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Science

NJ Anti-Vaxxers Somehow Protesting Traffic Problems In Fort Lee

They're not about to let Big Room Scheduling push them around.

At the New Jersey statehouse Thursday, hundreds of angry anti-vaxxers packed into a hearing room to demand their voices be heard. It was the wrong hearing room, but they demanded to be heard anyway, because this is America.

The crowd wanted to express their opposition to a bill that would eliminate the state's religious exemption for vaccine requirements, but they somehow ended up in a room where a completely unrelated hearing for New Jersey Transit was scheduled. And no, they weren't going anywhere -- just like ambulances in Fort Lee.

Gosh, you mean to say that even when they were informed of the facts and advised that if they wanted to achieve their aims, they should literally change where they stood, they refused to listen? Seems like that's very on-brand. Good for them, refusing to be told how to live their lives by a bunch of so-called "experts" and "authorities."

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Immigrants

Border Patrol Sending All The Cubans Back To Mexico Even After They Win Asylum

They're not Norwegian dissidents, after all.

Not content with its plan to effectively end asylum for new applicants, the Trump administration has dreamed up some brand new fuckery to hit asylum-seekers with. Immigration attorneys tell Buzzfeed News and the San Diego Union-Tribune the Border Patrol has taken to issuing fake court notices to asylum seekers, as a way of keeping out immigrants who could otherwise legally be allowed into the US. Yes, you read that right. We have to repeat it to believe it ourselves: The Border Patrol is telling migrants they have nonexistent court dates so they won't exercise their rights to legally enter the land of freedom and equal justice under law.

Because without respect for the law, you don't have a country, right? Doesn't mean the law has to respect you.

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Guns

Court Hears 'What Is Definition Of Machinegun' Case, Everybody Murdered With One Still Dead

But is a part 'designed and intended for use converting a weapon into a machinegun' actually turning it into a machine gun? And how many angels on the head of this pin?

Earlier this week in Cincinnati, lawyers for the Department of Justice and anti-gun-control nonprofit Gun Owners of America sparred over what makes a weapon a machine gun.

Newly manufactured automatic machine guns have been illegal in the United States since 1986. But, until earlier this year, civilians could legally possess devices bump stocks, which allow a user to mimic the firing motion of a fully automatic weapon.

Oddly enough, the Trump administration is on the right side of this one, defending the bump stock ban against challenges from people who care more about guns than gun violence.

On Wednesday, a conservative panel of the conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Gun Owners of America v. Barr, a case challenging the ban on bump stocks. And right now, things aren't looking great for the future of the bump stock ban.

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Trump

The 856,973 Most Perfect Tweets President Stable Genius Sent Today

OR IS IT?

GOTCHA LAST, we are not including any of that dumbfuck's tweets in this post. They are all irrelevant, they are all whiny, but did you know he's sent over 100 of them today? He is really handling this day of impeachment very well! And doing a lot of work in the process, obviously, like a worker bee who works. Politico reports that his tweetstorm started at 6:51 a.m. with a "Fox & Friends" thing, and, well, it's been going all day, with tweets and retweets and more retweets and more tweets and oh my god, that man does not have even one friend.

His tweets include whining, complaining, lying, and also bitching and moaning. Oh yeah, and he attacked Greta Thunberg, a child, because he is SUPER J she got Person Of The Year from TIME. In other words, a typical Trump day, just even more tweety than usual.

Politico notes that Trump broke the number he hit Sunday, which was 105 tweets and retweets. Dunno why people harbor suspicions that the president SNIFF might SNIFF have a habit of SNIFF snorting things.

If you'd like to see the president stabling his genius all over Twitter, you know where it is.

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Impeachment

Matt Gaetz Wraps Impeachment Hearing Around Tree

Wonder what Stephanie Grisham thinks about this!

You know ... there are people who should say certain things, and people who should not. For instance, that time OJ Simpson wrote If I Did It -- it would probably have been a good idea for him to just not say that collection of words at that particular time.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-I'm Fine, Ossifer) gave us a good case study in this today during the impeachment markup hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Desperate to make the hearing about (debunked) allegations of nefarious Biden activity in Ukraine, and NOT Trump's attempted election-stealing crimes, Gaetz thought it would be good to talk about Hunter Biden's substance abuse issues and DUI.

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Religion

Donald Trump And Two Bigot Pastors Wish You All A Merry Jewish Christmas

Happy Hanukkah! You're all going to Hell!

Donald Trump held a White House reception to mark Hanukkah 11 days early yesterday, complete with a couple of popular rightwing Christian pastors, a signing ceremony for his great big I Heart The Jews executive order, and Jared Kushner closing out the event by lighting a menorah, and everyone chanting the traditional Hanukkah greeting, "Four more years!" We always thought it was "Next year in Jerusalem," and on a whole 'nother holiday, but what do we know? We leave a place at the table for Elijah Cummings.

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2016 Presidential Election

IG Will Investigate Rudy And The FBI's New York Field Office As Soon As We're All Dead

Or maybe he won't, dunno, gonna have to check his schedule.

Many fascinating shitshows happened in Wednesday's hearing with Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans lied and pretended the central focus of Horowitz's report was that there were some unexplained fuckups with the FISA applications for Carter Page, when the actual main point -- you could tell because Horowitz listed it first every time he was asked -- was that the Trump-Russia investigation was correctly predicated, without political bias. All the rest is "room for growth" at the FBI.

But another thing came up in the hearing. We all know Rudy Giuliani is currently committing election inteference crimes on behalf of his client Donald Trump in Ukraine, that Giuliani is under criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York for Ukraine stuff and God knows what else, and that his best Chucklefuck pals Lev and Igor are currently under indictment related to those schemes.

But do you remember Rudy's first weirdass scheme for Trump, the one that happened in the month leading up to the 2016 election?

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Ukraine

White House: Ukraine Shakedown Was Just 'Policy Process,' Totally Normal, Everything You Learned In HS Civics Class

Lyin' sumbitches!

In its continuing effort to prove that Donald Trump didn't shake down the president of Ukraine by withholding congressionally appropriated defense funds to extort him to smear Joe Biden, the Office of Management and Budget has produced yet another post hoc memo 'splaining that the hold on the money was totally normal and appropriate. Nothing to see here, move along folks! At least three media outlets -- the Washington Post, Roll Call, and the Washington Examiner -- have copies of the memo. And yet not a single one of them has been allowed publish the memo in its entirety. Which is a pretty good indication that OMB isn't entirely confident in the persuasiveness of its legal reasoning.

In a word, this memo is horseshit.

The Post reports that Donald Trump only learned of the aid to Ukraine from a June 19 article in the Washington Examiner on the importance of US military assistance to Ukraine's war to repel the Russian invasion in Crimea. At which point, President Russophile lost his shit at the prospect of the US doing anything to piss off his pal Putin. A fact the GOP conveniently forgets when they brag that Trump provided Ukraine with Javelin missiles eventually.

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Environment

Time Honors Greta Thunberg, Nobody Being Insane About It Even At All

It's a greenhouse gas, gas, gas.

Time magazine named teen climate activist Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year yesterday, making her, at 16, the youngest person to ever receive the title (and no, all those fresh off the shelf computers in 1983 don't count). The cover article noted that she'd started her climate protests alone in August 2018, skipping school to stand in front of the Parliament building in Stockholm with a sign reading "Skolstrejk för klimatet: 'School Strike for Climate.'" The idea caught on, and now Greta is the face of what finally seems to be a global surge in people demanding their governments address a civilizational crisis.

Somehow, a memo must have gone around Greater Wingnuttia, because all of a sudden yesterday rightwingers were OUTRAGED that Time hadn't given the honor to the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Sure thing! Remember how concern for the protesters in Hong Kong has been one of the great causes of the American Right all year? Nope, us either.

Donald Trump Jr. set the tone, and just look at the sick burn he tossed at Time, with Greta's own words, wow, such burn, many libs triggered.

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Impeachment

Procedural BULLLLLLLLLLSH*T. Let's Mark Up The Trump Articles Of Impeachment!

Is it a liveblog? Or a livestream? OH WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.

Hey, are you guys watching this bullshit? Or rather should we say, ARE YOU WATCHING HISTORY BEING MADE?

The hearing in the House Judiciary Committee to mark up the impeachment articles against Donald Trump has been going for a few minutes, and so far what we have seen is what is known in Congress-ese as procedural buuuuuulllllllllllllshit. And that's how it's going to go during today's markup, in large part. Democrats will be normal, and Republicans will offer as many amendments as they can to slow down the process and gum it up and just generally be obnoxious.

So far, Jerry Nadler offered an amendment to change references to "Donald J. Trump" to "Donald John Trump" in the impeachment. Ranking member Doug Collins said Nadler's amendment was DUMB.

Then Jim Jordan offered an amendment to delete all of the first article of impeachment, you know, the one with the Ukraine crimes. This happened after last night, when Jordan explained that Democrats are only doing this because they don't like Trump supporters. While that may be true, actually we are doing this because Trump committed a fuckload of crimes and is a danger to the national security of the republic.

Glad we could clear that up, Jim!

This livestream will probably turn into a liveblog as the day goes on and bullshit happens, but for now, if you'd like to watch, here is a video to you!

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Crime

Feds Finally Find Mexican Voter Fraud In California. He Voted For Trump.

He LOVES the Republican Party, and doesn't see what he did wrong.

They finally found a voter frauder! Gustavo Araujo Lerma, 64, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento to three years and nine months in federal prison after being found guilty in August of passport fraud, voting by an alien, and aggravated identity theft. Lerma was almost everything the paranoid rightwing rants about in-person voting fraud and illegal immigration are obsessed with: a Mexican national who bought a US citizen's birth certificate and Social Security card in 1992 and has voted illegally in federal elections ever since then. But only once per election, not changing clothes, putting on glasses, and voting again and again. That guy still has yet to be sighted in the wild. Until then, white nationalists will have to chase church buses around on election day, because elderly black people are probably frauding like crazy.

Oh yes, and he's a very loyal Republican who not only voted for Donald Trump, he also donated to the party and got some nice swag, like

letters of thanks from the president, former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and current RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Or their autopens, at least. Stands to reason a fake Trump voter would collect a bunch of fake autographs, no?

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Culture Wars

Donald Trump Knows Where His Jews Are

This attempt to 'fight anti-Semitism' couldn't backfire, could it?

Donald Trump is reportedly all set to sign an executive order that's ostensibly aimed at cracking down on anti-Semitism on college campuses, or at least allowing the Education Department to punish schools that take part in or tolerate boycotts of Israel. But the particular mechanism Trump's using to shoehorn protections against anti-Semitism into civil-rights laws has plenty of people on the internets worried, because what the fuck is this fuckery?

The New York Times 'splainers the order's ostensible rationale:

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the department can withhold funding from any college or educational program that discriminates "on the ground of race, color, or national origin." Religion was not included among the protected categories, so Mr. Trump's order will have the effect of embracing an argument that Jews are a people or a race with a collective national origin in the Middle East, like Italian Americans or Polish Americans.

Well isn't that nice? Nothing bad could possibly come of an official declaration that American Jews are a whole 'nother nationality, could it? Sure, maybe Donald Trump already talks about Jews as if they're not really Americans, but there's no way this could have any untoward implications, apart from perhaps inflaming that old anti-Semitic slander that Jews are always a people apart, foreigners in their own land. Gosh, wonder if anyone's ever written a book on the matter?

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Russia

Trump And Lavrov Meet In Oval Office For A Little Reverse-Santy-Clausin', ALLEGEDLY

How did Evan write this while he is liveblogging? He must be a wizard.

Well, we kind of had a feeling that would go poorly.

On Tuesday, between whiny ass tweets about Nervous Nancy and Adam The Witch Paraphraser Schiff and whatever else, Donald Trump found time to tweet out a picture of his all-by-myself no-press-allowed Oval Office meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, as you can see above.

He explained in that tweet that they talked of "many things," including "Trade, Iran, North Korea, INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and Election Meddling." Oh really, sir? Did Trump get right up in that Russian's face and say "HEY NO MEDDLIN'"? Even though last time Trump was in the Oval Office snuggling with this particular Russian, we later found out that he specifically told Lavrov that he actually doesn't care about Moscow intervening in our American presidential election, not least obviously because it's one of the only two reasons he "won"? (The other was spelled C-O-M-E-Y.)

The official White House readout of the meeting -- which is obviously a lie because it's coming from the Trump White House, the real record of what happened is either being put on the super-secret server for state secrets and Trump treasons, or maybe Trump just confiscated it from a translator like he did that time in Helsinki -- also says Trump "warned against any Russian attempts to interfere in United States elections," LOL yeah OK sure.

What say you, Sergei Lavrov? Did you talk about that? Lavrov was asked the question at a presser at the Russian embassy after his meeting with Trump:

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Culture Wars

Sad Wingnut Explains Slavery Saved Souls

Also cites Jordan Peterson a lot, so you know he's smart.

Twitter brings us glimpses of the world we might otherwise not know about. We're especially fond of the medievalists who share bizarre marginalia from illuminated manuscripts, like weird (non-white) mermaids or violent rabbits. Along similar but far less pleasant lines, yesterday a tweet brought to our attention a bizarre opinion piece at the American Conservative site, in which a dude gripes about how "postmodernism" destroyed his church. That horror was exemplified, among other things, by the time a guest sermon by a mean identity-politics black person said it was "sinful" to point out the simple fact that the slave trade brought millions of Africans to Christ.

See? Every bit as odd as medieval mermaids.

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Russia

Who Wants To Watch The IG Call Lindsey Graham A IDIOT? We Do, In This Liveblog!

SHITSHOW.

What happens when Republicans have been waiting for the Department of Justice Inspector General report LIKE CHRISTMAS, because they are so obsessed with their own fever drug hallucinations that it'll TOTALLY EXONERATE Donald Trump and prove that the Russia investigation was a DEEP STATE WITCH HUNT plot designed by Hillary Clinton in order to nefariously steal the election FROM HERSELF ... and then the IG report doesn't say that at all? In fact, it says the exact opposite of that?

And then the IG goes and sits down in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is led by Trump-sucker Numero Uno Lindsey Graham?

We dunno, but we bet it's a shitshow. Let's watch TV together!

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Guns

Karma Kicks NRA In The D*ck

It's less than they deserve, but it's a start.

The NRA got 99 problems, and Letitia James is a really big one. Yesterday The New York Times reported that the New York attorney general dropped a new subpoena on the gunhumpers lobby. The NYAG has so many questions! Like did the NRA maybe make a whole bunch of illegal campaign contributions by throwing cash at GOP media vendors that happened to find its way into campaign ads for Republican candidates? And is the NRA's charitable foundation illegally funneling tax-deductible donations to the NRA lobbying arm? And how sorry is the NRA that it's chartered in New York state?

Just kidding about that last one. Letitia James already knows the answer is ALL THE SORRIES IN THE WORLD.

The AG is reportedly seeking records related to an FEC lawsuit filed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords' group alleging that "the NRA coordinated political ad spending and placement with these candidates' campaigns using a network of shell corporations, effectively evading federal contribution limits and shielding millions of dollars of political spending from public and government scrutiny in violation of FECA."

What, you don't speak lawyer? That's okay, the congresswoman included this nice picture.

In plain English, everybody in those pink boxes works at either 815 or 817 Slaters Lane in Alexandria, Virginia. And by sheer coincidence, the companies have a whole lot of staff overlap, too. Almost like these are all the same entity with some flimsy corporate dividers erected to preserve the illusion that candidates aren't illegally coordinating their ads with PACs. ALMOST.

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