Does this mean they don't get to spend the summer at a reservation?
When the story broke this weekend about the MAGA hat-wearing Covington Catholic kids showing up at the March for Forced Birth in D.C. and taunting Native American elder and veteran Nathan Phillips, we figured it'd be only a matter of time before the white kid rapid response team was called in to exonerate them.
Back in 1992, four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted on charges of excessive force in the arrest of Rodney King. The verdict appalled those of us whose sight-producing eyes viewed the video footage of the officers beating King like he was a piñata. However, the mostly white jury pointed out that they'd seen the "whole" video, which presumably ended with an off-screen director shouting, "Cut!" and handing King a check for his performance.
The "whole" video of last Friday's incident came out Sunday, and the New York Times claims it paints a "fuller and more complicated picture" of the encounter. It looks like these students won't get their trip to Be Nice to Minorities Fantasy Camp after all. It's completely unnecessary as they are probably the true victims.
Sunday Show Rundown: DON'T DO IT.
Welcome to the Sunday Show Rundown. With today's day of remembrance for civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., it's only fitting we look at the ways bad politicians use his legacy and a sanitized, Disney-like version of his life as a weapon to pervert his dream.
First we have senator from Oklahoma and alternate universe Conan O'Brien, James Lankford.
This is what a Conan with zero joy or humanity would look like.
Or at least move him to the background. We've got cool history and computers being strange (by design).
It's Sunday, and that means it's time for a break from the ongoing grind of awfulness out there. Let's dive into some cool, funny, thoughtful stuff to fortify ourselves before we get back to the daily madness, shall we?
His head's still stuck in A) 2014 and B) his ass.
President Grampa took to the Twitter Machine to again make the case that we need WALL to protect us from all the scary terrorists streaming into our country, repeating a completely hearsay story from the rightwing Washington Examiner about a rancher in New Mexico who says she has personally seen a lot of "Muslim prayer rugs" discarded in the desert. It's simply logic: Scary Muslim terrists are secretly infiltrating our country through the southern border, and we can tell because they casually cast aside their extremist Muslim religious accoutrements for any rando to find. That suggests either terribly lax operational security on the part of the terrists, or maybe just proves how brazen they are, leaving their jihad rugs right out for anyone to see.
There's a third possibility, which is that people are repeating some serious bullshit fresh from the border panic of 2014, and insisting any random scrap of fabric in the desert is a "prayer rug." But come on, that's surely a stretch. Errebody knows Obama allowed ISIS to operate "22 training camps" right here in the USA, and how else would all those terrists get here if not by sneaking up from the border, except not very sneakily?
It is possible Steve King wasn't the only racist in the GOP.
It's been an embarrassing week for Republicans and the voters who pretend they aren't racist. The House voted Tuesday to reprimand relative-of-abolitionists Steve King for his latest in a long series of racist remarks. Concerned op-eds were written about how these racist incidents were distracting from the GOP's platform of starving people of all races. Then came Thursday and a Republican made another "racially charged" comment on the House floor. "Racially charged" is the media's favorite euphemism for "racist," because racism is actually the electric current powering the modern GOP.
Missouri Rep. Jason Smith shouted, "Go back to Puerto Rico" at Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas, who was at the podium waiting to speak during a voice vote on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. Cárdenas is a representative from California, which is not in Puerto Rico. We checked.
"I was shocked, because I often heard those kinds of comments when I was a kid growing up in Pacoima, California, where I was born and raised," Cárdenas said in an email.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer noted the outburst and said, "I'm not sure what's going on, but I object." (This is also a common form of pillow talk from Mike Pence.)
And a longing for the sweet release of death.
If you're the sort of reader who enjoys the comedic Twitter Stylings of Mike Huckabee, you'll be delighted that some guy on Twitter called attention this week to the hilariously funny content on Huckabee's talk show on cable backwater TBN, gilded-toilet home of the Crouches. It's just like reading the failed presidential candidate's Twitter feed for an hour, only with a house band.
Huckabee's show has been around since 2017, but we only watched the current episode thanks to the thread from some socialist calling himself "Endless Bummer," in which we're treated to some prime examples of great bland comedy. So of course we watched a recent full episode of the show for the week of January 12, 2019, although the look and feel is more late-night chat from 1992.
Huckabee kicked off with a touching, sincere monologue about how most Americans are nice people wanting to go good, and isn't it sad too many of us get caught up in politics and partisanship? Then Huck -- please, call him Huck! -- moved to his desk and condemned crazy Democrats for wanting to impeach a duly elected president over nothing. Nobody seemed to notice the instant shift in tone, because why would they? He interviewed Alan Dershowitz, who's flogging a book about how impeachment might actually be illegal. Weirdly, the split-screen parts of the remote interview were framed over a looping video of clouds rolling by, as if Huck and Dershowitz were at 35,000 feet.
Jesus Christ these people.
With the government shut down for the sake of Donald Trump's wet dream WALL, it only makes sense we'd get another reminder of just HOW GOOD Team Trump is at cruelty toward undocumented migrants. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday released a report by its Inspector General, finding that oops, actually the number of children taken from their parents at the border is probably thousands more than the government originally counted. And no, nobody has a very clear idea of whether they were actually reunited, because the only court case demanding family reunification didn't include families separated prior to the official "Zero Tolerance" policy. Look, they BROKE THE LAW, so Jesus said America could do whatever it wants to them.
Nancy keeps hammering away with her gavel of death.
Yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Donald Trump not to bother showing his raggedy ass at the Capitol later this month for his lie-addled State of the Union address. This is a bummer for those of us looking forward to watching Pelosi roll her eyes and shoot death stares at Trump from her reclaimed seat of honor. Pelosi articulated very reasonable national security concerns for dis-inviting Trump. It's a tremendous undertaking to ensure the safety of everyone present, and most of the folks who do the heavy lifting are furloughed or otherwise victims of Trump's shutdown. Does Trump remember that he shut down the government?
GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks Pelosi's move is "pure politics." He's apparently never watched "Designated Survivor." Pelosi said they could come up with another date for Trump to demonize Democrats and minorities once the government is reopened. Trump could also just lie to to the public from the Oval Office or even submit his address to Congress in writing (this is also how they should handle this year's Academy Awards). However, McCarthy insists that Pelosi inconveniencing Trump in any way during a domestic crisis of his own making is "unbecoming" of the speaker. Yes, he used the word "unbecoming" like he's Lord McCarthy in a regional production of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan."
Hint, it is all your favorites at once!
Somewhere in your muddled recollection of the recent Sacred Baby Day holiday, you may remember some grifty dipshit who started a GoFundMe to raise money to give Donald Trump for WALL. The campaign raised about $20 million, proving that PT Barnum may have badly underestimated the birth rate of suckers. Unfortunately for the campaign's organizer, Brian Kolfage, the federal government doesn't actually have any mechanism for accepting donations earmarked for anything, because the socialists in Congress insist on "budgets" and "appropriations" and taxes." The only government program that takes donations is the website to pay down the national debt. (Hey, a government website that's still up!) Yeah, we know you wanted to contribute an F-35 to your favorite Air Force squadron, but tough luck.
Once it was clear the funds couldn't go to the campaign's intended purpose, Kolfage announced he'd started a nonprofit group that would build its own wall "on private land" along the border, and that the donations would all go to that. But GoFundMe kind of noticed, and announced that the change in purpose (and falling short of the original one billion dollar goal) meant all the donations would be refunded unless donors specifically gave Kolfage permission to divert them to the new nonprofit.
Well by gosh, Brian Kolfage must be one trustworthy guy, because he says a whole bunch of people still want him to build Donald Trump's wall! And some of them are faaaamous!
Trump demands people work for free as government shutdown enters 26th day. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Now in its 26th day, Trump's shutdown shows no signs of stopping after Democrats rejected a useless photo op at the White House yesterday (twice). Trump's White House is attempting to peel off Democrats by tricking some into appearing to support his goddamn wall (oops, steel slats -- wait, now it's "a barrier?"). Rather than be used as props, dozens of House Democrats marched over to Mitch McConnell's vacant office and demanded he do his job by bringing House-passed legislation to the Senate floor. Where was he, on a beach in Puerto Rico or something?
The administration is realizing that government shutdowns are hard to win when the government is really shut down, so it's recalling thousands of federal workers to work without pay at the FAA, the DOT, the EPA, HUD, the IRS, and the FDA. Not to mention dozens of Interior Department workers to sell oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, a federal judge has shot down a lawsuit by federal workers' unions over being forced to work without pay. The judge said workers deemed "essential" have to show up in order to avoid creating "chaos and confusion." The judge empathized with workers, but ultimately ruled, "the judiciary is not, and will not, be leverage in the internal struggle between the branches of government." Well...fuck.
A federal judge hilariously smacked down the Trump administration's attempt to put citizenship questions on the 2020 Census, arguing it was a "veritable smorgasbord of classic, clear-cut" violations to the Administrative Procedures Act. The judge then dumped on crooked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's attempt to put the question on the Census, stating Ross had "ignored and violated a clear statutory duty," and "concealed its true basis rather than explaining it."
Nancy Pelosi seems to be getting her revenge on her detractors, blocking them from positions on powerful House committees. Politico gossips that Rep. Kathleen Rice was blocked from a seat on the House Judiciary Committee despite her seniority, with Pelosi instead offering up freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. You come at the queen, you best not miss!
A group of Arizona nerds has launched a petition to get astronaut Mark Kelly to challenge Sen. Martha McSally in 2020. Roll Call and Politico note Kelly has been meeting with Democratic leaders and fundraisers over the last several weeks as he considers boldly going where few astronauts have gone before. The draft Mark Kelly movement is part of a broader push to get science geeks and pencil pushers into positions of politico power.
During an appearance on Colbert last night, Democratic Sen. Kristen Gillibrand announced her intention to run in 2020. Politico reports Gillbrand is making her pitch to female voters, but last night she stated that healthcare was a right, "not a privilege," which if you ask us is an appeal to anybody who likes having health. [Video]
Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum are not only on the shortlist of potential 2020 VEEP candidates, according to Politico, but they're also mulling their own 2020 presidential runs now that they both have a solid network of donors, voters, and volunteers who know how to knock on doors in crucial swing states.
Some yokels in the West Virginia House of Delegates want to give Trump $10 million for his goddamn wall instead of spending their $200 million surplus on the all the things slowly killing the state's population, like alternatives to the dwindling coal and natural gas gigs, ending food deserts, or helping addicts left to rot thanks to the opioid crisis. Gotta have priorities, and the priority is keeping people scared enough to vote R.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit proposal went down in flames yesterday in a disastrous 432 to 202 vote. With calls to hold a second referendum growing in the UK, the EU is now telling Britian to shit or get off the pot. Later this morning the liberal Labour party is expected to call for a vote of "no confidence" in May's leadership, but it too is expected to fail as conservatives would rather have a bumbling, ineffectual idiot helping lead the world towards economic catastrophe than another distasteful political opportunist.
The New York Times has a retrospective on all the times Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin (keepign no detailed record of the meetings) and the curious coincidences that always seem to happen shortly after their little get-togethers, like revelations on the Trump Tower meeting, sanctions, and Trump's disdain for US allies and NATO. NYT even made a fancy infographic!
Robert Mueller's team has delayed sentencing for Rick Gates because he's not done spilling the beans on all the Trump-Russia fuckery he's been privy to. Furthering speculation that the investigation into Trump's ALLEGED COLLUSION with Russia is far from over, Mueller's team filed a 31-page affidavit and 406 pieces of almost entirely blacked-out exhibits showing how Paul Manafort lied his ass off after he cut a deal with federal prosecutors. According to the filings, Manafort's lawyers had to pull him aside several times during questioning and remind him to keep his mountain of lies straight. CNN is also reporting that Manafort's lawyers tried to obscure the fact that Manafort's longtime pollster -- who he brought in to work on the Trump campaign -- met with Mueller's team and acknowledged he gave polling data on the 2016 campaign to Russian while serving as Trump's campaign chairman. LOCK HIM UP!
Don't expect Michael Cohen to say much to the House Oversight Committee next month as Robert Mueller's team of extraordinary investigators still isn't done with him either! People close to Cohen told the Wall Street Journal he intends to gossip about what it's like to work with Trump, and that his testimony will give people "chills," though the WSJ has since yanked those comments from its original story. HHMMMM!
Speaking of Michael Cohen, when he finally does report to jail, he'll be neighbors with one of those jerkoffs from "The Jersey Shore" at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution.
According to a new survey by City Lab, Chicago has has one of the best public transit systems in the country. Not only is the CTA fairly reliable, it has a cleanliness rating of, "meh, could be worse," something called, "bus justice," and (most importantly) there are taco stands at (almost) every "L" station. That's right, y'all, TACO TRUCKS ON EVERY CORNER!
Treat yourself to some lovely sing-song by the fabulous Randy Rainbow!
And here's your morning Nice Time! OTTERS!
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We hear the local KKK is hiring.
Republican Congressman Steve King will now have a lot more free time at work. GOP leadership kicked King off of all his committees after growing backlash from the racist drivel he told the New York Times last week.
There's been blood in the water for days. Democrats Bobby L. Rush and Tim Ryan each filed resolutions to censure King, and even Republicans are abandoning him. Mitch McConnell says King should "find another line of work." Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney both said he should resign. They have a point. King's constituents do deserve a representative who can actually do something for them beyond increase local tourism from Klan rallies. However, the majority did knowingly elect a racist nine times, so it's hard to resist saying to hell with them.
King is not taking this with the class you've come to expect from your finer Nazi sympathizers. He called out House Minority Leader (that's the GOP now!!) Kevin McCarthy on Twitter yesterday.
Tim Hortons and poutine all around!
Rahaf Al-Qunun, the young Saudi woman who barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to plead on social media not to be sent back to her parents, arrived in Canada Saturday after being granted asylum. Wearing a "Canada" hoodie and UN High Commissioner for Refugees hat, she was met at the Toronto airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who gave the teen a bouquet of flowers and called her a "very brave new Canadian." And we think we have something in our eye now. Those UNHCR ball caps are a lot better than the red ones.
Freeland said Al-Qunun had commented to her about the cold weather in the Great White North, and said she'd reassured her "It does get warmer," so already the campaign of lies has begun. After the brief photo op, during which Al-Qunun didn't take any questions because good god flying from Thailand via South Korea is a long trip, the CBC reports she was "whisked to an undisclosed location" so she could get some rest from the trip and decompress after the international uproar over her attempt to find refuge.
This world, apparently!
Earlier this month, newly minted Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan called Donald Trump a "motherfucker." Republicans were thrilled for an opportunity to test the waters and see if they had enough street cred left to clutch their pearls over such a thing given their election of President Grab 'Em By The Pussy. Centrist Democrats were thrilled for an opportunity to show how incredibly balanced they are by saying it was definitely bad to call the President a motherfucker, something he obviously is. Chris Cillizzas across the country cried out about civility and going high and wrestling with pigs. Or whatever.
This past week, Congressman Steve King, in the pages of The New York Times, announced that he was not so sure what was especially "offensive" about being a white nationalist or a white supremacist.
Trump "maybe definitely" declaring national emergency, federal workers get checks for $0, and RBG is just fine. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
And who let all these brown people in Congress?
Hey, did you hear that racist thing Steve King said? No, not that one. This is a new one. No, newer than that. We get if you're confused. I drag racists professionally, and even I have trouble keeping it all straight.
The New York Times has an article today about how the Iowa congressman is the white supremacist Beatles to Donald Trump's Oasis. It only really got interesting in the last couple paragraphs, when it painted a picture of King as some racist grandpa sulking on his porch while people of color invade his neighborhood.
Last week, as the new Congress was sworn in, Mr. King sat on his side of a chamber sharply delineated by demographics. The Democratic majority included record numbers of African-Americans and women, including the first Native American and the first Muslim women. Mr. King's side was mostly people who look like him.
"You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men," he said.
King and I apparently have at least one thing in common. We're both aware of the title of the 2007 Coen Brothers film but have never gotten around to actually watching it. I do find it hilarious though to imagine King fuming over the rise of the colored empires like some common Tom Buchanan.
The Grand Wizard does have a point. It's racist and gross, but it is an observation the media has reported on a great deal since the midterm elections. King just doesn't consider it good news that the House is the most diverse in history. It's like if I showed up at a klansman's house with several pounds of dry-aged steak and he refused them because he's vegan and also hates black people.
They pre-empted Ellen's game show for THIS?
Donald Trump somehow got nine minutes of time on all the major networks last night to deliver a very presidential Oval Office version of the very same lie-filled immigration rant he's been performing at rallies since 2015, only sitting down and reading in his "president" voice from a teleprompter. Yes, he sniffed a lot, too. If you had any sense, you watched something else, like Stormy Daniels folding laundry in her underthings, or maybe you read a book. But nah, like us [not me! -- editrix] you probably watched in horror waiting for him to declare a national emergency, and at least he didn't do that yet, though he still might after he visits the border Thursday. Of maybe he'll declare war on Honduras, to really send a message.
So here's President Shroomdick doing the thing he did, which didn't change any minds and won't reopen the government, but was very definitely his first prime time Oval Office address to the nation, so we guess now he's really become presidential, huh?
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