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A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 9, 2019

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


Trump's TV lawyers say the White House won't cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry because they think it "violates the Constitution." In an eight page letter covered with orange tears, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone yadda, yadda, yaddas his way through the old Nixon defense that the president is above the law, and that Congress can't #IMPEACH the motherfucker. Nancy Pelosi responded by adding another tick on the obstruction chart. Now Trump World and its loyal Republicans are going nuclear on Ukrainium One, running to Fox news to yell scream about everything being somebody else's fault. [White House Letter]

The New York Times reports a White House official felt Trump's call with the Ukrainian president was "crazy" and "frightening," and penned a memo saying the call was "completely lacking in substance related to national security." Of course, Trump World is now defending itself by retweeting this garbage op-ed from Byron York in a conservative rag that claims the whistleblower is a registered Democrat and, once upon a time, worked with a 2020 candidate.

Trump Stops Sondland's Testimony and Dems Protect the Whistleblower | The Daily Show www.youtube.com

Axios gossips the Trump Show will bring former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy on as a regular TV lawyer in hopes that Gowdy can Benghazi the impeachment process. Politico gossips that (acting) White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has gone into hiding and is committed to letting Trump be Trump.

The Daily Beast reports conservatives are pulling their hair out and begging Trump to shut the hell up about impeachment. Like a five-year-old with ADHD in a doctors office, White House babysitters have been attempting to keep Trump busy so as to avoid further incriminating himself (and everyone around him). According to the Beast, when asked if the White House's defensive posture is smart, an anonymous official responded with the "This Is Fine" meme from KC Green's "Gunshow" webcomic.

FACT CHECK: That photo that Trump World thinks is proof Joe Biden did a collusion with Ukraine doesn't actually contain Ukrainian oil executives, but it does show Devon Archer, Hunter Biden's longtime business partner and former senior advisor to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. Fun fact, after Nickelback slapped Trump with a potential copyright violation for tweeting a video of the photo set to their song "Photograph," digital sales of the song jumped high enough to put it back on national charts.

As Attorney General Bill Barr waddles around the world like Inspector Clouseau trying to suss out what exactly happened with Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump-Russian fuckery back in 2016, the Senate Intel Committee released a bipartisan report concluding that Russia used social media to target African American voters in 2016. Vox 'splains that the committee spent three damn years combing through the Kremlin's crap and found -- SHOCKER -- Russia really wanted Donald Trump to win the election. According to the report, upon hearing of Trump's victory, Russian trolls uncorked a small bottle of champagne and said, "We made America great."

The fight for Paul Manafort's crap being waged by a Chicago bank and the DOJ is a real doozy. The INDICTED owner of the bank says Manafort ripped him off, but legal eagles think he rubber stamped $16 million in loans to Manafort -- despite a bunch of "red flags" -- in exchange for a gig in the Trump administration.

A pro-pot group blew up a giant joint on the lawn of the US Capitol, and was welcomed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. The District of Columbia has been repeatedly screwed out of getting legal weed by Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris, but (for once) a Senate spending bill isn't laced with an anti-pot poison pill.

Yep, that's a giant joint on the lawn of the Capitol www.youtube.com

Conservative's have gotten so high on their own supply that they've convinced themselves Hillary Clinton is running in 2020. The Daily Beast reports the right-wing fringe fetish is now being peddled by Fox News talking heads who think that her new book tour is a sign from above (it's not). Yesterday, Hillary mocked Trump after he shitposted Clinton might run in 2020. #ShesNOTRunning.

Mark your calendars because the fifth Democratic debate has been scheduled for Nov. 20. The debate will air on MSNBC and be co-hosted by the Washington Post.

NICE TIME: Montgomery, Alabama, just elected Steven Reed, the city's first African American mayor.

Trump has invited Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House next month because we have such a great relationship with a NATO ally who has cozied up to Russia and Iran. The WSJ reports the Kurds are "furious," with one Kurdish commander telling the White House, "You sold us," before storming out of a video conference call. WaPo's David Ignatius reports that things in Syria are totally fucked, and that Russia and Turkey are likely to invade US-backed Kurdish-held areas within the next 24 hours. WaPo adds that the Trump has even offered to sell Turkey "invisible" F-35s despite previously violating agreements to buy Russian anti-air missiles. With conservatives revolting against Trump's move to abandon Syrian Kurds, Stephen Colbert had a chat with God about Trump losing the "mandate of heaven."

No Spine: Trump Rolls Over For Turkey, Angering GOP Leaders www.youtube.com

Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai, a professional gamer, has been suspended from a major international e-sports tournament and stripped of his prize money for his public support for the Hong Kong democracy protests. The gaming company said Chung's comments violated competition rules by making them look bad (to China). The company's stock soon tanked and US politicians began denouncing the company. In an interview with a gaming blog, Chung says his statement "was just another form of participation of the protest," adding, "I think it's my duty to say something about the issue." For more, The Washington Post 'splains how Beijing thinks mass censorship of anyone and anything is an effective tool to stifle descent, and not just road map for the Streisand Effect.

The FBI violated the Constitution and privacy laws when it sifted through all the data being sucked up by the NSA without a warrant, according to a partially declassified court ruling from last year. The government admits FBI agents had "fundamental misunderstandings" about the requirements for combing through people's EMAILS and pr0n. The super secret court found on one day in 2017 the FBI used Social Security numbers to conduct almost 7,000 warrantless searches of the NSA's databases. The government then appealed the ruling to the FISA Court of Review, which agreed with the lower court's ruling.

Nazis, white supremacists, and other assorted rightwing asshats have been migrating over to encrypted chat apps like Telegram. People who track these jerks say widespread public backlash has forced them to migrate from places like 8chan into darker and smellier hives of scum and villainy. The ADL notes that the apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have been used by religious extremists for some time, and that white supremacist nutjobs have been playing catch-up.

Rudy Giuliani and one of Trump's TV lawyers went on Laura Ingraham's white power hour to further incriminate themselves and their client, and make a very sober rant about due process and the Salem Witch Trials.

Devin Nunes went on Tucker Carlson to cry about being a real farmer with a real tractor, and real cows.

Ronan Farrow's new book about investigating Harvey Weinstein alleges that Matt Lauer anally rapped a colleague. Variety reports the incident happened back in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics, and after the incident was reported in 2017, NBC's brass tried to sweep everything under the rug and sow mistrust among employees.

EMERGENCY NICE TIME!

An Oklahoma woman is expected to make a full recovery after being shot in the leg by a puppy while sitting in a car. Police are investigating after recovering multiple shell casings from the vehicle.

The winner of #FatBearWeek is Holly (AKA: "Number 435"). Park rangers at Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwestern Alaska started the contest to drive awareness of the bears' hibernation process. SHE'S A CHONKY GURL!

And here's your morning Nice Time: SEALS AND PIGEONS!

Seal Swims into City Canal | London's Wild Side | BBC Earth 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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