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Sen. Sherrod Brown announced today that he's not going to run for president, but will instead back whoever the 2020 Democratic nominee is, and keep fighting the good fight in the US Senate. On a conference call with Ohio reporters, Brown explained that's where he enjoys himself the most:

As you've heard me say many times, when you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work. I fight best when I bring joy to the battle, [...] And I find that joy fighting for Ohio in the Senate. So that's where I can be most effective.

Fair enough! Brown sure had looked like he was gearing up for a presidential run, what with going on a high profile "Dignity of Work" listening tour of states that just happened to hold the first few presidential caucuses and primaries. As Cleveland.com notes, the crowded primary field and Brown's expensive 2018 reelection campaign may have put him at some disadvantage, although Brown insisted on the call those factors had nothing to do with his decision:

"It's not fear of any specific opponent. It wasn't process. It wasn't money," Brown said. "I wrestled with this since talking with my family about it at Christmas."

Brown also said it was a "nonfactor" that if he'd actually won the presidency, his Senate seat would be filled with an appointment by Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, a Republican -- and honestly, we can kind of buy that, since that's a pretty high level of chicken-counting anyway.


Brown also said that at this point, he's not making any plans to endorse any of the candidates in the race, but would instead commit himself to getting Democrats elected, not just to the presidency but also with his Democratic colleagues' reelection to the Senate as well as winning seats for Dems from swing states like "Colorado and North Carolina and Georgia and Arizona." He also downplayed (for now, you have to figure!) any talk of being picked for the Veep slot in 2020:

I don't have any idea. I mean I'm not thinking about that [...] This is a discussion far away from that. It's just not a concern of mine now. I want to stay in the arena and fight and I don't aspire to be vice president. I don't think a presidential candidate would want to give up a Senate seat to choose me anyway.

Having said he remains committed to fighting the good fight in the Senate, Brown then proceeded to do just that, with a barn-burner of a speech in opposition to Donald Trump's judicial nominees, in particular, Eric Murphy, the former Ohio solicitor who pushed last year's ugly Supreme Court decision that ended up allowing Ohio to conduct "purge by postcard" cleansing of voter rolls -- regardless of how many brown people get disenfranchised. Hey, as long as the law didn't specifically SAY "we will do this to discriminate," the discriminatory outcome is irrelevant. Brown was pissed:

Here, enjoy Sherrod Brown on a rhetorical tear and getting joy from the fight:

The Republican-majority Senate went ahead and confirmed Murphy on a 52-46 vote, of course, because we live in the worst timeline (there's passion, and then there's math).

Not that Sherrod Brown is about to stop fighting. He needs a lot more company in the Senate, and then we can look forward to some real pro-family, pro-worker legislation getting passed.

[Cleveland.com / Columbus Dispatch]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Good morning, America! Attorney General Bill Barr is doing a presser at 9:30 AM EDT about the Mueller report, which nobody will be able to see until around noon or after, once Congress gets the redacted report on CDs. Seeing as that is bullshit, there's no reason to watch this thing, as journalists won't be able to ask him questions about a document they haven't seen. So ... go back to bed, everyone!

Ugh, fine, we guess we will do this, and that is because we care, even though we are quite certain HGTV is doing some kind of very important "Property Brothers" marathon that adds much more of value to the national discourse, and also covers it up with shiplap accent walls. Does Bill Barr do cover-ups with shiplap? No, because he doesn't have the good taste for that.

Reportedly, we are going to hear from Barr why certain things were redacted, including why he thinks certain facts are subject to executive privilege, which is funny because he is not the president and therefore cannot invoke executive privilege. But oh whatever! Details! Robert Mueller won't be there and none of his team will be there, which tells you something about how they feel about this whole process. If they felt like this was on the up-and-up, you'd imagine they might show up to present a united front. As that is not happening, assume the entire thing is a bullshit act meant to help Donald Trump set the narrative for what will otherwise be a very bad day for him.

The New York Times reported last night that the White House has already been briefed on significant portions of the report, because Bill Barr is a rightwing scam artist piece of shit who gives the Trump White House reacharounds. The briefings have reportedly been very helpful for the White House in coming up with how to rebut today's report, which is funny because we thought Trump said this report was a full exoneration, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. (Actually nope on both counts, since Mueller didn't decide the obstruction question, and even according to Barr's mash notes, he took a very limited view of the conspiracy question, focusing on the Russian government's hack and dump WikiLeaks operation.)

Anyway, assuming Trump is right about full exoneration, we guess Rudy Giuliani's rebuttal will state that Trump is guilty, full stop. Because that's what "rebuttal" means, correct?

Committee chairs in the House including Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters have called upon Bill Barr to cancel today's briefing, as it is useless horseshit. Because Barr literally gives zero fucks about his reputation and apparently is OK with going down in history as a fecal stain on our institutions and the rule of law, the show will go on.

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Now What? Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 18, 2019

Bill Barr's book report, the NRA is doomed, and Johnny Cash will watch over the Capitol. Your morning news brief!

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

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