Crooked Media - Don't take de-bate

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) whose salary is literally paid by the government.

Once again, I bravely watched the GOP debate so you didn’t have to. 

  • If you did not watch the second Republican Presidential Primary debate, congratulations. You have saved yourself from the irreparable psychological damage that comes from watching seven absolute psychopaths vie for the vice presidency or a cabinet position or—in Chris Christie’s case— a weird, unknown third thing. In many ways, it was a repeat of the last debate. All seven qualifying candidates talked tough about “securing the border” and “taking on the teachers unions” as well as the “respect for life” (so long as the life in question is a fetus and not a poor person!). 

  • The thing that united the candidates the most was hatred of Vivek Ramaswamy, who once again interrupted everyone and kept holding up his pointer finger as if to shush whomever was speaking all night. Looking rather cadaverous, former Vice President Mike Pence got a few of his creepy softballs over the plate including saying that we need to “repeal the Green New Deal.” Okay buddy, well, it’s going to be pretty tough to repeal a bill that never became law. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) lost his mind when one of the moderators brought up his state’s new and now-infamous African American History curriculum, including the idea that, “Slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” DeSantis frothed at the mouth and called that “a hoax perpetrated by [Vice President] Kamala Harris.” It was, in fact, a direct quote from Florida’s new standards. 

  • Trump’s former United Nations Secretary Nikki Haley was at the center of many of the night’s most heated exchanges. She is as cynical as any of the other GOP politicians, but it’s gotta be tough being the only woman on stage with a bunch of guys who can barely string together a cogent sentence. As with the previous debate, she took particular care to filet Ramaswamy, at one point saying, “Honestly everytime I hear you I feel a little bit dumber.” She also turned on DeSantis and fellow South Carolinian Sen. Tim Scott. For his part, DeSantis fired shots at Trump on abortion, a topic which moderators saved until the end of the debate.

The debate was two hours of animus and nonsense, and nearly void of substance. Speaking of animus and nonsense, let’s now move on to disgraced former president Donald Trump, the runaway favorite to win the actual presidential nomination. 

Chris Christie and, to a lesser extent, Nikki Haley, made a show of going after the former president, but the 2024 primary is very clearly still Trump's game to lose. Apart from his rants on Truth Social, Trump is seemingly not focused on his GOP rivals polling far behind him. The GOP continuing to melt down in front of the nation’s eyes is ultimately good for President Biden, even if it’s horrifying to watch.

Exhausted pundits agree: the second Republican Primary Debate last night was a doozy. Missed our Friends of the Pod Group Thread? Luckily for you, Jon Lovett will be doing an AMA on Discord tomorrow, 9/29 at 2pm PST. Friends of the Pod subscribers get access to exclusive events like last night’s Group Thread, Ads-free Pod Save America episodes AND hours of bonus content featuring your favorite Crooked hosts and staff. Head to to learn more today.

Hollywood television and film writers began returning to work on Wednesday after the Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement with the studios and streamers, which was then ratified by the union leadership, after almost 150 days on strike. The parallel strike by the Screen Actors Guild has yet to be resolved. Now that it has been approved, the WGA’s contract is public. And they posted some BIG wins. Residual payments had all but evaporated with the streaming model, and writer pay had decreased sharply over the past two decades. The most important concession the WGA won is “success-based” residual payments. If streaming content receives benchmark viewership, writers will receive a bonus. Base pay for writers will increase. The union also won protection against artificial intelligence, with provisions prohibiting the studios from treating AI-generated content as literary material written by a human, and from requiring writers to use AI software such as ChatGPT while writing. The union was also able to secure a guarantee that the company will provide the WGA with “the total number of hours streamed, both domestically and internationally, of self-produced high budget streaming programs,” such as streamer-original series. Viewership number transparency will allow writers for greater leverage in compensation negotiations. 

Google is attempting to completely seal testimony and prevent any public disclosure from the federal government’s suit against the internet giant for monopolistic practices. 


President Biden’s dog Commander bit a Secret Service agent at the White House on Tuesday, and the agent required medical attention. This is the 11th such (alleged!) incident involving Commander. We assume Commander is otherwise a Very Good Boy but ask that he please stop biting people just trying to do their already-stressful jobs. 


The White House is being forced to ration FEMA relief as a government shutdown nears


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced new minimum staffing requirements for America’s nursing homes to address performance issues (sounds good!), but provided no additional funding for new hires (sounds bad!).  

Michigan State formally fired its football coach Mel Tucker on Wednesday after the university’s investigation of sexual harassment claims against him.

Facilitated by (sighs deeply) their common ally, the United States, relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel are warming quickly. Tuesday marked the first-ever visit by an Israeli minister to the Arab Kingdom, when Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz attended a multilateral tourism conference in Riyadh. The event, which was organized by the United Nations, continued on Wednesday. At the same time, Naif al-Sudairi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the Palestinians, traveled through a checkpoint at the Israeli border to visit the West Bank, where he met with leaders of the Palestinian Authority. Sudairi’s visit is the first by a Saudi official to the region since Israel captured it from Jordan in the Six-Day War of 1967. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday “You are seeing things that could not even be imagined several years ago.” Netanyahu has shepherded the most far-right government in Israel’s history, and orchestrated an antidemocratic judicial coup earlier this year. Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, authorities in Saudi Arabia continue to crack down on peaceful dissidents, public intellectuals, and human rights activists, sentencing them to decades-long prison terms merely for posts on social media. What an exciting, chill pair! Can’t wait to see how they collab!

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A Montana judge temporarily blocked a law on Wednesday that would have banned transition care for children under 18


The major network late-night shows plan to restart next week after months of hiatus now that the writers’ strike is over. 

. . . . . .

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