew about the abuse and tried to "conceal it."Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee dragged brass from Facebook, Youtube and Twitter up to the Hill for another farce hearing on conservative biases. Besides remaining curiously mum about InfoWars, Republicans suggested turning social media companies into public utilities. Now the WSJ is reporting that Facebook has been bending over backwards to keep the likes of conservative mouth pieces that spew fake news and peddle conspiracy theories. After Trump's disastrous European vacation, Democrats are now adding Russia to their "kitchen table" issues platform, and crafting a strategy that paints Congress as a check on Trump now that new polling suggests people see Republicans as more corrupt than Democrats. Took 'em long enough. Jon Tester's reelection strategy is to tell voters that he's the badass motherfucker from Montana, and research suggests reminding voters of local roots is a solid strategy. Who knew? Sen. Kamala Harris has signed a deal to write a book about "the core truths that unite us." #ShesRunningAlabama Republican Rep. Martha Roby defeated the pro-Trump Bobby Bright in a run-off last night. Roby got a seemingly reluctant endorsement from Trump late in the election, and has spent the last two years walking back her denunciation of Trump's "grab'em by the pussy" moment in 2016.After gun humping Arizona Republican state senate candidate Bobby Wilson confessed to murdering his mother and sister back in the early 1960s, he suddenly forgot what happened until after all the witnesses died. Twenty years later it all came back to him (except for the ALLEGED murder part), and now he's just another "alt-right" conspiracy theorist blaming victims of gun violence.According to a new analysis from Politico, only a few states are making any attempt to shore up defenses from cyber fuckery ahead of the 2018 elections. This is fine...Yesterday Motherboard reported that ES&S;, the biggest voting machine maker, admitted it sold election-management systems with backdoors to the internet for years, an insanely dangerous election vulnerability. A new study has found Donald Trump and his PAC have spent $274,000 on Facebook ads, making them the biggest political advertiser since May. The researchers have also found Republicans are expected to spending as much as 40 percent of their advertising budgets on Facebook, compared to 10 percent for Democrats, ahead of the 2018 midterms. A conservative MP leading the British investigation into disinformation campaigns has found that Russia accessed Cambridge Analytica data, though it's still too early to know much.. James Comey tweeted a full-throated endorsement of Democrats. Thanks, Obama? Some rascals in New York mounted a Putin-replica on the Charging Bull statue and covered it with rainbow dildos. The EU will fine Google $5 billion (€4.3 billion) for antitrust violations, and is expected to say it used its Android OS to undercut other search engines. Elon Musk is sorry he called the British cave explorer who helped rescue the Thai soccer team a "pedo," stating, "words were spoken in anger after [he] said several untruths and suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub..."GOOD NEWS! The House bill to save net neutrality just got its first Republican to sign on! 1 down, 41 to go!And here's your morning Nice Time! A BABY SLOTH!We're 100% ad-free and reader supported, so consider buying us coffee, or get a subscription! Follow Dominic on Twitter and Instagram!
  • Please Don't Kidnap, Beat, Harass Or Stalk Us, Church Of Scientology!
    The Church of Scientology had some thoughts about Our Robyn's piece, Who Wants To Watch A Creepy White Guy Rap About Scientology? We had some thoughts about their thoughts. Thanks for writing in, Scientology! As you doubtless realized when you didn't demand we take down our story, but requested it instead, our opinions of your weird cult and that poor young man's rap skills are protected by the First Amendment. (I learned about libel law in college and grad school but also on the job: I was in newspapers so long that I was actually colleagues with Tony Ortega -- about whom you sound quite "venomous" and "biased" -- at the very same newspaper chain you can't believe he defended! Next up, please show your due diligence by talking trash about a woman you didn't know was my mom.) Also, a lot of your former members say on the record that you kidnap people, and stalk them, and harass them, and sometimes beat them up good, and I request that if so, fucking stop it. The rest of you click the headline, if you want your OPEN THREAD.
  • President Words-Stupid Sorry For Being Total Fuck-Up Just This One Time Ever
    Monday's Trump-Putin press conference landed on the entire free world like a hot treason-shaped turd, didn't it? Congressional Republicans have been saying mean things about it on Twitter, and even Fox News has been less than 100% supportive! The White House communications department obviously knew it had a crisis on its hands, what with how it's generally considered inappropriate for the leader of the free world to get on all fours in front of the Russian president and wag his tail and slobber with anticipation while he awaits his next marching orders. WOMP WOMP, etc. So the comms department typed up a thing for the president to read aloud today at the beginning of his meeting with members of Congress, about how he was VERY SORRY he said one word incorrectly during the Putin presser. That's right, only one word of that whole fucking shitshow was wrong. All the rest of his traitor words were exactly what he meant to say.This is a video of a president who is being forced to do something he does not want to do: Trump began by saying that out of all his visits with foreigners over this past week, meeting with Putin was his favorite, because OMG PUTIN IS DREAMY! Then he read off the page that he has "full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies," and immediately the lights in the room went off, apparently because the ghosts of every dead American president are SICK OF THIS SHIT. That or Stephen Miller walked through the door and his rancid aura briefly murdered the electricity. For real, the lights went off: Trump said he "accepts our intelligence community's conclusion" that Russia meddled. BUT THEN he said it "could be other people also" because there are "a lot of people out there." (400 pound hackers! Chinese people! Hillary! Deep State!) AND THEN he said that most importantly, THERE WAS NO COLLUSION, everybody agrees there was no collusion, even the Democrats say NO COLLUSION! Now, that part was not actually in his prepared remarks. He apparently wrote that on the paper himself, just so he would remember to say "NO COLLUSION." And of course he misspelled "collusion," because he's a fucking moron: Let's take a closer look at that script, shall we? Because on top of "NO COLUSION," the supposed leader of the free world SCRATCHED OUT A PART ABOUT HOW HE WOULD BRING THOSE WHO MEDDLED IN OUR ELECTIONS TO JUSTICE: Trump then said he had reviewed the transcript of everything he said in front of Putin and found the ONE problematic part. You see, yesterday, he said this:Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russia.I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be.But he MEANT to say, "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be." See? All better now! It was just a common fuck-up from a common fuck-up! Can Trump go back to being a YOOGE BIGLY BEST American president in the streets and a Russian intelligence asset between the sheets now?Trump continued reading the words on the page, swearing up and down he will both "repeal" and "repel" any kind of Russian interference in upcoming elections, because you know Trump has a really weird fucking tic when he reads words wrong. Chris Hayes had a whole "Thing 1 Thing 2" segment about it one time, which you should watch because it is hilarious: Trump concluded today's address by blaming it all on Obama and saying NO COLLUSION a whole bunch more.Media? Do not fucking fall for this. Do not play this clip over and over again and act like our manipulative tinpot dicator wannabe actually fixed a thing by saying he should've said "wouldn't" instead of "would." Hell, he's said and tweeted MANY TIMES in the past that Putin denies meddling in the election, and he says it because HE IS STUPID OR HE IS LYING AND ALSO BOTH. He believes Putin, or he says he believes Putin because Putin told him that's what he's supposed to believe, because Putin has some serious shit on him. In summary and in conclusion, fuck everything this dumbass traitor says.Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please help, by making a donation of MONEY.
  • Christian Lady Being A Dipshit Again
    Hey single ladies! Lori Alexander, writer of the blog "The Transformed Wife," has some hot dating tips for you. Well, one, anyway. And it is not going to college! You may remember Lori from a meme she made one time about how ladies should do housework cheerfully and never ask the menfolk to help with it. Despite generally being opposed to the idea of women having opinions, Lori has a lot of them herself. Like how women are destroying the medical profession by joining it and also how women getting the right to vote was tragic. The fight for women to vote is tragic to me because all the women who fought to be able to vote were doing so because they felt they knew better than men (even though God made men the leaders) thus led to the superiority attitude of women in our culture which has been devastating. (Most sitcoms today freely mock men.) It was rebellion against God's ordained authority. This creates a paradox. If a man believes that women ought to have the right to vote -- as quite a few here and there these days do -- does that mean that Lori Alexander thinks she knows better than men? Harumph! Of course, these kinds of logical conundrums are things one might discuss in college -- but as a woman, Lori knows that college is not for her. Colleges teach people to be independently thinking human persons, instead of shutting the fuck up like how God wants. There are many more reasons why Christian young women should carefully consider whether or not they go to college, especially if they want to be wives and mothers someday. Secular universities teach against the God of the Bible and His ways. It's far from what God calls women to be and do: it teaches them to be independent, loud, and immodest instead of having meek and quiet spirits. However, a reader of her blog had even more to say about how college could potentially ruin a lady's life -- beyond making them independent and loud rather than meek and quiet. Because, according to this reader, and Lori herself, what men want are "debt-free virgins without tattoos" who ideally live with their parents. "Men don't want to marry a women with debt. Most of this debt comes from college. They would also prefer a woman who still lives at her parent's house that has not had other relationships. Do those two things and you will be highly sought after." Now sure -- debt is a poor time! We can all agree on that. Not having debt would be great! However, basically everyone is dying from student debt these days, so not sure why a guy who probably has a ton of his own has any room to judge. [Robyn forgot that men are losers who are being out-colleged by all the chicks -- editrix.] The "woman who still lives at her parent's house" thing though? Not sure that's a big draw! I mean, I could probably poll my male friends on this, but I do not think I have to. Not that I think anyone I know would judge someone for living with their parents anymore given our collective economic situation, but I also do not think that this is a "thing" for anyone who isn't very weird. The reader continues, explaining that a lady who goes to college will be an additional burden on her husband, who will now have to spend years brainwashing her (Lori's comments are in parentheses): "The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong." (Sadly, most young Christian women wouldn't listen to their husbands since they've not been taught to live in submission to their husbands. However, it's the older women who are called to teach the younger women biblical womanhood and most husbands have never seen it modeled in their lives so they wouldn't know what to teach.) Yes, that surely is a burden. But there is always the option of murdering your wife and replacing her with a robot replica. "They will start having babies later in life. That is if they can still conceive naturally." (Is college worth having less children? I will never understand how women prefer careers over having precious babies.) Jordan Peterson agrees! Yes. That is pretty much it. "They lost a handful of years of experience learning to cook large meals and learning how to work in the garden. College kids don't cook. If they do, it's typically for themselves." (Young women learn nothing about biblical womanhood or what it takes to run a home when they go to college. They don't learn to serve others either. They learn the ways of the world instead.) This doesn't make sense, even from a ridiculously sexist point of view. First of all, it doesn't take "years" to figure out how to cook or garden, unless you are planning on being some extra fancy chef of some kind. I have exactly zero kids and will bet you all of the money that I am a better cook than Lori is. Also, ostensibly these women are "learning" this because they have children, right? Like, not before? So if people have kids later in life, the amount of time required to "learn" that is the same for the kids either way. "Your posts sound crazy to anyone who does not believe the Bible is true. Most girls have not read the Bible with their father (Ephesians 6:4) or husband to explain it to them (1 Corinthians 14:35). That part is important. Instead of learning it from their parents, they seek out books or movies on how to interpret the Bible which leads them down the wrong path."She's not wrong. I am an atheist and these posts definitely sound crazy to me. However! I am willing to bet that they also sound crazy to a lot of people who believe in the Bible as well. The vast majority of them, even! Also I feel pretty sure that none of the Christian women I know felt they needed a man to explain the Bible to them, as they are all very smart people who, you know, can read. Lori closes it up by telling ladies that they will be happiest if they all do the exact same thing with their lives:Young women, be wise in the path that you choose to walk on. Keep a long-term vision of your life and how you hope it will be someday instead of acting upon all of the "what ifs…?" that many will throw at you. Trust God with your life, study the Word, and take the narrow path that leads to life. Stay virgins until marriage, out of debt, and don't get tattoos! Weirdly, the reader herself did not even mention the tattoos. This was all Lori, who apparently assumes that getting a tattoo is something everyone who goes to college does, probably as part of one of those "Women's Studies" courses she's heard so much about. Now, I am currently single (even though I have no tattoos), so perhaps I am not the person to tell you how to go out and get a husband, but I can tell you that I would gladly take my super awesome single, child-free, career-gal life any day over the dystopian, Handmaid's Tale-esque life Lori Alexander is peddling. Yeesh.[The Transformed Wife]Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you! Click here to tip us!
  • IRS Rules NRA Can Take Infinity Secret Jesus Dollars From Rich People. BLESSED!
    Hell of a coincidence we have here! On the very same day that a Russian spy gets arrested for using the NRA as a conduit to the Republican Party -- ahem POLITICAL PARTY 1! -- the United States Treasury announces that it won't be collecting donor information from "social welfare groups." Guess which "GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION" is a tax exempt social welfare group that raised $337 million in 2016 and will now be able to hide its donor list from the prying eyes of the American public?Here's a hint: That's right, donors to the the NRA and those Kochsuckers at Americans for Prosperity can now dump infinity political dollars into their lobbying and electioneering efforts without having their names disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. Or the IRS. Or anyone who might object to propping up lunatic politicians who want to arm preschoolers.In the bad old days, i.e. yesterday, "social welfare organizations" had to give the IRS names and addresses of anyone donating over $5,000. But now they get to keep it all secret, as White Jesus and Charles Koch intended. Here's how the Treasury explains the change on its website.Tax-exempt organizations described by section 501(c), other than section 501(c)(3) organizations, are no longer required to report the names and addresses of their contributors on the Schedule B of their Forms 990 or 990-EZ. Okay, now 'splain us how awesome this is gonna be, Steven Mnuchin!Americans shouldn't be required to send the IRS information that it doesn't need to effectively enforce our tax laws, and the IRS simply does not need tax returns with donor names and addresses to do its job in this area. It is important to emphasize that this change will in no way limit transparency. The same information about tax-exempt organizations that was previously available to the public will continue to be available, while private taxpayer information will be better protected.BOOOOORING! Hey, Mitch McConnell, you're a big old whore -- say the quiet part out loud to the Wall Street Journal.The IRS's decision is a move in the right direction to end activist regulators' culture of intimidation to silence political speech. [...] More and more states were using these documents to chill political discourse, rather than encourage it.That'll do it! Can't do anything about the pizza racists running their mouths and ruining the grift. But you can make it harder for customers to work out what corporate owners do with their earnings. Because money is speech, and speech is free, and we all have a First Amendment right to secretly fund organizations that team up with Russia to ratfuck American elections and starve the poor.Thanks, Justice Kennedy!Follow your FDF on Twitter!If you click here to fund us, we promise not to make you read about tax policy tomorrow! PROBABLY.[ / WSJ]

New Civil Rights Movement: news and opinion focused on issues that affect the LGBTQ community

Scholars and Rogues: a diverse band of political and social analysts, activists, jesters, and troublemakers

  • Is Greta Van Fleet ripping off Led Zeppelin? Both sides, just stop it.
    Some love the neo-Zep sound and others hate it, but both sides are missing the point. Greta Van Fleet, a young Michigan-based rock band featuring three brothers with a friend on drums, […]
  • Arctic time fluidity
    Part 21, Cooper time – night divides the day 5 Aug I half dragged myself out of bed this morning at 0630. Had just gotten my pants and socks on and was […]
  • Madonna of Gilead
    Vintage miniature…
  • Dear Papa John’s: you need to rebrand. Like, next week.
    The brand now stinks worse than the actual pizza, and it’s going to stay that way. The F6 shitnado that is Massa Papa John Schnatter continues unabated. The most reecent episode found […]
  • Why should I follow the law?
    Why should I, or you, or anyone else in the United States follow the law? Serious question. One answer, obviously, is “because I don’t want to go to jail.” Aside from “I […]
  • The first sunset of summer
    I started this Cooper Island series back in February 2018 with a post from 29 July 2000, Sensory Deprivation, that chronologically fits here. Part 20, another trip abroad   31 July 2000 I just […]
  • U2: Songs of Relevance and Irrelevance
    U2 is my favorite band of all time. But they haven’t been relevant since the early-to-mid ’90s. I think I have a clue as to why. Good is the enemy of great. Around 1984 […]
  • A hard day’s drive
    … to the mountains off Route 395 in south-central Oregon.
  • Supergirl on the Fourth of July did not fly away
    Superheroes have childhoods too, you know… You can be anything in America, and anything can be you. To even put the costume on you have to believe somewhere in even the smallest […]
  • Liberal civility, circa 2018
    Liberals heckling people in the Administration may not be civil according to the dictionary definition, but at least we're still using words. Given the fascist in the White House, that's about as civil as Donald's supporters should expect right now.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Peter Sinclair, a long time advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives

  • New Video: Solar Shines in the Heartland
    I’ll be giving some presentations in coming weeks devoted entirely to newest developments in renewable energy. While a lot of readers of this blog may be well briefed on where renewables are, it’s astounding how little this story has percolated down to the general population. In particular, folks don’t understand that this is no longer […]
  • Data Plant? or Power Center? Changing Grid Spawns Hybrids
    I excerpted the video above from Facebook in this month’s Yale vid, in the post above. It’s an example of a very large movement of tech companies into the renewable space – they need high quality electricity for expanding data centers. They want to go 100 percent renewable. They’re buying wind and solar power to […]
  • Just Where are we on Next-Gen Nukes?
    Last night’s post got me thinking I should review just where we are with “Next generation Nuclear power”. About where I thought. Lots of ideas. 2030 time frame for working prototypes, which will need a decade or so to prove themselves. I get it that small,  modular, safe reactors, if economic, would be a big […]
  • Could Trade War Be Climate Tool?
    Suggestion to US trading partners still in the Paris Agreement – If you’re going to have a trade war, well, could it be targeted on carbon emitters? Inside Climate News: As the Trump administration’s trade war heats up, a group of experts is proposing a new way to counter protectionism—and prod the United States back […]
  • Growing: Worries. And Japan’s Plutonium Pile..
    Two most obvious existential threats to civilization – climate change and nuclear war. You could probably add in the odd asteroid strike, but that’s more hypothetical. The other two are demonstrably happening. ChannelNewsAsia: TOKYO: Japan has amassed enough plutonium to make 6,000 atomic bombs as part of a programme to fuel its nuclear plants, but […]
  • Music Break: Sheryl Crow – I Wouldn’t Wanna Be Like You
    Seems appropriate.
  • The Forever Foodfight: Meat v Meatless
    This post was inspired by a long twitter discussion by Mike Mann on the subject of agricultural impacts on climate. This is a myth that was promoted by “Cowspiracy” and is based on erroneous math/accounting. See @UCSUSA: — Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) July 15, 2018 First of all, in my presentations, when the […]
  • As GOP Repels the Young, Climate and Renewable Energy Awareness Grows
    If you are a climate denier, polling shows you are likely to be old, poorly educated, and male. That checks out. ThinkProgress: A record number of Americans — nearly three quarters — understand there is “solid evidence” that global warming is happening, according to a new poll. And a record number (60 percent) said they […]
  • Food Waste is Huge Carbon Source
    A sea of waste. One in three caught fish are never — Precision Homes (@PrecisionHomes_) July 12, 2018 Christian Science Monitor: When Kimbal Musk and some fellow business associates hosted a conference on global food waste in 2011, seven people showed up. So it was noteworthy when, in September, Mr. Musk, a community-focused […]
  • Music Break: Nat King Cole – Nature Boy
    A song well ahead of its time? I think so. Dynamite contemporary cover below.


Title image: Bizarro, by Dan Piraro.


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