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Yr Wonkette Has A Three-Month Stockpile Of Nice Things

Switzerland ignited a very civilized -- if somewhat jittery -- outcry last week over its decision to stop stockpiling coffee beans as part of a century-old program to make sure that basic essentials of life can be made available to all Swiss folks in case of an emergency. Smithsonian magazine explains:

In the wake of World War I, Switzerland's government decided to stockpile enough essential items to sustain the country's citizens for three months. If the landlocked country faced severe shortages, the plan's creators reasoned, its residents would be able to survive on the rations. Today, writes BBC News' Imogen Foulkes, the list of staples earmarked for stockpiling includes fuel, fresh water, animal feed, medicine, sugar, flour, cooking oil, rice and—to the great satisfaction of Switzerland's caffeine-loving population—15,000 tons of coffee.

The Swiss government noticed that coffee has no real nutritional value, but came to the erroneous conclusion that means it's not an essential of life. Swiss people respectfully disagreed, and if they hadn't had their morning coffee, may have been somewhat less respectful. The government is now reconsidering the decision. Especially since a lack of coffee may constitute an emergency in itself.

Along similar lines, we would like to think that in these Hell Times, a regular supply of cat pictures, please, and other fluff may seem easy to dismiss, but nonetheless necessary for mental health. Or at least a welcome reminder that even in the deepening gloom, your dog is finally getting enough cheese.

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Masha, Masha, Masha! Yovanovitch, That Is. (Impeachment Liveblog, Day Two!)

Good morning! Adam Schiff is apparently not aware that it is the crack of dawn in all the Americas where Washington DC is not currently located, so this is starting at 9 AM Eastern instead of 10 AM Eastern, which would be much more reasonable. Do you want people to turn the TV on and just happen to see this, because it's on all the channels? WELL, IT WOULD HELP IF THEY WERE AWAKE.

Anyway, it's almost time for the testimony of Marie "Masha" Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine fired after a smear campaign from Rudy Giuliani, because she was standing in the way of the corruption and crime Trump and pals wanted to foist upon Ukraine. Thus, today is the first hearing where we will be hearing from a victim of Trump's crimes.

In the transcript of Trump's treason call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump ominously said of Yovanovitch that "she's going to go through some things." She testified that she felt threatened by that statement from Trump, because of how it's fucking creepy.

Today, Donald Trump will "go through some things," because he gets to watch Yovanovitch testify in his impeachment investigation.

Let's liveblog this shit.

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The 876,601 Stupidest Things Fox News Said About Bill Taylor And George Kent

The one thing we haven't spent much time on after Wednesday's inaugural impeachment hearing of Donald J. Trump is what Fox News was doing while it was going on. As there will be 678,000 of these hearings, we won't be able to write a post like this for each one. Hell, next week we're doing THREE DAYS STRAIGHT of hearings.

That said, Fox News was pretty sure Fox News didn't know what the fuck to do with all this. Herein, we will rank the 876,601 dumbest things Fox News and its hosts had to say about the hearings, both while they were going and afterward, and by "rank" we mean "in no particular order," and by "876,601" we mean "not that."

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Somehow Guy Suing Imaginary Cow Not Most Embarrassing Republican At Impeachment Hearing

If you watched the first Trump impeachment hearing with witnesses Bill Taylor and George Kent, one thing you might have noticed is just how fuckin' weird all the Fox News conspiracy theories probably sounded to anybody who doesn't spend their life mainlining Fox News conspiracy theories off the TV screen while they imagine what it would be like to mainline them directly off Sean Hannity's nipples.

To be clear: Most people don't watch Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham. A lot of people are going to catch these hearings because they're in the doctor's office or waiting for their haircut at Fantastic Sams or they were planning to watch "Judge Judy" but this goddamned impeachment is pre-empting everything and now they'll never know if Judge Judy is going to rule that the defendant was wrong for that and owes the plaintiff 200 dollars. Try to see these hearings from the perspective of somebody who isn't paying close attention like you are, and also doesn't think Sean Hannity is a god of honesty and decency.

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Nice Time

Yr Wonkette Has A Three-Month Stockpile Of Nice Things

Happily, no need for rationing!

Switzerland ignited a very civilized -- if somewhat jittery -- outcry last week over its decision to stop stockpiling coffee beans as part of a century-old program to make sure that basic essentials of life can be made available to all Swiss folks in case of an emergency. Smithsonian magazine explains:

In the wake of World War I, Switzerland's government decided to stockpile enough essential items to sustain the country's citizens for three months. If the landlocked country faced severe shortages, the plan's creators reasoned, its residents would be able to survive on the rations. Today, writes BBC News' Imogen Foulkes, the list of staples earmarked for stockpiling includes fuel, fresh water, animal feed, medicine, sugar, flour, cooking oil, rice and—to the great satisfaction of Switzerland's caffeine-loving population—15,000 tons of coffee.

The Swiss government noticed that coffee has no real nutritional value, but came to the erroneous conclusion that means it's not an essential of life. Swiss people respectfully disagreed, and if they hadn't had their morning coffee, may have been somewhat less respectful. The government is now reconsidering the decision. Especially since a lack of coffee may constitute an emergency in itself.

Along similar lines, we would like to think that in these Hell Times, a regular supply of cat pictures, please, and other fluff may seem easy to dismiss, but nonetheless necessary for mental health. Or at least a welcome reminder that even in the deepening gloom, your dog is finally getting enough cheese.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Trump Re-Elects Democrat John Bel Edwards Governor Of Louisiana, Is There Nothing He Can't Do??

Truly, it is amazing.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump went to Louisiana to campaign for Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Eddie Rispone and to beg his supporters in the state to "give him a big win," on account of how it really hurt his feelings when everyone said that Democrat Andy Beshear beating Republican Matt Bevin in Kentucky was a big loss for him, even though, he claimed, his campaigning for Bevin led to him doing better than he would have otherwise. So really, it was a WIN, but the media won't tell you that.

Alas, he did not get his "big win." Last night, Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards won his re-election bid 51% to 49% against Rispone — a man who, as far as anyone can tell, was running on being a "Republican outsider and businessman" and nothing else. To be fair, Bel Edwards hates abortion, loves the Second Amendment and is happy to work with Trump, so it is hard to imagine what a Republican challenger could even do or say to differentiate themselves.

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Politics

Nate Silver Unclear As To Why Democrats Are Acting Like Their Ideas Are Good Or Something

Self-doubt is a prelude to disaster, bitches.

There is a certain kind of wisdom, long held by a certain type of Democrat, that the true path to victory is pretending as though all left-of-center ideas are vegetables that must be disguised as something other than vegetables to get people to eat them. I call this the Vegetti Principle.

Republicans do not abide by this principle. They will go right out there, push for the most extreme and horrifying thing they can think of and insist, whether or not it is actually the case, that it is what the people want. They sell the things they want and they sell them hard. The vast majority of people in this country want background checks, but you will never, ever hear a Republican say that out loud. You will never hear a Republican go "Oh gosh, maybe we should temper our position on gun control a little so we don't scare the people who want background checks!" You will never hear them say "Hmm... but it seems like women don't actually want to lose their reproductive rights!" Hell no. They go out there and start accusing us all of murdering perfectly healthy babies while we are giving birth to them, for funsies. They don't say "Oh, it seems like a lot of people are very supportive of trans rights," they say "They're going to molest your children in the bathroom!"

You will, however, hear Democrats going "Well maybe we need to concede to the Right a little more on gun control and abortion and trans rights and that's how we'll win! They'll be soooooooo grateful when they see how reasonable we are! Surely, people with conservative views in these areas will vote for us instead of the real thing. For reasons!"

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Legal

Texas To Hold Off On Executing Potentially Innocent Man

Rodney Reed argues that police have the evidence that could prove him innocent.

Rodney Reed has been on death row for two decades. The entire time, he has proclaimed his innocence. More than that, he has argued that police already have the evidence that could prove his innocence. And yet, he remains on death row and the evidence remains untested.

Yesterday, two very unusual things happened. First, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously recommended Texas Governor Greg Abbott stop the execution. And then, amazingly, the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals issued an indefinite stay of execution and sent Reed's case back down to the lower courts.

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Politics

Bill Barr Is Just Like, Really Sick Of You People Being So Mean To Poor Donald Trump, OK?

It's not fair!

Once upon a time, many years ago, Mitch McConnell told the National Journal that "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." John Boehner, for his part, said, regarding Obama's agenda, "We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can."

For the next eight years, we all had to endure a revival of tricorn hats, the plaintive cries of "BUT HE'S A SOSHALIST MUSLIN!" and the repeated insistence from many, including the current occupant of the White House, that President Obama was secretly not even a citizen of the United States.

This, because it came from Republicans, was totally fine and normal and good and righteous. It was assumed, naturally, that they would get to throw all these tantrums and that when it came time for a Republican to be in office, the Democrats would not. That they would be their usual gracious selves and let the president do whatever he wanted because "Golly, he is the president" You know, like most of them did with authorizing Dubya's invasion of Iraq.

But this time around, that doesn't seem to be happening, and Attorney General Bill Bar is not happy about it. In an address to a whole bunch of right-wing lawyers in the Federalist Society on Friday, Barr railed against those #resisting Trump and refusing to accept that the American people elected him knowing that he was not going to follow the rules. No, really.

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Education

New Ohio Law Would Provide Religious Students With A Safe Space From Facts

Our religious beliefs declare this post brilliant.

Ohio just decided to make their kids dumber. The state House of Representatives passed the Student Religious Liberties Act this week. The legislation will permit students to answer questions with any nonsense they want as long as it's what they think Jesus would do.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled House 61 to 31 or eleventy million to zero if you reject Satan's math. It will now move to the Senate, which religious-pandering Republicans also control. This is the relevant crazy-making portion of the text:

No school district board of education (...) shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments. Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work.

Ohio Rep. Timothy Ginter insists critics of the law are just possessed by liberal demons. The law will not in fact permit what it clearly says it will allow. Don't worry. Students can't refuse to answer test questions because the material conflicts with their religious views, but they can denounce their teachers as heretics. Gitner offers as a hypothetical Christian and Jewish students who believe (incorrectly) that the world was created just 6,000 years ago and is barely older than The Phantom of the Opera. He doesn't even bother to include anything a Muslim student might believe that also ignores observable scientific evidence.

The Simpsons - Bonerland youtu.be

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popular

Your Weekly Top Ten Asks Unanimous Consent To Give You This Raspberry

NOW READ YOUR TOP TEN STORIES RIGHT HERE, THPBBBPPPPPT!

It is your WEEKLY TOP TEN, and we let Evan out of writing it this weekend because he is doing all the liveblooging forever and we do not want his typing fingers falling off! Above is Yr Wonkette preschooler's thoughts on "impeachment hearings." They are not necessarily Chris Matthews-specific thoughts. Yr Dok Zoom remembers doing a giant jigsaw puzzle with his mom while the Watergate hearings were on TV, and apart from some senators nattering about "specificity," which seemed like a funny word to a ten-year-old, not a heck of a lot more. (It was a scene of the French Quarter in New Orleans, with many flowering vines that made a third of the jigsaw pieces look all the same. Fiendish.)

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Impeachment

Man Deballed By Nancy Pelosi Very Sad He Now Got No Balls

Oh James Rosen. Have some self-respect.

Nancy Pelosi thoroughly schooled a bootlicker for spewing a bunch of GOP talking points at a press conference, and where are we? Oh, here for it!

At yesterday's press conference, Sinclair journalist James Rosen, formerly of Fox News, incoherently spewed a bunch of Republican talking points at the speaker of the House, in the vague form of a question.

After spewing some "BLAH BLAH BLAH WHISTLEBLOWER TRUMP HAS RIGHTS" nonsense for a while, Rosen finally got to his question:

I wonder if you could explain to the American people why the legal rights of the whistle-blower should prevail in this political setting over those of President Trump, who should ordinarily enjoy a right to confront his accuser?

Rosen is parroting the GOP's latest moronic talking point, that the Sixth Amendment says Trump gets to put the whistleblower's life at risk. Of course, that's not at all what the Sixth Amendment does. I've already written about this -- TWICE! -- but just as a reminder, the Sixth Amendment very specifically applies to criminal trials, which impeachment is decidedly not. And even if this were a criminal trial, Trump would not have the right to confront the whistleblower unless his testimony was used as evidence in the criminal case. Let's learn more. Or relearn it. Unlike James Rosen.

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Journamalism

Fox Viewers Confused, Panicked As Fox Briefly Does Yovanovitch Hearing 'News'

Everything should be back to batshit normal by Opinion Time.

For a brief while this morning, some of the journalists at Fox News seemed almost like Americans, expressing the wild belief that former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch had given important testimony during the impeachment hearing, and even suggesting that Donald Trump's weirdass tweet attacking her could be considered a form of witness tampering. WEIRD!

In case you missed it, here's Trump grumping that Yovanovitch is BAD NEWS:

Yep, she had some kind of diplomatic posting in Somalia, to be sure. It was early in her career, but clearly she was so terrible at it that she managed to turn an entire country into ... Somalia!

Here's Chris Wallace on Fox, noting that anyone not moved by how Yovanovitch was treated must have no soul at all, which we should assume includes the schmuck who sent that tweet up there. It's followed by Brett Baier commenting on Trump's tweet and suggesting we'd all just seen the "president" of the USA buying himself a new impeachment count for witness intimidation:

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Environment

Venice-Area Council Votes Down Climate Action, Gets Flooded. Not With Angry Calls, Just Flooded

How high's the water, Mama Mia!

The Veneto regional council, the parliament for the region of Italy where Venice is located, voted against a number of measures intended to take action against climate change Tuesday evening. Literally within minutes, the council's offices, right on the Grand Canal, were partly submerged by the worst flooding to hit the city in 50 years. Around 10 p.m. local time, the council chamber in the Ferro Fini Palace started looking like a set from Titanic, but to the relief of all, without that damn song. Council member Andrea Zanoni documented the flooded chamber and meeting rooms on the Facebook:

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2020 democratic primary

Deval Patrick Had A Very Bad Week Yesterday

Do not rescuscitate this campaign!

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick launched his presidential campaign a little late, and if he's going to catch up with the political corpses of John Hickenlooper and Steve Bullock, he needs to hurry up and fail. So far, he's off to a good start at being terrible.

Patrick was until recently an executive for Bain Capital, and the best way to handle that is to ignore it and hope everyone's too polite to mention it. His bio was downsized from the Bain website. But reporters still ask Patrick about his time at Bain as if he worked there just last week, which he did. Patrick claims he never bought the Obama campaign's "demonization" of Bain during the 2012 election. He was co-chair of the campaign, so he didn't need to "buy" it, at least not at full price. I don't see the point of relitigating a successful political strategy, but Patrick clearly explained why he's defending Mitt Romney's company that killed Toys "R" Us.

PATRICK: You know, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and some transactions in private equity are going to go sideways, with or without, by the way private equity. But I do think that capitalism, and I am capitalist, has a lot to answer for. There are reasons, and justifiable reasons, why people feel like our economy and our government has been tilted too much in the direction of moneyed intereests. Some of those are companies and some of those are individuals. There is a way out of that There is a way. And we're going to have something to say about that in our democracy.

Twirling, Twirling, Twirling Towards Freedom! (The Simpsons) youtu.be

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Impeachment

Masha, Masha, Masha! Yovanovitch, That Is. (Impeachment Liveblog, Day Two!)

Wonkette's live coverage of the Marie Yovanovitch testimony!

Good morning! Adam Schiff is apparently not aware that it is the crack of dawn in all the Americas where Washington DC is not currently located, so this is starting at 9 AM Eastern instead of 10 AM Eastern, which would be much more reasonable. Do you want people to turn the TV on and just happen to see this, because it's on all the channels? WELL, IT WOULD HELP IF THEY WERE AWAKE.

Anyway, it's almost time for the testimony of Marie "Masha" Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine fired after a smear campaign from Rudy Giuliani, because she was standing in the way of the corruption and crime Trump and pals wanted to foist upon Ukraine. Thus, today is the first hearing where we will be hearing from a victim of Trump's crimes.

In the transcript of Trump's treason call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump ominously said of Yovanovitch that "she's going to go through some things." She testified that she felt threatened by that statement from Trump, because of how it's fucking creepy.

Today, Donald Trump will "go through some things," because he gets to watch Yovanovitch testify in his impeachment investigation.

Let's liveblog this shit.

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News

The Gloves Come Off. Wonkagenda For Fri., Nov. 15, 2019

Masha comes to the Hill, another school shooting, and a problem with Iowa. Your morning news brief!

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

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fox news

The 876,601 Stupidest Things Fox News Said About Bill Taylor And George Kent

Oh well, can't win 'em all, boys!

The one thing we haven't spent much time on after Wednesday's inaugural impeachment hearing of Donald J. Trump is what Fox News was doing while it was going on. As there will be 678,000 of these hearings, we won't be able to write a post like this for each one. Hell, next week we're doing THREE DAYS STRAIGHT of hearings.

That said, Fox News was pretty sure Fox News didn't know what the fuck to do with all this. Herein, we will rank the 876,601 dumbest things Fox News and its hosts had to say about the hearings, both while they were going and afterward, and by "rank" we mean "in no particular order," and by "876,601" we mean "not that."

Keep reading... Show less
lawsplainer

We Gonna Get Some Equal Rights Amendment Up In This B*tch?

We're going to find out!

We have good news and bad news, dear readers.

The good news: We are closer than ever to adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution!

The bad news: We still have a long way to go.

The Equal Rights Amendment would add just three sentences to the US Constitution. But those three sentences would, for the first time, enshrine the equality of the sexes in our country's foundational document.

The ERA reads simply:

Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3: This article shall take effect 2 years after the date of ratification.

One would think that, here in the 21st century, this would not be controversial. Yet here we are, nearly 100 years after the ERA was first introduced, and it still has not been ratified.

Now, we're closer than ever. With Democrats taking control of the Virginia legislature in 2020, it seems like the ERA is finally going to be ratified by enough states to be added to the Constitution. But what remains to be seen is whether that will actually mean anything.

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