2020 presidential election

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Afraid

Are you, punk?

Monday was a pretty big day for Elizabeth Warren! She was endorsed by the Working Families Party, which in 2016 had given its endorsement to Bernie Sanders; she released her plan to crack down on corruption in politics; and she gave a big speech in New York City's Washington Square Park, attended by roughly 20,000 people, according to her campaign. (The New York Times punctiliously notes "that estimate could not be independently verified.")

It was a pretty good speech! (In case the copied-from-C-SPAN version below gets pulled, her campaign has a version on the YouTubes, too, but you have to turn the audio way up to hear it.)

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speech in Washington Square Park

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Corey Lewandowski And Impeachment Hearings? RIGHT NOW? Someone Should Have Mentioned! A Liveblog.

He's gonna act like the fucking clown he is.

We don't have time to get into all the details of why Never-Was-A-White-House-Employee Corey Lewandowski will probably be a fucking asshole and refuse to answer questions for the House Judiciary Committee today, but here is the White House telling Lewandowski that he, a private citizen, should not answer Congress's questions about his interactions with Donald Trump, beyond what's in the Mueller Report, based on well-known legal principles White House Counsel Pat Cipollone found inside his asshole:

The White House had already "blocked" Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter from testifying, and until a judge finally smacks down Trump's bullshit claims of "absolute immunity" -- as in, when we get the final ruling on Don McGahn's testimony -- we guess that will be that. But Corey's gonna show up! And act like a fucking clown, obviously.

If you'll remember, Corey Lewandowski is an important star of the Mueller Report because Trump tried to get Lewandowski -- a private citizen -- to help influence Jeff Sessions's handling of the Mueller investigation, which forms one of the key acts of criminal obstruction of justice Trump committed. Also he tried to get Lewandowski to help him fire Sessions. Because that's a thing private citizens do all the time, which is why Wonkette fires Bill Barr all the time, though he refuses to leave.

To quote from Wonkette's liveblog of the Mueller Report:

OK, as obstructive incidents go, the tick-tock that starts on page 90 is HOLYSHITDUMB. Trump calls Corey Lewandowski into the Oval Office on June 19, 2017, says "Corey will you please call the Justice Department and tell Jeff Sessions they're only allowed to investigate Russian election interference OF THE FUTURE?" Because obviously NO COLLUSION, so why would Mueller want to investigate what happened in 2016? So Corey silently told Trump to fuck off and didn't do it. (To be clear, though, he tried. He even set up a meeting with Sessions, and when that didn't work out, he tried to farm the job out to Rick Dearborn. He just didn't try very hard. Still, Corey Lewandowski is a fucking idiot, and also an accessory.)

ONE MONTH LATER, Trump is like "hey Corey, did you relay my very important and normal and smart request to Jeff Sessions?" He had not, but said he would. (He was not going to.)

This is the statement Trump dictated to Corey Lewandowski, of a speech Trump wanted Jeff Sessions to give:

Back to the Wonkette liveblog of the Mueller Report:

[A] month later was when Corey finally gave the notes to Rick [Dearborn], and it was Rick who really was like UM YEAH NO. So he told Corey the situation had been dealt with, when the truth was fuck you.

To be clear, part of this request to Corey and to Rick involved how Jeff Sessions should resign if he's not willing to give the very important and normal speech pasted above, about how Trump is a genius and Robert Mueller should not check the trunk for bodies, we mean investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

So basically Trump was trying to get Corey Lewandowski -- who didn't even work for the White House -- to fire Jeff Sessions for him. Did you know that private citizens are allowed to fire the attorney general? We didn't!


All refreshed now? We are!

This is going to be a shitshow, because of course it is. But it's also the first official hearing in the impeachment investigation into Donald Trump with the first fact witness from the Mueller Report. So let's liveblog it!

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Everywhere Else News

The 'Saudi 9/11' Was Called '9/11,' You Stupid Trump A-Holes

Trump's special representative for Iran Brian Hook needs to shut his fuckin' mouth.

The other day, we mentioned that Brian Hook, Trump's special representative for Iran, might be in the running to be Trump's fourth-but-definitely-not-final national security advisor. Would you like to meet him and hear what he said yesterday about poor Saudi Arabia and the attack on its oil infrastructure that we are all supposed to be weeping and gnashing our breasts about? Is the one thing your Folgers is missing today is RAGE?

Hook was doing a telephone briefing with Congress on Monday night, and he attempted to explain how the Saudis are feeling right now, because if there's one thing you give a fuck about, it's the Saudi royal family's feelings:

Awwwwww, FUCK OFF.

Seriously, there is not enough "go fuck yourself" in the world, both for Brian Hook for sharing the Saudis' feelings in this way, and for the Saudis, who apparently give Trump all his marching orders, including when it's time to bomb some shit in Saudi Arabia's name.

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Culture Wars

Milo's Dream De-Furred

Will he just ... explode?

Milo Yiannopoulos, the sad rightwing loser who lost his job at Breitbart, got his book contract cancelled, and has generally become the real life example of that old Onion headline about Marilyn Manson being reduced to going door to door trying to outrage people, has suffered yet another indignity. Yiannopoulos announced Saturday on Telegram -- one of the only social media platforms that hasn't banned him -- that he was registered for this year's big Midwest FurFest, a furry convention held in the Chicago suburbs, and that he had found his true fursona, a snow leopard.

We don't know if this illustration originated with Milo, or if it was a gift from the Furry Raiders, who tweeted it Sunday. That's the fun-loving alt-right furry bunch that likes to wear Nazi-esque armbands, with a pawprint replacing the swastika, so they're TOTALLY NOT NAZIS, OK? They're just in favor of "free expression" and "tolerance," especially for racists and anti-semites.

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Ben's gonna need a composite sketch, or maybe a Scratch-n-Sniff version, FOR JOURNALISM.

We have found the winner of the unofficial right-wing contest for who can come up with the stupidest reason to say this week's New York Times piece on Brett Kavanaugh, which revealed another sexual assault accusation against the man whose name is pretty much synonymous with "rape van" in our minds, was fake news.

Surprise, it's Ben Shapiro! He is just disappointed that nobody has given a full accounting of what Brett Kavanaugh's penis looks like, whether there's anything fun or exciting about it, has it ever heard the wolf cry to the new corn moon, does it paint with all the colors of the wind, is it purple like an eggplant, does it appear as a lighthouse against the horizon after the thrashing of a storm at sea?


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Nice Time! Your Hippie 'Wind' And 'Solar' Gonna Murder Fracking DEAD

Just as long as short-sighted greedheads aren't running everything. Uh-oh.

One of the big rightwing talking points against pursuing clean energy just got a lot weaker, thanks to a pair of new reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute. We've been told forever that wind and solar (and large-scale storage) will never ever be cheap enough to be economically viable, despite the huge decline in costs of renewable energy over the past decade. Now, the RMI studies project that by 2035, renewable energy will actually undercut the costs of natural gas, to the point that 90 percent of planned new natural gas power plants, and the pipelines that would need to be built to fuel them, won't be able to compete with clean energy. This is good news for the climate, and good news for electric ratepayers -- but only if utilities decide to skip building those gas power plants, which run the risk of becoming expensive white elephants whose losses would have to be eaten by ratepayers.

Instead of natural gas, which has become hugely cheap due to all the fracking, being a "bridge" from coal and oil to a clean energy future, it might make a lot more economic sense for utilities to expand their use of clean sources now, and remember that somebody trying to sell you a bridge is probably running a con.

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​And Now For Something Completely Different, The President's Brain Is Broken


News of Brett Kavanaugh's latest sexual assault allegation and Donald Trump conducting war policy on Saudi Prince Mohamnmad Bone Saw's orders and Trump deporting sick kids so they can die gettin' you down? Take a five-minute break to laugh at the president for being a fucking buffoon! Sure, you won't feel "better" afterward, but that's because feeling better doesn't exist anymore.

Anyway, what in the entire fuck is this?

"These Radical Left Democrats are CRAZY! Obama Netflix?" the president asks, like he is a normal person asking a normal question that other people are also asking. "OBAMA NETFLIX?!?!?!?!"

SOMEBODY'S a Jealous Janet today! Instead of investigating the obvious reality that for Donald Trump, the presidency is little more than an elaborate grifting scheme, he just really wants the House Judiciary Committee to investigate ... the fact that Barack Obama got a big book deal, because he's the most recent former president and one of the most admired men in the world? And also that Barack and Michelle Obama (most admired woman in the world) inked a deal to produce documentaries with Netflix?

What does the president think Congress would investigate about those things, were Congress to drop everything and follow the bouncing ball of the president's ball-shrinking insecurities and hallucinations?

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Who Needs To Be Shot? Fox News Has Some Ideas!

Our cold dead hands.

Fox News was certainly in a mood to reassure America's gun humpers that guns are good, guns make America good, and if you have a gun, you should definitely use it against anyone you think is a threat, because the Constitution says you get to shoot people. IT'S IN THE CONSTITUTION. Which is why, when Beto O'Rourke said he would like to ban and then have a mandatory buyback of certain beloved semiautomatic rifles, then repeated it with a Hell Yes in last Thursday's debate, Fox News talkers on Friday were happy to help their viewers with target selection. They stopped short of threatening Beto O'Rourke himself, but they're very certain there will be a bloodbath if anyone tries to take the guns. If that's not proof that America's responsible gun owners are law abiding, what is?

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Everywhere Else News

Who Will Trump Bomb? Only Saudi Arabia Can Say.

As it is written in your bible constitution.

Poor John Bolton! All he's ever wanted his whole life was to bomb Iran. And in the five minutes since he got tweetfired -- after 17 months of prostrating himself before That Orange Idiot -- it looks like we're going to do it. Dumb fuckin' luck!

Which is not to diminish the seriousness of a conflict which might be worse than Vietnam and will, in the best of scenarios, kill tens of thousands of people. But it is pretty ironic. Oil prices dropped precipitously when Bolton got fired, as everyone deducted the Iran war premium. And then someone bombed the shit out of Saudi Arabia's oil facilities in Abqaiq, knocking half their production offline. So now oil prices are soaring, and Trump says he's ready to liquidate our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, so Americans should definitely not blame him for rising prices at the pump in the run-up to the 2020 election, more or less. Also, can't you idiots see we're swimming in a delicious sea of oil?

Anyway, THIS IS ALL FINE, and as soon as Saudi Arabia gives us our marching orders, the bombings will begin.

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New Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegations? WHAT? No! Really? THE F*CK YOU SAY!

Everyone could have seen this coming, unless they were personally invested in not seeing it coming.

NO! Say it is not so!

You mean to tell us that after then-GOP-Senator Jeff Flake acceded to the need for at least the thinnest bullshit appearance of a bullshit FBI investigation into the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, which did indeed result in an absolutely bullshit appearance of an FBI investigation, where Donald Trump and the GOP had their stranger danger fingers on the scale the entire time ... you mean there are more allegations against Supreme Court Justice Rape Van, even now, many months after the Senate barely confirmed him? WHAT?

Everyone could have seen this coming, unless they were personally invested in not seeing it coming.

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USCIS: 'Stop Us, Or More Sick Immigrant Kids Will Survive!'

Let ICE handle it. They'll send a lot more people home to die.

A top Trump immigration official recommended that Homeland Security take away the ability of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to let seriously ill immigrants to stay in the US, according to a copy of her memo turned up by Politico. The memo, written by USCIS Policy and Strategy Chief Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, lays out several options for (acting) Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan before requesting that he strip USCIS of any authority to approve "medical deferred action" to prevent deportation of immigrants receiving lifesaving treatment. While the memo isn't signed by Trump's top white nationalist creeper Stephen Miller, Politico doesn't say whether it was tested for traces of his DNA. We have to assume it was still a little sticky when it was delivered to (acting) USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli.

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Saudi Arabia

Rand Paul Vs. Liz Cheney: LET THEM FIGHT.

It's your Sunday show rundown!

We begin this Sunday with the feud between Rand Paul and Liz Cheney. The feud seems to have begun when Paul rightfully called out neocons like the newly fired John Bolton, for their desire for "endless wars." This, of course, pissed off the scion of Dick Cheney enough that she responded via Twitter:

So began a volley of insults from the nepotistic children of rightwing scumbags, while somehow still remembering to kiss Donald Trump's ass while doing it.

So we pick up with this on CNN's State of The Union, where Jake Tapper asked Paul about this and whether it was more than the petty squabbling of spoiled assclowns:

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Nice Time

Come Up For Air And Have Some Nice Things

We've got a new book club coming up, some George Orwell history, Molly Ivins, and non-Newtonian cat physics.

The news continues to be terrible, and so we continue to need these weekly reminders that not everything is horrible -- just the biggest things going on right now! There, don't you feel a lot better?

In hyper-local news, a Boise man continues to enjoy having adopted a cat recently:

What's the deal with cats and boxes, huh?

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Trump: What If We Just Did The Obama Iran Deal ... BUT STUPIDER?

Art of the Deal, everyone!

Let's end this week the way we start and end every week: by shaking our heads and marveling at how goshdang DUMB the current occupant of the Oval Office is.

After all the fanfare of Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal ostensibly because the Iranians weren't in compliance (they were), but really because it had Obama's name on it, Trump has decided that maybe he would like to do some Obama Iran deal for himself, albeit in a specifically dumber and Trumpier way.

Approximately eight and one quarter seconds after Trump ridded himself of this meddlesome John Bolton, the Daily Beast reported:

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2020 presidential election

Get Elizabeth Warren's Government Hands Off Our Social Security! Just Kidding, Liz, FEEL IT UP PROPER!

As an Old Fart, Yr Dox Zoom is all for this!

Elizabeth Warren has a crazy idea: Instead of acting like Paul Ryan should ever have been taken seriously, even once, how about we improve Social Security? She proposes increasing monthly Social Security benefits for everyone currently receiving them by $200 a month, and also taking steps to improve the retirement incomes of those who traditionally have not been able to get much out of Social Security because the system was never very kind to some kinds of workers: "women and caregivers, low-income workers, public sector workers, students and job-seekers, and people with disabilities." Not surprisingly, it's paid for by increasing Social Security taxes on the top two percent of Americans, who currently pay a far smaller portion of their income into the system than most workers.

It's a heck of a good plan, and an economic analysis by Mark Zandy of Moody's Analytics found it would raise 4.9 million seniors out of poverty, increase economic growth, stabilize the Social Security program, and even reduce the federal deficit by a trillion dollars over 10 years. Let's take a look at this sucker, and then have a nice nap. Is there a draft in here?

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Russia Wants Its CIA Asset Spy Back, HECKUVA JOB, EVERYONE!

Fucking hell.

That didn't take long.

Ayup, that is the spy we've been talking about all week long, the one who helped the Obama administration figure out things like "Vladimir Putin personally ordered the ratfucking operation to hurt Hillary Clinton and help install Dear Orange Leader Trump in office." Heckuva job, literally everyone!

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