He's Still Going. Wonkagenda For Mon., July 29, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
In a series of racist shitposts yesterday and this morning, Trump tripled down on his attacks against Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and other people of color in Congress who've criticized his white supremacist rhetoric. The Washington Post notes that despite Trump bragging about having so many black friends, his racist tirades are part of a pattern of denigrating areas like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco -- places that don't vote for white supremacists and/or reality TV con artists -- and points out the irony of Trump complaining about "rat infested" cities like Baltimore where Jared Kushner owns and operates literal slums that jacked up rents and gave residents mice. In a scathing editorial, the Baltimore Sun opined, "If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone's, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land."
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump's latest racist tirade on several Sunday shows this weekend. On Face the Nation, Mulvaney said he understood that "everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people." In an interview with Fox News's Chris Wallace, Mulvaney, who last year bragged to a room full of bankers about taking money from lobbyists while serving as an obstructionist Tea Party zealot in the House, stated that he'd "be fired" from his gerrymandered district in majority white and rural South Carolina if he had "poverty," and "crime," and "homelessness" like Baltimore and Chicago. When Wallace suggested there was "a clear pattern" of bigotry in Trump's statements, Mulvaney argued that Trump was "fighting back" and that Wallace was "spending too much time reading between the lines." [Video / Transcript]
Yesterday a bunch of House Democrats came out in favor of impeaching Donald Trump, bringing the total number of those in favor to 107, just short of a majority. The two biggest names to come out over the weekend -- Patty Murray and Katherine Clark -- show the tide of lawmakers urging to open an impeachment inquiry is only growing stronger. During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler said that there would be no timetable for impeachment, and that Trump "richly deserves" to be impeached. In his appearance on Fox News, Mick Mulvaney was shut down by host Chris Wallace after attempting to claim Robert Mueller would "absolutely not" have indicted Trump.
On Friday the Commerce Department announced the economy had slowed to 2.1 percent growth in the second quarter, and some government bean counters announced a revision of previous 2018 growth estimates. The New York Times reports the administration repeatedly mashing the gas pedal of America's economic engine hasn't had the effect Trump's TV economists had hoped for as most of the grunt work has been carried on the backs of US consumers and our insatiable appetite for stupid crap (which has become similarly dulled thanks to Trump's trade war). Vox notes that Trump's promise to deliver three percent growth has not only been a failure, but the revisions show previous claims and moves by the administration -- like tax cuts (for the super rich) and deregulation -- are further evidence of lies and failures despite massive amounts of federal spending.
Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled her healthcare plan to get to universal coverage. Under "Kamalacare," we'd keep a system of private insurers while gradually expanding Medicaid to cover all Americans. Harris's says her plan would be phased in over a decade, and would "cover all medically necessary services," which is exactly what a cop would say. In a related story, the New York Times published a long profile on Harris.
Some muckraking wretches were poking around spreadsheets when they noticed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took a bunch of cash from lobbyists working on behalf of the two major electronic voting machine companies. Good thing Robert Mueller, multiple members of Congress, every intelligence agency in the country, nerds, and the greater hacker community aren't in total agreement that electronic voting machines are extremely vulnerable to incalculable amounts of fuckery, because McConnell just killed a bunch of election security bills, again.
Three people are dead and 15 people are injured following a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, last night. Police say the gunman was killed, and are looking for a possible second suspect. One of the victims was a six-year-old boy, according to NBC. In a statement, the city of Gilroy says the gunman was carrying an "assault-type rifle," and witnesses tell the Washington Post the gunman was wearing "a camouflage outfit."
Wildfires keep popping up all over Siberia, Canada, and Alaska thanks to what may be one of the hottest summers on record. Science bozos say the fires are yet more evidence of global warming, and will exacerbate warming conditions as smoke and ash settle on snow and block sunlight. [Video]
Russian police started beating the shit out of people and arresting protesters who were upset about candidates being kept from the ballot for the Moscow City Council. Russian state-news outlets report over 1,000 people were arrested before and after the seven hour protest, including opposition candidates and prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny; political monitoring groups place the number at 1,373. Navalny has since been hospitalized for what doctors say is "the result of harmful effects of undefined chemical substances," though a spox says he's suffering from a "severe allergic reaction" despite having never complained of allergies before. The protests come a week after 20,000 people rallied in Moscow following the banning of political candidates.
Vanity Fair has a great long read from Ayman Mohyeldin about how Saudi Arabia's kidnappings and murders of critics to the ruling dynasty are just a feature of a kingdom that wants to to snuff out dissent before it can grow into a movement.
One of the super rich guys lurking in the fever swamp of Trump World is Thomas Barrack. His deep links with the Saudis and the UAE got some federal investigators a little curious as to just how much influence he was peddling inside Trump's gold-plated White House. Barrack's spox says the DOJ decided there was no collusion between mega rich oil nations, the 2016 Trump campaign, and Barrack, and that it's a mere coincidence that Barrack was involved in the same Middle East nuclear power plan that led to Mike Flynn's downfall.
The town of Rachel, Nevada, is getting worried about all the basement dwelling crackpots, anime dorks, and mouthbreathers who keep calling the town's kitschy little alien-themed hotel to inquire about lodging. The hotel's owner tells the AP that she initially thought the social media call to "storm Area 51" to was a joke, but the town of 54 has grown alarmed over the possibility that a bunch of neckbeards could descend upon it to "Naruto-run" at a once secret military facility near the dry Groom Lake bed. On Friday, the official Ghostbusters Twitter account tweeted a reminder to everyone that you just can't trust aliens.
John Oliver 'splained the UK's new child-punching jackass Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: BABY ELEPHANTS!
Baby Elephants are So Clumsy! | First Year on Earth | BBC Earth www.youtube.com
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