Something's Coming. Wonkagenda For Fri., Feb. 01, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump spent yesterday screaming at the heads of the US intel community (again) on Twitter, claiming that they were all "misquoted" when multiple news organizations and C-SPAN broadcast their testimony on global threats to national security in front of Congress on Wednesday. Following a private intervention with the heads of the CIA, FBI, and DNI, Trump claimed to value the intelligence community even though he spent the morning tweeting threats and insults. Early this morning, Trump started shitposting about the Middle East, complaining about the cost of cleaning up the big, fat, mess he's only exacerbated.
In a new interview with New York Times gossip columnist Maggie Haberman, Trump bitches and moans about his intel chiefs, Nancy Pelosi, Roger Stone and Wikileaks, the Trump-Russia investigation, and what a great job he's done pulling out of the Middle East. Trump also then huffs and puffs about how much he "loves" being president even if it's a "loser" job that doesn't pay doodly squat. Trump denies that Republicans are secretly plotting to oust him during the 2020 primary, and says he loves "KAMEELA" Harris. In a series of media interviews yesterday intended to steer coverage away from his embarrassing failures, Trump threatened to declare a national emergency and build his goddamn wall if Congress doesn't give him any money.
The Pentagon is getting ready to send more than 3,500 US troops to the Southern border, according to the WSJ, making the total number of soldiers standing around with their thumbs up their asses over 5,000. The move prompted House Armed Services Chair Rep. Adam Smith to send a nastygram to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan demanding to know why the administration tried to hide the deployment of MORE soldiers to the southern border during recent congressional testimony.
The Senate voted 68-23 to advance an amendment that would block Trump's withdrawal of US forces in Syria and Afghanistan. In speaking with reporters, Mitch McConnell parsed his words so as not to offend President Pampers, stating, "ISIS and al-Qaeda have yet to be defeated," adding, "And American national security interests require continued commitment to our missions there." The vote is bolstered by a draft report from the Pentagon that concludes pulling out of the Middle East is an open invitation for the Baath-tub crazies and ISIS to come back.
According to Trump's awful TV economist Larry Kudlow, the administration is considering Herman Cain for one of two open seats on the Federal Reserve board. Kudlow notes the former CEO of a gross and greasy pizza chain and D-list talking head is one of many people the administration is considering, adding the list is "fairly large."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is expected to formally announce her presidential run on Feb. 9. #ShesAlreadyRunning
In other less than surprising news, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker announced his 2020 presidential run. Booker's announcement video centers around the themes of "common purpose" and a "revival of civic grace."
Cory Booker: We Will Risewww.youtube.com
New Jersey Democratic lawmakers are threatening to boot Trump from the 2020 ballot unless he releases his tax returns, and banning any candidate from their electoral college votes who refuses to do so. DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!
Federal workers are still freaking out about Trump's shutdown. Studies of workers' mental health show signs of PTSD with workers complaining of burnout, high stress, and the loss of "the dignity of public service." Thanks, Trump.
SAD TIME: Park rangers in Joshua Tree National Park are really sorry there's human shit and "toilet paper flowers" all over the place. The LA Times reports damage to the park during Trump's shutdown could take centuries to fully recover, but things could have been worse.
SEAL TIME: Elephant seals used Trump's shutdown to invade California's Drakes Beach after high tides and heavy seas battered their normal protected spot at the nearby Chimney Beach. Because federal workers weren't around to contain the seals -- which can weigh as much as a car and seriously wreck your shit -- Mother Board reports the seals are getting cozy in their new suburban beach community.
NICE TIME: A group of people in Chicago, many of them young business owners from the South Side, helped move more than 100 homeless people into hotels to escape the life threatening polar temperatures gripping the Midwest. [ Archive]
Because one new cold war with an eastern super power isn't enough, the Trump administration is planning on pulling out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty later this morning. The WSJ reports that the administration will cite the expansion of Russia's missile program as a blatant violation of the treaty as grounds for starting a new nuclear buildup, instead of dropping crippling sanctions. [Background]
The Senate Intel Committee was looking through DJTJ's caller ID from 2016 and realized he was calling shady business weasels just before that Trump Tower meeting with Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and the Russian
spy lawyer lady, Natalia Veselnitskaya -- not his daddy, ABC News reports. DJTJ was talking to NASCAR CEO Brian France and Russian real estate sleazebag Howard Lorber. Nerds are lawsplaining that this suggests plans for Trump's Russian trash palace were not only more extensive than admitted, but DJTJ may have lied to Congress. WHOA, if true!
The rumor mill among the Twitterati is that there might be some Mueller indictments dropping today, so it's a good thing Mother Jones has a good recap of the feud between ratfucking conspiracy mutants Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi. LOCK THEM UP!
Erik Prince has been VERY BUSY in China over the last few years. When he's not trying to build Trump's secret MAGA police, or his own for-hire private air force and navy in Saudi Arabia, he's been helping the Chinese build a freestanding army to apeshit on Uighur Muslims. Remember, it's not a genocide if you classify them as radical extremists!
Trump will spend the weekend in Mar-a-Lago golfing, shitposting, and rudely interrupting other new money snobs too terrified to speak up about their burnt ketchup steaks. The high society trash defending Trump are praising him in the Times, stating, "You would have to be insensitive not to be touched by how he has stayed [in Washington] working. I think people will have tears in their eyes because they're so grateful that he's come back to his home away from home."
WaPo's Petula Dvorak found the new Phyllis Schlafly in Victoria Cobb. A Virginia
state legislator crazy person, Cobb thinks women don't need the Equal Rights Amendment that's (finally) making its way through Congress, and is pressuring Capitol Hill to kill the bill under the erroneous assumption that the ERA attaches a vacuum to Lady Liberty's hoo-ha and sucks out all the freedom babies. Or something.
When Dame Peggington awoke from her gin-induced slumber, she found she had once again trashed her posh penthouse suite the night before. She lumbered over to the Smith-Corona Sterling and, gulping down a handful of Aspirin with the clouded leftovers of last night's cocktail, she shoved the forest of empty bottles into the wastebin to read last night's screed. It was a forceful rebuke of WALL, of anti-capitalist liberals, and her less than subtle lust for Howard Schultz (God, he looked good in a suit!), but it was still missing something. Her shrieks for Ramón, her faithfully handsome manservant, bounced across the pale golden wallpaper and echoed through the cavernous parlor -- "You fired him, Peggy," she reminded herself. "He was an illegal." She leaned back in her chair and rolled the dial of her ivory-colored rotary phone. "Blood mary," she belched at the concierge, "and don't get cheap on the vodka." A single tear slid down the side of her eye, dragging with it heaps of mascara as she reminisced about Ramón, and Ronnie's suit, and the good old days of greed.
Later today Trump's FCC is expected in court to defend itself from lawsuits by consumer groups, blue states, and big name internet companies that claim the Trump administration had no legal right to kill net neutrality rules. In a related story, Gizmodo has some brilliant reporting on a Trump-connected PR group behind the hundreds of fake comments that spammed the FCC commenting system, and used people like Roger Stone and Diamond and Silk in a disinformation campaign to drum up support.
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.