Watching The Detectives. Wonkagenda For Fri., Oct. 25, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Bill Barr's investigation of Trump-Russia investigators has been turned into a criminal inquiry. This gives Barr's attack dog, John Durham, the ability to start throwing around subpoenas and convene a grand jury whenever Trump gets a bug up his ass about career civil servants he calls "the DEEP STATE." The New York Times notes that Barr himself has been traveling to Italy to chase down conspiracy theories that the Italian government set up Trump stooges in 2016. Nerds think Trump inevitably starts screaming that Barr's investigation of the investigation into his 2016 campaign's fuckery with Russia -- which was confirmed by Robert Mueller's investigation -- means he is vindicated, or something. If none this makes sense, good news, you're still sane. [Morning Maddow]
Sen. Lindsey Graham threw a tantrum and introduced a bill to condemn the House impeachment investigation. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting that House Democrats don't really need the super secret whistleblower to come in and testify, especially now that they've got all these State Department officials coming forward to embussen the whole of Trump World.
Geeky whistleblowers in the the White House Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) gossip to Axios that the White House is vulnerable to Russian cyber fuckery. An Oct. 17 memo/resignation letter by a senior cybersecurity director warned about the gutting (and fleeing) of top officials in the the White House's main cybersecurity office, but the White House contends it's simply "You're Fired"-ing DEEP STATE nerds who refuse to swallow a loyalty oath. [Memo]
The FBI has launched a series of videos warning about cybersecurity in the 2020 election. Called "Protected Voices," the series touches on foreign fuckery, social media stupidity, ransomware, and how campaigns can shore up their security by taking some pretty basic steps, like using encrypted communiques, and using passwords that aren't the same as your matched luggage. In a video introducing the common-fucking-sense initiative, FBI Director Chris Wray says, "We've created these protected voices videos to showcase the methods these adversaries might use and to help campaigns practice good cyber-hygiene because the foundation of election security is cybersecurity."
Protected Voices: Foreign Influence www.youtube.com
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been slapped with a $100,000 fine for violating a court order to stop shaking down student borrowers who were grifted by for-profit colleges. In a video posted to Twitter, the COO of the department's student aid office admits fault, and says the department is "accountable," though the department previously blamed their gigantic screw up on loan-servicing companies contracted to harass and kneecap student borrowers.
After posting absolutely abysmal Q3 fundraising totals, and spending over a year denouncing dark money donors, Joe Biden has announced he'll start taking money from Super PACs. Biden's campaign is blaming the flip-flop on the relentless shitposting and attacks from Trump World. Math nerds have already pointed out the difference between a campaign's income and outcome often shows what cards campaign is currently holding, regardless of the PR they're pushing, and political prognosticators think Uncle Joe is doubling down with a bad hand.
DINO Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says she won't run for reelection in the House. This way she can spend the next couple of months being a Republican asset on the 2020 trail. Last night Gabbard went on Hannity to whine about legislators' efforts to impeach Donald Trump, and beg for money. [Video]
The math nerds over at Five Thirty Eight have new polling averages this morning on a wide array of topics. Good News: There's a 49.1 to 43.5 percent split for and against impeachment. Similarly, there's rising support for simply beginning the impeachment process.
A new Mason-Dixon poll of 625 voters show's Mississippi's Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves leading Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood 46 to 43 percent in Mississippi's upcoming gubernatorial election, with nine percent of voters still undecided. Trump will hold a "Heil me" in Tupelo on Nov. 1.
A recent YouGov poll shows 74 percent of parents steal candy from their babies, with the most popular candy being peanut butter cups.
Nick Bilton pontificates in Vanity Fair that maybe the (very early) polls are wrong, and there's still secret Trump voters lurking out in the hollers. Then again, maybe the polls are right, and embarrassed 2016 Trump voters decide to stay home in 2020.
It's 101 days until the scrambling starts at the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 3, 2020, and 375 days until the general election on Nov. 3, 2020. Just FYI!
Facebook is launching its "News" section today, and it includes a bunch of big publishers, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and BuzzFeed. Facebook says it will pay SOME of the publishers for letting it farm their content, and use some actual humans to vet stories -- just like other news aggregate clones. Of course, we could just go back to RSS readers, but then nobody would be able to suck up your personal data to sell ads. #DeleteFacebook.
For some reason people are shocked that Kellyanne Conway cussed out a reporter from the rightwing Washington Examiner. Conway was butthurt that the reporter named Conway's husband George and his habit of shitposting at the president in a post about rumors KAC's a contestant for the Trump Show's next (acting) chief of staff. This isn't news, Trump himself has spent the last four years threatening journalists. [Audio]
Kellyanne Conway mocks and threatens reporter for mentioning her husband (AUDIO) www.youtube.com
Hold on to your butts: Pat Robertson is comparing Trump's withdrawal from Syria to Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Nazi Germany, and thinks it is the precursor to world war. The Bible-thumping Robertson says Turkey's
genocide whatever is history repeating itself, adding, "We've already surrendered territory to a wicked dictator and have given over the best army in the Middle East and it's been disbanded." Politico notes that It's a rare day when we can agree with Pat Robertson on anything. (Okay, there was one really weird time when Pat Robertson explained to his flock that trans people aren't sinning, they are just born in the wrong body and he doesn't judge.)
Politico adds that Evangelicals are torn: They're pissed Trump is selling out the Kurds, and sick of telling Trump to watch his fucking potty mouth, but they're in love with all the conservative judges really sticking it to all the buttsexing sinners and WHOO-RES.
That anonymous "LODESTAR" Trump official too chicken shit to step into the cleansing light of cable television is writing a book. Axios has some gossip but it's not worthy of your time.
A Texas woman the internet calls "Swing Set Susan" for trying to keep Latino children off a playground has been charged with impersonating an officer.
David Brooks is a cheapskate who doesn't like tipping.
And here's your morning Nice Time: A baby, baby goats, and kitties!
Baby Barn Time www.youtube.com
We're 100% ad-free and reader-supported, so consider buying us coffee, or get a subscription!