Baby It's COLD Outside! Wonkagenda For Wed., Jan. 30, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Sitting before the Senate Intel Committee, the heads of the US national security apparatus delivered the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment and SHOCKINGLY found that ISIS is not in retreat, Syria is still a disasterpiece theater of proxy wars, Russian and Chinese cyber attacks are getting worse, North Korea is still developing nukes, and Iran hadn't actually violated the JCPOA. The intel chiefs didn't directly call Trump a big, fat liar, but they did ask to answer a lot of questions behind closed doors. The intel chiefs didn't mention anything about the mass of Messicans marching to the border, and the New York Times reports that Trump's detachment from reality has started making Republicans nervous, but this morning he started shitposting about foreign policy and his goddamn wall being the most serious threat to life, libertarian tea, and American cheeseberders.
The Financial Times reports that Trump privately met with Russian President Vladimir Putin (AGAIN) at the last G20 summit in Buenos Aires. According to the report, Trump and Putin waited until everyone left an event except for Melon Trump, Putin, and Putin's translator. A Russian official says the meeting ONLY lasted 15 minutes, and they talked about Syria, and Russia blockading of the Ukrainian shipping ports. [Morning Maddow]
A meeting of the House Armed Services Committee didn't exactly go as planned after military officials were unable to explain anything about the US soldiers Trump has sent to the border with Mexico, let alone how much it's currently costing us, how much it will cost to keep people there, and whether or not the threat is real.
Trump and Pence's plans for a big, beautiful Space Force full of space Marines shooting space aliens in space has been neutered after acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan stated the Space Force is going to be "small, as small as possible." According to Politico, Trump's space farce will (still) rest within the Air Force.
A federal appeals court has ruled the VA can't deny disability benefits to so-called Blue Water veterans. The VA has argued it's not responsible for sailors who worked around chemicals like Agent Orange during the Vietnam War based on a technicality, leaving 90,000 veterans suffering from various genetic abnormalities and cancers to fend for themselves. #MAGA
Democrats have tapped former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to deliver the rebuttal to Trump's State of the Union address next week, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to deliver the Spanish-language version. Leave it to Democrats to counter the incomprehensible racist shrieks of a giant orange manbaby with a strong, powerful and progressive black woman, and a charismatic and fearless Latino man.
Mitch McConnell is leading the Republican effort to kill House Democrats' plans to restore the Voting Rights Act and end the gerrymandering of flyover country. Republicans argue that it's so easy to REGISTER to vote because there's canvassers hanging out at post offices and Lollapalooza, and this is obviously a way to wrest control from the good ol' boys.
Democrats used the first meeting of the new House Ways and Means Committee to highlight all the ways the ACA/Obamacare has saved lives, and how Republicans have been trying to screw poor people out of basic medical care. The meeting was particularly notable when Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore announced that she had been battling cancer for the last year, and thanks to the ACA, it was now in remission, noting, "Literally, instead of yielding me time, you could be delivering kind words at my memorial service." Thanks, Obama!
Elizabeth Warren is mocking poor-hating Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's bitching about having his taxes raised. Warren tells Talking Points Memo, "We have a billionaire who says he wants to jump into the race and the first issue he's raised is 'no new taxes on billionaires.' Let's see where that goes." Just before posting, Schultz appeared on Morning Joe to blow the ghost of Ronald Reagan, guesstimate the cost of an 18 oz. box of cereal, and claim he was born a poor black child.
Hawaii DINO Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's career is being flushed down the toilet before her 2020 campaign can even get off the ground. Politico reports Gabbard's campaign manager and consulting firm are quitting because of Gabbard's feckless incompetence, not just her years of gay hating, and her embrace of Syria's child-murdering dictator, Bashar al Assad. What a shame.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker is expected to introduce the BLAKE Act in honor of disgraced former Rep. Blake Farenthold. Walker's bill would ban former members of congress from lobbying the House or Senate if they've ever used taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment allegations, and never bothered to repay Uncle Sam. Walker tells HuffPo that he's not trying to beat his Bible, he just wants members to know, "There are consequences for our actions and to look the other way would be egregious." Earlier this month the Victoria Advocate reported Farenthold was quit-fired from his cushy new lobbying gig for ALLEGEDLY trying to steer contracts to his buddy/new boss while he was still in office, which would make his hiring illegal.
How cold is it across the Midwest? IT'S FUCKING COLD! Temperatures have fallen as low as -20°F in Chicago this morning, with wind chills over -44°F -- colder than the basecamp at Mount Everest. The US Postal Service has stopped delivery, schools have closed (for once), theaters have decided the show doesn't have to go on, and you can't even get a pizza delivered to your corner pub! Weathermen are warning people not to go outside (let the dog poop inside), and public health officials are worried about homeless people freezing to death. Last night President Peebody shitposted about "global waming" (whatever that is), causing NOAA to tweet out a simple graphic explaining the sub-zero temperatures gripping Chicago and flyover country IS global goddamn warming. Fun Fact: A 70° shift in temperatures is forecasted over the next three days ... oh, and Australia is literally on fire.
Winter storms don't prove that global warming isn't happening. https://t.co/LDqfq4JH9n https://t.co/ndmLD637Cb— NOAA Climate.gov (@NOAA Climate.gov)1548774023.0
Court documents show retiring Chicago Alderman Danny Solis was drowning in debt and constantly hunting for cheap boner pills and
prostitutes massage parlors as part of a quid pro quo scheme that utilized his position on the city's powerful zoning committee. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Solis was caught by federal agents back in 2014, and spent two years wired up in an effort to expose his role in a wide ranging corruption scheme that now involves the uber-powerful Illinois Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan. #ChicagoPolitics
An investigation by The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail has found that cops in South Carolina disproportionately target black people in civil asset forfeiture cases. According to the report, "Police are systematically seizing cash and property — many times from people who aren't guilty of a crime — netting millions of dollars each year." To make matters worse, cops hold contests where departments are rewarded with prizes, dinners, and even a cut of the seized proceeds. #SupportLocalNews
While Trump was screaming about his new best friend in North Korea, Russia secretly offered to build and operate a nuclear power plant in North Korea in exchange for dismantling nuclear weapons. It's actually the same deal the former Clinton and Bush administrations pursued in North Korea until John Bolton came along and nuked everything.
Chris Christie's personal grudge with Jared Kushner is spilling out into the open as Christie potshots at the boy-king in his new book. Last night Christie went on PBS to say Kushner's dad committed "one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes" he ever prosecuted IN NEW JERSEY. Christie then reminded us all that Kushner's dad pleaded guilty to hiring a prostitute to screw his brother-in-law, videotaped it, then sent the tape to his sister in order to keep her from opening her mouth in court.
Over the weekend WaPo reported that one of Trump's golf courses suddenly began firing undocumented people it had employed for over a decade without issue. After people noted how messed up it was to kick people to the curb, the Trump Organization says it will start using E-Verify to check its employees legal status, starting with the golf courses, though Trump himself declined to explain why he never used it in the past.
Self-described "Rat fucker" Roger Stone has tapped 2 Live Crew's lawyer to argue that he has a First Amendment right to lie to Alex Jones and every reporter dumb enough to put him in front of a camera in the event that a judge slaps him with a gag order.
Jimmy Kimmel discovered the diabolical scheme being cooked up by the Illuminutty and Build-A-Bear group to dethrone Donald Trump and his kitchen cabinet.
Roger Stone is a Batman Villain www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S MAVERICK!
Rock-climbing with Maverick in Utah:) www.youtube.com
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