More to ignore, Book 108...

Ten Thousan Marbles

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America is adding new jobs at a record pace, but Wall Street doesn't like it. F*** Wall Street

Mark Sumner

Going into the Friday morning jobs report, the analysts had already laid down their bets: With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, and big-name tech layoffs in the news, they expected the U.S. job market to add 200,000 new jobs—a sharp drop from the 261,000 added last month. But what the Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered on Friday morning blew away analysts' expectations. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in November, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%.

What’s remarkable about how badly analysts missed the mark is just how unremarkable this has become. The 261,000 jobs added in October were far more than analysts predicted. The 263,000 jobs added in September were more than analysts predicted. To be fair, analysts were almost dead on in predicting the 315,000 jobs added in August … but that’s about the only month that they haven’t badly undershot the growth in the economy.

Why is the U.S. labor force adding new jobs so quickly? Some of it is, of course, the continued rebound from the near collapse of the economy under Donald Trump after he failed to provide consistent measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. But the biggest part of this incredible recovery comes down to the steps President Joe Biden has taken to not only pull the nation back from the brink, but to make sure that more of the wealth generated in the recovery goes to working and middle-class Americans. Since taking office, Biden has seen the addition of 10.5 million new jobs—the largest number of any president ever in their first 22 months.

And Wall Street is really angry about it.
............
Once again, on Friday, Americans were presented with the strange dichotomy of a fantastic jobs report, showing that the economy continues to grow and Americans are seeing an unprecedented opportunity, and a sharp, negative reaction from the Stock Market.



The superficial reason is easy enough to see. The market rose sharply over the last few weeks after members of the Federal Reserve hinted that future increases in rates would come in terms of 50 basis points, rather than 75. Or, as most people would say, they’re thinking about raising interest rates by just 0.5% rather than 0.75%. The markets took that as a sign that the Fed was seeing signals of slowing economic growth. Which, in Wall Street think, was a very good thing, because their biggest concern is that increased interest rates could make other forms of investment more attractive than putting money into stocks. So the Fed talking about slowing the pace of rate increases was enough to stimulate a big market bounce.

Now that job growth has beaten the estimates again, the markets are screaming in anticipation that the Fed might just decide to crank up rates more than they expected, and the air has gone out of the ball. This is not, as some outlets are stating, any reaction to actual inflation. Inflation has been a great cover for corporations, who have increased prices far faster than their own costs would mandate. Rising inflation has been an excuse for corporations to pull down record profits in almost every sector. They don’t care about inflation. They do care about interest rates.

The reason that the economy continues to generate so many jobs isn’t hard to determine—President Biden built it that way. While many presidents, in particular Republican presidents, disavow any control over the economy, Biden knows exactly where the levers are located. Especially those which can funnel growth toward working-class Americans.

The American Rescue Plan, which Biden signed less than two months after taking office, provided funds that not only greatly expanded the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, but also established a pipeline that has generated jobs at every level. That plan included funds to see more workers trained in skilled vocations where demand is high, from construction to health care. It expanded job opportunities for underserved communities and put serious funding behind breaking down barriers between would-be workers and jobs.

Then, before his first year was out, Biden did what Trump never could: He signed a bipartisan infrastructure bill that immediately put Americans to work not just in repairing bridges and building new roads, but also in extending data networks into rural areas. That bill isn’t just creating jobs directly; it's boosting employment indirectly and helping out communities where local economies were collapsing, in the same way that rural electrification helped to save the rural south a century earlier.

In August, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which represents America’s greatest-ever investment in renewable energy. That bill funds projects to address the effects of climate change, and lowers prescription drug prices—all while greatly reducing the federal deficit. It’s safe to say the money men are not so happy about any of this, especially because that same bill has a whole host of provisions designed to help small businesses while imposing a minimum tax on corporations and (this one really stings for the big money guys) a 1% surcharge on stock buy-backs.

The economy is creating jobs because President Biden took steps to create jobs—especially good jobs in growing areas. But, in spite of everything those bills have done to help diversify the recovery and channel new wealth to the working class, not everyone is benefiting equally.



When it comes to jobs, all the boats are rising. But some of those boats had a head start that is still not being overcome. Additional effort is going to be needed to bring all the lines in that chart together and see that opportunity truly is equal.

When it comes to inflation, there are signs that rates are easing—not just in the United States, but around the world. Inflation has slowed across the board since October, with some analysts believing that prices may have peaked. Sharply falling gas and energy prices should go a long way to ease inflation pressure in the United States. Just because job numbers are up and the market fears how the Fed will react, that does not mean actual inflation will increase or even stay the same.

After all, there was one part of this morning’s job report that investors actually liked. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Wages for some of the most actively hiring sectors in November still lagged the overall inflation rate.” That is, employers are still paying employees less than they need to meet rising costs.

In Wall Street speak, that’s a good thing.

 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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House Republicans preview chaos to come by refusing to even name post offices

Joan McCarter

Here’s a preview of things to come from the U.S. House of Representatives under Republican control: “More than five dozen House Republicans opposed a package of bills doing something as simple as renaming post offices after a series of former congressional colleagues.” You can probably guess who were the ringleaders there. The goal, if there was one, was eating up floor time and gumming up the works.

That’s definitely one of the factors behind the ongoing work by Senate Republicans with Democrats in both chambers to get an omnibus funding bill, one that includes all of the 12 individual bills for government agencies, done by Dec. 16, when current funding expires. Every responsible lawmaker wants to make sure keeping the government open isn’t in the hands of those people. Normally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and team would be pushing for another continuing resolution that would push funding decisions into the new year, when they would have more power to force their funding—and cutting—priorities. The chaos in the caucus over the speakership, though, seems to be driving them to work this out.

Sen. Richard Shelby, the lead Republican on Senate Appropriations, suggested as much. “I think there are a lot of people on both sides of the aisle that see this is the right thing to do, to get it done.” He and McConnell are leading the negotiations for the Republicans while Kevin McCarthy in the House has bowed out, with his spokesman saying he’s a “hard no” on funding the government.
........
They’ve reached one agreement, the easiest one to make every damned year: giving the Pentagon even more than it asked for in its funding request, according to people familiar with the negotiations. They’ll boost the National Defense Authorization Act $45 billion above what the Defense Department has requested, stretching to as high as $858 billion. Agreement there could help grease the skids for lawmakers to agree on the larger spending bill, but it’s likely still going to happen without much help from House Republicans who are fighting against what they call “wokeism” in national security issues.

That fight is spilling into the omnibus funding bill. McCarthy and a bunch of Republican senators, led by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have been trying to force an end to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members. They failed so far to get that in the NDAA, so they’re going to try to get it into the omnibus, further gumming up the works on that. The problem for McCarthy, though, is that he’s refusing to be involved in the negotiations—he is kind of preoccupied in navigating the hostile path to become speaker—so that push might fizzle with no one else pushing the cause.

The actual House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has a potent threat for Republicans if they keep up the shenanigans: a year-long continuing resolution that keeps government funding at its current levels for the remainder of the fiscal year. It’s what Republicans forced for nearly the first two years of President Joe Biden’s term, making him operate under the last Trump budget. This is what Pelosi is threatening now: Republicans having to swallow his and the Democrats’ current budget for another year.

If there’s no agreement, she told reporters Thursday, “we have no choice but to keep government open with a yearlong [continuing resolution]. We’ve made that very clear in the White House meeting the other day and in our conversations with our colleagues on the subject.”

It’s a potent threat—enough Senate Republicans would likely go along with that to get it passed. They don’t want to be lumped in with or dictated to by the House maniacs. Buying another year of funding with a stop-gap bill would likely be preferable. By the time that expires and the next funding bill has to be considered in the fall of 2023, they’ll be on the reelection campaign trail already, and possibly not as eager to blow stuff up.

All of this, unfortunately, is being negotiated apart from a debt ceiling plan. So far, it looks like Democrats have settled for doing nothing about it until they have to, likely in June 2023, when Republicans are determined to force cuts to Social Security or blow up the economy. That’s another bomb it would be smart to defuse now.

 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Wherein I happily add to the Arizona pile-on: Federal judge sanctions Lake and Finchem's lawyers

Dartagnan

Lots of good news out of Arizona tonight, further confirming the old adage that “timing is everything.” And bad timing usually gets you nothing. Both Kari Lake and Mark Finchem jumped on the so-much-fun Trump train of baselessly claiming “election fraud,” but rather late in the game. And both are now experiencing the consequences of that bad timing.

As reported by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, writing for the Washington Post, the big news of Arizona’s Superior Court ordering the governing board wingnuts of Cochise County AZ to certify their election results occurred in tandem with a brutal federal court ruling today in a separate suit brought by failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and her election-denialist sidekick, Mark Finchem. After previously dismissing that lawsuit, the same federal court has now ordered that Lake and Finchem’s lawyers pay the fees expended by Maricopa County to defend against this kind of frivolous garbage.

From the Post article:

The denouement in Cochise County played out as a federal judge, also on Thursday afternoon, sanctioned lawyers for Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, the unsuccessful GOP candidates for governor and secretary of state, respectively. Taken together, the orders show how judges are scorning efforts to politicize ministerial roles and undermine election administration.
The federal judge, John Tuchi of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, wrote that sanctions would “make clear that the Court will not condone litigants … furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.”
[***]

Tuchi, who was nominated to the federal bench in 2013 by President Barack Obama, reasoned that payment of attorneys’ fees for Maricopa County was a proper sanction as the county and its lawyers had to “spend time and resources defending this frivolous lawsuit rather than preparing for the elections over which plaintiffs’ claims baselessly kicked up a cloud of dust.”

Attorneys are particularly averse to getting sanctioned themselves --particularly by a federal judge and under Rule 11 -- because it may prevent them from practicing in other jurisdictions where they’re not generally admitted. It’s essentially a stigma on one’s professional record that follows them the rest of their careers. The specific attorneys being sanctioned are not named. But, according to the Post article, one of them listed as counsel for Lake and Finchem is Alan Dershowitz. Neither Lake, Finchem, nor Dershowitz could be reached for comment, according to the Post.

Judge Tuchi was quite acerbic in his ruling:

[A]lthough the Court does not find that Plaintiffs have acted appropriately in this matter—far from it— the Court concludes that sanctions are warranted only against Plaintiffs’ counsel, who signed and filed the offending papers. To sanction Plaintiffs’ counsel here is not to let Plaintiffs off the hook. It is to penalize specific attorney conduct with the broader goal of deterring similarly baseless filings initiated by anyone, whether an attorney or not.
[***]
The Court shares the concerns expressed by other federal courts about misuse of the judicial system to baselessly cast doubt on the electoral process in a manner that is conspicuously consistent with the plaintiffs’ political ends…[.]

Imposing sanctions in this case is not to ignore the importance of putting in place procedures to ensure that our elections are secure and reliable. It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward this end and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process. It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future.

The Courts are clearly getting sick of this nonsense.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Arizona governor uses shipping containers for makeshift border wall, keeping people and animals out

Aysha Qamar

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In this aerial view, shipping containers fill a previous gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall on Sept. 27, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona. Some gaps in the wall built by the Trump Administration were recently filled with shipping containers by the Arizona state government, making it more difficult for immigrants to cross in certain areas.

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona seems to be upholding his version of Trump’s border wall promise. The Republican governor made a sad makeshift wall that first showed up on a strip of borderland near Yuma on Bureau of Reclamation Land, and now more recently on U.S. Forest Service land in Cochise County.

Made up of shipping containers, the wall allegedly went up without federal permission, prompting agencies to call for it to be removed because of its unlawful nature. Despite this, in a federal suit filed in October, Arizona asked a judge to stop the federal government from intervening. According to Fronteras, it argued the state should have jurisdiction over the border area without federal intervention.

In the latest case against the makeshift wall, the Department of Justice has asked the court to dismiss this claim, arguing that the shipping containers were placed on federal and not state land, Fronteras reported.

But where the shipping container wall is placed is not the only issue. Outside of how horrible the idea of a border wall even is, this specific one is not only wasteful but bad for the environment. Alongside the government, Arizona environmentalists have joined the fight against Ducey’s ongoing efforts to install a wall on the state’s Mexico border.

According to KGUN, officials from Coronado National Forest (CNF) warned the public not only about the "safety hazards" but about "unauthorized armed security personnel" in the area where the wall is placed.

“The roads are not designed to handle these large of vehicles. They are designed to handle small passenger cars, trucks. So they are getting impacted by this much traffic," Starr Farrell of the U.S. Forest Service said. "There is a possibility people who are armed out there and so we don’t want any of those conflicts to occur.”

To make matters worse, KGUN noted that the “wall” was also constructed against the Cocopah Tribe’s wishes. Ducey not only filled in parts of a Trump administration border wall but constructed beyond that with his containers. But that’s not all: The “wall” doesn’t only impact people living in the area, but the animals as well.

“We’re seeing an impact to our environment," Farrell said. "These are going in very quickly and because these are getting placed so quickly, normal procedures [didn't take] place. This was an unauthorized project and because of that these containers did not go through a normal process that we would normally do to make sure that area would be able to support the installation.”



According to Arizona Central, the state’s contractor is placing the shipping containers on a line in an area known to have a population of endangered jaguars and ocelots.

Environmental advocates fear the containers will result in “extensive damage” to the animals’ habitats and wreck important migration corridors for larger species while blocking the ability of smaller ones to cross the border.

“That wall is harming endangered species as we speak,” said Russ McSpadden, a Southwest conservation advocate. McSpadden provided Arizona Central with video footage of an ocelot captured by motion-sensing cameras less than 2 miles north of the new wall in 2018 and 2019 to argue his case.



Arizona Central also noted that the areas where the shipping containers are located stretch farther than what was planned for Trump’s border wall. These areas have extensive wildlife, causing many advocates to argue that the shipping containers would be more effective at keeping out wildlife than people.

In order to keep people out, Ducey and his contractors placed gaps with metal sheets in areas with gaps between the containers. As a result, any migrants who might try to cross may get cut by the steel.



How far Republicans will go to keep migrants out is ridiculous.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Supreme Court will take on student debt relief challenge in expedited hearing

Joan McCarter

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant the Biden administration's request that it lift a lower court’s injunction on the student loan debt forgiveness plan Thursday, but it did grant the administration’s request for an expedited hearing. That will happen in February. In the meantime, President Joe Biden has extended the repayment pause through June.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett had previously turned down two earlier requests from plaintiffs suing the administration to block it, but when the federal appeals court in Missouri put the program on hold, the administration asked the court to intervene, either through lifting the lower court’s ruling or scheduling the case for argument quality to definitely decide the legality of the program.

Biden announced the forgiveness program in August. The program cancels up to $10,000 in debt for all student borrowers who have an annual income less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for married couples) and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients a the same income levels. At that point, the plan was to end the pause on repayments at the end of this month. The Republican states’—Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina—decision to sue means that the pause, legally justified because of the ongoing pandemic, stays in place.

The states argue that Biden’s program exceeds his executive authority, and also that they have the right to sue because it deprives them of future tax revenue. That’s their argument for having the standing to sue—that they have been harmed by the program. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar contested both those assertions by the states in the administration’s emergency application to the Court.

The Heroes Act of 2003, she wrote, was enacted specifically to give the secretary of education the power to halt student loan payments in the case of a national emergency. In 2003, it was intended for service members going to war, but the legislation wasn’t specifically tailored to those borrowers and that emergency. The COVID-19 crisis and the emergency declaration that’s been in effect since March 2020 under Trump qualify.

She also argued that the states don’t have standing because they haven’t suffered an injury—those supposed tax revenues they’ll be missing. The lower court, the Eight Circuit, considered just one state in blocking the program, Missouri, which
might not receive payments from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, a nonprofit that services federal loans. At most, she argued, the loans serviced by that non-profit MOHELA could be excluded from the program.

The Court is going to address both of those questions: Do the Republican states have standing, and “whether the plan exceeds the Secretary’s statutory authority or is arbitrary and capricious.”

It is worth noting again what Laura Clawson surfaced back in August, when Republicans were enraged at the idea of people being forgiven loans: There wasn’t a peep out of them when it was their COVID-19 pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Literall
y their loans: More than a dozen Republican House members received tens and hundreds of thousands, and in a few cases millions, of free federal dollars. There wasn’t a peep out of any of them about giving away free money to people taking out loans. (Disclosure: Kos Media received a Paycheck Protection Program loan.)
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Suspect arrested in shooting incident involving Savannah teenager canvassing for Sen. Warnock

Rebekah Sager

CollageMaker-02-Dec-2022-03.08-PM.jpg


According to the Savannah Police Department, detectives have arrested a suspect in the Thursday shooting of a teenager who was out campaigning for Sen. Raphael Warnock’s runoff election.

Police say the 15-year-old was shot through a closed door, and the bullet struck him in the leg. The suspect was quickly identified as 42-year-old Jimmy Paiz of Savannah. Paiz was arrested at his home.

The teen was taken to a local hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

“I am saddened to learn about this incident. I am praying for the victim and their family and wish them a full recovery,” Warnock said in a statement.

Police say the case is still being investigated, and the shooting has not been ruled as politically motivated......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Biden, DNC move to shake up 2024 primaries

Joan McCarter

The White House created a bit of a stink Thursday by proposing that New Hampshire lose its “first in the nation” status in the 2024 primary season to South Carolina, and that Iowa be bumped from the early state contests altogether. This would mean that four of the five states going first are battleground states for Democrats, as well as states that better represent the diversity of the Democratic voting base.

On Friday, the Democratic Nation Committee’s rule-making committee agreed, voting to put South Carolina in the number one slot, then have New Hampshire and Nevada go together a week later, followed by Georgia and Michigan. All five of these proposed primary elections would be held in February 2024. Iowa would be pushed down the calendar.

The proposed change reflects the reality of the 21st-century Democratic Party: Its voters are diverse. Donna Brazile, probably the most prominent DNC member, reminded her colleagues of that, and the fact that it’s about damned time the party as a whole recognized that and started paying some attention to those voters.

“Do you know what it’s like to live on a dirt road? Do you know what it’s like to try to find running water that is clean?” she asked her colleagues. “Do you know what it’s like to wait and see if the storm is going to pass you by and your roof is still intact?” Brazile asked. “That’s what this is about.”

DNC Chair Jamie Harrison spoke emotionally after the vote about how South Carolina has been known throughout history as the site of the first attack in the Civil War to this. “This proposal reflects the best of our party as a whole, and it will continue to make our party and our country stronger,” Harrison said.

Iowa isn’t happy about that, surprise, surprise. It has held the first caucus spot for decades. Scott Brennan, a DNC rules committee member from Iowa, said “small, rural states” like his “must have a voice in the presidential nominating process.” Never mind that South Carolina isn’t exactly known for its booming metropolises. “Democrats cannot forget about entire groups of voters in the heart of the Midwest without doing significant damage to the party in newer generations,” Brennan said. He and Joanne Dowdell of New Hampshire were the only two “no” votes on the change.

Nevada’s delegate, Artie Blanco, argued that her state’s Latino population should be considered as well, and the state should be allowed to vote on its own. “If we want to build a strong relationship with Latinos,” Blanco said, “then Nevada must stand alone on a date and not have to share that date.” But following more discussion, she was persuaded, saying while it is “not ideal” that Nevada has to share a primary date, “we accept what the will of the president is.”

New Hampshire and Iowa might continue to make noise about how their state laws mandate that they have the first primary and first caucus, and decide to ignore a new calendar. The DNC, however, has the power to refuse to seat their delegates at the national convention if the states go rogue.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Advances near Svatove and Kreminna show that Ukrainian forces are still on the move

Mark Sumner

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Ukraine appears to have advanced toward Svatove at multiple locations.

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Russia launched multiple attacks out of Donetsk on Friday. None appear to have any success.




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Ukraine appears to be taking areas along highway north of Kreminna.

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A repeat of Thursday’s map at Bakhmut.


I’ve repeated Thursday’s map here because the thing that’s really changed at Bakhmut is the certainty. On Wedneday, Russian sources indicated that they had completely captured the towns of Ozarianivka and Kurdyumivka, a claim that was supported by images of Russian soldiers gathered around the signs for those locations. However, on Friday, Ukrainian sources claim that Russia does not hold all of either location and that Ukrainian troops in fortified positions are still in place.

So that big red arrow, which was tied to Russian reports that they were moving on to villages a few kilometers west, appears to be premature.

Ukraine also reported that Russia attempted to advance at Optyne and in the direction of Klishchiivka. Both assaults were repulsed. In what now appears to be an endless situation … Bakhmut holds.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Kanye. Elon. Trump. Gosh, Where Did It All Go Wrong?

ShowerCap

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I hope that like me, you’re still enjoying the hey-that-wasn’t-so-badness of the recent midterms, though of course there’s ample ****ery to discuss tonight. On the Right, it is a time of reflection. Or it would be, if anybody’s brain still worked over there.

They’re doing another one of those How in the Bright Twinkling **** Did We Blow This autopsies, but they recruited Christian nationalist venture capital ghoul Blake Masters for the “advisory council.” Good luck. Watching the chum from the red wave that wasn’t settle at the bottom of the tank, you cannot but be awed by the pure, incandescent unteachability of these people.

And certainly, the intersection of fascism and failure is not one where top-drawer talent tends to congregate, but the future of the GOP looks…hoo. Bit grim........

After failing damn near every test of basic human decency for years, expectations of political courage from the Republican Party are appropriately low, but I feel like the Ye/Fuentes dinner was like the teacher taking pity on the paste-eating kid and giving him a sticker for spelling his name right.

And yet........
.......
So, the former Kanye West’s public breakdown slash Neo-Nazi media tour swung by Mar-a-Lago for a dinner party, with prominent anti-Semite Nick Fuentes in tow. That’s an easy one, fellas. Do you realize how ****ed up it is, how warped your party has become, that any of you did anything except condemn it, at the top of your lungs, at the earliest opportunity?

Especially here, in the immediate aftermath of the third consecutive election this idiot game show host’s fashy shenanigans cost you. Cognitive test-passing abilities notwithstanding, he’s not exactly a hot prospect with a bright future, y’know? Can y’all just take the goddamn off-ramp, pick up a ****ing bucket, and join the rest of us in fighting the fire y’all started? Please?

No, somehow it took still more vileness from Ye, a stream of babbling bigotry that shocked even Alex Jones, to make the House GOP recant their allegiance to America’s most famous Jew-hater, so that’s another Tootsie Pop we finally got to the center of. Congratulations on barely beating out Parler, by the way.

That’s about where the Republican Party lives these days, just outside Parler, and I don’t think you should need an autopsy report from Blake Masters (though he keeps a couple under his mattress) to figure out how America got so sick of your shit.

Lookin’ at YOU, Arizona Republicans. Goddammit you guys, must we really do this? No off-ramps will be taken by the Republican Party of Arizona, no fit shall remain unpitched, but you can’t make anyone pay attention to your tired act. The brief, feeble rebellion of some rural county whose name I refuse to look up garnered less attention than a frivolous macaroni lawsuit, or Mitt Romney’s all too fleeting beard, but by all means, keep trying to make Kari Lake happen.

Hey, maybe America’s just sick of loud, crazy, hateful assholes, ever think of that?

Look at the way your shitty little movement responded to the mass shooting in Colorado Springs. Look at what Ben Shapiro said. What Matt Walsh said. What Herschel Walker said, on the campaign trail. If your stomach can take it, watch Trump attorney Jenna Ellis’ obscene take.

Loud. Crazy. Hateful. Assholes. When you put it like that, the electoral drawbacks seem clear, don’t they?

Think about that while you wheel Herschel around Georgia Weekend-at-Bernies-style, ducking new abuse allegations and hoping no reporter corners you on the divisive werewolf/vampire issue. Your moms must be so proud of you.........
..........
Ah well, I wouldn’t worry, not with Kevin McCarthy’s steady hand on the tiller. He’ll lead you through these turbulent times, he’s real good at leadin’, just give him a minute to finish capitulating to Fuentes associate Marjorie Taylor Greene; she needs her committees back, y’see, if he wants her support for Speaker, and oh yeah, also a blank check from taxpayers to “investigate” every internet hoax she falls for. (And folks, she falls for ‘em all.)

Thing’re gonna change ‘round these parts under Marshal McCarthy, you’ll see. They’re gonna READ THE CONSTITUTION OUT LOUD WHY DON’TCHA CRY ABOUT IT LIBTARD and admittedly it gets a little murky after that, but the Constitution-reading part, that’s down in INK. They’re gonna read the shit outta that Constitution. That and Marjorie Taylor Greene’s committees. Consider it a contract, America.......
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Maybe the future of the party is Mike Pompeo, who’s bold enough to e’er-so-lightly criticize his old boss, though never ever ever by name, like some Ministry of Magic functionary J.K. Rowling doesn’t want you to respect. When he’s not busy cowering or groveling, Mike enjoys picking fights with teachers’ unions, and deluding himself that doing so will help him get elected President......
.........
While we’re on the subject of Republican leadership, please tell me there are debates in the RNC chair race. Scalpers could charge me whatever they wanted to watch Mike Lindell spar with Ronna Romney? I Don’t See Any Romneys over the issues of the day.......
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Incidentally, Madison Cawthorn, destined to be remembered as “too big a loser for the McCarthy caucus, ouch” offered some parting wisdom on the issue of masculinity, in case anybody couldn’t get into the Kyle Rittenhouse seminar......
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Twitter’s still in rich-kid-smashing-his-new-toy-against-the-wall-wondering-why-it-won’t-work mode. Elon, mobilizing the full capacity of his genius intellect to combat his advertiser flight problem, restored Covid disinformation, as well as accounts suspended for hate speech and inciting violence, including, of course, the Dotard’s, and several prominent global brands were crushed to death in the ensuing stampede to line up to sponsor the entirely predictable wave of slurs that followed.

And while Wee Donnie One-Term would surely love to return to his older, much larger platform, he’s locked into his sad, shabby knockoff, which has somehow failed to achieve cultural dominance under the leadership of cow-vanquished sycophant Devin Nunes. Which is surely unwelcome news for anyone attempting to wring profits from a $44 billion investment in an online playground for blackpilled dipshits. And once again we find ourselves at the limit of the loud, crazy, hateful asshole model.......
..........
What else, what ellllllllse…I always like to drift off at night to the slow, steady pitter-patter of Donald Trump losing in court. House Ways and Means finally got ahold of those covetously guarded tax returns, part of a broader trend of cynical stall tactics finally playing out. Oh, and Aileen Cannon’s courtroom is not, after all, a one-stop shop for recently dethroned autocrats who need large, clumsy crimes retroactively legalized.

Speaking of the rule of law, look out, federal prison system, there’s a new subpar softboi gang headed your way, and I hope you’re ready for a lot of tedious arguments about whether or not there’s a constitutional right to have your birthday cake baked in the shape of Mike Pence hanging from a gibbet.

Yes, Stewart Rhodes and his doofus buddies got their cosplay revolutionary asses convicted of some big, fat federal crimes, including seditious conspiracy. Seditious conspiracy. Can’t wait to see what Texas school boards strip from the history textbooks when they get to this year, y’know?......
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Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s quietly doing Joe Biden stuff: winning elections, creating jobs, and delivering overdue changes to the Democratic primary calendar, all without sharing a single meal with a single Nazi. But by all means, ask Blake Masters to help you unravel the mystery before you. I hope you’re paying him.

I will be conducting my own autopsy, of the craft beer sampler in the fridge, by Sunday at the latest. You stay safe out there, friends. Oh, and the paste-eating kid was me. Obviously.
 

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