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Yesterday, it was looking like about 42 Democrats were going to announce a presidential run, but despite rumblings of candidacies from Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand took the actual plunge (no actual plunging was involved).

Gillibrand, the junior US senator from New York, went on the "Late Show With Stephen Colbert" last night to announce she's running (or forming an exploratory committee, which really, same thing, but that's how it is done). Gillibrand is fresh off winning reelection to the Senate, and likes to point out that she has voted against confirmation of Trump appointees more than anyone. Also, as she agreed when Colbert asked her, she likes to cuss, which makes her dear to the heart of Yr Wonkette.


Here's the video of Gillibrand's big announcement:

You want transcript? Here, have transcript!

I'm going to run for president of the United States, because as a young mom, I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own. Which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege. It's why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn't matter what block you grow up on. And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class.

But you are never going to accomplish any of these things if you don't take on the systems of power that make all of that impossible — which is taking on institutional racism, it's taking on the corruption and greed in Washington, taking on the special interests that write legislation in the dead of night. And I know that I have the compassion, the courage and fearless determination to get that done.

That's good stuff, though we hope that "young mom" bit won't come back to bite Gillibrand (she's 52), but politics being what it is, that may be all anyone will talk about. Meh, we're done with it.

Gillibrand has a strong record on important stuff like guns (an F rating from the NRA), immigration (hey, let's restructure ICE and not cage children!) and health care (single payer ASAP), and has been a leader in the Senate on pushing the military to take sexual assault seriously.

Plus there's the wonderful cussiness, as we noted when she was running for reelection last fall:

[In a] nifty 2017 Rebecca Traister profile in New York magazine, we learn Gillibrand is the sort of person who realizes at 3 AM, "Oh my God, I've got to fucking order those [Girl Scout] cookies. I'm terrible!" then gets up and orders the fucking cookies, because that's what a responsible mom/Senator does (also because she also realizes that, as a US senator, you do not want to mess with Girl Scouts. It's not really about the cookies.) We're behind what Gillibrand says is her worldview of Senating: "[We're] here to help people, and if we're not helping people, we should go the fuck home." We would like that on a coffee mug.

We still want that mug! [On it -- trix.] Gillibrand told Colbert that for the presidential campaign, she'll try to eschew the word that "rhymes with duck." Honestly, we don't see why.

In other presidential nearly runnings yesterday, MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes" teased an important announcement from Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio several times, only for him to announce he's launching a "dignity of work listening tour." Brown plans to check in with a whole bunch of people about their jobs and Why Work Matters To Them, which of course is good. Oh, and since he couldn't just read Studs Terkel's Working again to learning about the importance of work, he'll be talking to folks in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Brown he says he's still just talking over a presidential run with Connie Schultz, his awesome spouse. No timeline for when Brown will drop the coy act and actually run.

In also not-quite running news, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said yesterday on the "Morning Joe" program that while she hasn't yet decided to run, her family is "on board" if she wants to, which some Twitter pundits said is the Minnesota equivalent of making a campaign announcement. She also had to shoot down a "campaign logo" that circulated on Twitter as nothing more than some really enthusiastic fan fiction that had nothing to do with her campaign, not that she even has a campaign, mind you, but she could. Then in the evening she appeared on the "Rachel Maddow Show" to talk about the confirmation hearing for William Barr (she wasn't impressed). Maddow closed the interview by reminding her that when Klobuchar's ready to announce her exploratory committee, "you have to do it here, OK?" Klobuchar, a seasoned pro at noncommittally toying with Rachel Maddow, replied, "I will remember that. Thank you."

In short, there are a billion Democrats running in 2020 and we like all of 'em except Tulsi Gabbard and that one weird West Virginia state legislator who why is he even running, jeez, the end.

[NYT / NPR / Politico / The Hill / Star-Tribune]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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The producers of your favorite live-action Jack Chick pamphlet, "God's Not Dead" -- you know, the one where the Hercules dude plays an evil philosophy professor who tells all of his students on the first day that they are no longer allowed to believe in god? As all secular professors do? -- have come out with a thrilling new movie, all about how abortion is bad or whatever.

The movie tells the "true" story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned professional anti-choicer. Johnson has been a darling of the forced birth circuit ever since she made up ridiculous and provably false reasons for quitting the Planned Parenthood that was about to fire her for being bad at her job.

Basically, she claims that Planned Parenthood was pushing her to make more abortions happen so they could reel in more dough, and also that she witnessed (for the first time ever!) an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the baby move from the light and then immediately realized that what she was doing was wrong.

The thing is, however -- no ultrasound-guided abortions were performed on the day she said it happened, and the only reason there was an uptick in abortions at her clinic was because they started offering the abortion pill on a daily basis (and had previously only been performing surgical abortions every other Saturday).

As you may have guessed, the movie does not address any of these things. It also looks very, very bad.

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Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

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