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WONKETTE DEFEATS THINKPROGRESS

There can be only one.

There is much handwringing across the Internet as our old NEMESIS (not our nemesis) ThinkProgress announces fuck it, they're done. Most of the handwringing on Twitter has been to remind people that the tweeter in question used to work there, so it wasn't ONLY peopled with neoliberal corporatist sheeple from the Center for American Progress. (They also slam Neera Tanden a lot, but most of the journalistic "interference" they cite from ThinkProgress's umbrella organization, CAP, was either A, Israel yeah for sure, or B, the time CAP bigfooted ThinkProgress because they offended Bernie Sanders by pointing out he stopped saying "millionaires" when he became one.) Some tiny bit of the handwringing has been to remind folks that there is no longer any "center-left" thinktank-funded journalism in all the land, while John McCain's son-in-law Ben Domenech got fat and bloated sucking off whoever funds The Federalist.

While Wonkette would be delighted to buy ThinkProgress, Wonkette does not have three million dollars a year to cover TP's operating shortfall. But thank you in advance for suggesting it in the comments.

ThinkProgress is not the only website Wonkette has defeated. Wonkette has defeated Gawker. (Well, maybe some billionaire vampires did that.) (And okay, we guess it was "bought" by Bustle.) (Like Mic.) (They're both pretty well and truly dead.) (Good luck to recent Bustle purchase The Outline, we're rooting for you.) Wonkette has defeated your twee writerly favorites -- and ours! -- The Toast and The Awl. We have beheaded the excellent Videogum and the decidedly not excellent Weekly Standard and the not-not-excellent PS Mag and the not-not-not-excellent -- actually I've no idea -- Snowden archives, which the Intercept stopped hosting because its billionaire got bored or Glenn Greenwald needed MOAR DOGS. We've also noted with resignation, just weeks ago now, the passing of the often-difficult Shakesville, understanding implicitly her final post about the dagger to your soul and body of sitting on this ungodly Internet 12 hours a day, watching President Fuckhead fuck heads.

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Culture Wars

David Brooks Stands Athwart History Yelling 'BOTH SIDES!'

I've Been To Twitter, But I've Never Been To Me

New York Times columnist David Brooks has once again plumbed the zeitgeist and found it should agree more with the last reasonable man, David Brooks. His latest column, "The First-Person Ravings of an Internet Extremist Person, as Accurately Imagined by Me, David Brooks," is a howl about all the fanaticism and bad-faith arguments you find on the internet, as distilled through the muddy centrism of America's muddiest centrist. Behold!

I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased.

I am one of those fanatics on the alt-right and the alt-left, the ones who make online forums so vicious, the ones who cancel and call out, the minority of online posters who fill the air with hate. I'm one of those radicals whose rage is intertwined with psychological fragility, whose anger at real wrongs is corrupted by my existential panic about myself.

See what he did there? He is getting inside the psyche of an internet troll, and to David Brooks, internet trolls come in two voices: the Angry Far Left and the Angry Far Right, and both are TERRIBLE. And they're also roughly equivalent, because in the keen analytical mind of David Brooks, there's not a heck of a lot of difference between people who are angry about racism and sexism, and people who want to create a white homeland where women finally know their place. They're all so angry and excessive!

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Environment

CNN Did A Democrat Climate Thing And It Was Pretty Good!

The part where Amy Klobuchar ate a supercharged V-6 engine onstage was cool, too.

CNN held its great big Climate Change Town Hall last night, a SEVEN-HOUR marathon of detailed discussion about what the 10 Democrats who'll be in the next debate want to do about what they all agree is the greatest challenge we face. Considering how hard it is to do anything on TV for seven hours and keep people engaged (your own video game or streaming addictions excepted), it turned out to be pretty good! Especially with a nap during part of it. We won't try to summarize everything (here are some good rundowns and takeawayses; the consensus seems to be that Jay Inslee won by getting the thing to even happen), so here are Yr Wonkette's Top Four impressions of the whole darn affair.

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lawsplainer

In The Matter Of Playboy V. White House, Judge Says Get F*cked

It's Karem v. Gorks in THUNDERDOME.

Playboy reporter Brian Karem got his White House hard press pass back yesterday after US District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that it had been arbitrarily and unconstitutionally yanked. Turns out that White House Commsliar Stephanie Grisham's vague arglebargle about "professionalism" is an insufficient standard to apply when depriving the press of its First Amendment rights. Womp womp.

For those of you keeping score at home, with the drubbing they took in the Jim Acosta case, the tally is now Due Process 2, White House 0.

It all started back in July when Donald Trump convened a bunch of "social media influencers" -- AKA Nazis, conmen, and victims of evil Wonkette BESMIRCH STATEMENT(S) Diamond & Silk -- to watch him whine about all his lovely bot followers getting purged on Twitter. Afterward they all headed out to the Rose Garden, where the venerated guest hacks got seats and the White House Press Corps were forced to stand outside, cordoned off by rope.

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Journamalism

Bernie Sanders And The Case Of The Absolutely True Campaign Message, You Fact Checker DICKS.

These guys again.

The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column is at it again, determining that even though Bernie Sanders accurately cited information about medical bankruptcies from a medical journal, he actually fibbed, because some completely different researchers disagree with the methodology of the study Sanders cited. So even though one of the authors of the work said Sanders had correctly cited the article, WaPo gave Sanders "three Pinocchios," apparently for failing to consider alternate methodologies in a dispute between statisticians. That's just one public domain puppet short of a whopper, and translates to "mostly false," says WaPo.

Behold! "Fact checking" doesn't have to be about whether a politician is actually fibbing, because it can also be about aggravated nitpicking. When the "president" can't describe the weather without lying, it's very important to bring balance to the news by turning accurate statements by Democrats into lies. It's what we've come to expect from a column that insists factual statements by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker are just big ol' lies, because you need to find error even in the truth.

(N.B., we will not be getting into Sanders flack David Sirota's contention that this terrible "fact check" in a long line of terrible fact checks proves Jeff Bezos is out to get Bernie Sanders for crimes against millionaires and billionaires, noting instead that the WaPo "Fact Checker" went after Barack Obama, who was the worst socialist ever. By which we mean he wasn't that good at it, except for the massive wealth transfer from rich to poor that was the Affordable Care Act. Continuing on!)

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popular

Bret Stephens Has A Real Bedbug Up His Ass Today

In which Bret Stephens retreats to his safe space.

Bret Stephens has spent the last three years at the New York Times defining himself as a champion of "academic freedom." He has railed against political correctness and snowflakes and most of all, safe spaces. He has insisted that in order for us all to be truly free, victims of sexual assault must listen to the thoughts and feelings of those who don't think sexual assault is that bad; that female students must listen to sexism, that students of color must listen to racist bullshit, and that "students with traditional religious values or conservative political views" must feel free to express themselves, no matter how insulting their views are to other people.

Indeed, he has also warned that all of this PC culture on campus could lead to innocent professors losing their jobs.

In the name of being "safe," the job security of professors and administrators has been put at increasing risk — lest they espouse, teach or merely fail to denounce a point of view that contradicts the political certitudes of the moment.

Which makes Stephens's reaction to Dr. Dave Karpf, an associate professor at George Washington University, making a mild joke on Twitter yesterday about Bret Stephens being a bedbug, all the more poignant.

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Trade War

Larry Kudlow Is Bad At This

It's the Sunday Show Rundown, starring Larry Kudlow!

Today's edition of the Sunday Rundown will focus on CNN's "State Of The Union" with Brianna Keilar, which featured the triumphant return of Trump's economic advisor and reverse Midas, Larry Kudlow.

After last week's very reassuring denials of the possibility of a recession, a reporter asked Trump at the G7 in France about his retalitory tariffs on China:

QUESTION: Do you have second thoughts about escalating the war with China?

TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.

It seems this existential despair answer (or simply that Trump doesn't actually know what "second thought" means) sent the White House went into spin mode, insisting Trump regrets not raising the tariffs HIGHER instead.

So naturally, Keilar began the interview with Kudlow by asking what Trump meant. After Kudlow basically went with the approved story, Keilar asked him to clarify this week's Trump royal decree to American businesses regarding China:

KEILAR: He also said he's no longer planning on forcing U.S. businesses to leave China. So, it does seem as if he is softening on this issue broadly.

KUDLOW: Well...

KEILAR: You disagree with that?

KUDLOW: Hang on, if you -- well, a little bit. […] Regarding the larger point, OK, so he -- what he said last week in the tweet is, he can't order business. He's not ordering business. There's no emergency powers being invoked right now.

KEILAR: Well, he said he has the authority to do that.

KUDLOW: He merely said -- he may. As I said, there's nothing right now in the cards. Ultimately, we do have such authority, but it is not going to be exercised presently.

Nothing to see here, folks! Just a Trump Administration official floating the idea he'll use "emergency powers" to seize control of businesses. I mean, it's not like he has declared a bullshit "emergency" to go around the Constitution already. What's it called when the government controls the means of production again? You know, that thing Republicans are always falsely accusing others of?

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popular

Racist Michigan Lady Unable To Get Town On Board With Her Dream To Keep It White

Residents now hoping for a Jean Cramer-free town.

Residents of Marysville, Michigan, were horrified this week to discover that Jean Cramer, a woman running for City Council, harbors some truly bananapants racist views. During a candidate's forum on Thursday evening, Cramer was asked if the town ought to do more to attract foreign-born citizens and, uh, she really just let it all hang out:

"My suggestion, recommendation: Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible," she said. After the entire audience gasped, she followed that right up with "Seriously, in other words no foreign-born, no foreign people because of what, in our past, we've experienced it's better to have ... simply American-born. Put it that way and no foreigners. No."

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popular

The DOJ Sent An Anti-Semitic Rant From A White Nationalist Site To Every Immigration Court Worker In America

How awkward for Donald Trump, 'King of Israel!'

Imagine you're an immigration judge. You've just had your coffee and are going about your business on a Monday morning, checking your inbox, when you see your daily news briefing email from the Department of Justice. You click on it, and you see a link to what turns out to be a completely batshit anti-Semitic article about, well, immigration judges like yourself, from a notorious white nationalist site. That would be pretty weird, right?

Well, that is what happened Monday.

BuzzFeed reports that the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) sent out an email to all immigration court employees that included an article from VDare (archived link), a white nationalist site where they scream about immigrants all day long. The site is named for Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas, to a woman in the Roanoke Colony, and its mission is to protect white people from disappearing, just like the lost colony of Roanoke did. CROATOAN!

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Trump

Don't Get Assaulted By Nazis Or You Might Lose Your White House Press Pass

When it's Nazis versus journalists, you can guess who Trump is going to side with.

It's a day that ends in "y," and the Trump regime is flouting its disdain for the press, the US Constitution, and the American people. So Playboy White House Correspondent, CNN analyst, and general badass Brian Karem is suing.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in DC federal court, Karem alleges that Our Dear Leader, along with Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, unconstitutionally took away Karem's White House press pass. And let me tell you, Karem's complaint and accompanying documents are a thing of beauty, with lines like this one:

As part of his sustained and unprecedented attack on freedom of press, President Donald J. Trump and his administration have yet again violated the fundamental due process and First Amendment rights of a White House Correspondent by arbitrarily and without fair notice or compelling reason punished him by depriving him of the liberty and property interests that inhere in his "hard pass" press credential that is essential to covering the presidency.
So, how did this all start? Back in July, Trump had a cute little fascist "social media summit" at the White House with a bunch of right-wing nutjobs to complain about journalists and whine about losing Twitter followers. Immediately following, Trump and his Twitter friends went to the Rose Garden so Trump could completely cave on the Census before a live studio audience. After that sad event, Nazi and former White House official Sebastian Gorka ran up to Karem to accost him and scream in his face.

Naturally, there were no consequences for the Nazi. The journalist, however, must be punished. #2019.

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Media/Entertainment

Ted Cruz So Mad At New York Times You'd Think It Called His Wife Ugly

Haha, it's funny because that was Donald Trump.

Disney villain henchman Ted Cruz is has been having a full-blown Twitter tantrum all week long over the failing New York Times. The Texas senator is pissed because the Times has moved on from accusing Donald Trump of colluding with Russia (as if that's even a real country) to implying that white people once owned black people (wow, if true).

Cruz believes the New York Times is part of a liberal conspiracy to convince Americans that Trump is racist. These diabolical "journalists" will achieve this by covering all the racist things Trump says and does, and because Trump is so damn racist, the Times might have to create a whole new infrastructure to handle all the breaking racist news.

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Post-Racial America

Totally Real News Outlet 'Epoch Times' Loves Trump, Falun Gong, Heterosexual Healing, And Just Floating Right There Up In The Air

Hates Deep State and Doctors.

It never fails. Every single nasty, illegal accusation Republicans hurl at Democrats is something they themselves are up to their eyeballs in. They might as well confess to running a pedophile pizza parlor right now. Donald Trump is derping about Google illegally boosting Hillary Clinton's vote totals by 16 million based on some bullshit survey of 95 people, so of course there's an actual fake news outlet spending millions of dollars to pump insane QAnon and Spygate lies into America's bloodstream and boost Donald Trump. That train is never late!

NBC's Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins have a bonkers story out today on the conservative "newspaper" Epoch Times. Regular readers of Your Wonkette will already be familiar with this fine publication, both for its bizarro Spygate theories postulating that Donald Trump is constantly on the verge of doing LOCK HER UPS to the entire Deep State, and because it routinely produces highly selected excerpts of leaked House Intelligence transcripts, which it absolutely, positively does not get from Devin Nunes.

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Post-Racial America

Conservatives Terrified New York Times 1619 Project Will Remind Black People Slavery Existed

Wait till black people learn what happened to MLK!

We've dragged the New York Times a lot recently, but we have nothing but love for the 1619 Project. Spearheaded by Times magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, the sweeping, ambitious work marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved people in America. It details how slaves contributed to America's greatness while never materially benefitting from their backbreaking labor. As William Faulker said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." There's a bloody line in American history that extends from slavery to segregation up through mass incarceration and the election of Donald Trump.

The 1619 Project is something of an event for black people. It felt like everyone on Black Twitter and beyond was reading it. Folks were even partying with the print magazine edition like it was 1999. But we can't enjoy anything by ourselves for long without white people freaking out and calling the cops. Newt Gingrich reacted to the 1619 Project like it was his wife and she was dying of cancer.

Twitter

The author of To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine won't tolerate obvious propaganda. He's horrified that the Times would openly try to brainwash its readers into believing slavery both existed and sucked ass. "Propaganda" more accurately reflects how white Americans have controlled the narrative of slavery. We were born in 1970s South Carolina, and we recall learning about the "lost cause" and benevolent slave masters. Actual quote from a teacher: "Slave owners rarely beat their slaves. Slaves were valuable. Would you beat your car?" Comparing humans to automobiles is the sort of depersonalization that was a key element to propaganda. White children were conditioned to feel no shame for their cultural inheritance and black children were conditioned to respect and admire our oppressors -- not just the founding fathers but the Confederate generals our schools and roads were named after.

Twitter

Conservatives claim to love history. It's why they object to removing the memorial to Confederate General Negroasskickerson. You'd think they'd appreciate the 1619 Project -- or you would if you were incredibly naive and thought conservatives were capable of intellectual honesty. Conservatives appreciate "history" that makes the world simple not complex. "Slavery is bad" seems like a simple message to digest, but it has complex implications. It means America was not always a wonderful place, especially for minorities. It was a white supremacist nightmare state until ... well, we're hopeful we'll turn a corner very soon. When white people write dystopian novels such as 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, they imagine a totalitarian society devoid of freedom and hope. Their dread future is our recent past.

Beto O'Rourke is honest enough to accept America's reality. His former political rival Ted Cruz reprises a past where people who dared confront racism were "stirring up trouble."

The New York Times is not why people don't want to talk to Ted Cruz.Twitter

Discussing slavery and its continued impact on modern society is not "deliberately stoking the fires of racial tension and hatred." Cruz literally said after Charlottesville that cities shouldn't "sanitize" history by removing Confederate statues. Is he stupid enough to think the memorial to Confederate war hero Beauregard N-Word Sayer somehow promotes "unity"? Most of those statues were originally erected during the Civil Rights Movement as a warning to black people to remember our place. That is why conservatives resist removing them now.

Cruz harped on a weird comment Times executive editor Dean Baquet -- who admittedly says a lot of weird shit -- made at a recent town hall regarding the paper's mostly weak-ass coverage of the grand wizard in chief.

BAQUET: This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven't confronted one like this since the 1960s. It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president's character. We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.

Seems like a bad idea to build a newsroom to cover one story. But whatever. Right-wing media chose to interpret Baquet's questionable editorial competence as a deliberate attempt to divide the nation in order to sell papers. Russia didn't stick, so now the Times is making much ado of Trump's racism, which is easy when the president's a racist.

This asshole againTwitter

Baquet did not "in effect" say what Cruz claimed he did. We could just as honestly suggest Cruz said (IN EFFECT) "I like to get off on weird Twitter porn," but we'd never do that. But the "racism is the new Russia" narrative has already gained traction online. Not so ironically, conservatives back in the day tried to blame the entire civil rights movement on Russian influence.

Twitter

Cruz and conservative writer Byron York seized on the 1619 Project's stated goal to "reframe" history through the lens of slavery. They consider this Pravda-style reporting because they have a facile view of history. We've all learned about America from the perspective of white men. The idea that any other perspective has value or is just as valid is practically un-American, which is why they keep comparing it to the tactics of our Cold War enemy. Gingrich went so far as to call Times columnist Mara Gay a liar for suggesting that "everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery." This is a historical opinion Gay can back up with facts. Gingrich can only mansplain to Gay with his bruised white ego. America's wealth and power came from slavery. Enslaved people innovated American cuisine and most of American music traces back to slavery. We know it hurts to feel like you've contributed nothing important to civilization. That's what black people were taught for generations while learning actual lies about George Washington and cherry trees. We were trained to believe in the inherent honesty of a man who held our ancestors in bondage. That isn't history. It's active mental abuse.

Cruz and Gingrich are weasels but they're models of stability compared to Erick Erickson, who claimed that Hannah-Jones -- a black woman -- helped promoted a "Neo-Confederate world view" where everything's about race. Erickson has moved on from obsessing over Pete Buttigieg's sex life to sounding alarms over the upcoming race war. (We'd tried so hard to keep it on the down low. Thanks, New York Times!)

This is why white people didn't let enslaved people read. You start with some light Jane Austen and end with full-scale revolution. The 1619 Project is sure to inspire young black people in ways that will freak out conservatives. We remember when we saw Malcolm X our first few weeks in college. We were blown away and rushed out to read everything about the "bad" black leader. That's when we started to reconsider the whole "slaves are like cars" argument. But we didn't take up arms against white people and we never will. Relax, guys: If we haven't killed your asses by now, we'll probably never get around to it. If the 1619 Project inspires a true revolution, the only casualty will be white supremacy.

[New York Times / Slate]

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Media/Entertainment

Mark Halperin Puts Penis To Paper For New Trump Book No Decent Person Should Buy

Mark Halperin: 'If I Did It.'

In a just world, the story of Mark Halperin — pervert and philosopher — would end with him getting bombed on Woolite under one of Manhattan's less fashionable bridges. Unfortunately, we're all trapped in the world where Donald Trump is president, so a legitimate publisher has signed a book deal with the hack pundit who rubbed his nasty-ass penis on women without their consent.

C'mon, Donna!Twitter

The above notice states definitively that "the height of the #MeToo movement" was in 2017. So we guess it's all over now. Men said so. Ladies, please put on your company-issued go-go boots and report to your dancing cages. It's not even two full years, y'all. Halperin wasn't away long enough to grow a solid beard of shame.

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economics

Larry Kudlow Says We Are In No Way Gonna Have a Recession Soon

It's Your Sunday Show Rundown!

After years of Trump coasting on the economy he inherited from the Obama Administration, the Dow Jones fell more than 800 points last Wednesday. Economic indicators from Germany, Trump's trade wars with China and others, Trump tax cuts for the rich and an inverted yield curve (which historically has been a warning sign of an impending recession) are combining into a bad sign for the "successful" "businessman" who's hitched his wagon so close to the economy. So much so that it prompted the White House to send out their economic duo of Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro to every single Sunday show.

Let's first focus on chief economic advisor and world's saddest Penguin cosplayer, Larry Kudlow.

Giphy

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