EMERGENCY! ACHTUNG! Wonkagenda For Fri., Feb. 15, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Congress passed a bill to fund the government and sent it to Trump's White House. President Pampers is expected to sign it during a Rose Garden ceremony (in the middle of winter), then declare a national emergency before fucking off to Mar-a-Lago to play golf and crash weddings. Bloomberg is reporting that Trump will rejigger federal money and steal about $7 billion, bringing the total for his goddamn wall to $8 billion when you count in the $1.375 in the funding bill. Roll Call has a wonky piece on how Congress passed it, and WaPo gossips Trump spent the week waffling until a group of senior aides assured him that if he eats his vegetables he can play with his toys on the southern border.
Mitch McConnell interrupted Chuck Grassley's blithering speech on tax policy to announce Trump was expected to sign the bill and declare a national emergency. Grassley proceeded to bitch out McConnell on the Senate floor, and according to Politico's Jake Sherman, call McConnell "rude." #OldPeopleFight
Congress is gearing up to fight Trump's emergency declaration and protect the so-called "pots" of money Trump intends to steal in order to build his goddamn wall (or "peaches," or steel slats, etc). The governor of Puerto Rico is threatening to sue if Trump takes away its disaster relief, and on Wednesday, a number of members of the House Armed Services Committee warned against taking money to fix the toxic and moldy rat traps we call military housing.
Trump's White House quietly released the results of his annual medical exam, and they say Trump is officially "obese" and suffers from high cholesterol. The official exam was noticeably scant on details compared to previous presidents. Maybe a McDonald's buffet wasn't such a great idea after all?
Politico reports that Howard Schultz's 2020 run has been such a disaster that the DNC kind of feels bad for him at this point. One Democratic Party chair from Washington says that Schultz "managed to upset most everyone in the United States." After three weeks of being shat upon, Schultz is now crying that everyone needs "a little decaf," desperately clinging to the thought that people might join his rich people's pity party.
Former Massachusetts Republican governor Bill Weld just announced an exploratory committee to challenge Trump in 2020 Republican primary. LOL, OK!
The Tennessee Valley Authority voted 5-2 to kill two coal power plants despite pressure from scumbag coal CEO and Republican mega donor Bob Murray, Donald Trump, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Sen. Rand Paul. The TVA decided the plants were old and wasteful, and the area would be better served by cleaner and renewable sources of energy.
After a week of negotiations between US and Chinese officials attempting to end Trump's trade war, officials emerged with a memo that says they're still talking. The memo allows Trump to declare a victory despite getting nothing whatsoever.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of US forces in the Middle East, issued a stunning rebuke to Trump's withdrawal of US forces in the region. In a rare interview, Votel tells CNN's Barbara Starr that he's concerned US-backed forces in the area won't be able to stop a resurgent ISIS/ISIL/whatever without help. Votel adds that many allies in the region are worried about Iran constantly dicking around, though it's also continued to keep its word on the JCPOA.
Thirty years after the US-backed mujahideen kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan, the Kremlin is trying to rewrite history with a resolution declaring the Red Army invasion was a victory, not a "political mistake." Nerds are noting that this is just the latest step in Putin's master plan to make Russia great again. Good thing we'll always have Rambo III to remind us about history.
The Daily Beast got its hands on some emails from Paul Erickson, the grifty old Republican boyfriend of Russian spy Maria Butina. Erickson says Boutina "manipulated" the FSB in order to get that super strange gun factory tour with the NRA. Erickson is now doubling down on his theory that Butina was being stalked by the FSB, but we're calling bullshit. Erickson is not an international man of mystery. He's a failed wheelchair-toilet salesman.
Andrew McCabe's new book about working for the Trump administration paints Jeff Sessions as a racist little troll. According to McCabe, the FBI was at its best when they "only hired Irishmen" because "they were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they're doing?"
Piece of shit FCC chair Ajit Pai is meekly shaking his fist at his telecom puppet masters for slow-rolling tech to block obnoxious and illegal robocalls. Pai says he's even considering *gas* "regulatory intervention" to keep the spammers from bothering him at breakfast, brunch, and dinner. That's not an applause line, that's his job.
Facebook is tracking people in real time that it considers to be a threat, according to a report on CNBC. The Verge notes there's no way of knowing if you've been placed on Facebook's naughty list, and that even vague statements like "Fuck you, Mark Zuckerberg" are enough for Facebook to start stalking its users, though Facebook disputes this and stresses users are added to its "Be On The Lookout" (BOLO) list only after a "rigorous review."
Anti-vaxxers responsible for the recent outbreak of measles are going apeshit on Facebook, spreading conspiracy theories and hokey holistic hogwash, prompting Rep. Adam Schiff to send a nastygram to Mark Zuckerberg. The threat of looming regulation has apparently lit a fire under Zuckerberg's ass because Facebook says it's thinking it might start slapping anti-vaxxers with ban hammers. Miracles never cease.
Trump's spawn are full of sads because everyone hates them so much that it's killing their hotel business. Eric and DJTJ issued a statement blaming the Democrats and fake news for killing their dream of building a chain of garbage hotels with more tchotchkes than a TGI Fridays.
Dame Peggington was startled when she awoke on a bench in Central Park. One of the Millennials standing around her stopped snapping photos of the empty box of gin bottles that had served as a cuddle buddy to ask if she needed help. The Dame snarled and howled, railing about the goddamn pinko tree huggers strangling Lady Liberty, and the fat cats who bastardized Ronnie's dream by refusing to let anything trickle down. She fished out a rumbled cigarette, plopped it into her pearl cigarette holder, and blew smoke into a cloud of nicotine vapor. "You're all killing this country," she slurred while clinging to her worn copy of "Atlas Shrugged."
And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S PRINCE MICHAEL!
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