Give it a day.
So Puerto Rico has now had three governors (the equivalent of the president in any other country) in a week. Take that, mainland United States Congress!!!
After the Puerto Rico Supreme Court found that Pedro Pierluisi was unconstitutionally sworn-in as governor and told to him vacate La Fortaleza (The Fortress, the name of the governor's mansion in Old San Juan), Wanda Vazquez Garced became the Governor of Puerto Rico. On his way out, Pierluisi released a taped statement that appeared to be filmed in front of a green screen:
Pedro Pierluisi taped this short video for the people of Puerto Rico. It was released after he left the Governor's mansion but before Wanda Vazquez was sworn in as Governor. pic.twitter.com/rPqJmTenhm
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 7, 2019
Or on the set of Lex Luthor's library in Richard Donner's Superman.
Even had Otis doing sign language!
Your Mini-Constitutional Crisis Update!
When we last checked in with the United States most
ignored favorite colony, Puerto Rico had just forced their governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to announce his resignation effective August 2 after weeks of intense protests. The protests were sparked by years of corruption and 889 pages of leaked chats involving the governor, secretary of state, and other top officials. This forced many in the administration to resign and, after a disastrous Fox News interview, Rosselló soon joined them. But this was not a tidy happy ending.
Because the secretary of state (second in line for the governorship) resigned prior to Rosselló, there was no clear answer who was next in the line of succession. By Article IV of the Constitution of Puerto Rico, Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez Garced would have been the next governor until the 2020 elections. But amid protests due to various scandals and controversies outlined by the New York Times (and probably not wanting to be in charge in a shitshow), Ms. Vázquez Garced announced she didn't want the job.
With the deadline bearing down, Rosselló announced July 31 that he had chosen
Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia as the new secretary of state to fill the vacancy left by Luis G. Rivera Marín. This effectively made him the next in line and successor as governor, so crisis averted! Just kidding.
This guy again!
We will never be rid of Scott Walker. Wisconsin voters finally gave him the boot, but he's like a case of drug-resistant gonorrhea, never really gone. This time he's reared his little pinhead in Michigan to fight the scourge of voter-approved bipartisan redistricting commissions, which infringe on the sacred First Amendment right of Republicans to ratfuck themselves into permanent majorities forever. This tyrannical exclusion of politicians and party officials from the redistricting process based on the will of 61 percent of Michigan voters will not stand, man! Not if Scott Walker has anything to say about it!
Last November, Michigan voters approved a state constitutional amendment removing the redistricting process from the wildly gerrymandered legislature and putting it in the hands of a 13-member commission composed of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five unaffiliated voters. Commissioners will be randomly selected from a pool of applicants, using "accepted statistical weighting methods to ensure that the pools, as closely as possible, mirror the geographic and demographic makeup of the state," and the majority and minority leaders of both houses of the Michigan legislature will each be allowed to strike five applicants from the pool. Politicians, party officials, lobbyists, and their families are ineligible for positions on the commission, which pay about $40,000 per year.
Which all sounds pretty fair, right?
But lower-level Republican Party officials are howling like stuck pigs that the state is illegally discriminating against them and penalizing them for exercising their First Amendment right to affiliate with a political party and hold state office. Scott Walker's group The National Republican Redistricting Trust and its affiliate Fair Lines America (George Orwell would be proud!) are backing a consortium of GOP hacks in their lawsuit asking the US District Court in Grand Rapids to declare the entire law unconstitutional and return mapmaking power to the Republican-controlled legislature as White Jesus intended.
Meghan McCain, whom Wonkette recently exposed as John McCain's secret daughter, is the subject of an Elle magazine profile that is not in any way worth your time. The only interesting factoid revealed during the trip on the Megs McCabe Borderline Express is that she sometimes shows up drunk or hungover ALLEGEDLY for whatever it is she contributes to "The View" ... ALLEGEDLY. By her. She alleges.
[McCain] remembers one night last year when she went out with her colleagues for drinks and got tipsy. The next morning, when it was time to film, she carried the convivial attitude of the previous night onto the show, and a crass line slipped out of her mouth: "I call her Crooked Hillary!" she said. "I hate Hillary Clinton."
"Tipsy" is an interesting word choice. Doris Day got "tipsy." Megs McCabe likes to spend her free time at the creek, doing Jell-O shots and shooting guns. That lady (Wonkette is not judging) gets smashed.
This is a new low even for her.
Robert Mueller testified before Congress yesterday and was frustratingly neither a meme nor literally the Terminator. This has led many Republicans to question the former special counsel's mental acuity and overall health. These are the same partisan hacks who believe Donald Trump is of sound racist mind and stuffed-crust body.
The president's pet liar, Kellyanne Conway, turned up on Hugh Hewitt's radio show this morning, and they both expressed their dismay that Democrats had dug up Mueller's corpse and paraded him around the House of Representatives like a Weekend at Bernie's remake.
HEWITT: My wonderfully soft-hearted wife could not watch yesterday because it was so uncomfortable to watch an obviously distressed Robert Mueller fumbling for answers, confused -- some used the term "feeble" -- and leaving the impression that he'd not been in charge of this investigation... It left an impression that a terrible abuse of power has been going on.
Hewitt is correct: Mueller's testimony did leave an impression that a "terrible abuse of power" has taken place, but it's the current White House squatter who's the perpetrator. Conway seized on Hewitt's comment to feed his listeners some baseless conspiracy theories.
How bad is the gerrymandering decision? It's really, really bad.
I got no jokes, people. This is a very bad day for democracy. We lost Rucho v. Common Cause, the gerrymandering case, in a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts giving Republican legislatures a thumbs up to ratfuck electoral maps forever. Reasoning that the Framers anticipated gerrymanders and failed to do anything about them, Roberts calls congressional districts a political question outside the purview of the courts.
Excessive partisanship in districting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust. But the fact that such gerrymandering is "incompatible with democratic principles," Arizona State Legislature, 576 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 1), does not mean that the solution lies with the federal judiciary. We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.
It's a darn shame that Republican minorities use maps to systematically entrench themselves in power despite the fact that they consistently get fewer votes than Democrats. Roberts really feels for people trapped in districts where their votes don't count, but dangitall, the Court's hands are tied.
The Mapf*cker's Revenge.
Okay, POP QUIZ! Ready?
If documentary evidence emerges to prove that your client lied to the court, should you:
A. Attempt to amend your testimony and throw yourself on the mercy of the court?
B. Loudly insist that those documents are PRIVILEGED and accuse your opponent of professional misconduct?
Pencils down! If you are a sane person, the answer is A. But if you and your clients are Republicans, the answer is B, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And so we find ourselves in yet another day of legal batshittery in the Trump era. TGIF!
A day late and no dollars short, it's the Sunday Show Rundown!
Today we bring you the idiotic punditry from the last guy rocking a Caesar cut and a Stone Cold Steve Austin goatee combo on national TV, Chuck Todd. It was merely five minutes into NBC's "Meet The Press" when Todd decided to use some revisionist history to do what he does best: "Both Sides" the shit out the news. Watch the clip blow and let's break this nonsense down.
Rudy Giuliani Talking In Stupid Circles Till You Get So Dizzy You Have To Hold On To The Kitchen Floor
It's your Sunday Show Rundown!
After Attorney General Bill "The Worst" Barr (beating Roseanne for the title) released a five-page memo and gave Trump almost a month to positively spin the Mueller Report, the real Mueller Report (with redactions) was finally released on Thursday. And despite Barr giving a pre-release preamble of bullshit, it was not good for Trump. So it was time to load Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani into a trebuchet of bullshit and launch him into the Sunday shows to say stupid things!
Really, Ohio? This guy is the best you've got?
A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, and Congressman Jim Jordan has a very, very little bit of knowledge. He may not be smart enough to realize that a doctor groping the genitals of wrestlers is a crime, but Jordan is pretty good at taking orders. So when the word came down that the newest GOP strategy requires everyone to jump up and down shouting CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE NOW ILLEGAL!!!!1!, Jim Jordan got right down to business.
Just this morning we told you about Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jordan encouraging Trump's accountants to flout a congressional subpoena because investigating Trump's financial documents is ILLEGAL. Last week he told Big Pharma execs not to cooperate with an ILLEGAL congressional investigation into drug pricing. And now he's trying to put an inquiry into vote suppression into a full nelson because, you guessed it, helping people vote is ILLEGAL.
It's almost enough to make us miss Trey Gowdy. But not quite.
Not for nothing, but this isn't over.
BREAKING! The guy who sent Trump a letter saying, "Presidents are kings who can't obstruct justice, hire me!" has found that the president didn't obstruct justice! Thanks, Bill Barr -- you're a hell of a wingman.
While we await the release of the REAL Mueller report, as opposed to the Barr whitewash letter, let's take a moment to remind ourselves that the president's legal troubles are in no way at an end. He might well get away with playing footsie with the Russians, winking and nodding about sanctions and gratefully accepting the massive electoral boost from Putin's pet hackers, but he's not getting away with all of it. So here's a helpful list of the pending legal threats to the Trumpland gangsters.
And she's letting us play redactin bingo AGAIN! :D
Get your chips out, kids, it's time for another round of Redaction Bingo Funtimes! Because in addition to the eleventy other HOLEESHIIIT stories today, we just got the transcript from Paul Manafort's sentencing hearing Monday in DC District Court. So let's hurry up and see if we can make sense of this gobbledygook before the clock strikes indictment-thirty again. Ready?
The [REDACTED] Scheme. And by [REDACTED] we mean 'KICKBACK.'
When last this dipshit graced these pages, prosecutors had just entered a heavily redacted 100-page affidavit by an FBI agent attesting to Manafort's lil' lying problem. We stared at the black bars until we saw spots, and then decided that prosecutors had inadvertently stumbled upon a kickback scheme at Trump's Rebuilding America PAC, set up by the president's good pal Tom Barrack, who shows up errrrywhere in this mess -- the inauguration, the PAC, schemes to enrich his company off connections to the Trump administration. This guy is BAD NEWS.
But back to the PAC! It looked to us like Manafort put his two buddies Laurance Gay and Ken McKay in charge of hoovering up unlimited Ameros from big money Trump donors, but he'd worked out a side deal to get a 3 percent cough, cough commission on the ad buys, most of which went through GOP favorite Multi Media Services (MMS). MMS then turned around and paid $125,000 directly to Manafort's lawyers at WilmerHale in the summer of 2017. Which is very, extremely not normal.
Roger Stone gets indicited, federal workers miss ANOTHER paycheck, and Jared's security problem. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump's shutdown enters Day 33, federal workers go on strike, and nobody wants the wall. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump's shutdown enters day 28, and Michael Cohen was ordered to lie to Congress. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today!
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