Russia If You're Listening! Wonkagenda For Thurs., June 13, 2019

Russia If You're Listening! Wonkagenda For Thurs., June 13, 2019

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

Trump sat down with ABC's George Stephanopoulos to scream a bunch of crazy shit about accepting help from foreign governments during the 2020 elections. Trump told Stephanopoulos that he'd "want to hear it" if a foreign government were to offer him "dirt" (like, Russia, or it could be China, or maybe someone that weighs 300 lbs sitting on their parents bed) as "there's nothing wrong with listening." Trump then claimed that he didn't see the need to call the FBI if shady people with Eurotrash accents offered his campaign "dirt," adding that FBI Director Christopher Wray was "wrong" to testify to the Senate that public or campaign officials should immediately report influence or interference in US elections just because it is against the law. Trump added he's never called the FBI in his life because "life doesn't work like that." Hannity sobbed that the whole thing was "a setup" before rambling some incoherent nonsense about HER EMAILS. [Video]

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! On top of that, former White House aide Hope Hicks agreed to testify to before the House Judiciary Committee next Wednesday. Nobody expects "Hopey" to answer many questions about all the "white lies" she told during her time as an administration shit shoveler.

Yesterday, two former FBI spy hunters told the House Intel Committee that Russia is actively engaged in election fuckery. “They're not leaving," former FBI espionage specialist Robert Anderson testified. "I can guarantee you they're still here looking at the next presidential election and figuring out how they can still attack it."

With investigations mounting and talk of impeachment growing to a dull scream, Trump is losing his shit. He's spent the better part of this morning shitposting Alan Dershowitz quotes from who-the-fuck-knows-where, and giving traitor former NSC advisor Mike Flynn a reach around.

Piece of shit FCC chair Ajit Pai celebrated his murder of net neutrality by saying Silicon Valley is a bigger problem than the poor mega corporations running the America's internet oligopoly.

The administration is getting ready to bulldoze more forests than Ferngully with new rules to the National Environmental Policy Act that would limit review and public comments. The head of the US Forest Service tells NPR that all these tree hugging rules and studies just aren't making America great, and that they're simply "proposing more efficiency, not shortcutting."

States are wondering why the administration's attempt to fight opioid abuse is limited to hillbilly heroin. Officials in flyover country are begging to use federal grants intended to fight opioid abuse for use in the fight against meth addiction. Science bozos are backing the call, telling NPR, "Even just the moniker — 'the opioid epidemic' — out of the gate, is problematic and incorrect. This was never just about opioids."

House Democrats have to make a tough call later today when a major spending bill comes to the floor with the Hyde Amendment. Apparently we can shower scientists with cash to fight Alzheimer's and AIDS, but God forbid we spend a bloody cent helping a poor woman get an abortion.

After Jon Stewart shamed members of Congress the other day, the House Judiciary Committee approved funding for 9/11 first responders. If the bill passes a full floor vote, it'll move on to the Senate where its fate is uncertain as Mitch McConnell seems to have forgotten about 9/11. When asked by NBC if he'd support reauthorizing funding for first responders, McConnell responded, "Gosh, I hadn't looked at that lately. I'll have to."

BONUS: WaPo has a good story about why New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney wears that large, custom fireman's jacket. TLDR: She says, "I'm going to wear this until I pass the bill!"

Gay hatin' Jesus freaks are demanding a bill to make lynching a federal crime remove protections for LGBTQ people. The bill, introduced by senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Tim Scott, has already passed the Senate. One of the old white guys leading the charge, Mat Staver, tells a conservative rag this is just another way to carpet bomb #Murica with a fabulous gaygenda.

Super rich white guy Howard Schultz has suspended his unofficial 2020 campaign. Schultz says his disappearance from the campaign trail over the last several months is the result of back surgeries. No word on which poll broke Schultz's back, but he's laid off most of his staff with the exception of his pet Republican, Steve Schmidt.

South Bend mayor and 2020 Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg REALLY wants to get your attention this week. First, Buttigieg dropped an op-ed in the the Charleston Chronicle calling for a "Douglas Plan" that reduces racial inequalities in the finance system by tripling the number of black entrepreneurs, reforming credit scoring, and increasing access to credit. It's all part of his pitch to black voters. Yesterday, Buttigieg also dropped a foreign policy platform that called for a repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Afghanistan, and threatens to pull funding from Israel if it expands into West Bank.

Beto O'Rourke dropped a big, gay plan to protect LGBTQ people yesterday. He'd overturn the Trump trans ban, reverse the "deploy or get out" policy (which discriminates against HIV-positive service members), stop religious exemption expansions, update blood donation requirements, increase representation of LGBTQ people in the Census, and pass the House Democrats' Equality Act.

Iowa white supremacist Rep. Steve King hid behind Diamond and Silk after a press gaggle turned into a predictable shitshow. King was introducing his "Diamond and Silk Act" intended to end veteran homelessness by taking money from so-called "sanctuary cities," but nobody was buying it. Instead, reporters asked why King's website still listed committee assignments he was stripped of (a staffer removed the wording from his website during the event), and why King didn't talk to any homeless people, advocates, charities, or non-profits in crafting the bill. In response, the person known as "Diamond" griped, "I'm tired of you all with your groups, your organizations, and all this here, because all y'all try to do with these organizations is get some funding so you all can skim and get your kickbacks and your paddywhacks."

Local governments in flyover country are wondering if the Trump campaign will ever pay them back for all the cash they had to spend on security whenever Trump flew in for a rally. SPOILER ALERT: Trump never pays his bills.

Pinterest banned an anti-abortion group for shilling bullshit on its platform. As conservatives started screaming about censorship, Project Veritas started posting what appears to be internal documents from Pinterest showing an employee added the group to a block list normally reserved for porn. Rightwing rag The Daily Caller now says the Twitter account of Project Veritas has been suspended. In a related story, The Intercept has a solid breakdown of how rightwing bullshit artists at Project Veritas regularly engage in internet fuckery (AKA: "coordinated inauthentic behavior") in order to dupe people on social media.

ICYMI: Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo sat down with Kara Swisher and Ezra Klein at the 2019 Code Conference to talk about how their new group, Fair Fight Action, intends to get people involved in the democratic process. Long story short: more voters = more voices.

Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo | Full interview | Code

Samantha Bee 'splained all the horrible crap swirling around the toilet we call Youtube, and why the company refuses to change it. SPOILER ALERT: It's money.

YouTube Woes | June 12, 2019 Act 1 | Full Frontal on

And here's your morning Nice Time: SNOW LEOPARDS!

Snow Leopards at Melbourne

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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 in a gutter taking photos.


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