'Who's Gonna Pay For It?' Wonkagenda For Fri., May 17, 2019


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

A federal judge has ordered the release of transcripts showing Trump's former national security advisor Mike Flynn talking with the Russian ambassador in December of 2016 AND with Trump's then personal attorney John Dowd about cooperating in the Trump-Russia investigation. The judge also revealed that Flynn flipped on Trump World and told prosecutors that people connected to the administration and/or members of Congress tried to lean on him, and get him to STFU. On top of ALL THAT, the judge says he's considering releasing the audio of Flynn's conversations. LORDY! There ARE tapes!

Florida's Washington County was one of the two counties hacked by Russia in the 2016 election. The crazy Ivans were able to make off with a database of voter registration files. Now both Democrats and Republicans are pissed at the FBI and DHS for trying to keep the information a secret, and that they couldn't guarantee the Russian's didn't screw with anything -- only that there was "no evidence."

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff says Bill Barr's constant stonewalling is leaving the committee with "no choice" but to start nailing Barr's balls to a chair. Yesterday Schiff sent a letter to Barr demanding a dozen specific documents that Barr thinks is overly broad. Schiff now says he'll release a transcript of Michael Cohen's closed-door testimony next week.

In a softball interview with Fox News, Barr flaps his jowls about his investigation into the Trump-Russia investigation being necessary because reasons. In a separate interview with the WSJ, Barr says HIS investigation is different and super legit because it might create new rules about government fuckery.

Trump (or Dan Scavino) apparently figured out what happened to HER EMAILS while watching Fox and Friends this morning.

Engineers are trying to figure out how to build Trump's "big" and "beautiful" wall, but he keeps micromanaging. Trump no longer wants steel slats (or peaches?), and has instead told engineers the wall should be a steel bollard fence painted black so that it gets ungodly hot, and covered in spikes. Officials tell WaPo that Trump keeps complaining that the designs look "ugly," with one DHS official saying, "He thinks not only can the wall be effective, it doesn't have to be an eyesore."

Florida officials are freaking out about an administration plan to literally dump about a hundred immigrants a week in two heavily Democratic Florida counties. State Republicans are pissed at what Trump has called his "sick idea." At a presser, the Palm Beach County Sheriff said ICE officials used the term "family units" to describe all the people they intended to shove onto a street corner without food or shelter.

Trump's judicial nominees can't seem to say if Brown v. Board of Education was properly decided. Instead of giving an answer to a simple question, they hem and haw and bullshit about going down a slippery slope. THERE IS ONLY ONE ANSWER TO THIS FUCKING QUESTION!

The Government Accountability Office says Ben Carson broke the law when he ripped off Uncle Sam for a $31,561 dining room table and $8,000 dishwasher for his office at HUD.

The administration has killed its own awful proposal to lower prescription drug costs after advocacy groups pointed out that it would probably kill a bunch of old people. On the other hand, the House just passed an expansion to the ACA aimed at lowering prescription drug costs, blocking the administration's "junk insurance" rules, and restoring an outreach program that encourages people to get Obamacare. As usual, the Tea Party crazies are throwing a tantrum, complaining that Democrats are trying to help people instead of making some quick cash.

DC is not happy Trump is trying to screw with the annual Fourth of July celebration. The city's mayor, Muriel Bowser, and numerous public officials are scrambling to hash out the awful logistics of moving the whole shebang from the Mall to the Potomac River, and loudly grumbling that Trump's turning the Fourth of July into a YUGE pain in the ass and MAGA shitshow.

Later today administration officials will brief members of Congress about all the saber rattling it's doing around Iran. The WSJ reports that the US and Iran are misunderstanding each other's actions, and making increasingly dramatic moves in a tit-for-tat type game. This follows the administration's constant stonewalling about foreign policy moves in Venezuela and North Korea. Politico reports Bolton's death grip over foreign policy has started pissing off other members of the administration who aren't very gung-ho about starting yet another war, and they're worried Bolton is purposely backing Trump into a corner. When reporters asked Trump whether the US was going to war with Iran yesterday, Trump replied, "I hope not."

Trump's plan to save America from his own stupid trade war is to call broke farmers patriots as their crops rot in the fields. While the administration mulls over another bailout for farmers (that it's actually going to two Brazilian crooks), Trump is expected to beg Japan to buy all the food that would have gone to China, but the Japanese don't seem too receptive because Trump keeps making threats about auto taxes tariffs. Remember, farmers, you're not being shitcanned, you're being "sacrificed."

The second-on camera press briefing at the DOD this year was conducted by Gene Simmons of KISS. Simmons talked about being the child of a Holocaust survivor, rambled on about #Merica, and choked up when he remembered how the teevee used to stop talking at night. The whole thing is very fuckbonkers. [Video]

And here's your morning Nice Time: OTTERS!

Uni Sushi meets Lincoln and Juno

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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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