Could you please keep your coughing to a minimum? Governor Tater is tryin' to read the Good Word.
Greetings from one of the states Rachel Maddow keeps mentioning when she talks about places where the governor isn't doing much of a goddamn thing to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming. We are in the "Tennessee" one, very close to its border with the "Mississippi" one. Two-fer!)
The Idaho governor still ain't doin' shit. The Missouri governor finally closed the restaurants, so that's cool, we guess. The Texas lieutenant governor is just suggesting that maybe grandma and grandpa have to die of coronavirus for
the greater good Trump's economy. Libertarian-type bid'ness guy Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is about to get around to gettin' around to doin' something, we reckon, even though a couple thousand doctors in the state have already asked him to please do a shelter-in-place order. The response is much smarter in Kentucky, one state north, where the governor is a Democrat.
But don't worry about us, at least for now. Tennessee's blue cities are taking the lead over the state government, just like the blue states are taking the lead over the federal government. Nashville (Davidson County), where the outbreak has been most concentrated so far, closed the bars a while back, and there's now a shelter-in-place/"safer at home" order in effect. In Memphis (Shelby County), the "safer at home" order goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. today, and all the other municipalities in the county seem to be working in concert, announcing their own orders not long after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced ours.
But just 15 minutes south of us in Mississippi, there's a different governor, and his name is
Tater Tate Reeves, and he is a huge fucking idiot. We are not saying that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is not a huge fucking idiot, we are just saying that if Lee and Reeves had a huge fucking idiot contest to win a golden ticket back to first grade to LEARN A FUCKING THING, Tate Reeves would win that one.
Kevin the produce manager would like some goddamn respect please. And maybe a siren.
Minnesota and Vermont have both added grocery store workers to their lists of essential or emergency workers, making them eligible for free childcare during the coronavirus outbreak. In an executive order Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz ordered the state's public schools, which are closed otherwise, to provide free childcare for the state's emergency workers and an update sent Tuesday added grocery store staff to the essential workers eligible for the free childcare, because you gotta keep people fed. And in Vermont, the state also added grocery workers and others in the food supply chain to the list of those eligible for free childcare.
Now all we need is for universal childcare to become the norm for everyone, not just during emergencies.
Who knew Florida could find someone WORSE than Rick Scott!
If Gen Z wants to avoid becoming the next millennials, they better get their perky asses out of the water. With all those videos of drunk spring breakers thronging the beach in Florida, those kids are fast on their way to becoming the generation all the old people love to hate. They grow up so fast, don't they!
Excellent social distancing going on there! Sure hope you kids are taking proper precautions. And no, I do not mean condoms. (Although, that too, obviously.)
It's cool, you guys, she takes SUPPLEMENTS.
But really, they're just kids. As my mother reminds me when my own genzies heat a wad of deli turkey by placing it directly on the toaster oven rack and pressing "Bagel," "they're not fully myelinated." Which is a science-y way of saying, "Teenagers, whaddayagonna do?"
But Ron DeSantis has no excuse. The Florida governor is 41 years old, and he knows damn well he should close those beaches during a wildly contagious viral pandemic. He just doesn't want Florida's tourism industry to take the hit, so he waffled.
Not Ron DeSantis and happy sharkbait kids
This is probably less about race and more about dumb.
Quinton Lucas is the dashing, young black mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. Lucas was set to vote in Tuesday's Democratic primary, but he hit a snag. His name wasn't in the system at a polling place he's used multiple times over the past 11 years. He's even voted for himself there.
We've seen how lines to vote in minority districts are often so long, people have visibly aged by the time they reach the ballot and might no longer resemble their photo ID, but that wasn't Lucas's problem. He reportedly used a utility bill to prove his identity but the poll worker insisted he wasn't in the voter rolls. That 10-minute exchange ended with his being turned away.
From the New York Times:
"I was probably a bit frustrated," [Lucas] said. "The other thing that got in my head was it's a little embarrassing being turned away at the polls."
An election official later contacted Lucas and informed him that the poll worker “simply" entered his name incorrectly. They tried to look up “Lucas Quinton" instead of “Quinton Lucas," which is — how do I put this nicely? — fucking stupid. The mayor gave his correct name and provided official mail addressed to that name. How do you make that boneheaded a mistake, especially when Lucas keeps saying that he knows he's in the system? Aside from being ... the mayor?
Somewhere, Coretta Scott King is pointing and laughing.
The moment Jeff Sessions shamelessly debased himself to avoid finally came. Tuesday, Donald Trump officially endorsed Tommy Tuberville in the runoff election on March 31. Tuberville has greatly impressed Trump with his bold platform of not being Jeff Sessions.
Trump reminded voters that Tuberville was once a "terrific" head football coach at Auburn University, and although this makes Tuberville more qualified for political office than Trump himself, that's a very low bar. Every line of Trump's endorsement is a not-so-subtle dig at Sessions: Tuberville is "a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country down," unlike Sessions who betrayed Trump when he remained loyal to his oath of office.
Kindly Florida Woman Changes Voters' Registration To Republican, Sparing Them Eternal Damnation In Socialist Hell
She'll likely do less time than the black woman who voted by accident.
Cheryl A. Hall of Florida (of course) was charged Thursday with the crime of conjuring up Republican voters from thin air. This magic trick involved filling out voter registration forms with false information and enrolling at least six Democratic and independent voters in the Republican Party without their consent.
Hall worked for the voter registration group Florida First, which received much of its funding from America First Policies. The solipsistic name should clue you in that the organization supports Donald Trump. Last year, America First Policies declared its plans to invest $20 million on voter registration.
"There are millions of patriotic Americans who believe in the America First movement, but aren't registered to vote," said America First Policies President Brian O. Walsh. "Returning power to the people requires an active, engaged citizenry. Let your voice be heard. Join the movement. Register today."
This was a stark change from the normal Republican tactics of actively preventing people from voting. Hall believed in America First's mission so fully she didn't just register new voters, she made them Republicans at the same time! No fuss, no muss! It's unclear if she also subscribed them to So You No Longer Care About Your Fellow Humans magazine.
That's some sweet, sweet ratfucking!
Over in Texas Tuesday, while minorities stood in line for hours to vote, state Rep. Harold Dutton from Houston faced the most competitive primary challenge of his almost 35 years in office. Texas is one of 10 states that use a primary runoff system, which means that if more than two candidates are running, the winner must receive 50 percent of the vote, plus one. Dutton fell a few points shy of the required majority and will advance to a runoff election in May with Houston City Council member Jerry Davis, who came in second. Here's where the weirdness develops: The candidate who came in third with 20 percent of the vote might not actually exist in the material world.
Natasha Ruiz performed pretty well for a candidate who was nonexistent on the campaign trail, and there's increasing evidence Ruiz herself literally doesn't exist. This really annoys Richard Bonton, who came in last with just 9 percent of the vote. Poor Bonton ran for the seat in 2018, as well. He managed 34 percent against incumbent Dutton, who easily cleared 50 percent and avoided a runoff. Now Bonton is losing to possibly imaginary candidates. This is the electoral version of that dream you have where you show up for class or work without your pants.
BONTON: There's definitely something fishy going on. You have a person with no ground work, no community service, no nothing. … You look up Natasha Ruiz — there's nothing.
We shall overcome, but also: we are overcome.
Virginia's new Democratic majority in the General Assembly has already passed some kickass legislation. In just the past couple months, the newly Democratically controlled legislature has passed an anti-LGBTQ discrimination bill. It's passed the Equal Rights Amendment. It torched Lee-Jackson Day and replaced it with a state holiday for Election Day. But not everything's been rosy, particularly when it comes to gun safety, and now there's some tedious pushback about Confederate memorials.
You'd think after Charlottesville, where Nazis and other white supremacists let their hate flags fly, everyone would agree to junk the memorials to slavery celebrating traitors. However, we live in a world where Republicans exist.
One of those Republicans, freshman lawmaker Sen. Jennifer Kiggans, claimed it was "divisive and not healing" to even consider removing Confederate memorials. Kiggans is the sort of Republican who conflates history with celebration. It's not as though anyone's going to forget 9/11 unless there are statues of Osama bin Laden in Central Park. Valorizing sworn enemies of the United States is a weird thing to do unless you really dislike black people.
Kiggans, who by the way is hella white, argued that Civil War memorials were "in most cases … dedicated to deceased veterans who fought for their homeland and died or were wounded alongside their hometown friends." This is bullshit. These people were all traitors. They willingly attacked and killed American soldiers. No amount of revisionist, "Lost Cause" nonsense can change that fact.
You never come for Rep. McBath. You just don't.
Mike Bloomberg donated a crazy amount of money to Democratic candidates in 2018. That was very much appreciated. Unfortunately, at the Democratic debate Tuesday, Bloomberg might've accidentally on purpose implied that he owned the new Nancy Pelosi-led House.
BLOOMBERG: Let's just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats. Twenty one of those are people that I spent a hundred million dollars to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bough — I, I got them.
Just get Bloomberg a monocle and a top hat and he's Mr. Billionaire, the cackling lead in a political satire co-written by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It's bad enough that Bloomberg is assuming ownership for the blue wave, but his slip of the tongue is a gift to Republicans who'll -- without any sense of irony -- shame Democrats for accepting his money.
This one is about more than just politics.
It's no secret that Saturday's South Carolina primary is must win for Joe Biden. The polls have consistently shown him ahead of Bernie Sanders in the Palmetto State, but polls are slippery devils (don't tell Nate Silver). Sanders has also narrowed Biden's lead in the past few weeks. Anything can happen Saturday -- including the possibility we might actually know who won the damn thing on the same day people voted.
Biden's greatest strength in South Carolina is his deep well of support from black voters, who make up almost 60 percent of the Democratic electorate. It was expected that the loyal wingman for the first black president would receive enthusiastic endorsements from prominent black Democrats, but his endorsement today from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn was not just about Barack Obama. It was a moving testament to Joe Biden, the man.
Reruns from last summer already?
Monday, faced with a bill that would cap and trade carbon emissions in the state, all but one of the dozen Republicans in the Oregon state Senate skipped out of the state to prevent a vote, bringing this year's legislative session to a dead stop. It's a repeat of a tactic the Senate GOP pulled twice last year to deny a quorum for a vote. Yesterday, for shits and giggles, the Republicans in the state House skipped out too. Democrats hold supermajorities in both houses, but for a quorum, the rules require two thirds of members to be present. The Dems are just short of that, needing two Republicans in each house to show up to get anything done.
So far, there haven't been any armed militia loons insisting they want to help "protect" the wayward lawmakers. It's early, yet; no telling whether any of the missing Republicans are itching for an armed standoff for the sake of precious, precious fossil fuels.
Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, hasn't yet asked Gov. Kate Brown to send the state police out to round up the missing Republicans, which was what prompted last June's threats from militia groups to shoot some cops in defense of absenteeism. Without a request from the Senate, the governor can't sic the cops on the AWOL senators. Not that it did any good -- the Rs all headed to Washington and Idaho anyway, as they probably have this year too.
Here's the exciting non-action from the Senate's roll call Monday.
Courtney says he's been talking daily with the Senate Republican leader, Herman Baertschiger Jr., and that Baertschiger "did leave the door open that maybe they'd come back," although it's possible the Rs will only return if the Senate agrees to put the cap and trade bill to voters as a referendum, which would give big industrial interests the chance to spend it to death.
Bow chicka BOW WOW.
A bill in the California state Assembly would require adult performers to get a business license and undergo a couple of hours of training aimed at informing them of their rights as workers. AB-2389 would mandate a state-approved training course, which would cover "information on reporting workplace injuries, sexual harassment, and sex trafficking," which frankly sounds like a good idea.
The exact requirements for the training would be developed by the California Department of Industrial Relations, with input from a board appointed by the governer. The board would be made up of "two adult film actors, three dancers, two medical doctors, a therapist, and a money manager" — and again, that sounds like a good mix of people to give adult entertainers, including webcam performers, some basic information on how to not be exploited by sleazy employers. Not surprisingly, the nice libertarian folks who report on the bill at Reason are worried that the heavy hand of government could do far more harm than good. Do you want porn to work as badly as the Post Office? Fortunately, no warnings of little-death panels, at least not yet.
This aggression against a veteran and dachshund fan WILL NOT STAND, MAN.
In a nice little bit of early ratfucking for 2020, the Ohio GOP is falsely accusing a Democrat running for Congress of having done voter fraud, even though in reality she definitely did not vote twice in the 2008 presidential primary. And even after the claim was conclusively debunked within 24 hours, the state GOP is sticking to its original, inaccurate story. Judd Legum's Popular Information newsletter has all the details, and wow, what a fine crew these Ohio Republicans are. It's also a case study of the sort of crap Democrats should be ready to deal with in the age of Trump.
The target of the smear is Hillary O'Connor Mueri, who's running for the District 14 seat currently held by Republican Dave Joyce, who was appointed to fill it in 2012 and has held on to it since. If you haven't heard of Joyce, neither had we, at least until we checked the Wonkette archives and saw he'd explained in 2013 that the only reason there's any unemployment at all in America is that employers "can't find people to come to work sober, daily, drug-free and want to learn the necessary skills going forward to be able to do those jobs." So, a pretty good guy.
Boner forgery, most foul!
Everyone, please meet Dennis Guth, pictured above with the porny mustache, who is just your typical run-of-the-mill Iowa Republican state senator who happens to want a record of which people in Iowa are official fans of the D. Stop laughing, this is a normal serious bill from a normal serious person.
Guth's bill, Senate File 2130, isn't just a directory where you can look up some hot piece o' Iowa ass to find out if they play on the samesies team. It is to protect marriage. Specifically, it would punish people for "fraudulent concealment" of their sexual orientation on a marriage license. In other words, if you are an Iowa Republican guy with a big mustache and you wanted to marry a lady, your marriage license would specifically have to say that you are a heterosexual man. But if years go by and your porn mustache turns gray and you get divorced because actually you were a closet case this whole time and now you're coming out, then you could be penalized for "fraudulent concealment" for purposes of child custody, and so on.
Now before you say something like "What in the fuck" or "We sure are glad Iowa doesn't have any other problems if they're worried about this," you should look at the text of the bill so you can make fun of it even more:
McConnell boasts about his spectacular talent to halt progress and enable tyrants.
Amy McGrath — fighter pilot and perhaps the Rebellion's last hope — emailed me personally Friday to announce she's within one point of defeating human turtle libel, Mitch McConnell. Unfortunately, I can't as yet confirm the poll she references wasn't conducted in her residence, but it's been a long week of stories about racial slurs. Forgive me for grabbing onto any hope that we might actually ditch Mitch.
McGrath reported raising $6.2 million in the final three quarters of 2019 for a total of $16.9 million, which is just $2 million less than what Alison Lundergan Grimes raised in her failed 2014 attempt to unseat McConnnell. She currently has $9.1 million cash on hand. These are potent numbers. McConnell has $9.7 million in the bank, which is obviously more but he has to convince voters he's not Mitch McConnell. That's not cheap.
McConnell's campaign manager Kevin Golden dismissed McGrath's haul as the work of
Jews and gay people liberal elites in New York and California, where conservatives insist no actual Americans live.
JERKASS: Any left-wing name on the ballot against Mitch McConnell will raise tens of millions from liberal elites in New York and California who want to eliminate Kentucky's power to shape policy in Washington. What they can't do is invent left wing voters in Kentucky who would cast a ballot for a candidate who would erase their voice like Amy McGrath.
Yes, McGrath is gonna "erase" Kentuckians voices and make them lip synch such popular liberal hits as "Representative Government" and "(I Can't Get No) Sham Trials." Donald Trump hates that last one. McGrath might've been born in Ohio, where all of Kentucky's slaves once fled, but she grew up in Kentucky and has every right to represent it in the Senate. She's also a combat veteran and a goddamn fighter pilot for the Marines. Republicans should show some respect, but these are the same people who voted for Donald Trump.
This is horrifying.
Michael Fesser of Portland, Oregon, just received $600,000 in the cash settlement sweepstakes, but this isn't another upbeat lottery story. The city of West Linn, Oregon, negotiated the settlement because Fesser, who's black, was the target of an "unwarranted racially motivated surveillance and arrest." Former (thank God) West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus used his own officers to put the smackdown on Fesser as a "favor" for a fishing buddy.
The fishing buddy was Eric Benson, owner of A&B Towing, which is located in Southeast Portland sometime in the 1950s. Fesser, who'd worked for A&B since 2004, claimed in February of 2017 that coworkers had called him racial slurs, and one had asked him what he thought of a Confederate flag that decorated a pickup truck in the parking lot. Fesser escalated his concerns to Benson, who took an unconventional approach to addressing complaints of a hostile work environment: running to his buddy Police Chief Timeus and persuading him to "investigate" bogus charges that Fesser was stealing from the company. Timeus had his officers conduct audio surveillance of Fesser at work — without a court order or a warrant.
Benson kept in close contact with West Linn Detective Tony Reeves during all this, and the two exchanged homophobic and sexually explicit text messages. They also made more racist comments about Fesser. It was gracious of Benson to include Reeves in the hostile work environment.
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