Defense Sec Mark Esper, welcome to the Sunday Show rundown!
A lot has happened since last week! After the
assassination targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Trump administration has been working real hard to justify having done so without consulting Congress. So much so we've had to recap it every few days to ensure everyone keeps up with the new lies.
Last week it was Secretary of State and least popular Pompeo, Mike, lying his ass off on the Sunday shows. This week it's Defense Secretary Mark Esper's turn. Esper began by trying to push the talking points at the top of his dual appearances on CNN's "State Of The Union" and CBS's "Face The Nation." It did not go well!
Rudy Giuliani And Judge Jeanine Agree: Lithuanian Law Does Not Allow Pelosi To Impeach The President
WHO SAYS THEY'RE DRUNK, NOT US.
There was a fortunately brief period after 9/11 when Rudy Giuliani was hailed as America's Mayor. Those of us who endured his eight years as New York City's actual mayor know what a racist, authoritarian asshat he really was. If there's one upside to Donald Trump's nightmare administration, it's watching Giuliani publicly debase himself and urinate on his reputation while continually defending the indefensible.
Trump's "personal lawyer" (lucky Trump) Giuliani stumbled onto Jeanine Pirro's Fox News show Saturday. Giuliani contends that the impeachment charges against Trump are as phony as whatever was on his head during the '90s. He'd argued earlier this week in a column for the Daily Caller that no less than the Supreme Court itself should declare Trump's impeachment "unconstitutional." Talk about your judicial activism! The chief justice might preside over the Senate impeachment trial, but the Constitution grants the House of Representatives the "sole power" to impeach crooked or just plain horny presidents. A unanimous Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that it had no skin in this game. Chief Justice William Rehnquist stated that authority over impeachment trials "is reposed in the Senate and nowhere else."
Giuliani wasn't any more lucid this weekend when he repeated his dumbass argument. Pirro asked him how exactly the Supreme Court could declare a constitutional remedy unconstitutional, and Giuliani desperately tried to pull a legal rabbit out of his hat.
Trump will sell Saudi Arabia some spare soldiers if the price is right.
Donald Trump set a virgin bonfire in the White House Friday and Laura Ingraham emerged from the flames to interview him. She opened with a softball question about how much of a pants-soiling threat Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani was before Trump single-handedly erased him from existence with the Infinity Gauntlet.
INGRAHAM: [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's] concern is that people aren't understanding the imminent nature of the threat of Soleimani, and he was pressed on that today. He said there were large-scale attacks planned on U.S. facilities, but he didn't go more specific. Don't the American people have the right to know what specifically was targeted without revealing methods and sources?
This is the president's response in its original banana pants.
TRUMP: Well, I don't think but we will tell you that probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad. You saw that happening. You saw with all of the men, very few women, circling it and circling it very strongly and very viciously, knocking out windows and trying to get and they were close to getting in, and I called out the military. They said we'll have it there tomorrow. I said, nope, you'll have it there today. We're not going to have another Benghazi on our hands. And we did a really amazing job. I get no credit for it, but we never get credit for anything, and that's OK. In the meantime, we have the greatest economy we've ever had, a lot of other things.
But I think you would have had another Benghazi had we not acted quickly. That could have been stopped, and this was stopped. And we had our Apaches going there, the great helicopters, and they were dropping flares all over the place, and a lot of things were happening. They had acted real fast and everybody disappeared.
Grisham fiercely maintains the integrity of doing absolutely nothing.
Donald Trump was impeached last month. Now, he's trying on wars for size to save his own skin... so it's a good time for the White House press secretary to finally meet the press after more than 300 days. Stephanie Grisham's had this job for six months and has yet to hold a single briefing for reporters. She makes $183,000 a year to go on Fox News every once in a while and complain that people keep expecting her to do shit.
Grisham started to feel the heat this week. Anderson Cooper explored the many ways Grisham is useless during a full segment of his CNN show. Author Don Winslow offered to donate $100,000 to charity if Grisham did her job for just one hour. Stephen King matched the $100,000. It was suddenly a telethon! Their indecent proposal offended Grisham, who responded in an email to Jake Tapper.
GRISHAM: If you have $200,000 to play with, why not just help children because it's a good thing to do? Donations to charity should never come with strings attached.
Back in 2012, Trump offered Barack Obama a $5 million donation to the charity of his choice if our last legitimate president handed over his college records and passport applications. This was a little different from Winslow and King's offer because they aren't racists who refuse to believe Grisham is who she says she is. They'd also actually come through with the money.
Congressman From 'Hee Haw' Wishes Democrats Hated Terrorists As Much As Trump Loves Gold Star Families
Yep, that's what he's going with.
On Wednesday, senators and congressmen had classified briefings where they learned the very real super-secret intel Donald Trump examined with his brain and thereby decided it was mandatory that he order the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. When they came out, those who were honest were appalled -- not by the intelligence, but by the briefing. Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly called the briefing "sophomoric." Republican Senator Mike Lee said it was the most fucking embarrassing briefing he's seen in the entire time he's been a senator, adding that it was (real quotes!) "lame" and "insane" and that the briefers spent more time telling Congress they "need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public" than they did actually, you know, briefing them.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Hee Haw) presumably attended that briefing too, but when he went to visit North Korean news lady Lou Dobbs on Fox Business last night, that's not what was on his mind. Instead he decided to enter the "Let's call Democrats America-haters/terrorist lovers" contest (currently in first place: Nikki Haley and this guy!) and oh boy, he really stepped in some fresh dogshit:
If you don't support President Stable Genius bumble-fucking his way into a stupid unwinnable war without the slightest hint of a plan, YOU JUST HATE AMERICA.
A lot of people say Nikki Haley sold her soul to Donald Trump, but that would imply the pre-existence of a soul, to which we reply OBJECTION, YOUR HONOR, ASSERTS FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE.
Haley dons a hero's cape when she feels it will benefit her politically -- like when she reluctantly finally decided it was time to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse just after a white supremacist murdered nine black churchgoers in 2015, except for she defended that flag in 2014 and as recently as like five minutes ago expressed regret that white supremacists had gone and made that flag all racist. (That wasn't a new thought from her, either. She complained that Dylann Roof had "hijacked" the Confederate flag way back in 2016, while expressing her sober wishes that Donald Trump wouldn't be so ugly to the minorities all the time, not that she thinks he's racist, no he never!)
Nikki Haley's message just depends on what audience she's tailoring her message for, is our point. And in the days of Trump, she's tailoring her message for asshole Trump Republicans, because she'd really like to be president in 2024, or maybe 2020 if something comes up, not that she wants anything to come up, perish the thought.
Anyway, Haley was on "Hannity" last night, being a lying, craven asshole, because that's who she is.
Don't threaten us with a good time.
OK, we know we know we know we know we know. We are always like "FOX NEWS JUDGE SAYS IMPEACH!" and then you click it thinking maybe it is going to be some new Fox News character who has seen the light and is now willing to admit that Donald Trump is a gigantic criminal from the depths of hell, and then you are disappointed that it's just that one dude again, Judge Andrew Napolitano, the guy with the hair, who quite frankly has been saying Trump is a gigantic criminal from the depths of hell who needs to be impeached and removed for a number of months now.
But still! He is still employed on The Fox! They have not sent him off to a farm to frolic and play all day with Shep Smith! They give him American pesos to sit there on The Fox and say Trump is a gigantic criminal from the depths of hell who needs to be impeached and removed. Therefore we think it is important.
And this time, Judge Napolitano is saying that actually, maybe the Democrats should impeach Donald Trump a whole bunch more times, because new evidence keeps coming out that Trump is even more of a criminal. Specifically, he's referring to those unredacted emails Just Security obtained last week, which show that not only was Trump personally holding Ukraine's aid money up inside his grundle, illegally and improperly, but literally everybody in his administration charged with handling that money knew it.
Mike Pompeo offers to throw in the undercoating AND a set of steak knives?
Memo to the Trump Administration: This ain't 2002, and you guys don't even have a guy like Colin Powell whose cred you can borrow to sell another forever war. American got conned into one Middle Eastern quagmire based on shit intel from a CIA source nicknamed "Curveball" -- yes, literally -- and we won't get fooled again. Particularly when the 2020 Curveballers are a bunch of lying hacks and toadies who dutifully go on television to swear that war crimes are normal, congressional oversight is illegal, and Donald Trump's inauguration was bigger than Obama's, PERIOD.
It took less than a day for the media to dismantle Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's bullshit about needing to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Suleimani to save American lives from "imminent threats," because the secretary of State and the rest of the warmongers in Trumpland never had any credibility to squander. Not that he didn't try to kite that check! This weekend the secretary of State did a full McCain on the Sunday talk shows, telling CNN's Jake Tapper that AKSHULLY it was Barack Obama's fault the US killed an Iranian government official on sovereign Iraqi territory without informing our hosts:
We're trying to restore deterrence that frankly is a need that results directly from the fact that the previous administration left us in a terrible place with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran ... we have developed a strategy to convince the Iranian regime to behave like a normal nation. That's what our strategy is about. We've been executing it.
No one on earth denies that Suleimani spent 20 years trying to attack Americans, but when pressed to define exactly what he meant by an "imminent attack," Pompeo huffed, "If you're an American in the region, days and weeks, this is not something that's relevant. We have to prepare, we have to be ready, and we took a bad guy off the battlefield."
But what Kaep says won't get us into a war. That's the difference.
Colin Kaepernick dropped some bombs on Twitter yesterday and conservatives lost their damn minds. It's weird. Kaepernick is not the president of the United States. You can just ignore his tweets. Yes, they're arguably controversial, but they don't promote violence or otherwise violate Twitter's terms of service.
Kaepernick does not have the warm and fuzzies for America, at least not in the way "love it or leave it unless the president is black" conservatives deem appropriate. This isn't news. It's also why Kaepernick no longer plays football professionally. He's paid a high price for his outspokenness, but the usual suspects won't honor the bill of sale and let him tweet in peace. Megyn Kelly, currently dramatized in the box-office bomb Bombshell, scrubbed off her blackface and denounced Kaepernick's comments.
These guys can't stop, won't stop the Christian pity party.
Five people were wounded Saturday at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York. This was the the ninth anti-Semitic attack in New York City during this year's Hanukkah. It's part of an alarming trend of anti-Semitic attacks around the country. According to the Washington Post, hate crimes targeting Jews have risen 21 percent in the past year. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it bluntly at a press conference Sunday.
CUOMO: This is a national phenomenon that we are seeing and it's frightening and it's disturbing. If anyone thinks that something poisonous is not going on in this country, then they're in denial.
If you want to observe folks in denial in their native habitat, you should swing by Fox News. This morning on "Fox & Friends," today's fake Ainsley Earhardt, Rachel Campos-Duffy, made sure that the spotlight never wavered from CHRISTIANS, CHRISTIANS, CHRISTIANS. When Jewish Americans are straight-up terrified, there's no better time to insist -- without evidence -- that Christians are the most persecuted people who were ever persecuted.
Rudy Giuliani ruins a perfectly good smear campaign.
If Donald Trump wasn't a batshit loon with a demented, spittle-flecked lawyer, he probably would have gotten away with this Uranium One redux. There's a tiny kernel of truth to the Ukrainium One smear, inside a giant, grease-soaked popcorn tub of lies. Clearly Hunter Biden was put on the Burisma board not for his international business skills but in hopes that he might provide some cover for the company and its crooked owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Having US allies on your side is a powerful shield in that part of the world. Which is exactly why corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko tried to hire Rudy Giuliani, and former Ukrainian president Yuliya Tymoshenko paid former GOP congressman Bob Livingston to lobby Giuliani on her behalf. Everyone knows how this rigged game is played, and no one knows it better than Ol' Roodles.
And Giuliani may be a raving nutbag with a literal zipper problem, but he did manage to get his Turkish and Venezuelan clients' cases directly in front of the State and Justice departments. In contrast, Joe Biden's fuckup son appears to have gotten bupkiss for his guys, probably because his personal life is even messier than Rudy's. But still, if Donald Trump had any chill at all, he could probably have made some serious political hay out of shining a spotlight on Hunter Biden's flaccid attempts at influence-peddling fuckery.
BUT DONALD TRUMP HAS NO CHILL. NONE. ZERO.
Merry Impeachmas Everyone!
House Democrats impeached Donald Trump yesterday, and Fox News is real mad. Everyone on that silly network thinks it's so unfair. Republicans never impeached Barack Obama, and there was far more compelling evidence that he was black.
Tucker Carlson couldn't even get through Adam Schiff's floor speech last night. He cut away, declaring, "That's enough of that." Carlson suggested viewers go online if they were interested in Schiff's full remarks or real news in general. His guest, Bret Baier, had earlier called Trump's impeachment the "only partisan — pure partisan impeachment vote in the history of the United States." This is not true, and if Fox hosts are going to rewrite history, they might as well say Trump was never impeached at all. It was just a wonderful dream Democrats had, like Hillary Clinton's inauguration.
During her white power hour on Tuesday, Laura Ingraham called impeachment a "three-ring flop," because it's, you know, a circus.
INGRAHAM: [Impeachment] has all of the feels of like a second-rate traveling circus that camps out in the old fairgrounds of your town, but then it never leaves. You have the jugglers, kind of half-baked jugglers, and kind of uneasy tightrope walkers.
Wow. She took that metaphor further than anyone needed. She must've had high hopes for the circus as a child and was really disappointed. Maybe that was the turning point for her. Her soul shriveled up and died when she realized the "strong man" was wearing a padded suit.
Back away slowly, there are SPIDERS in his ARMPITS!
Rudy Giuliani definitely wants to plead insanity. That has to be it. Right? He must have realized that he's just absolutely thrown away his previous life as a "very great crime fighter," as Donald Trump calls him, and inadvertently exchanged it for a life as a "very dumbstupid crime doer," and has decided that's the only way he can escape spending the remaining time he has in this life in prison.
We don't know where we left off with Rudy -- can one ever really know where one "leaves off" with Rudy? -- so let's just throw shit at the wall like a crazy person, because that's what Rudy's incessant mouth vomit reminds us of.
It's your Sunday show rundown!
Merry holidays to all of you, Wonkers, let us begin.
Over on CNN's "State of The Union," Jake Tapper began the morning with punchable ophthalmologist and Kentucky's second-most-loathsome senator, Rand Paul. Paul, via satellite from the site of the Bowling Green Massacre, decided to prove a former speechwriter for President Obama correct in his assessment of what this entire impeachment process would be like.
Rand Paul has decided his offensively stupid argument will be that Trump was "combating corruption" when he decided to extort Ukraine for an investigation that would hurt Joe Biden (and the Democratic Party). Tapper, for his part, pointed out the absurdity of this argument by taking Paul down Memory Lane.
TAPPER: But this is a president whose former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, former campaign adviser Roger Stone, former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates, former associate George Papadopoulos, all of them have been convicted of federal crimes. In addition, last year, Trump University settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit. Last month, President Trump admitted misusing his own charitable foundation's money, was ordered to pay $2 million. You really think President Trump is concerned about rooting out corruption?
I love that song! But did these facts deter Paul from making more idiotic arguments? Nope! He tried to trudge on with it to the point Tapper had to do everything in his power not to laugh in his face while pointing out his logic fallacies.
That's not racist. THIS is racist!
Yesterday, on God's day or when decent people brunch, The Atlantic published a profile of Fox News host Tucker Carlson. It's called "What Does Tucker Carlson Believe," and it only gets worse from there. The article is so oblivious to Carlson's grossness you'd think his mother wrote it, but instead self-described "teenage Ann Coulter fan girl" Elaina Plott does the dishonors.
Tucker Carlson does not think he is an "especially" good person.
He shouldn't. He's an "especially" bad person. We've yelled at him previously for his homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and racism. He also once voluntarily wore bow ties. But he thinks it's "elitists" such as former United Nations ambassador Samantha Power who believe "I'm a good person and you're not." This is how the TV dinner heir cons millions of gullible people that he's "one of them." There's no base instinct they posses that he doesn't share. Laughably, Carlson claims that he has empathy but "drooling morons" like Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan do not. (He really doesn't like women who are smarter than he is, which are most of them.)
Britt McHenry subjected to gross texts from grosser former co-host, Tyrus.
Fox News is a cesspool of racism and sexual misconduct. Peddling bigotry is how the network affords to settle its many sexual harassment complaints. It's a business model based in the concept of a serpent eating its own tail. Just as the movie Bombshell arrives in theaters, Fox is hit with yet another harassment suit. This one is from Britt McHenry, host of the Fox Nation show "Un-PC," but we're not doing the whole "live by the sword, cut the dickens out of your finger with the sword." No one deserves to be sexual harassed, even if they willingly choose to work at the International House of Grossness that's Fox News.
McHenry accused her former co-host, Tyrus, of harassing her early this year. Tyrus's real name is George Murdoch, but he's not related to Fox bigwig Rupert Murdoch, which would be hilarious. Tyrus reportedly sent McHenry "unwanted and unsolicited text messages with lewd, sexual comments" (these are almost always unwanted and unsolicited). Fox's response was consistent with an organization that has ignored all sexual harassment legislation and HR policies from the past 30 years. The network gave Tyrus his own show, "Nuff Said," and McHenry the professional cold shoulder. That's retaliation, and it's illegal.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
McHenry says that Fox News responded to her complaints against Tyrus by "refusing to investigate some of her claims, shunning her, shutting her out of company events, and refusing to allow her on Fox News Channel shows. [...] When Ms. McHenry complained to Fox News Human Resources and management, Fox News asked what Ms. McHenry did to provoke her harasser."
McHenry filed a lawsuit against Fox News on Tuesday. In addition to Tyrus himself and an assortment of malignant Fox corporate growths, the suit names McHenry's Fox Nation boss, John Finley, executive producer Jennifer Rauchet, and human resources executive Monica Mekeel. They all suck. McHenry claims that when she reported Tyrus for the third time, Rauchet told her that she was "replaceable" and "Fox News never wanted her."
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