Infrastructure Week Strikes Back. Wonkagenda For Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Lordy, there were 12 Michael Cohen tapes seized by federal prosecutors. Does Hannity have a hooker problem? Did Elliott Broidy really have love child? Let's find out!
A federal judge has delayed Paul Manafort's trial until July 31 so Manafort's lawyers could frantically pore over documents that might explain why Paul Manafort tried to launder all that Russian blood money. The Judge also revealed the names of five witnesses who've been granted immunity to testify against Manafort. [Morning Maddow]
The Justice Department admits it may have already deported 463 migrant parents without their children, making them ineligible for reunification. (At least not by Thursday's deadline. Or maybe ever. Who knows?) New reporting notes that 879 families have been reunited, but, according to immigration lawyers, 130 "waived" reunification under pressure from ICE officials.
An administration plan to stop California's strict vehicle emissions rules could roll out as soon as this week as Trump seeks to appease his oil and gas overlords.
Yesterday Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated Trump wants to pull security clearances from former US top intel officials James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, James Comey, John Brennan, Susan Rice and Michael Hayden for saying mean things about God Emperor Trump. Even though Comey and McCabe don't have security clearances, and the rest don't really have access to classified material, the White House is still treating them like common Kushners.
While Sarah Huckabee Sanders hasn't publicly announced her quit-firing, White House comms director is Bill Shine has already drawn up a short list of former Fox News talking heads to replace her.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dodged a request to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about Trump's field trips to meet with Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and NATO allies. State Department spox Heather Nauert says Pompeo had a previously scheduled appointment to wash his hair.
Robert Wilkie is your new VA secretary after an 86-9 Senate vote. As a Republican swamp creature with no medical background, his first order of business is to copy every other VA secretary over the last two decades, so he should do just fine. Then comes the privatization!
Apparently it's "Made in America" week at Trump's White House. Unfortunately for him, most Trump-branded products aren't made in America. The press quickly noted the hypocrisy of him to waving a MAGA hat around while talking about invisible jets.
A new NBC News/WSJ poll finds that 71 percent of Americans believe Roe v. Wade shouldn't be overturned, including 52 percent of Republicans. The poll also shows a majority of voters prefer a pro-choice candidate when given the choice.
House Republicans just approved several do-nothing amendments that shuffle millions of dollars for bridges to nowhere so they can lie about their concern for crumbling infrastructure and Native American tribes.
Eric Holder went on Colbert and said he's possibly, maybe thinking he'll run in 2020 if we survive 2018.
One of the biggest political prognosticators has just shifted a over a dozen congressional races to the left, giving Democrats a better than 50% chance of taking the House this fall thanks to poor fundraising among Republicans - though it does caution that anything can happen in the next few months.
Ex-con Don Blankenship is trying to mount a third party bid to get on the West Virginia Senate ballot as a Constitution Party candidate. Blankenship admits the state's "sore loser law" will likely doom him to failure (again) because, "This is what the communist or Nazi party would do...and exactly what George Washington warned of in his farewell address."
During a gubernatorial campaign speech speech, Florida Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis stated he doesn't know what "this girl," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "is." On Twitter Ocasio-Cortez fired back saying she's Puerto Rican, adding, "It's strange you don't know what that is, given that 75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 mos since María." [Video]
After 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton was gunned down in a convenience store parking lot for parking in a handicap space Thursday, there is new scrutiny over whether "Stand Your Ground" laws are creating more problems than they're solving. You think?
Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson gave out $300,000 in cash and checks to people at a South Side church on Sunday. Earlier in the week Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner admits he gave Wilson's charity a $100,000 check, but denied knowing what Wilson was going to do with the cash. Amid charges that the whole affair was "kind of skeevy," it's technically not illegal because hey, it's Chicago.
The New York Times managed to find some patriotic geriatrics at an Ohio metal factory who are cool with Trump's trade war (for now) because it's all about freedom, motorcycles, and sticking it to the commies, even if it means pay cuts and price hikes. Meanwhile, farmers throughout flyover country ain't exactly whistling Dixie as harvest season looms, and now they're putting pressure on lawmakers to do...something.
Instead of screwing around with all the messy back and forth, the Japanese just bowed out of Trump's trade war and pointed to all the other friends they can share robot toys with.
Trump's White House isn't walking back Trump's late-night Twitter tantrum on Iran, but officials are hesitant to admit there's any method to his madness. This morning foreign policy nerds are rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at the thought of yet another war in the Middle East. Don't they know we'll be greeted as heroes?
According to DHS officials, Russian hackers breached the control rooms of US electric utilities last year, giving them the ability to "have thrown switches" and trigger blackouts. Officials noted that similar operations are likely continuing and widespread. Don't forget to charge your batteries! [Archive]
And here's your morning Nice Time! Tapirs! (No, not pee tapirs.)
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.