The Victim Card. Wonkagenda For Tues., Oct. 22, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Republicans are getting nervous about Trump spearheading his own impeachment defense with a couple of late night shitposts and the occasional Fox News call-in. Behind the scenes, there's a growing chorus of influential Republican (and their donors) calling for the head of (acting) White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, viewing his "Let Trump Be Trump" policy as a catastrophic failure. CBS is reporting that White House lawyer Pat Cipollone dragged Mulvaney into the White House fight club in the hopes that he can be the next (acting) chief of staff.
Trump went on Hannity last night to lie, bitch and moan for another damn hour about journalists who are mean to him by reporting all the horrible shit he says and does. Trump then threatened to cancel subscriptions of the Washington Post and the New York Times. (Spoiler Alert: He won't.) The Twitter shitter-in-chief has since been on another tirade this morning, and framed his impeachment as "a lynching." [Video]
CNN reports that Democrats' timeline to #IMPEACH the motherfucker will likely see a vote towards the end of the year (as opposed to Thanksgiving) now that Ukrainium One is unraveling in full view of Crom, the Universe, and the rest of #Merica. The scuttlebutt, according to NBC, is that some Democrats are hoping for very narrow impeachment article(s), while others want to lump Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia conclusions into the whole shebang as well.
Trump's Ukrainium fever dreams have been nursed by Hungary's über fascist leader, Viktor Orban. According to WaPo and the New York Times, Orban has bent over backwards to support pro-Russian positions, and he and Vladimir Putin massaged Trump's lizardbrain with bullshit conspiracies in order to make Ukrainium One so fetch despite repeated warnings from minions. BONUS: Orban has been chummy with Steve Bannon for several years. Shocking, I know.
Muckraking nerds over at investigative reporting outlet Bellingcat were digging through FEC filings and found Len Blavatnik has been leveraging shitloads of cash to US politicos in exchange for their looking the other way on Russia's kleptocracy. Blavatnik, a super rich Soviet-born creepazoid connected to sanctioned Russian scumbags, has been dumping oodles of Ameros into an array of US politicians, parties, and think tanks, and he REALLY hates being called an "oligarch."
Bill Taylor, the current top official at the US Embassy in Ukraine, will head to the Hill later today to spill his guts about those TEXT MESSAGES showing the administration trying to blackmail the Ukrainian government.
The Pentagon is drawing up plans to immediately leave Afghanistan just in case Trump gets a wild hair up his ass and decides to pull all US forces from there too. An anonymous official (natch) tells NBC it's "prudent planning," while another framed the Syrian
retreat withdrawal as a "dress rehearsal" for an overnight Afghan pullout.
The White House personnel office says all of Trump's picks to serve as (acting) DHS secretary are legally ineligible to get promoted on an acting basis. One of the nominees, Ken Cuccinelli, has left so many Senate Republicans with chapped assholes after spending years trying to fuck them that he's unlikely to win confirmation. The Wall Street Journal notes the administration is now scraping the bottom of its barrel of monkeys in order to find someone to head DHS.
Andrew Crane-Droesch, a former member of Uncle Sam's Economic Research Service, writes that two-thirds of the government's investigative policy arm are now gone thanks to the administration's attempt to oust all non-loyalists. "And now, if lawmakers want to know about, say, the effects of tariffs on the broiler chicken industry, or the impact of farm conservation payments on the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico — something obscure, but which can mean millions of dollars and thousands of jobs — they'll be operating in the dark."
A bunch of Democratic donors want to know if anyone else will be running in 2020 before they decide to begrudgingly shell out their cash. The New York Times reports that at a recent fancy party, donors gripped about Joe Biden being a turd sandwich and started day-dreaming about Hillary Clinton (#ShesNotRunning), former Secretary of State John Kerry (#HesNotRunningEither), former Attorney General Eric Holder (#NotRunning), former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (#NotRunning), and super rich DINO Mike Bloomberg (#HesRunning).
Late-night comedians had fun with Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney's secret Twitter account, "Pierre Delecto." Colbert wanted to know why Mittens doesn't follow him, while Conan O'Brien was upset Mittens didn't know his name.
Conan On Mitt Romney's Secret Twitter Account - CONAN on TBS www.youtube.com
Despite a series of stupid scandals from his younger, and more vulnerable years, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have held onto his seat. Though his Liberal Party failed to maintain an absolute majority, it's likely that the party will form a coalition government with the super lefty New Democrats. Trudeau's rival, Andrew Scheer, gave a bitchy concession speech saying, "Mr. Trudeau, when your government falls, Conservatives will be ready, and we will win." Aww, somebody's a sore loser!
INDICTED Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to form a coalition government. President Rueven Rivilin has now tasked Netanyahu's chief rival, Benny Gantz, with forming a new government. If Gantz is unable to form a government, Israel could be forced into another election.
Yesterday Facebook announced that it was changing its misinformation policy so that state media posts would be more clearly labeled. It then bragged that it had taken down more fake Russian shitposting accounts that were backing Donald Trump (again). Instead of concentrating their efforts on Facebook, Russian trolls have begun expanding to other social media platforms, namely Instagram, posing as local, authentic users -- just like their 2016 campaign. Robert Mueller (and every goddamn keyboard cowboy on the web) warned us that this would happen!
In a related story, Chinese-owned social media company TikTok announced it had booted ISIS-backed accounts after an investigation by Storyful, and a later writeup in the WSJ, found the terrorist asswipes had migrated to the teen-focused platform in an effort to recruit new gullible/crazy people.
Apple CEO and smug bastard Tim Cook is going to serve as the chair at a Chinese business school. In a related story, there's a new effort by Chinese state-sponsored hackers to target the phones of the Uighur Muslim minority.
Jeff Bezos went to a beleaguered DC high school full of at-risk, inner-city urban youths who are under-served in the community as part of a PR stunt to show that he's not a giant penis, but nobody knew or cared who the super rich white guy was.
A high school in St. Louis, Missouri, has cancelled its football season and fired all of its coaches and staffers after they tried to sneak a suspended player onto the field. The team simply gave the suspended student a different jersey, but forgot to cover his tattoos and avoid bragging to the local press.
The final trailer for the new Star Wars movie dropped last night, if you're into that sort of thing.
Trevor Noah and Neal Brennan talked about how the theory that Trump thinks he bought America explains the Veruca Salt presidency.
Trump Thinks He Bought America | The Daily Show www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S K'EYUSH THE STUNT DOG! It's almost like there's a subtle analogy about walls here!
He Went SNOOT First EYES Close! Husky VS Invisible Wall LEVEL 3! Covered The WHOLE Doorway! www.youtube.com
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