It's your lawsplainer!
Katie Hill is one of the young freshman congresswomen elected in the 2018 wave. She is vice-chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee. In 2018, Hill flipped a Republican seat in the typically conservative 25th congressional district near LA, roundly defeating incumbent Stephen Knight. She is also an out bisexual woman who is in the midst of a messy divorce from husband Kenny Heslep, whom Hill says was emotionally abusive.
Yesterday, the right-wing blog RedState published nude photos of Hill (here's a link to Wonkette, instead of RedState! and no you don't get the nakey pix) along with a story alleging she was in an inappropriate relationship with her legislative director and had previously been involved with a woman who worked on her campaign who we will not name because she is a private person living a private life. Shortly thereafter, the British tabloid Daily Mail followed suit, publishing two nude photos and several other intimate photos of Hill and the woman who worked on her campaign. (In this instance, RedState was slightly better than the Daily Mail, publishing just one nude photo, blurring the other woman's face and not identifying her by name.)
After the photos were published, Marc Elias and Rachel Jacobs from Perkins Coie sent a cease and desist letter to the Daily Mail on Hill's behalf, demanding the photos be taken down. The letter alleges that the Daily Mail violated several California laws, including its revenge porn statute.
The state's six-week abortion ban has no exceptions for rape and incest.
Rape, as we should all understand by now, is a crime of power. This week, South Carolina decided to give rapists a 2-for-1 deal on that power by stripping the rape and incest exceptions from an already-terrible bill banning abortions after six weeks. The move was decided by a Senate Committee that voted in favor of removing the exceptions 4-3, down party lines. But don't think they're entirely heartless — the bill will still allow abortions if they are to "save the life of the mother," meaning they won't actually condemn rape victims to die while having their rapist's baby. That's just about as generous and kind as the forced birth contingent gets these days.
Of course, the measure does still have to go through committee, but it will most likely glide right on through there as well, and Republican Governor Henry McMaster is reportedly eager to sign it.
Court Rules That Anti-Choice 'Sidewalk Counselors' Can Annoy Anyone Trying To Get An Abortion In Pittsburgh
But on the bright side, they also upheld a buffer zone law keeping protestors 15 feet away.
If there is a more enraging term in the English language than "sidewalk counseling," I cannot think of it. Just reading it makes my blood boil, and not just because the practice itself entails rudely walking up to people trying to get an abortion and annoying them with anti-choice bullshit, though that is appalling. It's also the unbelievably smug and delusional-sounding term in and of itself. It takes a whole lot of gall to call what they do "counseling." Last time I checked, counseling an adult person who does not wish for you to counsel them usually involves a court order of some kind, and it does not occur on a sidewalk. Surely, if anyone walking into an abortion clinic wanted to be "counseled" by some anti-choice freak of nature, they would go and do that instead of walking into an abortion clinic.
Thus, I thought it was pretty darned awesome when the city of Pittsburgh enacted a law requiring forced birth enthusiasts to stay 15 feet away from abortion clinics during their protests.
And on Friday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that law, which was great, but with an exception, which was very, very bad. While protestors must stay 15 feet away from abortion clinics, the court found that this cannot apply to so-called "sidewalk counselors," and that not allowing them to annoy people trying to get a common medical procedure would violate their First Amendment rights.
Way back in December of 2017, then Ohio Governor John Kasich — the "reasonable" and polite Republican who gets the Chris Matthews types all weak in the knees — signed an incredibly stupid anti-choice bill making it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion if all or part of the reason for said abortion is that the fetus has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Called the "Antidiscrimination Law," the law essentially claimed that aborting a fetus with Down Syndrome meant discriminating against people with Down's Syndrome, including those who are not even fetuses anymore.
No, really. This is what Ohio deputy solicitor general Benjamin Flowers said in his defense of the law earlier this year:
"If women are selecting children with Down syndrome for abortion, if doctors are negatively counseling their patients to abort children when they have a Down syndrome diagnosis, the message that sends not only to children or people carrying a child but to people who are 30 years old is that if you have Down syndrome your life is not worth as much," Flowers said. "And that is the interest Ohio wants to protect."
The law never went into effect, because in March of 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black issued a preliminary injunction on that law on the grounds that it violated a patient's right to privacy, which is pretty much the entire basis for Roe v. Wade. If it had, it would have meant up to 18 months in jail and a fine of $15,000 for any doctor who knowingly aborted a fetus with Down Syndrome.
The omissionary position isn't helping.
Congratulations, America! With a giant festering pustule occupying the White House and getting an infectious ooze on everything he touches, America in 2018 achieved a record high number of infections from three sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new report from the US Centers For Disease Control. The CDC reports more than 2.1 million combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia! Way to go! Now that the Trump administration's gag rule on family planning funding for groups that so much as mention abortion has led Planned Parenthood to drop out of the Title X program, we can certainly look forward to a quick end to STD outbreaks, as crisis pregnancy centers take up the slack and tell people not to fuck, ever.
This one's staying here a while to convince you to SEND MONEY FOR ME TO HIRE THE #BEBEST PEOPLE! Scroll down for more stories!
First some wonderful news! I have asked (and they have accepted) Robyn and SER (Stephen Robinson) to come to work full-time starting in January. Do I have the money (about an extra $6k a month for full-time plus 100 percent paid healthcare) to hire them yet? No. Will I? Yes. Because I know, in my crusty shriveled heart, that we can get another 1000 of you to sign up for a recurring donation because of how this is the place you always go first when big news breaks, and then again half an hour later, and then again half an hour after that, to see if we have SPLAINED IT YOU YET. (Give it another 10 minutes, we're pic'ing and tagging!) Also, that thing you're always telling me about "keeping [you] sane, 'for the most part.'" You say it a lot!
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NOW. I HAVE PROMISED YOU BALLS.
Yesterday was Old Dad's 81st birthday, which means I MADE BALLS and Shy took HOT PIXXX and then we ATE THE BALLS. They were, as usual, pretty fuckin' good. They were also, as usual, a little bit of a pain in the ass. This is not a weeknight balls recipe. This is like twice a year for people you love and put balls on.
There wasn't even a fake website this time. Very lazy, guys.
Rightwing conspira-fraudsters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman held a great big press conference today in a ludicrous attempt to smear Elizabeth Warren, and it was very, very entertaining. There were two big surprises: 1) Warren's alleged rental boy-toy, an absolutely legitimate "former Marine sex worker," actually showed up for the event, and B) Burkman's little dachshund, Jack Jr., wasn't audible, at least not in the Periscope video stream I watched.
The allegations of a months-long series of kinky rentboy sexual encounters from the supposed Marine, one "Kelvin Whelly," didn't so much elicit gasps as guffaws, because nobody's stupid enough to take Wohl and Burkman seriously anymore. Nope, not even Wohl's former employer, the Stupidest Man on the Internet, bothered to give it the time of day.
So here's the video link, for those of you daft enough to want to see three dipshits embarrass themselves in public. LUCKY YOU: it's not embeddable. Whelly read from a prepared statement, and had difficulty not cracking up himself at some of the more over the top moments. Here it is, from the Twitters. What's the significance of "Project 1599"? Your guess is as good as anyone's.
Update: Silly us: it's just Burkman's street address in Arlington.
Whelly said he had been hired by Warren through an online escort service, and that she flew him out to Massachusetts for the first time in August, 2018. In the very best Penthouse Forum prose, Whelly asserts that before their rendezvous at the Hilton in Woburn, he was a little nervous, because "I had spent time with older women before, but never a woman older than 60."
And oh, my, he assets that Warren was an absolute maniac, who "wanted not just rough sex but extensive BDSM play." Uh huh. And we bet she asked him to dress up like Jamie Dimon so she could spank him with a copy of the Sherman Antitrust Act, too.
Whelly purports to have been "shocked" by just how violent Warren liked to do sex, and that while he generally doesn't ask his clients if they're married, this time he just happened to, and Warren casually revealed the SHOCKING TRUTH. Here is the very realistic dialogue she said to him:
"Yes, I am married My husband and I are in an open relationship [...] In my line of work, this is a fairly common arrangement. You wouldn't believe how many studs like you show up to the Congressional retreats."
Look, if you wanted to make it really sound like Elizabeth Warren, you could have at least had her say something about taxing Wall Street -- sinfully.
Poor Whelly couldn't even keep a straight face when he got to the bit about Warren supposedly having a lesbionic threesome with him and a young lady friend of his, "using a lime green strap-on dildo" new from the box.
Also, for some reason, they want us to think Warren confessed to having a secret illegitimate daughter named "Lisa," born after a one-night stand 37 years ago. Because hoor.
It was pathetic. Wohl and Burkman had the dude take off his shirt to show the supposed scars from Warren's whippings with a cat o' nine tails, although that fell apart pretty quickly -- someone immediately found old Instagram photos of the welts, which he said he'd gotten when he was hit by a chain while disassembling an old swing. Or an old swinger, amIright?
Wohl, the original lime green strap-on dildo, also took pains to explain why he was bringing all this forward: "We all know women are more hormonal than men," and he just wanted to save America the grief that would come from electing Warren and then having a "hormonally unstable" sex fiend in the White House. Because he cares. Also, NORMAL women take their husbands' last name when they get married, so Warren is an abnormal sex fiend, QED.
Another Update: How could I forget this? At one point, a heckler asked Wohl if he was on psychiatric medication. Swear to god, he invoked HIPAA and said his medical records were private.
Warren seems not to recognize her political career is over, oddly enough.
(Yet another damn update: HD video on YouTube, but darned if we want to pay a licensing fee to embed it.)
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Jacob Wohl Knows All About Liz Warren's 24-Year-Old Marine Bodybuilder Sexworker Boy Toy, Even If She Doesn't
You know, this could be bad for Wohl's credibility.
You think you have a hard time staying on top of the news this week? Be glad you're not the rightwing conspiracy-mongering underpants gnomes Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman! You may remember them from previous scams like their attempts to smear Robert Mueller and Pete Buttigieg with fake sexual assault claims, which were slightly weakened when the "accusers" either said they had been kidnapped by Wohl and Burkman and forced to allege the crimes, or just never showed up.
Wohl and Burkman have been so busy spreading bullshit this week that they appear to have forgotten to finish their previous scam. Last week, Burkman tweeted a very credible offer to pay a bounty of $50,000 cash to anyone who identified the whistleblower whose complaint led to Donald Trump's impeachment, calling the whistleblower a "seditious leaker" for scrupulously complying with the law. Tuesday, the two held a press conference -- as always, in Jack Burkman's driveway, with interruptions from the frantic yapping of Burkman's very lucky dachshund, Jack Jr. Nothing of substance happened at the presser, but it closed with a promise to reveal the name of the whistleblower within 24 hours. To the surprise of no one, Wednesday came and went without any such revelation, although Wohl did at least post a gripe on instagram about the kids these days watching movies with subtitles.
As you'd expect from smart investigators who couldn't follow through on yet another sensational claim, the dynamic dipshits promptly changed the subject. Jack Burkman tweeted out a very serious MEDIA ALERT, announcing an entirely NEW scandal. Namely they claim they've found a 24-year-old Marine who's been having a long-term affair with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
We swear we are not making this up. Though they most certainly are.
And thereby hangs a Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood wrote most of The Handmaid's Tale in 1984, when everyone had Orwell and Reagan on their minds. It was just in the air, although unlike most people who noted that Reagan seemed to groove on "Ignorance is Strength," Atwood got a novel out of the juxtaposition of that iconic year and the ascendancy of the Christian Right.
At around the same time (maybe it was 1985), I sat in on several classes at a local fundamentalist Christian school, where I was researching, very clumsily, how its workbook-based curriculum operated. And sure, my hidden agenda involved gawking at the weird fundie content, like the exercise teaching that "facts" are observable truths (the table is made of wood) and truths revealed by God in the Bible (the Universe was created in six 24-hour days). "Opinions" are matters of taste (chocolate is the yummiest flavor) and crazy notions about reality made up by scientists who reject the Word of God (the Earth is "millions" of years old).
During one visit -- and a rare class where all the junior-high-aged kids watched a movie together instead of just working individually in their workbooks -- the topic was the moral degeneracy of rock music. One very distressed girl was near tears at all the depravity and wickedness, and wondered how, in America of all places, such madness could be allowed. "Can't those people just be" -- she struggled with how to delete rock music from the world -- "killed?"
So yes, that came to mind while I was rereading Handmaid.
Duffy introduced the bill as his last act in Congress.
Back in August, Sean Duffy announced that he would be retiring from Congress, citing his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, complications with her pregnancy, and medical issues for their unborn ninth child. Given this, it's not surprising that he wants to leave a legacy, an enduring reminder of the kind of politician he was. This Monday, he officially resigned, but not before introducing a bill (H.R. 442) to "protect the lives of unborn gay children" by making it illegal to abort a gay fetus.
Duffy, unsurprisingly, has a history of trying to derail LGBTQ rights — from opposing same-sex marriage to opposing laws barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Probably just don't read this post.
Forget about the whistleblower story about Donald Trump probably committing literal actual treason, because there is more important news out there, and it is that unfuckable Trump sycophant mini-Hitler baldhead dork who makes "34" look like a really rough "60" Stephen Miller IS REPORTEDLY BONING A HUMAN PERSON! And this reportedly human person is ALLOWING THAT.
Truly, the very last thing we expected to learn in the news today, or any other day, was that Stephen Miller is allegedly sexually active, unless it involved pending criminal charges or a cease-and-desist letter from 4H.
The news came in a tweet from Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff, atop a story about how Mike Pence had "tapped" (get away from Stephen's lady friend, Mike!) a former DHS press spox as his new press secretary:
Perhaps they ought to Google it.
On Wednesday, following complaints of "bias" from four Republican senators, Facebook opted to remove a "fact check" on a video from a Live Action video that claimed, ridiculously, that there was no such thing as a medically necessary abortion and that all any doctor had to do to preserve the lives of the mother and child was to deliver the baby early.
Back in August, following a review from an independent fact-checking organization, the International Fact-Checking Network, Facebook put up a warning on the post noting that it contained inaccurate information and explaining that, yes, there are indeed situations where an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. They also sent notifications to those who follow the page, letting them know that this information had been deemed false. Additionally, as a result of Live Action having made a number of equally absurd and fact-free assertions, they received a notification that they were being put on restriction for having shared so much "false news."
"Your Page has reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news. People will also be able to see if a Page has a history of sharing false news."
In response to this, Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Braun, Josh Hawley, and Kevin Cramer sent a letter directly to Mark Zuckerberg accusing the site of bias and of "censoring" conservative speech, which apparently relies on saying things that are untrue. Their reasoning for this was that two of the doctors consulted by the fact-checking organization were known to be pro-choice.
Your daily update on THE JERRYCOCK!
Last week we had daily updates on Hurricane Dorian's unfortunate track through Alabama (in the president's brain). This week we have daily updates on JERRY FALWELL'S WONDERCOCK OF JOY AND LAMENTATIONS, DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU'RE SITTING AND WHETHER YOU'VE DONE YOUR BREATHING EXERCISES, ALLEGEDLY.
If you'll remember, there was a big Politico piece this week, where journalist and Liberty University alum Brandon Ambrosino got lots of Liberty people to talk off the record about Jerry's little fiefdom, and also some other things. By the way, "little fiefdom" isn't his name for HIS COCK, because have you heard how it WON'T FIT IN HIS WIFE?
Allow us to remind you:
At Liberty, Falwell is "very, very vocal" about his "sex life," in the words of one Liberty official—a characterization multiple current and former university officials and employees interviewed for this story support. In a car ride about a decade ago with a senior university official who has since left Liberty, "all he wanted to talk about was how he would nail his wife, how she couldn't handle [his penis size], and stuff of that sort," this former official recalled. Falwell did not respond to questions about this incident.
MULTIPLE people confirmed to Politico that Jerry just hearts talking about his cock. And they also told Politico about how Liberty University isn't really a college (knew that), but rather a "real estate hedge fund" that's "not educating," but rather "buying real estate every year and taking students' money to do it."
And now Jerry Falwell Jr. is MAD and he is going to SUE EVERYBODY who told SECRETS about his COCK, which is weird, because doesn't the Bible say DON'T HIDE YOUR COCK UNDER A BUSHEL, JERRY?
But is it a RICO????
Oh, noes! Is someone doing the RICO to poor Jerry Falwell Jr.? Quick, call in the FBI, the CIA, the National Guard and the army of handsome pool boys and personal trainers that the Falwells surround themselves with for some reason. The president of Liberty University will not stand for scurrilous accusations that he runs the school like a private fiefdom where self-dealing is rampant. There never was any picture of Jerry's wife Becki in a French maid costume, dammit, and anyone who says otherwise is just jealous of Jerry's Amazing Wondercock that he absolutely never brags about to his colleagues. That's why the FBI is totally going to investigate this "attempted coup" against the laws of God and Jerry. Because in Lynchburg, Virginia, those are one and the same.
The Hill was first to get Falwell on the phone for his announcement that the FBI is ON THE CASE, ready to round up all the conspirators to put them on trial for crimes against God's True Servant. This is an attempt to oust him as Liberty's president, which is, no doubt, top of the FBI's list.
"Our attorneys have determined that this small group of former board members and employees, they're involved in a criminal conspiracy, are working together to steal Liberty property in the form of emails and provided them to reporters," Falwell raged to The Hill.
Then he moved on to the AP, where he derided Politico reporter Brandon Ambrosino as a "little boy" and said, "I'm not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court." Let the record reflect that this is not a denial of any particular detail from Ambrosino's story.
Jerry Falwell Jr. fucks his wife, OK? HE FUCKS HIS WIFE!
When we clicked on the Politico long-read everybody's talking about today, about Jerry Falwell Jr., leader of the Liberty University clown college, and his destruction of what passes as his father's legacy, the first thing we noticed was the author of the piece. Brandon Ambrosino ... haven't we told that guy to go fuck himself before? Yes, we have, five years ago! Ambrosino was one of a contrarian cohort of gay conservative journalists who wrote from time to time to tell us all that the mainstream LGBT movement was very unfair to those poor conservative Christians, who just wanted the freedom to deny LGBT folks life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the ballot box, in the courts, and anywhere else they could. Frankly, he pissed us off, but then we forgot about him.
However, as it happens, we think Ambrosino is probably exactly the right journalist to tell the inside story of what's really going on at Liberty. He went to school there, he knows the characters involved, and he even, at least several years back, had a "soft spot for the deceased evil known as Jerry Falwell," as we wrote at the time. He knows Jerry Jr. He knows Jonathan Falwell, Jerry's brother, who runs Jerry Sr.'s old Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Part of the title of Ambrosino's piece is "Someone's Gotta Tell The Freakin' Truth," and that's a quote from a current Liberty official who's close to the Falwells and who dished to Ambrosino -- of course, off the record. Indeed, that person was one of "more than two dozen" current and former Liberty employees who spoke for the article -- of course, off the record.
There's no way we can do this piece justice, as it is 8,000 words long, so you need to read the whole thing, as they say on the internet. But we will hit the highlights, only some of which are about Jerry Falwell Jr.'s penis.
Find Yourself A Man Who Looks At You The Way Jerry Falwell Jr. Looks At His Personal Trainer. ALLEGEDLY.
Preferably a man with the assets of a $600 million non-profit at his disposal.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is a man of God. But he's also a man of wealth and taste who likes to travel in style and take very good care of his friends.
Friends, meet Benjamin Crosswhite, Jerry Falwell Jr.'s personal trainer who some sort of way wound up getting a $2 million dollar athletic club from Liberty University for a whopping zero dollars. Not to be confused with Giancarlo Granda, the handsome poolboy Jerry Falwell and his wife Becki befriended in Miami and set up in the hotel business. That guy was brunette! Ben is a totally different hot, white dude, who graduated from Liberty University in 2011 and stuck around Lynchburg, Virginia, to be the Falwells' personal trainer. Plus, he's blond.
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