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Syria

Tulsi Gabbard Brings Friend To Debate, Oh F*ck, It's Assad!

It would have been better if she had 'boycotted' after all.

Last night's Democratic debate probably didn't change much. Elizabeth Warren is now clearly the frontrunner, and her fellow candidates are treating her as such. Kamala Harris had some strong moments, as did Amy Klobuchar. Bernie looked and sounded good, which probably assuaged some concerns about his age and health, though those questions will come up again, not just for him but also for Joe Biden, as the men would be 79 and 78 at the time of their inaugurations, if elected.

The candidates yelled the same talking points at each other about Medicare For All as they've yelled in previous debates. They answered who their most unexpected weird friend is, like Ellen and Dubya, and half of them said Dead John McCain. It was whatever.

But Pete Buttigieg had a really really good night, easily his best out of all the debates so far. (HOOBOY do other Wonkettes, and the editrix, disagree!) And Tulsi Gabbard, who had threatened to boycott the debate because the DNC was #rigging it against her by causing her to have a bad campaign nobody wants to support, had a really really bad night.

The nexus of those two things made for perhaps the most interesting moment of the night, when Gabbard decided to spit out a bunch of verifiable lies about what Donald Trump has done to Syria, somehow managing to bolster the positions of both Trump and (surprise!) Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Pete Buttigieg, as the other person with military service on the stage, was not about to put up with that horseshit.

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2020 democratic primary

Democrats In Dem Primary Debate Beat Up On Elizabeth Warren From The Right

Wouldn't it be great if Democrats believed in themselves for once?

There was a big pile-up on the Elizabeth Warren Expressway during last night's Democratic debate (with special guest villain Tulsi Gabbard). This made sense because she's the frontrunner whose son isn't a colossal fuckup. Candidates treat you differently when you're no longer the kooky wonk whose endorsement they'd try to land next year. But the style of attack was a sharp contrast from how Republicans attacked Donald Trump during the 2016 primary debates. Jeb Bush boasted after the South Carolina debate that he'd shown voters that Trump "wasn't a conservative." Republicans don't run away from their ideological conservatism. But too many self-proclaimed "moderate" Democrats act as if no one really likes policies more progressive than wearing a flag pin. They tried to unmask Warren and Bernie Sanders as -- gasp! -- liberals like it was an episode of "Scooby Doo."

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News

Who Invited Tulsi? Your Democratic Debate Liveblog!

Tonight will change nothing.

Are you excited about tonight's debate? Haha of course not, let's just fake it and pretend like we care.

You want a livestream? CAN'T HAVE ONE, THIS IS CNN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

However, here is the full film Mac and Me, which is about an alien and is a very bad movie but you love it.

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2020 democratic primary

Can Mike Bloomberg Save Democrats, His Bank Account From Elizabeth Warren?

She's got the centrists scared silly!

Elizabeth Warren is a frontrunner now in the Democratic primary, and this has a lot of foxes worried that a chick might wind up running the hen house. The "establishment" -- Democrats, Republicans, anyone with a morning talk show -- wants a return to the status quo, where the president was polite and no one complained about their student loan debt and medical-related bankruptcy. The "establishment" is convinced only Joe Biden can beat him. Warren, however, doesn't see the point of a primary if she doesn't try to win actually win it. This unorthodox campaign strategy has thrown Biden off his footing. He had a disappointing fundraising quarter, coming in behind Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg, and people are starting to worry.

"A lot of us are really concerned," another Democratic bundler said. "We think Biden is the strongest out of the lot, but he hasn't exactly shown that he can play the part yet."

They're desperate for a central casting president, aren't they? Biden just needs to learn his lines and commit to the part. But the show must go on and what it Biden can't perform? On "Morning Joe" the other day, Mika Brzezinski fretted over Biden's struggles. If he doesn't win, that leaves a "void" in the Democratic Party. Who can possibly beat Trump? Trump's approval rating is 42 percent. I was a liberal arts major but I'm still confident that's a minority of the electorate. People are acting like he's George Foreman before the Rumble in the Jungle.

BRZEZINSKI: I personally love Elizabeth Warren... I would potentially vote for her.

Your enthusiasm is overwhelming.

BRZEZINSKI: But you know what? The people who are really tired of Trump who are looking for an alternative, who would be very comfortable with Joe Biden, they're left without a candidate if Joe Biden can't make it through.

No, these people aren't "left without a candidate." There are enough Democrats running that every voter could have their own personally engraved candidate. OK, fine, I guess fragile white men need a Biden backup. Howard Schultz dropped out, but there's no dearth of rich white guys who think they know everything and can run the country. What's former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg up to these days? Bloomberg said in March he wasn't going to run, but that was before Biden launched his campaign. Uncle Joe was at his peak electability.

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2020 democratic primary

Good Luck At The Debate Tomorrow Night, Tulsi Gabbard! (It Is Tonight)

Your Democratic debate preview! Don't nobody tell Tulsi it's tonight.

Ohhhhhhhhhh thank GOLLY, It's time for another Democratic debate! We only have 17,628 more of these before the candidate field is whittled down to the top five or so, and none of them will be as good as the SNL versions.

CNN Equality Town Hall Cold Open - SNL www.youtube.com

The most important thing about this debate, the thing that's been keeping you up at night worrying, is that Tulsi Gabbard has announced that she will attend and participate, despite how the DNC is "rigging" the primary by making Tulsi Gabbard so weird that nobody likes her or wants to vote for her.

Somehow, though, despite that grave discrimination, and despite all the polling requirements and fundraising requirements and her being a bad candidate and a fake Democrat and all the rest, she managed to actually qualify for this debate, so fuck it, the more the merrier.

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foreign policy

'Thoughts And Prayers' To Our Kurdish Allies

It's your Sunday Show Rundown.

Between Donald Trump giving Turkey the go-ahead to invade Northern Syria and Rudy Giuliani and his League of Extraordinary Dipshits, it's been a really long week marked by a total lack of integrity.

Let's begin with a returning guest to this column but in a different format: Kellyanne Conway, appearing with her trademark dishonesty on Maria Bartiromos' Fox News safe space, "Sunday Morning Futures." Conway attacked Joe Biden for his son's foreign business ties after Hunter Biden announced (belated!) plans to step down from the board of a Chinese private equity firm:

CONWAY: Yes, well, he should have done this quite a while ago. In fact, he probably shouldn't have been on the board to begin with. He hitched a ride on Air Force Two with the vice president of the United States, also his father at that time, came back with sweetheart deals, and I am really disappointed in so many members of the mainstream media stretching their necks to defend Hunter Biden, saying -- and we must say that there's no -- there's no wrongdoing here, nothing illegal. […] This is a part of how Donald Trump won in the first place, saying that we're going to get rid of these sweetheart deals, we're going to make sure that we clean up the -- the axis of power in a place like Washington, D.C., where someone like Hunter Biden can get a $50,000 a month retainer for a Ukrainian energy company when everybody knows that he doesn't have that skill set.

Conway also decided to preview the next set of attacks against Elizabeth Warren (and the Democratic Party) if Biden continues falling in the polls:

CONWAY: I do think it's funny that in a party that says "we're woke" and "we're going to be transformational," they're not backing the African-American woman, they're not backing the African-American man, they're not - - they're not backing the gay man, the mayor, you know? We're going to have people who are different as our -- they could do that. Those are Democratic primary voters, and they've got the -- the three white people at the top of the polls.

Now the level of dishonesty and lack of self-awareness form Conway is astonishing. From Ivanka's Chinese trademarks to Don Jr. and Eric gallivanting through foreign countries for deals to Jared Kushner's unqualified ass being in charge of Middle East peace to Trump himself having foreign leaders at his resorts (not to mention his towers in Turkey, which are causing some questions right now), Conway's charge of nepotism and the impropriety is laughable. The idea that the most discriminatory and least diverse administration would lecture Dems on diversity or race is mind-boggling. Take a look:

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2020 democratic primary

Serious Media Very Concerned Elizabeth Warren Is So Awesome She'll Help Re-Elect Trump

Only timid centrism can save us from Trump.

Elizabeth Warren had a kickass moment at Thursday's CNN Equality Town Hall. She stood up for marriage equality and didn't coddle bigots. The exchange quickly went viral because it's AWESOME. So naturally, the dude punditry has arrived to mansplain why Warren exciting voters is a bad thing and will ensure Donald Trump wins a second term.

These people think anything Democrats do will re-elect Trump. If Democrats advocate for progressive policies, that'll re-elect Trump. If Democrats don't simply dismiss the rabid bigotry of Trump's supporters as a charming eccentricity, that'll also re-elect Trump. These are the primaries. Candidates are supposed to appeal to their party's base, not lecture them on the merits of incrementalism.

Candidate Trump had more than a few "flaws" in 2016, and the media shamelessly enabled them. That didn't help Hillary Clinton, who you might notice isn't currently president. On Mediaite, John Ziegler argues that Warren's "mic drop" moment was actually "contemptuous" of people (i.e. "bigots") who disagree with her that gay people have rights.

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2020 democratic primary

At CNN Town Hall, Democrats Talk About LGBTQ People Like They Are People

Oh, and Joe Biden comes out as gay.

Nine of the Democratic presidential candidates participated in CNN's Equality Town Hall Thursday night. They directly addressed issues relevant to LGBTQ Americans as if they are citizens who vote. This is probably one of the biggest shifts in politics I've personally witnessed in my (middle-lengthy) adult life. LGBTQ people were politically invisible just a couple decades ago. If they were acknowledged at all, the focus remained on the perspective and comfort level of straight people. Here's a CNN compilation of presidential and vice presidential candidates declaring their opposition to same-sex marriage. This includes Ellen DeGeneres's BFF George W. Bush and current Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who eventually voiced his support in 2012. Ellen should probably hang out more with Uncle Joe.

Presidential Candidates on Same-Sex Marriage www.youtube.com

So, in just seven years and two presidential cycles, Democrats stopped centering heterosexual unions. They no longer nod and agree with Republicans that we must defend "traditional" marriage from whatever gay people are doing that they'd rather not discuss. Two of the moderators at last night's town hall were openly gay men, Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon. Lemon is engaged and plans to "redefine" the hell out of marriage. And we should never forget that an actual presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, is openly gay and married to a man. Even back in 2008, when the leading Democratic candidates were a black man and a woman, we'd have considered this a fantasy or merely the subject for an unfunny "Saturday Night Live" sketch. Now, it's reality, assholes, and if you start talking about "traditional marriage between one man and one woman," our girl Elizabeth Warren is going to tell you to sit down and shut up.

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2020 democratic primary

Crazy Aunt Tulsi Gabbard Running Around Screaming 'RIGGED' Again

Putin sends his thanks.

Tulsi Gabbard is sad and mad because her presidential campaign is a joke no one finds funny. She's yet to reach the comedic heights of Marianne Williamson, and God knows she's tried. The congresswoman from Hawaii, a state that deserves better, is polling at roughly half a percentage point. She didn't qualify for the September Democratic primary debate but a rounding error earned her an invitation to the October 15 showdown. (Yes, we just looked it up; there is one.) Now she's not so sure she even wants to attend their crummy debate. She knows no one likes her. Maybe she'll just stay home.

I'm so tired of the "corporate media" epithet. It's simplistic and reductive. There's crap produced "authentically" in someone's basement, and there's decent work published by organizations with shareholders. The Democratic National Committee has bent over backwards to accommodate the exploding clown car of candidates, but Gabbard believes there's some conspiracy between the DNC and "corporate media" to "rig" the primary. Lady, you sound like a goddamn child or, worse, Donald Trump when you claim elections are "rigged" without any fact-based evidence.

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2020 democratic primary

How Responsible Is Kamala Harris For What Goes On At Husband's Firm On Scale Of Not At All To Hell, Naw?

Harris 'forced' to deal with more sexist media coverage.

Vanina Guerrero, a junior partner at DLA Piper, has accused one of the law firm's top deal makers of sexual assault. Guerrero charged in a complaint that Louis Lehot attacked her at least four times since she joined the firm in September 2018. Lehot is the co-managing partner at DLA Piper's branch in Palo Alto, California. He's also (allegedly) an asshole who Guerrero claims "regularly" told her "she was a successful lawyer only because men were attracted to her."

This case is gross and awful, but it's also larger news because Kamala Harris's husband, Douglas Emhoff, is a partner at DLA Piper. Of course, Emhoff isn't Lehot, not even if you rearrange the letters in his name. But people who've watched "Ally McBeal" or "Boston Legal" think big firms have just three partners who know each other and make all the decisions. DLA Piper has 1,246 partners and 3,702 total employees. Emhoff is also based in the Los Angeles, California, and DC offices. The press still treated us to the following headline:

NBC News

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Impeachment

If You Don’t Stop And Look Around, You Might Miss The Impeachment. Your Sunday Show Rundown!

When the best you've got defending you on the Sunday shows is Ron Johnson and Jim Jordan, your prospects are not looking good.

The long-awaited Trump impeachment is speeding up! Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys for the Ukrainium One whistleblower, has stated he is now representing " multiple whistleblowers. The announcement of a second whistleblower -- the second intel whistleblower, on top of the IRS whistleblower who already existed, and who is being described as "an intelligence official with first-hand knowledge" (NOT "hearsay," Lindsey Graham!) of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint, threw a wrench on ALL the talking points of Trump's ardent defenders, to the point that nobody from the White House even showed up for the Sunday shows. But a couple of idiots from Congress did!

It was perhaps most difficult this week for GOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Appearing on NBC's "Meet The Press," OshKosh M'Gosh Johnson was asked about what he told the Wall Street Journal about how EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland told him Trump was doing quid pro quos with Ukraine and basically extorting the nation for electoral assistance in exchange, but don't worry, Donald Trump told him that's a damn lie and Donald Trump always tells the truth.

It did not go well for Johnson.

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Ukraine

GOP Senator From MENSA Gonna Ban Joe Biden From Getting Hired In Ukraine EVER AGAIN!

CONSARN IT ALL TO HELL, THEY'RE GETTIN' STUPIDER.

A week ago or so, we all collectively were SO PROUD of Chuck Todd for like eight minutes on a Tuesday when we looked up at our TV and -- inexplicably -- saw Todd doing actual journalism in the general direction of GOP Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana. As a lone banjo's strum echoed through a southern Louisiana mangrove swamp, providing the lone musical accompaniment to whatever the hell Kennedy was saying about Joe Biden's fake Ukrainium One "scandal," Chuck Todd, for once in his life, was simply not having it.

We are unsurprised to report to you that Kennedy did not learn a damn thing from Chuck Todd that day, and has decided to introduce some show legislation that won't go anywhere, in order to look like he's doing a thing to help change the focus from Donald Trump's Ukrainian high crimes and misdemeanors, and make it about Joe Biden.

Here's an official statement from an actual sitting United States senator:

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popular

Some Neat Stuff For A Lazy Sunday

And also this will be your open thread

Hello! Dok is out on VACATION this week, so that means there will be no Nice Things. I mean, there will be nice things, but not in an official, capitalized capacity.

Still, I've got some good stuff to show you anyway, and then you can all go and talk amongst yourselves! OK? OK!

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Media/Entertainment

David Brooks Knows Who Killed America: Elizabeth Warren, In The White House, With A Plan

Brooks predicts nightmare future where smart woman is president.

David Brooks has seen the future and it's an Elizabeth Warren presidency. Awesome! But let's not get too excited. Brooks isn't known for his prognosticative powers.

RealClearPolitics

In his latest column that the New York Times still prints for some reason, Brooks "looks back" on a Warren presidency from the year 2050. I don't know why he chose this specific point in the future. Thirty years after George H.W. Bush was elected, the Times forgot all about Willie Horton and instead wrote about his "uncommon grace." By 2050, they'll be releasing glowing biographies about Warren called The Selfie Queen. But Brooks, who'll still write for the Times in 2050 because God hates us, promises to paint a more sober picture.

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2020 democratic primary

Tom Steyer Won't Tell You Where His Money Comes From So Please Make Him President

He's now our least favorite Tim Ryan.

Billionaire Tom Steyer's vanity campaign for president is coming along nicely. He's bought his way onto the stage for the next Democratic debate. Sure, he doesn't propose stopping hurricanes with mental telepathy but he's still not remotely qualified for the job. We've tried electing rich white guys with no political experience. We don't think it'll work out better even if Steyer's significantly less racist.

One big issue -- and there are so many -- with Donald Trump is that he keeps his skeevy finances on the QT and very hush-hush. Turns out Steyer doesn't want to tell us where his money comes from, either. He gave a "broad view of his extensive assets and sources of income," but he won't go into detail about "significant segments of his investment portfolio" because of confidentiality agreements and other reasons that benefit rich guys.

Steyer's down low assets have a reported worth between $370 million and $742 million. That's quite a range. And the total could be even higher. It's at the point where you don't even bother counting the money any more. His financial advisers could be stealing from him and he'd never notice, like barnacles on a whale.

The Office of Government Ethics was repeatedly told to fuck off by Steyer in the most polite legalese. Regarding his holdings in 43 different "investment vehicles," Steyer stated that "underlying assets are not disclosed due to a preexisting confidentiality agreement." But don't worry. He pledges to fully divest from them all if he's elected president. Wait ... why can't he do that now?

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News

Meet Briscoe Cain, The Texas Rep Idiot Who Death Threated Beto Last Night. WHAT A BIG MAN!

Also describes himself as 'gorgeous wife' in his Twitter bio.

Beto O'Rourke had a good debate last night. First of all, he was warned beforehand that he was not allowed to say his normal campaign speech, which is "COCK DICK MOTHERFUCKER PISS WHISTLE BOOTIE HOLE WEENER WEENER WEENER" -- fits on a long bumper sticker! -- because there wouldn't be a delay to bleep out his naughtiness, and he mostly remained cuss-free! Candidates on the stage seemed like they were having a competition to say nice things to Beto, specifically about how amazing he's been speaking out after the horrific mass terrorist shooting in his hometown of El Paso. We reckon that while Beto may not be in striking distance of becoming one of the frontrunners in the presidential race, he's about at the front of the pack when it comes to the veepstakes, especially if somebody like Warren wins. (Those frontrunners are not idiots. They would like to win Texas.)

And one of Beto's big moments came when he was asked if he was FOR REAL when he said he was gonna grab yer guns, specifically your AR-15s and your AK-47. His answer? Fuck yes he is. Or rather, because he was not allowed to say cusses, FUDGE YEAH!

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