Scumbag Stephen. Wonkagenda For Fri., April 12, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Over the last several months, Trump's White House has tried to literally bus undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities in order to spit in the face of Trump's political enemies, according to WaPo. When the idea was first proposed by Stephen Miller (natch) in November, ICE officials shot down the plan due to budgetary, liability and PR risks; naturally the administration asked again in February. Officials tell WaPo that Miller wanted to send immigrants to Nancy Pelosi's district, apparently unaware of how absolutely fucking FABULOUS San Francisco is.
With the sudden resignation of ICE's top official, Trump has tapped Matthew Albence to head ICE and its fight against the taco truck invasion of the southern border. Buzzfeed notes that Albence is that asshole who called Trump's tent cities and baby jails "summer camps," and quotes an unnamed official who previously worked with Albence saying, "The joke was, 'Matt never met an undocumented immigrant that he wouldn't deport.' That's his M.O." He seems nice...
Task and Purpose reports that the Pentagon has just under a month to figure out which military construction projects in the flooded and fucked over parts of flyover country can be sidelined so Trump can inevitably raid military coffers for his goddamn wall.
The fate of the Space Force is anyone's guess right now after the Senate Armed Services Committee sounded less than enthusiastic about blowing billions of dollars on crap the Air Force already does.
Your new Interior Secretary is David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for the oil, gas and mining industry. The Senate voted to confirm Bernhardt 56-41, making him the least popular nominee since the Nixon administration. Since he was brought into the Trump administration as the Interior's deputy secretary, he has had to carry a flash card listing all his conflicts of interest. The LA Times says this hasn't stopped Bernhardt from enacting policies for the very same businesses he used to represent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she's going to ask Trump for as much as $2 trillion to invest in infrastructure projects like roads, schools, bridges. In response, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell emerged from his shell to whine about spending all that money on something other than more tax cuts (for the super rich). Last night Trump scoffed at Pelosi's idea in a shitpost, suggesting a plan to fend off $126 billion in spending cuts will probably lead to another government shutdown that's even worse than the last two.
In a speech to House Democrats last night, Fed chair Jerome Powell said members of the Fed "check their political identification at the door." Powell's speech comes as the Trump administration gasses up the bus it's getting ready to toss Hermain Cain under after four more Senate Republicans voiced their opposition to his nomination to the Fed, effectively dooming his chances. Late last night, ABC News reported Cain would withdraw from consideration. Aww, shucky ducky!
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported the administration is more interested in partisan ideologies than in bean counters with PhDs just hours before CNN's Erin Burnett caught Trump's other Fed nominee, Stephen Moore, lying his ass off about his support for a gold standard.
Mitch McConnell is the Regina George of the Senate, leading the once storied hallmark of American democracy to devolve into various cliques of petty assholes. Though some legislators have tried in earnest to get something (anything!) done, Politico reports that McConnell's constant backstabbing has led Sen. Joe Manchin to consider running for governor, a role in which he feels he can be more "effective."
Self-described Florida man Rep. Matt Gaetz has filed a bill called the "PENCIL Act" designed to boot Rep. Adam Schiff from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Gaetz is not a smart man.
Early voting states are getting a lot of attention from a number of Democratic front runners who are looking to lock in delegates and supporters ahead of Super Tuesday next year. McClatchy reports that Bernie Sanders's campaign is flaunting its huge amount of cash as it attempts to court early primary states, while Kamala Harris quietly builds a sizeable campaign infrastructure that leans on people from California to North Carolina.
Democratic 2020 candidate Julian Castro had a town hall on CNN last night where he stressed he's still a serious candidate who's seriously running, and insisted on being taken seriously. Castro talked about Trump's tax returns, immigration, legalizing marijuana and expunging the criminal records of people busted for weed, and his support for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's bill to explore slavery reparations.
Politico has a long and windy tale about how Elizabeth Warren's past conservative ideas were obliterated after she began traveling around the country seeing the effects of bankruptcy courts firsthand. Of her epiphany that Reaganomics was a crock, Warren tells Politico, "I pretty quickly discovered not only that the theory was wrong, but it was deeply misleading."
The race to unseat Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn in 2020 could see a number of rising stars in the Democratic Party. At the moment, Rep. Joaquín Castro is set to duke it out with Air Force pilot/IRL action hero Mary "MJ" Jennings Hegar, but there's rumors that Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards could join the fray.
Across the country Democrats are looking to flip more Republican House seats by using an age-old strategy of tapping over a dozen military veterans and service personnel.
New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is expected to announce a primary challenge against Rep. Ben Ray Lujan for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Udall. If elected, Oliver would become the state's first female senator.
The city of Chicago is suing Jussie Smollett to recoup the $130,106.15 it spent investigating his ALLEGEDLY bogus claim that he was the victim of a hate crime.
The Chicago Sun-Times got its hands on surveillance footage of CPD officers pushing and dragging a high school student down a set of stairs before stepping on her chest, punching her, and hitting her with a stun gun multiple times. The incident happened back in January, and seems to have been initiated without cause. CPD maintains they did nothing wrong because this was a school on the West Side full of dangerous felons in training (AKA: black people).
Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois -- a stone's throw away from St. Louis, Missouri -- has bought a billboard saying, "Welcome to Illinois, where you can get a safe, legal abortion."
Bible thumpers in Ohio scored a major victory after Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a "fetal heartbeat" bill that bans abortions if a doctor can detect a heartbeat via a transvaginal ultrasound (an uncomfortable rod shoved up a hoo-ha). The Republican-controlled legislature had fast tracked the bill in the hopes that it could eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a bunch of guys claiming dominion over all vaginas everywhere.
Citing new research from several different university studies, WaPo has a very thinkery piece this morning about the lengths to which Russia went to brainwash Bernie supporters in 2016. Their effort started immediately after Sanders announced his candidacy, thanks to Sanders's dislike of TPP and Russian President Vladimir Putin's loathing of Hillary Clinton. As Bernie refused to concede through the spring of 2016, Russian trolls used a list of talking points to shovel heaps of crap on social media to disaffected voters.
The Atlantic has this super long thing about Ivanka that we haven't really bothered with (yet), but everyone is rightly losing their minds about Trump considering Ivanka for the World Bank, and bragging that she could be president. There's also something about Trump putting Ivanka on a pedestal so he can ogle her while he shits all over DJTJ, Erik, and the other ones.
Roger Stone went on a comedian's radio/podcast thingy to cry about Alex Jones not giving him any money to keep him from getting locked up for his ALLEGED Russian fuckery (with Wikileaks). Meanwhile, Jones was on some douchebag's fake TV show ranting about his conspiracy theories. He then called Megyn Kelly a "goddam lying whore," mocked Brian Stelter, and got advice on how to skirt Youtube bans from douchebags who've been banned from Youtube.
A Pennsylvania woman who made the local "Ten Most Wanted List" has been arrested after commenting on Facebook. After seeing herself on the list, Chloe Jones taunted police, saying, "Do you guys do pickup or delivery," with several laughing emojis, and then admitted she was in a West Virginia hospital. Upon her arrest, Greene County police officials stated Jones "and her witty comments are taking a hiatus from our comments section due to the jail not having internet for her to use."
NICE TIME: After a Seattle Times investigation into a Washington state Department of Corrections ban on donated books, state prison officials admitted their "concerns about contraband" were garbage and promptly lifted the ban on books. A spox for Washington Democratic governor and 2020 candidate Jay Inslee stated the governor was "very glad to see the program was back in effect." REJOICE AND BEHOLD, THE POWER OF LOCAL JOURNALISM!
And here's your morning Nice Time: BABY MEERKATS!
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.