Wednesday should be fun!
Wow, this is some hilarious bullshit we're about to discuss right here! On Monday, we noted that Donald Trump, the unindicted criminal superstar of the Mueller Report, appears to be losing it over Robert Mueller's testimony, which starts bright and early tomorrow morning. (Will we be liveblogging it? What do you think?)
Today let's talk about the Department of Justice, because it appears it too has lost all its shit and doesn't know where to find it. Maybe Attorney General Bill Barr shouldn't have spent all those months running around and lying about the contents of the Mueller Report and obfuscating and being a poor man's Roy Cohn for Donald Trump, telling America (falsely) that Mueller's investigation found NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, EVERYTHING BIGLY LEGAL AND BIGLY COOL!
It started with news on Monday afternoon in Politico that the DOJ had "communicated" to Mueller that he is not allowed to talk about anything outside the four corners of what's written in his report, which is funny, because Mueller has suggested that's what he intends to do anyway. Of course actually Mueller is now a private citizen now and DOJ can't tell him what to do, aside from "don't say classified information." Mueller also probably shouldn't spill his guts about ongoing criminal matters, but he's a damn career prosecutor and former FBI director, so we don't think any of that is a concern, now do we?
The original Politico report said DOJ had told Mueller that anything involving the evidence he gathered was "presumptively privileged." Now, thanks to Fox News (really!) we can see the actual letter sent to Mueller by Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, and what did Bill Barr call the letter Mueller sent him about how Barr was misrepresenting the findings of Mueller's report? Oh, that's right, he told Congress it was SNITTY. We feel this letter is far more SNITTY than anything Mueller said to Bill Barr, who deserves all the SNITTY money can buy.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló really seems intent on disproving the old adage "No man is an island" after leaks of private chat logs of Rosselló's Cabinet, RickyLeaks, revealed how callous, homophobic, misogynistic, and corrupt the government of Puerto Rico is. (We covered it HERE.)
After weeks of protests unlike ever seen in Puerto Rico, Rosselló took to Facebook Live on Sunday to tell the people of Puerto Rico that he has heard their demand:
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello says he won't run for re-election as the island braced for more protests demanding he step down over offensive chat messages. More here: https://t.co/6bfcwJxRiG pic.twitter.com/PfCXsNmc03
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 22, 2019
Just kidding!! He refused to resign BUT he said he won't run for re-election, stepped down as the head of his political party, and said he would not oppose a formal impeachment. Well how fucking big of you, Ricky! So nice for you to offer everything but what the people of Puerto Rico have been clamoring for. So, inevitably, this led to even BIGGER protests around the island as more protestors continued to ask for only one thing: Ricardo Rosselló's resignation.
Grosser and grosser and grosser.
Haters of the so-called "Squad" (Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) got busy this weekend, merrily engaging in racist and bigoted self-owns for all the world to see. On Friday, Republicans from the Illinois GOP County Chairmen's Association embarrassed themselves by posting one of the most ignorant and xenophobic memes we've ever seen outside of Nazi propaganda posters.
It's that thing above. It's fucking ignorant, and God forbid, is also the kind of thing that could incite violence against one of those women.
Fuck you, whoever did this shit. I don't know whether to start with the sexualized objectification Ocasio-Cortez, the criminalization of Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, or the implied savagery of Rashida Tlaib, so let's just not start, and finish it out instead. What kinda bullshit is this? How about the icky racialized tropes about Ilhan Omar's puckered lips, the smiles on three of the women, and the wildness of the other; it's quite clear that our ladies are not safe with the men of Real America. Objectification of black and brown bodies is not a new thing, but it's frightening regardless of which century we live in. They need protection. Including from the police.
Mark Shaw, the president of the association, did take it down and apologize. Not fucking impressed, though, I don't give a shit about him condemning a meme, he needs to condemn that fucking rat bastard of a president that is putting the lives of FOUR of our elected representatives in danger.
"A couple of days ago, an image which was not authorized by me was posted on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen's Association," Shaw wrote in a statement. "I condemn this unauthorized posting and it has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents."
The post, Shaw added, "is an unfortunate distraction from the serious debate surrounding the policies advocated by these four socialist members of the United States House of Representatives of which I strongly disagree."
Fuck you. That is all.
MEANWHILE, DONALD TRUMP.
We must do something about these lawless aliens. Like get rid of due process!
In yet another brilliant move that has to have its origins in the mind of Stephen Miller, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new rule Monday that will vastly expand its ability to deport undocumented immigrants -- without so much as a hearing. The new regulation will broaden the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to subject people to "expedited removal," a process for instant deportation that currently is used only against a limited number of undocumented migrants. When the rule is published in the Federal Register today, it will immediately go into effect, because we're in an EMERGY, remember? One that Donald Trump created for political purposes, but an emergy all the same.
Currently, only certain undocumented immigrants are subject to "expedited removal": those who have been in the country less than two weeks, and who are caught within 100 miles of the border, usually by the Border Patrol. Unless they request asylum (and can demonstrate a "credible fear" of persecution or torture if they're returned to their home countries), such recent arrivals can generally be deported without a hearing under the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
But DHS has decided to scrap those limits. Instead, ANYONE who doesn't have a pending asylum or other immigration hearing can be placed into expedited removal, anywhere in the country. Expedited removal can be used on anyone who's unable to demonstrate, "to the satisfaction of an immigration officer, that they have been physically present in the United States continuously for the two-year period immediately preceding the date of the determination of inadmissibility." Quick, can YOU prove, right now, with only the documents you have on you, that you have physically been in the US for the past two years? To the "satisfaction" of a federal officer who has instructions to deport you if at all possible?
Trump hates food stamps, Kamala Harris likes weed, and Boris Johnson is prime minister, God Save Us All. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Anna Wintour, the legendary Vogue editor-in-chief, has some opinions on Melania Trump. Unfortunately, instead of sharing them in an appearance on a podcast from The Economist ... wait, did we say "unfortunately"? That is not the word we meant to use there! We meant to say that Wintour decided to respond to a shitload of questions about Melania Trump by decidedly talking about other people. Better people!
Interviewer Anne McElvoy wanted Wintour's thoughts about Melania Trump so very badly. And she got them! Just not in the way she was going for:
He did choose to quit, you know.
Jane Mayer, in this week's New Yorker, presents us with "The Case for Al Franken." Jesus, not this again. We can't write about Kirsten Gillibrand taking a bullet to save a busload of orphaned refugee nuns without the comments sections derailing into complaints about how the New York senator "Et tu, Brute-d" the former Minnesota senator to an early political grave. We wanted to just ignore the piece, but we saw this sexist tripe.
That tweet aged w- ... oh wait, Tribe has already deleted it.
Al Franken is still rich, white, alive, and generally beloved. Don't try to sell him to us as Willy Loman. Also, men really need to stop using terms like "opportunistic" or "slippery" to describe women -- even if those women have dared to criticize their favorites. Gillibrand doesn't have to answer for shit. She's not responsible for Franken's choices. After an exhaustive investigation, we've determined who is responsible, and it's Al Franken. Last month, Mayer found the "disgraced senator" wandering around his Minneapolis home in "jeans and stocking feet."
All You Need To Know About The Robert Mueller Hearings, Aside From MAYBE YOU SHOULD READ HIS F*CKING REPORT
Gonna be a shitshow, y'all!
Hooray, Robert Mueller is testifying before Congress on Wednesday! Have you decided what you're wearing? (Alan Dershowitz, we already know your answer is NOT PANTIES, so you don't have to weigh in here.)
In advance of the hearing, we are getting all kinds of reporting about what to expect and what Congress is doing to get ready. Did you know that, according to CNN, the Judiciary Committee is going to focus on Trump's obstruction of justice, whereas the Intel Committee is going to focus on Trump and Russia? That's quite a surprise to anybody who doesn't have the foggiest idea what either of those committees does for a living! Meanwhile, the Republicans will be playing with their poo on live television and trying to get Mueller to admit that Hillary Benghazi Secret FBI Lovers Unmasking Seth Rich Comey Deep State Dossier Whitewater Travelgate Pizzagate Devin Nunes Is Smart.
Or something. Here's Mark Meadows, with a witty retort from Yr Wonkette:
Even if you don't know him, you know some of his work.
Paul Krassner, the counter-culture satirist who founded The Realist and co-founded the Yippies, died Sunday at home in Desert Hot Springs, California. He was 87. His daughter, Holly Krassner Dawson, didn't say what the cause of death was, but said he'd been receiving hospice care. We'd like to think that, if there is an afterlife -- not something Krassner believed in -- he's already making fun of whoever's in charge.
Republicans double down on defending the indefensible.
Republicans have twisted themselves in knots over the past week trying to defend Donald Trump's racist comments about Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. The four congresswomen have the audacity to criticize America's government while in possession of brown skin and lady parts. This is very different from the Tea Party revolt of 2010 or Trump's own 2016 presidential campaign, which he never shuts up about. White people are entitled to trash the government and the changing culture they resent. This land is not in fact your land. It's theirs. They have a deed and everything. Brown people should feel grateful that America's letting them crash in their basement. It's downright rude to complain that the basement is cold, damp, and smells like cat pee. If they don't like it, they can leave. It's not their house.
This sentiment is racist to its core, but Republicans are experts at arguing in bad faith. During an appearance yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union," Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, whose ass we should've retired in 2016, attempted to whitewash the expression "America, love it or leave it."
It's the Sunday Show Rundown!
El Presidente Trumpito's syphilis-addled brain tweets from last week, when he told four congresswomen of color ("The Squad," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley) to "go back where you came from," sent Republicans on a weeklong Circe De SuRacists acrobatics to excuse it.
We went from Kellyanne Conway's
impromptu Ancestry.com with journalists to racists at a Trump rally chanting "Send Her Back" which Trump basked in before trying to gaslight people into believing he opposed to it only to later follow it with "sorry not sorry" while doubling down. Normally, any sane person would let this die down so the media/news cycle could move on. But norms don't exist, President Fucksquib is not a sane person, and time is a flat circle we are doomed to repeat.
So early Sunday morning, while probably fast food constipated, Donnie decided to tweet:
I don't believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2019
So who better to speak about racism than Trump's own Wormtongue, Stephen Miller, on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace.
Chick-fil-A now has more legal protections than gay families in Texas.
On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took a bold stand for religious liberty, at least if by "liberty" you mean the right of corporations to hate gay people without consequence. Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1978, nicknamed the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill despite the lack of any danger to the restaurant chain, which believes Chicken Jesus died and was deep fried for your sins, and that's why gays are an abomination. The bill prohibits all government entities in Texas from taking "adverse actions" against any company or individual because of religious beliefs. It was a top priority for Republican culture warriors in Texas after the San Antonio City Council decided in March against letting Chicken Breast Savior open a location in the city's airport.
Have a delightful week, Mister President.
It was a weird feeling. It was eight o'clock on Monday morning, and Donald Trump hadn't made a tweet. Usually by this time the old yapping pube clown had whined at an uninterested America nine or 10 times. What was happening? Was he dead? Was he rearranging his chunks of orange stomach blubber to get them just right so that his ten-foot long red tie would rest on it just perfect? Just having a hard morning on the john? It was probably that.
But never fear, Shitmouth is awake, and whatever he just did in the toilet is the White House staff's problem now! Twitter fingers UP!
Diet Racism, Mueller Time, and Chance the Snapper. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
It's the 50th anniversary of a science fiction classic.
This weekend, fifty years ago, human beings landed on the Moon and left a plaque saying they'd "come in peace for all mankind." Also this weekend, the eastern United States is experiencing a heat wave of the sort that's likely to become more common in the unfolding climate disaster humanity has brought upon itself. And during the past week, the "president" of the USA explained that some Americans just plain don't belong here, and deserve to be expelled. Seems like as good a time as any to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin's visionary 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness, a story about climate and civilization on an inhospitable planet, gender politics, and for that matter, patriotism and exile.
Plus, the book is set on a planet in the midst of an ice age, so perhaps talking about it will help you stay cool.
For this week's Book Club, we'll be focusing on the first eleven chapters of Left Hand, so as a courtesy to folks who haven't read ahead, please try to avoid spoilers about the second half of the novel, mmkay? You're also more than welcome to join in even if you haven't read the book, or haven't read it recently, because if there's ever been a real-life book club meeting where everyone finished the book, we haven't seen it! And remember, there's still plenty of time to catch up for next week's discussion! You can buy the nifty 50th anniversary edition with a nice kickback to Yr Wonkette, or grab a used or library copy, or even dust off that cool old copy you read decades ago, like this Wonkette reader did:
YOU COME READ YOUR TOP TEN STORIES RIGHT NOW!
HELLO WONKET IMPORTANT REMINDER! We may be done with our most recent hell week in America, but a new one is starting on Monday, and it should be an interesting one, because Robert Mueller is testifying on WEDNESDAY, which means we are liveblogging on WEDNESDAY. And then we are leaving you forever probably, just kidding we guess we'll come back on Thursday. That was your Timely Reminder to set your alarm clocks to let you know when it is "Wednesday." Shall we count down some stories? Yes!
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Ready to count down the top stories? Yes, you are.
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