INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK! Wonkagenda For Mon., Feb. 04, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today, and none of them have anything to do with sportsball!
Trump went on CBS's "Face the Nation" to interrupt the host, Margaret Brennan, and gaslight the public about his litany of failures ahead of some sportsball game. Throughout the interview, Trump dodged questions about releasing Mueller's report on Russian fuckery in the 2016 election; threw dog shit at his own national security intelligence chiefs' assessments on Syria, North Korea, and Iran; threatened to declare a national emergency and make the military build his goddamn wall (or fence, or steel slates, or whatever); and address Mitch McConnell's rumor that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quitting. Trump also rambled about how much he loves sports, but admitted he'd probably never let his kid play football because it's dangerous, which is a true thing that he said coherently and everyone's braincase esploded. [Transcript / Video]
Multiple intelligence officials say Trump has a "willful ignorance" when given bad news or told he's wrong. Time reports that intel officials have tried to keep Trump's attention during meetings by using visual aides and repeating his name as much as possible, including building a model of the Statue of Liberty inside a model of a nuclear testing facility in North Korea in order to convey the size and scope of North Korea's nuclear missile testing program. During his interview on "Face the Nation," Trump stated he doesn't have to agree with his national intelligence or security officials, bitching, "I am going to trust the intelligence that I'm putting there."
Axios gossips Trump has spent almost 60 percent of his day in "Executive Time" over the last three months, according to LEAKED private schedules. Citing anonymous White House officials, Axios further gossips that the Burger King spends at least five hours PER DAY shitposting and screaming at people on the phone, and rarely holds meetings with senior cabinet officials.
Trump's State of the Union address is expected to be more of the boring "teleprompter-Trump" than the obnoxious Twitter-Trump, according to Politico. Multiple outlets are reporting that it's entirely possible that an increasingly paranoid Trump -- who still views the presidency as a family business -- will use the annual address to declare a national emergency, and scream about WALL (or border fencing, or steel slats, or whatever).
On Friday, the Pentagon ordered an additional 3,750 US soldiers to the southern border, brining the total number of troops standing around with their thumbs up their asses to 4,350.
Congressional Republicans are starting to get nervous about all the job openings in the Trump administration. WaPo crunched the numbers and found Trump's White House hasn't even bothered to nominate people for the hundreds of Senate-confirmed positions. It's a feature, not a bug.
The former Boeing executive Trump tapped to "temporarily" run the DOD is finding out you can't run a government agency like a bloated corporation. Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan is miffed he can't bark orders to fix problems, or randomly "You're Fired" career officials and replace them with his friends from the private military industrial complex.
The Trump tax cuts (for the super rich) are STILL confusing the megacorporations the law was designed to help, forcing them to spend more money than they would under the old system. Sheldon Adelson is gonna be pissed!
New polling shows many small businesses are pessimistic about their economic futures, and their belief that a recession is around the corner has translated into smaller profits and fewer investments. #MAGA
HHS Secretary Alex Azar has proposed a new complicated scheme to lower the cost of Medicare Part D prescriptions used by old people. If Congress adopts the scheme cooked up by the big pharma CEO, the US would nuke its current rebate system and ask drug companies (with a pretty please and sugar on top) to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam will meet with his senior staff to consider whether or not he should quit-fire himself over that Michael Jackson-shaped hole he fell into blackface-first over the weekend. Former Virginia Gov. (and potential 2020 candidate) Terry McAuliffe piled on to the cacophony of calls for Northam to resign, but there's still a number of people who think it doesn't matter if Northam is in blackface or white. The WSJ notes Republicans in the state legislature aren't leading calls to IMPEACH, likely because they're afraid someone will discover their old Halloween costumes.
Conservatives are eyeballing the open DC Circuit Court of Appeals seat previously occupied by Justice Rapey McPrivilege, hoping to fill it with Neomi Rao and use that as a backdoor to replacing the notorious RBG. Politico reports that left leaning activist groups are trying scuttle Rao's nomination to the court by reminding people about her defense of dwarf-tossing and rapists.
Arkansas Tea Party Sen. Tom Cotton is writing a book about his time leading the Old Guard unit at Arlington National Cemetery. #HesRunning.
Unannounced Democratic 2020 candidates will likely wait until the summer before confirming suspicions that #TheyreRunning in order get some coverage in a news cycle constantly dominated with whatever dumb shit Trump says.
NBC News is reporting that Democratic 2020 trainwreck Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is being promoted by Russian trolls and state-run media for her steadfast defense of Syrian child-murdering dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Naturally, Glenn Greenwald is crying and calling the report fake news since it damages his delicate constitution.
While Trump bumbles his way in and out of the Middle East, ISIS/ISIL/whatever is pushing into West Africa. The WSJ reports the group differs from its predecessor by avoiding civilians in favor of attacks on NGOs and state security forces, and abandoning more traditional rhetoric, like the belief that it's a sin to hold a government ID, and a belief in flat Eartherism.
After the US announced it would pull out of the 1987 INF treaty due to Russia's continued violations of it, Vladimir Putin spent the weekend bullshiting on TV, and suspended Russia's participation in the landmark Cold War-era treaty. Let the nuclear arms race begin (again)!
That asswipe who was trying to con people into donating cash for Trump's goddamn wall has created a private company to laundry the donations into his pocket. The con man in charge, Brian Kolfage, has joined forces with other racist grifters in Trump world, like Dustin Stockman, Erik Prince, and Kris Kobach, and the group says they're going to build chunks of WALL by buying up private land along the southern border. It should be noted that the crowdfunding site DID NOT return the money to people since Kolfage rejiggered his words in order to legalize his latest fraud scheme.
Another one of Trump's golf courses suddenly "You're Fired" all the illegal immigrants it has employed for years. The Trump Organization tells the New York Times it was duped by the workers' fake papers, but the workers argue they told Trump Organization officials they weren't here legally years ago, but nobody cared.
Youtuber Austin Jones pleaded guilty to making his fans, some as young as 13, send him kiddie porn selfies and perform sexual acts. According to the indictment, Jones conned gullible fans with false promises of fame, kind of like a bootleg Harvey Weinstein, but with kids.
Trump called up the head of Foxconn and bitched them out after reports surfaced that the company wouldn't build a TV factory in Wisconsin. Following the conversation, Foxconn changed its mind (again) and decided to build a cellphone screen factory. Math nerds and state officials are now crunching numbers and wondering if Foxconn ripped them off when Republican Gov. Scott Walker gave Foxconn all sorts of shady tax breaks and land deals. (Spoiler Alert: They did.)
DC Circuit Court of Appeals judges were having none of the FCC's bullshit on Friday when it tried to rationalize killing net neutrality.
Oh, about that football thing that happened? We couldn't care less. WaPo did have a really nice ad in support of journalists, but we were all cheated out of the Spongebob Squarepants "Sweet Victory" song.
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