'What The F**K?' Wonkagenda For Mon., Aug 5, 2019

Photo by Dominic Gwinn

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

Almost 30 people are dead following two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Authorities say a 21-year-old man is suspected of killing 20 people in an El Paso Walmart shortly after posting a manifesto railing against a "Hispanic invasion of Texas." Police haven't released much information about the shooting in Dayton, only that the deceased 24-year-old gunman killed his sister, her companion, and seven others over the course of 30 seconds with an AR-15-like assault weapon. The Texas Tribune reports county prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the suspect accused of perpetrating the El Paso shooting while federal authorities consider pursuing a domestic terrorism case.

With Trump literally hiding inside his golf course in the hours after both shootings, Democratic 2020 candidates were quick to lay blame for the shootings upon his administration for his own hate-filled and bigoted comments over the last several weeks (months, years, and decades). In an appearance on Fox & Friends on Sunday, Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blamed mass shootings on violent video games, saying, "We've always had guns, always had evil, but I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill." Later, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy echoed Patrick's comments saying video games "dehumanize" people. Similarly, a number of Republicans stumbled their way through the Sunday shows by going out of their way to avoid talking about gun control and blame the shootings on poor mental health care. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney engaged in some amazing whataboutism by dodging questions about gun control by bringing up the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise. This morning, Trump shitposted that we should increase background checks and suggested "marrying" the legislation with immigration reform before blaming the press for contributing "greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years," and retweeting a picture of himself in the Oval Office. [Mulvaney MTP / Transcript]

The shooting has shaken up the 2020 presidential race, with Beto O'Rourke once again in the national spotlight for having the balls to say what the rest of us are thinking. Maybe he could take all that attention and run for fucking the Senate?

Senate Democrats are calling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel the Senate recess and pass two stalled gun control measures. However, McConnell reportedly fell and fractured his shoulder, according to a spox. It's a very convenient injury for #MoscowMitch.

The El Paso shooter posted a manifesto on an obscure message board full of hate-filled white supremacist rhetoric. The site has since been dropped by its host, Cloudfare. In a statement, Cloudflare said it "reluctantly" tolerated "reprehensible" content, but that the site had "crossed that line." The site's creator tells the New York Times that it should be shut down, because, "It's not doing the world any good." Conflict journalist Robert Evans 'splains in Bellingcat that the site, and others like it, show how white supremacists have begun to gamify domestic terror by jokingly treating body counts as a "score."

Instead of throwing a tantrum, shutting the government down, and letting the US credit markets descend further into chaos, Trump quietly signed the massive two-year spending deal on Friday.

Texas Republican Rep. Kenny Marchant has announced #HesNotRunning in 2020. The wave of Texas Republicans dropping out ahead of the next election has a number of Republicans freaking the fuck out about their chances in Texas as voter trends have shown the Lone Star state growing increasingly blue.

Amid dismal approval ratings, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is desperately clinging to Trump's coattails right now even if the rest of the state's Republicans shy away from Trump.

Politico has a really nice infographic about the clusterfuck to fix all the garbage voting machines that #MoscowMitch says aren't a problem.

For the second weekend in a row Chicago saw a rash of gun violence. At least 47 were people shot, with five dead, throughout the weekend. Authorities aren't treating this as a mass shooting event since the various incidents were mostly contained to black and brown neighborhoods on the city's South and West sides. At one point on Saturday an area hospital was forced to stop admitting new patients. Victims included young men and women, and a toddler.

Some science bozos are confirming what officials at the United Nations were already warning about: July was the hottest month ever. Good thing global warming is a hoax!

The Guardian reports the US military is testing high-altitude balloons that can spy on US citizens across the Midwest. Fillings made on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Corporation say the tests are intended to "provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats." Nerds call this "combat TiVo" because it can "watch everything at once," then rewind to see what happened and who was involved. FCC documents show the testing area spans from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and central Illinois, and will operate from July through September. The ACLU is righteously pissed about the repercussions of a giant eye in the sky, and is demanding to know what's going to happen to the data.

Axios gossips that rapper Kanye West thinks he can solve homelessness in Los Angeles by building affordable homes that are then sunk into the ground. The homes would reportedly look similar to the Lars homestead from the original Star Wars because we're not going to start evolving into Morlocks without a little help from Yeezy.

John Oliver 'splainered prison labor and how it's technically not slavery since it's baked into the Constitution.

Prison Labor: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) www.youtube.com

And here's your morning Nice Time: Super cool animals!

Summer Pool Party Animals www.youtube.com

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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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