Mark Kelly Supports Filibuster Reform, So Don't Blame 'Arizona,' OK, KYRSTEN SINEMA?

With the Senate debating landmark voting rights legislation this evening, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) will support changing the Senate's filibuster rule so the package of voting protections can be passed, the Arizona Republic reports. Kelly had been among the few remaining Democrats in the Senate who hadn't already said they supported the rules change for voting rights.

The legislation is still expected to fail to pass in the Senate because none of the 50 Republicans in the body will vote for it, and because changes to the filibuster are still opposed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Arizona's other senator, Kyrsten Sinema.

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Let's See What President Biden Has To Say For Himself!

The president is doing a news conference this afternoon, and we are going to ... liveblog it, we guess? Yeah why not. We "love" you, after all.

We got a feeling it's gonna be kind of lit, since journalists are kind of obsessed with throwing both-sides crap at Joe Biden just to prove to each other that they are fair and balanced after four years of Donald Trump.

Also there's that whole thing about how his agenda is kind of stalled, because of these two absolutely worthless shitheel moron Democratic senators whose names we currently forget.

Let's watch together.

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Trump Family Gets Late Night Love Note From New York Attorney General

How was your night? Probably not as exciting as New York Attorney General Letitia James's evening, which was spent tweeting out details of her investigation into the Trump family business. Vanky, Deej, and Donald Sr. also had quite the night, but probably not in a YEEHAW fun way, because it was their dirty laundry being aired out on the New York State Supreme Court docket via a motion to compel testimony in the AG's investigation of their family business.

For three years, the Trump family has whined about New York prosecutors, including James and former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has now been replaced by Alvin Bragg.

"Harassment!" they howled, pointing out that they haven't been indicted yet, while conveniently omitting the fact that they dragged this thing out by steadfastly refusing to cooperate without a court order. Which is just stupid, since every time James has to get a judge to tell the Trumps to cough it up, she drops dozens of pages laying out their hinky finances. We only learned about this investigation in the first place because Eric Trump threw a hissyfit on "Hannity" and refused to testify, providing a golden opportunity for James to 'splain to the public why she's investigating the Trump Organization.

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If You Weren’t Convinced Joss Whedon’s A Creep, His Latest Interview Should Help Seal The Deal

You might remember Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and director of the worst of the two bad Justice League movies. It was revealed a while back that he’s a big fraud and a huge asshole. Well, now he’s emerged from cancellation, the reboot no one wanted, for an extensive interview with New York Magazine that he presumably thought would salvage his reputation. In reality, it plays out like an episode of "Law & Order” where the obviously guilty defendant is arrogant enough to testify on the stand, and Jack McCoy eviscerates his smug ass.

Writer Lila Shapiro’s profile includes such lines as "It was a perfect day in Santa Monica, as almost every day in Santa Monica is,” so Whedon probably had a good shot at bluffing his way through the interview and coming across like something resembling a mammal. He failed.

Picking up a cup of tea, Whedon said he could no longer remain silent as people tried to pry his legacy from his hands. But there was a problem. Those people had set out to destroy him and would surely seize on his every utterance in an attempt to finish the job. “I’m terrified,” he said, “of every word that comes out of my mouth.”

Oh, you should be, sir. Whedon is a Shakespeare devotee who can’t recognize his own tragic flaw.

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SCOTUS

UPDATE: Justice Gorsuch Still Maskless, Still A Dick

The plot thickens! Into a stultifying miasma.

Earlier this week, Nina Totenberg, the grande dame of Supreme Court reporters, came out with a hot scoop. Apparently, every justice but one had agreed to mask up for the comfort and safety of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is diabetic and at elevated risk due to the latest coronavirus surge. Only that asshole Neil Gorsuch refused, according to Totenberg's reporting.

Now, though, the situation had changed with the omicron surge, and according to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up.

They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench. His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices' weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone.

Wow, pretty shocking that a guy who ruled that a company had a right to fire a trucker for refusing to freeze to death in an unheated truck doesn't believe in workplace safety, right?

But then the Court issued a rare public statement purporting to be from Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch saying, "Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us. It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends."

As all of law Twitter immediately noted, this was not a denial of the story as written.

So much for textual originalism.

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Elections

Fascist Goons In 'RINO Hunter' Tees Bring Post-January 6 Civility To Orange County GOP Meeting

Oh look, more surveyor's marks imagery!

A bunch of rightwing fartsmellers, not having any national Capitol buildings handy, stormed a meeting of the Republican Party of Orange County (California) Monday night instead. The resulting fracas led to police being called to remove the uninvited tourists, who wore orange shirts reading "RINO HUNTER," with a gunsight cleverly replacing the "O."

The Orange County Register reports the band of merry orangeshirts were led by Nick Taurus, a "self-proclaimed American Nationalist," who last year led a group of like-minded assholes in disrupting an outdoor town hall held by Democratic Rep. Katie Porter in July. Taurus, who at the time was running against Porter, led about 30 followers in heckling Porter; the protesters clashed with Porter supporters, one of whom was arrested for punching one of Taurus's crowd.

There were no arrests or fisticuffs at Monday's event, fortunately.

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Religion

TN Law Meant To Let Christians Discriminate Against Gays Being Used To Discriminate Against Jews

A Christian adoption agency is being sued for rejecting a Jewish couple

Back in January of 2020, Tennessee GOP Governor Bill Lee excitedly signed a law meant to allow Christian adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples looking to adopt and, we guess, boost the self-esteem of people who for some reason just can't be happy unless they get to be legally superior to some other group of people.

“The governor believes that protection of rights is important, especially religious liberty," a spokesman for Lee said at the time. "This bill is centered around protecting the religious liberty of Tennesseans and that’s why he signed it."

Because the bill was technically supposed to be about "protecting religious liberty" and not explicitly about legislating homophobia -- a common trick with laws like these -- the wording of it was vague. Religious adoption agencies were given the right to refuse to place children with those who "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies," as opposed to just giving them license to discriminate against gay people.

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