Federal STRIKE. Wonkagenda For Wed., Jan. 23, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
With federal workers set to miss their second paycheck on Day 33 of Trump's shutdown, Trump still thinks he's winning the fight for his goddamn wall by being a reckless, incompetent and unwavering asshole. On Thursday the Senate will attempt to pass two bills, one with $5.7 billion for Trump's wall (or steel slats, or whatever), and a separate bill by Democrats to fund the government through Feb. 8. Trump's White House has become paralyzed thanks to his shutdown, according to the New York Times, forcing him to cancel field trips and policy proposals that probably wouldn't pass anyway. CNN points out that his White House hasn't even bothered to schedule a press briefing, declaring them all but dead on account of everyone being mean to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. As usual, Trump was up early shitposting about his stupid wall, tweeting, "BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL." How embarrassing.
The FBI Agents Association has released a 72-page report highlighting the agency's inability to operate under Trump's shutdown. The report details how agents have been forced to cancel training operations and grand jury subpoenas, jeopardizing investigations into gang activity, child sexual assault, sex trafficking, and drug trafficking. "Our mechanics," according to the report, "are cannibalizing out of service vehicles in an effort to replace flat tires." #MAGA
The Coast Guard's top brass is sick of their men and women doing their jobs without being paid. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz appeared next to Master Chief Petty Officer Jason M. Vanderhaden and delivered a shocking condemnation of Trump's shutdown in a video posted on Twitter, calling it "unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members." The Admiral and Master Chief stop just short of injecting politics into their statement, but GODDAMN do they get close to a serious military offense! [Video]
The IRS has given permission slips for hundreds of workers to stay home, citing financial hardships, according to union leaders. The move is as much of a protest as it is a signal to the administration that civil servants aren't just doing this job for shits, giggles, and decent benefits.
Axios gossips that Trump's White House is mulling over giving green cards to 700,000 DACA kids. The scheme is being cooked up by a few Senate Republicans and Jared Kushner who seem to be under the impression that they can "go big" and force Democrats to agree to Trump's goddamn wall. Axios prattles on, adding Trump is afraid of what Hannity might think, and that most conservative members think Kushner is A Idiot.
The plastic wife of one of those plastic Trump kids told an obscure pro-Trump web series that she understands federal workers are suffering "a little bit of pain" during Trump's shutdown, but stressed Trump's wall is bigger than them, their bills, and their dignity because it's going to be a thing our grandchildren will look up at and think about making America great again. If we live long enough.
Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst showed her constituents how to properly wrap their feet in bread bags during a town hall yesterday. As people complained about the government shutdown and worried aloud how to feed their families, Ernst griped about Nancy Pelosi and touted the importance of Trump's goddamn wall to a gaggle of farmers in a landlocked state that's literally 1,000 miles from the Mexican border.
We're NOT going to make jokes about the alleged abuse found in Sen. Joni Ernst's divorce filings. Though it is a little ironic that Ernst, whose entire political career is based on the idea that she's tough as nails, did an about face (in her bread bags) on Donald Trump when asked to be his VEEP because her asshole (ex) husband demanded she not be more successful than who and whatever the hell is and does.
Trump's White House has locked Stephen Miller in the basement with nothing but bags of Doritos and a crate of Mountain Dew, and told him to write two State of the Union addresses. Axios gossips that Trump is trying to force Nancy Pelosi to formally rescind the invitation for the SOTU. ABC News further reports that Trump's White House has requested a walkthrough of the House chamber from the Sergeant at Arms, but it's also prepping a Mad Libs style speech in the event he gives up and goes to flyover country for another rambling hate rally.
The State Department's top diplomat for European affairs, Wess Mitchell, tells WaPo he's quitting to spend more time with his family, not because Vladimir Putin has America on its belly. Politico notes that Mitchell has faced criticism from nerd world over his insistence that the US forge relationships with Russia-loving dictators and autocrats in order to keep them from getting deeper in bed with Russia.
In a stunning rebuke to Trump's nationalist nonsense, the House voted 357-22 to reaffirm US support for NATO, effectively barring Trump from pulling out of the alliance. As a reminder that Congress controls the purse strings, one provision endorses the 2014 Wales Defense Investment Pledge which makes member nations contribute 2 percent of their national income on defense.
Mitch McConnell is getting ready to steamroll more judges by changing the Senate rules so that it's easier to pack the courts. Surprise!
Republicans are ready to grumble after progressive Democrats were named to the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The all important committee tasked with investigating grift and fuckery now includes reps Ro Khanna, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Talib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Committee chair Elijah Cummings tells Politico, "If I based the choices going on the committee based on what people said or their reputations or whatever, I probably wouldn't have a committee."
The 37-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, has announced a 2020 exploratory committee. The openly gay Afghanistan veteran and Rhodes scholar released a video early this morning stating, "The reality is there's no going back, and there's no such thing as 'again' in the real world. We can't look for greatness in the past." Fun Facts: Buttigieg is the first openly gay presidential candidate, and his name is pronounced "Boot-edge-edge." #HesRunning
A new cost analysis has found that the average cost of insulin for people suffering from Type 1 has almost doubled over the last five years. Yr Wonkette is not a doctor, but we think this may have something to do with why there's so many reports about how people are rationing insulin, including federal workers.
The Los Angeles teachers union ended their strike yesterday after coming to an agreement with city officials. The LA Times reports teachers will receive a 6 percent raise and a reduction in class sizes, and schools will get more librarians and academic counselors.
Over in Denver, teachers have voted to strike for the first time in 25 years following the breakdown of talks with city officials. The Denver Post reports teachers are fighting for more advancement opportunities and a better pay scale, as well as incentives to work at high poverty schools.
Vanity Fair's Gabe Sherman gossips that Javanka want to "You're Fired" Rudy Giuliani for giving so many (ALLEGEDLY) drunken interviews that implicate Trump in high crimes and misdemeanors. The AP reports that Giuliani might not be going on TV at night anymore, and quotes Sam Nunberg alluding to Rudy's ALLEGED drinking problem. Yesterday Rudy told Dana Bash that Trump is "not pissed" he's making Robert Mueller's job easier every time he opens his mouth. Last night Trump's legal team told CNN Rudy wasn't being "You're Fired," they're just thinking about sending him to a farm in upstate New York.
A new Politico/Morning Consult Poll shows Trump's disapproval ratings are at an all time high thanks to his shutdown. According to the poll, 57 percent of voters think he sucks, and 54 percent blame him for shutting down the government. Additionally, only 7 percent of voters support giving Trump any money for his goddamn wall to end the shutdown.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders went on Hannity to whine about those MAGA snowflakes, complain about AOC, and bitch about Buzzfeed's reporting from the comfort of her safe space.
Speaking of Buzzfeed, they just published the Trump Tower Moscow plans, and they include perks for Putin, a spa by Ivanka, and a YUGE monument to Trump's impotence. The plans state Trump would get kickbacks at regular intervals, and a cut of all condo sales. But, there wasn't any collusion.
Robert Mueller is wondering what the hell Trump's 2016 campaign was doing with the NRA, according to former Trump lackey Sam Nunberg. It's no secret that Trump was super cozy with them, but the last two years have shown that the NRA, Trump, and Russia all seem to keep overlapping with one another. HHMMM...
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