GOP leadership is shocked, shocked!
California Republican Ted Howze thought he could run for Congress without anyone checking his social media, or maybe he assumed everyone would stop using social media and have more “game nights" with their families. Neither happened and now he has to answer for offensive posts about Muslims and immigrants that appeared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The inflammatory content is your typical Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter garbage: Hillary Clinton is accused of murdering Seth Rich. Rep. Maxine Waters doesn't just have distracting black lady hair, she's also a crackhead. Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg is a fraud who hasn't witnessed real gun violence. Also, Islam sucks. None of this is true or all that “shocking." It's boilerplate rhetoric from your MAGA relative. But Republicans like to gaslight us into thinking their party isn't a pack of bigots.
Howze claimed he didn't know how those "negative and ugly" posts got on his accounts. He certainly didn't write them! He was a regular user of Facebook, but he apparently never read its security guidelines, so he gave people access to his accounts ... for reasons. Facebook isn't Netflix or Hulu. Facebook is free.
Transportation Sec Elaine Chao, your life is calling.
Last weekend, Donald Trump did another of his Friday Night Massacres of inspectors general; virtually all the attention went to the firing of the IG for the State Department, Steve Linick, who seems to have been looking into a whole bunch of dubious doings by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Somewhat less noticed was the other IG removal last Friday, in which Trump demoted the acting inspector general for the Transportation Department, Mitch Behm. Trump replaced him with a political appointee, Howard "Skip" Elliott.
Why would anyone care about a silly inspector general in a Cabinet department nobody even thinks about until a bridge collapses? Could be because Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who's up for reelection this year, and Chao's department sure has been sending a bunch of sweet transportation projects to Kentucky. Probably all just an innocent coincidence, but Behm's office was investigating the alleged favoritism in approving big spending for Kentucky, that well-known transportation hub.
The Griftapalooza continues apace! Today's hog at the trough is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was apparently using the State Department as a venue for a series of fancy dinner parties. Were you hoping to subsidize Mike Pompeo's political ambitions by hosting rich and powerful people for a little face time over cocktails and dinner at hundreds of taxpayer dollars a plate? Then today is your lucky day!
NBC reports that Pompeo and his wife, Susan, regularly hosted what they called "Madison Dinners" at the State Department, named for James Madison, the fourth president and fifth secretary of State. Subtle, huh?
Luminaries arrive at 6 to be escorted via private elevator for a guided tour of Diplomatic Reception Rooms, described as "a museum of U.S. diplomacy that includes the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room, the Martha Washington Ladies' Lounge and the John Quincy Adams State Drawing Room." Then a photographer captures a commemorative photo in front of the fire as a harpist tinkles out background music during half an hour of cocktails curated to reflect the evening's theme, perhaps a drink "paying homage to the time of James and Dolley Madison, or French 75 cocktails might be served up in honor of Mardi Gras." Then the secretary and his wife start the sit-down dinner with a toast, because, after all, it's all about them.
We imagine she has prayed a lot for him this week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to continue throwing the fuck down with Donald Trump and hitting him where she knows it hurts. And yes, we know there has been a debate raging on the internet over whether Pelosi is fat-shaming Trump, or whether she should do that. We are not here to engage in that debate, merely to report what the speaker of the House is doing and how it is bothering the president. (See? It is possible not to comment on every single thing you see on the internet!)
Trump was asked about Pelosi putting on her best "I'm praying for him" voice and saying Trump is "morbidly obese, they say," as she expressed concern that the president of the United States might be taking an unproven snake oil cure as a prophylactic against the novel coronavirus, especially considering his risk factors.