The Rachel Maddow pregnancy test would repeat itself, look bemused, and be right back after this break
Saturday Night Live has a pretty creative take on CNN’s constant, terrible coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner: What if CNN made a pregnancy test? You’d get constant updates, but no real information. It’s a cute fake ad, even if it’s no Happy Fun Ball, but it might have been funnier if instead of the constant “still searching for pregnancy” updates it had thrown a few more jabs at the substance of CNN’s lack of substance, like asking if the pregnancy could be detected by a psychic or showing a hologram of a uterus, complete with Wolf Blitzer turning off the lights in the studio to demonstrate how dark it is inside a lady’s mommyparts.

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That's one friendly storeThis week, we’ll wrap up our rightwing Christian-school textbooks’ version of the 1960s as they actually happened — not the way the liberal media would have you believe — with a look at the Civil Rights movement, which is  pretty good timing considering this week’s 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Both of our textbooks agree that ending segregation was a very good thing, although they are a little unclear on exactly how segregation came into being in the first place — apart from mentioning that it began as a backlash to Reconstruction, and the obligatory mention of Plessy v Ferguson, neither text goes into it too much. Jim Crow was just something that was kind of there, somehow.

But it sure is nice that segregation ended. As our laff riot of an 8th-grade textbook America: Land I Love (A Beka, 2006) puts it in its chapter on postwar prosperity, “Many Americans saw that the time had come to end racial prejudice.” And so many Americans decided to just knock it off already. READ MORE »

make it stop

There is probably no better way to start your NYT Sunday (and no better way to gird your loins against reading Ross Douthat later) than checking out the big piece on how North Carolina Republicans are eating themselves alive as moderately awful candidates battle severely awful candidates in the Republican primary for Senate so that one of them can fling themselves messily against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

Ine one corner, there’s old-school Republican Thom Tillis, who is sort of a North Carolina Mittens: his main qualification is that he has a pile of money, which, apparently, speaks for itself. In this corner, Mark Harris, godbotherer and Mike Huckabee fellow traveler. In this corner (what? it’s three corners, like the beloved Tea Party symbol, the tri-corner hat) is Greg Brannon, who has the backing of Rand Paul and looks to be the most genuinely terrible person running.

[Brannon] was recently found guilty of misleading two investors in a failed start-up company and has been ordered to pay them back more than $450,000, a verdict he is appealing. He also has a history of remarks that even some in his own party consider provocative: He has praised Jesse Helms, the longtime Republican senator from North Carolina who never renounced racial segregation, as a “modern hero,” and during the 2012 election said a vote for Mr. Romney would “advance tyranny.”

BRANNON! BRANNON! BRANNON!

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NSA pickup lines
From the How Is This Not Front Page News In Every Paper In The Country? Files, Bloomberg brings us the tale of how our good friends at the National Security Agency (hi guys!) have known about Heartbleed— a critical Internet security flaw that affects “the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites”—for “at least two years.”

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

Good work, NSA, way to see the threat before anyone else, our tax Bitcoins at work! Except, whoops, instead of telling anyone about it or how to fix it, the NSA just sat on it and gobbled up everyone’s passwords and personal information. The better to make leet haxx, my pretty. READ MORE »

Derpy inspects the proposed architectural additions to the Louisiana CapitolWelcome to another edition of Derp Roundup, the weekly feature where we bring you a bunch of stories that didn’t quite merit a post of their own, but that were far too stupid to ignore altogether. Apply alcohol directly to your central processing unit as needed. Or your computer’s.

  • For the second week in a row, our Top Derp goes to a state looking to adopt a state symbol. Last week, it was South Carolina, where creationists blocked an adorable 8-year-old nerdgirl’s idea to name the wooly mammoth the State Fossil. This week we have the Louisiana House, where a committee voted Thursday to move forward a bill to name the Holy Bible as the official State Book. In a bit of trivia, Rep. Thomas Carmody’s original version of the bill would have named a particular copy of the Bible — the oldest existing Bible in the state library system, printed sometime between 1510 and 1528 — as the state book. But instead, Carmody introduced to the committee a new version that named the generic King James version. Not that he was promoting a particular religion or anything. READ MORE »

  • This is video of part of a confrontation between federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management and insurgents who reject the federal government’s claim of sovereignty over federal lands in Nevada.

    in·sur·gent noun \-jənt\: a person who fights against an established government or authority

    We covered the Bundy Ranch insurgents yesterday, focusing mostly on the rhetorical side of the struggle as enunciated on right-wing hate radio by rebel leader Cliven Bundy, a local strongman. Since that time, the fight has escalated as federal agents moved to confiscate several of Bundy’s cattle after the rancher refused to remove them from federal lands following a court order.

    Bundy’s cattle have for decades been metabolizing publicly owned plant matter into edible flesh, which Mr. Bundy has sold to enrich himself and his clan.  READ MORE »

    you, reading these links

    We have a double dose of Happy links for you this afternoon because we got drunk and forgot were called away to an urgent meeting yesterday, so you get a two-for today.

    We told you about how Jon Stewart mocked the ever-living fuck out of Sean Hannity’s spring break “expose.” SPOILER ALERT: college kids party! WHO KNEW?

    We gave you so much Stephen Colbert moving to the Late Show news, including our very thoughtful recommendations for a new Colbert Report host.

    The Masters started yesterday and we admitted that we kinda miss Tiger Woods.

    There’s a review of the new ScarJo movie in which she gets nekkid but not in a sexy way so buyer beware.

    Music! We have music things! Sting did not suck on the Colbert Report yesterday, which was kind of weird! Joan Jett fucking rocked it out of the park fronting Nirvana for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, which is not weird at all, because Joan Jett is the best.

    Did you know there’s a weirdo dentist who bought one of John Lennon’s teeth so he can clone John Lennon? You do now!

    We taught you that the secret of surviving college is that you might not survive college.

    Roger and Elizabeth Ailes reminded us that they are the most thin-skinned bullies ever.

    Sideboob and also too sideboob.

    you've been warned

    So let’s say you are a well-populated county (just go with it, please) and people express concern that the bathrooms available at your polling places — where people sometimes wait for HOURS to vote — are not sufficiently accessible to those with disabilities. Do you (a) retrofit the existing bathrooms to ensure accessibility? (b) build new accessible bathrooms? (c) close ALL the bathrooms at polling places so you don’t have to address the accessibility issue? If you are Miami-Dade County, you pick (c) because what the hell is wrong with you?

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    Surveillance HeroJames “I am a Camera” O’Keefe has scored another stunning victory, this time against Mike Ellis, a Republican and Wisconsin’s state Senate President. O’Keefe’s Project Veritas caught Ellis talking in a bar about setting up an illegal super PAC to collect money for his fall campaign against Democratic candidate Penny Bernard Schaber, and after the video was posted Wednesday, Ellis announced today that he was dropping his bid for reelection. Yr Wonkette is of two minds on this: On the one hand, it certainly looks like Ellis was talking about illegally setting up his own PAC, a violation of campaign finance laws that prohibit candidates from coordinating their campaigns with PACs. That’s not good. On the other hand, James O’Keefe is just about the slimiest, most dishonest political operator out there, and we’re not sure that the benefit of exposing a politician’s plans to do sleazy political funding is balanced by O’Keefe’s sleazy methods. This is really one of those pox o’ both thy houses things, don’t you think? And by “pox,” of course, we mean “VD.” READ MORE »

    see the resemblance?

    We’re feeling sorta “dog bites man,” because we’re going to talk at you about how Fox News’s Roger Ailes is a thin-skinned bullyboy who doesn’t understand how free speech works, and this is not news to you. This week, Roger and his lovely bride, Elizabeth, would like to sue people for “liking” something on Facebook.

    The Putnam County News and Recorder and its publisher, Elizabeth Ailes, have threatened to sue Cold Spring Village Trustee Stephanie Hawkins for libel because she refuses to remove a post on her Facebook page. Hawkins did not write the post but instead “liked” a comment by then-Trustee Matt Francisco, who accused someone of “following” him during the recent campaign.

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    we got tired of looking for pics that made sense for thisWell here’s an update on a dude we first heard about way back in 2010: Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall said back then that he believed that God punishes women who have abortions by sending them disabled children when they have later pregnancies. Here’s how it works, he said:

    “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children … It’s a special punishment, Christians would suggest.”

    And here’s the cool thing: Now that he is running for Congress, Bob Marshall is not apologizing, not trying to back away from his remarks, or put them in context, or anything — he’s standing by his 2010 comments. It’s nice to see a politician who’s willing to stand up for his beliefs, especially when those beliefs are patently crazy and really quite mean. READ MORE »

    Willie Nelson playing a private “backyard bbq” fundraiser for Wendy Davis? YAY NICE TIME! SHOTGUN WILLIE! POT JOKE POT JOKE HAW HAW HAW! Also, that was a pretty good title for the post, we guess, so we have that going for us. Now, if we could just get Miss Dolly Parton to come play too, then it would be just like the end of Our Idiot Brother, when Paul Rudd’s dog meets the nice pretty hippie lady’s dog, and everybody is happy with love and highness and the best, most inclusive, most American — for all Americans, not just the Americans who think they get to decide who is American — country music. READ MORE »

    they really are!

    Are you ready for some afternoon nice time? Of course you are! How about the kind of nice time where people come one step closer to not dying in the street because they have no money even though they work all the time? That is one of the very best types of nice time! So let us tell you about frozen hellscape tundra Minnesota, which is being very nice indeed by raising the minimum wage.

    Gov. Mark Dayton plans to sign the bill into law Monday, starting Minnesota on a path in August from being one of the nation’s lowest minimum-wage states to one of it’s highest.

    The vote, which raises the wage for large employers to $9.50 by 2016, with an annual inflation adjustment to start in 2018, was hailed by labor groups Thursday and praised by President Barack Obama.

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    I don't need your fuckin' sympathy, man, I need my fucking johnson!Speaking at a confab Thursday in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, former President George W. Bush lightened the mood with a peener joke:

    “Former presidents compare their libraries the way other men may compare their, well …,” Bush said to laughs.

    Bush said he wondered how the famously profane LBJ “would have handled that.”

    “He was a funny guy at times.”

    Yr Wonkette is not going to begrudge anyone named “Bush” a little dick joke, and certainly not a dick joke at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. If you ignore the “civil rights summit” part of it, anyway. Yeah, still one of his most appropriate public comments. READ MORE »

    who wouldn't want to be on this guy's side?

    It’s no secret that we think Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, running against Wendy Davis for Texas gub, is a douche of the first degree, but this time he has really gone above and beyond in terms of sheer awful for no real reason that we can discern except that he is a terrible person who does terrible things and also too because tort reform.

    So there’s a doctor in Texas that did alarming and not very healthcare-professional-y things like maim and kill patients thanks to doing spinal surgery while high on cocaine, and now the hospital that employed him is being sued for not stepping in and stopping Dr. Kill McMaimerson. The state of Texas is not named in the suit, which means the Attorney General is not obliged to defend the suit, but Greg Abbott has asked to intervene and defend the hospital anyway, because Greg Abbott is a monster.

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