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With Friends Like These. Wonkagenda For Mon., Oct. 14, 2019

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Good morning, and happy indigenous peoples day, Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.


Over the weekend the situation in Syria turned into a chaotic cluster fuck. On Friday multiple outlets confirmed that Turkish forces had begun deliberately firing at US bases, with livid Pentagon brass telling reporters there was no way this was an accident. Trump must've thrown a tantrum as he ordered US troops to GTFO of Syria ASAP, effectively caving to the demands of Turkey, demoralizing US special forces and our Kurdish allies, and allowing hundreds of ISIS family members and supporters to escape from prison camps. In order to prevent their own genocide, the Kurds have struck a deal with the regime of the child murdering dictator Assad while Trump baselessly shitposted that the Kurds were releasing ISIS prisoners in order to goad the US into staying.

The Daily Beast is reporting that in 2018 the administration killed a deal that could have saved the Kurds after John Bolton threw a tantrum. Additionally, this weekend we talked about the evidence of war crimes being carried out by Turkish forces invading Syria, but yesterday the New York Times published a sobering report on Russian military bombings of civilian hospitals in Syria. The piece uses a mixture of traditional and open-source reporting to confirm that Russian pilots knowingly committed war crimes. Even Fox is calling some of these murders "war crimes."

This morning the apologists on Fox News complained that Trump's withdrawal of US support was a "huge mistake" and suggested Trump do a(nother) 180 and claim Turkish President Erdogan "lied" to him. A few minutes later, Trump shitposted that the talking head "got it all wrong" and whined about money, claimed the Kurds were releasing ISIS prisoners to "get us involved" and that they could be "easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations [sic]."

EMERGENCY NICE TIME

Pumpkins vs. Oregon Zoo Animals www.youtube.com

US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland intends to testify to Congress that his denial of a quid pro quo came after the White House told him to deny that there was a QPQ, and even if it was a QPQ, it certainly wasn't a corrupt QPQ.

After Trump seemed reluctant to say whether Rudy Giuliani was still his attorney last week, on Saturday Trump ran to Rudy's defense with a call-in on Jeanine Pirro. When Trump was asked about Rudy's INDICTED cronies, Trump again screamed there was no collusion, and said, "I have thousands of donors." The Wall Street Journal later confirmed that Rudy was still Trump's lawyer, adding that some inside Trump World wish he'd just get kicked off the show already.

Cut for Time: Giuliani & Associates - SNL www.youtube.com


On Friday Trump claimed to have reached a "substantial phase one deal" to end his trade war with China, but the White House later admitted that was a(nother) lie meant to juice the stock market at the end of the week and help Xi Jinping quell increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong. Bean counters are skeptical, and figured the deal was bogus when the Chinese and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin declined to call it a "deal," and refused to offer specifics. This morning, Axios gossips that Wall Street, upon seeing leaks of the plan, isn't enthused about eating a turd sandwich. In a related story, Trump's trade war with the European Union could backfire as there's murmurs the EU could try beating Trump at his own game by abusing World Trade Organization rules to levy sanctions against the US.

Career foreign service officers are pissed about all the incompetent grifters being appointed as US diplomats. Politico reports the civil servants don't think it's appropriate to brag about private jets and polo ponies; conversely these political appointees (aka Trump donors) call the career civil servants "Obama holdovers" and members of the DEEP STATE. In a related story, Foreign Policy reports that FSOs have had to create a legal defense fund to help lower-level State Department employees lawyer-up as the Trump train races races towards impeachment.

The US Census Bureau is up to some more shady shit ahead of the 2020 census, asking states for driver's license and citizenship info.

A video showing a fake Trump running around killing media and political figures was played at Trump's Miami trash palace last week. According to journalist Scott Stedman, the video appears to originate from a Russia troll group on Youtube that regularly posts pro-Trump conspiracies and garbage mash-ups. Trump World is acting deaf, dumb and blind, and trolls are now parroting the same line now that they've been caught.

The New York Times has inside poop on how Trump's TV lawyers just Benghazi'd Trey Gowdy. Apparently loose lips in the White House began gabbing about Gowdy before the ink was dry on his contract, leading to his ouster at Fox News as a talking head, and a stern lecturing from actual lawyers. Initially the administration wanted Emmet Flood; and George Conway shitposts that they'd need "at least five Emmet Floods."

Conspiracy peddling conservative crack-pot John Solomon has been "You're Hired" as a contributor at Fox News. Casey Michael has a piece at the Daily Beast that highlights Solomon's career as a hack, and how he helps spread Ukrainium One lies.

James Comey must have a guilty conscience
because the Boy Scout is sobbing to the New York Times about all the people who blame him for giving us Donald Trump. Now that he's unemployed, Comey says he REALLY wants to help #IMPEACH Trump, or see him voted out, or something.

The founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, plans to release a book next month about THE DOSSIER called "Crimes in Progress."

At another one of his Nuremburg rallies, Trump handed out circle jerks for the opinionated jackoffs at Fox News.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells David Axelrod that people shouldn't underestimate Trump's lying, cheating, and stealing in order to "win," adding that Republicans were a bunch of cowards. Naturally, Trump shitposted that Reid called him "smart."

NICE TIME: The 2019 Nobel prize for economics has been awarded to anti-poverty activists Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer.

John Oliver 'splained the relationship between the National Weather Service and flashy private weather service companies, how the private companies have a habit of withholding lifesaving data when businesses and communities don't pay. SPOILER ALERT: Trump tapped the multimillionaire CEO of a private weather company to serve as undersecretary for the NWS over TWO YEARS AGO, and the Senate really doesn't like him.

Weather: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) www.youtube.com


And here's your morning Nice Time: PYGMY MARMOSETS!!

Meet the World's Smallest Monkey 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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