He's just plain evil, is the problem.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), that useless bag of hair and forehead who should've gone to prison for sex trafficking by now, had a fine time grandstanding for rightwing media during a House Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday. As Ukraine called for investigations of Russian war crimes in the murders of hundreds of civilians in Bucha, Gaetz bravely interrogated US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the extremely important issue of whether the Pentagon is even capable of having good manly wars anymore since it's drowning in "wokeness."
Gatz eventually managed to provoke Austin into a shouting match, so it was clearly a win for the vacuous troll and his important agenda of being a complete asshole.
Here's video of Gaetz being a smarmy turd, and Austin growing more and more exasperated at his bullshit.
Gaetz began with the nonsensical claim that the Pentagon was becoming a hotbed of "socialism" because the National Defense University hosted a lecture by French economist Thomas Piketty titled "Responding to China: The Case For Global Justice and Democratic Socialism." Gaetz was simply aghast that the Defense University would let some foreigner advocate socialism, instead of teaching something useful like how to kill Chineses and socialists both: "Why should American taxpayers fund lectures at the National Defense University that promote socialism as a strategy to combat China?"
Well for fuckssake, Mr. Gaetz, for the same reason that universities have guest lecturers at all: because Piketty is a respected scholar whose ideas are worth debating.
Austin said that the NDU is an "academic institution," and added that he wasn't familiar with the lecture; Gaetz feigned shock that the Secretary of Defense isn't personally monitoring every guest lecture at the NDU, and then demanded that Austin repudiate Piketty: "Would you agree that embracing socialism is not an effective strategy to combat China?"
Not surprisingly, Austin said no, we're not "embracing socialism," and undoubtedly mentally added, you jackhole.
Gaetz demanded answers, damn it, like why would the Defense Department even "invite people we don't agree with to evangelize views and values that we don't share” when "we should be learning strategy about how to combat our enemies and make assessments that are accurate?"
Again, this is where we point out that this was a single guest lecture, just like lots of universities have, but apparently Gaetz was terribly upset that the NDU didn't do some cancel culture to that filthy French socialist, who probably wears a beret and holds his cigarettes like a girl too.
Gaetz moved on to another absurd attack on the Pentagon, accusing "you guys" at the Defense Department of "blowing a lot of calls lately on matters of strategy."
Gaetz: Mr Secretary, you guys told us that Russia couldn't lose. You told us that the Taliban couldn't immediately win. And so I guess I'm wondering what in the $773 billion that you're requesting today is going to help you make assessments that are accurate in the face of so many blown calls?
Austin said that the defense budget request could "speak for itself," which somehow inspired Gaetz to hare off on a tangent about the US supposedly being "behind" in hypersonic cruise missile technology, which frankly is such a stupid claim that we'll simply link to CNN's discussion of his nattering and move on to Gaetz's subsequent bullshit, in which the great military mind accused the Pentagon of actively ignoring military threats because it's turning into Woke Forest University:
While everyone else in the world seems to be developing capabilities and being more strategic, we got time to embrace critical race theory at West Point, to embrace socialism at the National Defense University, to do mandatory pronoun training.
Gaetz knew he was talking out his ass, and so did Austin, who as a retired four-star general and secretary of Defense knows a fair bit about the military. But the goading got a reaction: Austin replied that the US has "the most capable, the most combat critical force in the world," and that it will continue to be so.
Ah, but Matt was having fun making Austin angry, and knew it would make for a great clip on Fox News, so he jumped in again, insisting "not if we keep going down this path! Not if we embrace socialism!"
Sadly, Austin let Gaetz's taunts get to him, and replied, "The fact that you’re embarrassed by your country, by your military. I’m sorry for that."
Gaetz, who has far more experience being a professional asshole, pretended to be wounded, for the sake of America:
Oh no, I’m embarrassed for your leadership. I'm not embarrassed for my country. I wish we weren't losing to China. That is so disgraceful, that you would sit here and conflate your failures with the failures of the uniformed service members.
Hold on, what failures were those again? Gaetz had a terrific example in mind: The US defense establishment, like pretty much everyone in the world, thought Ukraine would be a goner when Russia invaded.
You guys said that Russia would overrun Ukraine in three to six days. You said that the Taliban would be kept at bay for months. You totally blew those calls. And maybe we would be better at them if the National Defense University worked a little more on strategy and a little less on wokeism!
Fact check: One guest lecture by a French dude does not constitute an embrace of wokeism, socialism, or even poststructuralism.
Austin shot back, "Has it occurred to you Russia has not overrun Ukraine because of what we’ve done? And what our allies have done?"
But Gaetz was rolling with the standard "Democrats weak" rant, insisting that the "Obama administration tried to destroy our military by starving it of resources, and it seems the Biden administration is trying to destroy our military by force-feeding it wokeism.” His clip for Fox News in the can, Brave Matt Gaetz yielded his time.
Then, later Tuesday, Gaetz joined more than 60 other Republicans in voting against a House resolution expressing support for NATO, just like you'd expect from a good Trump-Putin Republican. But hey, maybe it's because Thomas Piketty, the socialist, is French, and France belongs to NATO, and NATO is therefore too "woke" for Gaetz. Yeah, that's probably it.
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We've spent much of the past several years listening to rightwingers grunting and wailing at China and "Chinese Communist Party" and the 'GIIIIIIIIINA VIRUS, not because rightwingers bother with any substantive criticisms of China, but because they're racists.
But here's some reporting about China we can be legitimately pissed about, and that doesn't surprise us in the least. Apparently China totally knew during the Olympics about Russia's plans to invade Ukraine for literally no reason, and actively encouraged Russia to please wait until the Olympic torch was extinguished to start committing bloody murder.
Lots of people were talking about Russia's upcoming invasion during the Olympics — it was just one of those things people were talking about, you know, like Russian figure skaters being full of Alex Jones's trucker speed or whatever. So it's not surprising to hear China knew. But it's really fuckin' gross at the same time, especially if they were actively holding Russia back from invading until a moment less embarrassing for China, the host nation, which was presiding over all the peace, love and understanding Pollyanna togetherness horseshit. Sounds like China was talking out of the other side of its mouth at the same time, telling Russia, "No murdering Ukraine until we're done with this little song and dance."
The New York Times broke this story and the Washington Post had it soon after, citing a "western intelligence report," so we are guessing this is part of President Joe Biden's new game of declassifying all solid intelligence about Russia's war on Ukraine, in order to knock the wind out of each and every move the motherfuckers make.
The Times says the intel report "indicates that Chinese officials had some level of direct knowledge" of what Vladimir Putin was about to do and told the Russians to cool their fucking jets "in early February." It notes that Chinese dictator Xi Jinping met with Russian dictator Putin on February 4, and soon after came that flowery statement about how Russia and China were best friends forever with no limits and NATO sucks. That statement notably did not mention Ukraine.
The Times is careful to say it's not clear if the "don't genocide Ukraine until after the curling competition is finished" message was delivered personally by Xi to Putin. The Post's reporting says the message was delivered by "Chinese Communist Party officials" to "Russian officials." But, like, everybody knew, on both sides:
"[Putin's] desires were clear, said a U.S. official familiar with the intelligence.“
That was one of Xi’s biggest concerns” — that an invasion not happen “until after the Closing Ceremonies,” said the official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.
China is issuing denials, but it remains true that the Olympics closed on February 20, the closing ceremonies played on American TVs that Sunday night, and then on Monday Putin made the first moves in his invasion, starting with that meandering batshit speech where he recognized the "independence" of two provinces in a country he has no rightful authority over.
The Times notes that it annoyed China very much when Putin invaded Georgia during their Summer Olympics in 2008. Better not make that mistake again, Vladimir! "Beijing was concerned that an invasion would be destabilizing and upset the Olympics, according to a [...] U.S. official," says the Post.
To relate this to news that's coming out right this minute, we might want to start watching for the Biden administration to start blurting out any intelligence it's got on what the Ukrainian foreign minister is talking about right here, if he's correct:
Worrying reports: Russians might have pointed multiple rocket-launching systems in the Russian border village of Popovka towards their own territory. Knowing the barbaric nature of Russian actions we fear a false flag operation might be prepared in order to accuse Ukraine.— Dmytro Kuleba (@Dmytro Kuleba) 1646310929
That would be a very Putin move right there. Massacre a bunch of his own people, lie and say Ukraine did it, use it to consolidate power. See: Moscow, 1999, apartment bombings. He's got to do something, especially if his big convoy is still "stalled" 18 miles outside of Kyiv. Emmanuel Macron talked to Putin today and a French official says Macron's impression of the call was that "the worst is yet to come."
NEW: Russia's intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, has drafted plans for public executions in #Ukraine after cities are captured, per a European intelligence official— Kitty Donaldson (@Kitty Donaldson) 1646315348
Maybe it would be helpful if Putin's best friend Xi told him to maybe not bomb his own people or do public executions or anything else. Maybe his best friend Xi should say it's really fucked to do shit like this during the Paralympic Games, which start tomorrow, and which the Russians and Belarusians are now banned from.
We are just spitballing here.
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Former president Donald Trump called in to Sean Hannity's Fox News Lie Jamboree Hour last night, and we suppose the real news is that we managed to watch most of it without even puking once. Yay for us. Lucky you, it's not on YouTube so we will not be embedding the video.
The Great Man was purportedly there to talk about Joe Biden's news conference Wednesday, but honestly, it was just another chance for Trump to repeat the same old lies he always does, with Hannity from time to time jumping in to try to keep Trump on some sort of train of thought. The thing about trains, though — Joe Biden loves trains, I never much cared for them because you have to go where the tracks are and the environmentalists think trains are great, I never understood what they're getting at because in Japan you have those really fast trains, but Amtrak is a mess because the government never does anything right.
Scary how after four years we can all do that.
Trump said he really truly hoped Biden would do well, because America needs to do well, but instead everything is terrible, and also Trump was glad the US is finally out of Afghanistan, although if it had been up to him, we'd have left Afghanistan better and we should have kept Bagram Air Base. Which, if you want to get technical about it, would have meant the US would still be in Afghanistan.
Hannity tried to steer back to what a gracious fellow Trump is, complimenting him on how nice it is that Trump so sincerely wants Biden to do well. But the thing is, Hannity said, Biden is just no good at accepting criticism and acting on it, and that's very frustrating. In fact, he said, Biden seems
locked into every one of these failed policies. So, you know, you know, you keep banging your head against the wall. Why would you expect a different result?
The very smart former president of the US apparently is unfamiliar with simple English idioms, so he thought Hannity had to be talking about an actual WALL, like Donald Trump's greatest achievement.
That, or he just heard the word "wall" and it triggered a Pavlovian response. We're especially fond of the long silence before Trump answers.
TRUMP: So we would have had the wall completed in three weeks. It was largely completed. We did almost 500 miles of wall and the southern border. It was really working, it really had an impact.
He just couldn't stop talking about what a wonderful job he'd done with WALL and immigration, before Biden ruined everything, and now the US is full of immigrants and nobody respects America anymore, and did he mention Afghanistan?
OK we really need you to to strap in if you're going to stick with us here. Are you in your comfortable chair? Are you ready to follow the bouncing Trump literally wherever it goes? Because we're going to follow it. We're doing this.
Continuing with his sharp expertise on foreign policy, Trump said if he were still in office, you wouldn't have any problems in Ukraine, not that Trump ever had any misadventuresinvolving Ukraine or anything. Also, he predicted, as soon as the Winter Olympics are over, China might just invade Taiwan, and also something something Kim Jong-un and Iran, and we could have had a deal with Iran in just one week if Trump were still president.
It's really impressive how he was "president" for four years but never got around to that stuff that would have only taken a week or three.
Hannity suggested that if Trump were boss, he'd bankrupt Russia by drilling all the oil and sending it to Europe, and he'd stop China by banning all imports of Chinese goods. That'd learn 'em. Trump explained that the real beauty of his term was that he made China pay us "hundreds of billions" in tariffs (which were actually paid by US buyers, not a cent from China). and he wouldn't let Russia ever do anything bad in Ukraine, and we would by God go to war over Ukraine maybe, and why are gas prices so high now, huh?
We pity anyone who might actually try to transcribe any of that nonsense.
Trump explained that gasoline now costs over five dollars a gallon, and in California it's over seven, which is completely true if you add two or three dollars to the actual price. You might as well, because inflation is so bad that by the time I finish typing this, gas will be three hundred dollars a gallon probably. Also, WALL.
Hannity went on to explain how Biden's economy is terrible, and Trump agreed that nobody respects us, all our allies hate us instead of respecting us, and also Afghanistan a third or fourth time, and no Americans died in Afghanistan in 18 months when he was president, and then at the airport, the bombing, and we lost 13 soldiers and "many many wounded, horribly wounded, with legs and arms horribly wounded, the way they got out, and the list, the people, that the plane left ..."
Hannity, continuing that laserlike focus on Biden's economy, then praised Trump for threatening the Taliban with being "wiped out" if they misbehaved. And then Trump said that he would have taken every single American truck and tank and gun out of Afghanistan so the Taliban wouldn't have them.
This would presumably include the military equipment the Afghan military abandoned when it surrendered to the Taliban. I guess the idea is that they never could have surrendered it if the US had seized it first. Can't see any problems with that plan. Also, he wouldn't have abandoned the American "hostages" in Afghanistan, by which we suppose he must mean the US citizens who stayed behind because they couldn't get visas for their Afghan family members to come to the US. We all know how eager Trump was to keep Americans and their noncitizen families together.
In any case, Trump eventually caught up with the question about the economy, and noted that the US economy was in great shape before Biden took office, at least as long as you ignore the final year of Trump's term, which Trump certainly did. America was pretty much a paradise when Trump was president.
"It was a joyous time because our country did so well," even with all the hoaxes Hillary perpetrated to ruin him. But then the "China virus" arrived and Trump solved that too by personally formulating the vaccines, but no mandates, because "the mandates are killing this country." And also all the judges Trump appointed, it was a beautiful time.
That made Hannity want to talk about energy, which for some reason made Trump want to talk about the crisis at the border again, and Afghanistan a fourth or fifth time.
Are you all still OK out there? Anybody need to stop and get a snack?
Somewhere in there Trump also explained that the windmills are actually ruining the atmosphere and killing the birds and they're so ugly, just big rusty noisy hulks everywhere and killing the birds, and did you know wind is the "most expensive form of energy" also? Do we need to point out that's a lie, too? Wind is in fact the least expensive source of energy today. Or so the fake wind energy media say.
Trump claims "windmills" are ruining "the atmosphere"pic.twitter.com/nFq6caAMC2— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1642733549
Other highlights of the interview included Trump lying about January 6 again (very loving people, and Nancy Pelosi didn't protect the Capitol), and some additional bragging about how he did so great on his cognitive test, no way can Joe Biden point to "camel" as well as Donald Trump did, person woman man camera TV!
Weirdly, Trump and Hannity never once got around to those text messages in which Hannity warned that Trump should never say "stolen election" again, or the others where he said Trump had to tell his supporters to get the hell out of the Capitol. That might have gotten in the way of all the pressing discussion of Afghanistan and WALL.
In conclusion we are willing to trade some of the nonstop joy we felt during the Trump years for a president who is not completely out of his fucking gourd.
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