All these Republican congressmen from Texas retiring, makes you wonder how bad their internal polling really is.
Y'all, Republicans are shitting their everloving pants about Texas. And as we said in that headline, NO, SILLY, we don't mean the El Paso terrorist attack. They are thoughts-ing and prayers-ing about that, and a couple of them are even saying, "White supremacists are bad, MMKAY?" But that doesn't rise to the level of SHOOK.
What they are SHOOK about is the fact that 2020 could actually, possibly, theoretically, if the stars align just perfectly, be the year Texas inches itself over into the blue column. Nobody wants to say that out loud, because we've been hearing for hundreds of millions of years now that one of these days, and it won't be long, Texas will become a purple state, and then a blue state, by force of pure demographics alone. It is definitely going to happen, we just don't know exactly when. But in possibly related news, yet another Texas Republican, Kenny Marchant of the 24th district in the Dallas suburbs has announced he will not seek re-election to Congress in 2020. He's the fourth Texas Republican to make that decision, after Will Hurd, Pete Olson and Mike Conaway.
As the New York Times notes, Conaway's district is full-on wingnut, but Hurd and Olson represent districts that very well might oughta flip with their Republican incumbents bowing out. Hurd's district, TX-23, is enormous, stretches along the border from the San Antonio suburbs to the El Paso suburbs, and is majority Hispanic. It's almost a certain pick-up for Democrats. Olson's district, TX-22, is Houston suburbs. Things could change there too.
Migration has increased. But this fuckery isn't about the numbers.
The Associated Press reports that even as lawyers found children in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, last week, the government's baby jail system had at least 500 beds available, according to government documents. Remember, we were being told the overcrowding and lack of safe and sanitary conditions at that processing station and others were all due to the lack of space in shelters, and that lack of space was due to terrible Democrats who refuse to give Donald Trump "emergency" funding if there are limits on cruelty attached. This, as we have been saying, is bullshit, so let's say it A LITTLE LOUDER.
The more than 200 children being held at the Clint border station -- before being removed, then some of them were moved back -- had been held far longer than the 72 hours kids are supposed to be held by the Border Patrol before being placed in facilities overseen by Health and Human Services. But there were open beds in those HHS baby jails:
She's freaking out over the makeup guy.
Martha McSally is worried. Everything was coming up Martha when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey picked her to fill the late John McCain's Senate seat. But now the junior senator has to hold that seat in 2020, and actual elections are where she has her troubles. Kyrsten Sinema, she of the fierce wardrobe, defeated McSally last year when they were running against each other for Jeff Flake's old seat. Arizona hadn't elected a Democratic senator since 1988.
McSally's likely challenger next year is Mark Kelly, who's a goddamn astronaut. We appreciate her service as an Air Force pilot but really, Kelly's been in space, where the Klingons are. Kelly's identical twin is also an astronaut. McSally has four siblings and none of them are astronauts or even her twin. She can't win this.
Besides, this is Kelly's campaign announcement video. When his awesome wife, Gabby Giffords, shows up, we just lose it. Why are we even bothering with an election?
We're all actors in this B Movie.
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has started work as the acting director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that runs all legal immigration in our great land of white people who belong here and others who somehow made it in anyway. Cooch had been rumored to be on his way to an appointment as Trump's "immigration czar," but instead will take over as acting head of one more agency in the Department of Homeland Security, which has been filled with temps since the great DHS purge earlier this year.
Cuccinelli issued a statement promising to Git Tuff on legal immigrants, because America has been far too nice to people foolish enough to buy that bullshit about this being a nation of immigrants:
But does he have an email account?
You are probably familiar with the longrunning Wonkette series called "THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE SAID." (Or, if it is a "he," it is called "THAT'S NOT WHAT HE SAID.") We started the series (it is actually not "longrunning yet," we are a big liar) because the media sucks so badly in so many ways, and because there is ZERO reason to believe they will do any better in 2020 than they did in 2016 -- when, in their desperate need to "both sides" everything, they literally convinced people that Hillary Clinton's emails and her VERY HELPFUL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION were "scandals" on par with the 70 new Trump scandals we've been learning about every day since he came down that escalator in 2015 and declared his intention to ruin the world.
The inaugural post for this series involved Beto O'Rourke and a fight some idiot on cable news was trying to start between him and Kamala Harris, who did not take the dumb fucking bait. And now we are back to O'Rourke, specifically to LIGHTLY YELL AT The Daily Beast for using stupid clickbait to try to start some kind of non-troversy over how BETO SAID A CUSS! No, they are not talking about the time he said he was "so fucking proud" of all his staffers, they are talking about a time when he literally admitted to being the worst, meanest "asshole" alive!
And he did it on video!
Golly! They caught him on tape, in the forthcoming HBO documentary Running With Beto, finally admitting he is history's greatest monster boss -- you know, unless it's time for another round of "Amy Klobuchar made me go to work" stories, in which case it will be her turn to be history's greatest monster boss again -- and profusely apologizing for it? And this reportedly happened backstage just before he went out and told supporters he was FUCKING proud of them? How many cuss words does this guy have in him!
And is that really an important headline that truly captures the story they're trying to tell? (SPOILER: you already know how this ends!)
That train is never late.
You may have your "data," but Carolyn Meadows has GUNS. The brand new NRA president has lived 80 years on God's green earth, and she knows a thing or two. So you can come to her with your fancy studies and surveys and whathaveyous, and she'll just use 'em for target practice. Did scientists and statisticians ever keep America safe? Carolyn Meadows thinks NOT.
For instance, pollsters may tell you that 67 percent of Americans favor stricter gun laws and that the NRA is only viewed favorably by 37 percent of us. But Carolyn Meadows tells the Marietta Daily Journal that's just because of Democrat lies:
"Basically, it's through ignorance that a lot of people, and not stupidity at all, but they don't know what we're about," she said of those against the NRA. "If you could get to every person out there, eyeball to eyeball, we'd have 50 million NRA members. A lot of Democrats believe like we do, but they've been misguided with the poor leadership at the helm of their party."
Sure you can cite studies showing that people with guns in their homes are almost twice as likely to be murdered as people without. And you might point to those depraved socialist wastelands in Northern Europe as proof of the proposition that people are safer when they don't all walk around with murder sticks strapped to their hips. But Carolyn Meadows is darn sure that an 80-year-old lady packing heat makes her church a safe place to worship white Jesus on a Sunday:
Underwood's ACA 2.0 will keep you from dying or going broke.
Lauren Underwood is one of our favorite new congressional bad asses. The youngest black woman -- ever -- to serve in the House, the former registered nurse flipped a seat in Illinois's solidly Republican 14th district. You might also remember Underwood from the time she grilled former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about her child torture hobby. Underwood campaigned on protecting the Affordable Care Act, and she's still dancing with the issue that brought her to Congress. Most of her freshman class has signed onto Medicare For All, and while Underwood supports universal coverage, she wants to strengthen the ACA until we get there.
Underwood recently introduced HR 1868, the Health Care Affordability Act. It's part of a bundle of health care legislation from House Democrats that's intended to "shore up and expand" the ACA. Her co-sponsors are House representatives Jimmy Gomez from California and Tom O'Halleran from Arizona. HR 1868 qualifies more Americans to receive tax credits, expands eligibility for premium tax credits, and lowers premiums.
OYEZ! Another day, another bullshit lawsuit from the great legal minds in Trumpland. Last week, the House Oversight Committee dropped subpoenas on Trump's longtime accountants at Mazars, USA, instructing the company to hand over all Trump's financials ASAP. Mazars had refused to comply with a voluntary request, insisting on a "friendly" subpoena for CYA purposes. And even though ranking member Jim Jordan wrote a memo telling the pencil pushers to just ignore that mean black dude with the gavel, and then Trump's esteemed counsel lobbed a nastygram putting Mazars "on notice" that the president was going to sue them if they complied, Mazars seems inclined to cough it up. So now Trump's lawyers Stefan Passantino and William Consovoy are suing the Oversight Committee and Mazars, which is exactly how shit goes down when you have nothing at all to hide!
Not to get hypertechnical, but this lawsuit is horse puckey.
1. The Democrat Party, with its newfound control of the U.S. House of Representatives, has declared all-out political war against President Donald J. Trump. Subpoenas are their weapon of choice.
2. Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump's personal finances, businesses, and even his family. Instead of working with the President to pass bipartisan legislation that would actually benefit Americans, House Democrats are singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically. They have issued more than 100 subpoenas and requests to anyone with even the most tangential connection to the President.
Yeah, yeah. Save it for Hannity, assholes.
Republicans stick together, we guess.
Joe Manchin really likes Susan Collins. Who cares if he's a Democrat (kind of) and she's very much a Republican? They're both longtime Senate colleagues, and Manchin is a political dinosaur from the Caucasity Age. Those were simpler times when everyone in Congress got along because they were all white, hung out at the same country clubs, and didn't disagree over each other's essential humanity.
During her first Senate race in 1996, Collins pledged to serve just two terms. She's either a liar or can't count, but Manchin still thinks she's good people so he's already endorsed her for re-election in 2020. This is a strange thing for a Democrat to do, especially since defeating Collins is a key step in Democrats' narrow path to regaining Senate control. Why else does Manchin think we put up with him? It's a numbers game, and unfortunately California gets as many senators as Wyoming. Doesn't he want to be in the majority? He could co-chair the Energy Committee with a bag of coal.
Fuck them so hard.
Lucy McBath is the new kick-ass US House representative from Georgia's Sixth District. They finally got Newt Gingrich's stench out. Fox News describes McBath as a "racial justice activist," as though that's a bad thing. She's best known for her work with Moms Demand Action advocating for sensible gun laws after the 2012 murder of her son, Jordan Davis.
Fox claims McBath has been "dogged with questions" about whether she actually even lives in Georgia. See, McBath relocated to Tennessee briefly in 2016 to help her husband with some family business, as normal people have been known to do. She returned to Georgia the following year. It's a far less exotic birther conspiracy than what Barack Obama endured: "Can you trust, Lucy McBath? She's secretly from ... 200 miles northeast as the crow flies."
Karen Handel, whom McBath defeated last year, tried the "she's not from around these parts" attack during the midterms. But Handel's attempts to smear her as a tax dodging, part-time Georgia lover were ultimately unsuccessful. If you accept Mick Mulvaney's position on Trump's tax returns, the whole residency issue was "litigated" and settled when voters elected McBath. She could be from the country of Georgia for all they care.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, an organization of mature adults, decided to "troll" McBath anyway. They sent a "goody bag" last Friday to what they believed was her Rockford, Tennessee, home. It contained the following random crap: coffee infused with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Memphis-style BBQ sauce, and a Tennessee Volunteers hat. Those are all very much Tennessee type things. The interns earned their keep that day. They knew they had her because the package was accepted and signed for by "L. MacBath." Oh, was it?
Freshman rep gets two death threats in as many days.
Some scumbag was arrested Friday after he called the office of Rep. Ilhan Omar and threatened to kill her. Patrick W. Carlineo Jr. from upstate New York asked a staffer if they "worked for the Muslim Brotherhood." (They do not.) He accused Omar of being a "fucking terrorist" (she is not) and said he planned to put a "bullet in her fucking skull."
According to the affidavit, Carlineo politely spelled his name for Omar's office and provided his contact information. The FBI did in fact contact him. He originally claimed he'd only said that if "our forefathers were still alive, they'd put a bullet in her head." We've only listened to the cast recording of Hamilton, but we think they'd have just challenged her to a duel or at least wondered how one of their slaves got free. When reminded that lying to the FBI was a crime and that his phone call to Omar's office was recorded, he admitted that he was speaking less metaphorically.
It's the old fable about the serpent, and we don't think they intended that to be the lesson.
Last week, Rep. Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, asked the IRS for six years of Donald Trump's tax returns. He also won't settle for Attorney General Bill Barr summing them up for him in a text message. Trump plans to fight the request all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, because Congress suddenly behaving like a coequal branch of government again is apparently a "gross abuse of power." Mick Mulvaney, who's been acting like Trump's chief of staff since December, stated yesterday on "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats can expect to see the president's tax returns the day after never.
MULVANEY: You always expect something from the Democrats. If they don't get what they want from the Mueller report, they're gonna ask for the taxes. If they don't get what they want on the taxes, they'll ask for something else.
That's weird. If the Mueller report was the big steaming flop the Trump administration claims, shouldn't they assume Trump's taxes would only embarrass Democrats more? And why would a businessman as good as Trump lies he is want to waste time and money to prevent the release of his perfectly on the up and up tax returns? They're certainly less trouble to dig up than someone's long-form birth certificate.
She doesn't even bother to say his name.
There's been a lot of fuss over Monday's Washington Post interview with Nancy Pelosi. Although a metric ton of Democrats want to impeach Donald Trump, the House Speaker officially declared it a waste of time.
PELOSI: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it.
"He's just not worth it" is such delicious shade it should appear on a t-shirt or a mug. People are misinterpreting this as Pelosi going soft and promoting foolish bipartisan harmony. No, she just has a brain in her head. The eyes in her head have also witnessed Republicans shamelessly cover for Trump and protect him even when his former personal lawyer testified to what a sleaze he is. Robert Mueller's final report probably won't change the world. It's not a new Harry Potter novel.
North Carolina really knows how to pick 'em.
GOP congressional candidate Stony Rushing -- the dumbass gun range owner endorsed by Mark Harris in the Republican primary for the do-over election for North Carolina's district nine seat -- certainly has a fascinating history, as detailed by Judd Legum at Popular Information. The Boss Hogg-cosplaying county commissioner is a fan of conspiracy theories, and accuses Democrats of being ultimately responsible for the election fraud scandal that caused the state Board of Elections to order a new election, even if all the cheating was done by Republican operatives. So it shouldn't be the least bit surprising to find Rushing has a seriously stupid little dirty tricks game in his own past. How did you guess it involves the family-values Bible humper getting caught up in a sex affair? He even admitted that much in a sworn deposition, so ain't no "allegedlys" about it.
(We mean it is our dick.)
The supposed "liberal media" is often desperate to prove that it has no personal affection for liberals or Democrats and especially those who are both. Eric Boehlert over at Daily Kos detailed how the press paid less attention to 2018's Blue Wave than it did to 2010's Tea Party "revolution."
Last year, during Trump's first midterm election cycle, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News aired 274 minutes on the topic, according to monitoring done by television news researcher Andrew Tyndall, who recently emailed his annual findings to followers. But during Obama's first midterm election cycle in 2010, the same network newscasts aired an astounding 666 minutes when tea party activists rallied against the Democratic president and helped the GOP take control of the House.
666! Spooky. How is the media less pumped up about midterms that elect a historic number of kickass women versus midterms that sent to DC a historic number of racist kooks? It's also not just the quantity of coverage but the quality. After the 2010 "shellacking," most news outlets were quick to write Barack Obama's political obituary. The New Republic declared in November 2010 that the midterm results "amply illustrated Obama's political failure." This is a relatively liberal publication. More conservative-leaning media just suggested that Obama quit already. It was all over. "The facts" and America had spoken.
Conversely, the media had started to declare the blue wave a bust in the middle of election night. (As did your Wonkette, but she was drunk on imagining taking back Texas.) LZ Granderson wrote a sobering op-ed for CNN the following day:
Yes, the party took the House but the blue wave was not the tsunami party leadership had hoped it would be. This is in large part because the Democratic Party is still searching for its post 2008 identity.
But if the party is to build momentum from the 2018 midterm, and not just tread water, leadership must spend more time defining what it is about and less time vilifying what it isn't. After all, people don't eat steak because it's not tofu. They eat steak because it's steak.
This sort of sad sack coverage was typical, even though Democrats gained 40 seats (maybe 41 after a non-fixed election in North Carolina). More attention was also paid to losses in long shot races (Georgia and Texas) than to significant victories in Wisconsin and Michigan. Kyrsten Sinema's flipping of an Arizona Senate seat was met with collective shrugs. She's awesome, though, even if she might be our queer, fashion-forward Joe Manchin.
Brett Stephens, who the New York Times employs for some reason, cautioned that the midterms were a "warning" for Democrats to reach out more to Republicans and the "other America" (i.e. white people). No one wrote pieces like that after the 2010 rout because it would've been just as stupid. The media consistently paints GOP victories as actual victories and Democratic ones as pyrrhic at best.
It's also not just elections. After Michael Cohen rolled on Donald Trump during his testimony to the House Oversight Committee, the usual suspects in punditry went on a "both sides" tear. Professional eye-roll generator Chris Cillizza produced a bipartisan list of "winners" and "losers" from the public hearing. The president's personal lawyer testifies that he's a racist and a crook, but Cillizza wants to split the difference and slime the Muslim lady. He even offers a pat on the back to Jim Jordan, who behaved like Tom Hagen defending Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II.
Democrats defeated Republicans nationwide on Election Day by almost 9 million votes, the largest margin since Watergate. It's an unqualified ass whooping that the media has spent the past few months qualifying. Conservatives are never going to respect the press or even challenge a president who openly attacks journalists. We're all better off if the media stopped trying to appeal to them. They were never interested in "fairness" anyway.
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Don't want you to go, but love to watch you leave.
Hooray for the Dear Leaders! Let us all prostrate ourselves before their caravans as we sing hosannas of gratitude to Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un for their rousing success in Hanoi. Trump is wheels-up on Air Force One after achieving exactly nothing, but at least he didn't give them Ivanka! So time for Shinzo Abe to get his nominating pen out and write another letter to the Nobel Committee now that world peace is at hand.
We were led to believe that Donald Trump was just about to ink an historic deal to bring harmony to the Korean peninsula. Truth, light, and kim chi for all! In June, he tweeted that "There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea." Just yesterday, President Arty McDeals was promising that we'd have a shiny new deal real soon.
He'd already gotten the party started by giving up the demand for inspections to ensure that North Korea actually dismantle their nuclear program. Trust, but don't verify, as Saint Ronnie used to say, right? LOL, remember that funny time when Trump pulled us out of the Iran denuclearization deal because he said the inspections regime wasn't sufficient to ensure compliance? Guess it's different when you're IN LOVE with a hot stud like Kim Jong Un, huh?
We said HUH?
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