'We Got A Great Big Convoy.' Wonkagenda For Mon. Oct. 22, 2018

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

The Trump administration, loath to punish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is sending Steve Mnuchin to be wined and dined by the Saudis. While a number of Congress members spent yesterday bitching and moaning on the Sunday shows, and the rest of the world calls the Saudis out for their murderous bullshit, it's still unlikely that anything substantive will happen to punish the Saudis.

On Saturday, Turkish dictator President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a televised speech that he'd "reveal" the "nakedness" of Khashoggi's murder, further implying that they have evidence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in Khashoggi's death.

CNN has security footage from the Turkish government that appears to show a body double of Khashoggi walking around Istanbul shortly after his murder. One official tells CNN, "Khashoggi's clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on." The guy even had a "Mirror-Mirror" Spock beard!

WaPo has a retrospective on how the Saudi royal family has built influence in Washington by becoming besties with Jared, buying oodles of Ameros worth of Trump swag, and showering Congress with blood money.

On Friday the DOJ charged Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova with attempting to "sow division and discord" (AKA Russian fuckery) in the 2018 election. According to the indictment, the 44-year-old Russian woman was the accountant behind Project Lakhta, the Russian operation that's been buying domain names and Facebook ads and building bot networks to rile people up about migrants, gun rights, women's rights, race, and sportsball. The main difference between this operation and previous forms of Russian fuckery is that this did not favor one candidate, and has more sophisticated Engrish.

Self-described Nixonian "rat fuck" Roger Stone may finally pay his dues now that Robert Mueller is digging into his shady dealings with conservative conspiracy crank Jerome Corsi and Russian-aligned hackers like Julian Assange.

A large caravan of thousands of Central American refugees is heading toward the US with no signs of stopping. In an effort to make America look like a "shithole country," the Trump administration is considering a slew of stricter immigration policies that include voluntary baby jails, low-jacking, and fast-tracking deportations.

Trump is killing a Reagan-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia meant to stop the use of intermediate-range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles. The move comes as John Bolton continues his blood curdling screams to rebuild the US war machine, and the Russians have quietly begun rebuilding their cruise missile systems. This morning, Russian state-media called it "blackmail."

The Trump administration is pushing to define gender at birth under Title IX according to a new memo that states, "The sex listed on a person's birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person's sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence." I guess Mike Pence was getting worried about his lunch dates.

Trump may be running around the country stumping for Republicans, but according to Politico, privately Trump is blaming everything on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, saying, "if they screw it up, it's not my fault." One GOP aide called this "classic."

Republicans in Indiana are desperate to snipe the seat of Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly with cash injections from super rich Republican Mike Braun, but Braun's constant attempts to kill Obamacare keep hurting his chances.

Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis had a heated debate last night that devolved into Gillum calling out and mocking all the race baiting dog whistles from an incompetent DeSantis.

Alaska Independent Gov. Bill Walker suddenly ended his reelection campaign on Friday and threw his support behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Begich. According to political geeks, Walker's sudden move is hedging bets against electing far-right Republican Mike Dunleavy following the sudden resignation of Walker's Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.

HuffPo found Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King raging to an Austrian far-right rag about immigrant mongrels trying the pure Anglo blood of Europe and America stating, "We add to our population approximately 1.8 million of 'somebody else's babies' who are raised in another culture before they get to us."

Exit polls suggest Poland's far-right Law and Justice party failed to win support in major cities. Opposition groups say the ruling populist party's miserable defeat is a rejection of rising authoritarianism.

European officials are caught between a rock and a hard place: Debate over a mineral in fertilizer may potentially give Russia a monopoly on much of the Eurozone's food supply.

Two sportsball players got into an argument on the field last night over kneeling during the national anthem. One player had to be restrained as he called another a "sellout" and a "neo-colonialist" for taking blood money from the national sportsballing league.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is demanding Bloomberg retract its Chinese hardware hacking story in a new interview with Buzzfeed News. Cook says, "We turned the company upside down," and says the story is based on "vague secondhand accounts."

Kara Swisher wonders if tech CEOs need babysitters and leashes to keep the overgrown manbabies inhabiting Silicon Valley from committing political suicide and nuking the economy.

With tech companies burning down the hate speech propping up their platforms, conservative snowflakes are bootlegging their own social media apps to spew their mouth diarrhea in a safespace.

And here's your morning Nice Time! OKAPI!

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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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