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GYNA IF YOU'RE LISTENING. Wonkagenda For Fri., May 10, 2019

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


Last night the "tariff man" slapped an additional $200 billion in sanctions on China, dramatically ratcheting up the risks in his trade war. The new taxes tariffs effect 5,700 different products, from cooked vegetables to highchairs for babies. Yesterday, Trump threatened an additional $325 billion in tariffs, which would effectively tax all Chinese imports at 25 percent. Chinese officials have threatened to clap back, but have yet to make any moves. The grunting and mud slinging comes as both countries continue negotiations that are kicking Rust Belt states in the ass, jeopardizing the livelihood of farmers and potentially thousands of jobs. Chinese markets are up this morning as bean counters continue ignoring Trump's trade war, and shift the costs on to American consumers. For his part, Trump has spent the morning shitposting (natch) about how "tariffs make our country stronger" and that businesses should build their produces in the US to avoid taxes tariffs.

House Democrats are reconsidering their earlier stance on impeachment in light of the potential to circumvent the administration's stonewalling. Legal nerds think courts would be more likely to force the administration to cough up all the stuff they're hiding if there's an ongoing investigation, and note that this was the case during the Nixon and Clinton scandals. Political nerds point out that Republicans will bitch about witch hunts, but Democrats argue they're already doing that anyway, so they might as well "impeach the mother fucker." [Morning Maddow]

The GOP is on the verge of cannibalizing itself (again) after the Republican-led Senate Intel Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. Little Donny and his buddies are spearheading the butthurt campaign, getting Republican senators to tweet and retweet his defense against potential perjury charges, but not everyone believes Junior was "exonerated." Axios gossips that Junior will blow off the subpoena, leaving the decision to hold him in contempt with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Last night McConnell told an exasperated Sean Hannity that there was "no collusion" and that the story would have a "happy ending."

Court proceedings for Trump's financial records are moving a hell of a lot of faster than most people thought. Instead of an endless series of court fights strung out over a couple of months, a judge has set a hearing for next Tuesday, May 14.

Flanked by Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein had a grand old time joking about the failures of the American judicial system during a farewell ceremony yesterday. At one point Barr called Rosenstein up to the podium and asked the crowd, which included White House lawyer Emmet Flood and Meatball, "Which one of us is capable of the most deadpan expression." Before fucking off, Rosenstein pissed on the scales of justice and said, "I leave here confident justice is in good hands; it's in your hands."

Earlier this week Trump's White House set new rules for journalists holding "hard" passes. Journalists say the new rules are bullshit, with some arguing the administration is attempting to shut out its critics, while others wonder what's the point of even covering a White House that doesn't hold press briefings so it can just blatantly lie.

Trump's TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now openly encouraging the incoming government of Ukraine to dick around in the US elections as part of that stupid Ukranium One scandal involving Joe Biden's son. Giuliani actually tells the New York Times, "We're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do," adding, "There's nothing illegal about it."

The DNC has released the qualifiers for the first 2020 debates. The big takeaway here is that you shouldn't expect anyone who's currently dead in the water in the polls to show up on stage.

In response to a story from the Houston Chronicle about the number of shitty parents claiming Jesus will save them from an outbreak of the measles, some crackpot Texas state legislator started screaming anti-vax arglebargle at a pediatrician who treats infectious diseases, calling the doctor a "brainwashed commie" who commits "sorcery."

Chicago gun violence activist Father Michael Pfleger invited Louis Farrakhan to his church to speak following his ban from Facebook. In a speech livestreamed on social media, Farrakhan stated he wasn't a hater and people shouldn't be angry with him because he stands "on God's word." In a statement, the Archdiocese says that's bullshit, and God (or Pfleger) never gave them a heads up.

The Miami Herald reports the FBI has launched an investigation into Li "Cindy" Yang, the Republican donor and massage parlor owner, that focuses on whether she was laundering Chinese money into Trump's 2020 reelection effort. Intelligence and legal officials also note Yang is potentially at the center of a supposed spying operation that ALLEGEDLY sold access to Chinese nationals trying to break into Mar-a-Lago to go "swimming."

INDICTED California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter says he'll ask for a presidential pardon if Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher is found guilty at a court-martial. Hunter's statement comes after he and a bunch of other loudmouthed, backbench Republican bomb throwers saw helmet camera footage of Chief Gallagher reportedly attempting to render aid to an ISIS fighter he ALLEGEDLY stabbed shortly after the fighter surrendered, and then holding his reenlistment ceremony with the corpse. Gallagher is also accused of shooting civilians in Iraq, and opening fire into crowds. Witnesses who've served with Gallagher say the Chief bragged that he shot women and civilians, randomly shot at buildings, and killed "10-20 people a day, or 150-200 people on deployment," and that they were pressured to cover up Gallagher's ALLEGED war crimes. NOTE: It's unusual (nay, FUBAR) to seek a presidential pardon for a soldier convicted of war crimes.

For some odd reason, last week national security mustache John Bolton called a meeting at CIA headquarters with the country's top intel, diplomats and military advisers to discuss possible something. In the past, these kinds of meetings were only called to discuss sensitive info about specific intelligence operations. The scuttlebutt is that Iran told its proxies to start targeting US military personnel and assets throughout the Middle East, but several military officials tell NBC the US "response seems wildly out of proportion" considering Iran does this crap more regularly than Trump shitposts from his golden commode.

The US seized a North Korean ship widely believed to be ferrying coal in violation of international sanctions. The move is seen as retaliation for North Korea's second launch of short-range missiles in a week, though US officials insist there was no connection and we were going to take the damn thing anyway.

Chelsea Manning was released from prison after spending two months refusing to testify before a grand jury about her role in leaking diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Manning was released because the grand jury is no longer sitting, though she's expected to get locked up again next week when she refuses to comply with another separate grand jury proceeding that served her with a subpoena while she was locked up.

James Comey had a town hall on CNN where he said there was "no doubt" Trump would be indicted for obstruction of justice if he was a private citizen based on the Mueller Report. Comey also said Trump eats souls in small bites, and that it's possible Russia has leverage over him. YOU THINK?

Only the onlookers were startled to see Damn Peggington resting comfortably in the animal enclosure. She knew where she was, she yelled at the shouting voices between belts of of gin. These were her people, nevermind the savage animals hurling their feces. She had made her choice -- like the rest of America -- and it was time to stop gawking and move along. As she too gleefully hurled lumps of crap at the scattering masses, she suddenly felt like Kissinger and smiled at the new world order he helped create. After the fires stopped smoldering he was remembered as the gravel-voiced soothsayer who softly whispered to us in the darkness that it would only hurt for a second. "The 'end state,'" she belched, "is the goal, not the process."

The Daily Show's Desi Lydic noticed all the women running in 2020 always seem to get half as much air time and twice as much bullshit.

Female Candidates Fight to Break the Airtime Glass Ceiling | The Daily Show www.youtube.com


And here's your morning Nice Time: FUZZY PENGUIN CHICKS!

New Chicks on the Beach: San Diego Zoo African Penguin Colony Produces Its First Chicks www.youtube.com

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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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Sunday already, which means a substantial portion of US America is preparing to be astonished/heartbroken/outraged by the series finale of that show with the dragons, while another portion is just going to stay off Twitter for three days because nothing will make any sense. Yr Dok Zoom tends to come very late to trendy things, so get ready for our own thoughts on the gamy thrones show sometime in about 2023, or never. But we'd be glad to tell you just how much we enjoy the brilliance and humanity of the Cartoon Network series "Steven Universe," which debuted in 2013 and we started bingeing on the Hulu last month, late again.

Hell, we still want to talk about that one Mrs Landingham episode of "The West Wing," which we first watched years after it aired (We finally bought our new used car yesterday, and know one thing: don't drive over to the White House to show it off to President Bartlet). We might even get around to reading Infinite Jest someday. We hear it has something to do with a superhero team and a guy named Thanos. So hey, let's talk about culture and missing out and patching together some knowledge of what's happening anyway.

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Yesterday, the conservative but also kind of Never Trumper site The Bulwark revealed the details of a grifty "fundraising" plea sent out by Stone's wife Nydia, begging supporters to give money to the Stones in order to help them keep up the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

It was titled "I am embarrassed to write this."

"Dear Friend," begins the missive. "My husband and I have an urgent new problem and we need your help. I told my husband I was going to write you, one of his most valued supporters. I am embarrassed to write this, but I must."

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"He laid off all our consultants, contractors and employees, and we have 'pulled in our belts' like so many Americans in 'tight times,'" she wrote, sounding for all the world like a plucky working-class patriot, not the wife of a man who made and lost his fortune lying in the service of power.

She should have been more embarrassed.

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