Robyn and I are back with a primary week wrap-up! We know you’re excited. Pennsylvania Democrats have a head start on the Senate election in November while Republicans are still mired in a contentious outcome with a razor-thin margin that’s headed for a recount. Hurrah!
Progressive primary challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner also gave the boot to Oregon’s Kirkland Signature Joe Manchin Kurt Schrader (I almost typed Paul Schrader, who I greatly prefer as a filmmaker and human). Senator Kyrsten Sinema shouldn’t count on a second term.
Our weekly chat kicks off at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. You can watch on YouTube or right here, but don’t forget to like, subscribe, share and all the interactive goodness.
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Protect Wayne, everybody, Wayne is precious cargo!
As the completist Wonkette reader knows, my husband and I (everybody wish Shy a happy FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY today, oh my lord) have picked up sticks from Suddenly Lunatic Montana and beat feet with our family for the Golden Dream by the Sea, wait no that is California, we have beat feet for Detroit Vs. Everybody.
We stopped, as people in Wonkesbago do, at a thousand-acre bison ranch in the prettiest spot in South Dakota (they exist), where the "Harvest Host" (vineyards and farms where you can stay free with the assumption that you'll buy something. I love buying somethings from local people! It is perfect! This is not a paid endorsement but I would absolutely accept one!) put us in the prettiest meadow known to man, and the girls were happy and the dogs were happy and we were happy and the next day I found some off-brand Frontline and now all the ticks are dead.
And what was I doing moving to Detroit? Same thing I do everywhere, Brain, run a liberal political news website! "Well you're the first one of those [he meant liberals] who's ever come through here!" he said. Nah, we're just the first one's who've ever said so, I said and I winked like a jolly old elf and then bought two bison ribeyes, two kinds of jerky, and barbecue sauce with honey from his bees. We didn't need the straight honey from his bees though, we have honey from our own. And had he lived here all his life? I asked the bison ranch fellow. Since 1909, when his great granddad got the land, he told me. Was South Dakota a state then? I queried. It was a state, but that's when the county got opened up. Ohhhhh I told my husband later, his great granddad stole the land from the Indians on the Rosebud reservation, and lo, it was true.
I told the fellow where we would be stopping (for free!) the next day, at a sculpture park in Montrose. And oh, how that fellow tried not to sneer, as it wouldn't be entirely polite and I hadn't even accused his great granddad of genocide. (That he knew of.)
"It's ... it's like a junkyard sculpture place," he told me. "My wife actually knows the guy!" And if that weren't the most ignorant thing I've heard since I left Montana and stopped talking to my erstwhile neighbor, Sen. Greg Hertz, I don't know what is.
Because for one thing, it had me looking forward to a junkyard sculpture place, with presumably at the LEAST a pyramid of old tires, and there was only pristine acreage, where Wayne (the sculptor) and his blind dog Bambino (the poet) hand-watered flowers they planted, hauling around plastic jugs. (Not Bambino, he has no thumbs.) And there was massive sculpture and small sculpture and bohemian women dancing and poems, each poem stark and mournful and deep and fucked up and "creepy" my daughter said. One was your typical Easter Island head with lips sewn shut and eyes sewn shut and the shortest poem, about the wise man not seeing evil or hearing evil, like the monkeys. "To become wise," it read, "you must first be mangled."
Yes, daughter, it is creepy and it is perfect and it is the last thing you expect at a tourist trap. And the bison ranch fellow would never understand it.
And of course I talked to Wayne, and we talked about being liberal and getting the fuck out, and for all his poems about loss and isolation and how each choice you make precludes another choice, he has planted himself like a flower hand-watered from a plastic jug in South Dafuckingkota, and he sits there in the heat and the wind and the sun and talks to the tourists and sells them a T-shirt, and he's got some online friends of likeminded SD weirdos (HE CLAIMS EXIST) and I invited him to Wonkette, where y'all are weirdos, I believe that was a direct quote just kidding of course it was.
Dancing women and pre-women
Please keep Wonkette going forever, if you are able!
There's no accounting for taste.
Good news! The House passed two bills yesterday to help with the baby formula crisis. First off, there's the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, which would appropriate $28 million to the FDA so it can quickly approve imported baby formulas and ensure the agency is better prepared for such shortages in the future so this does not happen again. Second is the Access to Baby Formula Act, which would ensure that low-income families have access to baby formula through the WIC program.
If you're a person who hates it when babies starve to death, you probably think these are some pretty good bills and are relieved to know someone is doing something about this.
And yet 192 Republicans voted against the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act. Only 12 of them joined the 100 percent of Democrats in passing this bill. Those Republicans were "Reps. Don Bacon (Neb.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), John Katko (N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), David McKinley (W.Va.), Tom Rice (S.C.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Mike Turner (Ohio), Fred Upton (Mich.) and Ann Wagner (Mo.)."
We can be assured that all of those who voted against this bill consider themselves very "pro-life."
The reasoning given by Maryland Rep. Andy Harris was that this was just "reckless spending."
“I rise in opposition tonight to H.R. 7790, the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, a bill that just continues the majority’s reckless spending spree without actually fixing the infant formula crisis this administration caused,” he claimed.
To be clear, the Biden administration had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. The formula shortage happened due to a recall of baby formula produced by Abbott Laboratories after four infants contracted serious bacterial infections (cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport) after using the formula. Joe Biden did not sneak in there in the dead of night and spike the baby formula supply with germs.
The Access to Baby Formula Act was more popular, and only nine Republicans voted against that — Andy Biggs, Thomas Massie, Clay Higgins, Matt Gaetz, Chip Roy, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
But starving babies is not the only thing the GOP apparently loves — they also love super high gas prices, looks like! (Easier to attack Biden for "high gas prices" when gas prices are high, we guess!) Republicans in the House Rules Committee successfully blocked the "Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act," a bill that would have lowered gas prices for consumers at the pump.
Specifically, it would have made it unlawful for "any person to sell a consumer fuel, at wholesale or retail, in an area and during a period of an energy emergency" at a price that "is unconscionably excessive" or which "indicates the seller is exploiting the circumstances related to an energy emergency to increase prices unreasonably."
The emergency energy periods would be declared by the president and last no longer than 30 days, but could then be renewed depending on the circumstances.
Basically what it means is that oil companies can't exploit national emergencies to jack up their prices, increase their own profits and hurt consumers.
Calling it the "Socialist Energy Price Fixing Act," Republicans railed against the bill, which they warned would be like implementing "socialist price controls" and claiming it would lead to "rationing" and long lines at gas stations like in the '70s. This doesn't even make sense, and not just because that's not what socialism is. The 1973 gas crisis was caused by OAPEC declaring an embargo on oil, not by "price controls." The price per barrel was also significantly raised. In our case right now, the price of oil is going down, but there's been no corresponding decrease at the pumps, and Exxon is out here bragging that it's made record profits.
What they would prefer, as per Washington GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, would be "unleashing American energy production," i.e. giving oil companies more access to public lands for drilling, a thing that is already happening. Nearly 26 million acres of public land are leased to oil and gas companies.
Instead of unleashing American energy production, increasing supply, and lowering prices, Democrats are rushing through a bill to impose socialist price controls on gasoline.\n\nThe result will be long gas lines like in the 1970\u2019s.pic.twitter.com/4BWnIGYTvJ— CathyMcMorrisRodgers (@CathyMcMorrisRodgers) 1652741100
McMorris-Rodgers is also a big fan of fracking, because we guess allowing corporations to profit is more important than Americans having drinking water.
Each of these choices has consequences. The consequence of doing nothing is high gas prices. The consequence of "unleashing American energy" is contaminated water and other environmental hazards and probably also high gas prices. The consequence of implementing laws to combat price gouging is that oil companies can't charge you a ridiculous amount of money for gas just because they can.
Given the choice, would Americans choose "socialism" and lower gas prices or "not socialism" and higher gas prices? Would they really rather pay more for gas than have to live with the fact that the government is doing not-really-socialism to the poor big oil companies? It's possible! But what those people should know is that our government is already doing socialism to those poor extremely rich oil companies — in the form of fossil fuel subsidies.
Whenever the government provides opportunities in privileges for white people and rich people they call it “subsidized” when they do it for Negro and poor people they call it “welfare.” The fact that is the everybody in this country lives on welfare. Suburbia was built with federally subsidized credit. And highways that take our white brothers out to the suburbs were built with federally subsidized money to the tune of 90 percent. Everybody is on welfare in this country. The problem is that we all to often have socialism for the rich and rugged free enterprise capitalism for the poor. That’s the problem.
Sure, there are a lot of people still doing duck and cover, who would still be willing to pay ridiculous prices for gas if it helps some poor rich person get even more extremely rich. But at some point people are going to start to catch on that Republicans call pretty much everything that would benefit regular folks instead of the extremely rich "socialism."
There's not a specifically capitalist solution to problems created by capitalism. If we didn't have 83 percent of all baby formula being made by three companies, because monopolies, we wouldn't be in this situation. There's not a specifically capitalist solution to price gouging, because it's not caused by anything other than a desire for more money. If that were the case, these things would get fixed on their own, because laissez-faire would be the way to go. But they're very obviously not getting fixed on their own. If the big sacrifice Americans have to make to feed their children and drive their cars is that Republicans are going to whine and call things "socialism," that seems like the best way to go.
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Count all the ballots? Why would you do that? It's un-American!
With 95 percent of the votes counted, the Pennsylvania GOP primary for US Senate remains too close to call, with fewer than 1,500 separating the top two candidates, as the New York Times reports this morning.
The race is so close it's likely to trigger an automatic recount, which is required when there's a difference of less than half of one percent between the top two finishers. As you'd expect, the campaigns of Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick each confidently predict that when all the votes are counted, their guy will come out on top. That could take a while, though; the Pennsylvania Department of State has until May 26 to order a recount, though it might do so sooner.
Totally legitimate former president Donald Trump has an idea about how to speed up the process though. On his hilariously named social media site for idiots, Truth Social, he posted yesterday that Oz should simply "declare victory. It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they just happened to find."
Trump didn't specify who "they" were, and it should go without saying he didn't offer evidence, because how naive you are to want proof the primary is rigged! There's a possibility Trump's chosen guy might not win, and if that doesn't prove massive cheating is at work, nothing will.
Besides, Trump knows how easy it is to be robbed of a landslide electoral victory. He went on TV late on election night in 2020 to say he'd won, which made him the winner. But then treasonous state elections officials insisted on counting all the ballots anyway, a failure of democracy that gave the election to Joe Biden simply because he won the most electoral votes. How is that even fair?
One noteworthy difference between the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 Republican primary is that in this case, the candidate who might win the nomination is hedge fund douche/walking dollop of Hellmann's mayonnaise David McCormick, who is himself a Trump devotee.
McCormick said when he announced his campaign in January that he too loves Donald Trump and America Firsting, and dutifully insisted that "the majority of Republicans in this state don't believe  was a free and fair election" either. It would be pretty weird if "they" were rigging the election in favor of a slightly different flavor of their own selves, but there we go dragging logic into a discussion of Donald Trump.
Also, because there are still outstanding absentee ballots waiting to be counted — already suspicious, since real Republicans would never use those cursed things except when voting twice to offset cheating by Democrats, allegedly! — Trump complained in a separate antisocial media post:
Here we go again! In Pennsylvania they are unable to count the Mail-in Ballots. It is a BIG MESS. Our Country should go to paper ballots, with same day voting.
Good point, from a guy who regularly voted absentee, but it was OK when he did it.
Hey, you know what's kind of funny, if you have a really low bar for "funny"? Trump had no such qualms about the outcome of the GOP gubernatorial primary, in which Republicans nominated Big Lie lover and would-be election thief Doug Mastriano, whom Trump endorsed. (That's the one he endorsed at the last minute, which worked well for Trump because Mastriano was already so far ahead.) Those would be the very same damn ballots that Trump is now complaining are probably rigged. (Again with the logic, sorry bad habit.)
Then again, in his conspiratorial little brainlet, Trump no doubt assumes that if the voters picked one guy he endorsed, the fact that they didn't choose Oz by the exact same margin must indicate the votes aren't being counted correctly in the Senate race. Real Republican voters would never betray Trump that way, so the fix has to be in. Heck, if Mastriano manages to be elected governor, he'll be the one to appoint the secretary of state, who wouldn't allow any uncertainty about the outcome of any elections ever again.
So far, Dr. Oz has wisely said nothing at all about Trump's messages urging him to say out loud that he won. He hasn't actually tweeted anything since Tuesday, for that matter. We can't discount the possibility, however, that Oz may have written a declaration of victory in his dream journal, which will help it manifest into reality.
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