Wonkette Weekend Chat: Which Vulnerable Group Do Republicans Hate This Week?

It's the first Wonkette chat of fall 2022! Curl up with a cozy blanket and warm beverage and join us for an engaging political discussion that will somehow involve "Days of Our Lives" and implausibly realistic face masks.

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Law Closing In On Brett Favre Sticking His Dick In Mississippi Welfare Money Pie

Mississippi, the state where only 1.42 percent of people who qualify for welfare actually get it, has an ongoing scandal involving state officials diverting millions of dollars of federal anti-poverty funds into grifty causes for favored insiders, like the very nice volleyball stadium that former NFL star Brett Favre wanted built at the University of Southern Mississippi. Today, there's another development in that ongoing scandal, as John Davis, the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) is pleading guilty today to a bunch of state and federal fraud charges.

Davis agreed to plead guilty to two federal charges and 18 state counts in exchange for his cooperation with state and federal investigators; the plea agreement document does not specify what sentence he'll have to serve. But how's this for being a lucky ducky? Whatever time he's sentenced to will be served in federal prison, not in Mississippi's notoriously harsh state prison system.

The guilty plea involves welfare funds that Davis directed to companies owned by WWE pro wrestler person Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase, and to DiBiase's son Teddy Jr.

Davis and the wrestler's son apparently became friends during Davis's term in office, from 2016 to 2019, Mississippi Today reports:

Davis instructed two nonprofits receiving tens of millions in welfare funds from his department to pay Teddy DiBiase Jr. under what the federal court filing called “sham contracts” to deliver personal development courses to state employees and a program for inner-city youth, “regardless of whether any work had been performed and knowing that no work would ever be performed.”

This makes Davis the third person involved in the scandal to agree in a plea deal to help investigators. In April, Nancy New and her son Zach New agreed to plead guilty to state and federal charges as well; Nancy New had been the director of the Mississippi Community Education Center, one of the nonprofits that took part in the misuse of funds from the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, which replaced what we used to call "welfare" and frankly still do.

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11th Circuit Says Trump And His Favorite Judges All Morons, Investigation May Proceed

Sometimes court rulings are just a delight to read. Such is the case with last night's ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, smacking Donald Trump in the face and calling district court moron Judge Aileen Cannon an idiot.

Short version: Yes, the Department of Justice is allowed to use the documents it seized at Mar-a-Lago in its investigation into the closely guarded state secrets Trump stole from the White House, which happen to be the very documents we are talking about.

Obviously. Clearly. Come on, Aileen.

It turns out that classified documents are, by definition, not Donald Trump's property. Who knew? Also, they are not attorney-client privileged. We know we are getting into some legal weeds here, some very complicated topics. We're so far into legal Nerd Land that this stuff apparently flew straight across Aileen Cannon's head, bless her heart.

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Donald Trump went and visited his favorite son Sean Hannity last night, because he doesn't have "lawyer" in his employ with the power to make him shut the fuck up. And we are not going to spend a lot of time on this interview. But there's one clip we want you to see.

It's not that Trump babbles anything new here. It's just that, as his life gets worse and worse every day, his brain is obviously decomposing faster and faster. Our featured video is Trump explaining that all he has to do to declassify documents is think of them. Whether he grunts real hard and loud, like he's doing a declassifying in his pants, or if it's silent, like a Big Mac fart that smokes Melania out of the entire residential quarters.

It doesn't matter. It is part of the powers of the presidency, to be able to declassify things with your mind. As long as he is thinking about documents, they are declassified.

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AZ GOP Senate Candidate Blake Masters: Fire All The Generals, Replace Them With Trump Stooges

There's a reason he's losing this race to the astronaut.

Arizona Senate polls are bleak for All-American Fascist Doll GOP candidate Blake Masters. Go to Real Clear Politics and pick a poll, any poll, and Masters is losing badly to Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly. Even reliably right-leaning Trafalgar — the Republican candidate’s favorite aunt of pollsters — has him down two points.

In a new OH Predictive Insights poll, Kelly curb stomps Masters by 12 points, 47 to 35 percent. We’d expect that to tighten closer to the midterms. One in four voters is still undecided, but Masters would need to swing almost all of them. That seems unlikely because he’s so gross and weird.

Case in point: Vice News recently obtained audio of Masters attacking the US military, which is always good for votes in Arizona (no, wait, quite the opposite). During an an Apache Junction Ladies for President Trump event in August 2021, he pushed the popular rightwing smear that senior military officials are “woke” and “left-wing” losers who couldn’t win a firefight against imperial stormtroopers.

PREVIOUSLY: Creepy Ghoul Blake Masters Not Winning Over Voters In Arizona Senate Race

Masters, who served his country on the killing fields of venture capitalism, has a solution to this made-up problem. Purge the military of liberals and replace them with conservatives who recognize just two pronouns — “semper” and “fi.”

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So Is (Alleged) Welfare Cheat Brett Favre Going To Jail Or Nah?

This story keeps getting worse.

Dirtbags who misuse welfare funds intended for poor people aren't typically known for their honor and loyalty, so it's no shock that the players involved in Mississippi's massive welfare scandal are turning on each other.

John Davis, the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS), pleaded guilty last week to an assortment of state and federal fraud charges, specifically a conspiracy to misspend welfare funds. Mother and son scam duo Nancy and Zach New pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in April. Nancy New was director of grifty "nonprofit" the Mississippi Community Education Center, which blew through millions that should've helped feed the poor. Instead, Nancy and Zach New bought lavish gifts for themselves.

The stampede of rats from this sinking ship has turned the heat up on retired NFL quarterback and alleged welfare cheat Brett Favre. Mississippi squandered millions of dollars in welfare funds on Favre’s pet project, a volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi, his alma mater and where his daughter played volleyball. According to new court documents, Favre tried to bleed more cash from the state's welfare agency for yet another underprivileged sports facility. This was in 2019, when Favre was trying (unsuccessfully) to recruit Deion Sanders's son to play at USM. That scheme went nowhere.


Brett Favre Diverted Frivolous Mississippi Welfare Funds To Very Serious Volleyball Stadium

Law Closing In On Brett Favre Sticking His Dick In Mississippi Welfare Money Pie

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State/Local Politics

Republican Christine Drazan Wants To Be Oregon's Next Forced-Birth Enthusiast Nightmare Governor

Please, God, no.

Oregon gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan is a Republican, so it would be a disaster if she won. Normally, you wouldn’t lose much sleep over that prospect in Oregon. President Joe Biden carried the state in 2020 by 16 points.

However, Drazan exuded confidence last week during a Fox News interview when she gloated over how the race was now classified as just “leans Democrat,” as if that has anything to do with her curdled mayonnaise campaign. One-time Democrat Betsy Johnson running as an independent is splitting the left-of-center vote. They should require Drazan to wear a “Go Betsy!” button whenever she’s on TV

Drazan shared more of her positive, uplifting message in a new campaign ad called “Rotten,” which is about how much Democrats suck.


DRAZAN: Career politicians are rotten to the core. That’s what my family used to say.

Drazan’s family sounds incredibly cynical. It’s like she was raised by characters in a 1940s film noir. Her childhood must have been surrounded by fog-drenched black-and-white cinematography. You almost feel sorry for her until you remember she’s a Republican and there are better ways to spend your time.


Hero Centrist Betsy Johnson Might Just Stick Oregon With A Republican Governor

Democrats usually run ads about how their parents instilled in them a sense of civic duty and responsibility. Take this recent moving ad from Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock about his lovely mother. It’s as if Republicans don’t merely have different political policies. Increasingly, they seem like characters from a mirror universe where everyone is the evil twin.

Drazan’s ad just gets darker and more hard-boiled:

DRAZAN: … Powerful people only care about power. My opponents have held power for a generation, and they will say anything to keep the governor’s office in the hands of the Democrats for another decade of decline. They believe they are entitled to power, so they lie and distract and divide, but when something is this rotten, it’s time to throw it out.

Her ad, which is apparently not distracting or divisive itself, doesn’t explain how Johnson and Democratic nominee Tina Kotek lie, which is somewhat relevant information when smearing your opponents. No, her argument is seemingly that “career politicians” are all corrupt liars, except for her, even though she is currently also an elected politician. Maybe she thinks serving as the Republican leader in the state House of Representatives is a pastime and not an actual career. She dares suggest Oregon Democrats feel entitled to power when she’s pleading for votes like a child throwing a tantrum if a classmate won’t share a toy.

Oregon obviously can’t screw around and elect a Republican governor, no matter how much Drazan stamps her feet and says “give me!” Drazan’s communications director and self-proclaimed “burrito connoisseur” John Burke accused Wonkette of “hitting the panic button” as Drazan “gains momentum.” A Clout Research poll showed her with 33 percent of the vote to Kotek’s 32 percent and Johnson’s 21 percent. This is not a Republican revolution. It’s conservative “Democrat” sabotage.

Johnson voters might want a “non-woke” governor who’ll aggressively address crime and homelessness, but post-Roe, reproductive freedom is on the ballot. Drazan is an open forced-birther. The National Review raved about her dodge-and-weave response about abortion during a recent debate. We were less impressed:

DRAZAN: I’ve never shied away from my pro-life values. I haven’t. But you can’t really have it both ways. So the folks on the stage with me today are saying two things: That a woman’s right to choose is protected in Oregon — that it’s in Oregon statute, and they’re the ones that put it there — and they’re also saying that a woman’s right to choose is potentially at risk in Oregon if you elect a pro-life governor. Both of those things cannot be true without legislative action. Can’t be. So as I have stated previously, I will be a governor that follows the law. I will not bypass Oregon’s laws — I will actually enforce them uniformly, whether people in Portland like it or not. And at the same time, I am not hiding from my own values.

This is garbage, of course. Abortion rights and access are under attack, and Oregon needs a governor who will fight for them. Kate Brown joined Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a “West Coast offensive” for reproductive freedom.

A Gov. Drazan would not lift a finger to protect out-of-state refugees seeking an abortion. She would not devote funds to abortion rights providers so they could cope with increased demand. She certainly wouldn’t advocate against a national abortion ban. She glibly says she would “follow the law,” when thanks to right wing judges the “law” is closing in on the most vulnerable.

Drazan might end up performing worse than every Republican nominee since 1998, and if that’s enough somehow to put her in the governor’s office, she’ll have Betsy Johnson to thank.

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