Don't let the door hit you in the ass.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) announced on Facebook this morning that he won't run for reelection next year, making him the 20th Republican in Congress to call it quits before next year's referendum on Donald Trump -- or maybe "President Pence." The Long Island Republican is one of those Republican "moderates," meaning he's generally rightwing on everything but has also been the rare R who's cosponsored some bills calling for modest gun safety reforms like universal background checks.
In his statement, King said he'd talked it over with his wife and kids (they're both adults), and decided that "after 28 years of spending 4 days a week in Washington, D.C., it is time to end the weekly commute and be home in Seaford." We're not sure if that translates to dead girl, live boy, or whopper of a financial scandal. Or perhaps he just wants to be able to get out while the getting's good, although he emphasized that while he's still in Congress he plans to vote against impeaching Trump, and to support Trump's 2020 bid.
Around Wonkette, Pete King will always be remembered as the guy who thought the IRA was a great bunch of freedom fighters but who disliked other terrorists -- which he figured had to include most American Muslims. He was also known to most Americans as "Oh, Peter King. The bigot from New York, not the bigot from Iowa."
Gonna try that 'catch more flies with honey than vinegar' thing for like five seconds and then go back to being dicks.
Chuck Todd has had a couple moments of greatness lately. We know, it's weird! When the Ukrainium One Trump impeachment story really broke wide open, he hosted Louisiana GOP Senator John Kennedy. Todd got real mad at Kennedy, because Kennedy wouldn't stop saying stupid completely debunked lies about what Joe Biden supposedly did in Ukraine. A couple weeks later, he hosted Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson, and he YELLED AT RON JOHNSON, because Johnson was doing the same thing, saying stupid lies not only about Joe Biden, but also about how Ukraine was the real collusion in the 2016 election.
We have been impressed, quite frankly. And we have wondered where the real Chuck Todd is, and if he is safe, BLINK TWICE IF KIDNAPPED.
So it is in the spirit of gently correcting Todd, so as to keep him on the path of righteousness, that we must reprimand him today. It's not the biggest thing in the world, it's just that we care about him and want to encourage him as he tries to become a real live grownup journalist.
Todd had Rand Paul on Sunday morning's "Meet The Press." (First mistake.) Paul spewed a bunch of weird crap about how it's totally OK to do quid pro quos with Ukraine, because Ukraine is "corrupt," even though this is aid that had been appropriated by Congress. It was incredibly dumb, because everybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that Donald Trump doesn't give a shit about "corruption" in Ukraine or anywhere else, unless it's corruption that benefits him, in which case he's for it.
Yeah, she's ready to kick some ass. Are you?
Elizabeth Warren is "angry." That's what her political opponents claim, and it's in their interests to paint the selfie senator as a less-than-kindly schoolmarm. Joe Biden said Warren had an "angry, unyielding viewpoint." Pete Buttigieg thinks Warren's "so absorbed in the fighting that it is as though fighting were the purpose." He suggested she's only running to pick fights.
BUTTIGIEG: She's more interested in the fighting part of it. I'm more interested in outcomes.
It's unclear what "outcomes" Mayor Dobie will achieve as president other than having Republicans eat his lunch every day for four years. Warren actually understands that Republicans exist. She's not naive enough to think they'll suddenly have an "epiphany" and "rejoice" in the holy spirit of "bipartisanship" once Donald Trump's gone. If it sounds like Warren's ready for a fight, that means she's prepared to serve as the president of America not Hippie Dippy Land.
Fighting isn't Warren's singular objective. She's not Jake LaMotta. Her "purpose" is taxing rich people back into the Stone Age or more accurately the mid-1950s. If she was just a windmill tilter in a leather jacket, billionaires wouldn't have nightmares on their streets about her.
The GOPs impeachment strategy, Nikki Haley has words, and 2020 Dems get heated. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat, and happy Veterans Day (or Armistice Day)! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Margaret Atwood's The Testaments: Too optimistic?
As we noted last week, it's not easy to pull off a sequel to a iconic book. You'll probably get a bestseller, but it's hard to create a second cultural touchstone. We have a feeling that Margaret Atwood's The Testaments, the sequel to 1986's The Handmaid's Tale, won't ultimately attain the legendary status its predecessor has, but it at least won't be remembered as a disappointment. That's not faint praise at all, given how disastrously a lot of attempts to return to an iconic work of fiction have turned out. It may not become legendary, but it's a satisfying return to themes Atwood explored in Handmaid.
Since we're allegedly all finished with the book, there will be some spoilers ahead, but if you haven't done the reading, feel free to take part in the discussion. I'll try to talk around some of the surprises, maybe, like the fact that Darth Vader is Aunt Lydia's father, and she's been a ghost the whole time. I will at least offer you this much warning, OK?
No, not my fault if you keep whistling "The Farmer in the Dell" all day.
Ivanka lies like a cheap rug she'd design.
The president's daughter and White House Adviser to Gross Nepotism, Ivanka Trump, gave an interview to the Associated Press yesterday. It was full of lies and slander. Ivanka opposes her father's impeachment because her lawyers inform her she'd also have to leave if he's removed from office. She can't go back to "designing" crap clothing. She won't go back.
Ivanka talked her usual gibberish, but she also shared some insights on presidential politics from her worn-out copy of Hooked on Phonics: History. Get yourself a stiff drink and meet me back here after this clip.
ONLY ON AP Ivanka Trump on the impeachment inquiry www.youtube.com
MORON: So, I happened to be reading at the time a biography on Thomas Jefferson where this letter was quoted and he was writing to his daughter about his experience in Washington. And I went to the source material and read the full letter.
Ivanka acts like she personally got her Dewey Decimal on at the Library of Congress. She probably just asked someone within a foot of her to get "that Jefferson letter" and the person said, "I don't actually work for you." She stamped her foot, demanded her Oompa Loompa, and someone eventually obliged.
When the House voted to give Donald Trump a bag of impeachment rocks for Halloween, Ivanka tweeted an excerpt from Jefferson's letter to his daughter, Martha. She claimed "some things never change" when obviously they've changed a hell of a lot if Trump has the same job as the guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Ivanka was dragged on Twitter for her cluelessness, but over the next week, she discovered other presidents to compare to her corrupt father.
MORON: This is not a new experience for my father and our president. This has been the experience of most.
Trump would only be the third president impeached in US history and only the second for non-fellatio-related felonies.
MORON: Abraham Lincoln was famously, even within his own Cabinet, surrounded by people who were former political adversaries.
As historian Doris Kearns Goodwin documented in Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln deliberately assembled a Cabinet of former rivals because, during a time of war, they were the best men for the job.
LINCOLN: We need the strongest men of the party in the Cabinet. We needed to hold our own people together. I had looked the party over and concluded that these were the very strongest men. Then I had no right to deprive the country of their services.
Trump however filled his administration with Disney villain henchmen and demands total loyalty with ritualistic displays of obsequiousness. But Ivanka wasn't done insulting our intelligence. She also did this.
How can Ivanka "reject" observable reality? Just watch her.
LIAR: [Donald Trump's] wealth, and our wealth, collectively and independently, was created prior to government service and prior to anyone in our lives having run for elected office.
First place, lady, you didn't "create" any wealth. You created wealth like that hipster restaurant in a gentrified neighborhood "created" ethnic food. Ivanka compared her crime family to Joe Biden, who she claims "created wealth as a derivative" of his time in office. Biden earned about $15 million since leaving the White House. Ivanka and her first husband, Jared Kushner, somehow made $82 million during their first year in the White House.
LIAR: Most people do create their wealth post service. We created ours prior.
"Most people" in public service, unlike Ivanka Trump, possess skills and talents that can make them a lot of money in the private sector. There's nothing overtly wrong with that. Biden earned the nickname "Middle Class Joe" because during his almost 40 years in office, he followed the strict rules regarding financial conflict of interests. Ivanka can't even wait four years to cash in on her father's presidency. The first daughter's own company won trademarks in China last year to market products including baby blankets and coffins. I assume the baby blankets were knitted in sweatshops and the coffins are substandard designs.
Democrats, please hurry up and impeach this loser -- oh, and her father, too, while you're at it.
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Seems like a bad idea, too bad it's not an ethics violation.
Some Supreme Court justices just can't stop being bigots.
Last week not one, but two justices with lifetime appointments to the highest court in the United States decided it would be fun to hang out with the leader of an anti-LGBTQ hate group at the Supreme Court. In the same term as SCOTUS is set to decide three important cases that will likely set the tone for decades to come.
So that's all just great.
YOU COME READ YOUR TOP TEN STORIES RIGHT NOW!
Hey, TOP TEN!
We have been informed that Wonkette toddler cut her own hair this week and opted for a business in the front, party in the back approach. Then Editrix Rebecca fixed it for her. WHO CUT THE MULLET BETTER? Vote in the comments!
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Ready to count down the top stories? Yes, you are.
MAD ABOUT A THING. We are not mad at Alex Vindman, though. MAD ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
More testimony transcripts today! There is the transcript from former White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill, and there is the transcript from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Purple Heart recipient Donald Trump and Fox News have been trying to paint as a foreign agent spy with dual loyalty. We knew from Vindman's opening statement that his testimony would be powerful, and that's why we can't wait to watch him dismantle Donald Trump in public.
As it is Friday, we are physically unable to read these transcripts in full right now, and as we said about the transcript from Ambassador Bill Taylor, we're going to get to see the live show in the next couple weeks anyway. So, you know, EXCUSES.
But right there at the beginning of the excerpts from Vindman's testimony released by Adam Schiff, we saw a quote that reminded us of something we've been absolutely seething about, something we've been hearing Donald Trump and his Republican minions like Jim Jordan repeat over and over again. Specifically, they've been saying (for instance in this op-ed from Jordan, which he must've written while he was ignoring the former Ohio State referee who told him the rapey sports doc had masturbated in the shower in front of him) that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said IN PUBLIC that there was no pressure put on him during that treason call with Trump (READ TEH TRANSDDCIPT!111!!), therefore if Zelenskiy says NO PRESSURE! then that means NO QUID PRO QUO! and NO CRIME! and NO IMPEACH!
And it's true. Zelenskiy did say that. And the fact that these stupid goddamned un-American wastes of space are repeating it like it's true is what's enraging us.
Sure, Kelli Ward SAID she didn't believe in chemtrails, but what if they GOT her?
Following Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's apparent 5000-vote loss to known Democrat Andy Beshear Tuesday, Arizona state GOP chair Kelli Ward, a perpetually thirsty electoral also-ran herself, proposed a simple solution on the Twitters: If Republicans can't actually win a majority of votes, why not give up on "majorities" altogether? After all, look at all the red territory that voted for Bevin!
Just look at those tiny little blue areas that inexplicably have more people in them! How could they actually represent the will of Kentuckians, simply because they resulted in a higher total number of votes?
Clearly, something must be done! Mostly, Kelli Ward must be mocked and ridiculed for suggesting that elections should stop being won by "majorities" of "voters." In an ideal world, she'd also recognize she made herself look like a complete fool and resign, but why would she give up on her one most reliable personality trait? Besides, calling for vote-rigging is rapidly becoming the norm for some Republicans, since "winning more votes" is so passe for them these days.
Funny how his name keeps coming up in all these Trump impeachment depositions!
Sean Hannity would like to STRONGLY ADVISE EVERYBODY OF A THING!
And if YOU don't STOP LYING about SEAN HANNITY, then MAYBE he'll call his LAWYER, who will ALSO be VERY MAD, not only because you are LYING about SEAN HANNITY, but maybe ALSO because the PRISON ran out of CHOCOLATE MILK this morning, that is if Sean Hannity's LAWYER is still MICHAEL COHEN, which he probably ISN'T, but Wonkette is just a DICK who wants to REMIND YOU of that time SEAN HANNITY was one of MICHAEL COHEN'S THREE CLIENTS and we all LOLOLOLOLED ALL THE LIVELONG DAY about THAT.
So, um, what's buddy boy up there bitchin' about? Well! Since you asked!
Jeff Sessions offers Trump his self-respect as early Christmas gift.
Jeff Sessions is so desperate to return to the Senate he bound and gagged his own dignity and murdered it on camera. Sessions, Donald Trump's former attorney general, groveled yesterday for the pleasure of the mad king. His first campaign ad is called "Great Job," and he spends the entire cringe-inducing 30 seconds telling us how awesome the president is. It was embarrassing to watch even if I had any respect for the man, which I don't.
Great Job youtu.be
Sweet Christ, what's going on with his eyes? There used to be twinkle in them, as if he was fondly imagining happy slaves toiling in the fields and singing "Zippedeedoodah." Now, they're dead inside. It's like he was broken in Room 101 and just wants to share with us how much he loves Big Brother.
PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING: When I left President Trump's Cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? Nope. Have I said a cross word about our president? Not one time. I'll tell you why: First, that would be dishonorable. I was there to serve his agenda, not mine. Second, the president is doing a great job for America and Alabama, and he has my strong support.
When Sessions says Trump is doing a heckuva job, there's a quick clip of Sessions endorsing Trump in Alabama. Whoever threw that in has no insight into the psyche of a sociopath. The worst thing to do is to remind them of a time when you had power and they didn't. They'll just resent the implication they were ever in your debt. The president has all the power now, but Sessions can't just beg his way out of his political grave. He'll have to give Trump the only thing he has left.
The voters don't matter. The women in danger don't matter. The kids don't matter. The blessed NRA is all that matters.
In yet another signal that elections no longer matter in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers held a special session of the state legislature yesterday. It lasted under 30 seconds, just long enough to gavel the session in and then adjourn. You see, Wisconsin law gives the governor, Democrat Tony Evers, the authority to call a special session, so he called one to bring forward two gun safety bills. But the law doesn't require the legislature to vote on bills or debate them. And that's why the Rs, who got their seats through some of the most outrageous gerrymandering in the USA, dismissed the legislation in less time than it took for cops to end this summer's mass shootings in Gilroy, California (under a minute) and in Dayton, Ohio (roughly 30 seconds). As much time as the Doolittle raiders spent over Tokyo, if you're an old. But hey, it took 10 times as long as it did for a cop to shoot Tamir Rice to death, so some things are faster.
We suppose the Republicans will now expect to be praised for not only preserving the holy Second Amendment, but also for saving Wisconsin taxpayers so much money on electricity at the Capitol.
Wonkette book review for book we have not read and will not read!
Today's the day! Excerpts are starting to leak out from the new book A Warning, written by the same author who wrote that New York Times article about how they are a secret ninja spaceman fairy princess dinosaur rock climber who also happens to be a Republican in the White House who's working to thwart Donald Trump's agenda. That's right, ANONYMOUSLYANNE CONWAY is back! Or ANONYMUCKABEE SANDERS! Or whoever it is. (We are not sure at this point if it is a current or former White House official. It could be Anonymous Spice, as seen on TV's "Dancing With The Stars"!)
Skepticism is probably the order of the day, not necessarily of the message, but of the heroism of this person who supposedly is fightin' the good fight, while yet unwilling to say who they are. Their counterpoint, of course, is that by remaining Thoroughly Anonymous Millie, Trump has no one to attack, and is forced to contend with the message of the book, which is more dire than the message of last year's op-ed. But we can have that conversation later, or never, or you can have it with somebody who feels the need to have an opinion on everything. (If you want to wallow in a mean book review, the New York Times gotcha covered.)
The excerpts themselves are interesting, though.
We're sure this time it'll work out great.
Michael Bloomberg thinks the Democratic primary is a hot mess, so he's sending in the cavalry: himself. Bloomberg, the former owner of New York City, is close to making an offer on the presidency. He's reportedly called a lot of prominent Democratic "power brokers" on his billionaire hot line. No one, not even former Senator Harry Reid, managed to convince him this was a terrible idea.
Bloomberg has flirted with possible runs in the past, but this time he actually sent staffers to Alabama and you just don't do that to people unless you're serious. Today's the filing deadline to appear on the state's primary ballot. Bloomberg staffers gathering signatures in Alabama for the former New York City mayor is a solid beginning for a romantic comedy but not the start of a successful campaign.
Why is Bloomberg doing this? Part of the reason is that he's really old. No, seriously, this is what a former Bloomberg adviser told Politico yesterday:
He's tired of being the almost-ran... Mortality is weighing heavily on him. This is the last time that he can run.
Yes, the end is near for the 77-year-old Bloomberg, and so he faces his final curtain. He's had a few regrets, like losing the 2012 Olympics. He sometimes bit off more than he could chew, like the so-called "Taxi of Tomorrow." But Bloomberg believes Donald Trump represents "an uprecedented threat to our nation," and he doesn't think any Democrat in the current Thanksgiving Day parade of turkeys can defeat an incumbent president with a 41 percent approval rating.
Remember Those Pallets Of Iraq Reconstruction $$$ Overseen By RNC 12-Year-Olds? Now They're Overseen By Mike Pence
And he's spending it all on Jesus!
ProPublica has published an in-depth investigation of how Mike Pence has leaned on the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to steer foreign aid to Christian groups overseas, pressuring it to award grants to Iraqi Christian groups favored by Christians in the US -- even after the agency's normal grant process said no to the groups' applications. It's just one more way in which the Trump administration is busy dismantling the norms of governing so that its friends are rewarded -- and to keep Evangelical voters happy going into 2020. The Trump regime may want to cut foreign assistance across the board -- especially since most Americans wrongly assume far more money goes to foreign aid than really does. But by White Pickup-Driving God, whatever aid we do give had better go to good Christians, not to godless heathen Muslims.
As with other ProPublica reports, Yeganeh Torbati's story is in-depth, well-sourced, and perfectly infuriating, which is why we urge you to go read the whole thing. The story is based on a review of internal USAID emails and interviews with "nearly 40 current and former U.S. officials and aid professionals," many of whom were very disturbed to see political appointees interfering with the process of awarding grants, particularly in Iraq, where the administration has decided to cut general assistance to the United Nations' effort to rebuild parts of the country that had been occupied by ISIS. Instead, the administration is focusing US assistance on helping Iraq's religious minorities, particularly its small Christian community, which has influential friends in the US, as well as the Yazidi minority, which ISIS targeted for especially cruel oppression. It's not that the aid is being wasted -- everyone in Iraq needs help! -- but rather that the administration is using reconstruction aid as an adjunct to its 2020 campaign. Gotta help the oppressed Iraqi Christians so the Evangelists will turn out to vote.
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