CULTURE

11 Spongebob Memes to Help You Survive Super Tuesday

Mike Bloomberg is finally on the ballots, and that's not even the worst part

So the chaos we've been waiting for is finally upon us.

Today 14 states will be voting for nominees, and more than 1,300 pledged delegates will be awarded—compared to the 155 that have been distributed so far. California and Texas will both be voting, and their huge delegate counts could be what tips the scales toward one clear frontrunner. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar both dropped at the last minute—triggering an avalanche of endorsements for Joe Biden—and people who don't know any better will finally have a chance to cast a ballot for Mike Bloomberg. While rational debate and discussion of major issues like health care and climate change are obviously valuable, the insanity that tonight's results are going to bring calls for a different style of communication: Spongebob Squarepants memes.

After weeks of scouring the Internet, we have discovered the best Spongebob memes for every Super Tuesday situation you're likely to encounter.

For your friend who doesn't pay any attention to politics

super tuesday patrick

For your friends who get all their political insights from TV ads

mike bloomberg handsome ugly squidward

For your parents when they say they would consider voting for Bernie Sanders

medicare for all boomer

For your MAGA relatives who think there's nothing wrong with private health insurance

For your friends who supported Amy and Mayor Pete and aren't sure who to vote for

Patrick push centrists to the left

For your friend who keeps reminding you that Tulsi Gabbard is still running

Tulsi snobody cares

For your friend who is ride-or-die for Elizabeth Warren

elizabeth warren tough

For your friend who insists that no one is being harassed by "Bernie bros"

bernie bro harassment

For your friend who still misses Kamala Harris

kamala stans khive

For your friend who still misses Andrew Yang

yang gang

For the moment you realize Michael Bloomberg is actually going to win some delegates

bloomberg for billionaires

Buckle up...

After trailing in recent primary elections, Elizabeth Warren is fighting her way back to the top.

During the Democratic debate this week, the Massachusetts Senator had a victorious revival by absolutely slamming her rising opponent, Michael Bloomberg. "I'd like to talk about who we're running against," she said early on in the debate. "A billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg." If the audience's applause hadn't been so loud, you surely would've heard the sweet sounds of Bloomberg's soul crushing. The best supporting role in this ferocious takedown, however, was Warren's magenta jacket.

Warren's outfits throughout the election thus far are as consistent as Bernie Sanders' policies. Hillary Clinton had her unmatched pantsuits, but Warren takes a more subtle approach: black pants, black top, and—the finishing touch—a solid, brightly-colored jacket. It's a simple ensemble that looks just as good on television as it does canvassing across the country, which explains why it appears as though she owns nothing else in her closet but five solid colors. This beloved uniform raises the question: If I were Elizabeth Warren's jacket, what color would I be?

So, with my authority as both a registered Democrat and a registered Co-Star user, I've figured out the definitive correlations between each sign of the Zodiac and Warren's most-used outerwear. See which of Elizabeth Warren's jackets you are, according to your sign, below.

Aries, Leo, Scorpio: Magenta Jacket Elizabeth

Election 2020 Debate, Las Vegas, USA - 19 Feb 2020

Magenta might seem like a soothing color, but Warren is anything but calm when she wears this bad boy. Like Warren as she absolutely drags Bloomberg, you're incredibly passionate and don't fear speaking your mind. Some might say you have a temper, but that's just politics, baby.

CULTURE

Elizabeth Warren Just Cost Mike Bloomberg $100 Million and Twitter Loves It

Warren's savage performance at the debate last night left Bloomberg's expensive candidacy badly damaged

Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Last Night's Democratic Primary debate in Las Vegas had a number of highlights, with tension and personal attacks arising between a number of candidates.

Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar clashed numerous times during the debate and finished the night with a rejected handshake, while every candidate but Bloomberg himself took a swipe at the former elephant in the room (because he used to be a Republican…and they have an elephant mascot…you get it). But there was no other drama as costly—in every sense of the word—as Elizabeth Warren's vicious takedown of the former Mayor of New York and current billionaire scandal-machine.

www.youtube.com

After dropping more than $400 million on an advertising blitz that includes memes from the people who promoted the Fyre Festival and a commercial that all-but claims an endorsement from best-friend Barack Obama (with whom Bloomberg is hardly friendly), Bloomberg had managed to scrape together an impressive position in national polls. That, along with possible help of donations to the DNC, was enough to qualify him for the debate stage in Las Vegas Wednesday night, but he may be regretting that fact after Warren tore into his troubling record on a number of issues, beginning with the laundry list of sexual harassment allegations that his employees have leveled against him.

"I'd like to talk about who we're running against: a billionaire who calls women 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians.' And no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump; I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like red-lining and stop and frisk."

Mike Bloomberg and Donald Trump Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

As she went in, Mike Bloomberg stood roughly three feet to her right (though several miles to her right in terms of policy positions), allowing the audience's derision to wash over him. The sour expression on his face spoke to the sprawling spreadsheet inside his head, calculating what it will cost to repair his polling after such a bloodbath. Of course, any conversation about his history with female employees is hampered by the fact that the details of the cases against him are not available to the public. The women involved signed non-disclosure agreements from which Bloomberg could easily release them—despite his meaningless protestations that the contracts were "consensual."

"He has gotten some number of women—dozens? Who knows—to sign non-disclosure agreements, both for sexual harassment, and for gender discrimination in the workplace. So, Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those non-disclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?"

No, he is not. What he is willing to do is claim that "some number" of non-disclosure agreements is actually just "a very few"—though not so few that when Warren repeatedly asked him, "How many is that?" he could provide a specific answer. He was also happy to dismiss the women's complaints against him, saying "maybe they didn't like a joke I told" to jeers from the crowd.

Repairing his image among women who have worked under casual misogynists is not going to be cheap. No doubt there are crisis meetings in board rooms along Madison avenue right now, full of advertising executives and copywriters storyboarding a 2-minute primetime spot about how much Bloomberg hated hanging out with Harvey Weinstein throughout their long friendship—watch for that during commercial breaks for this Sunday's American Idol.

Mike Bloomberg and Harvey Weinstein Jemal Countess/Getty Images

But Warren wasn't done with him. She dug into Bloomberg's record on race relations, as well. Many people have criticized his half-assed apology for his Stop and Frisk policy—claiming that he cut the practice by 95%, when he actually expanded it by 600% and only cut it down when he was forced to—but Elizabeth Warren really broke it down:

"When the mayor says that he apologized, listen very closely to the apology. The language he used about Stop and Frisk is about how it turned out. Now, this isn't about how it turned out. This is about what it was designed to do to begin with. It targeted communities of color. It targeted black and brown men from the beginning. And if you want to issue a real apology, then the apology has to start with the intent of the plan as it was put together, and the willful ignorance, day by day by day, of admitting what was happening, even as people protested in your own street—shutting out the sounds of people telling you how your own policy was breaking their lives. You need a different apology here, Mr. Mayor."

Ouch. It's a situation that many voters outside of New York are likely unfamiliar with. And considering Bloomberg's strong polling among black voters, this potent indictment could do more damage than any number of spurious Obama commercials can repair—but he has to try, dammit! Hopefully no one is motivated to Google Warren's comment about red-lining, or they may find the audio of Mike Bloomberg from 2015, seeming to blame the 2008 financial crisis on the end of racist home-loan practices.

The full bill for damage control remains to be seen—polling generally takes a few days to register shifts in public opinion—but looking at the steep dive Bloomberg took in the betting markets and the fact that his campaign has cost around $22 million for each percentage point of support, it seems safe to say that Elizabeth Warren's savage performance will end up costing him at least $100 million. Fortunately that's only about 0.15% of his net worth, so he certainly won't get vindictive and go on the attack in a way that reinforces the idea of him as a heartless and spiteful person…

Good luck out there, Mike!

Here are the best tweets about Warren's takedown of Bloomberg:
















CULTURE

What Your Favorite Presidential Candidate Says About Your Style

No matter who you're supporting, we have the perfect accessory for you.

It's election season!

That means that you have to find the perfect outfit or accessory that expresses your political views. Fortunately, we have exactly the looks you need to make sure you're getting your candidate's message across. (Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg don't count, because you're not rich enough for them anyway!)

First and foremost, check your voter registration here, and get on that! If you're done with that step, try these outfits and look hot at the primaries.

1. Bernie Sanders

Every Sanders supporter, no matter your gender or lack thereof, deserves a floral or paisley-patterned button-up shirt and a beanie. These accessories work well at your low-level startup job, and they'll keep you warm on the trip to your apartment in deep Brooklyn, which is guaranteed to be flooded by rising sea levels unless we do something STAT about climate change. Of course, a real Bernie supporter would never order clothing online; they would thrift it at a clothing-exchange slash revolution planning session slash vegan potluck at their queer-friendly, illegally shared loft.

2. Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg supporters all need these Brooks Brothers suits, $249, for their next few days of mindless analyst work in a cubicle, followed by wine at the local wine cave, sponsored by your local fossil fuel baron.

Brooks Brothers

3. Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth supporters, all you need is a classic fleece jacket to fend off that Massachusetts cold as you're cheering your large adult son and Republican brothers on (a little too aggressively) at the town soccer game. Get it in grey so you can hop straight from the grocery store to the night's Bunco tournament, just as quickly as you hopped from the Republican to the Democratic party. Try this sporty fleece jacket from Marmot, $150, which comes complete with a few strands of golden retriever hair.

Dick's Sporting Goods

4. Joe Biden

Joe Biden supporters will rock one of these literal Civil War-era shirts! Get this men's shirt, $12 on eBay, before it sells out—it was actually worn by a Civil War-era soldier, and it's the perfect way to show your support for Joe. It's certain to bring you back in time, just like all of Joe Biden's policies and his memory.

ebay

5. Donald Trump

Every Trump fan deserves this orange-toned foundation from WalMart, $15; make sure you look around and find one that's preferably at least three shades oranger than your actual skin shade. (Note: This is not to be confused with the Trump Foundation, the defunct charity for which our president had to pay a $2 million dollar settlement for misuse of funds after it was accused of "functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests," according to the attorney general Barbara Underwood).

Walmart.com

6. Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar supporters can accessorize with this comb, $16, perfect for eating salads or throwing at your assistant. Plus, it's from Caswell-Massey, a department store based in the Midwest, like Amy Klobuchar, which is why sHe Can wIn.

caswellmassey.com

7. Andrew Yang

Every (former) member of the #YangGang needs Yang's signature piece: this iconic Math pin. Buy it from Yang's store, $20. If Yang was elected, you could get 200 of these pins every month, and the price (like the price of everything else) probably wouldn't rise because of inflation for a few weeks, at least!

cnn.com

8. Marianne WIlliamson

Our Orb Queen might be out of the race, but that doesn't mean you can't rock a floaty Stevie Nicks-inspired Free People shawl, $268, as you meander along the faery path to cast your vote for anybody but Pete Buttigieg. Accompany it with some crystals, some glittery eyeshadow, a flower crown, and an actually half-decent understanding of American democracy, and you're well on your way to enlightenment, we swear.

freepeople.com

CULTURE

Amy Klobuchar's Entire Subreddit Is an Ironic Joke–and So Is She

Amy Klobuchar ate salad with her comb and then made her aide clean it.

Prior to their official half-endorsement of Amy Klobuchar as the "Democrats' Best Choice For President," The New York Times covered another side of the Minnesota senator.

"Senator Amy Klobuchar was hungry, forkless and losing patience," wrote political reporters Matt Flefenheimer and Sydney Ember.

"An aide, joining her on a trip to South Carolina in 2008, had procured a salad for his boss while hauling their bags through an airport terminal. But once onboard, he delivered the grim news: He had fumbled the plastic eating utensils before reaching the gate, and the crew did not have any forks on such a short flight.

What happened next was typical: Ms. Klobuchar berated her aide instantly for the slip-up. What happened after that was not: She pulled a comb from her bag and began eating the salad with it, according to four people familiar with the episode.

Then she handed the comb to her staff member with a directive: Clean it."

Amy Klobuchar Salad

Flefenheimer and Ember's deep dive into Klobuchar's campaign team reads more like a copypasta than an account of real events; but alas, Klobuchar herself even seemed to lowkey brag about her history of mistreating her staff. "Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes," Klobuchar said during a CNN Town Hall in February 2019. "Have I pushed people too hard? Yes. But I have kept expectations for myself that are very high. I've asked my staff to meet those same expectations. The big point for me is that I want the country to meet high expectations."

The CNN Town Hall audience may have cheered for that line, but voters don't seem to be "eating the salad," proverbially speaking. Klobuchar has consistently polled near the very bottom of people's choices for Democratic primary candidate, with recent polls placing her just over 3%. In other words, The New York Times' endorsement of Amy Klobuchar is strange considering the fact that she's basically unelectable.

But while, statistically speaking, pretty much nobody actually likes Amy Klobuchar, her behavior has struck a chord with a specific demographic on Reddit.

For context, while the overall Reddit community leans white, male, and liberal, many political figures' most ardent supporters use Reddit as a gathering space for promoting their candidate of choice. From the quarantined r/The_Donald with its 785k members (Russian bots included) to r/SandersForPresident with 380k, almost anyone can find their favorite presidential pick on Reddit. Even r/Tulsi has over 17k people who want Tulsi Gabbard to be president for some reason.

And then we have r/AmyKlobuchar. With 147 total members, roughly seven of whom seem to be online at any given time, the truly incredible thing about Amy Klobuchar's subreddit isn't its minimal user base. It's the fact that pretty much everything posted there is ironic.

r/AmyKlobuchar

The most upvoted post on the entire sub is titled "Amy Klobberchar" and contains a meme recounting a fictional incident wherein Amy Klobuchar threw a stapler at a staffer. In fact, many of the posts in r/AmyKlobuchar hone in on Klobuchar's history of staffer abuse, depicting Klobuchar firing unpaid interns and stepping on people's necks.

Amy Klobberchar

In another top post on the sub titled "Why I am voting for Amy," a user lists off reasons including, "She is abusive towards her staff. We need a fighter, not a wimp," and, "I like the taste of boot."

The same New York Times article that covered the salad incident included a leaked email that Klobuchar has sent to her staffers regarding the things people said about her on Twitter: "We are becoming a joke and it is making me a joke."

As it turns out, Klobuchar's prophecy was self-fulfilling. By continually treating her staff like garbage, Klobuchar invoked the attention of a small but vocal demographic of roughly 147 people who don't like seeing low-paid interns treated like garbage.

Perhaps much more importantly, though, to most of the American electorate, Amy Klobuchar still doesn't matter.

CULTURE

CNN Is Poison to the Progressive Politics of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

The interests of corporate media are incompatible with a true left movement.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In Iowa on Tuesday night, CNN hosted a debate among Democratic candidates for the president.

Measures were taken to thin out the crowded field of contenders, leaving just six hopefuls to share the stage. But for many voters there were only two candidates who really mattered.

Since the weekend, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have been embroiled in a petty conflict stirred up by anonymous sources and divisive hashtags. The only progressive candidates on the stage—who held to a truce for so long—have now been framed as enemies by the disputed content of a private conversation that took place more than a year ago.

Bernie was on the Defensive in the First Debate of 2020 | NowThis www.youtube.com

Did Bernie Sanders say, in 2018, that he didn't think a woman could win this election? Bernie denies it while Elizabeth Warren stands by the leaked account. Meanwhile, all of their exchanges are subject to a level of scrutiny that isn't healthy for anyone involved. People have been freaking out about the way moderator Abby Phillip ignored Bernie's denial, immediately following it up by asking Warren, "What did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?" Likewise, the fact that Warren didn't accept Bernie's handshake was fodder for outrage.

Twitter is the environment where Sanders' most die-hard supporters hold sway, and they have poured their effort into hashtags like #NeverWarren, #LyingLiz, and #WarrenIsASnake. For many Warren supporters who backed Clinton in 2016, the whole mess carries echoes of vicious attacks against Hillary and the sense that female candidates are held to a higher standard and treated to harsher punishment than their male competitors.

The question of whether the people spreading these hashtags hold sexist views is beside the point. They play into a perception that the Sanders campaign belongs to so-called "Bernie Bros" and to a brand of exclusionary sexism that disguises itself as moral outrage—yet always seems to be directed with extra vitriol toward women.

Bernie Sanders has given no indication that this is the kind of messaging he wants his supporters to be spreading. It doesn't benefit him. As he said of the drama during the debate, "This is what Donald Trump, and maybe some in the media, want." Sanders knows that if he—or Warren, or any progressive candidate—has a chance of overcoming the corporate media-backed centrists who want to quash any hint of real reform, it will only be with the unified support of every progressive demographic. If Bernie's stated mission of "justice for all" means anything, he won't want to alienate voices that advocate for feminist perspectives—nor can he afford to let his supporters do it for him. So the competing hashtag among Warren supporters, #BelieveWomen—borrowed from the #MeToo movement—represents a serious problem for him, as well.

So far this drama has only served to turn these groups of supporters against each other. Warren can't win if voters who prioritize economic justice have decided she's a "snake," and Sanders can't win if people who prioritize women's rights think he's a sexist. But there is another trending hashtag that both groups might be able to get behind: #CNNIsTrash.

The control of political news by a handful of massive corporations is a serious threat to our democracy. The interests of those corporations and their financial backers are fundamentally aligned against progressive movements, and Bernie Sanders' recent surge in the polls made him a particular target. Once it was clear that their efforts to ignore him had failed, CNN and the other media empires made up their minds to use every line of attack they could find.

Throughout the debate, CNN consistently phrased questions and ran chyrons that framed Bernie's stances in the most negative possible light. It's easy enough with issues like increased spending and free trade—where the line of attack is already established—but what they were really desperate for was something that would split the left and trigger progressive in-fighting. Bad blood, left over from 2016, already had some potential to pit feminists and "brocialists," but then Elizabeth Warren's campaign gave them a gift.

The anonymous hearsay, and then the confirmation from Warren, were guaranteed to reopen old wounds and retrench the familiar factions that she supposedly wanted to avoid. The only two options that are being treated seriously are the suggestion that Sanders is a sexist or that Elizabeth Warren is a traitor. There's no real consideration for an error in communication or an imperfect memory of events on either side. So far, so good as far as CNN is concerned. The drama is good for their ratings, and a centrist president is good for their tax burden.


Media ownership

If Warren and Sanders want to move past this controversy and cement the kind of progressive unity they will need if either of them hopes to win, then they need to cut the corporate media platform out of the equation entirely. There is no debate, no segment, no panel discussion that can heal these wounds as long as CNN or any other corporate media empire is hosting. Sanders and Warren have to meet on their own terms to have a public conversation about their shared vision, their shared values, and what they think and believe about sexism in politics and in the United States writ large. A live-streamed summit.

If done right, they might be able to piggyback on the attention being paid to all this hateful drama, and find a way to repair the damage that's been done—to pull us all away from the destructive tendencies that consume our politics. Fortunately, there may be hope for that outcome. Tom Steyer was not just the random billionaire who bought his way onto the stage Tuesday night, he was also the random billionaire awkwardly standing in the background as Sanders and Warren spoke to each other in the aftermath of the debate.

Missed handshake

The tension in the exchange was palpable even from the distance of that wide shot. But Steyer was right in the thick of it. After Warren left Sanders' extended hand hanging, the two exchanged a few words and some stern looks while Steyer hovered nearby. He has claimed not to have been listening, but he did say, "They were talking about getting together or something." Let's cross our fingers that they do so soon—preferably before the Iowa Caucuses.

Only the two of them—without the interference of Twitter noise or media bear-poking—can sort this mess out. If they do get together to resolve their issues, and gift the country a symbol of restored unity, there might be some hope left for this election, and for the future of our nation.