IT HAS BEGUN! Wonkagenda for Thurs., June 27, 2019.
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
If there's anything that made the first 2020 Democratic debates notable it's the candidates avoidance of the big, orange elephant in the room. Politico has a good write up of some of the evening's most important things, like the party's leap to the left, while Roll Call has a piece on where everyone disagreed -- mainly the economy, immigrants, healthcare, and what to do about Mitch McConnell. The New York Times and the the Washington Post both have one of those "winners and losers" things that declares Sen. Elizabeth Warren POTUS-in-waiting, Julian Castro a break out star, Tim Ryan Mr. Robot, and Tulsi Gabbard a gay hatin' LOSER who coddles dictators. The New York Times has a soulless play-by-play and a neat infographic about who wouldn't stop talking, if you're into that sort of thing. But if you're like me and just want a giggle, Trevor Noah has highlights of some of the silly stuff.
Reporters got a sobering walkthrough of that overcrowded baby jail. The New York Times story notes that everything has the feeling of a dorm room that was cleaned hours before Parent's Day. WaPo's version describes it as a straight up overcrowded prison for children, complete with porta potties, a two-stall shower, and tiny holding cells crammed full of kids. Per the Times: "No books, crayons or even pieces of paper could be seen in the cells; no artwork adorned the walls as it does in shelter facilities where migrant children are held for lengthy periods."
WaPo has a companion piece to that quoting a union for US asylum officers denouncing the administration's baby jail policy. The union filed a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of an ACLU lawsuit over the Migrant Protection Protocols program aimed at stopping the anchor babies and taco trucks invading the southern border. According to the 37-page brief filed by the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1924, "Asylum officers are duty bound to protect vulnerable asylum seekers from persecution," and "They should not be forced to honor departmental directives that are fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation and our international and domestic legal obligations."
As if all that wasn't bad enough, the administration is quietly trying to scale back a program that keeps the families of active-duty military members from being deported. An immigration attorney representing recruits and vets in deportation proceedings tells NPR, "The troops can't concentrate on their military jobs when they're worried about their family members being deported."
Red states who hate providing healthcare to poor people are about to have another day in court, and legal eagles are worried that's bad news for Obamacare. Yesterday a conservative appellate court questioned why the ACA's defenders have a right to appeal a decision by a lower court that called the ACA invalid. I'll give you a reason: 'cause this is America, and some of us can't afford to go to a fucking doctor!
Trump's DC trash palace billed the Secret Service $215,254 from September 2016 to September 2018, and nobody is quite sure why. Both Trump World and the Secret Service refuse to discuss what the curious charges were for, but Trump's TV lawyers deny he's breaking the Constitution's emoluments clause.
Tucked deep inside the House's appropriations bill was a rider limiting the White House and federal agencies from doing business with Trump-affiliated businesses. As usual, Senate Republicans are unlikely to pick up the House version of the bill, no matter how much fiscal conservatives whine about government waste.
The Senate passed its version of the emergency border funding bill, and now both the House and the Senate will have to bicker about sending toothbrushes and soap to kids and refugees locked in goddamn baby jails.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's gambit on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act might actually pay off! The vote was scheduled to be held yesterday, but there's so many Democratic senators in Florida for debates that the vote was delayed until Friday. Democrats are hoping to filibuster a vote on the NDAA in order to include an amendment about blocking Trump from starting World War III with Iran without congressional approval. In a related story, it's a good bet that GOP and Trumpian war hawks try to nuke what's left of the JCPOA if/when Iran creeps past the enrichment levels established in the deal. Neo-Cons like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are eager to start circlejerking their warboners with John Bolton, but it's still very possible somebody throws some cold water on them.
MSNBC's Kasie Hunt sat down with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ask some questions about his wonky brand of socialism ahead of tonight's debate, but all anyone is talking about is one particular question. Hunt asked Sanders if he would bow out of the election if it became mathematically impossible for him to win the Democratic nomination in 2020. Sanders sniped that he intended to become the nominee, and asked Hunt if she asks the same question to other candidates. This morning Hunt responded to Sanders's comments on Morning Joe by saying, "I would ask that of other candidates, but right now we only have one candidate who has a track record of doing this before."
Petula Dvorak thinks it's a complete crock of shit that the women in Congress have to play their annual congressional baseball game in a league of their own. While the men get to play in the ritzy Nationals Stadium, the Congressional Women's Softball Game, now in its 11th year, is held at an elementary school.
There's some PR bullshit about a truce in Trump's trade war being pushed by Washington and officials in Beijing ahead of the G20 summit, but it's all up in the air since Trump could just throw another tantrum after he leaves his phone in the shitter (again).
Reddit (finally) quarantined its its pro-Trump shitposting factory, and banned submissions from a conspiracy peddling Nazi Youtube clone.
Now that someone has created a "deep fake" video that makes him look like a robotic, slave-holding overlord of the 21st century, Mark Zuckerberg thinks Facebook should reevaluate its policy on bullshit videos.
George Tyndall, a former gynecologist at the University of Southern California, has been accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of women over his 30 year career as the school's only full-time gynecologist. After over 350 women came forward, the LAPD arrested the 72-year-old Tyndall, charging him with 29 felony counts.
Samantha Bee took major media outlets to task for ignoring E. Jean Carroll's rape allegation against Trump (we're up to 22, but who's counting).
How to Cover Sexual Assault Allegations Against the President | Full Frontal on TBS www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: KOALAS!
Cutest Koala Compilation Ever www.youtube.com
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