Spoiler alert: Bradley Byrne's campaign ad is racist garbage.
Bradley Byrne is a Republican congressman from Alabama. He's running for Senate this year, and we fear the scenario where we'd have to root for Jeff Sessions. The pressing question is which of these clowns does Doug Jones have the best chance of beating? The Republican nominee will have a partisan advantage of almost 27 points. You'd think the candidates competing to retire Jones could take it down a notch, but Byrne went full Willie Horton this week with a repulsive campaign ad.
The spot begins with Byrne sitting by a campfire. He holds a photo of his brother, Dale, who died in 2013.
BYRNE: When the towers fell, I knew my brother would be going to war. Dale was a true patriot. I can't bring him back. I miss him every day.
That's when Rep. Ilhan Omar's image, which is scary and brown, appears in the flames. This symbolizes that she is on fire. Byrne accuses Omar of “cheapening 9/11," like she's selling knockoff 9/11 souvenir merchandise in Chinatown. But Omar isn't the one using 9/11 — and the death of their own sibling — as a cheap cudgel against another politician.
Don't you want some Nice Things? Don't you want them ohhhhhh?
It's Sunday, so it's Nice Things! That's how it works, you know. Set aside the newspaper and switch off the interview shows, which you weren't really watching anyway, and take a break from the quotidian madness, OK?
Also, here is Thornton, who whose favorite toy now is this bag (in which noted political pundit Our Girlfriend put our Christmas gifts, including some cat toys for the kittycat). He likes to hunt out toys hidden under the tissue paper. then take a nap in the Christmas cave.
Well, the one lady who claims to be One Million Moms, anyway
For weeks now, various groups on the Right have been screaming their faces off about Burger King's Impossible Whopper. Mostly neo-nazis who think the soy in it is going to turn all of the men into women, on account of how they are bad at science. Of course, given the history of Nazis and science, this is probably for the best.
But now, fresh off of their brief success in getting the Hallmark Channel to momentarily pull a commercial featuring two women getting married and K-I-S-S-I-N-G, The One Million Moms Living Inside One Very Angry Lady Named Monica Cole have decided to jump on that bandwagon. No, Cole is not concerned about manboobs, she is very upset because in their advertisements for the Impossible Whopper, someone used "the d-word."
A duck? A tea kettle? A pair of shoes?
Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com, is suing The New York Times for $5 million, claiming that they libeled him by calling him an "open white nationalist" in an article about Congressman Steve King's history of racism published last year.
According to the suit filed Thursday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, after Brimelow wrote a letter complaining about the characterization, the paper performed a "stealth edit," changing "open white nationalist" to simply "white nationalist." The paper then hyperlinked the phrase "white nationalist" to the Southern Poverty Law Center on Brimelow, citing many of the obscenely racist things he has said in his time.
Brimelow's issue with this is threefold. He doesn't like the Southern Poverty Law Center; The Times refused to print his letters "challenging" the initial description; and he would prefer to be called a "civic nationalist" on account of how he thinks that sounds better.
"We stand by the story and will vigorously defend," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Politico.
Remember the famous Emma Goldman quote: Stop dancing, you're embarrassing the revolution.
Sorry guys, but Elizabeth Warren is flip-flopping and being inauthentic again. For one thing, we heard Goody Warren has been dancing, the internet told us.
There is even video evidence!
You are free to click around the bad parts of the internet and witness people saying it is disrespectful for Elizabeth Warren to dance while Donald Trump is bombing Iran or that she is being fake or that she is being "cringe," or you can just skip to Cory Booker's response to it, which is *chef's kiss*.
And that is officially all the time we've got for that shit.
In other news, Warren has just released videos and interviews with both Elle AND ALSO Cosmo, a day apart, like OK, PICK ONE MAGAZINE, FLIP-FLOPPER!
Simpson wound up in jail, which is our desired Trump endgame.
Politico reached out to Trump supporters (again) for explanations -- maybe even rational ones -- for their unwavering support of the tweeting toddler in the White House. This has become its own unique brand of bozo journalism, and the responses were as absurd as always. One guy described the billionaire wife collector whose name is on several garish buildings as an "Everyman." That's almost a lucid observation compared to this one:
Oh, FFS (again)!Politico
O.J. Simpson, as you probably recall, is the former football player turned (alleged, I guess) double murderer. He's not a straight-talking politician who has no time for namby-pamby political correctness. He's just a sociopath who got away with murder. It's bizarre that Trump fan Keith Swartz would compare Simpson to the president, but let's try to unpack this. Chris Rock used to joke about how much Simpson's acquittal infuriated white people. There's a great moment in Spike Lee's Bamboozled when Damon Wayans's character "motivates" his all-white writers room by asking them to "tap into" their "O.J." rage: "How did you feel when the glove didn't fit?"
Hey, no one likes to see killers walk free, but way too many white people act like the Simpson verdict was the moment they "lost faith" in our justice system. It's as if they'd never heard of lynchings or witch trials except when using them as rhetorical descriptions for the suffering of powerful white men.
Good for them!
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, are breaking up -- not with each other, but with the monarchy. They announced yesterday that they were "stepping down" as "senior members" of the royal family. Harry is the spare, not the heir, and now that his older brother, Prince William, has kids, Harry is at the end of a Shake Shack line for the crown. It's not like he's abdicating or anything, which I know is a familial sore point for the royals. He and Markle should do what they like.
The media is already calling the couple's decision "Megxit," because everything is Markle's fault. This is the joint statement they released:
Does he have no one who loves him enough tell him to stop talking?
Terry Gilliam, as a person, is not entirely unlike his most notorious box office flop, "The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen." You want to like it, it has good people in it, you like the overall premise, but as soon as it starts, you just want it to stop, because it's bad and embarrassing and honestly pretty boring. Also it's about a guy who makes up a bunch of bullshit in hopes of getting people to pity him.
In an interview published today at The Independent about his new film, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," Gilliam sounded not entirely unlike every garbage man we have ever profiled here:
By his own admission, Terry Gilliam is offensive. But it's not his fault, it's yours. "People work so hard to be offended now," he says with a grin. "I don't know why I'm doing it. It's not fun anymore." He seems to be enjoying himself today, though. The more incendiary his opinion – that the #MeToo movement is a witch hunt; that white men are the real victims; that actually, it's women who hold all the power – the bigger that smile.
I mean, it's not even original. At the very least, you would think Terry Gilliam would be able to find a creative and unique way of sounding like a racist, sexist bag of dicks, but no. I'm not "offended," I'm just bored. I can't tell you how many times I've read a missive from an angry white dude complaining about how no one will let him be "offensive" or complaining about the #MeToo movement, or wanting to know when White Men's History Month is, or going on about how actually, it's white men who are oppressed. It's so, so boring. It's tiresome.
Plan for that.
Elizabeth Warren keeps cranking out the policy proposals, because she has this funny notion that ideas matter, and being able to put them into action does too. Her latest proposal takes on rights and equality for people with disabilities, which only sounds like a niche issue to people who've never tried to get around with a wheelchair or a walker or to get through a college class -- or just a badly-designed website -- with dyslexia. Like all of Warren's plans, it's an impressive look at how the machinery of government can be used to make life better and fairer for everyone -- and to fit together seamlessly with Warren's other proposals. And just like her other plans, this proposal is designed to work as a blueprint for governing, whoever the nominee is.
As always, the depth of research and awareness of unmet needs is impressive. Hell, I like to pretend that having had people with disabilities in my family makes me fairly sensitive to issues of accessibility and discrimination, but time and time again while reading this proposal, I kept saying, holy crap, I didn't know that. Which is really the first step toward fixing problems, isn't it?
People aren't 'basically good' and teenagers are stupid.
Rightwing intellectual Dennis Prager, the Family Values guy who explained child hunger is OK because free school breakfasts "weaken the parent-child bond," recently took on another pernicious corrupter of the world's morals: Anne Frank. The teen diarist, who died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen in 1945, was absolutely wrong when she wrote "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." Oh yeah? Dennis Prager, like any good Puritan, knows that human nature is essentially corrupt and sinful, which is why the Nazis persecuted Anne Frank and her family in the first place. And to rein in sinful human nature, we need strong authority figures who'll enforce God's laws and preserve us from chaos.
Prager summarized that a bit more succinctly, though, explaining Anne Frank didn't understand basic morality because she was a "secular Jew," and besides, "I don't get my wisdom from teenagers."
The New York Times had a profile this week about how convicted war criminal Edward Gallagher is now living his best, repulsive life. The former Navy SEAL platoon leader's own men claimed he shot at random civilians in Iraq and stabbed a wounded teenage prisoner to death. He walked on those charges, but he was convicted for taking trophy photos with the teenager's corpse like a "Criminal Minds" unsub. He was demoted, which was a paltry punishment for a murderer. Impeached president Donald Trump restored his rank and has since held him up as an example to psychopaths everywhere.
Gallagher is now grossly cashing in on his "newfound fame." He's refashioned himself as a "conservative influencer." He's hanging out at Trump's "Southern White House," Mar-a-Lago. He even has his own "lifestyle brand," pitching coffee beans and protein shakes. On Instagram, he regularly kisses the ass of his benefactor. There's one photo of Gallagher giving a thumb's-up while holding a coffee mug that reads "I Love When I Wake Up In The Morning And Donald Trump Is President."
Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, doesn't care much for Gallagher, but he confesses that he's an ideal leading man for the deranged B-movie playing inside Trump's head.
RIECKHOFF: Trump is a master of casting, and Gallagher is a perfect fit. He's handsome, he's heroic, he's got a beautiful wife. He's a Rambo version of the same story Trump has been telling over and over: The deep state is trying to screw you, the media is bad, and the rich people don't understand you. But I'll stick up for you.
SO MUCH SEX!
Yr Wonkette, like Mike Huckabee, BRINGS THE SEX. Only unlike Huckabee, we bring the actual sex, or at least the sex that isn't all sad and depressing like all the harassment and the abortion restrictions, because it's the end of the year and we don't want to bum you out. So let's remember some of our favorite sexytimes stories of the year, shall we? We shall!
Most of us. Just not the people in charge.
Let's start with good news on climate: In poll after poll, large majorities of Americans say they agree climate is a major concern and that the government needs to do more to reduce carbon emissions. More than three-quarters of adults and teens agree that human activity is affecting the climate, and a majority think it's not too late to find solutions. Some people are shaky on the scientific details; a Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll earlier this month found that
43 percent of adults and 57 percent of teens cited "plastic bottles and bags" as a "major" contributor to climate change, which is incorrect. That response may echo a recent burst of news media attention to plastic pollution in the oceans.
But the main point is that big majorities know that burning fossil fuels is heating up the planet, so if some people drive less and recycle more plastic, that's not a terrible thing. How's this for encouraging? Among Republicans, a majority of millennials and Gen-Z young'uns want more government action on climate, too. Baby steps -- teach your parents well, young Rs.
New York Times Sorry About Bret Stephens White Supremacist Oopsie, Definitely Won't Let It Happen Again*
*They will definitely let it happen again.
OOPS, the New York Times did it again. They just never imagined that when Bret Stephens, whose most notable act of 2019 was losing his everlovingfucking marbles and quitting Twitter because somebody called him a "bedbug," wrote a column on the history of how Ashkenazi Jews are just really smart, he might have accidentally cited a white supremacist eugenicist researcher in order to back up his arguments.
There is now an editor's note on the column, the original version of which Twitter spent the weekend screaming at. Here it is in full:
An earlier version of this Bret Stephens column quoted statistics from a 2005 paper that advanced a genetic hypothesis for the basis of intelligence among Ashkenazi Jews. After publication Mr. Stephens and his editors learned that one of the paper's authors, who died in 2016, promoted racist views. Mr. Stephens was not endorsing the study or its authors' views, but it was a mistake to cite it uncritically. The effect was to leave an impression with many readers that Mr. Stephens was arguing that Jews are genetically superior. That was not his intent. He went on instead to argue that culture and history are crucial factors in Jewish achievements and that, as he put it, "At its best, the West can honor the principle of racial, religious and ethnic pluralism not as a grudging accommodation to strangers but as an affirmation of its own diverse identity. In that sense, what makes Jews special is that they aren't. They are representational." We have removed reference to the study from the column.
Oh golly, Bret Stephens just found out that guy was a big old racist. Darnit!
And since the Times apparently doesn't have editors or factcheckers, there was simply no conceivable way for them to catch that little issue before they hit "publish." How could they possibly know one of the study's co-authors, Henry Harpending, who died in 2016, is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist? It's not like they could Google him or find information about him in their own newspaper or anything, oh wait just kidding.
A year-end grab bag, plus some new nice stuff too!
Holy moly, we just realized that we're just a few days short of a whole year of these Nice Things Sundays! We got started the first weekend of January 2019 when we realized the deleted comments were all boring, and maybe a break from the unrelenting awfulness of the news might be a good idea. (The deletia still tend to be boring.) So today I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the silliness we've brought you, and of course to add to it with some new stuff as well. Or maybe I'll just shovel in all the cat and puppy pictures I can find and call it a day, because that's what the internet runs on, after all.
Looking back over those first few posts, I see I put out my first call for readers' pet photos pretty quickly, in Nice Things' fourth outing on January 27. And wouldn't you know it, I'm still working through that trove of pics! The photo up top was in the comments on that day, and there are still a lot of other photos to choose from. Needless to say, if you have a pet photo (or a gorgeous True Life Nature Photo of your own) you'd like to submit, go for it, and you may even see it at the top of this column in 2020. Or 2021, at this rate. Please include your critter's name if you want your critter named! It helps if the photo is in landscape mode, and if there's some room to fit in the "Nice Things!" label. But I can work with other arrangements, like so:
A very important message from the president.
This morning, President Donald J. Trump sent out an important tweet.
WELL! Yesterday, Old Dad told me he knew I worked very hard, "sitting on Twitter," and after I completely lost my shit at him, he backpedaled, saying that he "knows Twitter is a very important part of [my] job" and after I lost my shit at him some more, I went on Twitter and helped the president out with some other reviews of conservative actors in Hollywood.
If you followed me on Twitter, you'd be home to these jokes by now.
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