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White House

Trump Taps Nunes Lackey Kash Patel To Run Nation's Intelligence, If Any

NOW it's time to panic.

Okay, Purity Ponies, this one's for YOU!

Guess which lunatic fox just got put in charge of the Intelligence henhouse? Hooray, it is Devin Nunes's lackey Kash Patel, who spent the past three years flogging the lie that the Intel Community made up the Russian interference story just to hurt Donald Trump. The president just promoted the guy who thinks the FBI and CIA lied about Russian hacking to cover up the fact that HILLARY CLINTON IS THE REAL COLLUSION to senior advisor at the Office of Director of National Intelligence. But please, tell us more about how you'll be staying home if your candidate doesn't win!

After shoving aside (acting) Director of National Intelligence Joe Maguire for the grievous sin of acknowledging Russian ratfucking, Trump named Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, a man with zero national security experience, as nominal (acting) DNI until he can pick a permanent successor. Grenell will retain his ambassadorship, and tend to the SEVENTEEN AGENCIES which constitute our the Intelligence Community in his spare time. But it's okay, because that should leave him plenty of time to zero out any projects focusing on Russian interference with the 2020 election. And if there's an issue with the time-zone or something, he's always got Kash Patel to lean on.

If the past three years have blurred together into one long nightmare for you, let's review who Kash Patel is, shall we?

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White House

State Department Kinda Making Up Coronavirus Policy As It Goes Along. That Cool?

It's hard to tell the weaponized incompetence from the regular kind.

The Washington Post published a disturbing-maybe story yesterday detailing internal White House deliberations Sunday, when the US was about to fly more than 300 Americans from that quarantined cruise ship in Japan back to the USA. The Americans who wanted to return home had already been taken off the Diamond Princess, which had been sitting at anchor in Yokohama Harbor since February 3 while the Covid-19 coronavirus spread among the passengers on board. But while the 328 Americans, all wearing surgical masks and gloves, waited on buses at Haneda Airport in Tokyo for their flight home, officials from the State Department and the Centers for Disease Control were wrangling over a new problem: 14 of the Americans had tested positive for the virus, although the State Department had promised that nobody who was infected would be allowed on the two 747s — their interiors stripped of everything but seats — chartered to repatriate the Americans.

As the Post reports, it seems nobody had planned for that possibility.

A decision had to be made. Let them all fly? Or leave them behind in Japanese hospitals? [...]

The State Department and a top Trump administration health official wanted to forge ahead. The infected passengers had no symptoms and could be segregated on the plane in a plastic-lined enclosure. But officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagreed, contending they could still spread the virus. The CDC believed the 14 should not be flown back with uninfected passengers.

"It was like the worst nightmare," said a senior U.S. official involved in the decision, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. "Quite frankly, the alternative could have been pulling grandma out in the pouring rain, and that would have been bad, too."

Ultimately, it may not make a huge difference — or at least we don't know yet. All the Americans who were brought back remain in quarantine at military bases in California and Texas, where they're no doubt being prevented from seeing the massive numbers of Russian and Chinese tanks left over from Barack Obama's Jade Helm 15 conspiracy. But even if none of those who tested positive for the virus actually spread it on the planes, it's not exactly reassuring to know that the people in charge were pretty much improvising their response — which is, after all, the default mode in Donald Trump's White House.

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Russia

The Top 768,796 Reasons Putin Wants Trump Re-Elected, For GOP Rep. Chris Stewart And Idiots Like Him

WE ARE JUST TRYING TO HELP.

Yesterday we learned about the Russia briefing to the House Intelligence Committee that pissed off Donald Trump so much he fired his director of national intelligence, because the ODNI briefer told Congress the obvious truth that Russia is trying to get Trump re-elected. In that briefing, butthole-mouthed GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah was reportedly highly skeptical that Vladimir Putin would even want Trump re-elected, because Stewart is apparently high on his own sauce and truly believes the lies he tells himself about how Trump has been tougher on Putin than anybody else.

According to the New York Times,

Mr. Stewart insisted that the president had aggressively confronted Moscow, providing anti-tank weapons to Ukraine for its war against Russia-backed separatists and strengthening the NATO alliance with new resources, according to two people briefed on the meeting.

Mr. Stewart declined to discuss the briefing but said that Moscow had no reason to support Mr. Trump. He pointed to the president's work to confront Iran, a Russian ally, and encourage European energy independence from Moscow. "I'd challenge anyone to give me a real-world argument where Putin would rather have President Trump and not Bernie Sanders," Mr. Stewart said in an interview, referring to the nominal Democratic primary race front-runner.

This is the guy who was reportedly one of Trump's top choices for permanent director of national intelligence, but apparently isn't anymore because somebody showed Trump a mean quote Stewart said in 2016 where he called Trump "Mussolini" and Trump doesn't like him anymore. (Funny how much these Republicans have changed! Wonder why.)

Regardless, that sound you hear right now is Wonkette and every other patriotic and informed American endlessly screaming and banging our heads against the wall and wondering how Stewart and his fellow Trump-humping Republicans manage to put on pants in the morning without injuring themselves.

Why would Putin want Trump? Dunno, Congressman, why did Putin want Trump in the first fucking place? Because the reasons back then are the same as the reasons now, except for how how Putin also had a personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton in 2016. But oh boy, there were a thousand reasons Putin preferred to have his puppet Donald Trump in the American presidency then, and there are a million more now!

Instead of endlessly screaming, Wonkette chooses to be helpful to Chris Stewart and anybody else who is as dumb as he is and answer his question. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, DUMBASS.

Here is a long but not remotely exhaustive listicle! CLIP AND SHARE whenever someone is BEING AN IDIOT.

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White House

The Next Contestant On 'So You Think You Can DNI' Is ... The Congressman From 'Hee Haw'!

SPOILER, he does not want the job. Womp womp!

Oh God, how many times have we been through this now, where Donald Trump floats an idea for a new real-live big-boy director of national intelligence, and then promptly gets smacked in the grundle for being so stupid as to even think that's a possibility? (The highly unqualified dickhead acting DNI, Ric Grenell, who is also the loathed ambassador to Germany, is only there temporarily. He says.)

Trump thought maybe he could pick Devin Nunes, but no, that didn't work, everybody LOLed and said "moo." He thought he could pick paste-eating dipsack Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, but WHOOPS, John Ratcliffe appears to have fabricated half of his career. He still could pick Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, which is horrifying, because that guy literally queened out during the Russia intelligence briefing because he just can't understand why Putin would pick Trump, considering how TUFF ON RUSSIA Trump has been. If you are that stupid, you are not qualified to feed our cat, and we do not have a cat.

But Trump likes reality shows, and this is clearly a reality show, so might as well have a new contestant! SPOILER, the new contestant does not even want to be on the reality show.

Let's meet him!

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White House

DNI Trump Fired Over Russia Briefing ALSO Ukraine Crime Spree Witness, How Coincidence!

Who could have seen this coming!

Congratulations, Joe Maguire, you just played yourself!

The story about Trump flipping out and firing his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, because the intelligence community reached the blindingly obvious conclusion that Russia is trying to get him elected AGAIN, is fucked up six ways from Sunday. But let's not lose sight of the fact that just five months ago Maguire threw his body on the whistleblower hand grenade in a desperate effort to save the president from himself. And yesterday, for his troubles, he got tossed out like garbage.

THAT TRAIN IS NEVER LATE. And also, AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP. Plus a whole bunch of other aphorisms, probably.

Let's rewind the tape, shall we?

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Trump

European Remake Of 'Showgirls' Starring Mike Pompeo And Mick Mulvaney Somehow Worse Than Original

NOOOOO! Put it all back on!

Donald Trump makes everybody get naked. Not literally, praise the Lord! But his bottomless corruption and utter lack of principles force everyone around him to strip down and let the whole world see who they really are. This week's European field trips by Mike Pompeo and Mick Mulvaney, two former Republican congressmen who were strong on defense and loathed deficits in a previous lifetime, are a perfect example.

Secretary of State Pompeo met with a bipartisan delegation of American congresspeople on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference this past weekend, the Washington Post reports. When pressed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) about low morale and declining staff at the Foreign Service, Pompeo just got angry and lied. As is his habit!

"That's absolutely wrong. It's not true," he snapped, insisting that morale is high and never before have there been more members of the Foreign Service than right now, after Donald Trump's allies waged a successful public campaign to smear and remove our ambassador to Ukraine, and the secretary of State did fuck all to stick up for her.

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2020 Congressional Elections

Swing State GOP Senators Content To Hold Trump's Hand, Drive Off Cliff Together

But, hey, did you hear that Bernie Sanders is a ... SOCIALIST?

Donald Trump is set to hold rallies in swing states where Republican senators tanked their political careers when they helped him skate on impeachment charges. It's the least he can do, and they might as well call it the "GOP Learned Nothing From Kentucky" tour.

The president will swing by Arizona Wednesday to prop up never-elected, never-gonna-get-elected Sen. Martha McSally. McSally headlined her own "Veterans for Trump" event Tuesday night, where she made some strange remarks.

MCSALLY: We are going to be ground zero for President Trump's reelection, and we are ground zero to keep the Senate majority.

It's almost been 20 (!) years since 9/11, but isn't "ground zero" objectively a bad thing? The term most commonly refers to the site of a nuclear explosion. She's not wrong, but how is this helpful? McSally demonstrated more of her savvy political skills during an appearance on Fox News where she accused Barack Obama of trying to take credit for actual things he'd done as president.

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2020 Congressional Elections

Susan Collins 'Very Disappointed' In Poll Showing She's A Big Loser

You hate to see it.

When last we left Susan Collins, the world's most useless "moderate," the Maine senator had helped free Donald Trump to crime some more. This wasn't the best choice for democracy or Collins's re-election hopes. A Colby College poll shows her effectively tied with likely Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. Collins won her last Senate race with 68 percent of the vote. She's now reduced to 42 percent to Gideon's 43. Fourteen percent of voters are undecided, and Collins can only hope they're like her — soberly weighing all options before choosing at the last minute to do whatever Mitch McConnell wants.

These are appalling numbers for an incumbent whose Senate career is old enough to vote against her. Maine is a small state. The people all know her and how much she sucks. Gideon has a better shot at winning over undecideds, especially women. Women just aren't feeling Suzy Creamcheese.

From the Portland Press Herald:

"One of the most surprising findings is how poorly Senator Collins is doing with women," said Dan Shea, Colby College professor of government and the lead researcher on the poll. "She had a 42-percent approval rating overall but that drops to 36 percent for women. Further yet, it drops to 25 percent for women under 50.

Yikes! It turns out there's a political price to pay when you help confirm a credibly accused attempted rapist to the Supreme Court or actively enable the criminal hijinks of the misogynist in chief.

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Featured

A Dizzying Array Of Brilliant Genius Thoughts From Our Leader As He Sat On This Morning's Terlet

My kingdom for a Metamucil!

Didn't Mama Trump ever tell little Donny not to push too hard? Are there no prunes in DC? Or is that the real reason Hope Hicks has been summoned back to Washington? Because if someone doesn't convince the old man to eat a plant, our national security is at grave risk from the extended morning tweet sessions as he, uh, strains at stool?

Even by the debased standards of Trump's (allegedly) obstructed colon, this morning's poop tweets were completely off the rails. At 8 a.m., he attacked the judge in Roger Stone's case by name again, quoting "Fox Judge" Andrew Napolitano's call for a new trial because the foreperson is a BIASSSSSS Democrat.

Judge Jackson now has a request for a new trial based on the unambiguous & self outed bias of the foreperson of the jury, whose also a lawyer, by the way. 'Madam foreperson, your a lawyer, you have a duty, an affirmative obligation, to reveal to us when we selected you the existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don't you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.' Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country would order a new trial, I'm not so sure about Judge Jackson, I don't know." @Judgenap (Andrew Napolitano) @foxandfriends

Guess Trump forgave Judge Nap for being a closet Democrat who supported impeachment. Anyway, no, fuck off, the foreperson has no "affirmative obligation" to disclose her public social media posts. Stone's lawyers had an affirmative obligation to craft a jury questionnaire and ask questions during voir dire that would reveal potential bias against their client. If they couldn't be bothered, well, that's on them, not her. They had a chance to strike her, either peremptorily or for cause, and they didn't.

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SCOTUS

Damn Right Mitch McConnell Would Fill SCOTUS Seat In Election Year While Ordering Code Red

Mitch McConnell has the morals of a common Mitch McConnell.

During an interview last week, Mitch McConnell was asked what he'd do if a Supreme Court vacancy opened up just a few months prior to this year's presidential election. This was somewhat of a softball question. McConnell is the Senate majority leader and, when not running sham impeachment trials, confirming Supreme Court justices is a big part of his job description. What kind of a ragamuffin Senate majority leader would leave a Supreme Court seat open for months, collecting dust and looking all sad like Miss Havisham? Mitch McConnell, that's who. It's what he did in 2016 when Antonin Scalia defied his Christian God and died during Barack Obama's presidency. McConnell said that the "American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." It was a fancy pronouncement with at least one instance of a "therefore."

To the surprise of no one not suffering from terminal naïveté, McConnell now says that he would indeed confirm a Supreme Court justice during a presidential election year, because Donald Trump is president, not Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Trump is a Republican and would nominate someone from the right-wing hack section of the Sears catalog. McConnell doesn't understand what your problem is.

It's been four years and people keep asking McConnell this question like he's some sort of a carbon-based mammal capable of feeling shame. It's unclear why people make this error. He's not even that lifelike. You can only eat wax fruit a few times before you're responsible for your own gastric distress.

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Media/Entertainment

Senator From 'Deliverance' Talking About 'Honky Tonk Woman' And Brain Damage, We Are So Confused

Or maybe HE is confuse.

Senator John Neely Kennedy, the thing what went to Oxford but who seems to want you to think he was raised by a brusque yet kind redneck alligator in the Louisiana bayou, went on the Sunday TV shows yesterday. And he said ...

Well, we're not quite sure what he said.

The question on "Face The Nation" was about whether it is appropriate for Donald Trump to turn the Justice Department into a vehicle for avenging his grievances, and specifically whether Trump should have tweet-whined about how unfair Roger Stone's recommended sentence was, immediately after which Attorney General Bill Barr very conveniently followed Trump's orders and issued a new sentence recommendation.

And Kennedy said:

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Feminininism

Ted Cruz Positively Outraged That The Government Would Interfere With His Reproductive Rights

What's that like?

For nearly a decade, as male politicians have repeatedly sought to chip away at our reproductive rights, female legislators have responded with bills of their own, meant to regulate theirs. In 2012 we had a whole slew of them — Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Illinois proposed adding an amendment to a bill requiring those who get abortions to watch an ultrasound beforehand that would also require men who get Viagra to watch a graphic video about its potential side effects; Sen. Janet Howell of Virginia thought men who wanted Viagra should probably get a rectal exam first; and Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner felt that the best way to show men who feel they need a drug for erectile disfunction "that we care" about them would be to require a psychological examination beforehand, and then a cardiac test every 90 days after that, and that they should also be required to sign a form saying they understand the side effects.

Then, in 2017, Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar "A Man's Right To Know Act" proposed fining men $100 for masturbating (every sperm is sacred!), allowing doctors to refuse to perform vasectomies or prescribe Viagra if they feel they have a religious objection to it, and requiring all men to read an informational booklet before getting Viagra or a vasectomy or a colonoscopy. So good! All of them!

The latest of these bills comes from Alabama state Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham), who on Thursday filed a bill (HB 238) that would require men to get a vasectomy prior to their 50th birthday or after their third child. Naturally, this would be at the man's own expense. And Ted Cruz is positively outraged!

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Impeachment

Rand Paul Thinks YouTube Has Some Obligation To Torture Its Users With Clips Of Him Speaking

That's cruel and unusual punishment!

Rand Paul, the second-worst senator from Kentucky, is very upset that YouTube recently pulled a clip of him being a jerk on the Senate floor. Paul insists that YouTube's decision was "dangerous and politically biased," but it's his own actions during Donald Trump's sham impeachment trial that more accurately fit that description.

In the clip YouTube removed, Paul pitched a fit and demanded Chief Justice John Roberts explain why he'd blocked one of the senator's questions. It's believed Paul's question contained the name of the Ukrainian whistleblower. Considering Roberts read aloud Elizabeth Warren's shade bomb that mentioned him directly, the substance of Paul's "question" must've been especially out of bounds.

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2020 Congressional Elections

Amy McGrath, Please Beat Mitch McConnell Now, We Are All Sick Of His Stupid Face

McConnell boasts about his spectacular talent to halt progress and enable tyrants.

Amy McGrath — fighter pilot and perhaps the Rebellion's last hope — emailed me personally Friday to announce she's within one point of defeating human turtle libel, Mitch McConnell. Unfortunately, I can't as yet confirm the poll she references wasn't conducted in her residence, but it's been a long week of stories about racial slurs. Forgive me for grabbing onto any hope that we might actually ditch Mitch.

McGrath reported raising $6.2 million in the final three quarters of 2019 for a total of $16.9 million, which is just $2 million less than what Alison Lundergan Grimes raised in her failed 2014 attempt to unseat McConnnell. She currently has $9.1 million cash on hand. These are potent numbers. McConnell has $9.7 million in the bank, which is obviously more but he has to convince voters he's not Mitch McConnell. That's not cheap.

McConnell's campaign manager Kevin Golden dismissed McGrath's haul as the work of Jews and gay people liberal elites in New York and California, where conservatives insist no actual Americans live.

JERKASS: Any left-wing name on the ballot against Mitch McConnell will raise tens of millions from liberal elites in New York and California who want to eliminate Kentucky's power to shape policy in Washington. What they can't do is invent left wing voters in Kentucky who would cast a ballot for a candidate who would erase their voice like Amy McGrath.

Yes, McGrath is gonna "erase" Kentuckians voices and make them lip synch such popular liberal hits as "Representative Government" and "(I Can't Get No) Sham Trials." Donald Trump hates that last one. McGrath might've been born in Ohio, where all of Kentucky's slaves once fled, but she grew up in Kentucky and has every right to represent it in the Senate. She's also a combat veteran and a goddamn fighter pilot for the Marines. Republicans should show some respect, but these are the same people who voted for Donald Trump.

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2020 Congressional Elections

Democrats Might Need Restraining Order Against Creepy Republicans Stalking Their Meetings

The NRCC will NOT be ignored.

We all know Donald Trump is wholly corrupt and will do whatever's necessary to rig the upcoming election in his favor. He was impeached for it, after all. But many of us don't appreciate just how shady the non-Trump Republicans are.

Politico reports that members of the National Republican Congressional Committee strolled over to the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and got all up in their business. The DCCC was holding a meeting for its "Red to Blue" program. Unfortunately, this innocent pack of doe-eyed liberals was discussing strategies for flipping Republican seats with "the blinds wide open," so any random corrupt political organization could see the information on display. But the NRCC didn't just look and move on, like when you (not me, obviously) walk past an advanced yoga class. They stopped and took pictures, which was, as the DCCC puts it, "totally out of bounds and downright creepy."

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Healthcare

HHS Sec Tells Senate Trump's Obamacare Replacement Is Not The Plan They're Looking For (Because He's Never Had One, Never Will)

Plan to replace the thing we're killing? Why?

At a Senate hearing today, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration won't offer a plan to replace Obamacare until after it's struck down by the Supreme Court. In other words, if the Court does exactly what the administration has been asking for and overturns the Affordable Care Act while Trump's still in office, Americans won't find out until then what Trump has in mind to replace it (not like Trump or Republicans have ever had a real plan, ever). Heck, healthcare is only a sixth of the economy. It's not like it's complicated or anything.

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