And For Their Next Trick ... Yeah, It's Healthcare AGAIN. Wonkagenda For Thurs., March 28, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Republicans are freaking out about Trump's promise to repeal Obamacare. Not only do they not have a plan, but they know there's no way any of their usual schemes will pass through a Democratic House. Politico notes even the Freedom Caucus is revolting at the idea, but WaPo reports Mick Mulvaney has a hard-on for screwing Obamacare and has been pushing Trump during "policy time" to keep beating this dead horse until it's deader.
Led by Steve Scalise, House Republicans are trying to use procedural shenanigans to embarrass House Democrats. Scalise wants to force votes on anti-abortion "born alive" bills, as well as scuttle the Green New Deal with discharge petitions that will shame DINO's like Rep. Dan Lipinski into "crossing the aisle." Since Republican representation was obliterated in 2018, Democratic Reps like Maryland's Jamie Raskin have likened this fuckery to "college-style pranks" that the majority should ignore.
After 20 years, Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro finally passed her measure to close the gender pay gap! DeLauro has repeatedly introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act since 1997, and yesterday it passed, 242-187. If the old white Republicans in the Senate don't throw it in a urinal, the bill would amend the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act to, as Roll Call notes, make employers explain why they're paying men and women differently for the same damn job, and make it easier to sue employers for equal pay.
In one of his many shitposts this morning, Trump threatened to close the US-Mexico Border (again) amid a flood of refugee families from "shithole countries" in Central America. The angry tweets come after Customs and Border Patrol commissioner Kevin McAleenan "reluctantly" complained about releasing migrants without being able to low-jack them due to overcrowding in Trump's baby jails. McAleenan characterized the situation with scary adjectives like "breaking point" and "Unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis," as if this wasn't part of some master plan for Trump to continue crying about a problem he created.
Because the Trump administration is screwing around with military construction projects, the Air Force has been forced to indefinitely suspend a $68 million renovation of the Air Force Academy's Cadet Chapel so that the DOD can rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Outgoing Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says she's been forced to cancel 61 projects just to start the repairs at Tyndall, which are estimated to cost $3 billion. Money's tight, flyboys and gals, 'cause Grandpa needs his goddamn wall.
Shortly after the massacre at Parkland, an NRA official reached out to a Sandy Hook truther to start floating conspiracy theories about a second shooter, according to emails obtained by HuffPo. The nutball then immediately bragged to his friends, "After 4 years of emailing the NRA I finally got a response," but he still wondered why the NRA was only now reaching out.
2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Cory Booker had a town hall on CNN last night where he pledged not to take money from big pharma and to roll back Trump's trans ban, called Betsy DeVos A Idiot, said "thoughts and prayers" were a bunch of crap, knocked the NRA, and called Trump "complicit" in white supremacy for his failure to "condemn Nazis or even talk about white supremacy as a problem." He also said very nice things about his girlfriend,
Maryland Republican Governor (and shadow 2020 Republican candidate) Larry Hogan vetoed a $15 minimum wage bill approved by the state Assembly, along with several other bills that sailed through the Democratic state legislature, calling them "politically motivated." Hogan has a history of kneecapping the Fight for $15, repeatedly arguing that paying poor people more money would only make them poorer (because reasons).
Energy Secretary Rick Perry secretly green-lit a plan for US companies to start working with Saudi Arabia to build nuclear power plants, The Daily Beast reports. The Saudis say we should be happy since they could easily get what they want from Russia and/or China. The scheme is remarkably similar to what Mike Flynn was attempting to do before he got busted by Robert Mueller.
Earlier this week Trump's ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass criticized Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan for dicking around in US negotiations with the Taliban. Incensed that the US had the balls to bitch about the diplomatic process, the Pakistani human rights minister called Bass a "pygmy" and a "moron," adding Trump's diplomats have been doing bang-up job breaking global stability without any help. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
While meeting with Fabiana Rosales, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Gaudio, Trump issued a half-hearted threat to Russia for stationing troops in Venezuela. When asked by reporters, Trump stated, "Russia has to get out," adding "They know" about his feelings, and he'll "fix it."
Just like the British Parliament, we're literally throwing our hands up on Brexit this morning. After Theresa May offered to resign provided MPs take up her shitty deal to avoid a "no deal" Brexit, MPs rejected not only her deal (AGAIN), but seven (!) other deals, including an option for a second referendum.
Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation isn't QUITE finished yet as a super secret mystery case involving the special counsel grand jury is still quite active! (Or it is finished and the grand jury is working for the DC district court now.) Yesterday, a US District Court heard arguments to turn over information in a case involving a foreign business to a press freedom group, but Mueller's people said the investigation was "continuing robustly." Upon hearing the Trump-Russia investigation was still going, the lawyer for the press freedom group stated, "That to me is fascinating. It's worth doing it for that." [Morning Maddow]
We're shocked to hear smarmy Trump goon and bumbling spy Felix Sater is being accused in federal court of trying to launder billions of stolen Ameros via Trump's failed Moscow project, and through the Trump SoHo trash palace. Think Progress reports BTA bank and the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, filed a lawsuit saying Sater tried to use $4 stolen billion to finance the Trump Tower Moscow deal in 2012, and even set up a meeting between Trump and a shady Kazakh businessman, but it's unclear if Trump knew the cash was stolen.
Former FBI Director James Comey sat down with NBC's Lester Holt to say it's a good thing the Barr Report says Trump didn't conspire with Russia during the 2016 election as it suggests the DOJ and FBI are doing their jobs. Comey did say he hopes someone looks into that whole obstruction of justice thing, noting that his being "You're Fired" sure seems like Trump was trying to shut down an investigation that made him look bad.
Trump called in to Hannity last night (again) to yell and scream about all the DEEP STATE NoBama people spying on him. Trump then said he was thinking about pardoning Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos, framed the Russia investigation as a coup, and shouted about releasing FISA warrants, even though all his TV lawyers say it'd be "a form of obstruction." He then rattled off a laundry list of people he wanted to thank at Fox News as if he'd just won an Oscar for Best Bullshit Artist.
Samantha Bee's Allana Harkin briefly 'splainered how veterans who enlisted with the promise of citizenship are now facing the threat of deportation after the Trump administration decided they were really bad dudes JUST for having family living in Not America. Fun Fact: Immigrant vets could be jailed or killed if they're deported, meanwhile the military is suffering a massive recruiting shortage. #MAVNI
Immigrants in the Military | March 27, 2019 Act 3 | Full Frontal on TBSwww.youtube.com
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