Not His Type. Wonkagenda For Tues., June 25, 2019

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

Yesterday Trump dropped new sanctions on Iran because of "things that were done also that were not good and not appropriate." Trump says these additional sanctions have nothing to do with Iran's downing of a US drone last week, or the regime's alleged involvement in an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month, and that we were going to drop them anyway. This morning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calls the sanctions "outrageous and idiotic," adding that Trump's White House "is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do" as it just sanctioned the Iranian foreign minister while simultaneously requesting peace talks. Rouhani added that these sanctions signify the "permanent closure" for diplomatic efforts.

More than 200 filthy migrant children kids who were crammed into a Texas baby jail without proper food, water, or bathrooms, were suddenly whisked away to a tent city. Yesterday a bunch of bleeding heart progressives in the House demanded an emergency amendment to a border funding bill in order to protect children from getting treated like useless trash in Trump's concentration camps baby jails.

Trump signed an executive order yesterday to make hospital pricing more transparent, but healthcare advocates aren't sure it will ultimately do anything. Once the rules are actually written, it's possible that this could lower costs and force competition among healthcare providers, but hospitals and insurers are already saying the costs are going to go up. There's still a lot of things up in the air, and much of this could just turn into financial and regulatory gobbledygook.

Two SCOTUS rulings you should be aware of: a ban on trademarking things seen as "immoral" or scandalous" has been struck down, and there's new limits on FOIA'ing private businesses' financial or commercial data held by Uncle Sam if the records have been marked "confidential."

The Department of Agriculture has been burying studies that show climate change is getting worse. Politico reports dozens of studies are being hidden in the backs of scientific journals where they're a hell of a lot harder to find. The studies range in scope and substance, and were mainly focused on the effects of rising carbon dioxide, temperatures, and extreme weather -- not the causes of global warming climate change -- and found alarming things things like rice losing nutritional content, dire warnings for cattle farmers, and allergies getting worse.

In an interview with the Hill.TV, Trump said writer E. Jean Carroll was "totally lying" when she accused him of raping her in the dressing room of a department store in the mid-1990s. Trump adds that Carroll isn't rape-worthy, stating, "She's not my type." Last night, Carroll responded on Anderson Cooper by saying, "I love that I'm not his type," adding, "He's denied all 15 women who've come forward. He denies, he turns it around, he threatens, and he attacks."

In that same Hill.TV interview, Trump says he'd totally fill a SCOTUS seat in 2020 with whatever conservative crackpot the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society put forward. Even though this is a complete 180 from the crap he screamed about Merrick Garland in 2016, Trump tells Hill.TV, "I mean, we have the Senate. We have a great Senate. We have great people. If we could get him approved, I would definitely do it. No, I'd do it a lot sooner than that. I'd do it. If there were three days left, I'd put somebody up hoping that I could get 'em done in three days, OK?"

Trump also tried to make some shit up about why President Obama hasn't endorsed Joe Biden's candidacy, even though he himself just declined to endorse rumors of Mike Pence running in 2024, and has sidestepped rumors about whether he'd dump Pence in 2020.

Here's the full transcript of that Hill.TV piece, if you like punishing yourself.

A new Morning Consult poll has a slew of new primary data for nerds to drool over. The polls give us a snapshot of some of the issues that may come up on the Democratic debate stage Wednesday and Thursday, like health care, climate change, gun fetishism, racial inequality, and abortion. The poll also shows most people think airstrikes in Iran are bad, and that a lot of people don't care if Joe Biden suffers from foot-in-mouth disease.

New polling from the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs shows most Democratic voters could give a damn about what a candidate looks like as 73 percent of Democrats value experience more than any other deciding factor in 2020.

A bunch of eggheads crunched some numbers and found a bunch of counties Trump flipped in 2016 are getting screwed in Trump's America. The new data shows a lot of swingable flyover country is struggling, regardless of Trump's economic shitposting.

As the Senate's version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act moves forward, Mitch McConnell made damn sure nobody is questioning Trump's ability to drag the US into another neo-con oil war. Rather than let the Senate Armed Services Committee force a debate about the Executive Branch's war powers, Senate Republicans think that stuff is best left for other committees. Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine criticized McConnell's move saying, "If what the president said was right, we were 10 minutes away from being at war. It would be really weird to have a discussion on the NDAA and have a kind of gag rule where we couldn't do anything about Iran."

The Senate's 2020 NDAA has a little rider that instructs the military's various bureaucratic tentacles to draw up plans for an Arctic port to counter Russian expansion. The melting of ice caps has set off a rush to claim mineral rights and shipping lanes in the northern polar region, but some defense geeks caution we shouldn't let ourselves be as neurotic as the Russians.

A veterans group says it will hand out t-shirts featuring the USS John McCain during Trump's hostile takeover of DC's annual Fourth of July celebration next week. Two veterans groups, Rags of Honor and VoteVets, partnered to create the shirts that feature an image of the Navy destroyer and its nickname, "Big Bad John." VoteVets says, "We may have had political battles against Senator McCain, but what has bound us together since 1776 — the belief in something larger than yourself — is always worth honoring on the Fourth."

Don't expect the Navy to bring charges against the Navy SEAL who seems to be taking the fall for Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie" Gallagher, the guy accused of murdering an teenaged ISIS prisoner. Because the SEAL who is ALLEGEDLY taking the fall was granted immunity, there's not much anyone can do. Is this FUBAR? Yes. [WARNING: Mildly Graphic Photos]

Italy will host the 2026 Winter and Paralympics, the International Olympic Committee voted Monday.

Apple finally got around to responding to an anti-trust suit filed by the music streaming service Spotify. Apple says they don't make much off Spotify, however The Verge points out that Apple is using really old stats to argue they aren't mugging nerds who want their programs in Apple's App Store. Apple is currently being sued in both the EU and the US over similar allegations that its App Store is (more or less) an extortion racket.

The administration is blocking Kellyanne Conway from dragging her lanky skeleton up to the Hill to testify before the House Oversight Committee about all the times she ALLEGEDLY violated the Hatch Act. The administration cites a "long-standing precedent" that is murky, at best. The Oversight Committee is likely to send Conway a subpoena that she'll probably ignore, ultimately adding another notch on the obstruction belt.

Law Works held a live reading of the Mueller Report last night. The reading featured all sorts of famous (LIB-RHUL) actors, with John Lithgow as the voice of Trump, Alyssa Milano as former White House counsel Annie Donaldson, Justin Long as James Comey, and appearances by Jason Alexander, Sigourney Weaver, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Mark Hamill. [Video]

The Investigation - A Search for the Truth in Ten

The knives are coming out for acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, thanks in part to THE COUGH during that George Stephanopoulos interview last week. Politico gossips that Mulvaney has dragged his own loyalists into the White House, shit talks his much more beloved predecessor, and abuses perks of the office, like Air Force One and Camp David.

Axios gossips that the news industry's "Trump Bump" is (finally) dying. Media bigwigs say that Trump is now dragging their ratings into the toilet, so they're no longer covering his shitposts and rallies like they did in 2016. Good riddance.

Some science bozos realized that gray seals can mimic human sounds; naturally they trained them to (kind of) sing the Star Wars theme. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Stephen Colbert gagged while talking about Trump's decision not to bomb Iran. It's not every day Orange Julius Ceaser grows a conscience.

Trump Was 'Cocked And Loaded' To Strike

And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S NATHAN AND WINNIE, THE BEACH CATS!

The beach cats' stomping ground - Elliott Heads

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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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