When Steve Bannon & co spent $1,000 on booze at Mar-a-Lago, taxpayers picked up the tab

On April 7th, 2017, a group of Trump advisors and co-conspirators converged on Mar-a-Lago (one of Trump's properties) for a night of drinking and dining, while Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping were having dinner in a separate room at the hotel. In attendance were Steve Bannon, Joe Hagin (then Trump's deputy chief-of-staff) and others. Read the rest

Most Republican voters were Trumpists before Trump, and most of the rest have converted since 2016

John Quiggin's essay about "Transactional Trumpism" really nailed it for me: if the story is that Republicans chose Trump as their candidate because they were sure that he would enact "the Republican agenda" they didn't get a very good deal: all Trump has managed is the bare minimum that any Republican would have done, putting far-right ideologues on the Supreme Court and handing gigantic tax-breaks to the super-rich. Read the rest

Noam Chomsky takes ten minutes to explain everything you need to know about the Republican Party in 2019

Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewed linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky and asked him to explain Donald Trump; in a mere 10 minutes, Chomsky explains where Trump came from, what he says about the GOP, and what the best response to Russiagate is. Read the rest

Republican lawmaker who dared AOC to come visit coal miners in his constituency gets scared, withdraws offer

Late last month, Rep. Andy Barr [R-KY] "invited" Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit the coal miners in his Appalachian district, by way of rebuttal to her brilliant response to the charge that the Green New Deal was a rich, city-person's luxury, taking no account of working, poor and rural people. Read the rest

Texas lawmakers want Death Penalty for women who get abortions

They're pro-life, you see.

Today, Michigan regulators vote on conservative education "reform" plan to purge the word "democracy" from curriculum

Former Michigan Republican State Senator Patrick Colbeck has put together an ambitious, far-ranging educational "reform" package that is being voted on today by the Michigan State Board of Education. Read the rest

Oklahoma Republicans introduce bill forcing doctors to warn abortion patients about the existence of an imaginary "reversible abortion"

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 614, which forces doctors to counsel patients seeking medical abortions with false statements claiming the procedure is reversible; doctors who refuse to lie to their patients would be guilty of a jailable felony. Read the rest

Russian agent Maria Butina to be sentenced in U.S. on April 26

The admitted agent for Russia was connected with the NRA and pro-Trump U.S. political groups.

Sponsor of the "Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act" sues Twitter cow-account for $250 million

Devin Nunes (previously) is a Trump-loyalist whose scandals have ranged from secretly moving his family farm to make it easier to hire undocumented workers to a bizarre obsession with the Steele Dossier; and like a lot of far-right types, he's big on "preventing frivolous lawsuits" (which is to say, he wants to make it harder for the public to sue companies that harm them, which is why he cosponsored last year's Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act. Read the rest

NH GOP lawmakers mocked gun violence survivors by wearing clutchable pearl necklaces to gun control hearing

When volunteers for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America appeared before the New Hampshire state legislature, they were met by GOP lawmakers wearing prominent pearl necklaces as a symbol of casual, sexist dismissal of the women's experience with gun violence as "pearl clutching." Read the rest

GOP lawmaker driven mad by bill that would decriminalize children who take naked photos of themselves, delivers a frenzied rant about anal sex on legislature's floor

Washington State is contemplating HB 1742, legislation that would end the practice of charging children who exchange consensual sexts with child porn offenses that can lead to prison and a lifetime on the sex-offender registry. Read the rest

West Virginia GOP hangs a poster calling Rep. Ilhan Omar a terrorist in state capitol

It's West Virginia Republican Party Day at the state's Capitol and Republicans from all across the Mountain State have gathered in Charleston to promote their party's values. Vendors have set up tables throughout the Capitol Building, offering the finest in wingnut lit including this classic from die-hard Islamaphobe Robert Spencer. Read the rest

Wyoming GOP Senator explains death-penalty vote by saying that being executed was good enough for Jesus, so it's good enough for criminals

A bill to repeal Wyoming's death penalty law has failed in the state senate, thanks, in part, to the vote of Sen. Lynn Hutchings [R-Cheyenne, contact details], who said, "The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me. I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope." Read the rest

Matt Taibbi on Chris Christie's "agonizing" memoir: "an epic literary self-own"

Chris Christie's got a new memoir, "Let Me Finish," and Matt Taibbi (previously), Rolling Stone's most incandescent and relentless writer, has done us all the mercy of reading Christie so we don't have to. Read the rest

After $4.1 billion subsidy, Foxconn cancels plan to build Wisconsin "factory," now proposing a small R&D facility

When GOP darling Scott Walker offered to hand billions in subsidies to Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn, he was warned: the Foxconn MO is to suck up billions in public money for ambitious megafactories, then scale them back into small, largely irrelevant facilities (or cancel them altogether). Read the rest

Republican Arizona lawmaker revives doomed "porn tax" to fund Trump's doomed border-wall

Anti-porn troll Chris Sevier (previously) has built his career by convincing grandstanding Republican state lawmakers to introduce doomed, unconstitutional porn-tax laws that would require in-state ISPs to implement default-on censorship of "adult sites" (or, more specifically, "sites appearing an an arbitrary, unaccountable secret blacklist of allegedly adult material") and then charge $20/subscriber to turn off the filters. Read the rest

A list of Steve King's worst remarks: Racist, shocking, and just plain stupid

You've gotta read, by Douglas Burns, this excellent roundup of a dozen or so of the worst things congressman Steve King (R-IA) has said, dating back decades. Read the rest

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