Got Questions for Merrick Garland? Congress Does Too!


If so, you might enjoy today's hearing in the House Judiciary Committee! Adam Schiff ain't on that committee, but we know he's had some questions. Hopefully he's slipping notes to committee members right this very minute, to make sure all the good questions get asked.

As Axios explains:

The hearing comes as the Justice Department faces a series of contentious issues, including enforcement of the Jan. 6 committee's subpoenas, the crackdown on Texas' new abortion law, the overflowing of migrants at the border, voting rights and more.

Yeah, just a few things folks might want to ask him about. (Republicans will not be asking meaningful questions, or if they do, it will be a complete surprise.)

Watch all day, House committees are enormous:

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Shucks, Guess Joe Manchin Never Found Those 10 Republicans Who’d Support Voting Rights

The Democrats' latest attempt to defend democracy from Republicans failed in the Senate because of the fatal combination of math and the filibuster. Senate Democrats had reached a compromise with Joe Manchin on a supposedly bipartisan-friendly Stop Republicans From Cheating bill. This version was called the Freedom to Vote Act and would've made Election Day a public holiday, required same-day registration at all polling locations by 2024, and provided at least 15 days of early voting for federal elections.

Marc Elias, Democratic super lawyer, said it was a very good bill. Stacey Abrams even supported the voter ID requirement that Manchin added. It still died because Republicans aren't interested in helping pass a Stop Republicans From Cheating bill. This would appear obvious to everyone who's not Joe Manchin, whose brain is in the advanced stages of black lung disease.

A month ago, Manchin was asked what his master plan was for passing the Freedom to Vote Act, considering that he wouldn't support a filibuster carve-out even just for voting rights. He said he'd “get 10 Republicans." Why, he was already talking to "reasonable Republicans and friends of mine who understand we need guardrails."

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Let's Watch Jamie Raskin Dick-Kick Matt Gaetz, We've All Earned It

There was a hearing this morning in the House Rules Committee on the contempt referral for Steve Bannon passed by the House January 6 Committee last night. If we'd realized what a shitshow it would become, we would have put up a livestream. Oh well.

GOP seditionist Reps. Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan showed up at the hearing and rubbed themselves all over it, like pomeranians who need their anal glands expressed. In this post, we'll focus on Gaetz, because what most people are talking about is how constitutional law perfesser and Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin just drop-kicked Matt Gaetz's very large face so far up into outer space that, well, quite frankly, you could still clearly see it, because his face is too large for his body.

Our point is that it was just real good.

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Trump Argues For Absolute Right Of Presidents To Loot And Pillage In Copyright Lawsuit

Trump's legal team is tryin' it. Again.

Today's WTF-ery comes to us from the copyright infringement suit filed by one Edmond Grant, AKA Eddy Grant, AKA the guy who did not fucking appreciate having his hit song "Electric Avenue" used without permission in one of Trump's ridiculous campaign videos. Trump tweeted out the video on August 12, 2020, and Twitter yanked the video for copyright infringement within a few hours. Then Twitter yanked Trump himself, and not a moment too soon, so we can't provide you with a link to the video in question. But we actually remember this one because the graphics were so embarrassingly crap — like Thomas the Tank Engine circa 1991, only worse.

Here's a still from one of Trump's briefs.

Get it? Get it? GET IT?

See Trump is a BIG CHOO CHOO TRAIN VROOM, and Biden is just a skinny dude manually pumping himself along the tracks.

Which isn't actually the dumbest thing you'll read in this post, believe it or not.

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Wonkette’s Weekend Livestream Was Stitched Together From Dead Bodies But Don’t Hold That Against Us

Dead man’s party begins at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET.

It's the week before Halloween! Despite President Joe Biden's inflation and supply chain woes, we are fully stocked and prepared for our dark ceremonies next Sunday.

Halloween is also my wedding anniversary, which my wife and I will spend dressed in some curious family costume theme our son devised. I think this year I'm a dragon tamer. I just wear whatever is laid out for me and beg people not to take photos

In the meantime, please join Robyn and me for another thrilling discussion of national divorces, living wages, and voter suppression. We promise fewer technical difficulties. The fun starts at 12:30 pm PT and 3:30 pm ET, which we understand is exactly the same time somehow.

Now, that we’re done, it’s your OPEN THREAD.

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Class War

Surprise! Cutting Off Unemployment Still Doesn't Magically Produce Jobseekers

Probably anyone who has been on unemployment could have told them that.

People love the idea of "common sense." The idea that there are certain truths we can hold to be self-evident about "the way things are" or "the way people are" or what the result of certain actions will be. For some things, this works quite well. It is common sense not to stick your hand on a hot stove, because you will be burned. For others, it doesn't work as well. For instance, people insist wrap dresses are universally flattering, but I look terrible in a wrap dress. Diane Von Furstenberg is not my friend and I have accepted this.

One piece of common sense that people were especially in love with this year was that, obviously, the reason there was a labor shortage and businesses that do not pay people enough to live on were having a hard time finding employees was because the people who "should" have been working those jobs were living high on the unemployment hog, making more on unemployment than they would at those jobs. I'd like to say it was just Republicans saying this, but not always. This is something very deeply ingrained in American thought.

But guess what? Yet another study, this one published on Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, has shown that cutting off enhanced unemployment benefits did not lead to a sudden surge of jobseekers. In fact, over the course of three months, the states that cut those benefits off early fared pretty much exactly the same as states that did not.

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Culture Wars

We Don't Need A 'National Divorce,' We Need A New Reality Show

A reality show was our downfall, but perhaps one can save us.

Over the last few months, rightwing pundits and politicians like Glenn Beck, Ben Shapiro, Steve Bannon and Marjorie Taylor Green have been floating the idea of a "National Divorce," wherein Red and Blue America call it quits once and for all and go their separate ways. So, naturally, Bill Maher took a moment out of his show last night to address this and give the Left a real good chastising for all of this inflammatory rhetoric they are probably also doing, because "both sides." After all, as he notes, the same poll that found that 66 percent of Trump supporters think secession might be a good idea found that 41 percent of Biden voters were also in favor of it. And a clear majority on one side and a minority on the other is still "both sides."

I'm not going to get into Maher's diatribe, since it's no different from any of his other diatribes that end with him coming to the conclusion that the Left just needs to shut up because of how incredibly repulsive we are (no, really, it ends with "You want to heal America. Shut the fuck up for a while."). But let's talk about this "national divorce" thing.

Now, I would like to point out that every time I have ever, ever seen anyone on the Left even make a passing joke about how they wouldn't exactly miss certain states if they wanted to secede, I have seen 12 other people quickly lining up to tell them that no state is solid red and that this would make vulnerable people in those areas even more vulnerable than they already are. I myself once got dragged, fairly, for suggesting we give them a Dakota. I really have not seen anyone saying it in all seriousness, in the way that polemics on the Right have been.

It's not hard to understand the underlying temptation, though. There are a lot of really horrible things we have to live with — and die of — because these dolts must be appeased. In the purely hypothetical, it would be lovely to have a nice country with a nice social safety net, universal health care, parental leave, public schooling from pre-K to college, decent labor laws, a criminal justice system that isn't totally disgusting, where we wouldn't still have to fight for reproductive rights or the right of trans people to use the bathroom or the right of same-sex couples to buy a cake. It would have been nice if everyone had obeyed COVID safety protocols so that fewer people died. It would also be nice if we didn't have a completely terrifying Supreme Court.

As much as Bill Maher apparently thinks that we are all constantly thrilled to fight these fights, it's freaking exhausting.

The real benefit, however, to splitting into two countries is that if the Right had to actually live in the kind of society they claim they so desperately want to live in for any significant period of time, they would be freaking miserable. There is a part of me, the Mr. Roarke part of me, that wants to call their bluff.

So I have an idea.

You know how the BBC had all those reality shows like "1900 house" and "Victorian Slum House" and "Regency House Party?" I say we create a reality series in which we let a bunch of Trumpers create their own intentional community, Galt's Gulch style perhaps, where everything is done exactly the way they wish it was done, and everyone else gets to watch it on TV.

This is inspired, of course, by the real life attempt to recreate Galt's Gulch in Chile, which failed quite miserably and famously, and the attempted libertarian paradise in Grafton, New Hampshire that was swiftly foiled by marauding bears. Oh, and there was Glenn Beck's idea for an intentional community/theme park, Independence USA, and the planned survivalist community The Citadel in Idaho, neither of which ever actually came into fruition.

Rightwing intentional communities do not have a history of ending well. This is because, I suspect, most conservative ideology is about getting to see bad things happen to people they don't like and getting to be above those people in the social or economic hierarchy. However, when they're the only ones in the community, that tends to get awkward. Also because they are usually created by very scammy people or religious zealots with a predilection for underage girls. But I think that everyday Trumpers should have an opportunity to live as they have always dreamed, to live in a walled off world of pure capitalism and greed, where every last thing is privatized and they get to create all of their own "culture" ... and that it should be filmed and played weekly for all of America to see. Not so we can "understand them" mind you — I think we're all pretty clear — but so they can understand themselves and see just how very, very bad all of their ideas are.

The fact is, I don't think these people will ever really get this urge towards cruelty out of their system until they either get to live it or see it in action while someone else does. And maybe, just maybe, something like this might snap them out of it.


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