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Borderline Psychopath. Wonkagenda For Mon., July 15, 2019

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


Once again, Donald Trump's threat to storm major cities and arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants never happened. With thousands turning out to protest the proposed raids, cities like Chicago refused to let federal agencies use local police databases and wouldn't cooperate with raids. New York did see an attempt at small-scale raids in the neighborhoods of Harlem and Brooklyn's Sunset Park, but residents rejected ICE agents who didn't have warrants. The Wall Street Journal notes there's no indication the raids in New York were connected with Trump's threats. In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," ACTING director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli refused to say whether or not the deportation raids would separate families if they actually happen.

Early this morning the administration announced changes to asylum rules governing people from Central America. The changes effectively bar people from Central America from applying.

Mike Pence took a field trip to one of the administration's concentration camps baby jails and a reeking, overcrowded facility for men, doing his bobble-head thing while telling reporters that he wasn't "surprised" by what he saw. Pence took issue with people calling the baby jails "concentration camps" in an interview with CNN. Later, Trump shitposted that this was proof his baby jails were "well run and clean," despite reporting from the New York Times that pool reporters "observed nearly 400 men crammed inside a cage with no space to lie down and no mats or pillows." The men had been detained for more than a month, were hungry, and couldn't brush their teeth. Pool reporters described the smell as "horrendous," with border agents wearing face masks. On one of the Sunday shows, Lindsey Graham reminded us all of his compassionate conservative values saying, "What I saw is a bunch of people who have been here before, broke the law before, and we're not going to let them go. I don't care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days, we're not going to let those men go that I saw. It would be dangerous." Graham went on to claim that the facilities were housing immigrants who were "sent" from Iran, Syria, and Bangladesh.

Pence has an op-ed in the Washington Post this morning where he's whining that Trump's NAFTA 2 needs to be passed because reasons, MAGA jobs, Jesus, Mexican justice, and the Canadian milk mafia.

Before he went golfing, Trump shitposted that four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color -- all US citizens, three of them Born In The USA -- should, "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." This latest distraction comes as the women, collectively know as "the Squad," continued to weather criticism from the talking heads for their spat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Following Trump's reminder of the definition of racism, Democrats circled the wagons and began attacking Trump, while Republicans sheepishly hid in the corner hoping nobody would notice their continued complacency. Trump doubled-down with his racist crap last night and this morning in a series of shitposts that bitch about "foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths" and blah blah blah. Instead, here's a kitty.

My Cat's Reaction To The Invisible Challenge www.youtube.com

The Washington Post has an long profile on ACTING White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and it's a doozie! WaPo reports Mulvaney has been "building an empire" of conservatism by ignoring whatever Trump says and does, instead opting to whisper in his ear like some kind of mutant, bomb-throwing Wormtongue intent on breaking Uncle Sam's back.

On Friday the House approved the National Defense Authorization Act, 220-197, without a single Republican vote. Trump has threatened to veto the $733 billion defense spending bill because it doesn't have a red cent for his damn wall, and has provisions that neuter his ability to start a war with Iran, repeals the 2001 AUMF, and erases his ban on trans troops.

Republicans are trying to murder Obamacare (again), even if it means destroying their own political careers and chances in 2020. Moderate Republicans and veterans of the healthcare wars are slamming their heads against their respective desks, praying to Jeebus that Mitch McConnell's half-assed scheme to nuke America's broken healthcare system fails because nobody has any idea what to do if he actually succeeds this time.

After spending the weekend dodging attacks and criticism from his left flank, this morning Joe Biden released his healthcare plan. Biden's plan calls for a public option by expanding the size and scope of Obamacare's best bits, like protections for preexisting conditions and Medicaid expansion, and couples it with drug price negotiations and tax credits to buy lower-priced health insurance plans. In a cheesy video revealing the plan, Biden says Obama, Obama, Obamacare, and promises he'll do everything in his power to protect the ACA from the Republicans driving the healthcare car off a cliff. Next, Joe Lieberman will probably surface to nuke the Public Option again.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows everyone and their mom kicking the crap out of Trump were the election to be held today. Additionally, the poll shows that Trump continues to have LOW RATINGS in the approval department, standing at 45 percent.

The Guardian was combing through old records on one of those ancestry websites when it came across records showing Beto O'Rourke's great-great-great-grandfather owned slaves way back in the 1850s. Records also show his family's connections to the Lost Cause South continue through 1911, when a distant relative unveiled a confederate statue. In a Medium post, Beto addressed the issue and again called for slavery reparations, saying, "I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others. That only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of — or locked-up in — this system." Clearly, no difference from Mitch McConnell.

The Bernie Sanders camp says reporters are being mean and ignoring their campaign. Reporters covering Sanders say the candidate doesn't hold Q&As and generally avoids reporters, instead favoring major TV outlet interviews as opposed to the usual unscripted press gaggles.

Easily forgettable 2020 Democratic presidential and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock was the subject of a WaPo profile where he says he's running for president to get "dark money" out of politics and save the children and stuff. He could also DO THE SAME GODDAMN THING in the Senate, but I digress.

The Trump spawn have taken it upon themselves to do whatever the hell they want to help their dad win, and solidify their new political dynasty. Politico reports that Trump's brood are playing an outsized role for 2020, hauling in cash and leading outreach initiatives to win women and Latinx voters. But some in Trump World worry the kids aren't alright, and will ultimately drag the ticket down with their own scams, scandals, and stupidity. Why would anyone think that?

A UK tabloid has published more leaked diplomatic cables from former UK Ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch. The excepts show Darroch saying Trump blew up the Iranian nuclear because it "was Obama's deal." Dated from May of 2018, the cable says Trump's White House had "no sort of plan" for dealing with the fallout.

Russia started delivering anti-air missile systems to Turkey on Friday, according to a statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry. The Trump administration still hasn't said anything about Turkey cockslapping the rest of its NATO allies in the face, but a bipartisan group of Senators on the defense and foreign relations committee fired off a statement calling for "consequences."

A bunch of dumbasses want to storm Area 51 by running towards the top-secret military base like anime characters and then finding the aliens. That should go well.

And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S PRINCE MICHAEL!

The Wingman youtu.be

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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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