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Culture

America's Greatest Artist: Disloyal Dems Hug Scary Foreign Flags Of 'Europe' And 'California'

He just paints what he sees.

Jon McNaughton, the Art Genius who documented true historic events like Jesus handing the Constitution to George Washington and Barack Obama burning the very same Constitution, is back with another masterpiece, this one titled "National Emergency." Truly a fine example of McNaughton's work, which combines the fine art techniques of Thomas Kincaid with the subtle political commentary of Ben Garrison and an army of Twitter trolls.

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Post-Racial America

Just Border Patrol Harassing Lawyers And Journalists, NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

Move along. WE SAID MOVE ALONG.

Yes, you already know that the wheels are coming off American democracy. But seriously, WTF IS THIS? NBC reports:

Customs and Border Protection has compiled a list of 59 mostly American reporters, attorneys and activists for border agents to stop for questioning when crossing the U.S-Mexican border at San Diego-area checkpoints, and agents have questioned or arrested at least 21 of them, according to documents obtained by NBC station KNSD-TV and interviews with people on the list.

CBP has an enemies list of people critical of US immigration policy, and they're using it to harass journalists, lawyers, and activists at the border? And they're pretending that they have reasonable suspicion that the people detained "were present during violence that broke out at the border with Tijuana in November"? UH UH.

Let's see if we've understood this story correctly. On November 25, a group of 500 desperate Hondurans and Salvadorans, the sad remnant of the scary "invasion caravan," arrived in Tijuana to present themselves at the San Ysidro border crossing and request asylum. Which is entirely legal. After peacefully marching up to 2,700 miles, they were stopped on a bridge by a phalanx of Mexican police in riot gear. Some of the migrants went around the police, crossing the dry river bed in an attempt to make a run for the crossing. A handful of men tried to climb over the first layer of border fencing -- beyond which they'd have to evade multiple layers of sensors and barriers -- at which point US border agents shut down the crossing and tear gassed the crowd. Remember those pictures of barefoot babies in diapers running from tear gas canisters? That's what the the US government is using as a pretext to search the phones of American lawyers crossing our border.

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Congress

We Tried To List All Kirstjen Nielsen's Baby Jail Testimony Lies. We Failed.

The Banality Of Kirstjen.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen took questions from the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday, although it would be a stretch to say she answered any. Nielsen stuck to the same line she's taken since last summer: The Trump administration never had a family separation policy, and please never mind all the times John Kelly said taking children from their parents would be an excellent way to deter asylum seekers, or multiple DHS documents discussing the goal of separating families.

Instead, Nielsen insisted there had only been a policy of prosecuting all lawbreakers at the border, although she eventually conceded that, sure, that led to children being taken from their families. But it was definitely not a family separation policy. More of a happy side effect, like when you beat suspects to extract information and they also happen to suffer and die.

Here's Nielsen, in reply to questions by Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York, spinning the existence of a policy that Jeff Sessions was very clear about announcing nearly a year ago:

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News

Poor Marks. Wonkagenda For Wed., March 6, 2019

Trump's stonewalling and screaming, Republicans are squirming, and a lovely tribute for Rep. John Dingell. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Courts

Texas Gov Knows Who F*cked Up His 'Illegals Voting' Scam, And It Was ... NOT THE DEMS????

Greg Abbott, we don't even know you anymore.

Texas's great big hunt to manufacture some outrage over "legal aliens illegally registered to vote" started falling apart almost as soon as it was announced, since it was based on bad assumptions and bad use of data. Secretary of State David Whitley breathlessly announced in January his office had compiled a list of 98,000 registered voters listed as non-citizens by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), which runs the driver's license office. Worse, since 1996, some 58,000 of 'em had voted!!! Wingnut media and Donald Trump took to wailing about voter fraud even as nit-pickers pointed out the data was crap, because the DPS only had records on people who said they weren't citizens when they applied for a driver's license or photo ID. Tons of people on the list actually been naturalized citizens later, and were completely legal to vote. In fact, as three federal lawsuits against the fake list of suspicious voters have proceeded, DPS officials have said 25,000 people on the list had already proven they were citizens when Whitley's office released it. Long story short, it's a massive clusterfuck that's proving to be a huge embarrassment to both Whitley and to Gov. Greg Abbott, who appointed Whitley to the post in December.

And now that Whitley is facing a very difficult confirmation fight in the state Senate (yeah, he's been in the job with no "acting" title; we dunno, it's fucking Texas), Abbott has finally taken a brave stance on who's responsible for the embarrassing fucktangle: Not Whitley, who did the shitty "analysis," but DPS chief Steve McCraw, for generating the data in the first place. This is a bit of a problem since, as the invaluable Texas Tribune reports, DPS made clear to the SecState's office the data was flawed from the get-go.

Still, Abbot makes a compelling case, if by "compelling" you mean he's good at pointing anywhere but his shit-covered appointee and yelling "SOMETHING STINKS!"

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News

'I'm Totally Off Script Right Now.' Wonkagenda For Mon., March 4, 2019

Trump's humps a flag, Bernie's back, and Fox News is calling from INSIDE the White House. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Immigrants

HHS Demands Stupidest Apology Since ... Mark Meadows, Yesterday

It's the week for people who don't deserve apologies to demand them, so ... what we just said.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a bit of a problem with sexual abuse of minors in its baby jails, as documents revealed Tuesday show. So HHS has taken swift action to deal with the scandal: It's demanding a member of Congress apologize for not sufficiently clarifying that the instances of abuse were alleged against staffers and contractors of the nonprofits that operate the baby jails, not HHS employees. How DARE anyone impugn the character of the fine people who work for HHS and just happened to contract out work to other people who turned out to be abusive. HHS has a reputation to think of, after all.

The allegations of widespread abuse surfaced in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Trump administration's family separation policy. Rep. Ded Deutch, a Florida Democrat, asked Commander Jonathan White to comment on the abuse allegations, which he said had been buried in a tranche of documents submitted to his office by HHS after a request. Here's part of the exchange, where Deutch scurrilously slanders the good government employees who never done nothing wrong except contract out to people who did very wrong things.

2.26.19 Rep. Deutch at Judiciary Committee hearing on Administration's child separation policy www.youtube.com

As documents posted by Deutch show, between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, there were over 4,500 allegations of sexual misconduct in shelters that held "unaccompanied alien children" for HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement. Most of the reports involve inappropriate contacts between kids, which HHS is legally required to track and investigate. But there were also 154 cases where shelter staff were accused of inappropriate touching or verbal harassment. Deutch asked White whether HHS's top brass were aware of those numbers, and whether that history of abuse went into any discussions in the run-up to the start of family separation.

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News

INFINITE SCREAMMMMM! Wonkagenda For Fri., March 1, 2019

Jared calls his father-in-law, HHS says no kiddy fiddling in baby jails, and the shitshow at CPAC. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture

Dinesh D'Souza Does To Poetry What He's Done To History, By A Doctor Of Rhetoric

'This is Just To Say / Fuck You, Dinesh D'Souza'

Now that he's pretty much shredded American history and conclusively proven that Democrats are still the party of the KKK (since nothing ever changes), conservative thought leaderer Dinesh D'Souza has turned his sights on poetry, with the purpose of enlisting Robert Frost in support of Donald Trump's WALL. In a dumb talk at Dartmouth, D'Souza manages to expose a very deep truth! Sometimes poems don't mean what you think they mean at first glance, but if you look closely at them, they really mean what you really want them to mean. Especially if you say it loud enough and ignore other evidence in the text. For a guy who claims to hate postmodernism, D'Souza seems fully on board with the "death of the author." He should be more careful not to leave behind such obvious ligature marks on the corpse, though.

Analyzing poetry should come pretty handily to D'Souza, who has no real academic training as a historian, but does at least sport a 1983 BA in English from Dartmouth -- his only degree, because universities are worthless and elitist, except when D'Souza is accusing his critics, the actual historians, of teaching at "second and third rate colleges." Like Princeton.

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News

Chinaman Not The Preferred Nomenclature, Trump. Wonkagenda For Tues., Feb. 26, 2019

Michael Cohen has 'EARTH SHATTERING' news, Trump trying to steal Uncle Sam's purse, and 9/11 first responders need our help. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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2020 presidential election

Sunday Show GOP Idiots: Come For The Casual Racism, Stay For The ... More Casual Racism!

It's your Sunday Show Rundown!!!

Welcome to your Sunday Show rundown, where we tell you what happened on the Sunday shows and you don't regret playing hooky from watching them for even one second!

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News

Another Bill In The Wall. Wonkagenda For Fri., Feb. 22, 2019

Trump STILL can't get his wall money, Alex Acosta broke the law, and Dame Peggington hates commie kids. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today!

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News

TO INFINITY! Wonkagenda For Wed., Feb. 20, 2019

Trump's NSC caught going nuclear, a space farce, and more Russian fuckery. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture

Protesters Declare Donald Trump The REAL National Emergy

Happy Presidents Day!

A whole bunch of protests were held today against the fake "president's" fake "emergency" declaration, with people turning out in cold crappy weather to call attention to the general nastiness of the guy who claims he absolutely had to do that declaration that wasn't necessary. Organizers with MoveOn.org said over 250 rallies were planned nationwide. So far, the national State Of Emergency doesn't appear to have caused any of the rallies to be cancelled, despite the very real possibility that terrified Honduran refugees fleeing violence in Central America might suddenly show up and ask for asylum.

Are there still actions taking place in your area? Check at MoveOn!

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News

Mike Pence Embarasses Himself (Again). Wonkagenda For Mon., Feb. 18, 2019

Andy McCabe goes on 60 Minutes, Heather Nauert quit-fired, and LA's 'army of cats.' Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Post-Racial America

CAN HE DO THAT? A Wallsplainer!

Long story short ... eh?

YEAH, HE CAN PROBABLY DO IT. He's probably going to raid funds set aside for military construction and housing to build his stupid Fuck You Mexico monument. Our best hope is to tie this shit up in the courts until 2021, when we send his flabby ass packing off to Florida permanently, God willing and the crick don't rise. Sorry it's not better news.

OMG, What Is Even Happening?

Well, earlier this week, Congress hammered out a compromise budget and crossed their fingers hoping that Sean Hannity would sign off on it and not shut the government down again. Looks like that goat they sacrificed in the Senate cloakroom must have done the trick, because the government will remain open. But everything has a price, and President Couch Potato refused to sign unless Mitch McConnell agreed to support a national emergency declaration for WALL. So Yertle inched back to the Senate where he interrupted a pissed-off Chuck Grassley to announce the joyous news that their party had WON! Or, you know, "won." Not only did they get their budget blessed by the Dear Leader, they also were getting a shiny new usurpation of congressional authority, HOORAY! Literally no one was fooled -- they all knew McConnell had gotten played, and they were about to be yanked ever deeper into the cold abyss. Which is what happens when you lash your party to a giant sea demon racing toward the bottom of an ocean of corruption. You pays your money, and you takes your chances.

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