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Bernie Sanders Peaces Out

Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign today, announcing that he recognized there wasn't a "feasible path" to the nomination. In a brief speech to supporters, Sanders took credit for the the wave of progressive ideas that have gained popularity since his 2016, and vowed to keep fighting for social and economic justice. He didn't quite endorse Joe Biden, but made clear that he eventually will — but for now, wants to keep influencing the shape of the party platform for 2020.

Here's the video; Bernie's little sigh before launching into his "Good morning" is one of those very human moments of campaigning that's going to stick with me.

Bernie Sanders Speaks After Suspending Presidential Campaign | NBC News youtu.be


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Which Inspector General Is Trump Saturday Night Massacring This Lovely Tuesday Afternoon?

Donald Trump, wannabe authoritarian shitheel, really hates inspectors general. They are, by definition, nonpartisan watchdogs of the various federal agencies, and it is their job to root out fraud, waste, grift, graft, and any other criminal behavior they find. Also they just tell the agencies where they have room for growth and opportunities for improvement. For all these reasons, they are Trump's natural enemy.

Friday night, Trump fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, for the crime of following the law when a whistleblower came forward to report that Trump was using Ukraine to try and steal the 2020 election. Today, Trump fired Glenn Fine, the acting IG of the Defense Department who was supposed to be overseeing the funds in the $2 trillion coronavirus bill passed by Congress.

To be clear, Fine is highly respected. He's been an IG approximately forever, he is super non-partisan (first strike!), and he has all the experience he needed both to be (acting) IG of the Pentagon, and also the guy overseeing the coronavirus relief funds.

The Pentagon explained:

"Mr. Fine is no longer on the pandemic response accountability committee," Defense Department spokeswoman Dwrena K. Allen said in a statement. He will, however, continue to serve in his current position of principal deputy inspector general at the Pentagon. He had until now held both the acting and deputy positions.

Of course Fine was doing both jobs, as the Trump administration isn't known for things like "staffing" or "best people."

Don't worry, though, it's not like the top IG position at Defense is just going be held by an "acting" like it has been for four actual years, since Trump never bothered to nominate anybody for the confirmed role. Trump has at last nominated a highly unqualified idiot, Jason Abend from Customs and Border Protection, to be the Pentagon's official for real IG. Abend has zero experience that would suggest he should be IG of something like "Pentagon," so if confirmed, he'll fit right in with the rest of Trump's political appointees.

So What The Hell Just Happened?

So, OK. This is a lot of bureaucratic bullshit, so let's see if we can 'splain you what just happened here.

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Part-Time White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham Now No-Time Press Secretary

Stephanie Grisham is officially no longer doing the job she never did in the first place. The White House press secretary is out, and she was never in (we could do this all day). She leaves the role having never once briefed the press or berated them for kicks. That's a new record for uselessness, which is quite the achievement for a White House with both an Ivanka and a Jared.

Grisham replaced the odious Sarah Huckabee Sanders in July and since then she fiercely advocated for her downsizing. She claimed Trump was his own "best spokesperson" and the "most accessible president in history." She insisted that press briefings were “a lot of theater" (remember when we had theater?) that reporters used to make themselves famous. She restricted her public appearances to Fox News foot massage sessions, where she was often praised as the hardest-working woman in no business. Take this ridiculous exchange from "Fox & Friends" last fall:

AINSLEY EARHARDT: How do you do it?

GRISHAM: I'm just tired a lot. But if I can keep up with the president, that's all that matters.

The woman did absolutely nothing.

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Wonkette Announces Reader Aid Slush Fund NOT Overseen By Donald Trump

Friends, Wonkers, Terrible Ones, slush up our fund!

I am getting more and more worried about our friends (NOT US, WE'RE FINE, WE'LL TELL YOU WHEN WE'RE NOT) who are alone and just got (more) broke, and don't have any idea what to do about their rents and bills.

Because we are liberals and we solve problems by throwing money at them (AND WASHING OUR HANDS and STAY THE FUCK HOME), and we all want to help but didn't quite know how, we've decided to gofundme up a Wonkette Nation Slush Fund for YOU to donate to and US to distribute (possibly to you).

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coronavirus

Let's All Watch This Ping Pong Ball Ad And Call It A Day

And THEN they STEPPED on the PING PONG BALL!

We came across this nifty public service announcement for the social distancing on the Twitter machine, and we thought it was pretty cool! Especially since it's a nod to one of our favorite odd bits of movie history, updated for the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, take a gander. But not a proper gander, because this is not Fox News.

That's some pretty good social distancing/social media!

Ping-pong balls on mousetraps close together, you get a load more ping-pong balls spreading gross ping-pong viral droplets, and everyone's sick. Ping-pong balls farther apart, and nobody gets it, see? (OK, fewer people get it, but that's where the randomness of the ping-pong demonstration breaks down, it's only a metaphor anyway, shut up.)

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Culture

Anthony Fauci Ain’t Touching Your Dirty Ass Hand Ever Again

It’s probably for the best.

At some point in a future we can't yet envision, the coronavirus pandemic will end and we'll all leave our homes again ... and likely frighten small children and animals with the condition of our hair. When the crisis is behind us, will there have been any upside? Well, Dr. Anthony Fauci raises the wonderful prospect that we'll never again have to shake someone's gross, sweaty, mobile-Petri-dish hand.

Tuesday, during a Wall Street Journal podcast, Dr. Fauci discussed with host Kate Linebaugh how lockdown-paroled Americans might re-enter society and safely avoid pandemic recidivism.

DR. FAUCI: When you gradually come back, you don't jump into it with both feet. You say, what are the things you could still do and still approach normal? One of them is absolute compulsive hand-washing. The other is you don't ever shake anybody's hands.

I have personally lived in fear of handshakes ever since watching the 1995 Kevin Smith film Mallrats. The "stink palm" scene terrified me more than anything in Smith's body horror film, Tusk. The “stink palm" could happen in real life.

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coronavirus

More Stimulus? It's Not Like Hospitals And States Are Small Businesses, Like Churches Are

Trump and McConnell want this stimulus help but not that stimulus help, so Nancy Pelosi is obviously to blame.

The White House and Republicans in the Senate are playing politics again with coronavirus relief, mostly so they can accuse Democrats of playing politics and "holding working Americans as political hostages," as Mitch McConnell put it earlier today. You see, the $350 billion portion of the recent relief bill that's supposed to go to aiding small businesses affected by the economic shutdown is already starting to run dry, so Republicans want to pass a quick addition of $250 billion that would go to provide more loans through the "Paycheck Protection Program" run through the Small Business Administration. But Democrats point out that it's not just small businesses (and also churches, haha, what fun!) that need additional infusions of cash, so while Dems don't oppose the extra PPP funds, they also want a new package of $250 billion in aid for hospitals, state and local government, and food assistance to needy families.

McConnell forced votes on both proposals in a pro-forma session of the Senate this morning, and, as expected, Democrats blocked the small business-only version, while Republicans said no to the expanded funding measure put forward by Democrats, and then McConnell got to blame Democrats for not being helpful during a crisis. That disingenuous fuckhead.

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Media/Entertainment

Bill O’Reilly Thinks Coronavirus Victims Should Just Die Already, But Those Are *Last Week's* Talking Points

How hard is it to keep up, O'Reilly?

Welcome to another "Bill O'Reilly is the worst!" post. The disgraced former Fox News host who was disgraceful before he was fired finally — because of repeated sexual harassment accusations turned up on Sean Hannity's radio show Wednesday where the two very rich and privileged men complained about how the coronavirus pandemic has proven damned inconvenient.

HANNITY: I want life back to normal, can you fix that in a simple way?

O'REILLY: Oh man I wish I could, you know?

HANNITY: Oh, me too.

These fools both live in New York, where the coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 7,000 people. They act as if their mom has grounded them, and they're missing “Beach Week" with Brett.

O'REILLY: But we're making little steps. Bernie Sanders, you know, he's — he's gone, that's really good for everybody.

Why? Sanders didn't run on a pro-pandemic platform, and we're already getting our socialist on as we try to keep the economy from bleeding out on us. It's weird that during a public health crisis so many people are delighted that a candidate dropped out whose signature issue was ... health care. I guess it's not that weird because O'Reilly probably doesn't care about anyone's health but his own and the charter members of his country club.

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Journamalism

Is Mike Pence ... Right About A Thing?!?

Maaaaybe???

It seemed like Mike Pence was being a dick to the press, which is what we all expected from President Donald J. Trump's li'l feller.

It seemed, based on a quick gloss, that maybe CNN had finally stopped showing Trump's coronavirus rally scream-and-lie-athons (how would we know, do you think we watch that shit in the first place?), and Pence was going to retaliate and hardball them and enemy of the people them and whatnot for the benefit of Trump's exquisite ego, by blocking Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx from appearing on the news channel. And that was ... NOT THE CASE????

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economics

Jobless Claims Rise To An Unprecedented ‘Holy F**K!'

We are officially tired of winning.

Jobless claims for the week ending April 4 were released Thursday, and they're terrible, as expected. According to the US Department of Labor, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week. That's slightly lower than the previous week's 6.8 million, but happy days are hardly here again. For one thing, the previous week's initial tally was 6.6 million; the 6.8 million was an upward revision, which it would not be crazy to expect might happen again.

True, more people — gig workers, independent contractors — are eligible for unemployment thanks to the CARES Act, but any inflation in numbers there is likely offset by all the people who can't file claims at all because so many states have garbage unemployment insurance systems (by design). (Also, we haven't heard of any states that have figured out how to process the gig workers' claims yet. California, maybe?) It's probable that far more people are seeking assistance than the numbers reveal.

It's all quite a shock to the economic system. Barely a month ago, unemployment was at record lows of 4.4 percent. What Barack Obama's recovery giveth, Donald Trump's incompetent COVID response taketh away.

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coronavirus

We Don't Have Enough COVID-19 Testing. So Trump Is Pulling Funding For Testing Sites.

For state 'opportunities.'

With the coronavirus pandemic not yet at its peak in most parts of the country, and testing still lagging far short of what's needed, the federal government is ending funding for a program that helped state and local governments run testing sites. That will result in closures of those testing sites in several places, NPR reports. The federal funding for Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) ends tomorrow, April 10, because the program was seen as a temporary measure to get some testing going at 41 sites funded by Health and Human Services and FEMA, while states ramped up their own testing programs. But while more testing is available at hospitals and elsewhere now, it seems fucknuts insane to be shutting down any testing programs at all.

Then again, as we keep reminding you, we no longer have a federal government anyway, so there's your problem. As Dear Leader said, it's not the federal government's job to "stand on street corners doing testing," so it's up to the states, just like how the states handled fighting World War II with occasional backup from the feds.

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fox news

Tucker Carlson: It’s Dumb To Worry About Racism Right Now When Terrible Non-White Country Gave Us All Corona

Carlson wants us to start worrying and hate China.

Blaming China exclusively for the coronavirus outbreak while ignoring the mistakes America made as the virus spread completely unchecked within our borders seems right up your average white supremacist's alley. Last night, Tucker Carlson claimed Joe Biden was a longtime supporter of China, a nation that has screwed America consistently, according to Carlson's unique interpretation of history.

CARLSON: In 2000, for example, the US Trade Relations Act gave China normal trade status. What does that mean? In her book, “China RX," Rosemary Gibson, who we've had on the show, detailed how that legislation opened the floodgates for Chinese drug imports. Within three years of the bill passing, America lost its last aspirin factory, its last vitamin C facility, its last penicillin plant. Our ability to make critical antibiotics in this country vanished and that was a serious blow to our national security. And yet, Joe Biden voted for that bill. He went on to oppose amendments to it that would've put pressure on China to release political prisoners and stop forced abortions. Eleven years later, Biden still didn't see the threat. He appeared to welcome it. That year he said, “A rising China is a positive development, not only for China but for America." The day that Biden gave that speech, Americans had already lost their job — they'd been shipped overseas to China. Chinese students were already flooding America's schools and research labs, crowding out Americans, stealing the data and information that in the end would boost the Chinese economy to where it stands today, greater than ours.

Carlson thinks Biden loves China so much, he should marry the country and call it Dr. China. I suppose that's the new line of attack against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who Carlson also derided as a doddering old man. Carlson took special exception with Biden for calling out Donald Trump's “hysterical xenophobia" in lieu of “science" during the early days of the coronavirus crisis, 100 years ago in February. Carlson mockingly repeated the word “xenophobia!" as though he couldn't believe Biden would care about something so trivial when China had launched a COVID-19 missile at us.

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Mommyblogging

God. He's A Real Motherf*cker.

Passover: a festivus for the rest of us!

I am not very good at Jewish. My brothers were bar mitzvahed but by the time they got to me, my mom had stopped taking us to Hebrew school, and it's not like my dad was going to do it. I was mostly Catholic anyway. When Liz told me last night was the first day of Passover, and I asked, oh, it lasts more than one day? I could feel her horror through the chat cave just typing the terse word "yes."

Dad's not religious, but he is cultural. I thought, being stuck in the house three weeks and change now, not even getting to walk the dogs at the animal shelter, he would like a seder. He did! It was a nice seder! I read the prayers from my laptop because fuck no I don't know them except for the wine.

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coronavirus

If Reporters Can Win A Pulitzer For Being Dumber Than Trump At A Press Briefing, Then This Clown Is A Finalist

'Tiger King'? You’re asking the president about goddamn 'Tiger King' during a pandemic?

I have not seen "Tiger King" on Netflix. Most of my TV viewing was while on the elliptical at the gym or during airline travel, both of which COVID has denied me. As a family, we watch a lot of Nature episodes on PBS because we're now homeschooling and learning how horses evolve is how our son will end up at Yale. But I've heard a lot about "Tiger King." I'm glad people have a diversion during their house arrest. However, I'm not sure it's the sort of topic a serious journalist should discuss with the president — even if he's Donald Trump — during the daily plague briefing.

It's unclear who this clown is who asked Trump about "Tiger King." If I discover his name on the Internets, I promise to go back and swap it in for every place I used “clown."

CLOWN: One of the biggest ratings hits of the coronavirus ...
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News

Twitter Revokes Diamond And Silk's Immunology Degrees

All they did was suggest people go get infected with Rona for good health. Is that wrong?

Fox News hangers-on Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who have Dunning-Kruegered their way into the rightwing punditocracy as "Diamond and Silk," briefly had their Twitter account locked Wednesday after they tweeted a call for COVID-19 quarantines to end so that everyone can get healthier. It was, as you'd expect, a supremely bad take, salvaged somewhat by the elegant framing of this person who got a screenshot before the tweet went bye-bye:

So yeah, that's Dr. Diamond and Dr. Silk explaining how the human immune system works:

The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment. Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!

That ... is not how immunity to diseases develops. You could look it up, or just click the linky there. Twitter locked the account and said the tweet was "in in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy" and would have to be removed for the account to be reactivated. So now the tweet's gone.

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2020 Congressional Elections

GA Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumps All Her Stocks Like They’ve Got The Rona

Polls show Loeffler looking like another McLoser.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, a loyal Trump stooge, desperately wanted to fill the retiring Johnny Isakson's US Senate seat, but the GOP establishment instead rallied behind gazillionaire Kelly Loeffler, whose prior political experience involved donating sacks of cash to Republicans, including $247,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Gov. Brian Kemp had nothing but the best motives, we assume, when he picked Loeffler. It's hard to beat her “I'm filthy rich" qualifications. She could even self-finance her election campaign in 2020 and save the GOP money for other races. But like most other dreams, that ended with COVID. It turned out that Loeffler and her husband, Mr. Also Richer Than God, dumped a bunch of stock after an “Oh Shit!" coronavirus briefing in January. She underplayed the threat for weeks afterward like a good little Trumplican.

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News

How Much Should You Be Tipping Delivery Drivers Right Now? Tabs, Thurs., April 9, 2020

All of it, idiot. It's TABS!

The feds are going to stop paying for testing sites on Friday, according to NPR. Some will be taken over by the states, others will close. He does not want you to know how many people have the virus, and Fox News is helping him by screaming about overcounting when the opposite is true. This is frightening.

Should you intentionally infect yourself? THIS epidemiologist says NO. Boo hiss boring what a DRAG, MOM, WE HATE YOU! (New York Times)

Here, be delighted. You're gonna need it.

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fox news

The 565,286 Worst Lies Fox News Is Telling Your Nana About Coronavirus RIGHT THIS SECOND

It's bad, y'all. Watch your Nana close.

Put on a mask of some sort and bring Purell, as we're about to dive into all the conspiracy theories and lies Fox News has been spreading about coronavirus the last 24 hours. You ready? Because it's bad. As in, if you have loved ones who are brainwshed by Fox, you need to monitor them extra close right now, for their protection, so they don't go out and get themselves and/or others sick, because of what Fox News has been telling them lately.

Again, it's BAD.

Let's take a look:

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coronavirus

Gavin Newsom Has HAD ENOUGH

Gonna make sure EVERYBODY gets masks.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom went on the "Rachel Maddow Show" last night and made some news: His state has joined with a consortium of nonprofits and manufacturers to make sure the state can get its hands on 200 million medical masks a month — mostly the top-quality N95 masks that are needed to protect doctors, nurses, and other medical workers from the novel coronavirus. Here's a guy who's committed to making sure his state — and smaller states, too — have the equipment necessary to get caregivers and patients through the outbreak.

Newsom: California Has Deal For 200 Million Masks Per Month | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC youtu.be

We've been competing against other states, against other nations, against our own federal government for PPE — coveralls, masks, shields, N95 masks — and we're not waiting around any longer.
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News

Wisconsin Speaker Wonders Why Everyone’s So Mad At Republicans For Holding Death Election

It’s not like the Democratic governor tried to stop it ... oh wait, he did.

Wisconsin going ahead with its election Tuesday was a public health disaster that will likely bear deadly fruit in a couple weeks. There were long lines of people spreading coronavirus and not even having a fun Spring Break (I saw no keg stands). Everyone's horrified and angry but the true tragedy, according to the state's Republican Assembly speaker, Robin Vos, is that people are blaming him and other Republicans for the lethal shitshow and not Gov. Tony Evers, who's a Democrat and everything.

Well, Einstein, this isn't the governor's fault because he asked the Republican-controlled legislature to postpone the primary, preferably at some time when it's safe to leave the house. Voters literally defied a statewide “stay-at-home" order when they showed up at their polling place yesterday. Evers also suggested mailing absentee ballots to every registered voter in Wisconsin. That seems very safe and smart, but the Republicans rejected the proposal after mulling it over for literally 17 seconds, like they were a Jim Crow-era jury sentencing a black man to death for ... whatever the crime was.

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