Law enforcement looks at the shady 'naug, Dr. Ronny Jackson is making his comeback, and DC gets ready for the SOTU. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today!
BUT HOW CAN THAT BE?
If you're familiar with Brad Parscale, who's been doing numbers for the Trump campaign for quite a while -- and gets to manage the whole campaign in 2020! -- your first thought about him is probably, "That guy needs a bath." Wonkette doesn't know if he actually needs a bath, or if he's just one of those people who can take 50 showers a day and still look like a freshly used toilet brush.
But this isn't a hygiene post, it's a math post! We're just reminding you who the dude is.
Now, far be it from your humble Wonkette to say definitively that Parscale is bad at numbers. This is a man whose data operation led Donald Trump to a historic minus three million vote win in the popular vote, and a weak-ass squeaker of a win in the Electoral College, and he didn't need anything besides his own expertise and a multi-national espionage operation led by Russia to do it.
Parscale is doing some ANALYTICALS on new internal polling from the RNC, and he's got a dire prediction for the poor Democrats:
Well SHITDARNIT! We were really hoping we wouldn't to have to do WALL, but now Calculator McNeckPubes up here says we have to do WALL, if all these new freshman Democrats are going to keep their seats!
No SOTU, Jared plays government, and Kellyanne is a cartoon villain. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Your semi-daily update on how everybody hates Trump and hopes he stubs his toe a lot!
It has been TWO SOLID DAYS since Wonkette wrote about how Americans think Donald Trump is a failure who can't govern, who can't spell, and who does other stuff bad too! Last time, it was that Trump is finally losing the Walmart cousinfucker white man cohort that supposedly "elected" him in the first place. The time just before that -- which was just over a week ago -- we looked at how America wasn't buying what President Con Man was selling with his threats to declare a NATIONAL EMERGY over WALL, and that America correctly blamed Trump for the shutdown.
Oh, also, his approval rating was like 37 percent overall.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that Trump's approval rating remains in the shitter, where it will always remain, clocking in at a solid 40 percent, which is basically the same as 37 percent, as statistics and margins of error go. But this new poll asks some different questions, on top of the normal "On a scale of one to infinity, how many words do you think the president of the United States knows? Is it five, 15, or 16 if you count BIGLY?" This one specifically asked how Americans feel about having a man who is most likely a literal actual compromised Russian intelligence asset in the White House.
Trump's shutdown enters Day 33, federal workers go on strike, and nobody wants the wall. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
HAHAHAHAHA! And also, FOH with that noise.
After watching President Arty McDeals twist in the wind for a month, IRL politician Mitch McConnell finally decided to throw the mook a lifeline. Despite constant screaming about women with duct tape over their mouths, Trump is getting blamed for the shutdown and even his own supporters are starting to turn on him. So Ol' Yertle summoned Mike Pence and Jared Kushner to his chambers for some #RealTalk.
"Tell Donald that he has to offer something so it looks like the Democrats are the ones who won't compromise." He said. (Probably.)
"That's great," squeaked young Jared (allegedly), "Democrats are desperate. We've got them right where we want them." McConnell blinked hard.
"No, Jared," he probably said. "They're not going to take the deal. We'd have more luck getting Mexico to pay for it. The point is to offer something silly so they turn us down, and then we try to convince the public that the shutdown is Democrats' fault."
"I don't get it," said Jared (allegedly), as Mother's boy Pence furrowed his brow and sighed through his nose. (Not allegedly, it's his signature move.)
"I know," Mitch might have said. "Believe me, I know."
Which is how President Teleprompter wound up giving a MAJOR ADDRESS yesterday offering to hold off on deporting some of the Dream Act kids for a hot second if Democrats will just give him $5.7 billion for WALL and let him expel future child arrivals without a hearing. Trump himself rescinded protections for up to a million immigrants brought here as kids as soon as he took office, but he'll let some of those hostages go if Democrats will just give him cash for that WALL that Mexico is "indirectly" paying for. Heck, he'll even let 300,000 people who fled war and natural disasters and put down roots here over decades to stay a little longer, if that's what it takes. He plans to deport them all in three years anyway, or else use them for another round of hostage negotiations. (If we re-elect That Orange Idiot, spit on the ground/sign of the horns/God forbid.)
See what we did there?
Okay, before we get to the life and times of a crazy motherfucker by the name of Mike C. (straight outta Lawn Guyland), remember that we're talking about Donald Trump making a possible illegal campaign contribution for online ratfucking, all the way back in 2014. Because this story is hilarious, but don't lose sight of the fact that Cohen's inept poll rigging and hashtag manipulation look an awful lot like what the Russians wound up doing for Trump in 2016. NO COLLUSION, right Roods?
According to The Wall Street Journal, Michael Cohen paid an IT guy from Liberty University to rig two online polls in favor of then-candidate Trump. Cohen met John Gauger, Liberty's CIO, through Jerry Falwell Jr., who keeps popping up in Act II of I, Trumpius. Which is weird, no? Also, really the guy's name is GAUGER? Fire the writers! But we digress ...
For $50,000, Gauger's consulting company RedFinch was supposed to goose Trump's stats in a 2014 CNBC poll of America's top business leaders, and in a 2015 Drudge poll of Republican presidential candidates. Gauger appears to have done a pretty crappy job -- Trump never broke the top 100 business leaders and only picked up 5% of the Drudge sirens. Which may or may not be why Cohen stiffed him on the bill.
BREAKING: Nobody gives a fuck about WALL.
The people have spoken! To pollsters! And, in a series of results that are surprising to absolutely no one except for the bumbling moron good brain stable genius who moved into the White House without the majority of America's permission and refuses to leave, nobody gives a good solid fuck about Donald Trump's obsession with building a wall on the Mexican border, and everybody knows the shutdown is his goddamn fault.
First, there's a Washington Post/ABC poll what says that though a few more Americans support WALL than there used to be (42 percent), there's still a clear majority that does not support WALL (54 percent). And when you get to the nitty gritty of people who strongly support WALL, as opposed to Americans who are just like "Oh I dunno, I guess WALL might be nice, Carol, should we get WALL?" then it's actually only 29 percent of Americans who REALLY want the fucking monstrosity. And who do they blame for the shutdown? According to 53 percent of Americans, that would be Trump and the Republicans. Only 29 percent say it's the Dems' fault, because Trump's base is dumb as shit.
Oh, and what about NATIONAL EMERGY? Should Trump pull a NATIONAL EMERGY out of his butt so he can get WALL? That, again, is supported only by Trump's most pigfucker-ish base, or 31 percent of Americans.
GOP extra super pinkie swears they'd vote for Joe Biden instead.
Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke is planning an exploratory presidential road trip, according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal. He's asked aides to create an itinerary for him of spots to visit outside of Texas where he can see if voters there like him more than the ones in his home state.
I'm just glad Beto is ready to leave the house again after losing his Senate race to Frank Burns. Texas is a little weird, though, and arguably not the best predictor of a Democrat's national appeal. O'Rourke could very possibly win the blue and purple states that add up to 270 electoral votes in 2020. He hasn't announced his intentions yet, but a #DraftBeto movement is gaining momentum. Politico, which regularly tracks the likability of Elizabeth Warren (Today's Forecast: Tolerable, with chance of nagging), reported Monday that former South Carolina lawmaker Boyd Brown has declared himself the national senior adviser to the campaign to create a campaign for O'Rourke. Tyler Jones, who helped Democrat Joe Cunningham flip Mark Sanford's old House seat, is on board as state director. This is a quite a team for something that might not happen. I couldn't even get a florist or a caterer for my planned marriage to Bebe Neuwirth in the mid-'90s.
The #DraftBeto group hopes to convince O'Rourke he has sufficient support to run for the Democratic party nomination. How? Friendster testimonials? No, it plans to raise $1 million, which isn't a whole lot actually. I think O'Rourke himself used to pull that in a few days. If he almost beat Ted Cruz with $80 million, he might need $100 million to almost beat Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris.
But conservatives do seem worried that #DraftBeto might lure O'Rourke into the 2020 race. They've already begun coordinated targets of escalating silliness. Conspiracy theorist and asshole Jacob Wohl fatally zinged O'Rourke about the sinister origins of his first name.
You made this!
GREAT JOB, WONKERS! You did it. In 2018, you worked your ass off, you sent your money, you dragged your friends to the polls, and you made that sweet blue wave a reality. It only took a 9 million vote margin in the popular vote, but we are finally back in control of the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi is ready to bang that gavel and grind her delicate heel into Trump's flaccid, orange bits.
Yes, we know everything is scary and horrible all the time. But let's not lose sight of what you accomplished. To wit ...
You Picked Up Forty* House Seats
Actually, the real number is probably 41, since Mark Harris vote-frauded the bejeezus out of NC-9 and still only "won" by a margin of 0.6%. And the fat lady hasn't sung yet, with the North Carolina GOP ratfuckers in the state legislature racing to certify Harris before they lose their veto-proof supermajority in the General Assembly next month. Incoming Majority Leader Steny Hoyer promises the House won't seat Harris until the fraud issues are resolved, so this one is anyone's guess.
You kicked Putin's favorite Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to the curb in California. You sent that anti-choice wingnut Karen Handel packing, and replaced her with badass Mother of the Movement Lucy McBath in Georgia. You got all up in Dave Brat's grill in Virginia, and sent him off to spout gibberish in the private sector after RNC goons used his opponent Abigail Spanberger's stolen personnel file to pretend the former CIA agent was part of a terrorist sleeper cell. You sent a younger, browner, more female class of freshmen to Congress who will represent America's vibrant, diverse population and ensure the longterm health of the Democratic party. And you burned the GOP to the ground in California.
MURDERS OVERSIGHT HEARINGS BEGIN!
This is excellent news for John McCain!
November was tough for Republicans, who lost a stunning and totally inexplicable (at least according to Paul Ryan) 40 House seats in the midterm elections. They've since been busy trying to prevent all those annoying outcomes of losing elections, but they've also taken time to reflect on their setbacks and formulate a rock-solid strategy for 2020. Rep. Tom Emmer from Minnesota discussed the GOP's "don't call it a comeback!" plans in an interview with the National Journal. It basically involves doing absolutely nothing twice as hard.
Emmer is the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and according to this interview at least, he really shouldn't be. He's running unopposed to replace Steve Stivers, and unless "unopposed" rallies to prevail in the final vote, Republicans are going to have trouble reversing their current difficulties in the House.
And how will Trump help?
This is most likely the last time I'll write about Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. She faces Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff election Tuesday, which she's favored to win because it's Mississippi. If tradition holds, Hyde-Smith will continue representing the poorest state in the union and voting in line with Donald Trump 100 percent of the time. She offers no suspense in the Senate so no one really cares what she does. She voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but in fairness to her, she didn't tease us about it like Maine's Susan Collins, who required several "Meet the Press" interviews and a big, flashy speech on the Senate floor to make up her mind.
Now, if by some seasonally appropriate miracle, Espy does prevail tomorrow and, most importantly, doesn't vanish before the next session of Congress, Hyde-Smith will probably wander the state of her birth in perpetual shame. She'll become the political equivalent of the attorney who somehow lost the Daily Mirror's case against Liberace when he sued them for claiming he was gay. She certainly won't get invited to any of the good public hangings.
Either way, I plan to erase Hyde-Smith from my memory effective Wednesday, but while we wait, let's take a look at what the senator's been up to during the run-up to the runoff.
The Gray Lady is a doddering fool.
The New York Times is in many ways your typical godless commie rag, as evidenced by its "peas in guacamole" recipes, but in all the ways that actually matter, like its political coverage, it enjoys regularly knocking Democrats like the stereotypical sitcom mother-in-law who will always find something to criticize about her son's wife.
Saturday, Utah's Mia Love officially left for that separate-but-equal black Republican rest home in the sky. This brought Democratic gains in the House to 39 seats. Also on Saturday, the Times ran the latest in its "Democrats in disarray" series that no one demanded. The Twitter headline alone is such potent stupidity you shouldn't operate heavy machinery after reading it: "After painful losses, Democrats in the South face a dilemma: Appeals to progressives cost them the rural white voters who often decide elections."
Painful losses? Really? This is like calling my failed audition for Killmonger in Black Panther a "painful loss." I got to say "Hey, Auntie" to Angela Bassett before security showed up. Overall, I consider it a win. Yes, Stacey Abrams "lost" the governor's race in Georgia, and Beto O'Rourke and Andrew Gillum failed to win in Texas and Florida, where voter suppression was not as overt and repulsive as in the peach state. (Hey, geniuses at the Times, maybe you should write about that!) But Abrams and O'Rourke also performed better than any Democrat had in decades. Hell, in Texas, Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson regularly murdered her opponents for almost two decades. Democrats stopped considering these Senate races elections and treated them more like Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." They were begging not to run: "Please don't make me! I won't break 40 percent. I have kids!"
#FiveWhiteGuys are losing-est losers of all.
You've probably seen at least one of the many movies or TV shows where a group of young jerks tries to oust a perfectly qualified executive just because they're old. Democrats Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and some other goofy white boys are apparently too stupid to understand they're the heavies in this flick. Now we've entered the climax of the story where they meet their much-deserved comeuppance.
The #FiveWhiteGuys have tried for no reason to block Nancy Pelosi from a return engagement as speaker of the House. Pelosi just led House Democrats to their greatest electoral victory since Watergate, but because Pelosi has been able to vote since Watergate, these fools thought it was time for her to step down and let white men run things for a change. Sensitive to the optics of replacing the first woman speaker, Ryan stressed that there were some other "really competent females" (no, really) who could do the job. So, they flipped through their binder filled with "competent females" and came up with the competent-est one, Marcia Fudge from Ohio's 11th district. Fudge is not just "really competent" but she's younger and blacker than Pelosi.
Now, Marcia Fudge was never going to be speaker, because no one's ever heard of her. Not me. Not you. Not even members of the sister's own household. I bet Fudge was reading the news and thinking, "Who the hell is this Marcia Fudge people say is gonna challenge Nancy Pelosi? She'd have to be crazy."
But Fudge also made some good points that Democratic leadership was really white and didn't fully reflect the voters who put Democrats in power. Black women in particular are the most prominent and reliable Democratic voting bloc.
Mississippi senator also shamed into returning Seattle bigot's donation.
You know the political winds have turned against Republicans when they're worried about losing a Senate seat from Mississippi. But that's where they're at now and it couldn't have happened to a crappier group of super villains. Monday, the New York Times ran a story with one of its classic eye-rolling headlines: "In Mississippi, Issues of Race Complicate a Special Election." I didn't have coffee this morning. That "complicates" my day. We aren't talking about minor inconveniences here. Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has joked about public lynchings and voter suppression in a state with a shameful history of both. She's not auditioning for the hosting gig at the next White House Correspondents Dinner. She's trying to win the upcoming runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy.
Go sit in the back of the class, dudes.
The anticipated electoral "blue wave" now feels more like a riptide: You don't see it coming and then it murders you. Every day since the election, we wake up to more flipped seats. California, especially, is a blood bath. Dave Wasserman pointed out that Orange County will have no Republican representatives in the House. Let that sink in. As of today, Democrats have taken 34 seats from Republicans, along with their milk money. That number should go as high as 38, maybe 40. It's no wonder architect of our success Nancy Pelosi has coasted to presumptive Speaker of the House with a pro forma closed-door vote. No, wait, that's Chuck Schumer.
It has been the measured opinion of this publication that Schumer is a big, steaming flop. He is the perfect choice for Senate Minority Leader if you are interested in permanently remaining in the minority. If that's your goal, Chuck's your man. But if you want to kick Republican ass ... twice, Pelosi is a no brainer. Unfortunately, mediocre men can rarely hang with powerful women.
Now five spineless white guys, basically blobs of generic brand mayonnaise, are feverishly attempting to block Pelosi as the next Speaker. None of them, including yoga instructor Tim Ryan, have the guts to step forward themselves, but now they're positing Marcia Fudge, because who hates women, NOT THEM; all they know is they don't want Pelosi. Why? Because of her track record of success? She's a "goddamn legislative virtuoso." Next? She's a liberal from San Francisco? Schumer is from New York. He's probably never even seen a pickup truck with a gun rack on the back!
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