Witch-Hunters Closing In. Wonkagenda For Tues., March 05, 2019
Morning Pulaski Day and Fat Tuesday, Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
The House Judiciary Committee fired off more than 80 letters demanding documents from a slew of government agencies, businesses, and people in and around Trump world as part of an investigation into abuses of power, justice, and good ol' fashioned corruption. The letters tell current and former cast members, like Trump's kids, Steve Bannon, Tom Barrack, Rhona Graff, Allen Weisselberg, the NRA, Wikileaks, and whatever's left of Cambridge Analytica to cough up whatever they've got. Yesterday, as Trump shoved cheeseburgers into his slavering maw, he insulted a reporter and called the investigations a "hoax," but did say his administration would cooperate. Privately, Trump's White House intends to use executive privilege wherever it can, but publicly it's screaming about "presidential harassment." It's unclear if they also demanded Trump's birth certificate.
Democrats on the House Intel, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight Committees are also demanding "all documents and communications, regardless of form and classification, that refer or relate" to Vladimir Putin, "including in-person meetings and telephone calls," AND demanding the State Department turn over anybody who knows anything about Trump's Russian fuckery.
Trump's AG William Barr says he won't recuse himself, and Roll Call reports that Barr is "inclined to follow the Justice Department's guidelines that a sitting president can't be indicted." How shocking.
The WSJ reports that a lawyer for Michael Cohen asked Trump for a pardon last year. IF TRUE, this would contradict his testimony before Congress last week where he said he specifically never asked to be pardoned for lying to Congress. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
James Comey, the former FBI Director and Boy Scout spirit guide, writes in a new op-ed that William Barr should be a hell of a lot more transparent with the Mueller report, saying there's a long history of the DOJ releasing information. After all, just look at HER EMAILS.
In new podcast with ABC, Trump's former lawyer Ty Cobb says Robert Mueller is an "American hero," and that the Trump-Russia investigation isn't a "witch hunt." With friends like these, huh? [Transcript]
Trump's White House is worried about Senate Republicans nuking his emergency declaration to build a wall (or "peaches," or steel slats, etc.) along the southern border. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flat out said there's probably enough support to pass a resolution overturning Trump's declaration, though it's unlikely they'd override Trump's inevitable veto. Politico reports as many as 12 Republicans have sounded off to the administration about the declaration as the administration makes a less than half-assed approach to shore up support for his goddamn wall. This comes as Trump minions try to steal money from obscure areas of the government, like the Treasury Department's asset forfeiture account, to
launder cash secure funding for WALL.
Later today, House Democrats will begin debating HR 1, a massive overhaul of rules governing campaign finance, ethics, voting, and lobbying. Republicans are expected to complain how the bill would overrule a state's right to restrict access to voting booths, and bemoan a public matching system for small campaign donations because blah blah blah free speech for corporations.
Democrats will vote tomorrow on a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism in response to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar's comments referring to pro-Israel politicos as having an "allegiance to a foreign country." Through a deluge of crocodile tears, Republicans are whispering that the Muslim congresswoman should be censured and stripped of her committee assignments. Late last night Trump, an authority on allegiance to foreign powers, began shitposting about Omar.
Florida men Rep. Matt Gaetz's feud with Sen. Rick Scott is the stuff dreams are made of. Scott has apparently been a thorn in the side of the Gaetz family for years after Scott snubbed Gaetz's father for a cushy job at the University of West Florida, but now Gaetz is trying to get his revenge by kissing Trump's ass.
With all the cool kids inside the Trump administration being served subpoenas, Ben Carson says he's packing his pillow and leaving after Trump's first (and, Crom willing, final) term in office. Carson says he wants to return to the private sector where he feels he can make more money screwing poor people thanks to his "influence."
Trump couldn't help but open his mouth during a White House signing event (natch). Trump happened to recognize the face of DC Attorney General Karl Racine, but couldn't quite figure out why he looked so familiar. SPOILER ALERT: Racine is one of the most outspoken critics of Trump, and is currently suing him for violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution.
The House Natural Resources Committee wants to know why the hell a Canadian energy firm was meeting with Interior department officials just before the Trump administration decision to shrink the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. An executive for the energy firm tells Roll Call that they did meet with Interior Department officials just before the Trump proposal, but notes, "Our official request was for minor boundary adjustments that would have reduced the area of the monument by a maximum of 2.6 percent. The President reduced the monument by 85 percent. We didn't ask for that."
Washington Governor and 2020 Democratic candidate Jay Inslee reports he raised more than a million Ameros since announcing #HesRunning on Friday. AP notes that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and California Sen. Kamala Harris, all exceeded these fundraising milestones within the first 24 hours of their respective campaigns. Last night Inslee appeared on Rachel Maddow to hug some trees and yell about global warming. [Morning Maddow]
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says he likes farting around the frigid Iowa cold, bullshitting about whether or not #HesRunning against Trump on the Republican ticket in 2020. The Never Trump neocons are thrilled.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley says #HesNOTrunning for president in 2020. Merkley tells NBC that he's running for reelection instead stating, "if we're going to make things happen, we've got to have a Senate that makes things happen."
The AP has a great piece on freelance journos covering forgotten gangland territories following the death of blogger Zack Stoner. Criticised for allowing felons to glorify violence, defenders argue they're helping to tell stories that would otherwise remain unheard.
Citing an anonymous Republican congressional aide, the New York Times reports the NSA has finally shut down its domestic phone spying program that was put in place by the Bush 43 administration after 9/11, and later exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013. Over the weekend, a foreign policy aide for Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy told Lawfare the Trump administration hasn't bothered use a successor program authorized by the 2015 USA Freedom Act for months, and suggested the administration would let authorization for it lapse this December.
SURPRISE! If you gave Facebook your phone number as part of its two-factor authentication (2FA) security, they've been using your phone number to sell you ads AND letting people "look up" your personal profile. Users can hide their phone numbers on their profile, and Facebook is telling users to switch their "look up" settings to "Friends," but Mark Zuckerberg can still suck up your contact information from anyone using the official Facebook app.
Twitter is accidentally highlighting complaints from content creators how copyright fuckery remains a giant problem on the internet. The Verge reports how the douche-bros at Barstool Sports ripped off writer and comedian Miel Bredouw, then tried to act all nonchalant after they got caught stealing. Cite your damn sources, social media is not rocket science!
BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith went on Tucker Carlson to argue about THE DOSSIER, if Michael Cohen's pants are on fire, and whether or not Carter Page is a bigger loser today than he was in 2015. In related news, Parker Molloy discovered replacing Tuck-tuck's guests with random videos is hilarious. [Video]
"Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly - 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' (1949)" https://t.co/xn8YmGqqEC https://t.co/0nmk3AQAqo— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy)1551723593.0
A new analysis of measles vaccines has found that Andrew Wakefield is still a fraud and VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM! The study adds more statistical data to what medical science concluded long ago. [Study / Op-Ed]
Trump did the whole shitty fast food hamburgers for sportsball players thing AGAIN because he is A Idiot with no class.
A federal judge has ruled that the Moira Donegan, the creator of the Shitty Media Men list, can't be sued for intentional or negligent harm, according to court documents obtained by Jezebel. The court did rule Donegan can be sued for defamation, however the judge rolled her eyes at attempts to paint Donegan as an evil feminazi leading a penis chopping witch-hunt, stating, "There are lots of people who go around saying that folks are engaged in witch-hunts, and we can all have our own beliefs as to whether or not witches exist."
And here's your morning Nice Time! A KLIPSPRINGER CALF!
Baby Klipspringer Bottle Feeding www.youtube.com
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