Florida, Man. Wonkagenda For Wed., Aug. 1, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Before we get started, here's a squeaky little otter to get ready!
Facebook has revealed it's removed dozens of pages that were part of a 2018 election fuckery plan to spread misleading and divisive messages. While Facebook declined to give specifics, news orgs backtraced them via a series of tubes and found racially and politically motivated groups and events aimed at stoking the hostility between anti-Trump activists and racist, drunk uncles.
At a gathering of cyber security experts, DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen (finally) said Russia was fucking around in the 2016 election. Nielsen then announced the creation of the DHS National Risk Management Center to "identify, assess, and prioritize efforts to reduce risks to national critical functions," adding, "A Category 5 hurricane has been forecast. And now we must prepare." No shit, Sherlock.
Robert Mueller has sent MORE cases to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York to look into whether or not a trio of top Republican and Democratic swamp monsters committed crimes when they made blood money with Paul Manafort.
The (first) fraud trial of Paul Manafort is already off and running; Mueller's team started off by running through a laundry list of expensive crap Manafort bought with his Ukrainian blood money, like a "$15,000 jacket made from an ostrich." Manafort's defense strategy is his deputy made him do it. [Video]
Buzzfeed has more details about the shady bank transfers between Maria Butina and her NRA fuck buddy, Paul Erickson, to a sketchy Alfa Bank account, with a special guest appearance by Jack Abramoff!
Politico has a great story on how Maria Butina was able to con her way into Republican power circles by flashing a gun and some cleavage, and why getting caught may have been part of the plan.
During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump administration officials called baby jails "summer camps." The brass balls on these folks caused Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin to call for the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen.
Trump is considering 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that includes TVs and clothes, more than double what he bitched about last month, after trade "negotiations" reportedly stalled. Early this morning Chinese officials called this "blackmail." As usual, nobody knows if this is a policy, or if Trump's throwing his own shit at a fan to see what sticks.
The Trump administration intends to argue that California's clean air laws put people at a greater risk because better gas mileage = more driving, and suburbia will drive less if there are new, heavier monster trucks that get terrible gas mileage.
The Farm Bill continues to lurch through the halls of Congress, but it's currently stalled in the Senate as lawmakers argue just how hard poor people should work for SNAP benefits and government cheese.
The Trump administration is bringing back short-term "junk" insurance plans that don't protect against pre-existing conditions as another way to slowly kill Obamacare, and really stick it to those freeloading poors right before the elections.
While surrounded by Florida men in Tampa, Trump screamed at the press (again), calling them "unhinged" and "crazy," adding that they ruin the lives of "innocent" people. Trump also bitched about China retaliating against US farmers for his trade war, lied about the cost of the Israeli embassy, bragged about shutting down the government (again), and suggested that we need voter ID laws because you need an ID to buy groceries. At some point he supposedly remembered to endorse Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis. As they were fucking off to their cookie cutter condos and double-wides, Trump's blind zealots yelled slurs and "fake news" at CNN's Jim Acosta while he tried to do a live stand-up. [Video]
Despite a court order temporarily barring the publishing of blueprints for 3D-printable guns, a gun rights group uploaded plans to make semiautomatic assault rifles and pistols to the web, arguing Uncle Sam can't slap them from looking at gun porn.
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee blocked a proposed fast-track bill by Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson that would have banned the publication of blueprints for 3D printable weapons. Nelson argued that plastic, undetectable guns pose a security risk because they're fucking plastic guns. [Video]
Mitch McConnell killed legislation in the NDAA that would have punished the leaders of Myanmar (formerly Burma) for suspected genocide against the Rohingya people. Full stop.
The House Problem Solvers caucus wants to fast track bills with bipartisan support in an attempt to break the congressional gridlock, and that could mean big changes in the rules regardless of who becomes the Speaker, or who controls the House.
Behind the scenes there's moves in the Congressional Black Caucus to push for a black Speaker should Nancy Pelosi not get/take the job. And why not? It worked in Blazing Saddles!
Threats from the deep-pocketed Koch network are now very real as they tell fellow Republicans to get on board with super-rich tax cuts and slashed spending, or get the fuck out.
Former UVA student Stephen Dalton Baril, 21, the grandson of former Virginia Republican Gov. John Dalton, won't go to jail for ALLEGEDLY raping a woman last year after pleading to reduced charges of misdemeanor sexual battery and felony unlawful wounding. He doesn't even catch a guilty plea, just the acknowledgement that there's more than enough evidence to consider him guilty. It's good to have rich, powerful friends and blue blood.
Illinois Republican state Rep. Nick Sauer is being accused of posting revenge porn of his ex-girlfriend "to catfish other men" FOR TWO YEARS on social media. Two damn years!
A VERY small town police force quit en masse after being repeatedly screwed over with low wages and faulty equipment that included a 2010 Crown Vic that had no A/C, and a drivers seat locked in the reclining position.
US commanders on the ground in Syria say that Russia has been using new equipment to jam communications and electronic signals, but soldiers say they'd rather learn how to defend against new Russian fuckery in some "shithole" country than back at home.
People inside Trump's White House are terrified that they shit the bed when they talked to Bob Woodward for his new book.
And here's your morning Nice Time! Baby dolphins!