Beware The Return Of Zombie TrumpCare Junior, Again. Wonkagenda For Tues., Oct. 23, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
In a speech this morning, Turkish
dictator President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a "planned" and "brutal" murder at the hands of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its coverup "hurt the conscience of all humanity." Over the last several days, Turkish officials have been engaged in what media reports have dubbed a "drip-drip" of information designed to shame the Saudis into admitting responsibility.
Even though Saudi Arabia already fessed up, and Erdogan kind of spilled the beans, Trump sent CIA Director Gina Haspel to Turkey to find out what happened to Khashoggi. Maybe she can bring us back a good coffee and some baklava?
The Saudis heard the US's top money man was in the neighborhood, so Trump sent Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to Saudi Arabia for a photo op with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. A Treasury Department spox said the meeting was about brutal killings perpetrated by terrorists, and Iran ... and stuff.
Foreigners have been ditching their investments in Saudi stocks ahead of the kingdom's fancy business conference for the ultra rich billed as "Davos in the Desert." Yesterday, somebody hacked the conference website and posted an image depicting MBS beheading Khashoggi, prompting them to pull the whole site offline.
Trump said his feud with "Beautiful Ted" Cruz was over during a rally in Texas that casually glossed over that time Trump accused Ted Cruz's dad of killing JFK and called his wife fugly, and that time Ted Cruz ate his boogers. By most accounts, the rally was typical Trump nonsense in that it included tons of lies and gaslighting, barricades separating an army of protesters, and Alex Jones literally screaming at a pile of shit.
Literally the first thing I encountered in the vicinity of the Cruz/Trump rally was Alex Jones screaming at a pile of shit pic.twitter.com/lxmPgjAmB5
— Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) October 22, 2018
Trump and Republicans are painting a large caravan of Central American refugees 2,000 miles from the US border as a clear and present danger by saying it holds "unknown Middle Easterners" and potential gang members. Last night Trump told a rally of sycophants "I think the Democrats had something to do with it." Uh-oh, the jig is up, y'all!
CNN's Van Jones sat down with Secretary of Everything Jared Kushner to say he had "the dopest job," and totes wanted to know how this bro got, like, such a sweet gig. Jones later defended his tee-ball interview with Kushner by saying, "You never hear from [him]."
In their continuing effort to gut Obamacare, Trump's DHS will let states pick and choose from aspects of the ACA with waivers, a move many analysts fear will raise prices on sick and elderly people. In addition, the administration plans to announce a new rule today that incentivizes employers to push older and more expensive people into the individual market instead of employer-sponsored health plans.
In an unsigned order seen as an effort to avoid political partisanship (LOL), SCOTUS has effectively kept Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from being deposed in a lawsuit brought by states about his involvement crafting citizenship questions for the 2020 census.
The WSJ has a great story about how the Army commissioned a comprehensive report on the war in Iraq back in 2013 to see what went right, wrong, and how to learn from the mistakes of sandbox colonialism. But then the administrations changed, and the new Army brass didn't feel like airing out the dirty laundry.
The Navy has charged another SEAL with a litany of charges including war crimes and obstruction of justice in the killing of several innocent people and for posing with a dead Islamic State fighter under an aerial drone camera to "complete his enlistment ceremony."
The New York Times found an old photo of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams burning an old Confederate state flag in her younger years. GOOD.
Arizona has killed a mandatory vaccination education program for schoolchildren after 120 anti-vaxing parents complained that it was against their beliefs for their kids to learn that they're disgusting germ magnets who make other people sick.
A Florida man was arrested on a Southwest flight for repeatedly groping a woman in the seat in front of him. Upon questioning, the man told police the president "says it's OK to grab women by their private parts."
John Bolton is scheduled to chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin later today about scrapping a landmark 1987 weapons treaty that dramatically reduced nuclear capabilities of the US and Russia. Fearing a buildup of nuclear and conventional weapons on European soil (again), EU leaders politely asked the Trump administration NOT to pull out of the treaty.
During an interview on a Russian radio station yesterday, Bolton said he told Russian leaders, "whatever they had done in terms of meddling in the 2016 election, that they had any effect on it." Bolton went on to add that he told them, "From a very cold-blooded cost benefit ratio, that you shouldn't meddle in our elections because you're not advancing Russian interest, and I hope that was persuasive to them." [Morning Maddow]
The Bible Museum has removed several exhibits said to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls after some science bozos concluded that they're likely fake. The museum's chief curator said that they no longer had faith.
And here's your morning Nice Time! A totally tranquil whale shark!
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