Wheels On The Bus Go Over The Bodies. Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 11, 2019


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

The world's worst house guest and bullshit artist, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has been arrested by British police. Reuters reports police saying they were INVITED into his hidey hole in the Ecuadorian embassy by the ambassador following the country's withdrawal of asylum due to Assange's "discourteous and aggressive behavior." In a video message, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno stated Assange had "violated, repeatedly, clear cut provisions of the conventions on diplomatic asylum," and cited numerous incidents where Wikileaks began fucking with other countries. Yesterday Assange claimed he had been spied upon while living in the embassy, kind of like the Truman Show, as part of an ALLEGED extortion attempt. However, because he's a self-righteous asshole who lies constantly, nobody cares or believes him (except Russia).

Steve Mnuchin says the Treasury Department wasn't able to get Trump's tax returns for House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal. Both Mnuchin and Neal are talking with their respective legal teams on how to interpret a law that was created following a wide ranging corruption scandal involving the the president and his cabinet officials in the 1920s.

After having his nomination for ICE head yanked, the acting director of ICE, Ron Vitiello, is being quit-fired. Vitiello's departure comes as Trump runs around Washington throwing tantrums and decapitating the national security agencies.

With Mitch McConnell up for reelection in 2020, the quiet Republican civil war is beginning to spill out of the Hill's smoke-filled rooms. Trump's hostile takeover of the party has brought back ghosts of elections past and the moderates are desperate to keep people like Herman Cain and Ken Cuccinelli on the frozen fringes of Washington circles, but Politico reports Mick Mulvaney has been silently triggering Trump's worst instincts.

There's a fight in Trump's White House over baby jails. In one corner is Jared Kushner complaining that someone needs to clean up this mess, in the other is Stephen Miller screaming about taco trucks on every corner.

Trump's attempt to steal money from the Pentagon is pissing off Congress, and they're about to end a "gentleman's agreement" that allows the Pentagon to shift billions in discretionary funds. Despite being an absurdly small portion of the overall defense budget, the rainy day fund allows the Pentagon to be more nimble in the event of a crisis, like flooding of military bases throughout the Midwest and coastal states, but Trump's border wall cash grab threatens to screw over everyone.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a bad day on the Hill (again) yesterday after Democrats called her out on a ban for using federal money to put guns in schools. Last year DeVos claimed that she couldn't stop the government from using tax dollars to arm teachers to the teeth, but former teacher and freshman Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes whipped out emails from the department's own lawyers directly contradicting DeVos.

An evening of begging and cash grabbing for top lawmakers in Texas soured after a gun fetishist and Texas Speaker of the House got into a cat fight. Accounts of the altercation vary, but the gist is that the speaker was triggered about being seated next to the gun humper -- who had previously shown up at his house to whine about guns -- and the two rather quickly confronted one another. Then there was ALLEGEDLY a letter, and then a Kool-Aid packet, and the two almost broke out into a fist fight right in front of their own mega-donors.

The company of West Virginia's backstabbing and double dealing Republican governor, Jim Justice, owes $4 million in mining violations, the highest delinquent mine safety debt in the US mining industry, according to a new report by NPR. Over the course of Justice's term as governor, his family's mining company has almost doubled its debt despite pledging to pay off all the federal safety violations from mines in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia. NPR notes that the Justice Companies debt is almost 10 percent of all unpaid debt owed to Uncle Sam by mining companies. This morning Politico reports that Justice is scared shitless about losing reelection in 2020 after he became a Republican in 2017, so Trump World has dispatched some weasels to shore up Republicans who've begun a whisper campaign that Justice can't be trusted.

A 21-year-old person has been arrested in connection with three fires at historically black churches in Louisiana. Local police and state officials are expected to hold a news conference later this morning. In a related story, Republican Rep. Clay Higgins released a bizarre video earlier this week where he stood in the ashes of one burned church in his "Cajun John Wayne" persona. The video has drawn criticism thanks to Higgins's history with Islamophobia, gun humping, alt-right militias, and an equally dubious video he filmed at Auschwitz.

Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig is expected to face charges stemming time working with Paul Manafort on behalf of the Ukrainian government in 2012. At the time Craig's firm had been contracted to provide oppo research and advice on political rivals for the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych, but Craig decided not to register as a foreign lobbyist when Uncle Sam asked what the fuck he was doing while bathing in Not American blood money.

The EU is letting the UK kick the Brexit can down the road until October, avoiding a disastrous divorce (for now). For the past week, British Prime Minister Theresa May has been negotiating with Britain's left-leaning Labor Party in an attempt to create a compromise before begging the EU for another couple of weeks to cobble together another deal to avoid a "no deal" deal. May is now desperate to avoid calls for her resignation as the EU says it won't reopen Brexit negotiations, potentially creating a very unsavory hard border with Ireland.

Pope Benedict XVI (AKA the Nazi Pope) wrote a long and nasty letter bitching about clerical sex abuse, the 1960s sexual revolution, and the "homosexual cliques" he says are filling the seminaries. Benedict goes on to blame the Church's problem with pedophilia as an "absence of God" instead of a religious institution spending centuries covering up sex crimes against women and children.

Shortly after Donald Trump said he wanted to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for a third time, Kim started threatening the US with some kind of "blow" job.

Renaissance Technologies, the Mercer family's sketchy hedge fund, is getting fined for tax shenanigans. The IRS says the company owes about a decade's worth of back taxes because it sheltered up to $34 billion in profits, but it's only asking for an extremely reasonable $1 billion.

In a not at all shocking turn of events, the bastion of journalistic integrity known as the The National Enquirer is on the verge of collapse and expected to be sold at any time thanks to plummeting sales and mismanagement from David Pecker. It looks like Pecker's obsession with dick pics, porn stars, and Donald Trump has caused the paper to go limp.

Chrissy Teigen's advice to a room full of Democrats on their three day retreat is that women should say "Fuck You" more. Agreed.

Samantha Bee broke down all the way both George and Kellyanne Conway are full of shit and using people in some kind of weird fetish for their own personal amusement.

Fifty Cons of Way | April 10, 2019 Act 2 | Full Frontal on TBS

And here's your morning Nice Time! BARN OWLS!

Graceful Barn Owl Hunting in the Daytime | BBC Earth

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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 lying in a gutter taking photos.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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