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How Much For The Little Gun. Wonkagenda For Mon., Aug 19, 2019

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


Trump is scared the economy will crash before the 2020 elections, so he's begun blaming the recent market crashes on a DEEP STATE conspiracy to hurt his election chances, and #Merica. Anonymous minions tell the New York Times that Trump thinks his trade war isn't tanking the economy, even though all the bean counters are pointing at bright, red flashing signs warning of a looming recession. In an appearance on one of the Sunday shows, Trump's TV economist Larry Kudlow said everything was fine, nothing was fucked, and said, "There is no recession in sight." The AP reports that Trump World is similarly freaking out since they've spent their time in DC only showing Trump feel good happy stories that show him winning bigly.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning the Trump administration that its attempt to cut billions in foreign aid programs could nuke the budget deal reached just before everyone fucked off for the August recess. A number of prominent Republicans and Democrats in Congress are warning that the administration's wet dream of slashing $4 billion from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department would flush whatever credibility the administration has on the Hill down the toilet.

Newt Gingrich is working with Michael Jackson's former publicist to gin up support for a new space race reality show that would pit Jeff Bezos against Elon Musk and other space cowboys to see who can create the first lunar base. The two jackasses see it as a cheaper alternative to NASA's slow and steady science-based approach.

A number of former nuclear and chemical weapons complexes have seen a startling return of local wildlife thanks to banning trespassers. Environmental experts argue that Uncle Sam hasn't really cleaned up his heavily polluted mess though, and caution about uncalculated risks to people and animals, like toxic chemical run off, depleted uranium deposits, and unexploded military artillery shells. This comes as tree huggers protest a proposal from the administration to down-grade millions of gallons of high-level radioactive wastewater.

A new NBC/WSJ poll shows a hell of a lot of support for gun control legislation. Among the highlights, 89 percent support background checks, 76 percent support so-called "red flag" laws, 75 percent support a gun buy back program, and 62 percent support a ban on assault weapons. Additionally, about half the country thinks Trump's response to the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio was totally fucked, and 55 percent of people are "very worried" about the threat of another white nationalist attack targeting immigrants and/or brown people.

Trump has already started walking back his support for background check legislation. Over the weekend Trump yelled at reporters that the real problem is crazy people with guns, adding that "the concept of mental institutions has to be looked at." Axios gossips that some swamp creatures see September as the only chance to pass gun control before the 2020 elections, and that the administration is mulling over changes to patient protection, and stop and frisk laws, but Democrats aren't holding their breath.

The House Judiciary Committee will head back to the Hill early in order to look over three gun control bills. The Washington Post and Roll Call report Democrats are mulling over bans on high capacity magazine and ammunitions feeding devices, and so-called "red flag" laws. House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler has announced a hearing on "military-style assault weapons" on September 25.

Politico reports gun fetishists who think the NRA is out of ammo are standing their ground and forming their own gun humping groups. Interestingly enough, some of the groups being formed think the NRA was too heavy-handed in its approach and are advocating for a more moderate approach to proposed gun laws, while others think every six-year-old should stay strapped at all times. In a related story, Marion Hammer, a crazy old bat in Florida who's spent decades being the NRA's best fear-mongering lobbyist, says a proposed assault weapons ban in Florida would be bad for the state's 700 firearms manufacturers. On Friday, Hammer whined to state economists, “How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to government or be arrested for felony possession?"

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a broad proposal on criminal justice reform. The 6,000 word plan is a collection of other popular criminal justice reform efforts moving throughout the country, including ending cash bail, legalizing weed and "safe injection sites," banning civil asset seizure, banning solitary confinement, and abolishing the death penalty, as well a call to create a "Prisoner Bill of Rights," and a bunch of other stuff. [Proposal]

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has all seven Republicans in her district running against her next year. Political science geeks think these loudmouths are just trying to get themselves a gig as TV talking heads on Fox News by railing about socialism.

An Illinois state senator representing Chicagoland is apologizing for a photo depicting a man pointing a fake assault rifle at a mock Donald Trump "in Mexican garb" during a fundraiser.

Police across the country have arrested three different people believed to be planning unrelated mass shootings. One of the people arrested was a 20-year-old man who had posted a video of himself firing a gun with a caption that identified him as the shooter of a Jewish Community Center. Another was arrested after texting his girlfriend a picture of a crowded grocery store parking lot and "A good 100 kills would be nice."

A Florida man was arrested last week for threatening to "stab as many children as possible" because he felt their elementary school had "an obnoxious pride in America." The incident was avoided after the suspect's roommate was able to distract him from leaving their home while waiting for police.

Over the weekend Trump confirmed he's thought about buying Greenland because "we protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world, and the concept came up." Trump noted that the project is "not number one on the burner," but added he's "interested." This morning the Danish prime minister said Greenland isn't for sale, called Trump "absurd," and added, "Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland."

The growing prospect of a "no-deal" Brexit is freaking out British officials so much that they've begun secretly planning for shortages of food, medicines, fuel. A report details a dramatic failure in social care, mass protests that could strain police, strikes, mass travel delays at neighboring countries, higher food prices, and diplomatic incidents regarding fishing rights. British government officials say the report is old rubbish, and that everyone should just keep calm, and carry on.

ISIS/ISIL/IS/whatever terrorists, whom Trump said were 100 percent defeated in Afghanistan, are claiming responsibility for killing and wounding lot of people at a wedding in Kabul this weekend. In an unsettling interview with the BBC, the groom questions whether Afghanistan will ever truly be safe from "suffering" at the hands of rightwing religious nuts who kill innocent people. The attack comes as the Trump administration continues to negotiate with the Taliban, which yesterday Trump described as "good," to combat IS/ISIL/whatever forces and bring them into the Afghan government so that Trump can pull all US troops out of Afghanistan and declare "Mission Accomplished" before the 2020 elections. This morning, another attack in the city of Jalalabad killed even more people.

For the 11th weekend in a row, tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong spent the weekend marching through heavy rain in a call for greater political freedoms. Organizers estimate at least 1.7 million people turned up despite a ban on public protests. Beijing officials are continuing to threaten protesters for making China look bad, blaming the whole thing on US fuckery while their propaganda machine shifts into overdrive.

A new report by the Global Disinformation Index has found at least $235 million Ameros is being spent a year on ads running on sites peddling "fake news" and extremist hate speech. Part of the problem, according to the report, is that many businesses don't know their stuff is being advertised on some of these websites due to the wonky world of digital advertising networks.

The New York Times and the Washington Post both have profiles on scumbag Stephen Miller. WaPo's is all about how Miller lurks in Trump's shadow like some kind of Wormtongue, while the Times piece is all about how Miller went from being a rich douchebag complaining about the Mexican taco truck invasion to being the White House's chief white supremacist. (Editrix: The Times seems to have changed its initial headline calling him a "young firebrand." REICHSTAG FIREBRAND MAYBE! Thank you. Thank you.)

For the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people arriving in America, the New York Times has launched the 1619 Project, a major multimedia endeavor to shine a light on the hidden role of slavery in America. The project has pissed off Trump and some conservatives, like Newt Gingrich, who called it "propaganda." Historians point out that this is normal for Gingrich as his PhD dissertation was on how the Belgian plunder of the Congo was great (for white people).

Politico reported one of the original shitty men in media, Mark Halperin, has a fancy new book deal about how to beat Trump, but not everyone is enthused about it. and a number of the people interviewed for Halperin's book (like Donna Bazile) are brushing off criticisms that they're setting back the #MeToo movement by even speaking with Halperin. A number of cable news networks are running away from him and refusing to let Halperin hawk his book on their airwaves. Brian Stelter notes the book is being peddled by the same edgy jerks who thought it would be a good idea for OJ Simpson to write, "If I Did It."

Customs officials seized $2.3 million worth of marijuana that had been hidden in a shipment of jalapeno peppers. Yes, there's photos.

A Florida couple's new $702,000 luxury home has been invaded by dozens of vultures who won't stop vomiting and pooping everywhere. Neighbors say an old lady down the street feeds the birds 20 pound bags of dog food, roasted chicken, and trays of sandwiches several times a week. The Palm Beach Post reports the neighbor began feeding the animals after being told to stop feeding local gators, and has refused to follow to warnings from the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the local HOA.

John Oliver and Wanda Sykes 'splained how women and brown people face unnecessary bias from medical professionals.

Bias In Medicine: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) www.youtube.com



And here's your morning Nice Time:
BABY GOATS!

3 Naughty Goat Kids 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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