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Guns

Oregon Republican Knows How To Protect Environment, And That Is ARMED STANDOFF

Stupid, stupid democracy (iTS a REpuBliC!!!)

Republican members of Oregon's state Senate, faced with the likely passage of an intolerable bill that would surely destroy freedom forever, fled the state Thursday to prevent the body from having a quorum necessary to hold a vote. And what was the horrible, liberty-destroying bill they took such extraordinary steps to try and kill? Free abortions for undocumented immigrants who deny Christ while hugging trees? Or perhaps any restriction on guns, ever? Nope: It was a plan to reduce carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade program -- which had already been modified with Republican amendments in the state House.

As allowed by Oregon's constitution, Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state police to compel the wayward legislators to return to the Capitol, but by then, most had already gone to other states, mostly Idaho, although there were rumors some skedaddled to Missoula, Montana, too. We'd ask Yr Editrix to go look for 'em, but she drives a Prius and they'd naturally be wary. And the new solar panels on her roof mean it's unlikely any would drop by for a visit.

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Cops Behaving Badly

Hero Phoenix Cops Rescue Dollar Store Doll From Terrified Family At Gunpoint

Same shit, different day

A couple thugs accosted a family in Phoenix, Arizona, last month. They waved their penis substitutes and shouted obscenities and threats at Dravon Ames, his pregnant fiancee Iesha Harper, and their two young daughters. What's especially scary but not that surprising is the thugs had badges.

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Healthcare

Arizona Supreme Court Stops Harshing Medical Marijuana's Mellow

Sad Yavapai County Attorney can't keep throwing people in prison for legally possessing pot.

In 2010, Arizona voters legalized medical marijuana. Since then, one local prosecutor has made it her life's mission to throw legal medical marijuana cardholders in prison.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk took it upon herself to decide that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), which defines marijuana as "all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant," meant that medical cardholders could only have pot flowers, leaves, and seeds. Not edibles, not extracts, not hash, not vape juice, not topical ointments — despite the fact that all of these things come from cannabis resin, which is undeniably a part of the plant.

Based on the arguments she makes against marijuana, it seems like Sheila Polk's main source of information is Reefer Madness. Or maybe Jeff Sessions.

Despite her crusade to keep sick people from their medication because pot is icky and bad, Polk has refused to state publicly whether she has ever smoked pot. We're sure she refuses to answer that question because she has totally never hit a joint.

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Courts

Jury *Just Can't Decide* Whether Basic Human Decency Is A Crime

Stop him before he helps people again!

In Tucson, Arizona, a jury deadlocked yesterday in the federal trial of Scott Warren, the humanitarian border volunteer accused of criminally giving food, water, and shelter to two Central American migrants who had illegally crossed the border. Federal prosecutors said that in helping the migrants, Warren had actually engaged in three felonies: two counts of "harboring" the men from law enforcement, and one count of conspiracy to transport them, although Warren hadn't actually taken them anywhere. If he'd been convicted, the maximum sentence could have been 20 years in federal prison.

But the jury informed US District Judge Raner C. Collins Monday that it was deadlocked, and after additional deliberations Tuesday, said they weren't likely to reach a verdict no matter how much time he gave them. Collins dismissed the jury and scheduled a status conference for July 2, when prosecutors will say whether they plan to retry the case. The jury, which reportedly had eight members voting not guilty and four guilty, left the federal courthouse without talking to reporters.

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Culture Wars

Wendy Davis Thinkering Up A Run Against New Ted Cruz-Flavored Asshole Congressboy, Chip Roy

Advocates weird ideas like 'government should help people,' and other madness.

As a member of the Texas Senate in 2014 -- why yes, old folk, that IS five years ago now -- Wendy Davis electrified womenfolk all over the USA with a 13-hour filibuster of a terrible abortion bill. The bill went on to pass anyway, then was later mostly struck down by the Supreme Court. And Davis went on to run for Texas governor, although good lord her campaign team was a disappointment (hoo lordy was it!) and Davis ultimately lost the election to current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, helped along with a heaping helping of bullshit from rightwing media (ABORTION BARBIE, Y'ALL!). She should have unveiled the Wu-Tang Clan shirts earlier in the election, probably.

But if she has a bunch of those shirts in storage, she may soon be digging them out, seizing the podium, and shouting "LIQUID SWORDS!" The hot political rumor in Texas is that Davis may decide to challenge freshman US Rep. Chip Roy, the rightwing fartenberry who a couple weeks back blocked a huge disaster relief bill in the House for the sake of being a dick. Davis says she hasn't actually decided, but the wingnuttosphere is already gearing up to trash her, because rightwing media is preemptively dickish that way.

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Local News

Roy Moore's Lawyer Charged With DUI, Possession, & Representing Roy Moore

He seems nice.

Ambulance chaser Trent Garmon was arrested last night, but perhaps more troubling for him is that the news articles refer to him as "Roy Moore's lawyer." You'd hope he'd have at least one other client more impressive than a failed Senate candidate who was banned from the mall.

Gadsden, Alabama, police charged Garmon with driving under the influence of controlled substances, second-degree possession of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. When our car was recovered a couple years ago after it was stolen outside our house, the "drug paraphernalia" found inside was a crack pipe. We are NOT saying that Garmon was smoking crack or in possession of a crack pipe. We're just sharing our own traumatic experience.

Garmon is a terrible lawyer we've mocked often for his comical incompetence. He tried to sue the Washington Post for defamation because it accurately reported that Roy Moore existed, which proved fatal to his campaign. When not defending creepy old men who want to bang 14-year-olds, he's also defending the rights of religious bigots to bully and harass school kids who practice the "homosexual lifestyle" (and even those who are just naturals at it).

GARMON: The intent of the homosexual agenda is to have a protected class specifically for that type of a lifestyle and to tell teachers and administrators in schools that no one can talk about their sexual orientation. It would be like saying that an alcoholic or a drug addict should be protected from anyone talking about their alcohol problem or their drug problem.

We are petty enough to appreciate that Garmon was busted for a DUI a week into Pride month. He obviously supports our right to discuss his apparent issues with controlled substances, so we'll continue.

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Vote suppression

Tell Us More About How Innocent You Are, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott!

Don't believe your lying eyes.

It was just last week that Texas's Secretary of State, David Whitley, had to resign because he couldn't get confirmed by the state Senate. Democrats wouldn't vote to confirm Whitley because he'd led that stupid attempt to purge nearly 100,000 Texans from voter rolls for having illegally registered to vote. Except, OOPS, at least a quarter, probably many more, were actually legitimate votes incorrectly flagged because the methodology was bullshit.

And now, emails obtained through a public records request appear to show that Whitley, who was appointed to the post by Gov. Greg Abbott in December 2018, wasn't even the originator of the failed purge. Instead, two officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) identified Abbott's office as pushing for the project months before Whitley was appointed. Abbott's office denies it, which is hardly surprising since Abbott has already tried to pin the failed voter purge on the DPS providing bad data to the Secretary of State's office.

Funny how stories of vote suppression fuckery just keep getting uglier and uglier, isn't it?

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Post-Racial America

Band Of Sherlocks Unable To Determine If Ralph Northam Appeared In His Own Racist Yearbook Pic

Northam will continue hunt for the real blackface wearers.

We've dragged Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam a lot over the past few months, so it's only fair that we share the news that Gov. Blackface Moonwalk was recently cleared on all charges of aggravated minstrelsy. Investigators still can't confirm if it's actually Northam in the 1984 yearbook photo of an asshole in blackface having a drink with another asshole in a KKK robe. They spent four months examining the photo, and all they were able to prove is that blackface and a Klan costume are effective disguises if you wish to commit serious crimes.

"We could not conclusively determine the identity of either individual depicted in the photograph," said the report commissioned by Eastern Virginia Medical School. "The governor himself has made inconsistent public statements in this regard."

This is, of course, ridiculous. The racist photo appeared on Northam's own yearbook page. Occam's racist states that Northam is either the jazz singer or the strange fruit farmer. A one-armed klansman didn't try to frame Northam, because this was 1984 Virginia. If someone wanted to ruin him socially and professionally, they'd have planted a photo of Northam holding hands with a black woman.

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Culture Wars

Alabama Mayor Bein' All Alabama 'N Sh*t

And no, it wasn't taken out of context.

Alabama values life. When the state passed a draconian abortion bill, it wasn't about controlling women, they claim, but the "sanctity of life." If we bought that bullshit for a second, it might surprise us when the oh-so-pro-life mayor of Carbon Hill, Alabama, proposes killing a lot of people who are different from him.

Mark Chambers reportedly posted the following on Facebook (in ALL-CAPS psycho vision): "We live in a society where homosexuals lecture us on morals, transvestites lecture us on human biology, baby killers lecture us on human rights and socialists lecture us on economics!"

A Facebook friend of the mayor's then complained that minorities had "more rights than the majority." Black people are 27 percent of the population, but it's not like we're running the show over there. The most we've done is prevent Alabama from sending a creepy pervert to the Senate.

ANGRY PERSON: I hate to think of the country my grandkids will live in unless somehow we change and I think that will take a revolution.

Like Janet from The Rocky Horror Show, this fellow crackpot believes a cleansing "revolution" will benefit the nation somehow. Chambers is a bigot, but he's also an elected official. We presume he immediately set his friend straight.

CHAMBERS: The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it's bad to say but without killing them out there's no way to fix it.

Wow. OK, we ... probably saw that coming, to be honest.

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sex crimes

Hide Your Daughters, The GOP Got Loose Again

Probably all Obama's fault.

The Family Values folks are at it again, with a trio of recent arrests of good upstanding folks for skeevy sex stuff. A Louisiana Catholic school principal resigned after getting drunk and belligerent at a DC strip club -- while he was visiting the capital city with a bunch of middle schoolers on a field trip. In Kentucky, the owner of a pizza parlor what blares Christian music and prints Bible verses on its receipts was arrested for sending dirty sex texts to a teen girl who works for him. And about a mile away from Yr Dok Zoom's home in scenic Boise, Idaho, the former chair of the state Republican Party was nabbed wearing a wig and allegedly masturbating outside his ex-wife's apartment building, although his lawyer insists it's all just a great big comical mixup.

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Healthcare

California Doing SEXY MEDI-CAL STUFF, Oooh, Like That!

*Serge Gainsbourg riff here*

With the Trump administration still trying to drown Obamacare in a Supreme Court-shaped bathtub, the state of California is busily passing a ton of bills to improve healthcare coverage for its residents, because Cali is just contrary that way. Let's take a look at some of the dozen or so healthcare bills California's lege has passed so far, which will improve both the state's Obamacare exchanges -- "Covered California" -- and its Medicaid, "Medi-Cal."

For starters, the legislature voted this week to expand Medi-Cal coverage to include a large portion of the state's undocumented population. In 2016, California extended Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented kids, meaning that about 250,000 children now have healthcare. This year, coverage for undocumented adults will be expanded, with Medi-Cal covering young adults aged 19 to 25, and all seniors over 65, regardless of immigration status. Because federal Medicaid funds are only allowed to go to citizens and permanent residents, California will have to pick up the cost of the coverage expansion, but that's a cost they're willing to cover, because 1) hospitals cover emergency Medicaid care at higher costs, so why not cover more people with basic care for less money, and B) damn it, healthcare is a human right. The state Assembly's version of the bill originally called for covering all undocumented adults, but Gov. Gavin Newsom wouldn't support the $3.4 billion price tag, so instead the Senate's more limited coverage was passed. Still room for improvement, but that's what future sessions are for. And not only will Californians be healthier, it'll piss off Fox News. We approve.

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State/Local Politics

New Hampshire Ends Capital Punishment

No more tinkering with the machinery of death.

New Hampshire yesterday became the 21st state in the USA to officially abolish the death penalty when the state Senate voted to override Gov. Chris Sununu's veto of a bill ending capital punishment. As of today, not a single state in New England has the death penalty. The New Hampshire state House voted last week to override, and the 16-8 override vote in the Senate Thursday was exactly the two-thirds majority needed to overcome the veto. The ban on further executions becomes effective immediately, but does not apply to the only inmate on death row in the state, Michael Addison, who in 2006 was sentenced to die for murdering Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Death penalty supporters were quick to fearmonger that Addison would surely have his sentence undone in future litigation. Republican state Sen. Sharon Carson fretted such an outcome was inevitable, and that the repeal is really a shame since New Hampshire had a really good, humane, careful law for killing bad people through the power of the state:

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Vote suppression

Texas SOS Sh*tcanned After Failed Voter Purge, So That's Sad We Guess

Goodbye, asshole! Hope we never hear from you again! Goodbye!

David Whitley, the jerkwad who served as Texas's secretary of state for less than six months and tried to purge nearly 100,000 people from the state's voter rolls using seriously screwy data, has resigned. Texas has this weird thing where the secretary of state can have the job as soon as the governor appoints 'em, but if they're not confirmed by the end of the legislative session, they have to step down. Since the confirmation required a 2/3 majority in the state Senate, and all 12 Democrats in the chamber opposed Whitley over the purge nonsense, he had to vamoose. Bye, asshole! Bye!

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Crime

Border Patriot Made Up Cancer Boy, Stole Truck, Told Copper 'I Am America'

And you can too!

Border vigilante Jim Benvie, the spokesman for that mob of gun-humpers in New Mexico that proudly livestreamed itself detaining a group of migrants crossing the border in April, really likes to portray himself as a proud upholder of The Law. Armed men holding immigrants at gunpoint are actually just exercising their constitutional rights, he explained, because those illegals broke the law, you see. "They're breaking the law. They went across the border, they've broken the law."

As the Daily Beast points out, Benvie even likes to suggest he's somehow affiliated with law enforcement.

He wears a badge with the words "Fugitive Recovery Agent." He refers to Border Patrol agents as his "backup." He claims to be protecting America from a "criminal invasion" at the nation's southwestern border.

So of course it shouldn't surprise anyone that, as the Daily Beast reports, this great supporter of law and order is facing charges for stealing a rental truck in Oklahoma, and that the arresting officer suspected Benvie of fraudulently collecting money for a boy with cancer whose name Benvie couldn't quite come up with, although no charges have been filed regarding the apparent scam.

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Elections

Florida Republican's Campaign Crew Sure Liked Chatting About Election Fraud

Tell us again why voting restrictions protect the 'integrity' of the vote?

Alex Díaz de la Portilla, former Florida Republican state senator, is in hot water over a leaked WhatsApp chat log that appears to show campaign workers chatting about destroying or disappearing absentee ballots filled out for the candidate's opponent in the nonpartisan county election, according to the Miami New Times. Díaz de la Portilla ultimately came in third in the May 2018 special election for a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission, so even if some of his people did deep-six some ballots, it didn't apparently help him. Clearly, these pikers could have learned a lot from the experts in North Carolina about electoral fuckery.

Still, you have to appreciate just how brilliantly Díaz de la Portilla plays the role of a local pol accused of just a teensy bit of ratfucking.

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Crime

If Extortion And Death Threats Are Wrong, Washington Militia Dude Doesn't Want To Be Right!

We can't wait for the cable miniseries.

A militia leader from Washington state was arrested last week in West Virginia and will be extradited back to Washington after allegedly trying to extort money from members of his own little band of patriots. James "Russell" Bolton was arrested by West Virginia state police Thursday at his parents' home in Princeton, West Virginia, after a Washington judge signed a warrant on five counts of extortion and one of attempted theft. Bolton had allegedly left letters outside some of his militia pals' homes, threatening dire consequences if the victims didn't come up with large amounts of cash. The letters implied the threats were from Mexican drug cartels, which as we all know regularly target goofball militia dipshits.

Gee, who ever would have thought anyone in the wingnut militia movement would do something like that? Before you get all judgey of Mr. Bolton, keep in mind It's all probably a plot by the New World Order and international bankers to make patriots look unstable.

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