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


Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are moving to hold AG Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for blowing off subpoenas into the administrations fuckery with the 2020 Census. The move by Oversight chair Elijah Cummings pours some fuel on a raging fire lit by the House Judiciary, and strengthens the case by Democrats when the administration is brought to court. Naturally, this is part of a plan by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Congressional Republicans are nervously fidgeting in smoke-filled cloak rooms about overriding Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. Republicans are NOW worried that Trump's new taxes tariffs on Mexico could hurt their own reelection chances, and they're growing concerned about Trump's tendency to simply ignore congressional authority.

Mexican officials are pissed that the administration keeps making ridiculous demands and threats. They're now threatening their own tariffs if Trump doesn't back off, and that has global markets spooked more than they already were. This has created rumors among bean counters that the Fed may be forced to cut interest rates in order to avoid triggering a sudden recession.

The New York Times has a great story about how Mexican authorities have begun raiding shelters and cheap hotels in search of Central American refugees after the constant tantrums and threats from the Trump administration. Lured by the promise of jobs, visas and a better life by Mexico's new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the country's immigration officials have become crushed by the mass migration of asylum seekers and are being forced to deport people.

Last July, in the dead of the Texas heat, immigration officials left 37 kids between the ages of 5 and 12 sitting in vans for up to 39 hours. This clusterfuck of inhumane sadness is brought to you by ICE officers who didn't get emails from HHS telling them that a bunch of kids were coming for reunification with their families, so the ICE officials all began clocking out as the vans arrived.

Over the weekend rightwing nutjobs were going crazy about a report of a US Marine firing a pistol at immigrants on the southern border. Initially, Breitbart was shrieking about a swarm of anchor babies attacking the Marine, forcing him to shoot the dashboard of his vehicle, but US Northern Command spox John Cornelio says there's no evidence to support this bullshit.

Congress just took its first steps toward antitrust measures against Silicon Valley. The move was announced by the House's top antitrust subcommittee chair, David Cicilline, who told reporters that the "internet is broken," and highlighted how the reluctance to hold big tech accountable has created "escalating crises" on privacy, as well as the decimation of local news. Politico notes that Google has spent years building up an army of lobbyists and influencers in the fear that winter was coming.

House Democrats have slipped language into the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would make the DOD review the service records of minority soldiers who served during WWI, and make sure they're "appropriately recognized for their valorous service." The moves comes after history nerds and the Obama administration noticed most of the war medals and monuments went to white people.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has introduced a new bill to treat student loan debt like other forms of debt. Upon (once again) introducing the measure to ease 44 million Americans out of the $1.5 trillion dollar debt bubble, Durbin said, "People literally carry this debt to the grave. We have millions ... of Americans under the age of 50 who are still paying off student loan debt and many who have reached retirement age who are still facing these debts that are not discharged. I think it's time for that to come to an end."

Trump's 2020 team is deploying staffers to New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire as a failsafe in the event that they lose Rust Belt flyover country. Politico reports the campaign is SURE it can con enough Hispanic voters into voting for Trump before they're ultimately labeled illegal immigrants and deported.

Joe Biden dropped a $1.7 trillion plan to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Biden's proposal goes further than the Obama administration's plan to deal with global warming, and also eliminates the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich), and ends tax breaks for welfare queens in the fossil fuel industry. WaPo notes that Biden's plan adopts a lot of the Green New Deal, with Biden's campaign adding that it would pressure other nations to abandon fossil fuel industries.

Authorities in Michigan are taking the state-owned phones of over 60 current and former officials, including the state's former Republican governor Rick Snyder, as part of an investigation into the Flint water crisis. The seizures come after a "trove" of documents and hard drives were discovered in the basement of a state building that hadn't been turned over to in response to subpoenas.

Chicago saw 52 people shot, and 10 killed this weekend. Police seized 92 different firearms, leading CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson to grumble about the "despicable level of violence," and note that the the "challenges we face" are "complex and profound." The city's new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, says Johnson's job isn't in jeopardy (yet) and that she'll keep riding the asses of city officials to make sure there are "plans in place to be proactively addressing these issues and not just accumulating data that we're not acting upon." Yesterday, CPD's chief comms person poured some salt on some gunshot wounds by tweeting 11 of the 19 people arrested on gun charges this weekend were already back on the street, and seven of those had six prior gun offenses. Like I told the cops investigating a shooting near my corner bar on Saturday night, "It's summer. Sun's out, guns out."

A Navy judge has removed the lead prosecutor in the Eddie Gallagher war crimes case following the revelation the prosecutor had been trying to spy on Gallagher's defense attorney, and a Navy Times reporter, without a warrant.

George Nader, one of the scumbags involved in Trump-Russia, has been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography. According to some sources, Nader was caught with an iPhone full of bestiality kiddy porn. Nader previously plead guilty to the same charge back in 1991.

There's a war on pro-Trump Nazi Twitter clones over who can convince Trump to open up an account.

After reports that he had been executed amid a purge of top officials, North Korea's top nuclear envoy suddenly turned up alive and ... well, he's alive. So that's good.

Turkish dictator President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to piss off NATO allies and buy some cheap Russian missiles since the US didn't trust Erdogan with F-35s. With friends like these...

Today is the 30th anniversary of the bloody protests at Tiananmen Square, a massacre that the Chinese government says never happened. In a related story, China has issued a travel warning to the US for its citizens, warning of "frequent" shootings and robberies.

Trump spent yesterday in an ill-fitting suit getting mocked by Britons, but he probably didn't understand any of all the subtle, high-brow insults. He's expected to ramble on about Mexicans and CNN in high-level meetings with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May in the expectation that Brexit will actually happen.

Trevor Noah is just wondering if Buckingham Palace is trolling Trump.

Trump Hits the U.K., Beefs with London's Mayor & Gets Negged by Buckingham Palace | The Daily Show www.youtube.com

And here's your morning Nice Time: RIVER OTTER PUPS!

River Otter Pup Rascals 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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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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Beds at the 'temporary' shelter in Homestead, Florida. US HHS photo.

The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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