Rudy Sh*ts The Bed (Again)! Wonkagenda For Fri., Sept. 20, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
The whistleblower who tried to snitch on Trump's phone fuckery seems to involve Ukraine (CALLED IT!), according to new reporting by the Washington Post. During a closed hearing before the House Intel Committee yesterday, the DNI's inspector general Michael Atkinson said the incident was an "urgent concern," revealing there've been MULTIPLE calls that have given officials cause to rip their hair out. Atkinson added that he thought a DNI lawyer arguing against revealing the details to Congress was bullshit. At a presser after the hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff told reporters that something was rotten in the state of Denmark, saying someone "is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress. [...] There certainly are a lot of indications that it was someone at a higher pay grade than the director of national intelligence." Schiff went on Rachel Maddow last night to wink and nudge at the whistleblower, asking that they wait a week for acting DNI Joseph McGuire to testify before coming directly to Congress. [Morning Maddow]
Whistleblower Claims Trump Made “Troubling" Promise to Foreign Leader: A Closer Look www.youtube.com
The rumor mill on the Hill is that this all stems from Rudy Giuliani's debunked Ukrainium One scandal, and that Trump was trying to blackmail Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pull some 2020 bullshit against Joe Biden in exchange for congressionally approved military aid to combat Russian fuckery. Last week House Democrats asked Rudy to explain why he's spent his summer vacation "meddling" in Kiev in an effort to make Ukrainium One happen. The Washington Post notes that the longstanding practice of sending Congress a summary of the president's phone calls with Not America has been effectively neutered. In addition, NBC is reporting the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community has been receiving HUNDREDS of complaints from potential whistleblowers, though it's unclear how many of those caused Uncle Sam to crap himself this bad. Last night Rudy Giuliani went on CNN to slur some laughable doublespeak at Chris Cuomo, saying he himself had been talking with Zelensky, and this (probably) wasn't blackmail.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is worried that "big, hairy men" might try to invade women's homeless shelters, and that society no longer knows the difference between a man and a woman. HUD officials tell WaPo that Carson's remarks came during a trip to San Francisco earlier this week and left staffers shook. WaPo dives a bit deeper and cites other HUD officials who say Carson has a history of mocking and joking about trans people, adding that in 2016 Carson referred to trans people as "abnormal." Apparently the concept of gender identity is more difficult than brain surgery.
New internal bean counting from White House mathmagicians projects the cost of building 509 miles of Trump's goddamn wall will cost $18.4 billion through 2020. Since Mexico has decided not to pay for it, and House Democrats won't give him a dime, the self-proclaimed "King of Debt" wants to raid military construction projects (again), and then "backfill" the missing taxpayer money with cash from ... somewhere else. In addition, North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer -- who says he's been "deputized" by Trump to make the goddamn wall happens -- has told the Army Corps of Engineers to hand over documents to a shady construction company with direct ties to Trump World, much to the chagrin of the Corps.
The House Judiciary Committee is thinkering about holding Corey Lewandowski in contempt for his insistence on carrying Trump World's water during a not-quite impeachment hearing this week.
A federal judge has put a temporary stop to California's new election law requiring presidential candidates release their tax returns in order to appear on presidential primary ballot. Waving a burning Gadsden flag, Trump's lawyers argue that the Constitution's election rules are "fixed and unalterable" by individual states. Political wizards note that Trump has no chance of winning California, but that Trump's potential absence from the ballot in 2020 threatens to severely depress Republican turnout in November.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was on the Hill yesterday for a long-awaited hearing for a bill to make Washington DC the 51st state. While Democrats on the House Oversight Committee contended that America was founded on the principle of NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, Republicans dusted off a moldy argument that DC is too corrupt to govern itself. [MORE: Words / Podcast]
The confirmation hearing of former California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa was suddenly postponed after an FBI background check turned up something that might be "problematic and potentially disqualifying for Senate confirmation." Those issues, which Issa says are available on his Wikipedia page, involve a potential arson in 1982, concern he's lied about military record, which include a demotion, and an ALLEGED car theft.
Conservative rags are clutching their pearls after a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality devolved into a racist shouting match between self-described Florida Man Rep. Matt Gaetz and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Gaetz tried to play gotcha with Sharpton by digging up a 20-year-old resolution from Sharpton's fellow TV talking head, MSNBC's token Reaganite Joe Scarborough, about something Sharpton said during the 1991 Crown Heights riots, then proceeded to yell at Sharpton for about nine minutes. House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler eventually told Gaetz to sit down and shut up. [Full Video]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw the gauntlet down yesterday with the passing of a stopgap spending bill, 301-123, intended to keep the government from shutting down at the end of the month. The Senate is expected to take up the bill next week, but it remains uncertain whether it will pass as Republicans bitch and moan about bailouts for farmers being fucked by Trump's trade war. Roll Call has a list of all the key players, if you're into that sort of thing.
Speaking of Trump's trade war, Bloomberg reports Trump's gambling to the tune of $28 billion that his farm bailouts will be enough to convince farmers to vote for him in 2020.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must be sick of being called #MoscowMitch because he just said he'd co-sponsor a $250 million appropriations bill to shore up election security. Democrats and election security advocates say that's great, but they maintain it's still not enough. NBC quotes an anonymous Republican senator as saying that McConnell's 180 on election security funding was out of fear "Democrats would probably pass an amount of money that was substantially bigger," after the House passed a $600 million election security bill.
Late this morning New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his 2020 campaign in an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning. Bye, Felicia!
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign has received a record 1 million donations, the first candidate to achieve that milestone. Good for them.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's big blackface problem couldn't have come at a worse time. Smack in the middle of a reelection campaign, yesterday Trudeau apologized for the multiple incidents of his appearing in black face, saying, "I should have understood that then and I shouldn't have done it." In a lesson of humility that should be learned by American politicians, Trudeau adds that he's not sure if there's more blackface photos floating around, and that he hadn't talked about it publicly because he felt "embarrassed" and didn't understand his privilege.
Justin Trudeau Under Fire for Wearing Blackface | The Daily Show www.youtube.com
Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com, has suddenly dumped all his stock in the company he founded out of fear from the "DEEP STATE." The conservative manbaby says he's going to dump all his money in gold, silver, and (of course) cryptocurrency. Byrne suddenly quit-fired himself last month after he said he'd been involved in a bunch of FBI investigations and had sexed-up convicted Russian spy Maria Butina, and tells WaPo that he dumped his stock after he heard the SEC (and shareholders) were NOT happy the company planned on paying shareholder dividends in magical internet funny money.
That stupid Area 51 alien festival thing starts this weekend, and the Air Force is continuing to warn tinfoil hat-wearing jackoffs not to storm the not-so-secret base to while running like an anime character.
Stephen Colbert has a few stories that got lost in the woods thanks to another week of nonstop breaking news.
Meanwhile... Navy Confirms Existence Of UFOs www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: STONED TEENAGED DOLPHINS!
Dolphins Play Catch with a Pufferfish! | Spy In The Wild | BBC Earth www.youtube.com
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