Portland, Oregon, Wonkers, This Saturday Is Your Time To Shine!

Hey Portland, whatcha doing? Having some gross fire smoke from your state fires that are so big they're making their own weather? Well good, I wouldn't want to miss Montana's gross fire smoke skies while I am coming to see you!

Important details from WONKMEET.COM:

Saturday, July 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: We'll be meeting at Peninsula Park for a family friendly afternoon in the park. We have picnic tables and restrooms. This is a potluck and BYOB (beer & wine only, please) event. For those that can't make it in person, we'll have a live WonkZoom running for drop ins. Free commemorative sportsball cap! This is going to be major epic.

It IS going to be major epic! Because Shy and I and not one but TWO babbies will be there!

And what is upcoming on the WONKMEET calendar, these wonkmeets put on by wonkers who have seized the means of WONKMEET production? (Special thanks to Uncle Milburn for leading the REVOLUTION!)

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It’s Time We Talked About That John Fetterman Shotgun Incident

Democrats currently control the Senate, at least whenever Joe Manchin finagles a hall pass from Mitch McConnell. Holding the Senate in 2022 is an uphill battle. Democrats need to keep their seats in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire. (The last two might actually be tougher than the first couple.) They'd like to pick up seats in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, but President Joe Biden lost each one in 2020. Republicans have a coup-state advantage.

Biden did flip back Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but the Blue Wall is still slightly gelatinous. Pennsylvania seems doable: Biden won the state by a larger margin than Wisconsin, and there's no Republican incumbent, even a dullard like Ron Johnson, defending the seat.

This brings us to Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who announced his Senate candidacy in February. He received national attention when he mercilessly dragged Donald Trump and his Big Lies about the Pennsylvania presidential election. He's an ideal Democratic candidate in many ways. He's personable, and although he has a masters in public policy from Harvard, he doesn't talk like he studied humanity at an Ivy League school on Vulcan. However, he freely admits that he comes from a privileged background. (The admission doesn't erase the privilege, though, as some Black state officials have already pointed out.)

But there's still that incident, the one we wish hadn't happened. In 2013, as mayor of Braddock, a town just 11 miles outside Pittsburgh, Fetterman pulled a shotgun on an unarmed Black jogger, “detaining" him until the police arrived. Fetterman reportedly heard shots fired outside his home and spotted the man running, which joggers are known to do. According to the police report, “Fetterman continued to yell and state that he knows this male was shooting."

An officer who patted down the man, Christopher Miyares, then 28, found no weapons. The officer noted that Mr. Miyares was wearing running clothes and headphones. Mr. Miyares was released.
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Federalist Writer Shares Incredible Trauma Of Learning 'Critical Race Theory' In School

Conservatives are always freaking out about schools in one way or another. Are they saying the Pledge enough? Why can't there be prayer in schools? Why can't we teach the controversy that just maybe the earth is actually only 6,000 years old and Adam and Eve were real people who hung out with dinosaurs? What if instead of giving children comprehensive sex-ed, a thing that has been proven to be effective, we tell them to just save themselves for their wedding day unless they want to be an icky piece of chewed gum? Why are trans children being allowed to go to the bathroom?

Now, as you've probably noticed, they're on about Critical Race Theory, or whatever it is that they think "Critical Race Theory" is, because none of them can actually define it. Most, however, seem to define it as learning anything whatsoever about the existence of systemic racism. Because if no one ever talks about systemic racism, those who benefit from it are free to go on doing so, unbothered.

As such, conservatives are trying their level best to show how incredibly frightening "Critical Race Theory" is, frequently with hilarious results — as in the article The Federalist published today.

In the very dramatically titled "My High School Taught Me Critical Race Theory Six Years Ago And Tried To Reeducate Me When I Fought Back," Federalist intern Spencer Lindquist tells the terrifying story of the time his Tennessee high school briefly tried to teach him how not to be a racist asshole.

Now, we must be fair. It is entirely possible that we are the ones who don't understand "Critical Race Theory" and that what Lindquist was exposed to was truly bad and traumatizing.

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Let's Check In With The Guy Who Says Trump Aced His Dementia Test

We don't know what clown college gave Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) his medical degree — just kidding, yes we do, it was the University of Texas, WHA HAPPEN, Y'ALL? — but we'd like to report to all the medical licensing boards that his brain is still broken.

Jackson, who used to be the White House doctor until this one TEENY little drunky pill-pushing scandal came out, and who while serving as White House doctor bragged that Donald Trump was a 239-pound man who FUCKIN' ACED his dementia test, has said another braindead. This time it's about vaccines!

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Hillsong Founder Considers Vaccines A 'Personal Decision,' No Matter How Many Congregants Die

Nice people!

This week, 34-year-old Stephen Harmon, a member of the Hillsong megachurch and graduate of Hillsong college, died from COVID-19. Just a little over a month earlier, he had been mocking vaccinated people and the vaccine, tweeting "I got 99 problems but a vax ain't one." And even as he lay dying in the hospital, he swore that if he recovered he still would not get a vaccine. Even as he lay dying, he mocked efforts to encourage vaccination, tweeting "Biden's door to door vaccine 'surveyors' really should be called JaCovid Witnesses. #keepmovingdork."

Following the news of his death, Hillsong founder Brian Houston tweeted out his condolences.

'Ben has just passed on to us the devastating news that our beloved friend, Stephen Harmon has passed away from Covid. Heartbreaking.

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When Will The Cops Stop Ordering ‘Code Reds’ On Black People?

Yes, it’s Wonkette Movie Night!

Hey, y'all! It's Sunday, so let's settle in and talk about A Few Good Men, the damn good Aaron Sorkin play and memable movie starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. I just rewatched the movie (while simultaneously reading the play because I'm a nerd) and was taken by its thematic relevance to our ongoing debate about law enforcement.

If you haven't seen the film, Cruise plays Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a Navy lawyer defending US Marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Pvt. Louden Downey, who are accused of murdering fellow Marine Pvt. William Santiago at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The men entered Santiago's room, tied him up, and stuffed a rag down his throat, which killed him. There's no alleged here because they don't deny their actions. Their only “defense" is that they were following orders and that production closed in Nuremberg.

The Marines claim they were ordered to give Santiago a “Code Red," a brutal, inhumane “training" tactic that includes pouring glue on someone's hands so they won't drop their rifle again or giving someone who doesn't bathe regularly enough a “GI shower" with scrub bushes and steel wool. It's barbaric and illegal but Nicholson's Colonel Nathan Jessup considers it “an invaluable part of training."

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Is This Terrible Song A Sociology Experiment Or What?

It's just impressively bad.

There was a time when the internet was all cute animal videos and confoundingly overconfident people doing things they were obviously not very good at. Whether or not it was a better time, who can say — but it was certainly a simpler time.

In the spirit of those days, I present to you ... this music video from Oxford sociology graduate student Sarah Brand, for her song "Red Dress."

Sarah Brand - Red Dress (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

It is maybe one of the most wonderfully terrible things I have seen in a while and I'm not going to like, I've probably watched it like ten times since discovering it yesterday. I cannot look away. It's like she's singing notes that have never existed before.

Now, some people in my Twitter mentions, when I posted it, suggested that it had to be fake, on account of the fact that no one could possibly go through life and make it to Oxford of all places without realizing that they are that bad at singing. That perhaps, as she is a sociology student, this is merely a social experiment of some kind — perhaps to see how many people she could get to go along with her.

I disagree, and not just because I don't think that people who went to fancy schools are that much less likely to be more self-aware than anyone else. After all, Ted Cruz went to Harvard and Princeton. Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer went to Duke, although that did seem to prompt a lot of "But he's DAPPER!" confusion among people who for some reason couldn't fathom that a clean-cut, articulate, well-dressed Ivy Leaguer could be a Nazi. Oh, and you know who went to Oxford? Fox Mulder. Who, while correct about things on the X-Files, would be extremely wrong about them in real life.

As evidence that she is for real, allow me to show you the category tags on that video, which include things like "summer," "good time," "scandalous" and "seductive." Those don't pop up on YouTube, they only pop up when we embed the video ourselves.

Also — that is just not the face of someone who is taking the piss. She is clearly very sincere. And honestly, I'm happy for her. I am a very big fan of people who are terrible at singing and insist upon doing so anyway, from The Cherry Sisters to Florence Foster Jenkins to Mrs. Miller. It takes chutzpah I don't have, that's for sure.

OPEN THREAD! Talk amongst yourselves.

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