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We think this may be 'shopped, since we 'shopped it

Now that Democrats have taken over the House of Representatives -- or will, come January -- they'll be able to remind the Trump administration that "oversight" isn't just a noun wedged between "inexcusable" and "by compliant Republicans." That's going to be a bit of a change from the first two years of this "presidency," when House committees mostly did everything they could to help Trump cover up and deflect attention from his shady behavior, not to mention taking a wrecking ball to consumer protections and regulations on industry. Now that there'll be a whole new crop of committee chairs with subpoena power, let's look at the wish list for the top investigations they should get on right away.


Russia, duh.

Donald Trump was very certain he'd been completely cleared by the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of contacts between his campaign and Russia, because after all, the investigation didn't bother looking too closely. Now that Adam Schiff will be chairing the committee, expect a closer look, including subpoenas of all those jerks who refused to answer questions the first time around. The main job of investigating Trump-Russia remains Robert Mueller's, of course, but the House will finally be digging into stuff that Devin Nunes for some reason had no interest in examining.

While they're at it, Dems on both Intel and Foreign Affairs will probably want to look at what actually went on during Trump's Helsinki meeting with Putin -- at the very least, maybe we can finally find out whether anyone in Trump's administration was ever briefed on what they talked about.

Other foreign stuff up for investigation? Schiff wants to look at the North Korea "nuclear deal," like maybe seeing if there even is such a thing. And yes, how about a close look at whether our great friends the Saudis may have told Trump what to think about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

Hey, how about looking into that Trump Tower computer that kept talking to that Russian bank, too? Seems like a loose end somebody should tie up.

Donald Trump's Taxes Remain Nobody's Business, OK?

Get ready for a demand for Trump to turn over his tax returns, which is a power Congress has but decided not to bother with the past two years. Dems are ready to be a bit more oversighty this time around, so get ready for Trump to get even pissier and to insist it's a "disgrace" even more than ever.

Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), the presumptive Ways and Means Committee chairman, has said he intends to obtain them once in power, using a 1924 law that gives heads of the congressional tax-writing committees the right to request any person's tax returns. The panel could then make them public with a simple majority vote.

Trump and other conservatives have suggested that the White House might fight any effort by Democrats to obtain the tax returns, setting up a possible constitutional challenge that tests a nearly 94-year-old law.

Expect Trump to be an asshole about that. In his insane presser this morning, he insisted, for the first time in quite a while, that he can't possibly show anyone his taxes, because would you believe they're STILL being audited?

Other inquiries into Trump's sleazy business operations are likely to come from the presumptive chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters.

Waters has requested — and as the committee head could subpoena — records that could dislodge closely held details of Deutsche Bank's relationship with the Trump Organization.

The German bank lent Trump more than $400 million during a decade-long real estate buying spree that began in 2005, largely through its private wealth management office, not the commercial banking division that typically handles real estate.

Maybe Government Agencies Should Do Their Jobs?

The committees with oversight power for cabinet agencies are likely to be very, very busy, too, insisting the EPA should at least occasionally protect the environment, that our immigration laws can be enforced without throwing children in cages, and that thousands of US citizens shouldn't be poisoned by lead or left to die after a hurricane, even if they're on an island surrounded by big water:

[Incoming House Oversight Committee] chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) already plans to look into the "zero tolerance" policy that caused the detention of thousands of migrant children who were separated from their families while trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, and the administration's intention to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The panel is also planning a broad investigation of the White House's security clearance process, after Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and former staff secretary Rob Porter were revealed to be working without full clearances.

The panel wants to balance those inquiries with renewed attention to the administration's widely criticized response to Puerto Rico in the aftermath Hurricane Maria, and the continuing water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Already, some Democrats are fretting that if the House does too much investigating, that could backfire by making Trump look like he's being victimized, the poor dear. That's a concern which seems never to have occurred to the Republicans who investigated Benghazi again and again, although of course that was different, because as we all know, Hillary Clinton was a very untrustworthy person.

In any case, Donald Trump has the proper relationship between the branches of government all worked out. He explained it's really very simple. If Democrats investigate him, he'll just investigate them harder, and also maybe he won't let any legislation pass for the rest of his term:

Gosh, he's a smart cookie. He'll really teach them!

[WaPo / New Yorker / Vox]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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