So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish! Wonkagenda For Mon., Feb. 25, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Democrats are fast tracking a resolution to oppose Trump's national emergency declaration, and are aggressively lobbying Republicans to denounce Trump's attempt to snatch the power of the purse from Congress. This comes amid open statements opposing Trump's tantrum, one from almost two dozen former Republican members of Congress who argue legislators should "exercise restraint to protect the constitutional model...and keep it from being sacrificed on the altar of expediency." Currently serving Republicans, meanwhile, are almost completely silent. The other statement comes from 58 former senior national security officials who argue "there is no factual basis" to declare an emergency, adding that many of the problems Trump attributes to the Mexican-Muslim taco truck invasion are actually the fault of our own addiction to cheap hillbilly heroin from big pharma.
Trump's ambassador to Canada, Republican mega-donor Kelly Knight Craft, is proving that money can buy anything after she was nominated to succeed Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the United Nations over the weekend. WaPo's Pulitzer Prize winning data nerd, David Fahrenthold, notes Craft is a great customer of Trump Hotels, clocking in over 20 visits, and currently holding a VIP (or "Gold") status on her "Trump Card" rewards program.
On Friday Trump got into a mind numbing spat with his neo-nationalist trade advisor in front of reporters and the Chinese trade negotiator. Robert Lighthizer, Trump's trade representative, was attempting to explain how the US and China had agreed to put a few agreements in writing, but Trump began screaming incoherently about binding contracts, leaving top Chinese official literally laughing in Trump's face. Last night, Trump decreed (on Twitter, natch) he had made "substantial progress" negotiating his trade war with Chinese officials, and would postpone a $200 billion scheduled increase in tariffs. As usual, Trump offered no details, but pencil pushers note the administration is so desperate for good PR that it's willing/dumb enough to let itself get steamrolled.
Later this week the House will vote on a bill for universal background checks on all gun sales, effectively closing the so-called "Gun Show Loophole." The bill faces an an uncertain fate in the Senate, and certain defeat at Trump's White House, as Republicans cower in fear of gun fetishists.
The FBI is looking for a few good men, women, and brown people now that the number of special agent recruits has plummeted. The agency has resorted to reaching out to prospects with hashtags and follow-up phone calls in the hopes of getting some non-white science nerds to sign-up.
The super rich Republican donor class isn't cutting checks for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, according to Politico. Despite a fancy Powerpoint presentation from Trump's chief facial-pube enthusiast and 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, big dollar donors are worried any campaign strategy will inevitably be nuked by Trump himself and they're not inclined to throw cash into a raging trash fire.
Chicagoans will go to the polls tomorrow for municipal elections, and there's a real possibility that the Daley machine may ooze its way back into City Hall as Bill Daley, the son of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of former mayor Richard M. Daley, drops mega millions to smother 13 other mayoral candidates. On top of the normal corruption in Chicago politics, big scandals continue to swirl around the election, from high profile police killings, to the indictment of the longtime alderman Ed Burke, a deep pocketed real estate attorney who once worked for Donald Trump.
Last week Pennsylvania Republican state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe decided to one-up his previous gay-hatin' lunacy by claiming CO2 has what plants crave and that he wants "to make sure we have plenty of CO2 out there so we have green gas and green vegetables growing." Silly bastard, everyone knows plants crave electrolytes!
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has cut a deal with a racist anti-Arab group, drawing condemnation from Jewish leaders in the US and Israel, including AIPAC. Netanyahu's run to the hard right is seen by many to be a last-ditch effort to secure his reelection amid mounting legal scandals.
Trump will head to Vietnam for another meeting with his self-described lover, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, in an effort to get a Nobel Peace Prize. It's entirely possible that the long cold war with North Korea could end in a peace declaration that has no concrete policy details, effectively elevating North Korea's status on the world stage despite every nerd in the foreign policy community warning North Korea has no plans to "denuke." This morning, among many other ramblings, Trump retweeted himself praising himself about his handling of North Korea's nuclear proliferation.
As Mike Pence heads to Colombia to discuss invading Venezuela to kill socialists in the name of Trump and Jesus, Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, is calling for military intervention to dethrone the country's dictator, Nicolas Maduro. The calls for military assistance come amid deadly clashes between paramilitary groups and state security forces at blockaded borders that left hundreds injured as they seek to secure food and medicine from aid groups.
A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the 1981 SCOTUS ruling excluding women from the draft was unconstitutional now that women can be all that they can be in the military. In an ironic twist, the case was started by a men's rights group who felt drafting only men violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. In the ruling the judge states, "If there ever was a time to discuss 'the place of women in the Armed Services,' that time has passed."
Microsoft workers have published a letter denouncing the company's work with the US military, and calling for a cancellation of a $480 million contract to create Augmented Reality (AR) systems that would help turn war into a kind of video game. I guess they don't know about the $10 billion JEDI contract...
Late Thursday somebody published keys for more encrypted documents relating to 9/11 litigation, according to Motherboard. The material was initially stolen last October by hacking group "The Dark Overlord." The new batch of material reportedly reveals around 8,000 emails between law firms involved in the case. But not a single memo about the contract to rig the WTC with explosives from the inside.
Yesterday the Trump Organization quietly disclosed it had donated almost $200,000 in profits from "shithole countries" to the US Treasury. In making the "voluntary donation," the Trumpenspawn stated they weren't legally required to give Uncle Sam any money to avoid the appearance of ethical violations; they were simply doing it out of the goodness of their golden hearts.
Jeanine Pirro is telling the FEC she has no plans to repay the $600,000 she still owes vendors for her failed bid to unseat Hillary Clinton from the Senate in 2006. The Daily Beast notes Pirro's campaign was still active as of Friday, and was writing checks to her friends for legal services.
In case you needed another reason to hate KISS frontman Gene Simmons, here's an interview Simmons gave to the WSJ where he brags over and over about being a greedy sellout who's willing to hock everything but crack and a new record. Also, Never Forget that time Terry Gross said he was her most obnoxious guest EVER.
And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S A FLUFFY MARSHMALLOW!
i opened a door and found cumlord behind itwww.youtube.com
Follow Dominic on Twitter and Instagram!
We're 100% ad-free and reader supported, so consider buying us coffee, or get a subscription!
Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.