And a longing for the sweet release of death.
If you're the sort of reader who enjoys the comedic Twitter Stylings of Mike Huckabee, you'll be delighted that some guy on Twitter called attention this week to the hilariously funny content on Huckabee's talk show on cable backwater TBN, gilded-toilet home of the Crouches. It's just like reading the failed presidential candidate's Twitter feed for an hour, only with a house band.
Huckabee's show has been around since 2017, but we only watched the current episode thanks to the thread from some socialist calling himself "Endless Bummer," in which we're treated to some prime examples of great bland comedy. So of course we watched a recent full episode of the show for the week of January 12, 2019, although the look and feel is more late-night chat from 1992.
Huckabee kicked off with a touching, sincere monologue about how most Americans are nice people wanting to go good, and isn't it sad too many of us get caught up in politics and partisanship? Then Huck -- please, call him Huck! -- moved to his desk and condemned crazy Democrats for wanting to impeach a duly elected president over nothing. Nobody seemed to notice the instant shift in tone, because why would they? He interviewed Alan Dershowitz, who's flogging a book about how impeachment might actually be illegal. Weirdly, the split-screen parts of the remote interview were framed over a looping video of clouds rolling by, as if Huck and Dershowitz were at 35,000 feet.
You Fucking Love Science!
Someone who contracts malaria can typically expect a complete recovery with proper and timely medical intervention. However, even with that being the case, malaria still kills over 400,000 worldwide and infects over 200 million people a year. There are efforts from multiple organizations to bring these numbers down, and progress IS happening. In the year 2000, the WHO estimates that 985,000 people died, so in just under 20 years we've managed to knock deaths down 60%. Looking at the chart below, you can see it's a combination of both knocking down the incidence and the mortality. The former seems to be attributed to a massive campaign to provide insecticide-treated nets to areas where malaria occurs and the latter to making treatments more easily available.
Percherie - CHU de Rouen - Paludisme en Amérique CHU de Rouen - Paludisme en Afrique CHU de Rouen - Paludisme en Asie
While treatments are effective, getting them to patients in the poor countries where most malaria cases occur can be a challenge. Preventing the infection in the first place has an obvious advantage, but while vaccine projects are active, there are no effective ones yet. Physical barriers like nets and programs to bring mosquito populations down have obviously been successful, but now, the smarties at Target Malaria have a cool new approach that might wipe the nasty disease off the face of the Earth.
Individual 1 been berry berry bad.
Everybody knows Donald Trump is a shady dumpsterfuck mobster wannabe, and we've always assumed we would eventually find out he tampered with and threatened witnesses in the Russia investigation, because he's a shady dumpsterfuck mobster wannabe. So in that way, last night's breaking news from BuzzFeed isn't surprising at all -- that Trump literally told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project he was pursuing during the 2016 campaign, while lying repeatedly to the public and saying he had no business in Russia, NO RUSSIA, NO RUSSIA, YOU ARE THE RUSSIA.
If you need a recap, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a deal Trump was pursuing to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, a deal that in and of itself raises many questions about whether it was part of the quid pro quo for Russia helping Trump steal the White House. Cohen told Congress that negotiations for the project had ended long before the campaign really got going, specifically before the Iowa caucuses; that Trump only ever discussed the deal with him three little tiny times and that he himself had only barely mentioned it to the kids; that he never considered going to Russia to work on the deal during the campaign, and that moreover, Trump had also never considered going to Russia to meet Putin about the deal during the campaign; and that he had only had limited contacts with the Kremlin about the deal after January of 2016.
All of this was lies.
The project was ongoing during the campaign, Trump's family was in on it, there was all kinds of talk of Cohen and Trump going to Moscow, and the Kremlin was heavily involved, specifically Kremlin figure Dmitry Peskov, Putin's right-hand man, all the way up to at least summer of 2016, when things started to fall apart for some reason. (Peskov also shows up in the Steele Dossier as the person who allegedly held the keys to the kingdom when it came to the Kremlin's plan to ratfuck the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton.)
Oh yeah, and remember how the Trumps were going to give Vladimir Putin the $50 million penthouse in the tower,
as a bribe to pay down part of their loan as a very normal gift?
BuzzFeed is reporting that Trump was looped in on this entire process, that he and Cohen met at least TEN TIMES about the project, and that Trump literally directed Cohen to tell those lies to Congress, which is called suborning perjury, which is in any sane world an impeachable offense. Wingnuts on the internet and Rudy Giuliani are already saying, "OH YEAH, U GON BELIEVE A KNOWN LAHR LIKE MICHAEL COHEN?" This is because they are commenting on the article before reading the article, in which BuzzFeed specifically says its sources are "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter" and that they have texts and emails.
Jesus Christ these people.
With the government shut down for the sake of Donald Trump's wet dream WALL, it only makes sense we'd get another reminder of just HOW GOOD Team Trump is at cruelty toward undocumented migrants. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday released a report by its Inspector General, finding that oops, actually the number of children taken from their parents at the border is probably thousands more than the government originally counted. And no, nobody has a very clear idea of whether they were actually reunited, because the only court case demanding family reunification didn't include families separated prior to the official "Zero Tolerance" policy. Look, they BROKE THE LAW, so Jesus said America could do whatever it wants to them.
Trump's shutdown enters day 28, and Michael Cohen was ordered to lie to Congress. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today!
Well played, Trump! Or, you know, the opposite of that.
Moments after we published our last piece, on how Nancy Pelosi is the true boss of President Whiny Ass Titty Baby, and how she utterly shivved him when she canceled his State of the Union address, Trump finally responded. We knew he would, because he is a thin-skinned manchild whose entire self is crushed by every perceived slight, but we never knew how pathetic his response would be.
Pelosi had been scheduled to leave this afternoon on a overseas CODEL (congressional delegation) to Afghanistan, a trip that was supposed to be a secret, because all trips like that are supposed to be a secret, especially when you're dealing with the person second in line to the presidency flying into war zones. Trump might know this, because he secretly went to Iraq over Christmas during the shutdown, after he was shamed into it, and he complained about how dark it was on Air Force One, because they had to keep it dark for security reasons.
But now Trump has CANCELED NANCY PELOSI'S TRIP, because TAKE THAT, NANCY. And to show just what a dick he is, Trump canceled the trip after the bus carrying the delegation, which also included Reps. Adam Schiff, Mark Takano, Stephen Lynch and others, had already left for the airport.
Vladimir Putin, you've been replaced! Haha just kidding, no you haven't.
Donald Trump is super chill right now, you guys. That's what the White House is telling us. He's cool and calm and collected over how he's losing his WALL fight, and hard, and he's totally easy breezy about Nancy Pelosi canceling his State of the Union lie-fest, just light as a feather, it's like Folgers in his cup and he can't believe it's not butter and
There it is. Is Schumer groveling? Not that we can tell. But Trump isn't all that scared of Schumer, so let's all project our pant-shitting rage fear on to him!
Trump is scared of Nancy Pelosi, though. Oh damn, he is terrified, and he's got all kinds of excuses for why he's not attacking her, all of which are intended to deflect from how he hasn't quite processed yet that Nancy Pelosi is the boss of him (JUST LIKE WE SAID SHE WOULD BE).
A woman? THE BOSS OF HIM? The fuck you say!
Nancy keeps hammering away with her gavel of death.
Yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Donald Trump not to bother showing his raggedy ass at the Capitol later this month for his lie-addled State of the Union address. This is a bummer for those of us looking forward to watching Pelosi roll her eyes and shoot death stares at Trump from her reclaimed seat of honor. Pelosi articulated very reasonable national security concerns for dis-inviting Trump. It's a tremendous undertaking to ensure the safety of everyone present, and most of the folks who do the heavy lifting are furloughed or otherwise victims of Trump's shutdown. Does Trump remember that he shut down the government?
GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks Pelosi's move is "pure politics." He's apparently never watched "Designated Survivor." Pelosi said they could come up with another date for Trump to demonize Democrats and minorities once the government is reopened. Trump could also just lie to to the public from the Oval Office or even submit his address to Congress in writing (this is also how they should handle this year's Academy Awards). However, McCarthy insists that Pelosi inconveniencing Trump in any way during a domestic crisis of his own making is "unbecoming" of the speaker. Yes, he used the word "unbecoming" like he's Lord McCarthy in a regional production of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan."
The president's finest lawyer, ladies and gentle-ladies.
HEY, KIDS! It's time to play a game! It's called "Is Rudy Giuliani Having A Psychotic Break Or Did He Just Say That Thing Because Something Is For Real About To Happen?"
Time's up, we think the answer just might be BOTH.
Giuliani went on the Chris Cuomo CNN Cat Video TV Time Hour and said ...
Hint, it is all your favorites at once!
Somewhere in your muddled recollection of the recent Sacred Baby Day holiday, you may remember some grifty dipshit who started a GoFundMe to raise money to give Donald Trump for WALL. The campaign raised about $20 million, proving that PT Barnum may have badly underestimated the birth rate of suckers. Unfortunately for the campaign's organizer, Brian Kolfage, the federal government doesn't actually have any mechanism for accepting donations earmarked for anything, because the socialists in Congress insist on "budgets" and "appropriations" and taxes." The only government program that takes donations is the website to pay down the national debt. (Hey, a government website that's still up!) Yeah, we know you wanted to contribute an F-35 to your favorite Air Force squadron, but tough luck.
Once it was clear the funds couldn't go to the campaign's intended purpose, Kolfage announced he'd started a nonprofit group that would build its own wall "on private land" along the border, and that the donations would all go to that. But GoFundMe kind of noticed, and announced that the change in purpose (and falling short of the original one billion dollar goal) meant all the donations would be refunded unless donors specifically gave Kolfage permission to divert them to the new nonprofit.
Well by gosh, Brian Kolfage must be one trustworthy guy, because he says a whole bunch of people still want him to build Donald Trump's wall! And some of them are faaaamous!
ALLEGEDLY drunk Rudy Giuliani denies his denial, Michael Cohen ALLEGEDLY paid $50,000 to be an internet sex symbol, and Trump to re-start Star Wars. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
This post is actually about Senator Richard Burr.
We had been wondering how GOP Senator Richard Burr was going to be in this era of divided government. He's the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and during the first two years of the Trump presidency, he seemed to take pride in the fact that the Senate was the All Growned Up body of Congress, and that his intelligence committee wasn't running around mouthfucking cows on the White House lawn like Devin Nunes's House Intelligence Committee. Burr seemed to care about doing a real investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and despite his status as a Republican, he seemed to be willing to accept it if that investigation led him directly up Donald Trump's butt.
Well, today we have our answer about how Burr's going to be, and it's that he's definitely ended up inside Trump's ass, but he's apparently there to take a nice nap, and not to look for Russians. First he voted to un-sanction Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's companies, because after all, Russia has been very good and who is Richard Burr to say America shouldn't exist purely as a Kremlin satellite in this age of President Russian Asset?
Then a reporter asked Burr if he's interested in getting his hands on the interpreter's notes from Trump's secret tête-à-têtes with Vladimir Putin, the notes Trump has literally confiscated and hidden from his aides, now that we are more sure than ever that President Russian Asset is a literal actual total fucking Russian intelligence asset.
NAH! And Burr's reasoning is adorably stupid:
At least they were good for the economy. Oh, wait, no, that never happened either.
President Goodbrain's Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads bill was the only thing Republicans got done during Donald Trump's historic first year in office, and boy, were they ever gonna do wonderful things for the economy and make everyone prosperous forever! Just as long as by "everyone" you mean big corporations and the already rich. The rest of us got boned! A new analysis of the economic effects of the tax cut at Bloomberg found cuts to the corporate tax rate resulted in a lot of tax savings for businesses (and corresponding growth of the national debt), but very little improvement for the economy as a whole. Once adjusted for that flood of tax savings, the overall benefit was actually a bit lower than growth projections before the tax cut. But at least we'll be paying for that corporate tax cut binge forever!
Bloomberg banking columnist Stephen Gandel moneysplains the tax cuts were just AWESOME for big corporations, but kinda shitty for the ol' national bottom line:
In late 2017, soon before Congress passed the tax cut [...] the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would cost $1.4 trillion over 10 years. White House officials criticized that estimate as being too high. In fact, it wasn't nearly high enough. My current estimate, now that companies have completed 2018, is nearly $2 trillion, and that's just for the S&P 500.
Those cuts were terrific for corporate profits, which jumped by 24 percent in 2018, but Gandel estimates roughly half that income growth "came not from an improvement in operations but from lower corporate tax bills" -- so hooray for profits. Say, Johnny, what do our viewers have to give the S&P 500 thanks to Republican generosity? "S&P 500 companies saved $144 billion, or $395 million a day, in taxes in 2018." Which, as others have pointed out, the companies mostly plowed into stock buybacks, pumping up their stock value and enriching investors, but not actually improving wages or adding jobs. Funny, there are only so many yachts and upgraded bizjets the filthy rich can blow money on!
Weird, Trump's decluttering spree is just like Putin's!
Donald Trump has a lot of stupid, deeply held beliefs, like the idea that he's a good negotiator, his certainty that the Central Park Five were guilty (even after they were exonerated by DNA), and his suspicion that everyone is secretly laughing at him (they are, but the mockery's right out in the open). Among his highly stable beliefs is that every other country in the world is taking advantage of the USA, especially when it comes to our military alliances (our enemies he loves for their toughness). So it's really no surprise that Trump has always distrusted NATO, but the New York Times reported Monday night just how deeply -- and possibly catastrophically -- that belief goes. According to "senior administration officials," Trump repeatedly told his national security aides in 2018 he wanted to just plain pull the US out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization altogether, because he is A Idiot.
Dear Mr. President, get the fuck outta my house. Love, Nancy.
Nancy Pelosi kicked some fresh Trump ass this morning when she wrote a letter to Donald Trump letting him know he's no longer invited to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on January 29. This is a great loss for all Americans who giggle when Trump mispronounces words that are simple for even the most remedial second graders.
For those of us who are bored with that bullshit at this point, guess what we don't have to do on January 29?
All but three Dem members of Senate now in 2020 race.
Yesterday, it was looking like about 42 Democrats were going to announce a presidential run, but despite rumblings of candidacies from Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand took the actual plunge (no actual plunging was involved).
Gillibrand, the junior US senator from New York, went on the "Late Show With Stephen Colbert" last night to announce she's running (or forming an exploratory committee, which really, same thing, but that's how it is done). Gillibrand is fresh off winning reelection to the Senate, and likes to point out that she has voted against confirmation of Trump appointees more than anyone. Also, as she agreed when Colbert asked her, she likes to cuss, which makes her dear to the heart of Yr Wonkette.
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