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Culture Wars

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Will Cut Your Yarbles Off If She Must, But Only If She REALLY Has To.

Why yes, we DO like her.

As we've said before, we really like the cut of Kirsten Gillibrand's jib. The junior US senator from New York was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat in 2009 when Hillz became Secretary of State, and has quickly become one of the more prominent progressive members of the Senate, advocating for single-payer healthcare, calling to abolish ICE (or radically restructure it, really), and throughout her tenure, leading the fight against sexual assault abuse in the military. And while we must always temper talk of any candidate being a shoo-in for reelection with that warning from noted political pundit Our Girlfriend, "there are no sure things in politics anymore," all the political prediction people consider Gillibrand's seat "solid/safe/likely" Democratic this year. As one indicator, consider yesterday's New York Times piece noting that while Gillibrand's campaign has raised a bit under $11 million, she hasn't spent a dime on TV advertising this year -- which may just give you some hints about her plans for 2020.

Gillibrand, needless to say, says the mandatory "I want to be senator for the next six years" line as convincingly as every other potential presidential candidate does, which is also what she said in 2013 when there was speculation she was looking at a run in 2016. Then again, six years ago, she actually spent over $8 million on her Senate campaign.

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2018 State and Local Elections

'Guilty Until Proven Innocent.' Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 17, 2018

Trump does more interviews, voter suppression is already happening, and Canada legalized weed. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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News

Ralph Nader Yelling At Dems To Support The Billionaire Who's An Actual Corporation

So, that's a twist.

The number of Democratic presidential candidates for whom Donald Trump will have to come up with insulting nicknames might've increased by one last week when Mike Bloomberg changed his political party affiliation back to blue. (The former mayor of New York was formerly an Independent. During most of the Bush years, he was a Republican but, hey, with W. at the helm and a disastrous Iraq War, who wasn't eager to ride that elephant?) Now that he's returned to his political home, will he receive a hero's welcome as prelude to a presidential run? Not exactly.

Bloomberg is obviously not a great fit for the current Trump-led GOP that's basically the corpses of Ayn Rand, Phyllis Schlafly, and Al Capone stitched together in Frankenstein's lab. He supports same-sex marriage, gun control, and non-flat-earth science. But the billionaire also isn't some penniless hippie who spends his weekends at nude love-ins with fellow New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He's mostly rejected progressive views on big business and singled out Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up Wall Street banks as "wrongheaded." Bloomberg is also not beloved among black voters -- a significant Democratic primary electorate -- for his administration's stop and frisk policy, which he continues to defend.

Yet Bloomberg could have appeal as the Democrat's fun-sized, actual billionaire answer to the president. Like Trump in 2016 and arguably even now, he is viewed as a "moderate" by white voters. He's not some “free money for fools" or #MeToo-emasculated liberal. A sufficiently crowded field with no real heir apparent candidate could also improve Bloomberg's chances if he were to run. But what true progressive would fall for this? Well, for a start, how about Ralph Nader?

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Culture

Pay Up Trump: You Owe Liz Warren $1 Million Of Your Daddy's Money

Now stop calling her Pocahontas.

There's plenty of speculation that Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (by way of Oklahoma) is planning a presidential run in 2020. She's sent staffers to all four early primary states, and perhaps more importantly, she's provided proof of ancestry to appease Donald Trump.

The president, who charmingly calls Warren "Pocahontas," has repeatedly taunted the senator for her claims of Native American heritage. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has argued with what passes for a straight face that this isn't Trump being his usual racist self but is actually pointed political satire because of the unfounded theory that Warren Rachel Dolezal-ed her way to fame and fortune. Conservatives apparently think being a minority is such a cake walk that unscrupulous people can't help but take advantage of our exalted status in society. Anyway, Warren has had enough of this foolishness and is delivering receipts.

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Trade War

'I'm Not A Baby!' Wonkagenda For Mon., Oct. 15, 2018

Trump cries he isn't a baby, Elizabeth Warren has DNA evidence, and NYTimes seeks Kanye-Republicans. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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2018 State and Local Elections

Your Lies. Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 10, 2018

Trump blames the commies, healthcare is back, and the #BlueWave rises. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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National Politics

Nikki Haley's Got Two Thousand And Twenty Problems, But The UN Ambassadorship Ain't One

You won't have Nikki to kick around anymore.

Why is Nikki Haley noping out of the UN ambassadorship by year's end? Dunno! But we've got 2,020 guesses!

This morning, the Axios shoe phone rang with the news that the well-oiled White House machine was losing one of the last "adults in the room." Moments after Jonathan Swan broke the scoop, Trump tweeted a summons for reporters to race upstairs for a presser on yet another successful resignation. They said it couldn't be done, no one ever had such tremendous staff turnover. But Trump proved the haters wrong! Winning!

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Russia

BEACH WEEK! Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 03, 2018

Strap in, bitches, it's gonna be one of THOSE days.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Science

California Tries To Save The Internet, Jeff Sessions Sues It

Apparently states only have rights when they're denying them to gay people.

On Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown shoved a giant middle finger in the face of major telecom companies when he signed a law that adopts the strictest net neutrality laws in the country. Trump's ultra conservative DOJ promptly responded with a lawsuit that claims states don't have rights. As usual, the Trump administration is sticking up for the super rich little guys at the top corporate food chain.

California really chapped the ass of Trump administration this time because its law goes further than any previous net neutrality legislation, including the rescinded 2015 Obama rules. Under the new law signed by Gov. Brown, ISPs must treat all internet traffic equally, they can't throttle data speeds, set data caps, or provide fast-lanes for certain apps or websites. While dozens of states have already proposed or passed similar legislation, no other state has balls as big as Gov. Brown. He has repeatedly pissed all over Trump's leg and corporate America with legislation ranging from sanctuary cities to climate change. Obviously this means #HesRunning.

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News

What FBI Investigation? Wonkagenda For Mon., Oct. 1, 2018

Republicans have no Plan B, Trump inks a new NAFTA, and the FCC sues California. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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lawsplainer

Michael Avenatti Sees Your Raggedy Ass Coming, Michael Cohen

And he does not have time for your shit!

On second thought, Michael Cohen would like to fold, please. He's tapping out. Crying UNCLE. Invoking the slaughter rule. Sorry guys, he hears his Mom calling him home for dinner.

Except Your Boyfriend Michael Avenatti has Michael Cohen pinned down and wants to keep kicking him in the dick. Because two-bit bagmen should really, REALLY not pick fights with superstar litigators.

Last week, Michael Cohen and Donald Trump told a federal court in California that they were going to do Stormy Daniels a big favor and forget all about that Hush Money Agreement she signed 11 days before the 2016 presidential election. She's free to tell the world about that time she bumped uglies with Donald Trump and spanked him with his own cover photo. They'll even throw in a promise to withdraw from the Arbitration Agreement. Whatever.

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Elections

John Kerry, Uh, Thinks, Uh, Ohio Might Have Been, Uh, Hacked, Uh, In 2004

If you are the editrix's mom who loves him and is demanding to know if we're making fun of the way he talks, the answer is: yes.

Some people just love conspiracy theories: chemtrails, aliens, San Francisco drug-zones, and who really framed Roger Rabbit. They'll latch on to just about any nutty theory that proves they were right no matter how insane. Most the time, an overwhelmingly mountain of evidence from investigative journalists, academic researchers, and government agencies can disprove these armchair philosophers. Every now and then, the opposite happens and those same watchdogs stumble across an actual conspiracy, but nobody cares to listen. On Friday, John Kerry came around to some such research a little late, admitting 14 years later that something very strange happened in Ohio during the 2004 election.

In an appearance on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, Kerry acknowledged election irregularities in voter totals throughout Ohio during the 2004 election, and then explained his decision not to contest the results of the election.

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Post-Racial America

Can We Just Hurry Up And Make Kamala Harris President Already?

Cop this, bro pals.

Kamala Harris hasn't been a senator for even two years, and I'm already all in for her evicting that grotesque ass clown from the White House in 2020. My sister has been on fire lately. No grandstanding, no tweet storms, she's just doing the good work. She's gone after cash bail in the US, wants to give renters the same tax breaks homeowners enjoy, and last week she introduced legislation to address racial disparities in rates of maternal deaths across the US.

"Health equity for Black women can only happen if we recognize and address persistent biases in our health system," said Harris in a statement on [Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act]. "This bill is a step towards ensuring that all women have access to culturally competent, holistic care, and to address the implicit biases in our system."

Harris unashamedly looks out for black folks, especially women. This is frankly novel in the Senate. This is more than just recommending Aretha Franklin for a Congressional Gold Medal -- although, that's valid and important. Harris has sponsored 42 bills for the 115th Congress, advocating for clean air, census equality, and rent relief among others. (To compare, Elizabeth Warren has sponsored 70 and Bernie Sanders 26 in the same period.) I sometimes forget that Barack Obama was even a senator at all. It's like it was a backdoor pilot to his presidential spin-off series. Regardless of whatever higher political aspirations Harris might have and she totally has them, she's making her current time in the Senate count.

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Russia

Forty-Four Percent Of Americans Continue To Be Fucking Idiots

That seems high.

Donald Trump ended his weekend of petty, shriveled-up raisin heart vindictiveness tweeting his latest approval ratings. His supporters, I'm sure, were waiting with bated breath like Ed McMahon at the end of one of Johnny Carson's Carnak routines. The NBC/WSJ poll covered a period during which totally random individuals with no real connection to Trump, such as his former campaign chairman and his personal attorney, either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of serious felonies. So, what was the damage? Are we close to waking from this "long, national nightmare"?

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Russia

Thoughts And Prayers. Wonkagenda For Mon., Aug 27, 2018

Another mass shooting, Sen. John McCain passed away, and President Bone Spurs tweets his approval ratings. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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