Guess Who's Back? Wonkagenda For Wed., June 26, 2019

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

Mark your calendars and stock up on snacks because former special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to publicly testify before Congress. Mueller will speak to the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17 in back to back hearings. Mueller's reluctant testimony comes after House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler chair subpoenaed his ass.

On a mostly party line vote, the House passed a $4.5 billion emergency funding bill, 230-195, to shore up support for refugees interned at Trump's concentration camps tent cities and baby jails on the southern border. The bill gives the Department of Health and Human Services $2.9 billion to keep the baby jails running, and $1.5 billion to Homeland Security to set up more tent cities with porta potties, as well as food, water, medical, and legal services. There's also money for ICE and FEMA. The Washington Post notes that the Senate isn't likely to take up the bill because of last minute amendments to mandate Customs and Border Protection create health and safety standards for privately run baby jails.

A migrant man and his 23-month-old daughter were found drowned in the shallow waters along the bank of the Rio Grande River, the AP reports. Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez was unable to turn himself and his family in to US authorities and request asylum, so he began crossing the river with his daughter. Upon reaching the other side, Ramírez set his daughter down along the bank and started back for his wife, but his daughter panicked and threw herself in. Ramírez was able to grab the girl, but they were both swept away by the current. WARNING:GRAPHIC PHOTOS!

The New Yorker has a sad and pathetic tale of ICE officers griping about the good old days when Obama was in charge. Apparently nobody's happy about Trump's threat to kick down doors and kidnap immigrants, and ICE's rank and file miss the "rules" and "priorities" that were in place under the Obama administration. One official says, "No one built up the infrastructure to handle this, and now people are suffering at the border for it. They keep saying they were caught flat footed. That's a bald-faced fucking lie."

In rather predictable fashion, Trump threatened Iran with "obliteration" from an "overwhelming" US force if there's an attack on "anything American." DC power circles are now wondering if Trump has any kind of "exit strategy." Yesterday, Trump told a press gaggle, "You're not going to need an exit strategy. I don't do exit strategies." The Senate is expected to take a procedural vote on the defense authorization bill later today, and Democrats are expected to filibuster if Republicans don't give them any amendment clamping down on Trump's war powers. Roll Call notes McConnell "isn't opposed" to an amendment barring Trump from dragging the US into another neo-con oil war, but he'd still vote against it. Behind the scenes Democrats are pushing to hold off on voting for the NDAA until Friday, effectively gambling that that someone will get on the 2020 debate stage tonight or tomorrow and force the issue.

Trump has been incessantly shitposting all morning about a bunch of crap, like cable news ratings, a therapy session with Fox's so-called "Money Honey," Maria Bartiromo, retweeting his minions, and blah blah blah. Whatever, here's Japanese mascot Chitan, doing silly shit. It makes more sense than Trump tweets.


The New York Times has a profile on Sarah Fabian, that DOJ lawyer who argued CBP doesn't need to give kids soap and toothbrushes. A registered Democrat brought on during the early days of the Obama administration, Fabian says she regrets she pissed off half the country, and admits she kind of flubbed her argument, adding, "I get that defending myself by parsing out a technical legal position won't change most people's minds."

Just as Trump World was fucking off to ruin the next G20 summit, the administration's chief of protocol at the State Department, Sean Lawler, was yanked off the Air Force One manifest and suspended indefinitely pending an investigation. Officials tell NBC that Lawler was known to carry a whip and intimidate colleagues, and under his tenure caused numerous service workers to "You're Fired" themselves. Early this morning, Bloomberg reported that Lawler plans to be quit-fired now that he's being probed by an inspector general.

The NRA has shut down NRATV and "You're Fired" its long time advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen. This means Dana Loesch and all the other gun fetishists have also been "You're Fired" too. The NRA and Ackerman McQueen have both released laughably bitchy statements accusing the other of backstabbing.


A federal judge has greenlit a move by congressional Democrats to sue the ill-fitting pants off Trump for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

Politico has a good roundup of all the stuff you need to know about tonight's debate. And yes, the editrix will be liveblogging!

Trump World is planning a social media blitz in response to tonight's debate, including talking points, shitposts, and shitposting talking points. The RNC has planted operatives in key swing states around the country to bitch, moan, and bullshit on TV and social media in an effort to keep their base entertained and distracted from actually talking about issues.

Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Katie Porter just dropped a bill to hold the feet of big banks and Wall Street to the fire. Called the Accountability for Wall Street Executives Act, the bill would allow state attorneys general and police to pore over bank records, and subpoena and grill executives. The idea is to lean on big financial firms before their orgiastic cash baths trigger another credit crisis like 2008.

Mike Pompeo is torn. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is begging him to run for the Senate in Kansas in the hopes that Pompeo can fight off crazy, Trumpian assholes like Kris Kobach, but Pompeo isn't so sure. Pompeo is currently mulling over a presidential run in 2024, and he needs to decide if sticking around Trump World is worth the risk.

Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally is worried about getting primaried in 2020 by a super rich Trumpian swamp monster. McSally is now begging the RNC to tell her likely primary opponent, Daniel McCarthy, to piss off by reminding how much ass she kissed in 2018.

Chicago police have confirmed reports of an incident involving Eric Trump last night. The word on the street is Trump was spat upon by an employee at a fancy bar in a douchey part of town. Shortly after the incident, the mouth breathing Trump gave some delusional comments about winning to Breitbart. Welcome to Chicago! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. The new law lets anyone over 21 carry up to 30 grams of weed, five grams of concentrate, and 500 milligrams of edibles. In addition, the state will expunge the criminal records of 800,000 people caught buying or holding 30 grams or less, earmarks a quarter of the tax revenue from weed sales to develop poor communities, and gives preference to minority owners looking to start pot shops. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, when most of the state is a frozen, post-apocalyptic hellscape, and nobody wants to go outside anyway. In signing the bill, Pritzker fulfills a key campaign promise, and makes Illinois the 11th state (plus DC!) to #LegalizeIt.

WaPo has a lovely story about Muffy Blake Stephyns, the star of new documentary "Queen of the Capital." The film follows Stephyns throughout 2014 in an effort to be voted Empress of the Imperial Court of Washington, and talks about DC's super secret drag history. Stephyn's alter ego, Daniel Hays, an employee at the Department of Labor, will appear on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, DC's NPR affiliate, later today.

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

River Otter "Pupdate"

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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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