'Guilty Until Proven Innocent.' Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 17, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump shockingly lied his way through another interview with AP. Among the highlights,Trump said it won't be his fault if the GOP suffers massive losses this fall (despite personally making the midterms a referendum on himself), and said that the media was portraying the Saudis as "guilty until proven innocent,"just like Brett Kavanaugh.
The New York Times has ID'd several members of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman's security detail, as well as government officials who are believed to have been directly been involved in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. On even includes a forensic doctor with a senior position within the Saudi government; we'll call him Mr. Bonesaw.
Just as Mike Pompeo was having a grip'n grin with MBS, the Trump administration got $100 million from the Saudis to help curb IS/ISIS/ISIL/whatever involvement in Syria. Purely a coincidence!
Gabe Sherman dusted off an interview with Jamal Khashoggi that he "shelved" in March where Khashoggi expressed his fear shortly before MBS consolidated power by arresting his family and other elite members of society who could pose a threat to his power grab. Khashoggi told Sherman that Jared Kushner viewed MBS as critical to his plan make the Middle East Great again.
Belly Scritch Watch 2018 | Monty The Penguin Was An Itchy Boiwww.youtube.com
Trump has a new interview with Fox Business where he criticizes the Fed (again) and calls it his "biggest threat" for raising interest rates "too fast." They talked about other things, but it was mostly a giant blowjob where Trump lied and denied (again).
Bloomberg reports unnamed officials saying Robert Mueller is damn near finished with his Trump-Russia investigation, but he won't release anything until after the midterms.
A federal court just upheld Obama-era student borrower protections that Betsy DeVos tried to kill. DeVos felt for-profit colleges who defrauded students were being unfairly burdened by students who wanted to have their federal loans discharged after courts ruled that schools scammed them.
Lindsey Graham was on Fox and Friends and said it would be "like, terrible" if he found out he had Iranian heritage. Heavens to murgatroyd, Egh-rhab blood would ruin Lindsey's pure, lily-white blood!
Trump's White House is probably just going to say "Fuck it," and make State Department spox and former Fox News talking head Heather Nauert the new Nikki Haley. They really don't have many options, most of the people in Trump's White House can't even pronounce "Djibouti."
A new poll by Military Times has found Trump has LOW RATINGS among active-duty troops, with 44-43 percent approve/disapprove. The polls show the lowest support for Trump among enlisted women and officers, and a hell of a lot of love for Defense Sec. Jim Mattis. The polls also show a dramatic increase in the number of active-duty troops who feel the US will be drawn into a major conflict with a major foreign power within the next year.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hasn't decided if #HesRunning, but he's finally co-opted a bunch of foreign policy geeks to tutor him into thinking globally, not just locally.
In a lengthy profile, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro tells Rolling Stone that he'll "likely" run in 2020, but he won't make his final decision until after November. He just wrote a book, so #HesRunning.
California Sen. Kamala Harris is crisscrossing the country and building up her national profile for what some staffers are calling an "SEC primary meets the West Coast offense." Harris is banking on using the complicated rules baked into the primary process to (MAYBE) secure a slot in 2020. #ShesRunning.
Heidi Heitkamp is apologizing for misidentifying victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape in an ad that appeared in a local paper. Constituents are "furious" with Heitkamp, who told a local talk show the list may have come from a "Facebook feed." Hey, at least Heitkamp is owning this one, and not blaming someone else. (But still, SERIOUSLY???)
Super rich Republican Gov. Rick Scott pulled a Donald Trump and created a not-at-all blind trust before taking office, possibly netting him millions. Scott simply transferred almost everything to his wife, whose equity investments mirror his own, meaning it wouldn't be very hard for Scott to find out how much money he's making by screwing poor people out of healthcare.
Almost 100 House Republicans are getting flooded by waves of Democratic cash. One GOP operative tells Politico, "We're getting our asses kicked."
Hey, everyone! Do you want to know how to break into a voting machine in under 30 seconds using only a soda can, and leave almost no evidence? Since many states continue to ignore security advice, it's SUPER EASY and fun for the whole family! [Video]
Florida's super rich Republican Gov. Rick Scott is worried that the lack of electricity along the reliably conservative Florida-bama shore could doom his own Senate election chances, and that has Democrats worried that Gov. Scott will pull some last minute fuckery to delay elections, or extend early and absentee-ballot voting.
In a rare criticism of his puppet masters, FCC chair and piece of shit Ajit Pai bitched out Verizon for not restoring cell phone service for people along the hurricane ravaged Florida-bama coast. Rather than rush in work crews, Verizon said it'll give three-month credits to "every Verizon customer in the Bay and Gulf counties." #MAGA
About 40 African-American senior citizens in Georgia tried to vote but local government officials decided they were engaged in "political activity." Later, when a county-approved vehicle arrived to take the seniors to a polling center, caretakers from the senior home pulled the seniors out, and told them it was lunch time.
Election advocates are alleging widespread voter suppression efforts in Gwinnett County, Georgia, after officials began rejecting an abnormally large number of absentee ballots from predominantly African-American voters, more than any other county in the state. To make matters worse, the county isn't even bothering to notify people "promptly," in accordance with state law, so that they can fix any of the cherry-picked errors that violate the state's laughably strict voter ID law.
Alaska's Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott was suddenly quit-fired over "inappropriate comments" made to a person. Not much is known about the circumstances, but in his resignation letter, Malott said he "placed a person whom I respect and revere in a position of vulnerability."
David Hoff, the self-described pimp and owner of Nevada brothels running for office in Carson City, was found dead following a birthday party with ex-con Joe Arpaio, porn star Ron Jeremy, and conservative tax creeper Grover Norquist. He was 72.
Canada just gave the green light to recreational marijuana sales to anyone over the age of 18. The law says anyone can walk around with less than 30 grams (about an ounce), and can order weed for home delivery through federally licensed producers. The law is an attempt to curb organized crime and frivolous drug offenses, and Canadian Prime Minister/Secret Boyfriend says he may consider pardoning people convicted of possession.
James Fallows has an interesting yarn in The Atlantic about Lee Atwater's deathbed confession to setting up Gary Hart on the Monkey Business scandal back in the 1980s.
Hannity brought on Hungarian neo-Nazi Sebastian Gorka to whitewash conservative violence and blame any physical scuffles on Hillary Clinton's chemically abused antifa super soldiers.
Vic Berger has a rather spooky video of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes talking about his "gang," and encouraging his supporters to assault and murder people.
Comcast filed butthurt court documents that claim California's net-neutrality legislation will hurt its profits because it won't be able to strong-arm smaller carriers into paying Comcast's higher fees.
New York state AG Barbara Underwood has subpoenaed "more than a dozen" telecom trade groups and lobbying contractors after a Stanford study concluded 99.7 percent of comments during last year's net neutrality commenting period were fake. Media Bridge, one of the groups who got SERVED, has deep ties to Project Veritas, shrugged off criticism and told the WSJ, "The corruption of the public process will happen -- especially when you have billion-dollar questions at stake."
According to his final book, the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking believed that "there is no God," and rather than worry about omnipotent boogeymen, we should be concerning ourselves with humanity's slide into far-right populism, and our collective "reckless indifference" to climate change, the threat of nuclear holocaust, gene editing, and killer robots.
And here's your morning Nice Time! Godless robots?
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.