Love Your Children Well. Wonkagenda For Thurs., Feb. 14, 2019
Morning Wonketariat, and happy Valentine's Day! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Today marks the first anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Yesterday the the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines, 23-15, to advance legislation mandating background checks for all gun sales -- effectively closing the so-called "gun show loophole." Roll Call notes House Republicans tried to introduce 90 different amendments to kill the bill. Upon passage, a number of members hugged freshman Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath, whose 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was murdered in 2012 for playing his music too loud at a gas station. The Guardian notes that the Parkland shooting sparked a movement throughout the country supporting stricter firearms legislation.
A bill to fund the government is expected to make the rounds in the House and Senate later today. A begrudging and bitchy Trump is expected to sign after he ALLEGEDLY reads the 1,159-page bill (HA!). Political wizards note the bill might include a slight pay raise for federal workers, but caution Trump could still nuke the deal and shut the government down (again). There's widespread speculation that Trump will test the limits of the Constitution by either declaring a national emergency, or rejiggering federal funds in order to claim he's building his goddamn wall (or "peaches," or steel slats, etc.)
There's been some
movement on extending the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but not much. Republicans seem cool with extending its protections through the end of the current fiscal year, but Democrats want to extend the protections offered under VAWA to include things like barring people convicted of domestic violence or being sexual creepers from owning guns.
A bipartisan bill to let deported veterans come back to the US has been reintroduced by Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young and Texas Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. Roll Call notes it's unlikely to become a law thanks to Trump and the racist Republicans in the Senate, but Young tells the Military Times, "If you are willing to put your life on the line to defend this great nation and its values, you should be able to become a U.S. citizen."
Super rich #FloridaMan Sen. Rick Scott (blegh) wants to kill off salaries for members of Congress because he believes "Americans shouldn't have to foot the bill for generous salaries and pensions..." So what if the founding fathers wanted to guard against offices being "monopolized by the rich," leaving "the poor and the middling ranks [to] be excluded" in fear of "aristocratic despotism." Fun Fact: Scott personally spent millions of dollars on his own campaign to get elected!
Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger has been deployed to the southern border to stand around with his thumb up his ass defending us all from the Mexican Muslim taco truck invasion. Kinzinger is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, and serves as a recon pilot.
October's neo-Nazi nonsense has ruined Valentine's Day for staffers on the Hill. New safety rules say that people must accept deliveries outside of buildings, and "under no circumstances should staff accept delivery of any type of flower arrangement or other gift if the sender is unknown." At least nobody will have to suffer the slings and arrows of anonymous flying baby terrorists.
The House voted 248 to 177 to
end US support for the Saudi-led
genocide war in Yemen. The Trump administration is bitching that Congress should exercise its authority under the War Powers Resolution, calling it "flawed," adding we'd already stopped refueling the US-built Saudi planes bombing fruit stands and school buses. In an attempt to troll Democrats, Republicans attached a rider condemning anti-Semitism -- but immediately voted against the bill and issued a press release saying "Democrats can no longer claim that these types of votes are merely procedural and not substantive." Democrats of course voted to condemn anti-Semitism, what the fuck did these idiots think?
The Trump administration is expected to introduce
Jared Kushner's super fun-time peace plan between Israel and Palestine. The administration is currently in Warsaw participating in a large peace summit that the Palestinians aren't attending. On the sidelines of the summit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to threaten war with Iran, scaring the oil and piss from Arab states and the Trump administration. The threat appears to be an error in translation, but it's not like it's outside the norm for Bibi.
According to the New York Times, the US has been secretly sabotaging Iranian missiles and rockets at the supply chain level. While this has long been a rumor among nerd and foreign policy circles since the administration of Bush 43, nobody has ever been dumb enough to admit it.
A former Air Force intel specialist has been charged with espionage after US officials ALLEGEDLY caught her sending classified shit to Iran.
Republicans in Montana are trying to nuke HIPAA laws by equating the healthcare privacy protections to tomatoes, diapers, and garbage bags. In related news, a study released yesterday says enforcing work requirements on 300,000 Montanans could force as many as 43,000 people to lose expanded Medicaid coverage, and that there's no evidence ripping health benefits from poor people is a good idea. And just last week state hospitals agreed to help fund the Medicaid expansion efforts pushed by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
Renowned Philippines journalist
Maria Ressa, co-founder of Rappler, has been arrested by murderous dictator Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa has been fiercely critical of Duterte's regime, while Duterte has called the press "sons of bitches" and "spies" and claimed reporters were "not exempted from assassination."
A federal judge has ruled that
Paul Manafort lied to Robert Mueller and broke his cooperation agreement. Prosecutors argued that Manafort was lying about his conversations with his Russian spy partner Konstantin Kilimnik, funny money payments to shady law firms, and other super secret things. Even Fox News legal nerds are thinking this opens up all new doors for Mueller to LOCK HIM UP for the rest of his life.
One of Trump's non-TV lawyers, Marc Mukasey, left Rudy Giuliani's law firm to start his own itty-bitty white collar criminal defense firm. Mukasey has been repping Joel Zamel, the CEO of Psy-Group, a shady private Israeli intel company that the WSJ last year called Cambridge Analytica 2.0, and that Ronan Farrow just revealed has been running around DC bragging about its election fuckery services. Buzzfeed reports Mukasey planned this long before he started his "one-man shop" defending ALLEGED criminals and political terrorists in Trump world.
House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler has sent acting AG Matthew Whitaker a nastygram calling his testimony last week "unsatisfactory, incomplete or contradicted by other evidence" due to his repeated stonewalling and MAYBE some lies, and suggested the committee might drag his ass back up to the Hill to answer questions AGAIN.
Later today the Senate will vote to confirm William Barr for Attorney General, and CNN is gossiping that Barr has been canoodling with DOJ officials about how to handle the Trump-Russia investigation, and replacing Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein with Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen (since he's already Senate-confirmed).
Current and former DHS officials tell the Daily Beast the Trump administration has been dismantling the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), the agency created specifically to combat election and cyber fuckery. Yesterday, the head of CISA told the House Homeland Security Committee that there were ongoing foreign influence operations, and that Uncle Sam needs to get his shit together and create paper trails to audit elections -- a move the ranking Republican said, "didn't really crank my tractor" because it was too burdensome for states and constituted federalism. Fun Fact: Tractors don't use cranks. [Video]
Trump's embattled FEMA chief William "Brock" Long has been quit-fired. Long faced allegations of gross mismanagement over his handling of natural disasters in Puerto Rico and North Carolina, and was facing scrutiny after he was caught taking government vehicles and fucking off back to North Carolina when he should have been working. BYE, FELICIA!
Former grifty SOB
Ryan Zinke has a new gig working with Corey Lewandowski as a lobbyist at Turnberry Solutions. Politico notes that Turnberry was started after Lewandowski was ALLEGEDLY using his access to Trump's White House.
Fox News dumped a 30-second national
ad for Oscar-nominated anti-Nazi documentary short "A Night At The Garden," set to appear during Sean Hannity's shitshow, because, according to the new CEO of Fox News, the ad was "not appropriate for our air." The Hollywood Reporter says the film's distributor bought local air time in Los Angeles on "Hannity" for Monday, but the ad was nuked (AGAIN) so the network could show uninterrupted coverage of Trump's
Nazi border wall rally in El Paso, Texas. The ad is now scheduled to air tonight, but we're not holding our breath. Here's the full documentary short.
The douche nozzle who ALLEGEDLY leaked Jeff Bezos's dick pics to the National Enquirer, Michael Sanchez, has a habit of leaking dick pics and selling out former clients at Fox News and reality TV. There's a word for this kind of disgusting crap, it's called revenge porn, and it's a crime in most states.
The CEO of Burning Man has kicked out the super rich Camp Humano. In a hilariously scathing 2,500 blog post, Marian Goodell cites a litany of reports accusing the super rich dickholes of violating the spirit of Burning Man, such as literally air dropping their own private camps, complete with toilets and air conditioning. Half the fun of Burning Man is avoiding crotch rot while tripping on drugs and carrying a bag of your own poop!
And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S TOPI!
MESSING UP VALENTINE'S DAY? - Topi the Corgi www.youtube.com
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