What FBI Investigation? Wonkagenda For Mon., Oct. 1, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump's White House is keeping the FBI on a tight leash as it investigates sexual assault allegations against SCOTUS nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. After Kellyanne Conway admitted she was a victim of sexual assault, she burned any goodwill by joining Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the Sunday shows to gaslight the investigation, and now Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee want to know why Kavanaugh's bros are the only people the White House is letting the FBI talk to.
Axios is reporting that Trump and the Republicans consider Kavanaugh "too big to fail" and have no Plan B if he gets Borked. Publicly Republicans insist they will die on this hill in order to appease the Evangelicals, the Federalist Society, and their donor base. Behind closed doors Republicans admit they're not sure if any of the other nominees on the Federalist Society's shot list aren't guilty of similar sexual abuse allegations, and now some officials are considering leaving the seat open through 2020 to give themselves a theme for Season 3.
This morning Republicans are waving around a memo from "female assistant" Rachel Mitchell that calls Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations "weaker" than a "he said, she said" because Kavanaugh has those sketchy calendars and denials from his bros, Mark Judge, Timmy, PJ, Squi, Freddy the Fister, and Buttchugging Bobby. [Memo]
After he wiped the skid marks off his nose, Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office will be investigated for derailing Kavanaugh's appointment to SCOTUS.
Former FBI director and political pariah James Comey has a new op-ed in the New York Times saying the FBI can figure out whether or not Brett Kavanaugh is lying within a week. Spoiler Alert: We already know he's lying.
The increasing number of unaccompanied undocumented migrant children along the Southern border has the Trump administration moving masses of kids in the middle of the night to
Trumpvilles large tent cities to make room for more kids being snatched up by CBP.
Trump begrudgingly signed an $854 billion stop-gap spending bill that still doesn't given him any money for his damn wall, so you better believe there's going to be a nasty fight this winter over spending.
A new investigation by Politico finds DOT Secretary Elaine Chao has been MIA for much her time in office with large chunks of her calendar marked "private." Obviously she needs a lot of time to plan Infrastructure weeks.
The Trump administration has tapped out-going Rep. Darrell Issa to head the US Trade and Development Agency. This way the wealthiest member of Congress doesn't have to embarrass himself by standing in the unemployment line.
A federal judge has slapped an injunction on a law that barred private businesses from boycotting companies with Israeli ties, and is being seen as a major win for the BDS movement.
Ryan Lizza has a rather fascinating yarn in Esquire about how Devin Nunes doesn't have a family farm. It was sold over a decade ago when the family moved to Iowa to live near racist Rep. Steve King, but for some reason the family kept it secret.
Recently unearthed records show Nevada state AG and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Adam Laxalt was arrested for drunkenly assaulting a cop when he was 17. The revelations come after a flurry of similar attacks against his Democratic opponent, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, that many have called a "dog-whistle."
Trump's trade weasels scribbled out a last minute deal with Canada to restructure NAFTA. Details are still under wraps, but are said to focus on dairy and auto markets. While this gives Trump something to brag about, the agreement still has to pass Congress next year, and Democrats are already skeptical. Early this morning Trump announced a shitshow in the Rose Garden to brag.
After the US and China spent last week pissing on each other's shoes, CNN reports Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly canceled a trip to Beijing to discuss security issues with senior Chinese officials. With military and trade tensions escalating rapidly, last week China's deputy trade negotiator Wang Shouwen told reporters, "How could you negotiate with someone when he puts a knife on your neck?"
Now that he's unemployed, former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is trashing Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit negotiations because it doesn't entirely yank the UK out of the EU while maintaining all the benefits enjoyed by EU members.
In what's being framed as an attempt to join NATO and the EU, Macedonia voted overwhelmingly to change its name to North Macedonia, but anti-NATO opposition forces say that a low turnout means the vote is null, and they're being backed by Greek neo-nationalists and a Russian propaganda campaign.
ICYMI: Not only were there a record number of women presidents and prime ministers representing the 193 UN member states this year, but leaders gave soaring speeches that called for the abolition of anti-Semitism, gender inequality, sexual violence, the stigma behind breastfeeding, trade barriers, Russian aggression, and neo-nationalist rhetoric, as well as urging peace among African nations, and the Balkans.
Rapper Kanye West tweeted some idiotic crap about abolishing the 13th Amendment, but now he's walking it back after people called him A Idiot. This follows his appearance on SNL where he he ranted about the LIBERAL media, and being "bullied" for his MAGA hat. The audience booed in response.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state's new net neutrality law, prompting an immediate lawsuit by the FCC. Overnight the Trump's administration claimed California was trying to regulate interstate commerce, but nerds and analysts are telling the FCC to go download a bag of dicks.
After the SEC sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk for securities fraud, Musk struck a deal with regulators over the weekend to keep his position and board seat, provided he learns how to shut the hell up.
On Friday Facebook admitted that it exposed the personal information of at least 50 million users, and now the EU is threatening to hit Facebook with a $1.63 billion fine for violating strict privacy laws. As usual, Facebook shrugged, said it's sorry, and that this will never happen again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A so-called "death comet," roughly shaped like a human skull, will buzz past the earth on Nov. 11. Happy Halloween!
Vic Berger has a horrific mash-up about Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.
John Oliver thinks Philly's new psychotic mascot Gritty is about as qualified to serve on the SCOTUS as a douchey frat boy who likes to get shitfaced and whip his cock out (allegedly).
And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S TOPI!
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