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


Attorney General Bill Bar has been granted "full and complete authority" to start declassifying government secrets about the Trump-Russia investigation after President Shit Fits threw a(nother) tantrum. In creating his new distraction, Trump tells all the intelligence agencies they must comply. The whole thing is being spearheaded by congressional Republicans like Rep. Devin MOO-nes and Rep. Mark Meadows, who argue the government spied on Carter Page and douchebag George Papadopoulos. Be ready for as much honesty in declassification as Barr did in summarizing the Mueller Report.

House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler went on Rachel Maddow to say that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is interested in testifying, but only under certain conditions. According to Nadler, Mueller is a real mensch and doesn't want to sing and dance on TV, but he's willing to make an opening statement and speak behind closed doors. Nadler says that if Mueller speaks, he'd release the transcripts. [Morning Maddow]

Trump has personally been pushing for a curious North Dakota-based contractor to build sections of his wall, potentially in violation of federal laws (as usual). Anonymous minions tell WaPo Trump is constantly bringing up the company -- whose CEO keeps showing up on Fox News (natch) bragging about how much faster he could build a big, black wall full of spikes in the middle of nowhere cheaper and faster than the Army Corps of Engineers. On top of that, apparently Fisher's starting on the Go Fund Me WALL. Plus, the old gang's all here, including Tom Tancredo, Erik Prince, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner.

Politico has a knee-slapping yarn about how that plan to ship taco trucks to Florida unfolded. TLDR: Trump idiots began spitballing ideas and Florida Men panicked when they caught wind, sounding the alarms as loud as they could.

Before he retired to the residence to shitpost about Nancy Pelosi last night, Trump grabbed his Sharpie and scribbled a memo that could make US citizens or legal residents who sponsor immigrants pay back Uncle Sam for benefits they get, like food stamps or Medicaid. He really is a cheap son of a bitch.

Like most days, Trump could have called Thursday a "win" if he would just STFU. Instead, he overshadowed the first bipartisan congressional legislation in FOREVER by calling another shitposting press conference where he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi names and himself a "very stable genius" (AGAIN). Depressed Republicans are now left holding their old, limp dicks as they shuffle off for the next congressional recess, hoping to Crom that someone back home noticed they finally did something.

The Senate FINALLY passed a $19.1 billion disaster aid package, 85 to 8, and the House is expected to pass the bill later today. The bill gives some desperately need money to areas of the country -- California, the Midwest, Florida and Puerto Rico -- that have been ravaged by natural disasters over the last year. The bill doesn't have a cent for Trump's goddamn wall, but Republicans are expected to bring it back up after the recess.

The Senate approved an anti-robocalling bill yesterday, 97 to 1. Called the TRACED Act, the bill create a task force between the FCC, FTC, CFPB, State Department, the Commerce Department, and state attorneys general to hunt down robocallers, increase the statute of limitations on those cases, and raise FCC fines. In addition, the bill calls on major carriers to institute call authentication systems. House Democrats have had a similar bills in the works, but it's still not clear if anything will become a law.

Democrats in the House have passed a significant overhaul to retirement plans, making it much easier for employers to give whippersnappers 401(k) type accounts. Amongst other nit-picky things, the bill encourages plans to offer annuities, repeal contribution caps on traditional retirement accounts, and offer benefits for part-time workers and people working at small businesses.

After another punishing day on the stock market, Trump issued another massive bailout out for farmers being kicked in the manure spreader thanks to his trade war. The WSJ notes that this is a signal that things will only get worse as both the US and China dig in. Trump now says he may use Chinese tech company Huawei as a bargaining chip in order to jump start the stalled negotiations. Politico notes the Commerce Department is considering a rule change that could make it even harder for US tech firms to sell gizmos in China.

You may want to stop eating pork since the USDA just shifted meat inspections to the slaughterhouses themselves.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have teamed up to take a hard look at Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's shady actions as a board member at Sears. Yesterday Warren and AOC sent a letter to Mnuchin and his cronies noting their concern about "financial engineering and potentially illegal activity" that seems to have taken place on their watch, netting them oodles of Ameros "at the expense of workers and taxpayers."

LOL, the IRS might have to release Trump's tax returns during the height of the 2020 campaign if it keeps attempting to drag out court cases. Politico notes that this is a little ironic as Trump once shitposted about Mitt Romney releasing his tax returns during the 2012 elections. There really is a tweet for everything.

The DCCC is sticking by DINO Rep. Dan Lipinski. A Chicago Machine-connected, anti-abortion asshole who inherited his seat from his daddy, Lipinski recently had a fancy fundraiser canceled following the flood of anti-abortion bills in Republican state legislatures. Now Lipinski is bullshitting to Roll Call some tired cliche about Democrats being the "big tent" party. Oh, FFFUUUCCCKKKK YOOOUUU

Interns are pressuring 2020 Democratic candidates to make paying interns a campaign issue. As of today, only eight of the bajillion 2020 Democratic candidates have agreed to compensate their interns in some way.

New poll numbers out this morning show show Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren on the rise, while a heavily conservative poll shows Trump's approval numbers slumping (again). This follows a series of polls from earlier this week showing Trump's LOW RATINGS getting worse.

Republicans are going after Joe Biden, calling him all sorts of names and mocking him for having a decent relationship with his wife. Leave it to conservatives to call someone a sissy for not cheating on their spouse.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she is stepping down. Her resignation comes amid another imminent failure in Brexit negotiations, and widespread unpopularity from members of her own conservative party who don't know what's good for them. May will step down on June 7, two days after Trump waddles his ass across the pond. It's widely believed that child punching pro-Brexit nutter Boris Johnson will make a push to succeed May. [Speech]

Trump wants to sell weapons to the Saudis because he knows it'll piss off Democrats. A number of key Republicans in the House and Senate, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, are livid and saying "You better not," as if they'll actually grow a spine instead of scuttling off into the darkness after a tweet.

The administration just pissed off every single journalistic institution by charging Julian Assange with violating the Espionage Act. On the other hand, now Britain most certainly won't extradite him, since the charge carries the death penalty. [Morning Maddow]

Donald Trump Administration Attacks First Amendment With Assange Charges | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com

Complete fucking scumbag and horrible rape monster Harvey Weinstein has reached a $44 million deal to settle lawsuits stemming from his horrific and disgusting behavior towards women.

Twitter booted the Krassenstein brothers for being grifty pieces of shit. According to Twitter, the two were running a network of fake accounts, would use bots to retweet their posts, and ALLEGEDLY were buying fake followers to inflate their stats. BONUS: The Behind the Bastards podcast has a great episode about the Krassensteins history of scams.

And here's your morning Nice Time: KITTY!

ATM. How does it work? View from inside. Meow! 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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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to www.famoushotels.org.

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.



In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

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