History Facts

Wonkette Book Club: Union Maids, Slavery, And Wild-Eyed Radicals

A History of America in Ten Strikes by Erik Loomis

Break out your Woody Guthrie music, kids (or your Billy Bragg, maybe), because it's time to talk about the history of labor in America and the weird relationship we have with work. Americans love to extol the idea of hard work, but many of us hate our jobs, and the Right has done an astonishingly good job of skewing the national discourse in favor of employers, those merciful job creators who must be appeased lest they pick up and move to China -- so be quiet and accept your crumbs. Historian Erik Loomis looks at how the hell we got here in his 2018 book A History of America in Ten Strikes (oh look, a linky to get it with a nice kickback for Yr Wonkette!). Loomis also offers some strategies for revitalizing labor in this country. It's a telling of American history from an angle we don't see often enough, and which is usually overlooked in the sanitized version of history found in too many schools, unless you had a flaming radical like my high school history teacher, Jack Wallace, Crom bless him.

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Nice Time

Elizabeth Warren Sending Her Aunt Bee To Give EVERYBODY Childcare!

Even better, you can get your own publicly funded Aunt Bee!

Elizabeth Warren rolled out a very solid plan for universal childcare today, and we're impressed. Looks like Democrats are going to have a serious debate about family, work, and how the two should fit together, which as plenty of advocates have noted, they currently do not, no not at all. We're excited, even though our own childcare days are well past, because damn it, this is about fairness for everyone, especially the kids.

Warren starts her pitch by emphasizing she's been there, noting that when she was raising her kids and teaching at a law school in Houston, the babysitter quit. She looked for other arrangements, and didn't find anything she could afford that provided good care:

I tried all sorts of child care options: another babysitter, a neighbor with kids, and a couple of daycare centers. One day I picked up my son Alex from daycare and found that he had been left in a dirty diaper for who knows how long. I was upset with the daycare but, more than anything, angry with myself for failing my baby.

Eventually, she called her Aunt Bee in Oklahoma and told her everything was falling apart and she feared she'd have to quit to take care of her children.

Then Aunt Bee said eleven words that changed my life forever: "I can't get there tomorrow, but I can come on Thursday." Two days later, she arrived at the airport with seven suitcases and a Pekingese named Buddy — and stayed for 16 years.

Elizabeth Warren wants everyone to have an Aunt Bee, or at least affordable childcare. Unfortunately, leaving childcare solely up to the private sector just hasn't worked, and that has contributed to poverty for lots of working parents, who may not even be able to afford the cheapest shoddiest care and end up not working as a result. Warren notes, "in more than half the states in the country, a year of child care costs more than a year of in-state college tuition."

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Nice Time

Yr Sunday Nice Things Are Here. No Jeff Bezos's Junk Anywhere!

We have Worst Field Trips, Kids Learning About Sharks, a book club, and more!

Time for our weekly respite from the standard parade of awful that the news has become here in the worst timeline, where our Spock won't just have a beard; he'll also have a green mohawk. Enjoy a nice brain cleanse, and we'll ease back into the madness later.

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Fox News Calls Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Dirtiest Slur It Knows: 'Fair'

If you didn't bring enough candy for everyone, GOOD.

Fox News continues its cavalcade of freakouts over the fact that Americans really are not all that hot lately on using the power of government to enrich their betters through a tax code designed to make the rich richer. On Fox Business today, a Very Smart Economist proclaimed that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's support for the "Green New Deal" reflects her "Latin American values," which proves America is being doomed by invaders from Puerto Rico. And on Fox's "America's Newsroom," we learned another source of all this friendliness to un-American socialism: The schools have poisoned an entire generation's minds with notions of "fairness."

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Class War

Dumb People Talk About Liz Warren's Wealth Tax

Scott Walker, you're no Mike Huckabee.

Ever since Scott Walker lost his gig as governor of Wisconsin, he's been trying to remake himself as a great Twitter Pundit. It's really sort of embarrassing, like that time he fantasized about lying to hypothetical schoolchildren about taxes, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez schooled him good. Walker was back with another sub-Huckabee-quality take Thursday, this time on Elizabeth Warren's "wealth tax" proposal. And just like his attempt to explain marginal tax rates to fifth-graders, it involved imaginary children and a load of horse shit.

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Study: Trump Country Full Of School-Bullying Jerk Dicks!

Careful Donnie -- the children are listening.

In the wake of Donald Trump "winning" the 2016 election, there were all sorts of fun reports of increased hate crimes, plus any number of anecdotal reports from teachers about little kids either being terrified of the Orange Man or being taken from their parents. Not to mention reports of rotten white kids chanting "Donald Trump! Build that wall!" at brown kids during sportsball competitions. But none of that proves anything, because of course the Liberal Media's going to fixate on isolated incidents and ignore all the times Nancy Pelosi personally castrated Republicans like just this month.

To attempt to get some hard data on whether Trump's election has actually affected The Kids, a recent peer-reviewed study found that, in Virginia at least, areas that voted for Trump in 2016 saw an increase in school bullying while areas that voted for Hillary Clinton saw school bullying actually go down. Who woulda guessed?

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KY Gov Matt Bevin Thinks Kids Are 'Soft' For Not Freezing To Death

That's Cold!

Kentucky's teabagging, gay hating, and cock-fighting Governor Matt Bevin (R, fucking duh) just called everyone a bunch of pussies because schools are closing due to it being negative fuck-your-face degrees throughout the Midwest. According to Bevin, "We're getting soft," because school officials thought it was too dangerous to make kids trudge through the polar vortex when cities like Chicago are literally colder than the basecamp at Mount Everest. So what if it's so cold people are getting frostbite in minutes, those little brats should man-up! Grow some chest hair, and Jack Frost will stop nipping at your lungs.

Bevin was comfortably gabbing in his safe space, a local rightwing AM radio station, when the host joked that Bevin was going to be up late with his kids because the schools had closed due to weather.

BEVIN: Now we cancel school for cold.

HOST: It's deep freeze! This is serious business.

BEVIN: It is? Come on now. I mean, there's no ice going with it, or snow. I mean, what happens to America? We're getting soft, Terry. We're getting soft.

HOST: It costs a lot of money to heat those classrooms.

BEVIN: You think they're not heating them anyway?

HOST: They'll put it on 65.

BEVIN: You would like to think so. As a taxpayer we would like to think so. Again, I do appreciate -- it's better to err on the side of being safe, and I'm being only slightly facetious, but it does concern me a little bit that in America on this, and any number of other fronts, we're sending a messages to our young people that if life is hard you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard [chuckle], and that just isn't reality. It just isn't.

Bevin seems to have confused the definition of "facetious" with "heartless," or "asshole," because the National Weather Service has issued a cold weather warning, numerous travel advisories, and snow forecasts throughout his state of denial. Public health officials across the country have been warning that people die in sub-zero temperatures because ignorant douchebags forget they're 65 percent water, and 45 percent bullshit. And even the US Postal Service thinks it's too damn cold!

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Federal STRIKE. Wonkagenda For Wed., Jan. 23, 2019

Trump's shutdown enters Day 33, federal workers go on strike, and nobody wants the wall. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture Wars

Mike Huckabee Brings The Sex

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.

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State/Local Politics

Gavin Newsom Proclaims California Socialist Paradise!

OK, at least kinda socialish and a little paradise-ish.

Newly sworn-in California Gov. Gavin Newsom cemented his credentials as a great big handsome policy nerd Thursday with a budget speech that lasted nearly two damn hours, laid out solid progressive budget goals, and yet also managed to win some praise from Republicans for taking a cautious approach to ramping up state funding of early childhood education and improving healthcare and housing. Let's have some Golden State budgetary nicetimes!

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Be The Terror You Want To See In The World! Wonkagenda For Mon., Jan. 7, 2019

It's not a 'concrete wall' anymore, Dems put on their Investigatin' shoes, and Joe Biden gets ready to run. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Post-Racial America

Trump 'Safety' Commission: Prevent School Shootings By Expelling More Black Kids!

Also, build the Wall, probably.

After February's school massacre in Parkland, Florida, Donald Trump got right to work doing something about all the guns in circulation in America, recommending tighter background checks and age restrictions on the purchase of semiautomatic rifles like the one used in the shooting, as well as making it easier to take guns away from dangerous unstable people. He even vowed to take any flak the NRA might throw at him, for the sake of our precious young people. The NRA immediately freaked out, so Trump then corrected his wrongthink and declared we need a lot more teachers packing heat, yeah, that's the ticket.

Trump also gave Education Secretary Betsy DeVos the task of chairing a commission to recommend how to make schools safer, and that commission, safely past the immediate horror of that particular mass shooting and the election, has issued its very important report and recommendations. Hope you won't be too surprised the report has very little to say about guns, but is just full of rightwing plans for making schools better, as long as everyone can still buy all the guns they want. And one of the report's chief recommendations to make schools safer is a beaut: Rescind Obama-era rules aimed at addressing racial disparities in school discipline, because only by getting tougher on minority kids can we truly be safe.

Funny thing, that section of the report isn't even mentioned in the White House Press release praising Dear Leader (the release is splashily titled "President Donald J. Trump Is Committed to Making Our Schools Safer." Happily, there's no patriotic march to go along with it). But it's a pretty substantial part of the report, taking up eight pages (including notes), compared to the section rejecting a change in the minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun (3 pages with notes), which says there's no evidence it would accomplish anything, but does call for "more study."

So how did a recommendation to do away with an Obama guidance to not punish minority kids more harshly than white kids take pride of place in a report that's ostensibly about preventing massacres, which are generally committed by white males? Simple! Republicans HATED that rule!

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Post-Racial America

Shut Up, Old Man! Wonkagenda For Tues., Dec. 18, 2018

An angry, racist grandpa yells at the internet, the economy slides into the toilet, and Twitter hates black women. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Court Rules Betsy DeVos Must Stop Being Asshole

At least as far as forgiving defrauded students their loan debts goes!

Thursday, the Trump administration decided out of the goodness of its court-ordered heart to follow Obama-era policy and cancel thousands of borrowers' federal student loans. This was a bummer for so-called Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who had fought against protections for student loan borrowers because she (allegedly) gets off on watching people go bankrupt like some Disney villain. A federal judge ruled in September that her efforts to stop the "borrower defense" regulations from taking effect were illegal. DeVos will have to take comfort now in one of her 17 yachts and her Tim Burton-designed summer house.

These borrowers aren't, as Fox News might lead you to believe, avoiding repayment of the loans they took out to study advanced pottery and women's "herstory." Most of these borrowers were affected by school closures or outright defrauded by a lousy for-profit "college." The Education Department today will start notifying around 15,000 borrowers that they qualify for loan discharges. The debt totals approximately $150 million, or about four of DeVos's best yachts.

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'Crime Of Interpretation.' Wonkagenda For Dec. 14, 2018

Trump trips over his toad penis, and Senate slaps Dr. Bonesaw. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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'Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal!' Wonkagenda For Thurs., Dec. 13, 2018

Michael Cohen's secrets, and Rudy Giuliani's (allegedly!) drunk texts! Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here are some of the things we may be talking about today.

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