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Journamalism

And Now We Know EXACTLY Why Rex Tillerson Called Trump A 'F*cking Moron'

Besides how that's just true.

Happy Friday, it's Book Time! No, we have not read a book, what do you think we are, some kind of Dok who reads books?

(We do read books. Sometimes. SHUT UP, WE READ THE INTERNET ALL FUCKING DAY FOR YOU.)

Anyway, lots of hollerin' and hullabaloo about a new book from the Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig called Dare You To Write A Book Like This, Maggie Haberman, Haha You Can't. Just fooling, it is called A Very Stable Genius, and it is about how Donald Trump is A Very Stable Genius, or the opposite of that.

In an adapted excerpt published by the Post today, we learn in painstaking detail what really led then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call Trump a "fucking moron," a cuss truth that started Tillerson on the path to getting fired while he was in Africa cleaning up some Trump mess or another. We've heard a lot of different reporting over the years about the meeting that fateful day in the Pentagon, but none of it was a complete picture like what Leonnig and Rucker report, largely because many of the participants in the meeting vowed never to speak of it, according to the authors.

Y'all, it was baaaad.

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Legal

FBI Takes On​ Public Enemy Number One: James Comey

Shit, no wonder Lev Parnas is more scared of Bill Barr than the Russian mob.

Bill Barr's weaponization of the Justice Department is a wonderment to behold. The guy has been sitting on evidence that the American ambassador to Ukraine was being stalked inside our own embassy, and he's done fuck all about it for months. But somehow in that time he's found the resources to investigate a three-year-old leak allegation against former FBI Director James Comey based on a bunch of bullshit Trump tweets. Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gents!

The New York Times reports that the feds are in hot pursuit of the source for a pair of articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post back in the spring of 2017. Because that's a priority for the US Attorney's Office in DC right now! And they have all their little fingers and toes crossed that the culprit is a 6'7" former federal employee who features widely in the Commander in Tweet's morning dispatches from the White House crapper.

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lawsplainer

Harvard Law Prof's One Weird Trick! Sues NYT For 'Clickbait Defamation'

Imagineering new laws must be why they pay him the big bucks.

Lawrence Lessig has lost his damn mind.

The Harvard Law professor, who absolutely knows better, is suing the New York Times for what he calls "clickbait defamation," arguing in a lawsuit that "The consequences of this clickbaiting have been harmful to Lessig and his work."

Clickbait defamation, while surely a nifty phrase in the mind of Lessig, is most definitely not a thing. And this suit is dangerous, irresponsible, and very, very dumb.

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Impeachment

Who's In The *Third* Lev Parnas Text Dump? Your Mom? Your Mom Should Stop That!

And so should everyone else in the world!

More Lev Parnas docs! Are you trying to kill us, Adam Schiff? You dropped another 500 pages of Lev's constant WhatsApp messaging last night? REALLY?

Well, the good/bad news is that 40 percent of the new texts are in Ukranian, so we'll have to wait for a translation. And another 40 percent is just these morons sending Hannity clips and Dan Bongino tweets back and forth to each other, punctuated by "Wow!" and "lol." But there's still a lot here, and probably more coming tonight. So, let's do it rundown-style by recipient and maybe we'll finish before the next batch drops.

And incidentally, after we downloaded these documents, some of them appear to have moved, and now we're getting a 404 message. We'll put the link back if it ever reappears.

First up ... who else, right?

Rudy Giuliani

Here's Parnas, apparently in a May 18 group chat with Rudy and two of his phones, being instructed to tell Ukrainian President-Elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy to "stop acting like a boy and become a man and take control" by arresting Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Surely this has nothing to do with Kolmoisky blowing off advances from Giuliani's chucklefuck henchmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman and giving an interview that month to Pravda which the Washington Post translated thusly:

They wanted to have a meeting with Zelensky and show Giuliani that they had organized everything. [...] A big scandal may break out, and not only in Ukraine, but in the United States. That is, it may turn out to be a clear conspiracy against Biden.

You ain't kidding, Ihor!

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Ukraine

Here's Your Lev Parnas Rachel Maddow Recap, OH MY GOD

And there's a second hour of it tonight!

WOW. We do not know what exactly we were expecting when we sat down to watch Rachel Maddow's interview with Rudy Giuliani's good old pal Lev Parnas last night, but it turned out to be not that. First of all, we might call him a chucklefuck around these parts, but he did not come across as chucklefuck! He was calm, well-spoken, thoughtful, and dare we say, he seemed credible, at least for a person currently indicted by the SDNY related to Trump and Giuliani's scheme to defraud the United States out of another free and fair election by trying to force Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden to help Donald Trump.

It was an hour-long interview (and there's a second hour tonight!) and it was just headline after headline after headline, and every single thing Parnas said needs to be investigated to determine its veracity. So take it with a grain of salt! That said, we can look at what we know -- and also the things Wonkette is pretty sure we've figured out along the way -- to see how much it lines up. Spoiler, it lines up a heck of a lot. In fact, Parnas didn't say anything that surprised us, at least not because it made us think of the situation in a new way. Our jaw was on the floor for a full hour more because we were sitting there going, "JUST LIKE WE FUCKING SAID!"

The interview paints Donald Trump as a person who knew exactly what was going on, because he was directing it all from the top. It also implicates Mike Pence, who, according to Parnas, was tasked to do Trump's dirty work pressuring Ukraine to announce fake investigations into Joe Biden starting a long time ago. And regarding that pressure, Parnas says that going all the way back before Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected in a landslide on an anti-corruption platform, getting that Biden investigation announcement was the only motivation for every single thing they did.

Oh yeah, and Attorney General Bill Barr needs to call his lawyer.

Before we jump into clips from the show, though, one of the most interesting parts to us happened at the end, as Maddow handed off to Lawrence O'Donnell for the 10 p.m. hour and he asked the question on so many people's minds, which is why the hell is Lev Parnas doing this? Why is he going on Maddow and spilling? How does this help him or his case? Maddow said the feeling she got from talking to Parnas is that by him coming clean and spilling everything he knows, it keeps him "safer" than if he didn't, because if his secrets were still his secrets, we guess it'd be a lot easier to dispose of him and them. It's kinda sick that we're talking about this in the United States of America, but this is a scandal partially financed by a Ukrainian billionaire the FBI has assessed to be BFFs with the Russian mob, so, we guess we understand what he is saying.

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Mommyblogging

Oh Yeah Sh*t's Getting Real

Looks like it's time for The Talk again!

I keep thinking about dominance, and not in the sex way :(

I keep thinking about it as it pertains to white men, identity politics, the Left, the primary. Some Bernie people did not cover themselves in glory when they demanded conservatives, centrists, squishy liberals, and real liberals "bend the knee" to them. Sure, it's a quote from a popular television program. But people do not like being dominated. (It was also the most boring part of that popular television program. The hot queen is fighting on three fronts, including zombies, but she's going to take time every episode to demand someone "bend the knee"? Get your priorities in order, hot queen!) Insisting on "my way ... OR DRAGONS" is not actually awesome.

I am a Warren person, after first being a Kamala person. A plurality of Wonkette writers are Warren people too. One is Maybe Bernie. A couple are Affirmatively Undecided until it's time to vote but possibly leaning toward a more centrist candidate. Nobody is a Bidener, that I know of -- late-breaking news, we do have a Bidener! -- unless and until he wins the nom, at which point we will jump on that bandwagon so hard we break our ankles. There are people on staff (me!) who would vote Bernie before Biden, and people who would not do that. Maybe you're harder Left than we are, or less. Maybe you're more hawkish, or less. There's an entire spectrum, just among the staff. We argue quite a bit in the chatcave! There's a far larger spectrum outside it.

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Iran

Trump Gets Religion! (It Is Evidence-Free Belief In 'Imminent Attacks')

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!

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Journamalism

Bret Stephens Jumps On Horseback, Warns Villagers That The Socialists Are Coming

Is there anything more satisfying than a good Bret Stephens freakout?

Yesterday, a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll showed Bernie Sanders in the lead for the first time in Iowa, just a few weeks before the election.

Today, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens came out with a brand new op-ed titled Of Course Bernie Can Win. What? Was Stephens so shook by the criticism of his embrace of scientific racism that he's suddenly decided everything he believes is wrong and decided to embrace socialism? Of course not. It is not an essay in favor of Sanders, but a dire warning for all to heed.

I write all this as someone who thinks a Sanders presidency would be ruinous on many levels: by turning the Democratic Party into a socialist one; by turning the American economy into a statist one; and by turning America's position in the world into a feeble one. I'd hate to see him win the nomination, just as I hated seeing Trump win it in 2016. But wishes aren't facts. To say Sanders is unelectable is indefensible.

Oh no! And things have been working out so well with capitalism and endless wars! Imagine a world where people don't die because they can't afford insulin or aren't sent off to die for pretty much no reason! That sure would be terrible. Who could respect us then?

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Feminininism

Hoo-Boy, It's Time To Check In On The Harvey Weinstein Trial

Scrub up, we're going in.

The Harvey Weinstein rape trial started this week in a Manhattan court room where he is being charged with two counts of rape, two counts of predatory sexual assault, and one count of criminal sex act. While opening statements won't start until January 22, this week brought us the beginning of jury selection, along with a whole bunch of drama surrounding it.

Because I've already planned on going to Lush this evening and buying some products with which to take a very long and hot bath, here is a round-up of everything that's gone on this week with all of that!

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Right Wing Extremism

What Shall We Call VDare Founder Peter Brimelow, If Not A White Nationalist?

A duck? A tea kettle? A pair of shoes?

Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com, is suing The New York Times for $5 million, claiming that they libeled him by calling him an "open white nationalist" in an article about Congressman Steve King's history of racism published last year.

According to the suit filed Thursday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, after Brimelow wrote a letter complaining about the characterization, the paper performed a "stealth edit," changing "open white nationalist" to simply "white nationalist." The paper then hyperlinked the phrase "white nationalist" to the Southern Poverty Law Center on Brimelow, citing many of the obscenely racist things he has said in his time.

Brimelow's issue with this is threefold. He doesn't like the Southern Poverty Law Center; The Times refused to print his letters "challenging" the initial description; and he would prefer to be called a "civic nationalist" on account of how he thinks that sounds better.

"We stand by the story and will vigorously defend," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Politico.

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2020 democratic primary

Elizabeth Warren Will Dance On Your Dumb Face Because She Has A Plan For That

Remember the famous Emma Goldman quote: Stop dancing, you're embarrassing the revolution.

Sorry guys, but Elizabeth Warren is flip-flopping and being inauthentic again. For one thing, we heard Goody Warren has been dancing, the internet told us.

There is even video evidence!

You are free to click around the bad parts of the internet and witness people saying it is disrespectful for Elizabeth Warren to dance while Donald Trump is bombing Iran or that she is being fake or that she is being "cringe," or you can just skip to Cory Booker's response to it, which is *chef's kiss*.

And that is officially all the time we've got for that shit.

In other news, Warren has just released videos and interviews with both Elle AND ALSO Cosmo, a day apart, like OK, PICK ONE MAGAZINE, FLIP-FLOPPER!

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sex crimes

Biggest Piece Of Sh*t On Earth Harvey Weinstein Charged With Two More Sexual Assaults In Los Angeles

If convicted, he faces up to 28 years in prison.

It's becoming more and more apparent (we hope) that one way or another Harvey Weinstein will be going to prison for sexual assault. He's facing trial this week in a Manhattan court, and just yesterday was charged with two separate instances of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles.

On Monday, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that Weinstein was being charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another there, over a two day period in 2013. Weinstein is being charged with "one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint."

If convicted, Weinstein could serve up to 28 years in prison.

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WARBLOGGING

Mike Pompeo's War Pitch Tour

It's the Sunday show rundown!

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on every one of the Sunday shows this week doing his best "Colin Powell WMD" sales pitch to the American people (except for the whole not having decades of goodwill or reputation to squander) after the targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. The killing was roughly equivalent to assassinating VP Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Esper with a soupçon of added CIA Director, so Pompeo is now trying to reassure us that we have nothing to worry about.

On CNN's "State of The Union," Pompeo began by having to answer why Trump, in one of his McDonald's constipation-induced Tweetstorms, is threatening to commit war crimes:

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News

Find A Comfy Seat And Have Some Nice Things!

Your weekly escape from all that other stuff.

As an only child, I can't speak on the matter with any authority, but I have a feeling the photo up top may very succinctly summarize the relationship between a whole lot of younger and older siblings.

LET'S GO FOR A RIDE!

Okay.

ALSO I WILL SIT ON YOU!!!

Sigh.

Whole bunch of nice things for you today!

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Feminininism

Put On Your Pretend Shocked Face: Donald Trump (Allegedly) Creeped On A Fox News Lady

Fetch the smelling salts.

Back in the year of our lord 2009, a young lady named Carrie Prejean wanted to be Miss USA. During the pageant, the then-Miss California USA was asked by Perez Hilton whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states. She answered:

Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.

As you may recall, of course, most Americans in 2009 were not, in fact, living "in a land where [they could] choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage." They didn't have that choice, on account of it being illegal in most states.

Prejean did not win Miss USA and, according to her and the conservative pundits at the time, this was because her "traditional beliefs" were held against her. Instead, she was the first-runner-up, a title she lost after partially nude photographs of her surfaced, along with the revelation of the existence of a sex tape. Ms. Prejean has maintained that she actually also lost that title on account of backlash against her traditional values.

One of the conservative pundits defending Prejean was Courtney Friel, a personal friend of the beauty queen as well as an occasional fill-in-host on Fox & Friends.

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Journamalism

2019: The Year Devin Nunes Sued A Cow, And A Forty-Millionaire Sued US!

Open up the libel laws, uh huh uh huh!

There's been a funny thing going on in the ol' U-S-A. Conservatives are really really really concerned about "free speech," because of how Antifa keeps murdering them with "concrete milkshakes" every time they try to throw a white power party, but don't worry, they got better. (Antifa has yet to actually murder any conservatives with the wholly fictional concrete milkshakes, but it's like when your husband is mean to you in your dream, you still get to be mad at him about it.)

But at the same time, conservatives are really really really NOT concerned about "free speech" when people say or tweet mean things that are absolutely protected First Amendment "opinion" and absolutely protected First Amendment "satire" going way back through many Supreme Court cases. Like, this shit is some settled-ass case law -- far more than your dumb "everyone gets a gun," which only goes back as far as 2008's Heller decision, and even Antonin Scalia said that didn't actually mean that you can have a fucking rocket launcher.

And that's why Devin Nunes sued a cow.

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