Congress

Corporate Evildoers Beware: Katie Porter Has A Whiteboard And She's Not Afraid To Use It

If she wants a cape, she's earned it.

Yr Dok Zoom is of an age where he remembers how much fun it used to be to watch "60 Minutes" and look forward to how the very sight of Mike Wallace approaching with a camera crew could drive various corporate malefactors into a frenzy of denial and lying. Or how, if the baddies foolishly agreed to sit for an interview, their confidently smarmy attempts to snow Wallace would inevitably fall apart as he brought the evidence against them. Jump forward a few decades, and now we have Rep. Katie Porter (D-California), who accomplishes much the same thing in congressional hearings, with a simple dry-erase board and a head full of damning facts.

In a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday, Porter confronted Mark Alles, the former CEO of pharma company Celgene, pointing out that when the company jacked up the price of a cancer-fighting drug, Alles made a ton of money in bonuses. Not for improving the drug, but for making it more profitable. The full video is on Porter's YouTube channel, but it's plagued by audio feedback, so we'll instead go with this snippet posted to YouTube by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. Bask in its glory.

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joe biden

Wonkette's Five Factchecks Of What The F*ck We Could Hear Him Lying

A far from comprehensive listicle.

If you want a complete factcheck of every time Donald Trump lied during last night's debate, simply look up the debate transcript (weirdly, the Daily Mail seems to have gotten the jump on other outlets), find the parts where Trump is saying anything, and you've found the lies. As for the specifics of what he got wrong, there are fact-checks all over the place; we will share with you some of the whoppers that we called out while Team Wonkette was liveblooging, before we hung our heads in whipsawed defeat. Hoo boy. This is an accurate representation of Trump's disinformation spew:


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coronavirus

Pentagon Spent Coronavirus PPE Money On War Stuff Instead Of PPE

But everyone gets a share!

As part of the CARES Act, Congress appropriated a billion dollars for the Department of Defense to help increase America's stockpiles of medical supplies, stuff like masks and gowns and other personal protective equipment that was in desperately short supply when the bill passed in March. Today, the Washington Post reports that instead, the Pentagon shifted most of the funds to send money to defense contractors, which after all are businesses affected by the pandemic, too. Mind you, the companies that got the funds didn't need to do anything like protect their workforce from layoffs. It's tough times for everybody, so come to the trough, defense contractors!

Much of the money went to companies making important pandemic-related supplies like "jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms," not to mention drone and satellite systems that the Pentagon really wanted. The CARES Act specified the Pentagon should use the funds to "prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus." Which the DOD very quickly decided could be interpreted to mean "fund stuff we didn't have an appropriation for, with the excuse that we're protecting American jerbs."

Clearly, staff at restaurants and other small businesses that are going under due to the pandemic should have convinced the Pentagon they were doing National Defense stuff. Armor-piercing lattes, anyone?

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Congress

On Top Of Everything Else, How About A Nice Government Shutdown?

The brinksmanship is about to hit the fan.

With a global pandemic that's been largely ignored by Donald Trump, massive wildfires due to global warming, a presidential election being ratfucked by the incumbent, and now a fight over the Supreme Court, things are a little hectic at the moment, and that's not even including the impending coffee crisis. So this seems like a good time to mention that unless Congress can agree on a stopgap spending bill by 12 p.m. on September 30, the government will run out of money and turn into a pumpkin. It will also shut down at a time when even several Republicans (three, we think) acknowledge we need an operating government.

So how are things going? The Washington Post 'splains,

House Democrats unveiled a short-term spending bill on Monday that Senate Republicans immediately denounced, raising the prospect of a government shutdown weeks before the November election.

The Senate Rs are angry that the House version of the continuing resolution doesn't include some $30 billion in bailout money for agribusiness, which is still being hurt by Donald Trump's trade wars, as well as by economic disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the election coming up, Republicans want to make rural state voters happy, no matter how much it costs.

And yes, this last-minute emergency spending bill is wholly separate from larger coronavirus relief, which Republicans are blocking because they think it costs too much. (Democrats passed a coronavirus bill in MAY.)

Guess this must be a day ending in a panic attack.

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