Beto O'Rourke Was Born To Be In This Headline

Let's take a look at this new Vanity Fair thingamajig about Beto's thingamajig!

Did you see the new Vanity Fair cover story about Robert Francis O'Rourke AKA Beto AKA Bingo AKA Sir Roberto Duvallier Francisco Domingo O'Rourke, XIV, Esq.? Clearly the new issue was timed with the roll-out of Beto's presidential campaign (COLLUSION!), and everybody's talking about it, so we'll talk about it, too!

First of all, we should note that That Thing is happening again, that happens to many candidates (especially women candidates!), where #TheMedia does a clickbait headline that isn't quite accurate, and before you know it, Twitter is off to the races saying OH YEAH, BETO? YOU WERE BORN TO DO THIS? IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK? GUESS I BETTER NOT READ THE ARTICLE TO SEE IF THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK, BECAUSE UHHHHHHHHH I SEEN THE PICTURE!


Let's see what he actually said.

"This is the fight of our lives," he continues, "not the fight-of-my-political-life kind of crap.

But, like, this is the fight of our lives as Americans, and as humans, I'd argue."

The more he talks, the more he likes the sound of what he's saying. "I want to be in it," he says, now leaning forward. "Man, I'm just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment."

Oh. That's different.

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2020 presidential election

Beto O'Rourke: Who, This Old Thing?

Come on in, Beto, the water's fine!

Beto O'Rourke, the three-term former congressman from El Paso, Texas, who narrowly lost a 2018 Senate bid against Ted Cruz, announced today he's running for president. Of your pants. Let's watch his announcement video, which is pleasantly non-flashy, not a dramatic soundtrack or jump cut to be seen anywhere. Just Beto talking about America and coming together, while his wife Amy holds his hand, and at one or two moments where he's really warmed to his topic, apparently working to hold him down so he won't jump up off the couch.

Beto O'Rourke announces he's running for president

O'Rourke is clearly going for the same positive, come-together and solve our problems because we're Americans dammit tone that he used in his Senate campaign, and he makes a pretty good pitch:

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Elizabeth Warren Will Tell You Why Mike Pence Sucks Every Day Until The End Of Time

Gay-hating VP is neither honorable nor decent.

Elizabeth Warren fully believes Donald Trump is terrible, but she's not delusional enough to think Mike Pence will prove some great relief. Trump's lickspittle vice president is no mild-mannered Gerald Ford who'll help end our current "long national nightmare." Pence is a queer-hating religious bigot. Warren intends to tell you this, very slowly and clearly, until everyone has wised up.

Warren was on "Morning Joe" yesterday, which is what we guess you have to do when you're running for president. Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked her if she thought Brutus Pence was an "honorable man." Warren quickly and reflexively said, "No," as if Brzezinski had offered the Massachusetts senator Manhattan clam chowder. Brzezinski was seemingly stunned, because Democrats are expected to be "civil" and talk about their "friends across the aisle" as if the past 30 years of political history never happened. She asked Warren if she'd "like to expound upon that." Warren said, "Sure!" in that adorably enthusiastic way she has. She's up for any opportunity to tell the world why Pence ain't shit.

WARREN: Anyone who engages in the kind of homophobia and attacks on people who are different from himself is not an honorable person. That's not what honorable people do.
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Spectacular Stacey Abrams Says She May Run For President! Also Beto Might Too

But it sure would be nice if we had a Democratic Senate ...

Stacey Abrams and Beto O'Rourke each have a very important decision to make, and that decision could change the trajectory of their lives, reform the Democratic Party, and perhaps even affect the future of this nation for generations to come. Here we are, a year out from the Democratic primary, we have a bajillion candidates running, and The Great Unpleasantness of 2016 still looms painfully and bitterly large (on social media, not in real life, okay?) in our beautiful minds. We literally have a full plate, an over abundance, a smorgasbord of candidates, really it's the makings of a Brokered Convention*, so isn't the most logical and reasonable plan to cajole Beto and Stacey Abrams into joining the fray? Of course it is.

Besides, what else do you do when you are a strong black woman who was robbed of a governorship by a feckless fumplepunt of a Secretary of State who was literally rigging the race he was running in, as the nation watched in horror? How about if you are a soulful emo white guy who galvanized Texas, only to be defeated by The Zodiac Killer in a Senate race? If you are a Democrat from a Red State who almost dick punched the GOP to death, you remind yourself that Trump didn't actually "win" either, and you prepare yourself to try to take his job. Fuck it.

*I don't mind this.

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Facebook Hits Elizabeth Warren With A Banhammer For Being Mean To Facebook

Maybe Mark Zuckerberg DOES have emotions after all!

Facebook doesn't seem too happy Elizabeth Warren. After the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced she would, if elected, try and break up big tech monopolies, her Facebook ads started disappearing across its platform. It's entirely possible that this is all part of some bizarre coincidence, but there's a chance that Mark Zuckerberg, drunk on power and Mountain Dew, hit Warren with a ban hammer for having the balls to call him on his bullshit. Maybe Warren was right?

Facebook has since restored Warren's ad "in the interest of allowing robust debate." A spox says that the ad violated their policies against using their corporate logo -- in this instance a lower-case "f" -- instead of the word "Facebook." None of Warren's other ads were taken down, but none of the other ads were videos arguing that Facebook buys up competitors to create a monopoly.

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Post-Racial America

Nancy Pelosi Punches Trump In Face For Entire Length Of Washington Post Interview

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.

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2020 presidential election

Boy Mayor Pete Buttigieg Did An SXSW Town Hall AND IT WAS YAY!

Ice Town Costs Ice Clown ... wait, different boy mayor.

Pete Buttigieg made a very strong case for Americans learning how to pronounce his weirdass train wreck of a name this weekend. In a CNN town hall broadcast Sunday from Austin's South By Southwest, Buttigieg came across as genuine and assured, dare we even say "presidential," although that adjective has taken a beating in recent years. This one appearance seems pretty certain to boost his support, taking him from a novelty (the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, thinks he can be president?) to one of the contenders who might go well past the first couple primary states. Dude's scary smart -- like a whole bunch of the other 2020 candidates, too. We want to see him talk economics with Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris!

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IT'S ALL FINE. Wonkagenda For Mon., March 11, 2019

Trump's bigass budget, the horse race for 2020, and Erik Prince miiiight have lied to congress. Your morning news brief!

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

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2020 presidential election

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Beat Big Tech With An Antitrust Stick

She said it very softly, so you may not have heard her.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just just quietly threatened to beat big tech monopolies with a big stick. Channeling the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt, Warren has proposed a plan to break up companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google in order to trim the bloated and douchey tech industry. By threatening Silicon Valley's socially awkward hoodie Hitlers, she's sending a signal to the rest of the corporatocracy that their tax-payer funded free lunch is over. It's about damn time!

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Howard Schultz: Go The F**K Away Forever

Get lost, you condescending coffee creep!

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz turned up at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, today to remind people of his ongoing threat to run for president as a "centrist independent" or "someone who believes in nothing very strongly." Schultz doesn't mind if his vanity campaign helps re-elect Donald Trump, as all experts in electoral politics and basic math predict, because he thinks Democrats are the absolute worst. They keep trying to "inspire" voters with "ambitious" proposals. Meanwhile, Schultz is here to deliver platitudes funded from sales of overpriced burnt coffee.

Schultz has given dull, vapid speeches before but he decided to go double or nothing during his "featured session" with Dylan Byers. We're starting to feel like Schultz pursued a career in peddling legal stimulants so the people who spent any significant amount of time around him could stay awake. What new and exciting non-policies and compromised beliefs did he have to share?

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Republicans hate HR 1 even more than condemning racism.

The House of Representatives voted today to pass HR 1, the Democrats' big package of voting-reform measures, aka the "For the People Act." The measure passed on a party-line vote, because Republicans just can't stand the bill. Letting more Americans vote more easily is obviously a "power grab." Also, some no doubt grumbled that phrases like "for the people" are Republican Worship Words and shall not be used by dirty evil Democrats who all hate America. Let's take a look at the excellent democracy-restoring ideas in this bill, after a brief pause for some asshole to sneer, "it's not a democracy, it's a Republic!!!!"

HR 1 is a great big grab bag of terrific ideas to restore and protect the right to vote for millions of Americans after years of Republican efforts -- at both the federal and state levels -- to rig the system in Republicans' favor. So in a sense, Mitch McConnell was right when he condemned it as a "power grab"; he just failed to mention it's grabbing power back from the rightwing minority that's been imposing its will on most Americans. HR 1 includes a whole bunch of neat features to fix our broken voting system and expand access to the ballot:

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2020 presidential election

Sherrod Brown Nixes 2020 Run To Keep Kicking Ass In Senate

Keep doing what you're doing, Sherrod!

Sen. Sherrod Brown announced today that he's not going to run for president, but will instead back whoever the 2020 Democratic nominee is, and keep fighting the good fight in the US Senate. On a conference call with Ohio reporters, Brown explained that's where he enjoys himself the most:

As you've heard me say many times, when you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work. I fight best when I bring joy to the battle, [...] And I find that joy fighting for Ohio in the Senate. So that's where I can be most effective.

Fair enough! Brown sure had looked like he was gearing up for a presidential run, what with going on a high profile "Dignity of Work" listening tour of states that just happened to hold the first few presidential caucuses and primaries. As notes, the crowded primary field and Brown's expensive 2018 reelection campaign may have put him at some disadvantage, although Brown insisted on the call those factors had nothing to do with his decision:

"It's not fear of any specific opponent. It wasn't process. It wasn't money," Brown said. "I wrestled with this since talking with my family about it at Christmas."

Brown also said it was a "nonfactor" that if he'd actually won the presidency, his Senate seat would be filled with an appointment by Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, a Republican -- and honestly, we can kind of buy that, since that's a pretty high level of chicken-counting anyway.

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2020 presidential election

Michael Bloomberg, Get The F*ck ... Okay Thanks!

Gonna use his billions to fight for green energy instead, so that's TWO good things!

Looks like Howard Schultz will remain the loneliest billionaire running for president, since former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided not to run for the Democratic nomination. Bloomberg announced his decision in an op-ed for Bloomberg News, which right there is one of those things that certainly calls attention to his being obscenely rich, huh? There's no Elizabeth Warren News Agency, is there? (Yes there is, it is Yr Wonkette.)

Bloomberg said he believed he could beat Donald Trump, but that he was also "clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field." He framed his decision not to run as a chance to get important stuff done before 2021:

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Poor Marks. Wonkagenda For Wed., March 6, 2019

Trump's stonewalling and screaming, Republicans are squirming, and a lovely tribute for Rep. John Dingell. Your morning news brief!

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

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Jay Inslee Humiliates Meghan McCain On 'The View' So He's Officially President Now

Washington governor smacks down McCain's Green New Deal lies.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is running for president and his primary focus is fighting climate change. We are just a generation away from desperate scientists strapping their kids in rocket ships and sending them off to to be superheroes in disappointing movies. However, conservatives still act like it's 2000 and Al Gore is whining about trees. Why should they care about any of this?

Inslee appeared on "The View" Monday where he was grilled by resident Republicans Abby Huntsman and Meghan McCain. It was a tag-team concern trolling effort. Huntsman reminded Inslee that he doesn't just have to beat the dozen or so other Democrats and Bernie Sanders in the race but also eventually Donald Trump. We're pretty sure at least one of Inslee's advisers mentioned this to him. Huntsman wondered how Inslee hoped to defeat Trump with such a weak sauce platform as defending humanity from global catastrophe.

HUNTSMAN: "You saw [Trump] at CPAC. Whether you agree with him or not, he knows how to get people riled up. He gets headlines. He gets attention. The media's always talking about him. Climate change? That's not the number one issue for many, many people in this country."

Huntsman talks about Trump like Principal Rooney's secretary describing Ferris Bueller: "He's very popular, Jay. White nationalists, conspiracy theorists, wasteoids ... they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude." She straight-up tells Inslee he's just too dull to beat Trump. Why would the media bother covering him and his boring "real" issues when they could devote air time to Trump's rambling, deranged declarations of fake national emergencies?

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