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DEBATE-A-PALOOZA! Wonkagenda For Fri., Sept. 13, 2019

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


Last night's debate was pretty rough for the old white guys leading in the current polls. This time candidates focused many of their attacks on the current resident of the White House instead of trying to beat up the black guy who used to live there. With this being the first debate of the top 10 polling candidates, it was a make-or-break night for those in the second and third tiers. By most accounts, Elizabeth Warren had the best night by sticking and moving, letting others soak up the punches. Joe Biden's foot in mouth disease seemed to get the better of him, but he was still standing -- at least until the end of the night when he gave a rambling answer about his record on racism. Julian Castro is facing criticism this morning for essentially calling Biden a senile old man (dick move!), and everyone is praising Beto O'Rourke for saying "Hell yes" he would take semiautomatic liberty sticks from gun humpers by making owners of AR-15s an offer they can't refuse. Fuzzy math magician Andrew Yang used the debate to double down on his scheme to give out a so-called "Freedom Dividend," announcing he'd give $1,000 a month to 10 random people, but legal nerds think this might be a bit illegal. If (like me) you skipped last night's debate to take a self-care night, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah has your TLDR.

2020 Democratic Debate in Houston | The Daily Show www.youtube.com

BONUS: After Beto said "Hell Yes" he was coming for your murder machines, Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain tweeted that his "AR is ready for you." Beto responded by calling it a death threat and reported it to Twitter. Briscoe cried that Beto was "a child," and Twitter says it's now investigating the incident.

While Democrats were debating some of the most pressing social issues affecting modern society in the 21st century, Trump was in "disgusting, rodent infested" Baltimore rambling for over an hour about how Democrats are "colluding" with the LIBERAL media and "obstructing" his attempts to grab Uncle Sam by the pussy. Speaking at the GOP's annual policy retreat, Trump bragged about his tax cuts (for the super rich), and claimed Democrats were coming for your plastic straws and lightbulbs, and confused himself with Hillary Clinton in saying she "didn't like stairs, didn't like airplanes, didn't like a lot."

Republicans are in Baltimore freaking out over the recently announced $1 trillion dollar deficit hole they created, and all their members bailing out ahead of 2020. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says they'd drive America out of their debt-filled hole by retaking the House and making more cuts to the social safety net. McCarthy tepidly pitched environmental programs, like carbon capture and ocean clean-up, primarily by blaming the problem on "shithole countries."

Residents of Charm City welcomed Trump and Republicans with a sizeable protest and giant inflatable rat. About half a dozen counter-protesters bitched to local reporters that THOSE PEOPLE shouldn't be allowed to vote. Gee, hun, hope these fools remember to tip after they hit the red light district. Ballda-mur's a working class city on the wooder; they don't take any shit.

If you watched the debate last night you probably rolled your eyes at an awful ad showing a burning photo of Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez from New Faces GOP, a new GOP PAC from failed 2018 California congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng. Once a staffer to Republican Rep. Ed Royce, Heng says she founded the pac to diversify the GOP. On Twitter AOC said the ad was aimed at convincing Republicans that they weren't racist, later adding that it was "a love letter to the GOP's white supremacist case." [Ad]

Gregory Cheadle, the 62-year-old California real estate broker whom Trump called his "African American" has left the Republican Party after (finally) realizing the GOP uses people of color as pawns to distract from a "pro-white" agenda. When Trump was asked about Cheadle abandoning the party due to its "pro-white" agenda, Trump said he didn't know Cheadle. Last month Cheadle, who says #HesRunning in 2020 to unseat the Republican incumbent Doug LaMalfa in the California 1st, says he hopes other Republicans will be "strong enough" to "step out."

The Air Force says it's found a few dozen instances of Air Force crews staying at Trump's Turnberry trash palace over the last four years, however the New York Times reports anonymous staffers at the resort saying members of the military come sometimes by the literal bus load during the middle of the night. The Pentagon reports that there have been 259 military refueling stops at the nearby Prestwick airport this year alone, compared to 145 in 2016, with the number of overnight stays clocking in at 220 this year (compared to 75 in 2016). Service members also complain that the resort is expensive and remote, with a burger clocking in at around $26 after currency exchange rates. #MAGA

Trump's White House has stopped blocking $250 million in aide to Ukraine after Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham threatened to be "the strongest voice" in support of Ukraine in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Republican Sen. James Lankford tried to defend the administration by saying Trump should try taking Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, out on a couple of dates before giving him a bunch of money Congress already approved.

Late this morning the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google asking them for internal operations, EMAILS, and info on the other tech companies they've gobbled up. This latest step in the looming antitrust investigation isn't an official legal demand, but it signals Congress isn't fucking around. After all, it's election season!

INDICTED New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins has plead not guilty to a revised indictment to charges of insider trading. Roll Call reports that Collins had attempted to use the Constitution's Speech and Debate clause -- which protects members of Congress from arrest and prosecution for their political opinions -- to force prosecutors to turn over evidence seized from his staffers, but they just told him to fuck off. Yesterday the judge stated that he wouldn't move the trial date, adding, "Once a jury is in the box, they're in the box."

The DOJ has rejected former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's appeals to avoid prosecution, multiple news outlets are reporting. Trump-appointed US Attorney Jessie Liu has reportedly recommended McCabe be indicted over his role in the 2016 investigation of HER EMAILS.

Recode is reporting Mithril Capital, a venture firm co-owned by Peter Thiel (the most evil mother fucker in big tech), is being investigated for possible financial fuckery. Mithril is denying everything, but Recode reports the firm has seen a "contentious" exodus of staffers up and down the chain of command, and a lot of internal turmoil, including freezing staff out.

Lucky Palmer, the "libertarian" tech bro who drives around Silicon Valley in a yellow Hummer with a pink plastic machine gun mount, has been making oodles of Ameros pitching a virtual border wall to Trump World.

A Florida woman has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for ripping off A Idiot in Texas to the tune of $1.6 million over seven years. The Florida woman convinced her rube that her family had been cursed, and the only way to lift the curse was by spending crap loads of cash on magic crystals and candles.

Winners of the annual 2019 Ig Nobel awards, a spoof on the Nobel Prize, include a study that found surgeons can be trained with clickers like dogs, pizza can (kind of) be a healthy food choice, and paper money is absolutely disgusting. HURRAY FOR PIZZA DAY!

Saturday Night Live announced three new cast members, one of whom will be the show's first openly gay and Asian cast member. Normally the story would end there, but journalist Seth Simons dug up clips of one of the new cast members using racial slurs in his podcast last September. And not just racial slurs, just minutes of a whole racist premise that felt like it might never end. [Clip / Full Episode]

Robyn wrote a thing for AV Club about Designing Women's Julia Sugarbaker. You'll probably want to read that, we're guessing.

ICYMI: Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema was in Nice, France, competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship! She finished 271st in her division.

James Corden called out Bill Maher for saying fat shaming needs to make a comeback. "A lack of shame is not the issue here..."

James Corden Responds to Bill Maher's Fat Shaming Take www.youtube.com

And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S AARON'S ANIMALS!

World's First Cat Lifeguard 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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