At Long Last Sirs Have You No Shame? Wonkagenda For Wed., June 12, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Jon Stewart ripped a subcommittee of the House Judiciary a new asshole yesterday during a hearing on a bill to fund benefits for 9/11 first responders. Stewart chastised the "indifference" from Congress, saying that members should be "ashamed" of themselves, then singled out the subcommittee's ranking Republican for questioning Congress's ability to fund the program in five years. "They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, and humility," an angry and emotional Stewart said. "Eighteen years later, do yours!" Shortly after the hearing, Stewart told CNN, "These are the most honored and venerated amongst us, and if we can't take care of them, what chance do the rest of us have?" [Video]
Jon Stewart Opening Statement on 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (C-SPAN) www.youtube.com
Attorney General Bill Barr is threatening to assert executive privilege over Census documents if Congress goes ahead with a planned contempt vote. The DOJ is apparently flummoxed that House Judiciary Chair Elijah Cummings is sick of being stonewalled over the GOP's attempt to rig elections in their favor.
The Washington Post reports Trump has become obsessed with being impeached, and says he'll "sue" Democrats if they try. Just as Democrats are divided on whether or not to impeach Trump, so is Trump World, with some worried that impeachment would forever overshadow everything he does, regardless of the outcome.
Donald Trump Jr. will trudge back up to the Hill for his second closed-door meeting with the Senate Intel Committee. DJTJ is expected to answer a number of questions, including about that Trump Tower meeting -- the one with Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, some Eurotrash, and a bunch of Russians -- as Democrats think the Trump spawn MIGHT have lied the last time around.
Meanwhile, over in the House, Democrats will hear from two former FBI officials who retired before the Trump-Russia investigations began in 2016 in their continued effort to turn the Mueller Report into a TV movie of the week.
Trump waddled out to the press scrum to brag about his magical Mexican migration deal, but he refused to tell anyone what's inside. As Trump was shouting down microphones, several photographers realized they could read portions of the agreement upon magnifying the image. Later, White House waterboy Mick Mulvaney said we "may never find out" what's in Trump's super secret deal because "The purpose isn't to satisfy your journalistic inquiries, it's to stop people from crossing the border."
Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, the architect of the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich), admits it's "hard to know" what part of their handout has been "paid for," and that we might not know for another decade. But on Friday the Congressional Budget Office released a report estimating the final cost of the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich) at around $1.9 trillion.
The future of acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan is in limbo this morning, according to NBC's Carol Lee. Apparently nobody likes the former Boeing exec except John Bolton, and that's partially why his nomination for Defense Secretary hasn't been submitted to Congress despite an "official" announcement.
The House Armed Services Committee is expected to start debating the SPACE FORCE. Committee chair Adam Smith tells the Defense News, “We were talking about this long before the president knew Space Force even existed," and argues bad guys have already pushed ahead with militarizing space. In a related story, Axios gossips and guesstimates about the role of privatized space stations as NASA begins thinking about boldly going where no human has gone before.
Trump and Biden screamed at each other in Iowa yesterday in their respective bids to be the most important old white guy in America. With Biden still leading in the polls, he gave a decent speech without choking on his own foot (for once). Politico called it Iowa's "senior moment" and noted that both men were less than subtle with their pointed attacks at one another.
A new national poll out of Quinnipiac University shows Donald Trump getting his ass kicked in head-to-head matchups with leading Democratic 2020 contenders. Despite the New York Times reporting Trump telling his minions to deny his LOW RATINGS, Trump World gossips to Axios that Trump always polls worse than a turd sandwich until it's a binary choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. This morning, Trump shitposted that this was a "fake poll." [Poll]
Rep. Steve King's "Diamond and Silk Act" would reallocate money from so-called sanctuary cities to veterans programs, but conservatives are already calling it "both idiotic and cruel to those whom the legislation is intended to serve."
Sean Hannity clutched his pearls upon hearing that Rachel Maddow would be one of five moderators for the first DNC debates, but that's probably because he's jealous Maddow has bigger balls and better hair.
A US District judge has declared a mistrial after a 12-person jury was unable to convict a 36-year-old Scott Warren of conspiring to help undocumented immigrants. Warren is part of No More Deaths, a volunteer group that gives food, water, and aid to immigrants crossing through the desolate Arizona desert.
ProPublica and AL.com have a brilliant longread about how small-town sheriffs screw their successors by destroying equipment and wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars on useless crap upon losing reelection. In their defense, the good ol' boys say it's part of a tradition.
Activists with Code Pink have filed a permit to fly the infamous "Baby Trump" blimp during DC's Fourth of July shitshow. The details of Trump's hostile takeover of DC's annual celebration are either non-existent or being kept under wraps, but Code Pink says it wants to fly the balloon wherever Trump gives his stupid speech. Hopefully I'll be able to get a solid photo for you 'cause I'll be there!
The battle over Brexit is back. Child-punching British jackass Boris Johnson is hoping to lead the charge to leave the EU after launching a campaign to become prime minister. His announcement went about as well as you'd expect, with Buzzfeed's Stuart Millar noting Johnson was "dismissive, evasive, flippant, flustering, rambling..."
Following intense clashes between riot police and protesters, officials in Hong Kong postponed a second reading of a bill that would make it easier to extradite people to mainland China. There are widespread reports of police using tear gas and firing rubber bullets at protesters. [Photos / Photos]
Last week the Australian Broadcasting Corporation HQ in Sydney was stormed by federal police with an insane warrant to rifle through protected databases and file systems. The outlet's lead investigative journo, John Lyons, writes in WaPo that the center-right government led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared war on news orgs who write things that make the government uncomfortable, and since Australia has no laws protecting the freedom of the press their only recourse is to try and slut shame the blowhards.
The spat between MSNBC and the New York Times continues. Several MSNBC staffers tell CNN's Brian Stelter that it's "absurd" that Times editor Dean Baquet is declaring martial law while stomping around the newsroom, though some staffers tell Stelter it's a "preference," not a "ban."
The Columbia Journalism Review is hiring four new public editors, or ombudsmen, to keep an eye on the New York Times, WaPo, CNN, and MSNBC. Hi Gabriel Snyder, Ana Marie Cox, Maria Bustillos, and Emily Tamkin!
Venture capitalist and data nerd Mary Meeker delivered her annual Internet Trends Report at ReCode's CODE conference. This year, Meeker's slideshow was chock full of bits, like 51 percent of the worlds 3.8 billion people being internet users, and most of those people gaining access via smartphones. Other useful bytes include another dramatic increase in digital ad spending over legacy media platforms, China's internet presence, a rise in image-based communication, encryption systems, trolls and shitposters. [Video / Slides]
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism's annual Digital News Report shows most people won't pay for online news, and there's only been a small increase in the number of people willing to do so over the last six years. Of course, you could always help change that trend by giving us money! [Full Report]
No. We mean it.
Roswell, New Mexico, a city most known for its weather balloon enthusiasts, has received a trademark for a new official logo. TLDR: It's Aliens.
Trevor Noah talked about the Russian warship that tried to ram a US Navy cruiser in the South China Sea last week, and talked about the budding bromance between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.
If You Don't Know, Now You Know: Russia & China | The Daily Show www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S ADANNA, THE BABY HIPPO!
Hippo Name and Gender Reveal | Dallas Zoo www.youtube.com
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