Li'l Nebraska State Sen Lady Machaela Cavanaugh Sets Up Early Bid For BADASS OF THE YEAR!

Last month, Nebraska state Senator Machaela Cavanaugh declared that she'd filibuster every damn bill the Republican-controlled legislature put forward unless it pulled proposed legislation banning gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. Specifically, this anti-trans garbage would ban puberty blockers, gender-affirming surgeries, and hormone therapy.

A SPLAINER! What IS Gender Affirming Health Care For Kids Anyway, Because Texas Is Super F*cking Lying About It Right?

Cavanaugh wasn't shy about her intentions. She said, "If people are like, 'Is she threatening us?' let me be clear: Yes, I am. I am threatening you." She added, "If this Legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful; painful for everyone. Because if you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body.”

Those are the badass lines from the trailer for the eventual movie starring Elizabeth Olsen.

The senator maintained her blanket filibuster for weeks, and the Legislature hasn't passed diddly squat all year. Cavanaugh told her colleagues last month, "I will burn this session to the ground over this bill. I have nothing but time, and I am going to use all of it."


PREVIOUSLY: Nebraska Dem Just Gonna Filibuster Eeeeeeeeverything

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Florida LGBTQ Hate Bills Want Some Bigot To Have 'Parental Rights' Over Everybody Else's Children

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his cronies in the Republican-controlled state Legislature are self-proclaimed champions of "parental rights" in education. They called their bigoted "Don't Say Gay" law a "historic bill to protect parental rights in education" that "reinforces parents’ fundamental rights to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children." It was very important to Republicans, not just in Florida but in more than a dozen states with similar gross laws, that parents maintained their inalienable right to treat their kids horribly.

However, despite the Right's absurd "groomer" narrative, most teachers aren't randomly declaring students trans in open defiance of their parents. While this concept might confuse and horrify Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro, there are many supportive parents who love their trans children for who they are and respect their gender identity. Scared bigots shouldn't freak out, though, because Florida's got their back!

The Republican-controlled Legislature now wants to restrict the use of peoples’ personal pronouns to those aligned with the sex assigned on their birth certificate, and they're starting with public schools. No, it doesn't matter if parents have approved their kids' preferred pronouns. Laughably, this proposed law builds off their so-called "Parental Rights in Education Act," so we guess when Republicans were yakking about "parental rights," they meant .... other parents or even childless adults who really hate trans kids.


Joe Biden: Ron DeSantis Going To Hell For Bullying Trans Kids (OK, It's *Implied*)

Ron DeSantis Fights For Free Speech By Banning Teachers Mentioning Slavery And Gay People

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Give ALL The Special Ed Aides Eat: LA Teachers On Strike!

School support staff — teacher aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants, and others — began a three-day strike yesterday against the Los Angeles Unified School District, seeking higher wages. LAUSD teachers walked out in solidarity, joining the striking service workers on picket lines and at a massive demonstration at the district's headquarters despite a heavy rainstorm. The strike forced the closure of the district's more than 1,000 schools, although about 150 schools were kept open so adults could supervise kids whose parents couldn't keep them home. The district has roughly half a million students.

LA Mayor Karen Bass (we like typing that!) announced the city would provide safe places and meal distribution for kids during the walkout, including "21 Recreation Centers to serve as Grab & Go locations" for school meals, as well as free "after school" — but really all day — programs at 30 rec centers for kids in first through fifth grade. City libraries are also offering extra programs, and the LA Zoo had free admission for all kids in K-12 (accompanying adults have a $5 entry fee).

Here, put on some Billy Bragg or Pete Seeger and read some of the LA Times's reporting from the strike:

In the 5 a.m darkness, when bus drivers typically begin their day, hundreds of district employees joined the picket line at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Van Nuys bus yard, marching in rain ponchos and balancing signs with umbrellas. Starting at 6:30 a.m., picketers converged at schools throughout the sprawling district as heavy rain soaked them.

Alejandra Sanchez, a special education assistant, joined 20 other picketers in front of Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School. Her job isn’t easy, as she works with students with often unpredictable behavioral issues.

She chanted, “Fair wages,” from Yosemite Drive and La Roda Avenue while holding a “Respect Us! Pay Us!” sign.

“I love my work and the students,” said Sanchez, 45. “And it’s sad that I have to get up today in the rain to fight for respect because the district doesn’t understand what I and so many others do.”
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Ron DeSantis Troubled By TRUMP PEENER PORN STAR HUSH MONEY LOL Witch Hunt, So Very Troubled

All the stinky MAGA people have been saying their piece ever since Donald Trump predicted he'd be arrested Tuesday, which now for sure has to happen, otherwise Trump's prophecy wouldn't come true. There are the ones saying YOU'LL BE SORRY if you start arrestin' and prosecutin' Trump, because then everybody will fall madly in love with him and elect him dictator for life everywhere.

Dumb stupid moron idiot Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney thinks this is all going to "blow over," because Trump will probably just not show up in court, and then everybody will forget about it, because Claudia Tenney is a lawyer and that is how indictments work. (We imagine she might not feel that way if we weren't talking about a very wealthy white defendant. JUST A GUESS.)

Really sketchy MAGA man types like Jack Posobiec are threatening bank runs and everybody calling out to work, so if you see a line of unshowered incels making $10 withdrawals from the ATM outside your local Hooters in broad daylight before going home for a good long day of masturbating, that's just American citizens making their voices heard.

Some of the cultists are starting conspiracy theories in advance about how any violence committed by MAGA terrorists was ACTUALLY committed by the feds. Charlie Kirk actually typed, "The regime is salivating for MAGA to act in an uncharacteristic and violent manner ahead of this stalinistic arrest later this week." LOL.

But amid all this, whither Ron DeSantis? Sure, he is Trump's biggest rival for the 2024 Republican nomination, but surely DeSantis can drop the competition long enough for some good old-fashioned cultish solidarity with Team White Supremacist MAGA Traitor Crime Fascist, yeah?

He didn't speak up all weekend. Today, in a news conference, DeSantis said a number of things about it, but Trump people are only noticing that he clowned on HUSH MONEY TO COVER UP PORN STAR AFFAIR.

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Recipe Hub

Welcome To Wonkette Happy Hour, With This Week's Cocktail, The Blood Money!

Aka, Hooper needs to use up the rest of the blood oranges.

Greetings, Wonketeers! I’m Hooper, your bartender. I had a little problem in the aftermath of last week’s blood orange margarita recipe — leftover blood oranges. Some penny candy gave me the inspiration for a ginger blood orange rum concoction, and after some taste-testing I’m more than happy with the result. Let’s make Blood Money cocktails together. Here’s the recipe:

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Should A Blunt And A Minor Traffic Violation Cost You Your Kids?

Everybody you've ever seen driving in the left lane without passing? Yeah. That.

Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee are demanding that the Department of Child Services return the five children they took from a Black Georgia family traveling through the state back in February after the parents were told in a juvenile court hearing on Monday that the state would not be returning them for the time being. The children — a breast-feeding infant and 2-, 3-, 5- and 7-year-old kids — have been in state custody for over a month ever since their parents were charged with misdemeanor possession of five grams of marijuana and a blunt.

On February 17, Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were traveling with their five children from Georgia to Chicago for a funeral when they were pulled over in Tennessee by a police officer for “dark tint and traveling in the left lane while not actively passing."

Wanting to be safe, in light of the way traffic stops often go for Black people, they pulled into a gas station parking lot rather than on the side of the road. Immediately, the cops demanded Williams get out of the car and go sit in the back of the police cruiser, while Claybourne and their children were escorted into the gas station while the cops tore through their vehicle, even bringing around "drug sniffing dogs" to smell all of their bags and possessions the cops had taken out of the car ... which cannot possibly be the usual protocol for pulling people over for "traveling in the left lane while not actively passing." Okay, clearly we mean cannot as in must not, because unfortunately it very much is.

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Why, O Why, Won't Liberal Professors Please Save Republican Party From Itself?

An argument with no audience at all.

In one of the strangest calls for bipartisan — or maybe transpartisan? — unity we've ever seen, the New York Times (gift link) yesterday offered an op-ed by Jon Shields, a history prof at the very very conservative Claremont McKenna College, arguing that if liberals in academe would like to help save America, then liberal professors should "rescue the GOP" — by becoming mentors to bright young conservative students and by teaching courses on conservative thought. This, Shields argues, would be good not only for the students and for conservatism, but also for universities and American politics.

Honestly, it's such a naive argument, and so utterly divorced from modern political reality, that I kind of want to pat the essay on the head and say "goodness, you mean well, don't you? Have you looked outside, though?" It's as if David Brooks were huffing the concentrated vapors of uncut Kumbayah juice.

The are you kidding me? You've got to be kidding me! vibes start with the first sentence and continue throughout the whole mess:

When conservative undergraduates look around for mentors these days, who do they find? Not conservative professors, at least not very often. Our ranks have been slowly vanishing since the 1980s. Instead, those students find organizers from the MAGA-verse who teach them how to own the libs. That’s who is instructing the next generation of Republican leaders, modeling how to act and think like good conservatives. It’s a squalid education, one that deepens their alienation from the university and guarantees that the next generation of elected officials will make Ron DeSantis’s war against higher education look tame.

Who will mentor these poor wandering conservatives? All they have is the poisonous MAGA people, and they aren't conservatives, they're wild people!

Shields doesn't exactly say why conservative professors are so hard to find in universities these days, although there's certainly an implication that liberals drove them out because that's how progressives just do things. Nor does Shields give even a moment's discussion to how it is that conservative intellectuals have become so rare, much less why the MAGA folks have driven all the sensible smart conservatives from the GOP. (The abbreviation "RINO" appears nowhere in the essay, even though it's key to understanding how the wild-eyed crazies have ejected whatever intellectuals were still in the party.)

Still, Shields thinks it would really be a great thing if all the liberals who now make up the bulk of academe could help out and nurture conservative thought on campus, like a captive breeding program would help restore a species that's on the verge of extinction. Liberal professors can fix this sorry situation and teach conservative students

how to become thoughtful and knowledgeable partisans — by exposing them to a rich conservative intellectual tradition that stretches back to Enlightenment thinkers like Edmund Burke, David Hume and Adam Smith. They could mentor their conservative students, set up reading groups, help vet speakers and create courses on the conservative intellectual tradition.

Conservative academics are apparently now so rare in the wild that they can't do any of that themselves, so perhaps liberal profs can hand-feed the fragile conservative nestlings, like how the San Diego Zoo fed California Condor chicks by using puppets that looked like adult condors — you wouldn't want the young conservatives imprinting on a liberal prof who might infect them with postmodernism.

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