Gay Stuff

Oh, F*ck You Joe Manchin (Part 9,237)

He supports equality, sure, but not for everybody.

Senator Joe Manchin (D? -- West Virginia) announced yesterday he just can't bring himself to support national anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people because by gosh, it's got too much equality in it. That makes Manchin the sole Democrat in the Senate refusing to cosponsor the Equality Act, which would add protections for gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act. All other 46 Dems in the Senate signed on when the bill was introduced last week, but Joe Manchin says he just can't because what if trans kids in high school pee in a restroom bigots think they shouldn't pee in?

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Cops Behaving Badly

South Carolina *Crooked Sheriffs*??? You Don't F*cking Say!

Rosco P. Coltrane was more respectable.

South Carolina has produced some awesome local reporting lately. It's a vital public service because South Carolina law enforcement is corrupt AF. We shouldn't paint with too broad a brush, though. It's not like all the state's sheriffs are accused of breaking the law, just one in four.

The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, published an expose this weekend regarding rampant criminal acts among the state's sheriffs. We're talking embezzlement, bribery, and accusations of sexual assault. The newspaper requested spending records from all of the state's counties under the Freedom of Information Act, or what public officials like to call the "Oh Shit! Burn Everything!" Act. There's too much scuzziness to cover in one post so we're going to focus on a few of our favorite lowlights.

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Post-Racial America

Run, Stacey, Run!


Every part of Rebecca Traister's Stacey Abrams profile is FUCKING DELIGHTFUL. What shall we excerpt? How about this?

It was, perhaps, particularly awful for a black girl in a predominantly white elementary school in Mississippi. "Stacey may have read on the same level as the teachers," her sister Leslie recalls. "And she wasn't shy about correcting you. She was never rude, but she'd say, 'This is silly.' It was: 'What is the purpose of this finger paint? When I go home I'm reading Nancy Drew. So why am I reading Dick and Jane at school?' " Leslie laughs. "But you couldn't punish her for being smart! And she wasn't a bad child. So the teachers were like: 'Will you go do something useful then? Go make copies!' Stacey made a lot of copies." That meant she spent a lot of time with adults, like her principal, and less time with her peers, whom she studied with a kind of distant curiosity.

"I was born trying to figure out why other kids were just playing in a circle," Abrams says. "What are you doing in the circle? Duck, Duck, Goose? What is the goose supposed to do? You could be organizing; you could be producing products that are for sale. You have a circle, but how are you utilizing it?"

As an adult, Abrams made a conscious decision not to hide her braininess, unlike so many extremely smart women who've been told that their intellectual prowess is off-putting and unattractive. She knows the perceived costs of this. In her book, she writes about how "older women of every racial category" blame the fact that she is single on her achievements, while men cite her "tendency toward strong opinions" as a romantic turnoff. (In our first conversation, back in 2015, she told me, "I like to be successful at things, and I was not good at dating and so I just stopped," one of the most deeply human observations I've ever heard come out of the mouth of a politician. Four years later, she says she is very open to the possibility of a relationship.)

Go on, now, CLICK!


Won't Someone Think Of The Poor AR-15's? Oh, This Assh*le Will!

He was KIDDING about forcing all Missourians to buy semiautomatic weapons, SHEESH!

There's been another massacre with a semiautomatic rifle, so naturally, gun sales will likely boom again, as every American gun humper worries Barack Obama is coming to take their precious precious guns away. And how will they prevent tyranny then, huh? Especially because in New Zealand, Barack Obama, or his puppet, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, announced New Zealand will tighten restrictions on guns and move to ban military-style semiauto rifles altogether. Fortunately, some Americans are speaking out, since they know Liberty rests on a solid base of owning a larger personal arsenal and trolling the libs.

For starters, there's weekend "Fox & Friends" host Pete Hegseth, who proclaimed yesterday that since Beto O'Rourke is calling for renewing the assault weapons ban, now is the time to get out there and start stockpiling weapons:

And Missouri state Rep. Andrew McDaniel (R-NRA) has found himself getting all sorts of attention for a pair of pro-gun bills he introduced last month, well before the massacre. One, the "McDaniel Second Amendment Act," would mandate that everyone in Missouri over the age of 21 purchase at least one handgun, and the other, the "McDaniel Militia Act," would require everyone between 18 and 35 buy an AR-15, because duh they are in the militia! McDaniel's Militia, apparently. It is a very smart law!

Any person who qualifies as a resident on August 28, 2019, and who does not own an AR-15 shall have one year to purchase an AR-15. Any resident qualifies as a resident after August 28, 2019, and does not own an AR-15 shall purchase an AR-15 no later than one year after qualifying as a resident.

The bill would only allow you to sell your AR-15 if you have or purchase a spare, so you always have an AR-15. And yes, it specifies that particular type of gun, because that is the most Americanest gun and an AK-47 or other semiautomatic rifle would not count.

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Trump can't save you now!

We knew Paul Manafort was likely to be nabbed on state charges not long after he was sentenced to NOT QUITE ENOUGH YEARS in prison by the federal courts in Washington DC and the Eastern District of Virginia, in order to make sure he stays in prison for a long time even if President Crime Boss pardons him. (Because guess what the wannabe tinpot dictator-in-chief has zero power to do? That's right, he cannot pardon state crimes!)

What we didn't realize is that the first state indictment would literally come down while the gavel in DC Judge Amy Berman Jackson's federal courtroom in DC was still smoking. LOL! Paul Manafort has just been indicted by the state of New York on 16 counts involving mortgage fraud Manafort (allegedly) committed starting in December of 2015, involving MILLIONS in fraudulent loans. Specifically there are three counts of mortgage fraud, and an additional count of attempted mortgage fraud, which is the thing where you try to move on some mortgage fraud like a bitch but you can't get there.

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State/Local Politics

Gavin Newsom Kills Death Penalty In California Dead

'I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death' -- Justice Harry Blackmun, 1994.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order today placing a moratorium on executions in the state for the rest of his term. In his remarks on the decision, Newsom said capital punishment has not prevented crime, and that the death penalty has discriminated against people of color and the mentally ill. The order will also end California's protocol for performing legal injections, and shut down the execution chamber at San Quentin Prison. Newsom said the execution equipment was being removed from the death chamber even as he spoke.

The executive order means the executions of 737 inmates on death row will be put on hold indefinitely, although if California voters decide not to repeal the existing death penalty law by referendum, some future governor could resume executions with another executive order. No inmates will be released under the order.

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In the best possible way, holy shit!

Arkansas Sen. Stephanie Flowers on 'stand your ground' bill

The Arkansas state Senate Judiciary Committee considered an NRA-approved "Stand Your Ground" bill Wednesday. Good news: It failed to move out of committee. Better news: We have this video of state Sen. Stephanie Flowers, the only African-American on the committee, giving her colleagues holy hell for what "stand your ground" means to communities of color, and that's a higher likelihood of people getting murdered and the killers walking away without charges. And she was NOT happy about a call to rush the bill through with limited debate:

I'll be as quick as I can, as quick as it takes to kill somebody I guess. You want me to be that quick. ... It doesn't take much to look on the local news every night and see how many black kids, black boys, black men are being killed with these Stand Your Ground defenses that these people raise, and they get off. So I take issue with that. I'm the only person here of color. I am a mother, too. And I have a son. And I care as much for my son as y'all care for y'all's. But my son doesn't walk the same path as yours does. So this debate deserves more time.

When Flowers raised her voice and said she felt frightened by members of the legislature carrying concealed weapons, committee chair Alan Clark told her she had to stop talking.

"No I don't," Flowers responded. "What the hell you gonna do, shoot me?"

"Senator," said Clark.

"Senator, shit," responded Flowers.

"I'm telling you, this deserves more attention," she said. "You want to come up here with all these NRA bills and all these bills that ALEC has. I'm talking about my son's life! And I'm talking about the lives of other black kids!"

The statistics back her up: A 2017 study found gun homicides in Florida resulted in an "abrupt and sustained increase in the monthly homicide rate" following the passage of that state's "stand your ground" law.

After the bill failed in committee, sponsor Bob Ballinger insisted one of the Republicans on the panel "made a bad vote" and accidentally voted against it. Too bad, so sad! But "an attempt to expunge the vote failed," according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Ballinger intends to re-introduce the bill later in the session so more people who need shooting can get shot.

[Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Arkansas Times]

Confused how to comment on a "shortpost"? Click the headline. You're welcome.

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Wanna Watch A Republican Legislator Scream About Anal Sex For A Full Minute?

Washington Rep. Brad Klippert REALLY wants to put kids on the sex offenders registry for sexting.

This Monday, legislators in the Washington state House passed legislation meant to decriminalize teen sexting. Currently, the law charges teens with felony distribution of child pornography, a conviction that can and has put them on the sex offenders registry for the rest of their lives. According to Representative Noel Frame, 50 minors have been charged with distributing child pornography since this became the law in 2017.

Is it stupid for a teenager to send a dick pic? Sure it is! But it's not a thing that should land someone on the sex offenders registry for the rest of their lives. Putting anyone on it for something like this undermines the entire purpose and legitimacy of the registry, which is meant to protect people from offenders who pose an actual danger to them. There is an obvious difference between someone who is a rapist or a child molester and an idiot teenager who sends a picture of her boobs to her boyfriend. Being on the sex offenders registry limits where someone can work, where they can live, so if you're going to put someone on it, it really better be for a damn good reason.

Via The Stranger:

Frame's bill would prevent kids from being charged with a felony for possessing naked photos of themselves. Minors sharing naked photos, however, could be charged with a simple or gross misdemeanor if the person in the photo is between 13 and 17-years-old. Distributing images of kids 12 and under will still be a class B felony.

Frame argues that the bill is designed to educate kids, decriminalize possession so that they can come forward and report exploitation, and implement reasonable accountability measures for when they're sharing photos in a way that could potentially harm other kids. Existing laws around malicious distribution and harassment will still be in place, Frame says, so kids who share photos on a revenge-porn tear will still be subject to those statutes.

Seems fine enough, right? Well, not according to Republicans in the House, who urged legislators to support an amendment to the bill proposed by school resource officer and Pentecostal preacher (natch) Rep. Brad Klippert.

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Texas Gov Knows Who F*cked Up His 'Illegals Voting' Scam, And It Was ... NOT THE DEMS????

Greg Abbott, we don't even know you anymore.

Texas's great big hunt to manufacture some outrage over "legal aliens illegally registered to vote" started falling apart almost as soon as it was announced, since it was based on bad assumptions and bad use of data. Secretary of State David Whitley breathlessly announced in January his office had compiled a list of 98,000 registered voters listed as non-citizens by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), which runs the driver's license office. Worse, since 1996, some 58,000 of 'em had voted!!! Wingnut media and Donald Trump took to wailing about voter fraud even as nit-pickers pointed out the data was crap, because the DPS only had records on people who said they weren't citizens when they applied for a driver's license or photo ID. Tons of people on the list actually been naturalized citizens later, and were completely legal to vote. In fact, as three federal lawsuits against the fake list of suspicious voters have proceeded, DPS officials have said 25,000 people on the list had already proven they were citizens when Whitley's office released it. Long story short, it's a massive clusterfuck that's proving to be a huge embarrassment to both Whitley and to Gov. Greg Abbott, who appointed Whitley to the post in December.

And now that Whitley is facing a very difficult confirmation fight in the state Senate (yeah, he's been in the job with no "acting" title; we dunno, it's fucking Texas), Abbott has finally taken a brave stance on who's responsible for the embarrassing fucktangle: Not Whitley, who did the shitty "analysis," but DPS chief Steve McCraw, for generating the data in the first place. This is a bit of a problem since, as the invaluable Texas Tribune reports, DPS made clear to the SecState's office the data was flawed from the get-go.

Still, Abbot makes a compelling case, if by "compelling" you mean he's good at pointing anywhere but his shit-covered appointee and yelling "SOMETHING STINKS!"

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N.H. Men Don Pearls To Show Moms Who Oppose Gun Murders Are Stupid And Dumb

Pearls on swine.

Moms Demand Action is a grassroots organization that advocates for sensible solutions to gun violence (i.e. not more guns). Concerned citizens came out to the New Hampshire State House today to show their support for House Bill 687. The "red flag" legislation would help keep guns out of the hands of people who are an immediate threat to themselves and others. Gun rights advocates hate HB687, probably because it would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, whose money is as good as anyone else's.

Women shared heart-rending stories about the personal impact of gun violence on their lives. Meanwhile, some of the male pro-gun lawmakers thought it would be cool to wear strings of cheap pearls to mock the Moms Demand Action volunteers. Happy Women's History Month! We guess Turning Points USA bogarted the diapers.

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New NC GOP Congressional Candidate Gonna Stuff Your Ballot Box ... WITH SEXXX SECRETS

North Carolina really knows how to pick 'em.

GOP congressional candidate Stony Rushing -- the dumbass gun range owner endorsed by Mark Harris in the Republican primary for the do-over election for North Carolina's district nine seat -- certainly has a fascinating history, as detailed by Judd Legum at Popular Information. The Boss Hogg-cosplaying county commissioner is a fan of conspiracy theories, and accuses Democrats of being ultimately responsible for the election fraud scandal that caused the state Board of Elections to order a new election, even if all the cheating was done by Republican operatives. So it shouldn't be the least bit surprising to find Rushing has a seriously stupid little dirty tricks game in his own past. How did you guess it involves the family-values Bible humper getting caught up in a sex affair? He even admitted that much in a sworn deposition, so ain't no "allegedlys" about it.

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Florida GOPer Real Sorry He Called Pregnant Women 'Host Bodies'


Florida House Speaker José Oliva made a real splash on CBS Miami on Thursday morning when he popped by to discuss several anti-abortion bills being introduced in the state.

Though Oliva describes himself as a "libertarian" who thinks people should be able to do what they want without government interference, he said he just wasn't so sure about reproductive rights and subsequently went on a bizarre rant in which he repeatedly referred to human women as "host bodies."

Yes, that's right, HOST BODIES.

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We Got Your 'Liberal Media' Hanging

(We mean it is our dick.)

The supposed "liberal media" is often desperate to prove that it has no personal affection for liberals or Democrats and especially those who are both. Eric Boehlert over at Daily Kos detailed how the press paid less attention to 2018's Blue Wave than it did to 2010's Tea Party "revolution."

Last year, during Trump's first midterm election cycle, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News aired 274 minutes on the topic, according to monitoring done by television news researcher Andrew Tyndall, who recently emailed his annual findings to followers. But during Obama's first midterm election cycle in 2010, the same network newscasts aired an astounding 666 minutes when tea party activists rallied against the Democratic president and helped the GOP take control of the House.

666! Spooky. How is the media less pumped up about midterms that elect a historic number of kickass women versus midterms that sent to DC a historic number of racist kooks? It's also not just the quantity of coverage but the quality. After the 2010 "shellacking," most news outlets were quick to write Barack Obama's political obituary. The New Republic declared in November 2010 that the midterm results "amply illustrated Obama's political failure." This is a relatively liberal publication. More conservative-leaning media just suggested that Obama quit already. It was all over. "The facts" and America had spoken.

Conversely, the media had started to declare the blue wave a bust in the middle of election night. (As did your Wonkette, but she was drunk on imagining taking back Texas.) LZ Granderson wrote a sobering op-ed for CNN the following day:

Yes, the party took the House but the blue wave was not the tsunami party leadership had hoped it would be. This is in large part because the Democratic Party is still searching for its post 2008 identity.

But if the party is to build momentum from the 2018 midterm, and not just tread water, leadership must spend more time defining what it is about and less time vilifying what it isn't. After all, people don't eat steak because it's not tofu. They eat steak because it's steak.

This sort of sad sack coverage was typical, even though Democrats gained 40 seats (maybe 41 after a non-fixed election in North Carolina). More attention was also paid to losses in long shot races (Georgia and Texas) than to significant victories in Wisconsin and Michigan. Kyrsten Sinema's flipping of an Arizona Senate seat was met with collective shrugs. She's awesome, though, even if she might be our queer, fashion-forward Joe Manchin.

Brett Stephens, who the New York Times employs for some reason, cautioned that the midterms were a "warning" for Democrats to reach out more to Republicans and the "other America" (i.e. white people). No one wrote pieces like that after the 2010 rout because it would've been just as stupid. The media consistently paints GOP victories as actual victories and Democratic ones as pyrrhic at best.

It's also not just elections. After Michael Cohen rolled on Donald Trump during his testimony to the House Oversight Committee, the usual suspects in punditry went on a "both sides" tear. Professional eye-roll generator Chris Cillizza produced a bipartisan list of "winners" and "losers" from the public hearing. The president's personal lawyer testifies that he's a racist and a crook, but Cillizza wants to split the difference and slime the Muslim lady. He even offers a pat on the back to Jim Jordan, who behaved like Tom Hagen defending Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

Democrats defeated Republicans nationwide on Election Day by almost 9 million votes, the largest margin since Watergate. It's an unqualified ass whooping that the media has spent the past few months qualifying. Conservatives are never going to respect the press or even challenge a president who openly attacks journalists. We're all better off if the media stopped trying to appeal to them. They were never interested in "fairness" anyway.

[Daily Kos / CNN]

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Mark Harris Drops Out Of NC-9 Election Do-Over, So Boss Hogg Will Have To Git Those Duke Boys

Real Piece of Work to replace Real Piece of Work.

Poor Mark Harris won't ever go to Congress now. After the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted last week to hold a new election for the Ninth Congressional District, Harris announced Tuesday that his health is simply too frail for him to face the rigors of campaigning. Especially since last week's vote came following testimony showing how a campaign operative hired by Harris had engaged in systematic tampering with absentee ballots in two counties, and that Harris's OWN SON had told him it was illegal.

Thank goodness Harris found a successor to endorse: Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing, a rightwing nutjob who blames Democrats for Harris's trouble and has a penchant for (no, really) cosplaying as Boss Hogg, the fictional corrupt county commissioner from "The Dukes of Hazzard."

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Mitch McConnell SO MAD Democrats Forced GOP To Cheat In North Carolina Election

See what happens? This is what happens when you let black people vote!

In any sane reality, last week's vote to hold a new election in North Carolina's ninth congressional district following pervasive absentee ballot fraud by a GOP operative might provoke shame among Republicans. Or at least an attempt to condemn the fraud and insist that sort of thing has no place in the fine, upstanding Republican Party. Instead, ugly bag of mostly chutzpah and turtle meat Mitch McConnell insisted today that cheating by a Republican simply proves that Democrats are unbelievably corrupt when they say fraud by individual voters is not a serious problem (which of course it is not). Damn it, said McConnell, see what happens without voter ID? Also, please nobody point out that voter ID would have done absolutely fuck-all to prevent the fraud in NC-09, because the fraud didn't happen at the polls.

Guys, we think we've figured out why Republicans oppose the Green New Deal. Clearly, they worry eliminating fossil fuels might make gaslighting harder.

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Meet Daryl. Daryl Loves Carbon Dioxide. Daryl Hates When Gays Make Him Gay With Their Gay Elbows. Hi, Daryl!

Pennsylvania's official heterosexual science-understander, everybody!

In a hearing last week, Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe explained why he opposed any efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses: he just really really loves plants and vegetables, which need carbon dioxide to grow, so take THAT, you crazy radicals who want to completely eliminate CO2 from our Earth's atmosphere! We suppose there is some irony in the fact that without a certain amount of CO2, you couldn't even grow yourself a straw man, either.

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