This one's about his fucken wall.
Donald Trump wants to steal $6.7 billion from various government agencies for his racist wall on our southern border that he keeps saying Mexico is going to pay for. On Friday, the Supreme Court made it a lot easier for him.
Let's back up ...
One of Trump's most noxious 2016 campaign promises was that he was going to build a giant wall on our border with Mexico -- and that Mexico was going to pay for it.
Of course, we all knew that Mexico was never going to pay for Trump's vanity wall. We started off the new year in the midst of the longest federal government shutdown in history, thanks to the commander-in-chief having a temper tantrum over not getting funding for his racist border wall. So, although the only crisis on our southern border is a humanitarian crisis of our own making, Trump declared a national emergency.
As predicted by Yr Wonkette's own Five Dollar Feminist, Trump's bogus emergency declaration was immediately met with litigation. Sixteen states, the Sierra Club, the Southern Border Communities Coalition, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the US House of Representatives, among others, have filed lawsuits to try to stop Trump from raiding various pots of money to build his stupid fucking wall.
Overall, Trump has earmarked several billion dollars for his border wall. The cases at issue here are about the $2.5 billion he wants to take from the military. Judge Gilliam, a federal judge based in Oakland, issued injunctions blocking Trump from stealing the $2.5 billion from the Pentagon to build his monument to racism. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit upheld the injunctions. So naturally, the Supreme Court stepped in on Friday to give Trump the go-ahead.
'A senator said I was almost dead. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.'
In an NPR interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg that aired this morning, the 86-year-old Supreme Court justice said she takes care of herself, doesn't worry overly much about her health, and neither should you. In fact, says Nina Totenberg, Ginsburg "is not oblivious to health concerns, but she waves away worries about her future." Like this, for instance:
"There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months," she recalled. "That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I," she added with a smile, "am very much alive."
Terrible human being is terrible.
Mollie Hemingway appeared on Laura Ingraham's show yesterday and they had a "Horrible Human Being" contest. As usual on Ingraham's program, everyone was a winner! Hemingway, senior editor for The Federalist, is shilling her new book about Brett Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation to the Supreme Court. It's called "Justice on Trial" (no link) because conservatives like to depict the Federalist Society poster child as an innocent victim of a frenzied liberal mob, the conservative version of Tom Robinson.
The "villain" in their realty is Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault. Her testimony was moving and credible. It was also completely ignored. Susan Collins gave a speech and everything. Why are conservatives such sore winners?
Last night, Hemingway revealed new "inside info" that blows the whole Kavanaugh case wide open. It doesn't matter that there is no Kavanaugh case anymore; he is a Supreme Court Justice, and Ford is still in hiding from right-wing nut jobs who want to kill her. Yeah, no one suffered more from all of this than Kavanaugh, who was at most mildly inconvenienced for a few weeks before receiving his dream job, for life.
We watch the Sunday shows so you don't have to!
After Mother Nature pissed all over Trump's wannabe-dictator attempted hijacking of the Fourth of July, the Sunday shows got back to discussing the Trump-created humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Not the influx of asylum seekers fleeing from horrible conditions in Central America (made worse by Trump cutting off aid to them), but the way our country has decided to cage them in
concentration camps internment camps ... um ..."happy fun time summer camps"? After a visit by a congressional delegation and the Trump Administration's own DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report provided video/photographic/written evidence of the deplorable conditions occurring in our name, it was time for Trump officials to deal with the real culprits: Democrats!
The BEST gifts!
Yesterday afternoon, two Justice Department lawyers had to go before a federal judge in Maryland and admit that everything they'd agreed to just hours before had been rendered inoperative by a presidential tweet. As US District Court Judge George Hazel put it on an emergency conference call, "I don't know how many federal judges have Twitter accounts, but I happen to be one of them, and I follow the President, and so I saw a tweet that directly contradicted the position that Mr. Gardner had shared with me yesterday."
To which Joshua Gardner, a lawyer in the Civil Division replied, "The tweet this morning was the first I had heard of the President's position on this issue, just like the plaintiffs and Your Honor. I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the President has tweeted. But, obviously, as you can imagine, I am doing my absolute best to figure out what's going on."
In a bid to avoid a hearing on the newly emerged evidence that the decision to add the question of citizenship to the Census was motivated entirely by racism, the Justice and Commerce departments explicitly promised that the 2020 Census forms would be printed without the citizenship question. But then Ol' Assmouth got on his Obamaphone and told the world that the lamestream media was lying, so now multiple federal agencies are desperately attempting to contort reality to conform with Trump's mania.
Does anybody REALLY know what time it is?
Yesterday, to the delight of civil rights activists, the Department of Justice formally notified the parties in the ongoing Census litigation that the government would not be including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Then Trump called the information from his own Justice Department and Commerce Secretary "FAKE" on Twitter.
So … yeah, I got nothin'.
Since the Trump regime announced last year that the 2020 Census would include a question about citizenship status, it has been embroiled in litigation about its legality. One of the cases went up to the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court heard arguments but before it could rule, new evidence came to light, showing the guy who had designed the citizenship question had come up with it to help "Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites." Last week, the Supreme Court shot down the administration's main, laughable justification for the question — that it was totally not racist, and actually to help them with their vigorous enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
So that's as niceish a time as we'll get, and we'll take it!
In a surprisingly decent opinion, today the Supreme Court issued a blow to President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's attempts to use the Census as a weapon against our democratic system.
Throughout litigation over the 2020 Census, the government has maintained that the reason it wants to ask people about their citizenship on the Census is because it just cares SO MUCH about protecting minority communities and asking about citizenship will help the government enforce the Voting Rights Act. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court's more liberal justices to shoot that argument down. (We can only assume he was trying to make up for helping to destroy our democracy with the gerrymandering decision that also came out today.)
Altogether, the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the Secretary gave for his decision. In the Secretary's telling, Commerce was simply acting on a routine data request from another agency. Yet the materials before us indicate that Commerce went to great lengths to elicit the request from DOJ (or any other willing agency). And unlike a typical case in which an agency may have both stated and unstated reasons for a decision, here the VRA enforcement rationale—the sole stated reason—seems to have been contrived.
Contrived! Well they never! Despite giving a lot of deference to the Commerce Department, the Court found that it could not "ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given." (That's legalese for, "We can tell you're full of shit.")
And we're here to help.
Good news, everyone! We have a Democratic challenger for lousy Maine Sen. Susan Collins. Former Maine gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet announced her candidacy Thursday, and we confess we'd be more thrilled about it if she weren't a "former" candidate. That's sort of like when an actor's billed as "Oscar nominee." All we hear is LOSER! and we need closers if we're going to retire Collins.
On the upside, her campaign announcement video struck the right tone and hit all the key points. It begins with a clip of Collins declaring on the Senate floor that she planned to vote for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. As Sweet drives through a picturesque Maine town, we hear news reports of the continued right-wing onslaught against abortion rights. It gets us pissed off at Collins all over again.
Someone forgot to tell these guys not to take notes on their criminal conspiracy.
People who were paying attention already knew that Trump's attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census was a racist attempt to rig future elections. Now we have written proof.
Court documents filed last Thursday showed definitively what most of us already knew: This plot was concocted to help rig future elections for, to quote the architect of the plan, "Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites."
Is you takin' notes on a criminal fuckin' conspiracy?
Criminal Conspiracy Notes youtu.be
Mitch bites man.
It should surprise no one with a functioning brain stem that Mitch McConnell's rationale for blocking Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick was total bullshit. The Senate majority leader refused to even hold hearings for Merrick Garland back in 2016 because it was an election year and the "American people should have a voice." Apparently, McConnell believes we'll collectively suffer from laryngitis come 2020, so he plans to speak for us.
Speaking at a Paducah Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Kentucky, McConnell was asked by an attendee, "Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?"
The leader took a long sip of what appeared to be iced tea before announcing with a smile, "Oh, we'd fill it," triggering loud laughter from the audience.
Isn't it just hilarious? McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat from a president who was actually democratically elected, and now he's gleefully imitating a Kermit meme.
If Women Are Even Half As Evil As Clarence Thomas Thinks We Are, We Shouldn't Be Having Babies In The First Place
Anyone who would have an abortion based on race or sex would be a pretty terrible parent, no?
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a mixed decision on two abortion-related Indiana laws. The first was a law requiring that fetal remains from abortion be cremated or buried, and that was upheld by the court in a 7-2 decision. The second was a law banning the termination of a pregnancy on the basis of the fetus's race or sex, or because said fetus has a disability or disease of some kind. The court was unanimous in declining to even review a lower court overturning that portion of the law. Which is good, because that is ridiculous.
Still, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a 20-page concurring opinion noting that while he agreed with the decision not to review the law regarding prohibiting abortions for now, that "this law and other laws like it promote a State's compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics."
We can't do jack shit as long as Mitch McConnell is majority leader.
The Senate is killing us. The GOP gained control in 2014 because liberals had something better to do that day, and ever since then Mitch McConnell has twisted the legislative body into a deformed mockery of partisan hackery. He's jacked Supreme Court seats, packed the courts with right-wing extremists, and shrugs off foreign attacks on the nation as long as it benefits him. Nowadays, he likes to watch Democratic House bills wither and die like a sociopathic child sprinkling salt on a slug. He even calls himself the "Grim Reaper," because he doesn't even bother trying to hide his true nature like a common Louis Cipher.
"If I'm still the majority leader of the Senate after next year, [Medicare for All and the Green New Deal are never] going to pass the Senate," the Kentucky Republican told a small crowd during an event in his home state Monday. "They won't even be voted on. So think of me as the Grim Reaper: the guy who is going to make sure that socialism doesn't land on the president's desk."
McConnell is as plain as the growth on his neck: As long as he's in charge, there's no socialism (in the champagne room). The 101 Democrats running for president have bold ideas, but they all require non-reptile leadership in the Senate. This is why priority one is for Democrats to flip the three seats necessary to retake the Senate. They take this so seriously they've recruited such heavy hitters as Helena, Montana, Mayor Wilmot Collins.
Collins is reportedly (by the editrix; he came to our Wonk party!) a really nice guy, but he's a former refugee from Liberia (the one in West Africa). I'm personally black and conscious enough to break the news that Collins is never winning anything statewide in Montana. Trump carried the state by 20 points. What the hell is going on here?
But who can ever tell?
Right now, there is an anti-abortion bill floating in the Alabama Senate that, like the one that recently passed in Ohio, does not include exceptions for rape and incest and which would outlaw all abortions except for those meant to save the mother's life.
That, apparently, is making even a few anti-choice Republicans cringe a little. So today, they will vote on whether or not to add those exceptions to the bill before it goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Kay Ivey.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Rep. Del Marsh (R), the president of the state Senate, said he hopes the exceptions will be added because although he'd love to see Roe overturned, he's not "real comfortable" with the idea of forcing a woman to have her rapist's baby.
Rep. Cam Marsh is not too comfortable with it either, noting that he would not want to force his own daughter to carry a baby from rape.
"The question is, are we going to be the state that says this is okay?" he said. "Even if this is just a legal strategy, I also have a 16-year-old daughter. Would I want her to carry a baby from a rape?
"That's where my stomachache comes in," he said. "That's where folks feel real sick about this."
Gee, it sure is too bad about that stomach ache. It's also too bad he cannot figure a way to extend that empathy to anyone who does not want to be forced to give birth. Because I just have a feeling that if his daughter were to get pregnant from consensual sex, he still might not actually be too keen on her having a baby at 16. He probably has great big hopes for her life that he would not like to see derailed by an unwanted teen pregnancy. Just like lots of people have for their lives and their children's lives.
There is good news for Rep. Marsh, though—he's probably got enough money to spirit his own daughter out of state to get an abortion if she needed one, just like rich people did in the "good old days." Abortion has always been safe and legal for those who can afford it.
The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Terri Collins (R), says she totally gets why some people might want to have exceptions for rape and incest, but says that because the whole point of her bill is to get it to the Supreme Court so that they can overturn Roe v. Wade, this is the way it has to be. It's a legal strategy!
"It has to be 100 percent a person at conception," Collins said.
Collins said she would support states making their own decisions about exceptions. And she herself agrees "that rape and incest could be an exception in state law.
"But what I'm trying to do here is get this case in front of the Supreme Court so Roe v. Wade can be overturned."
Wow, what a truly gross person. Though at least she's consistent.
As horrifying as it is to force a rape victim to have their rapist's baby, it is just as horrifying to force anyone to to have a baby they don't want to have, period. The reason why "rape and incest" exceptions exist is not because the people who believe in them are more reasonable or moderate or slightly more empathetic than their "no exceptions" counterparts, but because they really don't care so much about the fetuses as they do about forcing women who have recreational sex to "face the consequences" of their actions. They see rape victims who did not want to have sex as "innocent" and those who did want to have sex as "guilty" and, well, "if you do the crime, you do the time."
As usual, the ACLU is planning to sue if the bill passes.
"It shows how extreme and how emboldened the people who are pushing these laws feel now," [ACLU senior staff attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas] said. "Before, they knew they couldn't get away with it. Now they think they can."
The ACLU, she said, is preparing to sue if the Alabama measure passes — with or without exceptions.
"At the end of the day, an all-out abortion ban, whether it's at six weeks or before, is blatantly unconstitutional whether those exceptions exist or not," Kolbi-Molinas said.
Unfortunately for us all, that's probably not going to be the case for too long. Conservatives on the Supreme Court showed this week, in their decision on the case of Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, that they are willing to overturn court precedent if they happen to not like the way a case was decided in the first place—principle of stare decisis be damned.
Oh well, at least some Republicans are feeling mildly glum about it. Sort of.
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Remember when 'conservatives' hated 'frivolous lawsuits'?
First Melania Trump sued the Daily Mail and a host of tiny bloggers for reporting the existence of a book that claimed she'd been an escort. (The Daily Mail settled; the bloggers ate varying degrees of shit.) Then Devin Nunes sued (but never served!) Twitter and his cow lover for the torts of "mockery" and "mean names." And now youngest ever certified securities frauder Jacob Wohl and lobbyist Jack Burkman are threatening to sue the Daily Beast for pointing out that, oh, they MIGHT HAVE induced a young man to falsely accuse gay Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg of raping him.
Is it wrong to falsely accuse someone of rape? Or is it wrong to interview the supposed accuser and type up his words claiming Burkman and Wohl had promised him a "lavish lifestyle," MAYBE falsely imprisoned him, and then (he alleges!) put out the false statement in his name?
According to Burkman and Wohl, it is the latter. And they're going to (threaten to) make the Daily Beast pony up, at least for legal fees, since they will never ever ever win an actual "libel and defamation" (yes, AND) suit on the merits.
Mitch McConnell Helpfully Changes Senate Rules So President Kamala Harris Can Pass Green New Deal & Reparations
Mitch McConnell, the man who broke the Senate, wants to shatter the remaining pieces with a ball-peen hammer so Donald Trump can stack the courts with more paleoconservative fossils and outright theocrats. Trump also hasn't met his full quota of total incompetents for his sub-cabinet. The Senate is supposedly a "deliberative body" but the majority leader thinks Democrats are doing too much deliberating. He's moving forward with Senate Resolution 50, which would cut the total debate time for Trump's nominees from the current 30 hours to two. The next Avengers movie will be longer.
The resolution requires 60 votes to pass, which means McConnell needs at least seven Joe Manchins to vote with Republicans. There's currently just the one, so McConnell plans to go "nuclear" and rewrite Senate rules so it can pass with a simple majority. If Democrats insist on not being Republicans, they really leave McConnell no choice.
Now he knows sexual harassment is WRONG!
"Uncle" Joe Biden is running for president. We know he hasn't technically announced yet, but in our experience, politicians don't dwell on the mistakes of their past unless they're trying to explain them away for potential voters. Biden's biggest boner currently sits on the Supreme Court, like an ongoing Iraq War that doesn't speak during oral arguments.
You can't discuss Clarence Thomas's confirmation to the Supreme Court, which was horrific enough, without also talking about Anita Hill, who'd credibly accused him of sexual harassment. They are indelibly linked, like Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, and despite the decades separating these events, very little changed. A brave woman dared stand in the way of a powerful man and was made to suffer greatly for it.
Biden somehow thought it was a good idea to put Anita Hill's name in his mouth during remarks at the Biden Courage Awards last night. "Courage" is in the title of the event, so we're not sure why he'd want to talk about one of the least courageous acts of his political career. You don't see Meryl Streep going on about She-Devil when accepting a lifetime achievement award.
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