Guess Rand Paul got worried the coronavirus crisis wasn't all about him, so now he's making it about him.
Even during a global pandemic, Rand Paul is still Rand Paul. There's no cure for that. The Senate got off its ass Tuesday and prepared to vote on a coronavirus rescue package. Even Mitch McConnell said the Senate should move at “warp speed" to pass the spending package, which would fund free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave, and enhanced unemployment insurance. That's just a start. Much more is needed, but people need help right now. And they're not getting it because Paul is a big weasel.
The legislation stalled last night because the Kentucky senator forced a vote on a stupid amendment. He loves to delay if not outright derail bills with BS amendments no one will vote for, so that he can even for a brief moment make everything all about him. Last year, he blocked unanimous consent on a 9/11 victims fund, and he briefly caused a five-hour government shut down in 2018. He was also the only “no" vote on the $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill the Senate passed earlier this month. Paul will apparently continue to grandstand even during the last days of human civilization.
If you think for even a second that Paul is trying to force bigger and better items into the bill, you don't know Paul as well as his neighbor. His amendment reportedly would "require a social security number for purposes of the child tax credit, and to provide the President the authority to transfer funds as necessary, and to terminate United States military operations and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan."
But no one was totally sure about that until this morning.
If you're an Ohio voter, don't try to show up to the polls today.
Basically, Ohio is a shitshow.
Last week, Republican Governor Mike DeWine set a national precedent by working fast to ban large events, close Ohio public schools, and stop in-person classes at Ohio's public universities. Over the weekend, he ordered the state's bars and restaurants closed. But DeWine stalled on making a decision about whether or not today's primary should happen as planned.
Late Monday, DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose had still taken no public action to delay the vote. But at their daily press conference with updates on COVID-19, the pair announced their plan to go to court to seek a delay of the election. Assuming the court would rule in favor of the state, county boards of election around Ohio told poll workers not to come to work on Tuesday.
"There are too many factors to balance in this uncharted territory to say we ought to take away from the legislature and elected statewide officials and throw it to a common pleas judge in Columbus with 12 hours to go until the election[.]"
So it seemed the primary would go on as scheduled.
And that's when the real fun started.
Seems like a really good idea!
In an address on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the whole country would be going on a 15-day lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus — that no one is to go out for any reason other than for essentials, like food. The military has been deployed to take the sick to hospitals and also to set up additional hospitals in hard-hit areas.
The country, Macron said, is at war with coronavirus.
While this sounds a little bit scary, the French have little to fear, as Macron has also put several temporary policies into place to ensure that they will be safe not only physically but also financially. In fact, small businesses and companies will not have to pay for rent or utilities until the whole thing is over.
This is probably less about race and more about dumb.
Quinton Lucas is the dashing, young black mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. Lucas was set to vote in Tuesday's Democratic primary, but he hit a snag. His name wasn't in the system at a polling place he's used multiple times over the past 11 years. He's even voted for himself there.
We've seen how lines to vote in minority districts are often so long, people have visibly aged by the time they reach the ballot and might no longer resemble their photo ID, but that wasn't Lucas's problem. He reportedly used a utility bill to prove his identity but the poll worker insisted he wasn't in the voter rolls. That 10-minute exchange ended with his being turned away.
From the New York Times:
"I was probably a bit frustrated," [Lucas] said. "The other thing that got in my head was it's a little embarrassing being turned away at the polls."
An election official later contacted Lucas and informed him that the poll worker “simply" entered his name incorrectly. They tried to look up “Lucas Quinton" instead of “Quinton Lucas," which is — how do I put this nicely? — fucking stupid. The mayor gave his correct name and provided official mail addressed to that name. How do you make that boneheaded a mistake, especially when Lucas keeps saying that he knows he's in the system? Aside from being ... the mayor?
Ratfucking pays, y'all.
This is a story about how the GOP built a digital machine to bombard their low-information flock with constant reminders to BE AFRAID and HATE YOUR NEIGHBORS and SEND MONEY. This is a story about how Trump's campaign manager, Brad "Neck Pubes" Parscale, converted that machine into an ATM for all his cronies in Trumpland. This is a complicated story with a lot of moving parts, which is NO FUN and also QUITCHER BITCHIN' AND LEARN A THING!
As the New York Times reports, before the entire Republican Party was subsumed into the orange Trump blob, different organs of the GOP used different data platforms to identify and corral their voters. The RNC favored DataTrust, while Republican senators preferred a Koch Brothers-backed entity called i360. Back in 2016, when no one thought Donald Trump was actually going to get elected (how young we were!), the Republican senators still had enough clout to stick with their own platform, instead of jumping to DataTrust, which they suspected of entering into hinky deals for the enrichment of Parscale and his pals. ALLEGEDLY.
Kindly Florida Woman Changes Voters' Registration To Republican, Sparing Them Eternal Damnation In Socialist Hell
She'll likely do less time than the black woman who voted by accident.
Cheryl A. Hall of Florida (of course) was charged Thursday with the crime of conjuring up Republican voters from thin air. This magic trick involved filling out voter registration forms with false information and enrolling at least six Democratic and independent voters in the Republican Party without their consent.
Hall worked for the voter registration group Florida First, which received much of its funding from America First Policies. The solipsistic name should clue you in that the organization supports Donald Trump. Last year, America First Policies declared its plans to invest $20 million on voter registration.
"There are millions of patriotic Americans who believe in the America First movement, but aren't registered to vote," said America First Policies President Brian O. Walsh. "Returning power to the people requires an active, engaged citizenry. Let your voice be heard. Join the movement. Register today."
This was a stark change from the normal Republican tactics of actively preventing people from voting. Hall believed in America First's mission so fully she didn't just register new voters, she made them Republicans at the same time! No fuss, no muss! It's unclear if she also subscribed them to So You No Longer Care About Your Fellow Humans magazine.
That's some sweet, sweet ratfucking!
Over in Texas Tuesday, while minorities stood in line for hours to vote, state Rep. Harold Dutton from Houston faced the most competitive primary challenge of his almost 35 years in office. Texas is one of 10 states that use a primary runoff system, which means that if more than two candidates are running, the winner must receive 50 percent of the vote, plus one. Dutton fell a few points shy of the required majority and will advance to a runoff election in May with Houston City Council member Jerry Davis, who came in second. Here's where the weirdness develops: The candidate who came in third with 20 percent of the vote might not actually exist in the material world.
Natasha Ruiz performed pretty well for a candidate who was nonexistent on the campaign trail, and there's increasing evidence Ruiz herself literally doesn't exist. This really annoys Richard Bonton, who came in last with just 9 percent of the vote. Poor Bonton ran for the seat in 2018, as well. He managed 34 percent against incumbent Dutton, who easily cleared 50 percent and avoided a runoff. Now Bonton is losing to possibly imaginary candidates. This is the electoral version of that dream you have where you show up for class or work without your pants.
BONTON: There's definitely something fishy going on. You have a person with no ground work, no community service, no nothing. … You look up Natasha Ruiz — there's nothing.
Thanks for finally (maybe!) listening to sense.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who in December ended his Quixotic bid to become the Tim Ryan di tutti Tim Ryans, appears to be close to finally deciding he'll run for the US Senate after all, according to "three Democratic officials" who spoke to the New York Times. Bullock has been lobbied to run for the Senate this year by top party apparatchiks like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the Times notes Bullock even took time out from a DC meeting of the National Governors Association to meet with Barack Obama last month. Yr Wonkette prefers to think it was our own repeated calls for Bullock to run for the Senate that did the trick, though, especially Yr Editrix's nice Montana-based open letter reminding him not to disappoint her army of bees.
Bullock himself hasn't made any formal announcements, but if he's gonna run, he'd better hurry up. Monday is Montana's filing deadline.
Down with this sort of thing!
Hey, let's never do this again! There is absolutely no reason for the Democratic Party to select candidates based on some arcane endurance test of voter enthusiasm which denies us the fundamental right to a secret ballot. Forget the debacle with the caucus app, and put aside for a moment the insanity of giving a small, white, rural state like Iowa such an outsized role in selecting our nominee. Caucuses are inherently undemocratic, they warp our electoral process, and we need to cut that shit out right now.
Supporters of the caucus system get misty-eyed over their "pure" process, which is somehow better for having lower participation than a regular primary. Take for instance this Forbes editorial on the eve of this year's Iowa contest.
When you think about it, a caucus is actually a very rational way to choose a candidate in the primary system. The fact that fewer voters turn out (turnout is expected to be only about 15-20% in Iowa vs. 60% plus a week later in New Hampshire) is a feature, not a bug. The idea is that more committed voters are more willing to devote time to greeting candidates, listen to their messages, and give feedback. A caucus system is a purer form of democracy. It looks much more like the America that the founders envisioned, long before the electronic marvels of radio, TV and the internet. A caucus is candidates meeting voters, then voters trying to persuade other voters in person.
Actually, when you think about it, bragging about making it more difficult to participate in your state's nominating contest is borderline psychotic! How is excluding voters who aren't willing and able to pony up several hours of their time to be herded around a high school gymnasium and harangued by their friends and neighbors any different from a poll tax? If Republicans bragged about a system that depressed turnout by 65 percent, we'd sue the shit out of them! And yet we continue to allow it to remain the norm in our first nominating contest.
Standing in line seven hours to vote in America is a national disgrace.
The Republican effort to keep non-Republicans from voting in Texas was on shameful display on Super Tuesday, which for many black and brown voters stretched into Not-So-Super Wednesday. The lines spilled outside elementary schools and public libraries, wrapping around sidewalks. You'd think they were standing in line for stale bread during the last days of the Soviet Union. Carla Reed and Hervis Rogers were the last two voters at Texas Southern University. There just plumb weren't enough voting machines available at a place intended for people to vote. They waited in line for seven hours, until well after 1 a.m., to receive their "I Voted" stickers. They are not white.
It should go without saying that wait times like these are repulsive and unacceptable. They're also all part of the plan. Texas closed down 750 polls since 2012, around the time Chief Justice John Roberts declared racism deader than disco (he was wrong on both counts). The closures specifically target voting blocs that turn out overwhelmingly for Democrats. Republicans don't care if minorities age to death while waiting to vote, but these same constitutional champions will "sneer most bitterly" if they think universal health care would mean they'd have to wait an extra 10 minutes to see a dentist.
Texas was one of six states in 2016 where the winning margin was between five and 10 percent. The others were Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, New Mexico, and Iowa. Texas, like love, is a battlefield that Democrats could seize, blocking Republicans from the White House for the foreseeable future. Republicans know enough to be afraid. It's why they won't stop their dirty tricks.
Jeff Sessions advances to runoff election for his old job.
Mall-cruising pervert and racist creep Roy Moore will not have his desired rematch with Sen. Doug Jones. Alabama Republicans soundly rejected Moore, who is projected to come in a distant fourth in Tuesday's Senate primary. This is a blow to Democrats who believed Jones's best shot at keeping his seat was Republicans being dumb enough to nominate Moore again.
It's not yet decided who Jones will face in November. Trump's former attorney general and favorite punching bag, Jeff Sessions, tried to get his old job back, but he placed second behind former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. The upside for Sessions is that six other candidates were running and they weren't all Roy Moore. Tuberville was unable to win a majority, so Sessions will advance with him to a runoff election later this month. Trump won Alabama by 27 points. He's still incredibly popular in a state that occasionally makes Roy Moore its Republican nominee for Senate. Four years ago, Sessions snubbed Ted Cruz and endorsed Trump just before Super Tuesday, but Trump doesn't remember (or pay) his debts. He only harbors grudges. Sessions wouldn't serve as his personal lawyer, like a common Bill Barr, so Trump will continue to publicly humiliate Sessions whenever it's convenient. This morning was very convenient.
Mazal Tov to the three white geezers and Liz Warren!
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar just KlobuQUIT the presidential race. She's taking her salad comb and going home. You won't have old Amy to throw staplers at you any more. At least she outlasted her arch rival Pete Buttigieg.
See, it's funny because lady bosses are all raging bitches. It's funny because women are so emotional that they throw things and cry at work. It's funny because her voice was OMG, SO ANNOYING. It's funny because women being competitive is just adorable, and it's a CATFIGHT with the gay candidate.
Isn't that just the funniest joke ever? Isn't it hilarious that none of the candidates of color could get any traction or raise enough money to compete in the Democratic primary? Don't you just love it that we're down to three white septuagenarian men and the one woman who runs circles around them and gets completely ignored? Doesn't it make you want to wear your suffragette-white pantsuit with pride?
The Devil went down to Georgia, he said, "Hi, I'm from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Let me help you cut some super-fuckin' racist ads against one of your own."
And it sure looks like the Georgia GOP will be getting that fiddle of gold! Check this out.
Doug Collins wants you to think he's a conservative. But before last August when a senate seat opened up, he was far less supportive of the president.
Hold up! That guy talks like Boomhauer on speed, but we're pretty sure we'd remember if he'd announced his support for Mexican gaybortions while prostrating himself at Nancy Pelosi's feet. The supercut of Collins saying he doesn't agree with everything Trump does, as a prelude to an obvious defense of the latest indefensible assault on democracy -- minus the defense -- is also a nice touch.
But HOLY WILLIE HORTON, what is this shit?
Sure, that'll work.
Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump among 18-to-29-year-old voters in 2016. Democrats in 2018 collectively did even better against Republicans with that demo, although fewer turned out. There was probably a concert that night. Republicans are now starting to worry that Bernie Sanders, if he were somehow the nominee, might lure young people away from their avocado toast with his pandering concern for their futures and overall well-being. However, they have a plan in place for raising an electoral army of smug young conservatives. This plan involves the president's first-born Tweedledum, Donald Trump Jr., and his adopted Tweedledee, Charlie Kirk. It is not a good plan.
Politico described the pair of Ken dolls as "the 42-year-old son of a billionaire president and his 26-year-old friend." How pathetic is your life when -- even in middle-age -- you're still defined as your father's son? Despite his years of consistent douchebaggery, Trump Jr. will forever remain in the shadow of his father's asshole. Kirk at least founded the awful Turning Point USA. He's pulled his bigotry up by its bootstraps.
Trump Jr. would like nothing more than for his father to remember his name, and he probably figures improving the president's numbers with young voters could help. Trump Jr. is touring college campuses with Kirk and speaking nonsense to people who can't find the exits quickly enough. He usually brings a collection of Milton Berle-fresh jokes about liberals and the oppressive PC culture that prevents someone from crudely shouting at Joe Biden, "OK, Boomer, you've got dementia!" Of course, Trump Jr. was able to say just that without suffering any negative repercussions.
This is just a very good lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the Trump 2020 campaign filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times, whining that an opinion piece about Russia and Donald Trump being BFFs wasn't very nice to the Trump campaign.
And yes, it's just as dumb as it sounds.
Donald Trump and his buddy, lawyer Charles Harder, are big fans of using bullshit lawsuits like this to intimidate journalists and use as press releases. They believe they are entitled to abuse the legal system by suing over news they don't like and using their money to silence people who disagree with them. Lawsuits like this one, styled Donald Trump for President v. New York Times, are no more than attempts to use American courts to frighten dissenters into silence.
The op-ed in question, titled "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo," was written by Max Frankel, former Times executive editor, in March of last year. The first paragraph of the piece sets the tone:
Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump's pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin's oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration's burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.
I mean ... seems pretty accurate thus far.
You never come for Rep. McBath. You just don't.
Mike Bloomberg donated a crazy amount of money to Democratic candidates in 2018. That was very much appreciated. Unfortunately, at the Democratic debate Tuesday, Bloomberg might've accidentally on purpose implied that he owned the new Nancy Pelosi-led House.
BLOOMBERG: Let's just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats. Twenty one of those are people that I spent a hundred million dollars to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bough — I, I got them.
Just get Bloomberg a monocle and a top hat and he's Mr. Billionaire, the cackling lead in a political satire co-written by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It's bad enough that Bloomberg is assuming ownership for the blue wave, but his slip of the tongue is a gift to Republicans who'll -- without any sense of irony -- shame Democrats for accepting his money.
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