Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina, has always seemed content to be the third wheel, the sidekick, the woman behind behind the man. He was the weakest, most soft-spoken link in the ménage à trois that was John McCain and Joe Lieberman, until Joe was chased from office because even his own party of one, Connecticut for Lieberman, did not like him anymore. Lindsey got himself a slight promotion when newbie Sen. Kelly Ayotte was added to the team, but still, Lindsey's usually been content to co-sign whatever John McCain says, to nod agreeably in the background, and only very rarely drag his southern charmed self onto the Sunday shows when John's busy snarling at the kids to get off of one of his seven or eight or however many he has lawns.

So it with surprise, and of course delight, that we've heard Lindsey is considering going solo and running for president in 2016 if "nobody steps up in the presidential mix" to talk about the things that "me and McCain have been talking" about.

And per this recording from CNN, Lindsey has a terrific platform already:

I'm trying to help you with your tax status. I'm sorry the government's so fucked up. If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.

Hahaha, oh, that Lindsey. Such a jokester. At least, that's how he tried to explain his HI-larious comedy at a private meeting of the Hibernian Society of Charleston.

Graham said he was making fun of the society's all-male membership, joking that they were the last such organization in existence after Augusta National Golf Club admitted women.

Lindsey was just joking, you see, about what a great president he'd be for those old rich white men who belonged to a clubhouse just for men. Which is sort of strange considering that two years ago, at the orgy of fail that was the Republican National Convention, Lindsey said his party needed to stop doing that:

“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

Ah, but so much has changed since 2012. Ever since the November butt-whooping that year, the GOP has done a lot of soul searching and come up with some terrific new ways to expand its reach. To hipsters, for example, with its epic #IAmARepublican campaign featuring some of the party's favorite young hip stock photo friends. And of course the endless rebranding campaigns to prove that Republicans really do love women so much, they even have a few of their own. Certainly, Lindsey's joke about male-only clubs will help with that. Plus, also, Republicans have Ideas! like saying they are the Party of Ideas! and will be sharing all their Ideas! with America as soon as they think of some.

So it makes sense that Lindsey Graham, who just two years ago admitted his party was going to die like the dinosaurs unless it figured out how to appeal to more than just those few remaining cranky old white men, would "joke" now that those very same men would be his target audience if he is president. Although if he ever manages to remove the parts of the Constitution that make him sad, and to turn this once-great nation into the white male-only club it should be, those other people who would never in a million years vote for him won't even matter.


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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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Beds at the 'temporary' shelter in Homestead, Florida. US HHS photo.

The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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