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How Many Trump Crimes Will His Lawyers Confess To Today? (Impeachment Trial Liveblog, Day Whatever!)

Well, hello, John Bolton, and how is YOUR mustache hanging today?

So, you mean to tell us, after an impeachment inquiry and trial where we've gotten one consistent version of the story of Donald Trump's Ukraine crimes, that John Bolton's book also too confirms that version of the story exactly and confirms Bolton's status as a firsthand witness to the whole scheme? No one could have seen that one coming, and by no one, we mean everyone.

We don't know how impeachment is going to go this week. Trump's lawyers started Saturday, and from what we can tell, they just jerked off into a cup for two hours and then went home and jerked off into more cups, but not on live TV. From Trump's tweets, it sounds like they were mad that calendars were discriminating against them by making them start Saturday.

Technically, according to the rules, Trump's lawyers could go today and tomorrow, and we know Mitch McConnell wants all this shit to be over by the end of the week, especially if Bolton's news is just going to keep breaking. At the same time, the Bolton news (and there will be more) seems to be putting some real pressure on a few GOP senators like Mitt Romney and Susan Collins to vote for witnesses and documents, which could extend things quite a bit if a number of them end up jumping together.

Of course, it's always possible that Adam Schiff will commit an act of bad Senate decorum and hurt Susan Collins's feelings so much she is forced to confirm Brett Kavanaugh again.

Point is we have no fuckin' idea and neither do you.

Shall we liveblog the things that happen as they happen?

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Egad, Mike Pompeo LIED About NPR Reporter?

After he had a hissy fit and yelled the fuck-word at NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly Friday, because she asked him questions about Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a bullshit statement claiming Kelly had lied to him twice, and also that she was dumb and stupid and an unhinged Trump-hater made of pure evil. To the surprise of nobody, the Washington Post yesterday published emails between Kelly and Pompeo's press aide which show Pompeo was the actual liar. Imagine that!

Pompeo was very very upset, because after he'd avoided giving any clear answers on how the administration would "stop" Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Kelly then asked him questions about his failure to support then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, and he had to avoid answering those questions, too.

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Democrats Tell New York Times Which Celebrity They Most Want To Bang

It's a week until the Iowa caucuses. The Democratic primary field will soon narrow to just 30 or so candidates. They've spent hours at Democratic debates most of us didn't watch talking about their health care policies or their thrilling plans to do absolutely nothing, but politely. Before we start to say goodbye, let's learn a little bit about them as people who occasionally get horny.

The New York Times asked some of the remaining Democratic candidates to give voters a peek into their mental Cinemax and reveal their celebrity crushes. I think the answers will thrill you. They may shock you. They might even horrify you. But you absolutely shouldn't vote until you've read further.

Keep reading...

John Bolton Is Back To F*ck Sh*t Up!

John Bolton is going to burn down the Trump administration ... eventually. The question is whether he's going to do it on the witness stand when it actually matters, or just save it all for his stupid book. Because he's got the goods on everybody in that White House, including Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, and Rudy Giuliani. And, as The New York Times reported last night, he's got Donald Trump by the short and curlies:

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

How you livin', Mitch McConnell? Looks like that warmongering bastard just raised the stakes on that vote to sweep this whole impeachment under the rug without witnesses. Because he's got firsthand knowledge of Donald Trump personally saying YES, QUID PRO QUO, no defense aid for Ukraine until they throw dirt on Joe Biden, and he's made it clear that he'll be telling his story sooner rather than later.

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2020 democratic primary

Iowa, New Hampshire Crappy Way To Start A Democratic Primary

Why don't we give democracy a chance!

Let's get real about the Iowa caucuses. They suck, and the suckiness is two-fold. First off, it's not the best showcase for the Democratic primary base and the coalition the eventual nominee will need to defeat Donald Trump in November. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt declared the current system where Iowa and New Hampshire always go first a "form of white privilege that warps the process." Leonhardt's right, and he brought receipts, including a study that found voters from Iowa and New Hampshire have 20 times the influence of a voter in later states, where dancing is legal. We won't even get into the dough-re-mi early states rake in during the almost full year prior to anyone actually voting. Politicians, their staffs, and most media outlets with budgets practically move there.

This is especially odd when you consider that Democrats rely overwhelmingly on minority voters for their electoral success. Iowa and New Hampshire are the fourth and fifth whitest states respectively. As Leonhardt puts it, Iowa and New Hampshire look roughly like the America of 1870. They're great states to kick off the Republican primaries, because the party's entire platform is "Make America 1870 Again." According to a 2014 poll, Iowa Republicans are more culturally conservative than other Republicans. They're generally further along on the Cotton Mather Index than the rest of the country.

PRRI

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Ukraine

Lev Parnas And His Badass Weed Lawyer Dropping Fire Mixtapes Like POW!

Okay people, we're going INTO THE WEEDS!

The newest chucklefuck mixtape has dropped, and it is FIRE! Recorded live at an April 30, 2018, event for donors to Trump's America First Action PAC by Igor Fruman, the "Silent Bob" of the Chucklefuck Gang, this tape's got everything. There are donors proposing legislation to benefit their own businesses that was shortly thereafter championed by House Republicans. There's a whole lot of golf talk, including speculation about Kim Jong Un's mean game. But it's Donald Trump's order to fire ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch that's getting the most airtime.

PARNAS: The biggest problem there, where we need to start is, we gotta get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration.

TRUMP: Who, the ambassador to Ukraine?

PARNAS: And she's basically walking around telling everybody wait, he's going to get impeached, just wait. It's incredible.

[Laughter]

UNKNOWN: She'll be gone tomorrow.

PARNAS: What's her name?

FRUMAN: I don't remember.

(Probably White House advisor Johnny) DeSTEFANO: So one of the things that will be now that we have a secretary of state that's been confirmed--

TRUMP: Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.

Because it's totally normal for the president of the United States to fire career civil servants based on the unsubstantiated, self-serving allegations of some dipshit at a PAC dinner, right? Particularly when that dipshit admits that he's got a financial stake in the very change he's advocating.

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Impeachment

How Many Trump Crimes Will His Lawyers Confess To Today? (Impeachment Trial Liveblog, Day Whatever!)

We are guessing 'ALL OF THEM KATIE.'

Well, hello, John Bolton, and how is YOUR mustache hanging today?

So, you mean to tell us, after an impeachment inquiry and trial where we've gotten one consistent version of the story of Donald Trump's Ukraine crimes, that John Bolton's book also too confirms that version of the story exactly and confirms Bolton's status as a firsthand witness to the whole scheme? No one could have seen that one coming, and by no one, we mean everyone.

We don't know how impeachment is going to go this week. Trump's lawyers started Saturday, and from what we can tell, they just jerked off into a cup for two hours and then went home and jerked off into more cups, but not on live TV. From Trump's tweets, it sounds like they were mad that calendars were discriminating against them by making them start Saturday.

Technically, according to the rules, Trump's lawyers could go today and tomorrow, and we know Mitch McConnell wants all this shit to be over by the end of the week, especially if Bolton's news is just going to keep breaking. At the same time, the Bolton news (and there will be more) seems to be putting some real pressure on a few GOP senators like Mitt Romney and Susan Collins to vote for witnesses and documents, which could extend things quite a bit if a number of them end up jumping together.

Of course, it's always possible that Adam Schiff will commit an act of bad Senate decorum and hurt Susan Collins's feelings so much she is forced to confirm Brett Kavanaugh again.

Point is we have no fuckin' idea and neither do you.

Shall we liveblog the things that happen as they happen?

Keep reading...
Everywhere Else News

Puerto Rico Now At 'French Revolution' Stage

And here comes Madam Guillotine!

Puerto Rico has suffered a lot in the last three years. Well ... a lot more than they have suffered since they became a US territory (a fancy way of saying colony) since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898. But things are starting to get revolutionary in Puerto Rico.

After Puerto Rico was hit by a late December string of earthquakes ranging from 4.5 to 6.4 in magnitude, and as thousands sleep outside, Puerto Rico was rocked by the discovery of a warehouse full of supplies by a citizen journalist in Ponce.

This discovery of much needed supplies collecting dust and expiring in a warehouse since Hurricane Maria in 2017 caused Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced to fire the emergency director and two other officials. But one of the fired officials, Puerto Rico's former Housing secretary Fernando Gil Enseñat, claims that Vázquez Garced knew about the unused aid, which prompted renewed calls for her resignation and protests not seen since the events leading to former governor Ricardo Rosselló's resignation. Now they've got a guillotine!

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Journamalism

Egad, Mike Pompeo LIED About NPR Reporter?

Lying shitsack lies, is shitsack.

After he had a hissy fit and yelled the fuck-word at NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly Friday, because she asked him questions about Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a bullshit statement claiming Kelly had lied to him twice, and also that she was dumb and stupid and an unhinged Trump-hater made of pure evil. To the surprise of nobody, the Washington Post yesterday published emails between Kelly and Pompeo's press aide which show Pompeo was the actual liar. Imagine that!

Pompeo was very very upset, because after he'd avoided giving any clear answers on how the administration would "stop" Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Kelly then asked him questions about his failure to support then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, and he had to avoid answering those questions, too.

Keep reading...
Media/Entertainment

Democrats Tell New York Times Which Celebrity They Most Want To Bang

Amy Klobuchar for the win!

It's a week until the Iowa caucuses. The Democratic primary field will soon narrow to just 30 or so candidates. They've spent hours at Democratic debates most of us didn't watch talking about their health care policies or their thrilling plans to do absolutely nothing, but politely. Before we start to say goodbye, let's learn a little bit about them as people who occasionally get horny.

The New York Times asked some of the remaining Democratic candidates to give voters a peek into their mental Cinemax and reveal their celebrity crushes. I think the answers will thrill you. They may shock you. They might even horrify you. But you absolutely shouldn't vote until you've read further.

Keep reading...
Class War

Whaaaaat? Republicans Personally Benefitted From Tax Cuts They Voted For? How Could That Be?!

It is almost as if that is the whole entire point!

Elizabeth Warren has said that one of her first priorities, should she become president, would be to pass legislation similar to the sweeping anti-corruption bill she introduced last year, which would prevent government officials from financially benefitting from laws they pass.

That would probably be a great disappointment to the many sitting lawmakers who really, really love passing laws that make them richer. Like, for instance, all of the Republicans who have personally benefitted from the tax breaks for rich people and corporations included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act they passed.

A joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and Vox published on Friday found:

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News

Tom Cotton, Jim Lankford Pull Sunday Lying Duty

It's your Sunday show rundown!

We begin today's Sunday show roundup with Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma. Making appearances on both CNN's "State of The Union" and ABC's "This Week," Lankford did his best to be a one-man version of the "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" monkey.

On CNN, Lankford pretended to be offended that Adam Schiff referred to a report that Trump had threatened senators if they didn't stand with him while simultaneously "seeing no evil" by ignoring Trump's C-level gangster threats towards Schiff when pointed out to him. (We covered it here.) On ABC, Lankford decided to go with "hear no evil" as he told George Stephanopoulos why we shouldn't see new witnesses -- like saying that the House "rushed" impeachment by not waiting on courts to decide subpoenas. Stephanopoulos wasn't having it.

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Impeachment

Stephanie Grisham: Why Is Adam Schiff So 'Obsessed' With Democracy?

Grisham just can't relate.

We've discussed how Donald Trump put a Twitter hit out on Rep. Adam Schiff like a common gangster. (It was yesterday. Go check it out, we'll be referring back!) The president's part time White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, tried and, as usual, failed to clean up after her boss Sunday during an appearance on Fox News. Howard Kurtz read Trump's gross tweet about Schiff and (correctly) said it sounded like a "vague threat." Grisham responded with her usual absurdity.

GRISHAM: I disagree, and this has been a theme throughout this process. People put meanings behind what [Trump] said. The president speaks in a very unique way, he's a counter-puncher, he's saying what it's on his mind.

Grisham, whose job tangentially involves communication, seems unaware of how communication actually works. Here's a quick primer: The speaker states something and the listener interprets the message. Grisham acts as if we're putting way too much thought into what the president of the United States says publicly -- sort like Beatles fans in the '60s who somehow got the idea that Paul McCartney was dead. Trump just said he's the walrus. Stop trying to play his tweets backward.

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Trump impeachment hearings

John Bolton Is Back To F*ck Sh*t Up!

Don't mess with Mustache Man.

John Bolton is going to burn down the Trump administration ... eventually. The question is whether he's going to do it on the witness stand when it actually matters, or just save it all for his stupid book. Because he's got the goods on everybody in that White House, including Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, and Rudy Giuliani. And, as The New York Times reported last night, he's got Donald Trump by the short and curlies:

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

How you livin', Mitch McConnell? Looks like that warmongering bastard just raised the stakes on that vote to sweep this whole impeachment under the rug without witnesses. Because he's got firsthand knowledge of Donald Trump personally saying YES, QUID PRO QUO, no defense aid for Ukraine until they throw dirt on Joe Biden, and he's made it clear that he'll be telling his story sooner rather than later.

Keep reading...
News

Underwear Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making! Tabs, Mon., Jan. 27, 2020

CALLING ALL OPEN TABS!

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Recipe Hub

Recipe Hub: Rhode Island Pizza Strips, The Delicious Pizza You Can Serve To Your Vegan Friends

Also this is your open thread!

Sometimes, the best food is the most simple food. One of my most favorite snacks in the world, ever since I was a kid, are pizza strips. Tragically, they are yet another food that somehow pretty much only exists in Rhode Island. If you are there for some reason, I highly recommend the ones at Crugnale Bakery in Cranston (although honestly, even the ones you can buy at gas stations sometimes are delicious). They're referred to by a variety of names — pizza strips, red strips, bakery pizza and party pizza (because every party you ever go to has a giant pile of them, usually cut into squares) — but they're all the same thing.

Of course, they're super easy to make yourself, and I do it all the time, because I am lazy and because now my roommate loves them also.

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History Facts

Wonkette Book Club: The Wishful Thinking War

Let them eat yellowcake.

Progressives are always being told we need to face reality. There's no way we can have health care for everyone because it's just not realistic. Controlling global warming can't be done because running an advanced economy on clean energy "defies the laws of physics" (according to an oil lobbyist with a BA in political science). A nation simply can't relieve poverty because the iron laws of economic reality mean there must be winners and losers, and the winners get to write the tax laws, sorry. Regardless of what Anne Frank said, people aren't "good at heart" and the sooner you accept that reality, the better. Anyone who says otherwise has their head in the clouds.

Oh, but as Michael Isikoff and David Corn explain in painful detail in our current Wonkette Book Club selection, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, Republicans who want to get their war on don't need to be tethered to mere reality, because they know what they're doing.

In 2003, the wise conservatives of the George W. Bush administration went to war in Iraq because they were absolutely certain it had to happen. Further, they expected it would be a fairly easy win with little chance of failure and that the invasion would spark a wave of democratic reform across the region. Along the way, the executive-branch Deciders, from Bush on down, ignored or dismissed any information that pointed to inconvenient realities in Iraq, because their minds were made up. The war was necessary, and it would be easy. Anyone who said otherwise was either irrationally gloomy or outright disloyal.

The more I read Hubris, the more I'm reminded that Donald Trump and his many enablers didn't create "alternative facts." They've simply perfected the art of living entirely in a reality-distortion field. A self-created reality already took America into a disastrous war less than 20 years ago. Those "Just-So" stories the Bush administration told itself killed hundreds of thousands and made the region even more unstable.

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Religion

White House Spiritual Advisor Wants God To Abort All The Satanic Pregnancies

So pro-life!

On Friday, Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to give a speech at the March For Forced Birth. On Saturday, footage surfaced of White House spiritual advisor Paula White demanding the immediate miscarriage of all Satanic babies.

White, if you don't know, is into the whole Prosperity Gospel thing. The gist of which is that if you are rich, that means God loves you and thinks you are great and wants you to have all of the golden toilet seats, and if you are poor, it's because you are bad and God hates you and the only way you can get God to love you and give you money is if you give money to people like Paula White. It's sort of like one of those Nigerian prince deals. It is not terrifically surprising that this was the brand of Christianity most appealing to Donald Trump, given that he is a rich person who likes to be complimented, but White is definitely one of the stranger White House spiritual advisors in a while. At least since Joan Quigley, Nancy Reagan's psychic astrologer.

In the clip, White is seen praying for God to miscarry all the Satanic pregnancies. Whether that applies to humans or just like, jackals that are pregnant with the Antichrist or just women who live next door to Ruth Gordon, we don't actually know. But she wants those Satan babies aborted and she wants to do the D&C.

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News

Trump Puts Twitter Hit Out On Adam Schiff But The True Threat To Democracy Is Schiff's Rudeness

Not breaking news: Republicans are shameless hypocrites.

Super religious man of God Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday with bitterness, resentment, and thinly veiled death threats. The president's grossness will never rest -- not even on the seventh day. Trump took aim at his personal Javert, Adam Schiff, who he believes has not "paid the price yet" for performing his constitutional duty.

Trump equates his own sorry ass with "our Country" as a whole, which is typical narcissistic behavior. He also puts the call out for Schiff to get fitted with cement galoshes, which is more of his standard mobster talk. Although, most mobsters with functioning brains avoid threatening prosecutors from their ongoing trial in front of 72 million witnesses. There are bound to be a few stool pigeons in the bunch.

Republicans were greatly offended Friday when Schiff implied that the president was an unhinged vindictive sociopath who threatened to literally get medieval on any Republican who didn't fully support him. Schiff just quoted the president's own words, which appalled Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins so much they retracted Schiff's invitation to the Bingleys' ball at Netherfield Park.

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Ukraine

Pompeo Attempts To Stick Up Reporter, Winds Up Shooting Himself In The D*ck

Ladies and gentlemen, your Trump administration.

Breaking! Achtung! Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a hot sack of garbage! Okay, that's not really news. But really, this weekend Pompeo has outdone himself.

It started yesterday when NPR's Mary Louise Kelly, who has been a national security reporter for 20 years, sat down for an interview with Pompeo at the State Department. The Secretary blurped nonsense for several minutes about how the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, which caused Iran to restart its uranium enrichment program, is actually a sign of Trump's rousing success in stopping that country from getting nukes.

KELLY: My question, again: How do you stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We'll stop them.

KELLY: How?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We'll stop them.

KELLY: Sanctions?

SECRETARY POMPEO:
We'll stop them. The president made very clear – the opening sentence in his remarks said that we will never permit Iran to have a nuclear weapon. The coalition that we've built out, the economic, military, and diplomatic deterrence that we have put in place will deliver that outcome. It's important, because this will protect the American people.

Riiiiiiight.

Please note how Kelly does not just transcribe what Pompeo says and move on. Which may explain his ... displeasure at what happened next.

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