The Chewbacca Defense. Wonkagenda For Fri., May 31, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
In an effort to stop the invasion of taco trucks invading the southern border, Trump announced
tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico. The
taxes tariffs would start at five percent beginning June 10, and increase another five percentage points every month until Mexico is able to stop all of Central America's asylum-seekers from begging for sanctuary at US borders. US stock futures took a swan dive into the red overnight, and auto makers all over the world are freaking out since so many car parts are assembled and/or manufactured in Mexico for US markets. The announcement has pissed off members of Congress, with Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley threatening to kill Trump's NAFTA 2 scheme. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says Trump should calm his sweaty manboobs and sit down to discuss this thing like rational adults, adding, "Social problems are not resolved with taxes or coercive measures ... People don't leave their homelands for pleasure but out of necessity."
Bob Mueller's obvious winking and nudging at Congress to do its damn job has Trump slipping into a ceaseless string of rants, raves, screams, and shitposts about Mueller seeking revenge over being screwed out of $15,000 that a Trump golf club essentially stole from him. Over the last two years, multiple advisors have advised Trump to just shut up, with even Steve Bannon calling Trump's attacks against Mueller "ridiculous."
After Bob Mueller came out and told the world (LIVE AND IN PERSON!) to IMPEACH, Attorney General Bill Barr immediately stopped his vacation in Alaska to give the administration a reacharound. In an interview with CBS,
Barr throws Mueller under the bus, saying Mueller "could've reached a decision" on whether Trump obstructed justice (despite DOJ policy). Barr then tugged on his douchey vest and claimed Obama officials may have accidentally committed treason by investigating the Trump campaign's actual attempts at treason. Law students will tell you that this is a perfect example of the "Chewbacca Defense."
The Chewbacca Defense 2www.youtube.com
Former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy tells Fox News that
Trump should consider being indicted and facing a jury trial as opposed to impeachment because he'd have more options to bullshit a jury of his pee-ers.
Documents from a late Republican strategist reveal the grand scheme by the Trump administration to stick citizenship questions onto the 2020 census. The GOP planned to skew elections in favor of Republicans (read: old, white guys) by adding the question in the belief that it would scare immigrants off from being counted.
The administration is trying to offload Fannie and Freddie from Uncle Sam's books, but first it would need to raise $125 billion to (hopefully) avoid yet another trillion dollar bailout. The deal is still being hashed out by Trump's TV economists, and they whisper to the WSJ that Congress should be the one that sullies its hands here.
There's a brewing debate among 2020 candidates on whether or not to work with the Republicans. Some argue that you have to compromise in order get anything done, like infrastructure, while others maintain Trump and Mitch McConnell burned that bridge a long time ago, and there's no going back.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz may form an unlikely alliance to craft a bill banning former members of Congress from lobbying for life. After AOC complained about corporate lobbying on Twitter, Cruz chimed in saying he agreed. In just a few hours the pair lined up a number of cosponsors. Maybe pigs CAN fly?
Tennessee Republican Rep. John Rose
stopped the passage of a $19.1 billion disaster aid package for areas of flyover country ravaged by
global warming bad weather.
Rep. Elijah Cummings is accusing the Education Department of obstruction in an investigation into the attempted removal of the department's acting inspector general. The case stems from Betsy DeVos's decision to roll back regulations on for-profit colleges.
2020 Democratic candidate Rep. Julian
Castro has decided to do a town hall on Fox News as everyone seems to forget #HesRunning.
Elizabeth Warren got into a spat with Meghan McCain during an appearance on The View about why she won't go on Fox News. Meggles whined about reaching out to Fox viewers, and bragged about being a good person who worked at Fox to which Warren responded, "I'm just not gonna give them a full hour to help raise money and help get credibility because they were willing to talk to me for an hour."
During a town hall earlier this week, Iowa racist Rep.
Steve King said more racist crap in response to being booted off of committees for saying racist crap. This sent CNN's Don Lemon into a fit of giggles as he pointed out that King was defining white supremacy in his attempt to rationalize protecting American "culture" from "new ideas." [Video]
Later today the Illinois state legislature is set to vote on a recreational marijuana bill. If it passes, Illinois would become the 11th state that makes it legal to smoke wacky tobacky.
While the rest of the country talks about decriminalizing pot, New York state legislators are thinking about decriminalizing prostitution. Proposed legislation is unlikely to pass, but don't be surprised if it starts popping up like an erect nipple in 2020 as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have already floated the idea.
Chicago's griftiest alderman,
Ed Burke, has been charged with racketeering and bribery in a massive 59-page federal indictment that accuses the 75-year-old of using the City of Chicago as a criminal "enterprise." Burke has refused to step down despite the mounting criminal indictments. The mob never left Chicago, they went into city politics.
R. Kelly has been arrested AGAIN and charged with 11 felonies related to sex crimes. The charges are even more serious than all the other sex crimes he's already been accused of. The Chicago Sun-Times notes Kelly is accused of "four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim between the ages of 13 to 16."
Reuters is reporting that North Korea has executed an envoy to the US who participated in the "denuke" talks with the US. Another envoy who met with Trump in the Oval Office has been sent to a labor camp. The purge of officials stems from the breakdown of nuclear talks with the US. Fun Fact: Earlier this month Mike Pompeo denied knowing anything about the execution, while giggling.
The US is delaying more sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry in an apparent effort to keep John Bolton from starting another oil war.
Uncle Sam is desperate to keep allies from buying old, Soviet-era Eurotrash weapons because it's a hell of a lot safer and easier if everyone in NATO is using the same gear -- plus we'll make a pretty penny at the end of the day. However, Euro nerds think some of the former Warsaw countries might scoff clouds of cheap cigarette smoke at the thought of being stuffed into the pockets of US defense contractors.
As we near the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Chinese government is going to great lengths to erase the bloody protest from history. The New York Times has two great stories this morning: One reveals secret government documents ordering the mass murder of student protesters, and new, never before seen photos from the days leading up to and after the massacre.
If you get a moment, check out this heartbreaking photo essay about the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
Once again the FCC has unsurprisingly said that it's doing a brilliant, amazing, fantabulous job of rolling out more broadband internet capability to flyover country. For several weeks techies have been laughing at the ridiculous claims of expanded broadband access by pointing out that the numbers the FCC is using are based on bullshit. In a dissenting opinion, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the report "deserves a failing grade."
Tech giant Salesforce just grabbed the gun industry by the balls by after it told arms dealers to stop using its software. The multi-billion dollar customer management company's wide-ranging ban on firearms has sent gun fetishists into a tizzy, complaining about how the invisible hand of the free market just bitch slapped their freedoms.
HuffPo has a brilliant piece about how Twitter's Nazi problem is only getting worse. In a related story, Motherboard reports that Twitter's brass has finally started asking itself whether or not the white supremacists belong on its platform, especially when it considers itself part of the internet's public square.
The crash of twisted metal and plastic jerked
Dame Peggington from her gin-soaked slumber. She staggered to her feet and gawked through hazy eyes at the horrific scene with the other onlookers. Dame Peggington let out a hearty belch as a young woman fell to her knees weeping at the carnage. "Shut yer yap, ya little shit," she coughed, plopping a rumpled cigarette in her mouth. With a roll of her eyes, she lazily spun on her heel as a few brave souls struggled to pull a panicked survivor from the burning wreck. "Kids these days," she huffed and staggered off, "They don't know what real problems are."
During a commencement speech for Harvard's 2019 graduating class, German Chancellor Angela Merkel advised grads to be more empathetic with other people and embrace a global, multilateral world instead of this rightwing populist shitshow. Merkel spoke about growing up in Soviet-occupied East Germany, and received a standing ovation when she insisted that people "not call lies truths and never deem truths lies."
And here's your morning Nice Time:
Baby Goats Rush to Breakfast!www.youtube.com
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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.