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Well, nuts, this is a genuine, bona fide Moment of Sad: after 20 terms in the House of Representatives, liberal healthcare superhero Henry Waxman and his unfortunate teeth announced today thathe'll be retiring at the end of his current term. In honor of his impressive cranium, may we suggest that the renovations of the U.S. Capitol be named the Waxman Dome?


Losing Waxman in Congress hurts almost as much as losing Barney Frank; even if Waxman wasn't quite as funny, he's been one of the great liberal bulldogs of the House. Remember when he was the guy who you could always expect to see on the news, giving hell to Big Tobacco? Remember when he was Darrell Issa before Darrell Issa was, except he investigated Halliburton and Enron and wasn't a dick? He forced through the Clean Air Act over John Dingell's Big Auto objections. And sure, he wasn't able to get the Public Option into Obamacare, though it wasn't for lack of trying (and then all the Blue Dogs lost to teabaggers anyway, the end). We suppose we can somehow forgive him for not wanting to seek another term at 74, but dammit, wouldn't just not ever aging be a better solution, Henry? Darn it.

Unlike some other Democrats who are getting out of the game, Waxman says, in a statement on his website, that he's not burned out on Congress, and that he's confident that he would have won reelection, but that he wants to do other things, which we don't like but suppose we will have to just live with:

“There are elements of Congress today that I do not like. I abhor the extremism of the Tea Party Republicans. I am embarrassed that the greatest legislative body in the world too often operates in a partisan intellectual vacuum, denying science, refusing to listen to experts, and ignoring facts.

“But I am not leaving out of frustration with Congress. Even in today’s environment, there are opportunities to make real progress ...

“The reason for my decision is simple. After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark, ideally someone who is young enough to make the long-term commitment that’s required for real legislative success. I still feel youthful and energetic, but I recognize if I want to experience a life outside of Congress, I need to start soon. Public office is not the only way to serve, and I want to explore other avenues while I still can.

Forty years of fighting the good fight -- and winning a lot -- is pretty damned impressive, so OK, we guess we will let him retire. Waxman's Los Angeles district is pretty much a lock for the "D" column; let's just hope that whoever wins his seat is, like him, a member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

[LATimes / Henry Waxman]

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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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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