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Post-Racial America

Trump And Republicans Having 'Be Racist To Squad' Contest. SPOILER: America Loses!

Grosser and grosser and grosser.

Haters of the so-called "Squad" (Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) got busy this weekend, merrily engaging in racist and bigoted self-owns for all the world to see. On Friday, Republicans from the Illinois GOP County Chairmen's Association embarrassed themselves by posting one of the most ignorant and xenophobic memes we've ever seen outside of Nazi propaganda posters.

It's that thing above. It's fucking ignorant, and God forbid, is also the kind of thing that could incite violence against one of those women.

Fuck you, whoever did this shit. I don't know whether to start with the sexualized objectification Ocasio-Cortez, the criminalization of Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, or the implied savagery of Rashida Tlaib, so let's just not start, and finish it out instead. What kinda bullshit is this? How about the icky racialized tropes about Ilhan Omar's puckered lips, the smiles on three of the women, and the wildness of the other; it's quite clear that our ladies are not safe with the men of Real America. Objectification of black and brown bodies is not a new thing, but it's frightening regardless of which century we live in. They need protection. Including from the police.

Mark Shaw, the president of the association, did take it down and apologize. Not fucking impressed, though, I don't give a shit about him condemning a meme, he needs to condemn that fucking rat bastard of a president that is putting the lives of FOUR of our elected representatives in danger.

"A couple of days ago, an image which was not authorized by me was posted on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen's Association," Shaw wrote in a statement. "I condemn this unauthorized posting and it has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents."

The post, Shaw added, "is an unfortunate distraction from the serious debate surrounding the policies advocated by these four socialist members of the United States House of Representatives of which I strongly disagree."

Fuck you. That is all.

MEANWHILE, DONALD TRUMP.

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Russia

All You Need To Know About The Robert Mueller Hearings, Aside From MAYBE YOU SHOULD READ HIS F*CKING REPORT

Gonna be a shitshow, y'all!

Hooray, Robert Mueller is testifying before Congress on Wednesday! Have you decided what you're wearing? (Alan Dershowitz, we already know your answer is NOT PANTIES, so you don't have to weigh in here.)

In advance of the hearing, we are getting all kinds of reporting about what to expect and what Congress is doing to get ready. Did you know that, according to CNN, the Judiciary Committee is going to focus on Trump's obstruction of justice, whereas the Intel Committee is going to focus on Trump and Russia? That's quite a surprise to anybody who doesn't have the foggiest idea what either of those committees does for a living! Meanwhile, the Republicans will be playing with their poo on live television and trying to get Mueller to admit that Hillary Benghazi Secret FBI Lovers Unmasking Seth Rich Comey Deep State Dossier Whitewater Travelgate Pizzagate Devin Nunes Is Smart.

Or something. Here's Mark Meadows, with a witty retort from Yr Wonkette:

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White Nonsense

Chris Wallace Sh*ts All Over Stephen Miller, So That's 'Sad'

It's the Sunday Show Rundown!

El Presidente Trumpito's syphilis-addled brain tweets from last week, when he told four congresswomen of color ("The Squad," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley) to "go back where you came from," sent Republicans on a weeklong Circe De SuRacists acrobatics to excuse it.

We went from Kellyanne Conway's impromptu Ancestry.com with journalists to racists at a Trump rally chanting "Send Her Back" which Trump basked in before trying to gaslight people into believing he opposed to it only to later follow it with "sorry not sorry" while doubling down. Normally, any sane person would let this die down so the media/news cycle could move on. But norms don't exist, President Fucksquib is not a sane person, and time is a flat circle we are doomed to repeat.

Living these 2 1/2 years really ages you...

Giphy

So early Sunday morning, while probably fast food constipated, Donnie decided to tweet:

So who better to speak about racism than Trump's own Wormtongue, Stephen Miller, on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace.

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News

Elijah Cummings Just Asking SDNY If There's Anybody's Ass He Ought To Beat Right Now (Hint Hint!)​

Jerry Nadler's not the only one pissed at the abrupt and weird end to the SDNY's investigation into Donald Trump's campaign finance crimes.

We barely just finished telling you that House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler was super-pissed after seeing this week's unsealed Michael Cohen documents, and has requested the honor of Hope Hicks's presence back in Congress, so they can clear up whether she lied to their faces about her knowledge of the booby peener porn payoff campaign finance crimes committed by Michael Cohen and orchestrated by President Individual-1. And now another Democratic committee chair is super-pissed and has fired off his own letter, now that the Southern District of New York (SDNY) investigation into those crimes is apparently over, without anybody besides Michael Cohen going to prison for the crimes Individual-1 directed.

Elljah Cummings, chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee, has sent a letter directly to the SDNY, specifically to Deputy US Attorney Audrey Strauss, who oversaw the investigation, and boy oh boy he has some damn QUESTIONS.

Specifically, Cummings would like to know if it's true, as has been reported in USA Today, that a large part of the reason the investigation ended was because of the stupid damn fucking wrongheaded DoJ policy that says you can't indict a sitting president. Did they just quit investigating because it's pretty clear that the primary person who should be rotting in prison, either with or instead of Cohen, was Trump, but because of some dumbass memo (not a law) that Attorney General Bill Barr keeps folded up inside his grundle for safekeeping, they couldn't do anything about it so fuck it?

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Culture Wars

Trump Judicial Nom Accidentally Followed The Constitution Once, So He's (Probably) OUT OF HERE!

Ted Cruz, we meet again.

Halil Suleyman Ozerden has been a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi since 2007, after being nominated by George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate. Trump has nominated him for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Both of Mississippi's conservative Republican Senators, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker, back Judge Ozerden's nomination. But for others in the right wing of the Republican party, Judge Ozerden just isn't crazy enough.

In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, several Republicans expressed their concerns about Judge Ozerden's record. In particular, they have problems with the fact that Judge Ozerden dismissed a case challenging the ACA's contraceptive mandate that had been filed by the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi.

Let's be clear: Judge Ozerden didn't even reach the merits of the ACA case -- he dismissed the case because it wasn't ripe for adjudication. If a case is "ripe," it's ready to be heard by the court. Ripeness is a constitutional issue that courts have to decide before they can get to the merits; because Article III of the Constitution says federal courts can only hear actual cases or controversies, a party has to be wronged before they can sue over it. Because the Department of Health and Human Services was still working to create new rules to allow religious groups a workaround to the contraceptive mandate, Judge Ozerden ruled that the case wasn't ripe. He also dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning the Catholic Diocese would be able to file the case again, after the DHHS rules had been finalized.

This is pretty standard legal stuff that law students cover in their 1L constitutional law classes, so it shouldn't be much of an issue, right? Wrong. Because Judge Ozerden followed the constitution and binding precedent in this case, Senate Republicans and several other whack-jobs are raising hell.

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News

Hey Hope Hicks! Jerry Nadler Would Like To See You In His Office.

Did Hopey LIE TO CONGRESS? It sure seems like that's a possibility that has not been ruled out!

On Thursday, we were able to read the parts of the FBI warrant on Michael Cohen's house/office/hotel/playpen about the illegal campaign finance crime scheme he carried out, at the direction of Donald Trump, in order to make sure two women Trump had affairs with would keep their mouths shut about that, in order to benefit Trump electorally. And though the investigation is now closed (under curious circumstances), we were able to determine that it's at least possible that more people than just Michael Cohen should go to prison for this shit, since the evidence in the warrant suggests that he was a pretty equal player in the scheme, even if he was the point man between Trump and all the other players.

One person who came off looking extra bad? Hope Hicks. One person who, based on the evidence, seems like she may have told some of the slightest, most innocent wee not-so-bad WHITE LIES to Congress about her knowledge of the booby peener porn payoff crimes? Also Hope Hicks!

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is PISSED. Nadler fired off a letter to Hicks saying, hey, Hopey, here are a shitfuckington of times it looks like you lied to Congress in your recent testimony. Care to come back and clarify, by which we mean this is your chance to come back and tell the truth this time, before we criminally refer you for lying to Congress?

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Congress

Elijah Cummings, AOC Tapdancing On Assholes' Faces Again

Acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan, COME ON DOWN!

The House Oversight Committee grilled acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan yesterday about the current strategic incompetence and mistreatment of migrants at the border. McAleenan insisted the Border Patrol was doing the very best it could to deal with increased numbers of border crossers, but parroted the administration line that overcrowding in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities were simply a result of Congress's failure to fund Donald Trump's beautiful dream of detaining all asylum-seekers and their families forever. For some reason, Democrats on the committee weren't buying it!

Americans' frustrations with the cruelty at the border were channeled by Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), who reminded McAleenan what moral outrage looks like.

Here's the start of the exchange. Cummings starts off measured, but as he discusses a federal judge's finding that DHS "did a better job of tracking immigrants' personal property than their children" during last year's family separation crisis, he gets more and more pissed off, wondering why the entire administration seems to suffer from a "empathy deficit."

I'm talking about human beings. I'm not talking about people that come from, as the president said, s.h.-holes. These are human beings. Human beings. Just trying to live a better life.

As the questioning continued, Cummings presented the facts: DHS -- and McAleenan, as then-head of CBP -- had lied when it said it kept careful records of all the children taken from their parents. The DHS inspector general documented there was no such database, and the judge in the case repeatedly excoriated the administration for not keeping track of the children.

Eventually, Cummings built to a crescendo of righteous anger over McAleenan's bland assurances that since most of the separated children were eventually reunited with their parents, everything worked out just fine.

"And therefore, I guess — you feel like you're doing a great job right?" Cummings asked. McAleenan started replying that golly, DHS is "doing our level best," but Cummings had had enough:

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Class War

Elizabeth Warren Has A Plan To Fix Wall Street And Kick Mitt Romney Square In The Money-Dick

NICE TIME!

Yr Dok Zoom is pretty sure the first time he ever heard of Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren was her 2007 interview on Fresh Air, after she testified before the Senate Banking Committee about all the tricks credit card companies use to extract extra revenue out of customers -- like changing payment due dates with very little notice, to rack up late fees. We remember her mentioning she'd had her contract law students try to make sense of the long, fine-print terms and conditions of credit card contracts, and if Harvard Law students struggled to make sense of 'em, how was the average customer supposed to? She got famous later, after Jon Stewart had her on the "Daily Show." But I'll never forget how clearly she explained the ways very smart financial execs with very smart lawyers managed to rig the smallest details to their advantage. Warren has made a career of pointing out how the very rich have been writing America's rules since the Reagan years.

I felt something like that come-to-Populist Jesus moment reading Warren's newly released plan to bring Wall Street to heel: It's about high finance and low motives, and succinctly explains, with a load of links to studies and background reading, why running the US government for the advantage of the financial sector is terrible for American people -- and for that matter, terrible for the US economy. Take 20 minutes to read it and you'll say, well shit, that's not right. That's not fair.

Fortunately, it can be fixed, by President Warren, or any Democrat who adopts Warren's plan. All we need to do is slay a few dragons.

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Congress

Rand Paul Forgot 9/11

Twice with this motherfucker today? We are sorry.

BREAKING NEWS! Rand Paul is a spineless dickweasel who uses 9/11 first responders as props for his kabuki dance on fiscal conservatism. Paul, who was thrilled to vote for the Trump tax cut which blew a trillion dollar hole in the deficit, worries that we can't afford healthcare for emergency personnel who got cancer after rushing into the still-burning Twin Towers back in 2001. Okay, to be fair, his "real" objection is that we aren't cutting food stamps or education funding to offset 9/11 healthcare spending. Because if you can't use one vulnerable constituency to bludgeon another, what is even the point, right?

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Everywhere Else News

Secret Agent Rand Paul Reporting For Duty!

Gonna fix Iran good, you bet!

SHHHHH! Donald Trump just appointed Rand Paul as his double-super-secret backchannel to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Kentucky's second worst senator is going to go convince those Iranians to give up their nukes and start playing nice. Hosanna, our long, national nightmare is over! But keep it under your hats because it's totally hush-hush, okay?

Politico reports that Sens. Paul and David Perdue went golfing with Trump this weekend at his New Jersey course -- paid for by you, the American taxpayer -- and the president gave his blessing to Paul's request to meet with Zarif to try to bring down the temperature a bit and keep us out of another pointless Middle Eastern war. Paul refused to confirm or deny that his plan involves praising Zarif's big, beautiful hands and promising half price taco bowls for life at the future Trump Tower Isfahan.

(Let him play all the golf he wants, they said. When he's out there on the links, he's not breaking shit, they said.)

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News

Wonkette Stole This Samantha Bee Interview With Tammy Duckworth Before It Could Even Air!

RUDE.

You know how Rachel Maddow loves yr Wonkette? Well apparently Samantha Bee does too, or else a new comms employee does and will MAYBE get SHITCANNED for it! (Don't get shitcanned, do keep sending us exclusive Samantha Bee segments before they air!)

In tonight's television episode, which we bring you here now (or at least the relevant portion thereof), Sam interviews kickass Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois; it's framed as part of a show-within-a-show, because why just do "an interview" when you can also make fun of the conventions of dopey late-night interview shows, not that they're naming any particular targets. Sam's hunky husband, Jason Jones, could not possibly be mocking any sidekick figures from the history of talk shows, that's for sure, hey-oooooh.

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Congress

Nancy Pelosi Now A Libelsome Guttermouth And Trump A Gentle Innocent Lamb Of Kindness, Goodness And Love

There's a rule against calling the 'president' a racist. Who knew? (The Republicans who put it there in 2016!)

The House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday night condemning Donald Trump's racist rant telling four members of Congress to "go back" to whatever awful countries they came from. (That of course means the USA, which really is a mess.) The vote ultimately passed, largely along party lines, 240 to 187, with four Republicans and ex-R Justin Amash voting for the resolution. The vote was delayed after Republicans insisted the entire resolution, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech in favor of it, violated House rules against calling the president of the USA racist. How very uncivil of those mean Democrats!

You might think that "condemning racism" would be a fairly straightforward thing, at least if you were recently unfrozen from suspended animation, and congratulations on not getting frostbitten. Instead, it quickly descended into FRACAS AND HULLABALOO, falling just short of House members brawling or challenging each other to duels like they did in the good old days of US America.

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Russia

Sh*t, Devin Nunes Found The Collusion! It Was HILARIOUS ZINGERS The Whole Time!

Devin Nunes is a mindfuckingly stupid man.

So, you know how the Robert Mueller testimony is not tomorrow, because some Democratic congressional committees had to bicker about who got to say what words when, and now it is a week later? Yeah, well Devin Nunes (R-MOOOOOOOOOO) knows the real reason for the rescheduling, and it is ZINGERS and COLLUSION and every other nasty thing you can think of, but not between Trump people and Russians! Oh no, that would be too normal and obvious and painstakingly detailed in the Mueller Report, so Devin Nunes couldn't believe a thing like that!

The Washington Examiner journalism website tells us of Nunes's very smart MENSA theory that he shared on the Fox News network:

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Post-Racial America

Kellyanne Conway Denies Trump Wants Ethnostate, Asks Whether Reporter Is Hutu Or Tutsi

Say, you know WHO ELSE wanted to know reporters' ethnicity?

Kellyanne Conway had one of her little moments today. When reporter Andrew Feinberg asked her to explain what she thought Donald Trump was getting at with his "go back where you came from" comments, she replied by asking him what his own ethnicity was, as human American people routinely do. Feinberg, who's Jewish, wasn't willing to play her dumb game, so we may never find out what brilliant rhetorical point Conway was trying to set up. Probably something completely innocent and yet profound about how the only thing that defines us is our loyalty to America, as embodied by the Great Man, so shame on Feinberg for ruining it. Some people clearly do not love America.

Here's the video; you may want to wear something with a chin strap so your jaw doesn't drop too far.

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Post-Racial America

Mike Pence: The Border IS FINE, Also DEMOCRATS' FAULT

Cartoon dog in flaming room wonders how Pence can think this is fine.

Vice President Mike Pence visited two Border Patrol detention facilities in Texas Friday and declared them perfectly fine, despite the complaints of men in one location who said they'd been caged for 40 days without being allowed to shower. Then Pence complained that CNN hadn't reported accurately on conditions at the border, so chalk up another Mission Accomplished moment.

Pool reporter Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post described conditions in a holding area at the detention center in McAllen, Texas.

Here's some video of the pool's visit to McAllen, with detainees saying they'd been held for up to 45 days, in a facility where migrants are supposed to be held no more than 72 hours.

Border detainees say they haven't showered for 45 days www.youtube.com

A bit more detail on that CBP denial:

Michael Banks, the CBP officer in charge of the facility, disputed the narratives shared by the detained migrants. He told reporters all detained people were allowed to shower, but admitted a trailer shower had just been brought onto the premises Thursday, and said some of the men at the facility had not yet had a chance to use it. Because of the lack of shower facilities, Banks estimated some of the men had been forced to go 10 to 20 days without showers.

Ah, well in that case things are probably fine -- after two months of DHS Inspector General's reports detailing overcrowding and sanitation that was so bad that one facility manager described it as a "ticking time bomb," they finally brought in a shower trailer, the day before the Veep showed up.

But don't worry -- this was definitely not a carefully stage-managed border visit, because you see, Pence's office released a statement saying it

specifically instructed CBP to not clean up or sanitize the facility beyond what is routine so the American people could see how serious the crisis at our border is.

Dawsey also noted the VP's office said Pence magnanimously "wanted press to see the McAllen facility," although the Secret Service "had concerns about him going inside." And yet Pence somehow survived -- possibly because he and the reporters were hustled out of the McAllen facility after just 90 seconds.

Mike Pence and Lindsey Graham stare down the North Koreans. Or caged migrants who haven't showered in 40 days.

We like the part where you can see the big Igloo water jugs -- strategically placed outside the cages, because who even knows what those animals would have done if allowed to get water for themselves.

Earlier in the day, Pence visited a family detention facility in Donna, Texas, that has only been open for two months. Conditions there were considerably less crowded; the 800 people being held there constituted well under its maximum capacity.

Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, spoke through translators to children held in a room where they watched Spanish-language cartoons.

Several children nodded "yes" when the vice president asked them if they had enough food and if they were being taken care of; others, however, shook their heads "no" when Pence asked if they had a "place to get cleaned up," according to reports.

The children wore winter jackets and hats indoors because of the air conditioning in the center.

"God bless you," Pence said. "Gracias."

Naturally enough, Pence praised that facility as a bold fresh piece of humanity, because please ignore the lawyers who documented little kids being forced to care for babies, or the DHS inspector General reports documenting overcrowding and poor sanitation, or this:

But Pence had a nice visit to Teresienstadt on the Border, where everything was lovely, just lovely!

"And while we hear some Democrats in Washington DC referring to US Customs and Border facilities as 'concentration camps', what we saw today was a facility that is providing care that every American would be proud of," Pence said.

After "touring" the McAllen facility for a minute and a half (fine, he probably saw other parts where there were no smelly Central Americans, too), Pence explained it was all Democrats' fault that CNN only showed video of his 90 Seconds Over McAllen Friday night, instead of also showing the better camp. On Twitter, Pence huffed, "These men were in a temporary holding area because Democrats in Congress have refused to fund additional bed space." (That would be the funding Dems reluctantly approved two weeks back because Republicans refused to let the money come with "strings" about minimum standards of care for imprisoned children.) Oh, Pence was MAD!

Shame on CNN! SHAME! Also, here's CNN's video of Pence's visit to the family detention camp and the one in McAllen.

Pence also explained that while the facility was a tad overcrowded, that's just the way things go, and also Democrats' fault:

"What you saw today was a very clean facility where people were being detained indoors," he said, "and then you saw a temporary facility that was constructed because this facility is overcrowded.

"And we can't keep people in a cell beyond what the rules and regulations allow for, but everyone in that temporary facility is getting healthcare, they're getting hygiene and CBP is doing their level best in an overcrowded environment and a difficult environment to address this issue, but Congress has got to act."

Honestly, the people wearing surgical masks to keep some of the stench out are SO BRAVE, keeping America safe (and the water jugs on the AMERICAN side of the fencing).

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro told Pence to get stuffed, because it's not CNN that has insisted that every single asylum seeker be jailed forever.

But please, listen to Mike Pence, who believes the horrors at the border simultaneously don't exist, and are also the fault of Democrats who stubbornly refuse to eliminate asylum like Pence and Trump want. You certainly wouldn't want to listen to Friday's' congressional testimony from Elora Mukherjee, a law professor at Columbia University who was one of the attorneys who interviewed children held at the Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas. In testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Mukherje said the children hadn't been bathed, and reeked of urine, vomit, and sometimes of rancid breast milk, making it difficult even for lawyers on her team to get close to them. She said one 6-year-old boy just sat for nearly an hour and sobbed during his interview.

Children could not wash their hands with soap because none was available, she said, her voice cracking. They wore the same clothes on them when they crossed the border and were not able to change underwear. Children were traumatized, hungry and constantly crying. Others, as young as 8 years old, were forced to care for the younger ones.

A guard would come into a cell with a small child in tow, and ask: "Who is going to care for this one?" Mukherjee told lawmakers.

"One 6-year-old girl, detained all alone could only say: 'I'm scared. I'm scared. I'm scared,' over and over again," the professor said. "She could not even tell me her name."

As of this morning, Trump has not yet told Mukherjee to go back where she came from.

Then again, the hearings were held by Democrats, so none of that probably ever happened. Donald Trump said before Pence's trip that reports of mistreatment of migrant kids were "phony," so that seems like a valid counterpoint. Also too, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, went on the Sunday shows to explain it's ridiculous to consider the conditions in the border facilities any kind of human rights problem:

Get back to the administration when it starts withholding food, and we're sure Cuccinelli will explain everything's fine, because we're still letting them breathe, aren't we? Not that we have to -- they're illegal, after all.

[Guardian / NYT / Vox / Courthouse News / HuffPo]

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Post-Racial America

What This Dems In Disarray Story Needs Is Some Garbage Polling. Take It Away, Axios!

Very journalism! Much great!

Hey, Democrats, knock that shit off! There is a place for members of Congress to hash out their differences, and it's called a closed-door caucus meeting. Donald Trump is locking babies in cages, and we have an election to win in fifteen months. So if we could stop hacking big chunks out of each other in public, that would be GREAAAAAAT!

We do not need Speaker Pelosi running to Maureen Dowd to air her thoughts on "The Squad" of headline-grabbing freshman congresswomen who have become the face of our party's progressive wing. We do not need to open Twitter and see that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff thinks other members of the caucus are racist. We do not need Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley wrapping up the latest "Dems in Disarray!!!!" story in a bow for the national press by giving a quote that's going to be yanked out of context to make it sound like she thinks her fellow African American representatives aren't black enough. And we sure as hell don't need to see blind items on Axios by "top Democrats" attacking AOC and Rep. Ilhan Omar by selectively leaking data points from a longer poll to somehow "prove" they're a drag on the party nationwide.

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