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The D.C. Gossip
Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago
We understand that the hard-working hard workers of the Transportation Security Administration are just trying to keep us safe from Muslims and stuff, and that is why they make us take off our shoes and strip down until we are practically nekkid and get X-rayed and put our laptops in their own special little boxes and buy those little itty bitty tubes of toothpaste and why they decided not to permit pocket knives on planes after all, but we did not realize that we also needed to be protected from teen-aged girls in, like, clothes.
Here’s what happened, as my daughter described it in text messages to us: she was at the station where the TSA checks IDs. She said the officer was “glaring” at her and mumbling. She said, “Excuse me?” and he said, “You’re only 15, COVER YOURSELF!” in a hostile tone. She said she was shaken up by his abusive manner.
Let us just say thanks, TSA, for protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe from shirt-wearing teens and their morality/freedom-endangering half-inch midriff gaps. God Bless ‘Merica.
Golly, it’s been, what, a whole bunch of hours since someone on the right said something incredibly stupid about abortion, so we guess this is right on schedule: Texas Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Like We Had To Say “R”) has a whole new reason to ban abortion at 20 weeks, and maybe earlier: masturbating fetuses. Specifically, the former OB/GYN said,
Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful … They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?
Great question, idiot! Burgess’s comments immediately vaulted him to the top of the “Saying Dumb Things With Your Mouth Hole Open” division in Wonkette’s coveted Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year Awards, and launched the twitter hashtag #MasturbatingFetuses, which was played out about as quickly as you’d expect.
In a typical outpouring of liberal meanness, a lot of people pointed out stupid details like the fact that actual newborn babbies — you know, the ones that can be ignored by the GOP, because they are no longer in the womb, and hence are Takers — are pretty much critters of pure reflex, incapable of purposeful movements, so only a House GOP Science Expert could think that a 20-week fetus would be sitting in the womb and touching itself for pleasure. Yes, this does mean that the authors of babby books are part of the pro-abortion plot. (Rep. Burgess is not on the Science committee, but he is Vice Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, so he can bring his Science Knowledge to the debate. And of course he’s a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, which, yes, is an actual thing.) But wait a minute, how do 15-week fetuses even get porn inside the womb anyway?
One has to wonder how the Catholic Church will react to this. On the one hand, life is sacred. On the other hand, masturbating is just plain wrong. And in the smallest hand, fetuses are pleasuring themselves. Maybe fetuses can be encouraged to practice abstinence, or to just say Hail Marys and think about baseball until birth? Or maybe the next papal encyclical will include a section on why some people are born blind.
But let’s assume for the sake of comedy that Burgess is correct (in case we weren’t clear, he is not.) Will there be slogans, like “If the fetus whacks it, you can’t extract it”? How is fapping formed? What does this mean for transvaginal ultrasounds? Should we consider investing in new shaming wands that can play Beethoven — or Barry White? – just in case there’s a fetus in there? And might we have to reconsider whether Oedipus was such a weirdo after all, if we ourselves could not stop jerkin’ it inside our preggo mamas, back when we were just little tadpoles with our little tent poles? Ew, we have gone too far. Now we know what it feels like to be Michael Burgess!
Ha-ha, that is actually a joke. Nobody wants to know how that feels.
Note: This story was pretty much the only thing anyone wanted to talk about in the chatcave today, so despite Yr Doktor Zoom’s byline above, this piece became a collaborative effort, a veritable Masturbating Fetus on the Orient Express. As Alex Ruthrauff put it, if you can’t make a joke out of masturbating fetuses, you have no business writing for Wonkette. Participants included Alex, Dok, DDM, and Kaili, but we’re not saying who wrote what, because socialism of course, and plausible deniability also. We hope this exercise proves useful to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in its efforts to find the funny side of abortion.
Rick Perry Line-Item Vetoes Funding For Public Integrity Unit Because Some Lady Got A DWI, Makes Sense To Us
So you see, Texas has this thing called a Public Integrity Unit, which is supposed to ride herd on public officials’ ethics and spending and stuff. Except now it doesn’t do anything, because Gov. Rick Perry used his line-item veto to eliminate funding for the Unit after the “some lady” in our headline, Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg, who runs the Public Integrity Unit, went and got a DWI citation. Lehmberg is a Democrat, but of course her party affiliation has nothing to do with this, what a vile notion! So Perry isn’t exactly saying “Someone, somewhere is a drunk driver, therefore impeach.” But it’s almost that bad, because in announcing his veto of the Public Integrity Unit’s $7.5 million appropriation (less than .01% of Texas’s FY2012-13 budget), Perry had this to say (emphasis ours):
“Despite the otherwise good work the Public Integrity Unit’s employees, I cannot in good conscience support continued State funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence. This unit is in no other way held accountable to state taxpayers, except through the State budgetary process. I therefore object to and disapprove of this appropriation.”
“Good work, all other employees of the Public Integrity Unit, please enjoy being fired!”
Would it shock you to learn that Perry’s “no other way” assertion is incorrect in at least two ways? One, many Texas DAs, including Travis County’s, are elected. So voters could definitely make sure she is “held accountable.” Of course, she’s not up for election again for a while, which brings us to Two: A former political opponent of Lehmberg’s, Rick Reed, is suing to have her removed on the grounds that Texas law provides for the removal of public officials due to “misconduct and intoxication on or off duty.” Wow, Texans, maybe you recall how your definitely-a-public-official Governor was high as a kite on delicious painkillers during our favorite debate of all time? Are the wheels turning, Texans?
So now Texas House Democrats are asking “What if she just resigns, like Rick says he wants? Could we maybe keep a useful good-gummint watchdog in place THEN?” House Republican leaders “didn’t have an immediate response” to this. Maybe because it really isn’t about the drunk driving lady? Just try googling “Texas DA accused” and you’ll wonder how Texas still has a criminal justice system at all, if they’re applying this kind of logic across the board. (Hint: they are not!)
Rick Perry doesn’t care, he’ll just throw out the baby, the bath water, the tub, whatever. Do not let Rick Perry wash your babies! Ultimately, there’s no way to override his veto, because Texas, so the best Democrats and “integrity-lovers” can do is de-fund something else to make up for the cuts. Who will starve for justice today? Will it be you, patriot?
Attention Wonklahomans! The 2013 Wonk Your Brains Out Midwest-Southwest Orgy and World Tour is on its exciting “Homeward Bound: The Quickening” leg (also known as the “Hey, does this Prius smell funny to you?” leg), and is swinging back through the Sooner State tonight! As part of an exclusive two-day side tour of cities whose names sound like boys who get picked on in 8th grade, Wonk Your Brains Out follows its trip to Lawrence, Kansas with a stop in Norman, Oklahoma. TONIGHT! Tues., June 18, 6 p.m. at The Mont, 1300 Classen Blvd Norman, OK 73071, (405) 329-3330. We’ll be in the Tiki Hut! (It’s Doktor Zoom’s birthday, but he won’t be there, so maybe you could email him some beer!)
There are only a few stops left after this, but do not worry — this sucker’s going to wrap up like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, leaving behind a smoking crater of awesomeness that people will talk about for years, not lamely petering out like The X-Files after David Duchovny left. (We are hoping not to be the finale of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, with everyone getting fired, but who knows? Or maybe the whole tour has just been Tommy Westphal’s daydream. If we wake up in bed with circa 1990 Suzanne Pleshette, we’ll be sure to let you know.) Here’s what’s left!
Thurs., June 20: Dallas. Location still TBD! Shut up, we’ll figure it out and tell you!
Fri.-Sat., June 21-22: Austin. (Party Saturday, 6 p.m.! But you could still buy us dinner on Friday maybe, if’n you want!) East Side Pies, 1401 Rosewood Ave. ATX 78702. NOTE: We are buying the pizzas, but this one is BYOB! Impress us with your elegant and whimsical brews!!!
Sun., June 23: Las Cruces, New Mexico. Or not. Probably not, right? We never want to drive anywhere again in our lives. Until the next Wonkenparty.
You know, we really can’t figure out anymore if right-wingers are playing some four-dimensional meta chess sorta thing these days or have really become untethered from reality or why even choose. Exhibit eleventy: the weird tendency of wingnuts to cry foul when people have the temerity to quote them. Witness Bradlee Dean, who wanted to sue yr Wonkette SO BAD because we pointed out that by saying he wanted to use the rod of correction on kids he actually wanted to use the rod of correction on kids. Late to the game but no less weird is superstar E.W. Jackson, running for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, who would like to explain that it is NOT FAIR NOT FAIR to quote his previous political statements because Jesus and the Constitution:
It’s a sad commentary on our media and culture today that anybody that expresses a Biblical worldview is marginalized and, frankly, not too put too fine a point on it, persecuted for doing so. And I think that’s a sad commentary…
Our Founding Fathers believed that there should never be a religious test and yet that’s what we’re seeing today. We’re seeing people apply a religious test and they’re saying anything you believed or said as a minister disqualifies you from serving as Lt. Governor because you hold to these Biblical views.
How do we even start to provide rudimentary First Amendment education to this fool? It isn’t a religious test for voters to decide that your words mean you are a terrifying pile of stupid. It isn’t a religious test to publish YOUR OWN FREAKING WORDS to explain that you are a terrifying pile of stupid. It is only a religious test if someone wouldn’t let you on the ballot because you are a religious person. You can also get on the ballot even if you are a terrifying bit of stupid! Sadly, we’d love to live in a world where access to office was restricted from the terrifying piles of stupid people, but we are not that fortunate.
Just to tempt fate, we’re going to link to a greatest hits collection of quotes from Jackson that are utter nonsense about teh gheys and how Bamz is a Muslin. Sir, we eagerly await your lawsuit.
Unless you have been living under a rock over the last few years, you know that the GOP has a not-so-new idea to try to win elections: prevent those who would vote against them from being able to vote, in the name of stopping voter fraud, which doesn’t really exist in any meaningful way, but is good for scaring wingnuts. Because why bother changing your core beliefs when you can just keep folks you don’t like (read: minorities) from voting? Yay democracy!
Well, the Supreme Court (we say SCOTUS for our nerd cred, of course) has now weighed in, and decided to put the brakes on some states’ efforts to make it harder to vote. Since this is kinda a BFD, let’s Wonksplain, shall we?
Take it away, fair goddess of all things court-related Nina Totenberg:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a state-mandated requirement that prospective voters in Arizona provide proof of citizenship to be able to register to vote in national elections…The case before the court involved a federal law that allows people to register to vote by mail using a federal form that requires the registrant to swear, under penalty of perjury, that he or she is a citizen. Arizona went further than the federal law and added a requirement that the registrant provide a passport, birth certificate or other proof of citizenship to register.
But the Supreme Court, by a 7-2 vote, invalidated the state requirement as pre-empted by federal law.
Back in 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, an act designed to make it easier for people to vote. All ya gotta do is fill out a simple form, swear under penalty of perjury that you are a citizen, and whiz-bang-boom you can throw your vote away on Ralph Nader! The idea and intent behind the law was to do away with complicated and overburdensome state registration forms; Congress went so far as to say that states had to “accept and use” the federal form, because tyranny federal preemption.
Then in 2004 some Arizona Exceptionalists decided that they would accept and use the federal form, but also have people fill out a complicated and overburdensome state form, too. Because apparently “accept and use” is tough to understand.
So along comes this school janitor named Jesus Gonzalez. On the day he becomes a U.S. citizen, he tried to register to vote, because he was excited about democracy or something, the poor deluded fool. Here’s the story:
The first time he tried to register, he followed instructions on the state form and supplied his naturalization number. But, as it turned out, the state had no way to verify that number with the Department of Homeland Security. On his next try, he entered his driver’s license number — another document the state said would be acceptable. But, as it turned out, because he had obtained his license when he was a legal resident but not yet a citizen, the license was flagged as issued to a “foreigner,” unbeknownst to him.
Man, that sucks. And fuck you, Arizona, for literally denying Jesus the right to vote – TWICE. And yay for SCOTUS for correcting this miscarriage of justice.
Even more surprising was the fact that Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion. Scalia is one of the most conservative justices, known for taking hunting trips with VPOTUS Dick Cheney and not getting shot in the face.
Back to the case. According to people who study this stuff, it wasn’t just Hispanics who were denied voter registration:
[A]fter the Arizona proof of citizenship law was enacted, voter registration dropped 44 percent in the state’s most populous county. And it wasn’t just Hispanics who were being turned down, Perales [person who knows stuff] says. Eighty percent of those who were rejected were non-Hispanic whites.
Of course, there are rightwing nutjobs who are all argle bargle over this SCOTUS decision. Since Wonket is known far and wide as an impartial political site, it is only fair to give rat-faced gasbags who try to use race-baiting to get people stirred up about this issue a little space. Quoted in WaPo:
“The integrity of our nation’s elections suffered a blow today from the Supreme Court,” said Tom Fitton, president of the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. “This issue takes on increasing urgency with the prospect of 11 million illegal immigrants being given amnesty. It is essential that our elections be secured by ensuring that only citizens register to vote.”
Is this whole voter fraud by people even a thing? According to a thorough look at the issue over elections since 2000, there were about 400 cases of voter registration fraud… out of 146 million registered voters in the United States. So if trends hold true, and if Congress magically grants amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants (not gonna happen), that means that there might be 30 or so who fraudulently register to vote. Not exactly what we could call a blow to our national elections.
And, apparently, no one told Tom Fitton that this law actually prevented mostly non-Hispanic whites from registering to vote. Then again, maybe Tom has a fear of socialist Canadians overrunning the Northern border and illegally voting in Arizona. Seems like a reasonable fear. Maybe he should join Rep. Steve King cowering in his office.
Hero/Traitor/Leakey Man Edward Snowden had a heart-to-heart talk with the internet on Monday, via Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian. We considered liveblooging it, but decided that liveblogging someone else’s liveblog would be just a little more meta than would be healthy. Still, for a bit over 90 minutes, Snowden answered some 18 out of several bejillion questions submitted through the Guardian website and Twitter. New details! Clarifications! Hints of what may come next! Douchey self-promotion! (Did he answer our tweeted question, “Have you even read Catch-22?” He did not! Glenn, man, you gotta set up another of these things!)
Rather than try to summarize the entire Q & A & TL;DR, we’ll simply hit a few highlights. Like for instance, is Edward Snowden a hero for dragging the details of the surveillance state out into the open, or is he a self-aggrandizing jerk? He most certainly is! Frankly, we don’t mind too much that he’s kind of an insufferable bastard, because we are not planning to gay marry him or to take even the shortest of road trips with him. On the other hand, the information he’s providing — if it turns out to be accurate, which is one hell of an if — might be pretty useful to The Conversation we’re supposedly going to have about all this stuff. Probably the biggest question is whether there’s any truth to his assertion that midlevel analysts have the ability to go digging past metadata and actually get into the content of emails and phone calls:
[Glenn Greenwald]: When you say “someone at NSA still has the content of your communications” – what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?
Both. If I target for example an email address … and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time – and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.
Do we know whether that’s actually the case? It doesn’t seem unpossible, at the very least. Snowden also stuck to his insistence that the only safeguards against are procedural, not technical:
US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it’s important to understand that policy protection is no protection — policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection — a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the “widest allowable aperture,” and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border.
Oh hello there, four-car metaphor pile-up. Are we ratcheting? Are we filtering? Are we ingesting? Are we ingesting filtered ratchets, because delish! Clearly our metadata is in great danger of being strained or eated, so we’re thinking our metadata should start packing a gun, because our metadata loves those way more than butter.
Hey, what about the spy question? Is Snowden going to give our precious secrets to Red China? He actually answered this twice, sort of, initially saying
Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn’t I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.
Which we think would be kind of cool, though we are not entirely sure it’s accurate either in terms of biology or the PRC’s debriefing process. Asked to explicitly say whether he had given classified information to the Chinese government, Snowden flatly denied doing so:
I have had no contact with the Chinese government. Just like with the Guardian and the Washington Post, I only work with journalists.
Well, and with Glenn Greenwald…zing!
Speaking of whom, Snowden seems to have maybe cleared up one point of contention: In response to a question about whether he’d lied about his salary being $200K when Booz Allen Hamilton said it was $122K, Snowden said
I was debriefed by Glenn and his peers over a number of days, and not all of those conversations were recorded. The statement I made about earnings was that $200,000 was my “career high” salary. I had to take pay cuts in the course of pursuing specific work. Booz was not the most I’ve been paid.
We were not aware that talking to Glenn Greenwald about your criminally outsized salary constituted a “debriefing” but apparently when you are a wannabe spy, every conversation is a thrilling Bond-esque adventure.
Finally, in response to a question about whether he’s a traitor, Snowden kind of won us over with this bit:
Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.
We are sure that folks that died in WWII or got the Purple Heart or maybe got a Kennedy Honoree thing like Barbra Streisand did would be happy to know that their efforts pale in comparison to having Cheney call you a nasty hyperbole name. Edward Snowden, freedom fighter. Again, kind of douchey and self-important, but anyone who pisses off Dick Cheney can’t be all bad.
Dumbfuck screech machine Dana Loesch and her merry band of ideological brethren have a giant confused today, which is a not uncommon condition for stupid people punching above their intellectual weight. What, aside from the usual stuff like the operating principle behind doorknobs, has the wingnutteratti more befuddled than Lindsay Graham in a West Hollywood bathhouse?
You may recall how the GOP for months made a big stink about the Senate not passing a budget for four years and how this was the greatest threat to democracy since Sparta installed the Thirty Tyrants in Athens. Then the Democrats in the Senate called the bluff by actually passing a budget and moved on to the next step of the process: naming members to go into conference with the House to reconcile the budgets passed by both chambers. GOP talking point defused!
Except no, because anchor babby Ted Cruz (R-Canadianistan), perhaps antsy after going ten full minutes without being a dick about something, used his senatorial privileges to block the Dems from appointing any senators to the conference committee unless they would agree ahead of time to not raise taxes or the debt ceiling. Which is a little like the Miami Heat saying they will be happy to play in the NBA Finals if the San Antonio Spurs will agree ahead of time to never take any three-point shots. Even the ever-crotchety Old Man McCain thought this was a dick move by his own party, and John McCain knows from dick moves.
So the whole budgeting process was at an impasse again when Harry Reid, a moderate Mormon who actually won Nevada in his last election, did a little trolling on the Twitter:
Which of course led to much herp and derp amongst the scholarly minds in deepest Wingnuttia. The geniuses at Twitchy called Reid a hypocrite because 86 days is NOTHING compared to “four years without a budget,” which means that the GOP automagically has the obstructionist moral high ground until at least 2016. And logic master Dana Loesch also weighed in:
Oh please spare us all the public posturing. You noodle heads know damn well that majority rule means absolutely nothing in the Senate, where sixty votes are now needed to so much as decide what to order in for lunch, or one senator can place a hold on anything for no reason other than he skipped his morning Metamucil and is feeling grouchy. In fact, one of the reasons Cruz is pulling this stunt is to ensure that a debt ceiling increase will need sixty votes. But let us sum it up for you anyway, using small words and simple sentences so you’ll be sure to understand: you nagged the Senate to pass a budget. The Senate passed a budget. Now your wingnut lickspittle of a senator is holding up the next step in the process just to be an asshole, because Obama. It’s so simple even a St. Louis community college dropout should be able to understand.
Today occasions the publication of James O’Keefe’s first foray into longform prose, with his semi-autobiographical fantasy novel Breakthrough: I Did Not Title This After Chapter 6 In Andrew Breitbart’s Memoir! Shut Up! Jesus! Shut the Hell Up!
Even though Mary McCue — James’ publicist at Threshold Editions (an embarrassing division of Simon & Shuster) — mysteriously never sent us the advanced copy she promised, we still managed to secure one for ourselves after a quick undercover sting. Having now read the damn thing, we are here to spare you the $16-to-$26 you might have spent ironically purchasing this book. (But yes, that is a purchase link. Can’t say we didn’t warn you.)
After the jump, prepare to enact O’Keefe’s “Veritas Rule” #24: Walk a mile in your enemy’s head. (Siqq, bro! These rules are INTENSE! We’re In Yo Heeeeeaaaaaaaaaaad!!!!!)
13. Veritas Rule #24.
Oh, sure: You’ll laugh at this rule now, but wait until you’re in a Monster® energy drink-sponsored chess tournament and some John Galt-level libertarian genius is clomping his romper stompers all up in your nasty mind. Veritas! UHHHH!
There are somewhere around thirty nine of these rules in James’ book, in what is clearly a bid for equal footing with Saul Alinsky — the left-wing community organizer whose 1971 Rules for Radicals pretty much animates ever aspect of James O’Keefe’s sad, pathetic life. To a lesser extent, he might also be trying to position himself as the next Roger Stone, the flamboyant, bodybuilding GOP campaign strategist whose Stone’s Rules basically appeal to the same beta males who read The Game. (Sample Stone’s Rules: “Never complain, never explain,” and “Don’t order fish at a steakhouse.”) Too numerous and specific to be of much use to anyone, some of O’Keefe’s Veritas Rules aren’t even rules, like this one:
12. Veritas Rule #28
Please God, let this error in judgment make it into the final version of O’Keefe’s book. In general, a fun game to play with all of these Veritas Rules is to pretend that they’re from something like Sun Tzu’s The Fart of War: An Unauthorized Parody.
11. James O’Keefe vs. The Racist Meme
Just so we’re all clear, the word “meme” is 8 years older than James O’Keefe. It’s been recognized as a word by the Oxford English Dictionary for over a decade now. There’s a readily available Wikipedia entry — whatever a “Wikipedia” is — that James or his ghost writers Joe Dirt and Rudy Giuliani could have perused to better understand these “meme” things.
What’s especially great about this is that James is expecting his audience to laugh here, thinking, “Duh-huh, huh. Yeah.” And he’s probably right! He is catering to his readership better than we — or anyone save for the ghostwriting Dream Team of Joe Dirt and Rudy Giuliani — could ever dream of.
10. James O’Keefe vs. The Partisan “Anti-Journalists” at Talking Points Memo
Ad revenue. This took less than a minute to determine.
A whole separate list could have been made citing all the times James asks his reader to Google something to prove one of his own inane points; or crows with pride over his total ignorance on a subject, be it how to dress convincingly undercover as a gay man (page 260), or “what Halliburton was doing wrong other than being large, profitable and once run by Dick Cheney” (page 100). If you dwell on this for too long, it is actually profoundly upsetting, so let’s press forward.
9. James O’Keefe vs. True Hardship.
BREAKING: Silver Spoon Found Up Butt. Pages upon pages of blue-collar humblebrags in this book are completely undone by these four short sentences. After calling Andrew Breitbart’s home in Brentwood “modest,” after describing the scrimping and saving he performed to buy his used sailboat, after harping on the credit card debt he took on to make the ACORN videos, after a full chapter describing the physical hard labor he would do renovating buildings with his father and grandfather as a ten-year-old—after all that rhetorical effort—James O’Keefe accidentally hits the reset button. Americans have a right to know how O’Keefe felt using single-ply, generic brand toilet paper for the first time. Would he be willing to eat a “hot dog” with the Roosevelts in Hyde Park, to save England?
8. James O’Keefe vs. The Press at His 12/21/2011 Court Appearance
Sure, James. We look forward to seeing which media outlet runs with the headline “James O’Keefe: ‘I was Lindsay Lohan’” first.
7. The Treadstone Mess Moves Sideways
Robert Ludlum was a master of suspense, but not even he could have imagined what it would feel like to have special ed. teacher Alissa Ploshnick pursue you on a New Jersey State Highway traveling 25 MPH over the speed limit. In 1997, Ploshnick had received a commendation letter from then-President Bill Clinton for risking her life to save students from a speeding van. She was a formidable opponent and looking for payback. O’Keefe had first gotten Ploshnick suspended and docked a pay raise with his “Teachers Gone Wild” videos, which targeted an NJEA teacher’s union event. Then, he repeatedly harassed at home and her workplace with an unhidden camera. Inexplicably, Ploshnick reacted to one of these confrontations by following O’Keefe’s car. What a fucking insane bitch! If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it mirrors the plot of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Vintage le Carré!
6. The Idyll in the Rue Plumet vs. the Epic in the Rue St. Denis
It was difficult selecting which of O’Keefe’s incredibly self-aggrandizing comparisons were worth presenting in this list. Over the course of Breakthrough, he also compares himself to Philippe Petit, the French tightrope walker who crossed between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, and also an undocumented migrant worker, because — get this — he reports the stories that professional journalists won’t! However, in terms of literal operatic scope and implied suffering relative to moral turpitude, absolutely nothing, nothing, comes close to comparing oneself to Jean Valjean in Les fucking Misérables. But credit where it’s due — he refrains from comparing himself to Oskar Schindler.
5. Rough Sex
Every time one of James O’Keefe’s liberal enemies comes along claiming he’s got a problem with women, our first thought is, “What are you people even talking about?”
4. Brett Kimberlin “has focused his demonic energy on conservative citizen journalists”
In 1996, New Yorker reporter Mark Singer published Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin. Clocking in at 381 pages, it is a book.
3. Hot for Plaintiff
What kind of hussy let’s her braided hair cascade dramatically to her waist, in a court of law!?!?!?! What’s great is that the body of this chapter is meant to dispel the idea that James O’Keefe did anything untoward with respect to Nadia Naffe, the African American conservative activist who alleges that James drugged her in his parents’ converted barn before stealing her panties and wireless mouse. Following one of Stone’s Rules, O’Keefe then makes the baseless counter-accusation that (all along!) Nadia Naffe had been a left-wing agent provocateur. Nowhere in Stone’s Rules, however, does it say you should come across as physically aroused by someone accusing you of sexual assault. We don’t want to speak for Roger Stone, but our guess would be that he’d advise against it.
2. Project Veritas Defector Izzy Santa vs. Classic Rock
In 2010, Izzy Santa famously lost her job as executive director of Project Veritas for warning CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau of O’Keefe’s plan to stage a “comical faux seduction” on board his used Catalina sailboat. But did she need to? Did she not understand that it was all a hilarious joke? When she famously told Boudreau, “You’re about to be punk’d,” did she think “punk’d” meant “seduced”?
It’s fun imagining James O’Keefe donning a translucent raincoat over his suit, Patrick Bateman-style, and fetching a chainsaw as he tries to explain it all to a cowering, terrified Izzy Santa.
“It’s from ‘Dirty Laundry,’ Izzy! The second single off Don Henley’s 1982 album I Can’t Stand Still, Henley’s first solo album and a masterpiece melding then-fashionable new wave with the soft rock sensibility that Henley had mastered as frontman for The Eagles.” O’Keefe would then swallow an unidentified prescription medication, continuing, “The musicianship on I Can’t Stand Still has a real consummate professionalism sorely lacking in 1982′s other new wave hits, which often came from performers much younger than Henley!”
“Some artists perform better when forced to collaborate within an ensemble,” O’Keefe would explain, his voice shouting over the revving two-stroke motor. “Phil Collins in Genesis, FOR EXAMPLE, BUT NOT DON HENLEY! HE REALLY CAME INTO HIS OWN HERE!”
1. James O’Keefe vs. The Very First Sentence of the Whole Book.
“And it’s not just the multi-platinum sixth studio album of hard rock juggernaut Van Halen — the last that the band would produce with their iconic frontman, David Lee Roth. No. Izzy, put the fuzzy handcuffs starboard, near the bowl of condoms. 1984 is much more than that.”
Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy by James O’Keefe. Threshold Editions, 2013.
The New Republic ran a profile of Rand Paul Monday with the headline “President Rand Paul.” But why? Does anyone at the usually pretty sober and realistic (except for when they were really excited for the Iraq War) New Republic actually believe Rand Paul is a real contender?
Maaaaaybe not, is Yr Wonkette’s reasoned opinion, especially considering the alternative title in TNR’s promotional email: “The Real Rand Paul (Can’t Be Trusted).” Are these provocative headlines just click bait, or is this one of those too-clever-by-far “11-dimensional chess” things we’ve been hearing about? Maybe TNR’s editors are hoping to superficially legitimize the rather weird and squeaky Rand Paul as a 2016 contender, so they can sit back and watch the fireworks as the GOP tears itself apart again in a long, bloody primary? They can’t seriously think “President Rand Paul” is anything other than a punchline, right?
Who cares, this article is hilarious either way. There’s a fun anecdote about how, during a speech to some white conservative types (plus one Sudanese fellow), “The room grew noticeably quieter” when Paul started talking about the need for the GOP to do immigration reform and minority outreach. But “it was a good silence, the silence of people listening.” Oh right, just like the silence we get when we float the idea of a threesome with our romantic partners—they are listening so hard!
It was also instructive as well as funny to read about how Mitch McConnell is now pretty much Rand Paul’s lackey:
But perhaps Paul’s biggest coup is the influence he has gained over McConnell. The Senate minority leader faces a tough reelection bid in 2014 — his poll numbers in Kentucky have been inversely proportional to Paul’s rising ones — and he has found that his state’s Republican apparatus is being slowly converted into a bastion of Paulism. It is no coincidence that, last fall, McConnell hired Benton, Paul’s political guru, to run his campaign. “McConnell realized that he can’t get reelected without Rand Paul’s support,” says a Senate staffer.
Poor Mitch McConnell, we are so sorry that the monster you helped create, nourished, and loosed upon the world is threatening to eat you next!
The article goes on to recall the time Rand Paul visited historically black Howard University and gave a nice, condescending lecture about how Lincoln was a Republican, did you know that, kids? And many eyes were rolled. (We were actually not aware that Randy followed this up with a visit to Simmons, another historically black college, and managed not to be an enormous dick that time. Partial credit, we guess.) It was also fun to recall the Aqua Buddha incident, and how it somehow did not disqualify him from being in the Senate? Kentucky, we guess.
And of course, we are repeatedly reminded of Paul’s “epic” filibuster about domestic drones, which was kinda admirable, except the article neglects to mention that he hilariously contradicted himself like a week later when he said he’d be totally cool if the police wanted to use drones to take out people who robbed liquor stores, or really whatever. If consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, does that mean Rand Paul is a genius? Transitive Property of Aphorisms, maybe?
We think you’ll agree, this just had to be block quoted in its entirety:
In the Senate, Paul gained a reputation as an eccentric. Staffers often saw him wandering alone into the cafeteria, buying his own coffee, getting his own lunch — which, they noted, was not very senatorial. Nor was his reputation for reading every page of every bill. He wrote legislation in his own, Paulian way. He introduced a budget that would have eviscerated the Departments of Transportation, Energy, State, and Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Food and Drug Administration; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It would have entirely defunded the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Government Printing Office. His amendment to the Parental Consent Act warned that psychiatrists might “label a person’s disagreement with the psychiatrist’s political beliefs a mental disorder.” He authored a bill to legalize interstate traffic in unpasteurized milk. One amendment would have nullified the congressional authorization to invade Iraq; another sought “to end mailbox use monopoly.” He also offered a triad of bills intended to make senators more diligent: the Read the Bills Act, the Write the Laws Act, and the One Subject at a Time Act. None of these measures made it to a vote.
For the really brave, the TNR article includes a photograph of a young Rand Paul gleefully dissecting a cat. Now he’s got the sociopath vote sewn up! (As if he didn’t already…)
Oh, ladies in the military. Why are you so bad at not getting sexually assaulted? We know it can’t possibly be because the military has a terrible culture about sexual assault. Of course not. The far more likely explanation is that you ladies are eccentric gold-digging whores.
Yes, the illustrious John Derbyshire, who got fired from the National Review for being too racist, which we thought was actually unpossible, has now dropped by Taki’s Magazine — the home base for that thing that got him fired — to explain how of course sexual assault happens and is the lady’s fault when it does but of course sexual assault does not happen because ladies are liars. Let’s hit the highlights and low points, shall we? Hahaha, do not be ridiculose, there are only low points.
Women are strongly attracted to higher-status men. If male officers are in command of units containing women, human nature is placed under severe strain.
That is some grade-A level Men’s Rights Activist level thinking right there, John Derbyshire, but it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Does this mean that ladies throw themselves at the high-ranking menz and therefore it can never be rape? Does it mean that the high-ranking menz will take advantage of the loose ladies because they’re kings of some portion of a military fiefdom? Is the “severe strain” on the men because they can’t stop getting all rape-y or on the women because they won’t be able to stop throwing themselves at any man with stars and bars? Does John Derbyshire understand that military commanders are not actually horses at stud? So many questions.
But wait! It isn’t just that the ladies can’t keep it in their pants when it comes to the officer corps, it is that they are also bottomless pits of weirdness and deception:
Men who join the military are responding to widespread, innate male urges—the urge to break things and kill people, for example. Women who join the military are, by contrast, outliers in their sex. They are eccentric and prone to behave eccentrically. As a designated victim group, they are especially susceptible to the associated pathologies, e.g., victim hoaxes for attention, spite, or cash reward.
Yes, men are from Mars, women are from Liarsville. The undeniable male natural urge to hulk smash is the yin to women’s yang (or should that be the other way around?) of needing to be spiteful little minxes. That is probably why ladies can’t tell the difference between rape-rape and sullen regret over one too many glasses of wine:
The terms “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault” are ambiguous and open to manipulation by unscrupulous lawyers. It is not, for example, the case that sexual intercourse comes in precisely two clearly distinguished varieties, consensual and nonconsensual. There is an entire continuum of consent, ranging from forcible kidnapping/rape, to drunk-and-I-don’t-know-what-I-was-thinking, to licensed connubial bliss.
We don’t know about you, but John Derbyshire is really the alpha and the omega of thinking about the intricacies of consent, given his incredibly nuanced thinking about black people. We’ll be sure to check in with him next time we want to be racist sexist trolling assholes.
Did you spend the past couple days so suspicious of the NSA that you had forgotten to set aside just a little bit of your suspicion for the banks? Don’t worry, we can fix that pretty quickly! Turns out Bank of America may have been foreclosing on homeowners who qualified for in-house loan modifications and the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program because — get this! – it was more profitable to put the homeowners out on the street:
Six former Bank of America Corp employees have alleged that the bank deliberately denied eligible home owners loan modifications and lied to them about the status of their mortgage payments and documents.
The bank allegedly used these tactics to shepherd homeowners into foreclosure, as well as in-house loan modifications. Both yielded the bank more profits than the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program, according to documents recently filed as part of a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court.
Yes, we know how shocked — SHOCKED — you all are to hear of this, given that there are currently 4,000,000 people in this country who may have been wrongfully foreclosed upon and many bank foreclosures occur while homeowners are in the process of loan modification. It is probably even more shocking that many of these people may have been wrongfully foreclosed upon so the bank can make a few extra bucks, given that BofA could afford to quadruple CEO Brian Moynihan’s pay package but a couple years ago. But once again, this is why we are not the CEO’s of a big company! You do not make money by helping borrowers modify home loans and avoid foreclosure; you make it by kicking them out of their homes and then selling their homes and keeping all the money, even if the homeowners have spent decades building up equity and pouring their savings into making home improvements.
The former employees, who worked at Bank of America centers throughout the United States, said the bank rewarded customer service representatives who foreclosed on homes with cash bonuses and gift cards to retail stores such as Target Corp and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
For example, an employee who placed 10 or more accounts into foreclosure a month could get a $500 bonus. At the same time, the bank punished those who did not make the numbers or objected to its tactics with discipline, including firing.
About twice a month, the bank cleaned out its HAMP backlog in an operation called “blitz,” where it declined thousands of loan modification requests just because the documents were more than 60 months old, the court documents say.
Your Wonkette is not old enough to remember, but apparently bank executives and hedge fund managers and other rich people in the financial industry used to actually go to jail when they broke the law. Legend has it that 1,000 bankers were charged by the justice department during the S&L crisis in the 80s, and 800 people–many of them high-level executives, actually went to the slammer and did hard time.
Given that we did not come out of this crisis with a similar thirst for justice, and no one has gone to jail, our prediction re: this latest revelation is as follows:
1. Elizabeth Warren will try to do something about it, perhaps through meetings with relevant regulatory bodies or by trying to pass some kind of bill.
2. The bill will never make it out of committee.
3. We will discover ever more egregious examples of wrongdoing, the perpetrators will issue a measly statement that neither affirms or denies wrongdoing, pay a meager fine, and then do it all again.
But in the meantime, we can’t wait for the next nice time video of Elizabeth Warren yelling at bank regulators.
Hey, Wonkansanites! The 2013 Wonk Your Brains Out Midwest-Southwest Orgy and World Tour is thundering into your fine state like… like… like two road-ragey ladies in a Prius, we think! And tonight is the night that they will “drop the bomb” on Lawrrence, Kansas, a joke that we are 100% certain you guys have not been thoroughly tired of since 1983 at all! Be there, or risk the fallout: Mon., June 17, 6 p.m.: Lawrence, Kansas. Frank’s North Star Tavern, 508 Locust St., Lawrence, KS, (785) 856-5080.
What is coming up in the remaining days of the tour, you ask? Let us Cut and Paste from the Master Sched-you-all!
Tues., June 18, 6 p.m.: Norman, Oklahoma. Probably at the Mont, but we have not called them yet. Check back tomorrow!! DEFINITELY AT THE MONT! SOMEONE REMEMBERED TO CALL THEM AT LAST! 1300 Classen Blvd Norman, OK 73071, (405) 329-3330. We’ll be in the Tiki Hut!
Thurs., June 20: Dallas. Place TBD! (If we lived in Dallas we would start a comedy club called “The Grassy LOL.” It is probably a good thing we do not live in Dallas.)
Fri.-Sat., June 21-22: Austin. (Party Saturday, 6 p.m.! But you could still buy us dinner on Friday maybe, if’n you want!) East Side Pies, 1401 Rosewood Ave. ATX 78702. NOTE: We are buying the pizzas, but this one is BYOB! Impress us with your elegant and whimsical brews!!!
Ever since Republicans got their asses kicked in the 2012 election, they’ve been curled up in the fetal position, soothing themselves with fantastic stories of how it’s not that the majority of Americans think their policies suck ass like an industrial strength Hoover; it’s just that they didn’t package their ass-sucking policies the right way. Deep down, Americans really do hate Messicans and homosexicans and chicks and poors, and they really do want Republicans to protect the sanctity of Newt Gingrich’s three marriages, Mitt Romney’s tax cuts, and menfolks’ right to rule our ladyparts. They just need to have it ‘splained to them the right way, for the MyFace generation and the Twitters.
So this is totes going to work:
“How do you make abortion funny?” That was a key question mulled at a major conservative gathering Friday on how to make social conservatism appealing to young people, after an election where Republicans got trounced in the battle for millennial voters (who are are moving even further and further away from the Christian-right on marriage on other issues).
Abortion has to be made funny, the thinking goes, because funny sells on social media, and that’s where one goes to court young people. “You can engage with sarcasm, it’s hard with the abortion issue, but you have to,” said Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins at a breakout panel at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington today on how to win millennial voters.
Why did the terrorist cross the road? To bomb an abortion clinic. But the REAL terror is abortion itself, because it’s the Holocaust! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Knock knock. Who’s there? Republicans. Republicans who? Republicans who want to legislate your ladyparts for your own good. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
So a “pro-lifer” walks into a church to gun down a doctor in the name of Jesus … and he couldn’t complain because it was just a REALLY late-term abortion, like he enjoyed performing all the time because he was a baby-killer!HAHAHAHAHAHAH! That’s hilarious! Retweet!
Somewhere, there’s a veritable Shecky Greene, there’s the next Milton Berle, there’s a budding Bob Hope slouching towards Bethlehem to be born, free to make endless non-jokes about arglebargle baby killers. Too bad Obama will probably murder them in the womb!
Hey, kids, remember that poll from way back in May that showed just how are-you-freakin’-kidding-us stupid Republicans are? Oh, sorry, there are so many polls like that. We will have to be more specific. We mean this poll about Dumbshit-Americans who are super duper OUTRAGED!!!! about Benghazi, but, um, well:
One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is. 10% think it’s in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.
Well, guess who is one such Dumbshit-American? We will give you three hints. One, he hails from Texas, which probably doesn’t narrow it down much for you, since Texas has given us more than its fair share of dumbshits. Cut that out, Texas! B, his mere presence once caused Michele Bachmann to crap her pants and immediately drop her run for the White House. And third … um … I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops. Give up? It’s this guy:
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) is usually quick to admit that he’s prone to making mistakes while behind a podium, and on Saturday he did so again, just moments before appearing to confuse Libya with Lebanon.
“I fear where we’ve come to in America, where our administration won’t make one phone call to save our men and women in a embassy in Lebanon,” Perry said during a speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
Then, what with all this stuff twirling around in his head, Perry quoted Ronald “Beirut Marine Barracks” Reagan stealing from Will Rogers, saying that “liberals know so much that isn’t so,” because Republicans just love to skull-fuck irony like that.
Apparently the UK noticed a while ago that the US was doing piddly little spying on its own citizens, and chuckled gracefully into their afternoon tea at the upstart colonists’ antics. Because back in 2009, they apparently decided to up the ante and straight up spy on world leaders who gathered London for the G20 summit. In the latest leak from traitor/hero/missing contractor Eric Snowden to The Guardian:
Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian.
What terrible hosts, those British! You step into the loo and all of a sudden they are bugging your phone. No wonder we dumped their goddam tea into the harbor.
On the other hand, take that, NSA! While you are secretly noting which porn sites terrorists are visiting (JihadJugs.com?) and which recipes Americans are looking up for summer cookouts, the Brits are bringing the big guns to listen in on world leaders!
The Brits didn’t half-ass this spying gig – they had 45 specialists who were able to get real-time information about who was calling who, who Obama was sexting, and other relevant tidbits. How did they do this? Was it by setting up complicated satellite relay systems, or through clever viruses slipped into Blackberrys? Nope:
Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.
Haha! Apparently, some folks decided that Ye Olde Internet Café was a great place to check secure email messages. Maybe this espionage thing ain’t as tough as James Bond or that hot chick on USA Network (you know, the one from Coyote Ugly) makes it out to be. After getting their passwords (Merica#1Bitchez was popular among Yanks), our tea-drinking friends across the pond were able to keep tabs on everyone. Today we are all User1234.
For what nefarious purpose was all this high-tech thievery deployed? World domination? Nuclear codes? Stop a terrorists plot with only 2 seconds left on the explosive device by cutting the red (NOT GREEN) wire? Apparently nothing that interesting:
[T]he analysts’ findings were being relayed rapidly to British representatives in the G20 meetings, a negotiating advantage of which their allies and opposite numbers may not have been aware: “In a live situation such as this, intelligence received may be used to influence events on the ground taking place just minutes or hours later. This means that it is not sufficient to mine call records afterwards – real-time tip-off is essential.”
So the Brits spent all this time, energy and money just to see who was with them when negotiating a G20 document? Worst use of espionage EVER. While the G20 may be an important event when world leaders gather to discuss important topics of global policy and cooperation, spying is supposed to be for cool stuff to make an awesome movie out of. There is no way Matt Damon will play a cool spy with this plot. BORING, guys. We fart in your general direction.
As President Bamz and other world leaders gather today in Northern Ireland for this year’s G8 Summit, we can imagine that there will be some awkward questions directed at UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Then again, probably not, because these days everyone seems to be spying on everyone else So the next time you send an email, be sure to say hi to the NSA, the Brits, and everyone else who is monitoring your every move. Hooray technology, or something.
Your Monday Nice Time: Wonket Does A Gay Marriage, Brings Modern Society Closer To Crumbling Into Sea
Good morning, straight people. We want to talk to you about that weird feeling you’ve been having for about a week — that one where your marriage feels like it’s… worth less. You may be wondering why you feel that way. We happen to know.
It’s because Yr Wonket performed a gay marriage in the newly gay-marriagelicious state of Maryland! After winning our sort-of-contest thing, two wonderful people — one of them your friend from the comment section, widestanceromance — made a life-long commitment to each other and it was a very lovely day, but because the lovely people were both guys, everybody else’s marriages have been hereby ruined, and also you should probably be prepping for the tidal wave of abortions and unwed mothers and crack epidemics and Seth Rogen movies that come along with every gay marriage. It was totally worth it.
We cannot tell you too many details because Mr. and Mr. widestance do not want their real-life names getting mixed up with their internet names, but it is probably safe to say the whole thing went down the morning of June 8, in the backyard of their beautiful home on a rural back road next to a little horse farm, attended by family and friends and a parrot named Marco Polo who can poop on command but had to be hidden away because he hates everything. (We suspect he is also a Wonkette commenter.)
The ceremony was short and included both a reading from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet and a small, hostile interlude from a stray cat. Their rings are engraved with the phrase “Lucky bitches,” a reference to a French and Saunders sketch that is about 9 hours long and raises serious questions about what kind of drugs the BBC was doing back in the ’80s. A cubic acre of Old Bay-encrusted crabs was delivered after the ceremony.
They have requested, in lieu of the generous gift offers they’ve received, simply that you wonderful commenters, with your impeccably good taste and all, vandalize a photo from their wedding. Blingee is free, and we have included below a pre-vandalized template to use for whatever awfulness you can cook up. Comments may take a while to appear because the spam filter is made of duct tape and pretzel rods, but dump your photos, well-wishes, and horrifying slurs below.
And, just in case this post gets picked up in Tony Perkins’ Google Alert for “gay marriage” or “anyone having fun anywhere,” you anti-gay folks have to step up your game, because they are having so much fun and are all getting super-legit wedded now, sorry, maybe quit pooping on the party because the party isn’t hurting anyone and includes free beer and seafood.
Sometimes we think New Pope is just trolling us. Like this weekend, when Pope Frankie folded a blessing of Harley Davidson enthusiasts – it’s the company’s 110th anniversary — into a Vatican mass commemorating the Church’s 1995 “Evangelium Vitae” encyclical that laid out official doctrine on abortion, euthanasia, and end of life decisions. As TalkingPointsMemo points out, the Church’s teaching on choice seems maybe a bit at odds with Harley-Davidson’s ad slogan for its 2013 product line: “Live life on your own terms. More than 30 ways to defy the status quo.” Then again, since Harley’s “rebel” image is as cynically calculated as the Vatican’s “sanctity o’ life” stance, maybe it all fits, we dunno. Make your own jokes about cafeteria Catholics and weekend poser bad boys?
In any case, there were lots of motorcycles:
Thundering Harley engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of the “Our Father” prayer that accompanied Francis as he greeted the crowd before Mass. Standing in his open-top jeep, Francis drove up the main boulevard leading to St. Peter’s Square, blessing the thousands of people in what was a giant Harley parking lot.
Once the service got under way, bikers in their trademark leather Harley vests sat in the square alongside nuns and tens of thousands of faithful Catholics taking part in an unrelated, two-day pro-life rally.
Sure, why not? No doubt Umberto Eco was on hand to say something about hyperreality, too.
The whole bizarre scene left us thinking that the juxtaposition of Vatican and Harley Davidsons may be less incongruous than it initially seems, considering that both are pointlessly ornate anachronisms that generate a lot of expensive noise without serving any clear purpose. Ah, to be forty-five and balding again…
OK fine here are some pictures of our Chicago Wonk-Off, which was like last Wednesday maybe? Thursday? It is impossible to tell. We met up in the hinterlands of Irving Park or Irving Square or some other place that was difficult to get to, which is possibly why Chow Yun Flat did not make the party EVEN THOUGH he was the one who originally won Chicago a party in last year’s fake kickstarter??? Sorry dude, maybe we should have emailed you.
So did Deron show up? He did not. Nor did Rahm Emanuel because of how he wasn’t invited because fuck him. Also not in attendance was Joe Walsh, the loser deadbeat defeated ex-congressman, despite the fact the food and drink were free.
And who even are these people? Well, Robynne is a blogger at Death and Taxes, and Linda is a judge and like the first openly gay Chicago judge way the fuck back in the 80s, and she and her sister in Clearwater fucking Florida love to read Wonket. Then there are Andre and Roberto, who chose the bar, Christina’s Place, a perfect neighborhood joint that was so welcoming and helpful and their beer of the month is Revolution Brewing’s Rosa, so there is that. Some commenters you might know are Fuflans and Maman and Banana Bread (nee Knits or GTFO) and Milwaukee Kent, who went on a mini-tour, visiting us in both Chicago and Madison. Per usual, they may identify themselves in the comments if they so choose!
And there you have it, suckas! We will be at Frank’s North Star Tavern in Lawrence, Kansas, tonight at 6 p.m. We will be thinking about NUCLEAR WAR.
How unfair is it that (insert name of a beloved family member/spouse/friend/celebrity/pet/serial killer/Iraqi citizen/American soldier here) is dead and Dick Cheney still roams the earth? Just the thought of that ancient visage sneering at all of us from the crypt where he hangs out in between feedings is enough to send yr Wonkette into apoplectic shock. If he couldn’t retire to a cell in the Hague, is it too much to ask that he at least stay the fuck out of the public eye for the rest of eternity?
Alas, there are still some who think Dick Cheney’s opinion matters, and those people have airtime to fill on the teevee. So, taking a break from his usual daily activity of disemboweling virgins and feasting on their bloody entrails for sustenance, the former president vice-president appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to opine on America’s recent “discovery” that our government knows about every time we have ever called out for Chinese food in the last decade.
Here’s Dick defending the NSA program by invoking 9/11 NEVER FORGET:
If we’d been able to read their mail and intercept those communications and pick up from the calls overseas the numbers they were using here in the United States we would then probably have been able to thwart that attack.
Or you and the president could have paid attention to your daily intelligence briefings. But don’t let us stop you from trying to scare the living piss out of the elderly shut-ins who watch “Fox News Sunday.”
I don’t pay a lot of attention to what Barack Obama says. I find a lot of it’s in other areas…for example IRS, Benghazi, not credible.
Keep that one in mind for just a second…
He’s wrong. It (the War on Terror) is not winding down…the other problem we’ve got is nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
Ha ha ha, Mr. “Last Throes” doesn’t think the War on Terror is winding down, which means it probably ended around 2006 and nobody bothered to tell us. And did not Dick Cheney lose the last of whatever tiny shard of credibility he might have once possessed on weapons of mass destruction when we occupied Iraq and put a big fat goose egg up on the WMD scoreboard? Based on what we have seen recently, the WMD we have to worry about can be found on sale at Target for fifty bucks. We should probably ban all sales of nails, glass, and ball bearings while we’re at it. Maybe Bamz should order the military to invade Home Depot.
By now Dick Cheney only exists to give our cardiologist a reason for concern. There can be no other point to his continued occupation of space in the universe.
After those nuggets of wisdom dripped from his lips like ichor from the dread nostrils of some unspeakable eldritch hellbeast, Cheney argled and bargled for another ten minutes about how John McCain is right that we should bomb the ever-loving shit out of some Syrians because his bloodlust is never sated, and also that we should have sent the entire Sixth Fleet to BENGHAAAAZI!!1!! the minute our consulate came under attack and Susan Rice cover-up IRS something something, by which point we had stopped listening and laid down on our nice kitchen floor until the blood vessels in our eyes stopped exploding.
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