Another Bill In The Wall. Wonkagenda For Fri., Feb. 22, 2019

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today!

Rudy Giuliani has crawled out from the bottom of a pint glass to tell USA Today that Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation is almost over, and that Trump's lawyers haven't heard anything "in weeks." According to an ALLEGEDLY sober Giuliani, "If [Mueller] clears the president, we walk away and say, 'Thank you.' If it is damaging, then we will respond."

In a hilarious display of malicious compliance, the DOD says it only has about $85 million left of the $2.5 billion the Trump administration is trying to steal for Trump's wall (or "peaches," or steel slats, etc.). The DOD plans to ask the House Appropriations Committee to reauthorize another $2.5 billion, but nobody expects them to play ball, leading some to worry that the administration may straight up mug Uncle Sam in order to get some quick cash for the Tortilla Curtain.

House Intel chair Rep. Adam Schiff has an op-ed in WaPo warning Republicans that Trump is coming for the power of the purse, urging them to grow a pair and stand up for truth, justice, and American cheese.

Jared Kushner has been quietly gathering Jesus freaks, ICE racists, and agro-business to forge a consensus on visa prioritization, according to new documents. Kushner's goal is to let big businesses and Trump donors decide which brown people we let into the country, that way he looks like a genius and takes all the credit for making America great, or whatever.

A judge has ruled that Trump's Labor Secretary Alex Acosta broke the law when he didn't tell victims of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein that the billionaire had cut a deal with prosecutors. According to the judge, Acosta never gave victims the opportunity "to affect prosecutorial decisions," tried "to conceal the existence" of the deal, and "and mislead the victims to believe that federal prosecution was still a possibility," a violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act.

McClatchy reports Sen. Mitch McConnell has recommended Republican donor, coal magnate, and MAGA minion Kelly Craft for US ambassador to the UN. Craft currently serves as the US ambassador to Canada, thus avoiding the spectacle of a fight in the Senate.

The Daily Beast reports Donald Trump is the only 2020 candidate who hasn't pledged to abstain from using hacked material. Instead, former Fox talking head/Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded by saying, "We're not in the business of taking pledges invented by the liberal online media."

Mike Pompeo has decided #HesNotRunning for the open Kansas Senate seat in 2020, and now wallets are being ripped open across the state as both Democrats and Republicans seek to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Republicans are desperate to keep Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach off the ticket as Democrats see Kobach as the easiest to beat on the growing list of potential contenders, but insiders tell McClatchy Kobach may be donning his MAGA hat and heading to DC for a gig in Trump's White House.

Congress creep Rep. Matt Gaetz keeps saying really gross stuff about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, referring to her as "adorable" and "attractive," and saying he'd "swipe right" if he had to work across the aisle with her. Ever the MAGA misogynist, Gaetz is now trying to take credit for the rise of AOC, and blatantly tweeting sexually suggestive and degrading things about her with emojis and hashtags.

Iowa white supremacist Republican Rep. Steve King tells Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" he has "nothing to apologize for," and plans to run for reelection. King blames the LIBERAL media for misquoting his textbook neo-Nazi rhetoric, and denies being a white supremacist.

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee is super sorry people found that photo of him wearing a Confederate uniform outside a frat house back in 1980. USA Today notes that it wasn't until 2010 that his old frat banned wearing Confederate uniforms at events, such as the annual Old South party.

Republicans in the North Dakota House passed a slew of pro-gun laws, including banning a gun buyback program and again allowing people to conceal carry in schools. According to the Republican legislature, the gun buyback programs threaten public safety.

A Montana state legislator is trying to make Montana great again by introducing bills that would exempt the state from climate change legislation, arguing the state's carbon emissions are from good God-fearing businesses that ain't meaning no harm, and that kids need to be taught CO2 is good for you. Ars Technica notes the bills are likely unconstitutional thanks to years of legal precedent, and the fact that the legislator, state Rep. Joe Reed, is A Idiot.

A DOD report released a 2017 survey showing military spouses suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and unemployment due to their significant others' service while deployed on active duty, or following a move due to deployment. Good thing they get to live rent free in the toxic, rat-infested shitholes we call base housing.

Once again the Trump administration is backpedaling on its Middle Eastern policy. Late last night, the administration announced it would keep a small force of 200 US troops in Syria to protect US-back Syrian Kurdish fighters from being massacred by the Turkish forces massing at the border. The WSJ notes that the move comes ahead of a meeting between Turkish officials, acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford.

Negotiations in Trump's trade war continued yesterday as the Chinese delegation sat down with uber rich Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin and neo-nationalist idiot Robert Lighthizer. The WSJ notes China's willingness to buy American products without relaxing barriers to its own markets seems to be lulling the administration into a false sense of accomplishment, with some nerds cringing at Trump inviting China's top negotiator to the Oval Office for a photo op later today.

Hugo Carvajal, Venezuela's former spy chief, has come out against the regime of Nicolas Maduro in a new interview with the New York Times, making him one of the highest political defections to date. Carvajal alleges the Maduro government is propped up by drug trafficking and corruption, claiming officials charged with combating drugs "were the ones trafficking it, too." Now a Socialist congressman, Carvajal is urging the military to break with Maduro and allow aid shipments into the country.

Former Fox News talking head Dr. Keith Ablow is facing malpractice lawsuits from three patients who claim he lured them into really messed up sexual relationships during treatment sessions. Allegations include Ketamine dosings, beatings, conversations about bondage, and convincing one person to get a tattoo of his initials to so that Ablow could claim "ownership."

The bellhop guarded himself as Dame Peggington flailed wildly upon waking. "You pinkos are taking everything from me," she howled, clinging to the half empty bottle of gin he'd attempted to pry from her claw. The bellhop gave up the struggle, and the shrieks from the old, fur-covered banshee abated. "You're all weak," she bellowed as she trudged through the lobby under guard, "They don't know how to play this game! The Tweeting Trotskys put stickers on every lamp pole saying 'Amazon crime!' They chased out the world's richest bachelor!" She stood swaying at the entrance to the hotel, ignoring requests from the help to move along until, finally, she was shoved onto the sidewalk. "What second-rate slobs run this town," she mumbled. Don't they know who she was? With her eyes closed, she imagined the pigeon scat dripping down her shoulder was the warm, trembling hand of The Gipper comforting her like it had so many years ago. "Welcome to New York," she hissed.

And here's your bonus nice time: ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO!

Zoolander (4/10) Best Movie Quote - Orange Mocha Frappuccino! (2001)

And here's your morning Nice Time! GIANT PANDAS!

Giant pandas in the snow Feb. 20, 2019

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.


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