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Poor Marks. Wonkagenda For Wed., March 6, 2019

Trump's stonewalling and screaming, Republicans are squirming, and a lovely tribute for Rep. John Dingell. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Immigrants

HHS Demands Stupidest Apology Since ... Mark Meadows, Yesterday

It's the week for people who don't deserve apologies to demand them, so ... what we just said.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a bit of a problem with sexual abuse of minors in its baby jails, as documents revealed Tuesday show. So HHS has taken swift action to deal with the scandal: It's demanding a member of Congress apologize for not sufficiently clarifying that the instances of abuse were alleged against staffers and contractors of the nonprofits that operate the baby jails, not HHS employees. How DARE anyone impugn the character of the fine people who work for HHS and just happened to contract out work to other people who turned out to be abusive. HHS has a reputation to think of, after all.

The allegations of widespread abuse surfaced in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Trump administration's family separation policy. Rep. Ded Deutch, a Florida Democrat, asked Commander Jonathan White to comment on the abuse allegations, which he said had been buried in a tranche of documents submitted to his office by HHS after a request. Here's part of the exchange, where Deutch scurrilously slanders the good government employees who never done nothing wrong except contract out to people who did very wrong things.

2.26.19 Rep. Deutch at Judiciary Committee hearing on Administration's child separation policy www.youtube.com

As documents posted by Deutch show, between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, there were over 4,500 allegations of sexual misconduct in shelters that held "unaccompanied alien children" for HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement. Most of the reports involve inappropriate contacts between kids, which HHS is legally required to track and investigate. But there were also 154 cases where shelter staff were accused of inappropriate touching or verbal harassment. Deutch asked White whether HHS's top brass were aware of those numbers, and whether that history of abuse went into any discussions in the run-up to the start of family separation.

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News

Chinaman Not The Preferred Nomenclature, Trump. Wonkagenda For Tues., Feb. 26, 2019

Michael Cohen has 'EARTH SHATTERING' news, Trump trying to steal Uncle Sam's purse, and 9/11 first responders need our help. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Post-Racial America

Trump Sued For 'Access Hollywood'-ing All Over Campaign Staffer, ALLEGEDLY, OH HOW SHOCKING!

When you're a star, they let you do anything.

Alva Johnson was an Obama voter who decided to give Donald Trump a chance to help the black community. She says she worked hard for his campaign and helped bring his message to African American voters, and all she got for her trouble was sexually harassed and underpaid. Looks like Trump is having another #MeToo moment, and this time there is no NDA preventing the accuser from speaking her mind.

The former Trump campaign staffer is here to let Trump know something very important in these days of billionaire sex traffickers and NFL Dons who moonlight as Johns. She is making it clear to Mister "When you're a star, they just let you do it" that it is not okay to move on her "like a bitch," and that's why she's suing him for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is very bad, and we know that Trump has been accused many times, but Johnson also alleges she she was underpaid for her position, so underpaid that men with far fewer responsibilities earned more money than she did.

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sex crimes

R. Kelly Is A Bad Man Who Was Good At Singing... Now He's In Jail.

Jail is where he belongs.

If it can be said that "all good things must come to an end", then surely, so too can it be said that, "all bad things will eventually go fuck themselves." Or something. Things end all the time; there are deaths, cancellations, even shunnings; there are breakups, separations, divorces, and often people simply just choose to leave. But sometimes that choice is taken from people, sometimes that choice isn't even offered, because sometimes the Chicago Police Department arrests your ass on multiple sexual assault charges because Avenatti's busy ass got ahold of the sex tape you made with an underage girl victim. Because these days, the things you do on the "Down Low" get put on Front Street, then all of a sudden... life comes at you fast.

If you recall, Kelly recently threatened to sue Lifetime for producing the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, and unfortunately for him, his reaction to the film is likely what spurred the investigation into his sex cult, and led to his subsequent arrest. The self-ownage in this caper delivers a sweetly intoxicating and purely delightful schadenfreude, I must warn you now... When you watch the video of him being arrested, if you look at his face, you'll be absolutely fucking giddy from the sad clown look on his mug.

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popular

Better Sit Down For This One: Dr. Keith Ablow Miiiiight Be An Abusive Sex Creep

The ex-Fox News 'doctor' is accused of sexual assault by three patients.

For over five years, at least, Dr. Keith Ablow has raged against leggings. Boy, does he ever hate leggings! He railed against them as a Fox News contributor on The Five, where he suggested that girls who were getting sexually harassed at school were actually "provoking" the poor, innocent boys who were forced to spend their time sexually harassing them, instead of learning. Then later, on some blog called "Respvblica" when he claimed that Victoria's Secret and, of course, leggings were turning young boys into future Harvey Weinsteins.

In my opinion, Victoria's Secret, Aerie and every woman who buys any item of clothing at either of them (or at many more racy retailers), is contributing to a new generation of Harvey Weinsteins. The idea that women think nothing of being plastered nearly naked in public displays all over the world, while expecting males to still take them absolutely seriously in board rooms, is irrational. [...]

Think how many teenagers who go to the mall are also going to high schools where young women show up in leggings—which aren't really designed for comfort, but to tantalize young men, sexually. How can a 15-year-old really take 15-year-old females entirely seriously when they want to wear the equivalent of tights to school?

Leggings are comfortable as hell, you weirdo. That is why we wear them.

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lawsplainer

Busted Running An International Pedophile Ring? Better Call Labor Secretary Alex Acosta!

if it's not in the nonexistent basement of a pizza parlor, does it exist?

Everything is horrible all the time. The stench of corruption pervades, and the miasma rising off the Trump swamp threatens to blot out the sun daily. None of this is news, but yesterday's federal ruling implicating Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in the coverup of serial pedophile Jeffery Epstein's crimes is a useful barometer of just how far we've fallen as a country. In any other administration, Acosta's involvement in 2008 as US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in an active effort to bury the Epstein prosecution in state court would have kept him out of the Cabinet. As the victims' case alleging prosecutorial misconduct proceeded, a rational Justice Department would have tapped Acosta on the shoulder months ago to say, "Alex, you really gotta go." Instead, the sitting Labor Secretary was named yesterday in a federal judge's order finding that his office illegally hid details from the minor victims of a pedophile ring in violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act. It's too glib to say that this is a bad look, but ... this is a really bad look.

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News

Another Bill In The Wall. Wonkagenda For Fri., Feb. 22, 2019

Trump STILL can't get his wall money, Alex Acosta broke the law, and Dame Peggington hates commie kids. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today!

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News

TO INFINITY! Wonkagenda For Wed., Feb. 20, 2019

Trump's NSC caught going nuclear, a space farce, and more Russian fuckery. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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2020 presidential election

Two Men. One Border. One Brain.

Beto is doing a rally in El Paso tonight! Rumor has it this other dipshit might also be in town.

Donald Trump is heading out to El Paso, Texas, tonight to yell at the border and tell it to grow a WALL, and we fully expect him to lie all over again about the crime rate in that border city. Of course, we all know WHO ELSE is actually from El Paso, and for once "Hitler" is the wrong answer, because it is former congressman and Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke. As it happens, he's not particularly jazzed by Trump's plan to hold a slob picnic in his town and lie about border walls, so O'Rourke plans to take part in a march and rally to counter Trump's nastiness, in a venue just about a mile away from Trump's. Hopefully upwind.

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News

ANOTHER Government Shutdown!?! Wonkagenda For Mon., Feb. 11, 2019.

Trump demands WALL (again), everyone is still talking about Jeff Bezos's dick pics, and so much more. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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popular

Justin Fairfax Just Needs To Get The Hell On Out Of Here.

Two women have now accused him of sexual assault. Time to go.

The state of Virginia has been a clusterfuck for what has only been a week but seems like at least four years in news cycle time. And it's not getting any better.

Yesterday, another woman, Meredith Watson, came forward to accuse Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, saying that he raped her when they were both at Duke. Her story is backed up by several people whom she told of the incident at the time, and documented communications with those people. Watson says she came forward because she was horrified to find out he did this to another woman after what he did to her (I know the feeling!), and is not looking for any kind of financial compensation or what have you. She just wants to be heard.

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popular

Justin Fairfax Is Just Gonna Drag This Sh*t Out, Isn't He?

He's hired the law firm Kavanaugh hired. Great, just great.

Early last week, we were praising Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam for explaining what doctors do when an infant is nonviable, despite the fact that he was taken completely out of context by Republicans who desperately want to convince stupid people that Democrats want to let evil women and doctors kill perfectly good newborn babies. Then, on Friday, the conservative news site Big League Politics released the blackface photos -- supposedly brought to them by "a concerned citizen" who was not mad about the blackface, but mad about him supposedly encouraging "infanticide" -- which, again, he was not doing. Being that we think blackface is a pretty gross thing to do, pretty much everyone on the Left has agreed that he must step down. But it was cool! We had Justin Fairfax -- a black lieutenant governor, whom we could safely assume had never gone full Al Jolson.

And then Fairfax was accused of sexual assault.

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Post-Racial America

Everyone In Virginia Has Officially Lost Their Damn, Moonwalking Minds

They hope someday to be as sane as Florida.

We kind of miss when Virginia politics were dull. We wrote exactly zero posts about Terry McAuliffe when he was governor, but he never threatened to moonwalk during an "I'm not a racist" press conference. Michael Jackson method impersonator Ralph Northam is still the governor, even though almost everyone would prefer he was the former governor, and it's all just a big mess. Northam held the worst Super Bowl party ever where he discussed his options with senior staff. They were all bleak or delusional. The options weren't good, either. Not in attendance was Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, who would become governor if Northam ever got the message and stepped down. Fairfax, however, has some troubles of his own.

Accusations emerged over the weekend that Fairfax sexually assaulted a woman in 2004 after they'd met at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Fairfax was working for John Edwards of all people at the time. He strongly denied the charges and insists the encounter was "100 percent consensual." Not sure why he's quantifying his innocence, O.J. Simpson style. Besides, anything less than 100 percent consent is still sexual assault.

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Courts

We're Not Even Going To Say What This Kansas Judge Did In The Headline, Because UGHHHHH

Sorry, don't mean to clickbait you, but UGHHHHH.

A disgusting, gross 67-year-old man from Leavenworth, Kansas, was convicted last year for soliciting sex from young girls through Facebook. Raymond Soden exchanged messages with a 13-year-old girl and offered her money for nude photos of herself and for physical sex acts. Soden was not confused and merely thought he was chatting up a kinky senior citizen online. He knew the girl was 13.

Soden should rightly spend the rest of his twisted life behind bars. He had two prior convictions, one for battery and the other for sexual battery. The prosecution argued for a somewhat-fitting 13 years in prison, in keeping with state guidelines. District Court Judge Michael Gibbens instead sentenced Soden to just five years and 10 months. Soden's current victims might be old enough to vote then.

Kansas state law required that Gibbens have "compelling" reasons for his softball sentence, and Gibbens's rationale is almost as sick as Soden is. He claims that Soden's victims were partly to blame for what happened. He wasn't even convinced they'd actually been harmed all that much.

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