Lies. Wonkagenda For Mon., May 13
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today that have nothing to magical dragons and their war crimes.
Global markets are expected to continue their downward slide as the world loses out on Trump's trade war. Over the weekend, Trump's TV economist Larry Kudlow admitted that "both sides will suffer" in Trump's trade war after being called out by Chris Wallace on Fox News yesterday. Once again, Trump has spent the morning shitposting threats about hurting China "very badly," prompting the Chinese to announce $60 billion in tariffs on US goods starting June 1. Thanks, Trump!
A number of Democrats are leaning on Jerry Nadler to get medieval on Trump officials, calling on him to start levying fines and jailing officials who refuse to comply with subpoenas. Democratic leaders are worried these moves could embolden Trump and his minions. In an effort to calm some of the more vocal voices on the left, Rep. Pramila Jayapal tells Politico, “You can't jump from nothing to everything. We have to go through a legal process."
The House Judiciary Committee has proposed a bill to pause the statute of limitations on any federal offense committed by a sitting president. Called the "No President Is Above The law Act," the bill is a workaround for the DOJ's Nixonian view that a President can't be indicted or prosecuted.
Like a lazy teenager who never studies, Jared Kushner thinks PowerPoint presentations will solve immigration reform, and create peace in the Middle East. Now that he's been "TOTALLY EXONERATED" by the Mueller investigation, Kushner has been attempting to woo Republican legislators and lobbyists with his half-baked slide show of "circles placed next to each other representing different potential immigration reforms" that will totally work if given a chance. And, according to Politico, even if they fail as miserably as many policy experts fear they will, Jared (no joke) still wants "an A for effort."
Axios gossips that the administration is trying to avoid a spending battle with Congress until 2021, privately telling Republicans to offer only another short-term "continuing resolution" in order to avoid another embarrassing shutdown, sequestration, and charges that the self-proclaimed "King of Debt" has screwed us all to the tune of $22 TRILLION Ameros.
House Republicans are twisting comments by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, charging that she made anti-Semitic comments when, in reality, she did the exact opposite. Tlaib appeared on a podcast this weekend where she said she was humbled by her Palestinian ancestors providing a "safe haven" for Jews after the Holocaust. Republicans with short attention spans are now warping Talib's comments, saying she was left with a "calming feeling" after the Holocaust. THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE SAID!
Elizabeth Warren went to MAGA country to roll out her opioid proposal. At a rally in Kermit, West Virginia, Warren spoke to about 150 people, some adorned in MAGA swag, and shocked the shit out of them with her plan to deal with opioid addiction. Politico quotes a number of people leaving the rally saying, "she done good."
Beto has been keeping to the shadows lately, and his campaign says they're planning a "reintroduction," complete with stops on Rachel Maddow and The View, ahead of his first big shot on the 2020 debate stage next month. Beto's people say that he'll also be rolling out actual policies instead of standing on tables in coffee shops and saying nice things.
The 2020 money primary is ramping up as Democratic candidates begin courting deep pocketed donors. The most prominent candidates are still shying away from dark money PACs. Voters in Iowa really like a lot of progressive policies being put forward by Elizabeth Warren and other 2020 Democratic candidates, they're just put off by the candidates themselves.
Behind the scenes, the Congressional Black Caucus is pushing for a Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket in the hopes of boosting the turnout of black voters. Political fortune tellers note a number of 2020 candidates have been courting the CBC, but conclude it's (probably) too damn early to be making any assumptions until we get closer to the nominating convention.
Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is getting ready to announce #HesRunning, teasing a "big announcement" in a Twitter video this weekend. And every single response said YAY, FOR SENATE? (He is not running for Senate.) This is not going to go well.
A former St. Paul City Council candidate has been sentenced to two years of probation for posting revenge porn of his ex-wife on his campaign website. David Martinez had plead guilty in an attempt to avoid stricter state sentencing guidelines. Martinez initially denied posting the photos of his wife by saying he was hacked, but logs show Martinez posting the photos a day after his estranged wife filed a protection order.
A grifty redneck is headed from West Virginia to Washington state to face charges that he posed as a member of a Mexican drug cartel in order to rip off his fellow militiamen. Talking Points Memo notes the entire case -- with its comically botched murder and kidnapping plots -- reads like a Coen brothers movie.
Later today Trump's White House will host Victor Orbán, Hungary's far-right white supremacist
dictator Prime Minister. Where the Obama White House closed every door imaginable on Orbán due to his limiting press freedoms, consolidating judicial power, screwing with NGOs, and praising anti-Semitic Nazi bullshit, the Trump administration has courted Orbán after several Republicans and conservative groups began lobbying on his behalf. In case you were wondering, yes Steve Bannon is involved, as are Russia and China.
RT America, the state-owned Russian TV "news" channel, is trying to convince people that 5G cellphone services will kill you. The New York Times has a long, 'splainery piece explaining how it's total bullshit, and is a desperate play by Putin to distract from his own technological impotence.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron are co-hosting a summit of tech CEOs and world leaders in France next month in an effort to curb hate speech. Attendees will be asked to sign a pledge, "The Christchurch Call," which hopes to "end the use of social media for acts of terrorism." So far, big tech hasn't exactly committed -- presumably because Mark Zuckerberg needs to recharge his batteries.
Facebook quietly filed a lawsuit against a South Korean company, accusing it of scraping user data to create and sell ads. In a case remarkably similar to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook bitches that the company has SHOCKINGLY refused to cooperate with its investigation, and that it's committed to making the world a better place.
Calls to break up big tech are growing as 2020 candidates begin weighing in on whether Silicon Valley has grown too big for its megabits. California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris told CNN that companies like Facebook have prioritized growth over consumer safety, and that anti-trust actions should be taken seriously by noting social media is "essentially a utility that has gone unregulated." On the other hand, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker says, "We've had a problem in America with corporate consolidation," but argues calls to break up tech "sounds like a Donald Trump thing to say." In response to the big tech backlash, Facebook responded by saying people were "chopping a great American success story into bits," and that "there will still be Russian trolls."
Chelsea Manning told Brian Stelter that she'll refuse more subpoenas to testify about Wikileaks, and that she's positive the Trump administration wants "to go after journalists." Wow, no shit? And here I thought his three years of banning and harassing the free press, and encouraging violence, was part of some cute little game.
Early this morning Sweden reopened an investigation into allegations that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange raped a woman in 2012. The investigation was dropped in 2017 as Assange hid in his posh spider hole, but it was reopened at the victim's request, with prosecutors arguing the statute of limitations ends in 2020.
SOMEONE posted a bunch of documents on the internet that show NRA CEO, Wayne LaPierre, REALLY liked billing its ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, for his lavish lifestyle. The interesting thing here is why the hell LaPierre was billing AMc instead of the NRA itself. HHMMMMM!
SURPRISE! There are reports that grifter Brian Kolfage is blowing millions in donations a bunch of dumbasses gave him to build sections of Trump's wall on private land. Stars and Stripes notes that Kolfage can't name any of the groups ALLEGEDLY helping him out, and now a left-leaning blog is gossiping that Kolfage recently bought a yacht.
John Oliver 'splainered the Green New Deal with the help of Bill Nye the Science Guy, pointing out that it's more of conversation starter than a ban on cow farts and airplanes.
Green New Deal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: OTTERS!
Double Sea Otter on the Rocks www.youtube.com
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