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A feud with Bette Midler, in which the actress was forced to apologize for calling West Virginia “backward” as she condemned Joe Manchin last month, has landed in just the place such dumb, non-controversies deserve: the humiliation of a dog and her butthole on official state grounds.

That’s what happened Thursday when Republican Gov. Jim Justice pushed back on Midler during his second state of the state address, telling critics of West Virginians to kiss his bulldog’s “hiney.” 

“They told every bad joke in the world about us,” Justice said. “So from that standpoint, Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, kiss her hiney!”

He then held up Babydog’s rear end for emphasis, sending cameras flashing as photographers captured snaps of the bulldog’s butthole.

The crowd seemed to love it, though it’s unclear how wielding his dog’s butt will earn West Virginians the respect Justice says they deserve. But I guess that was never the end he desired.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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