On Second Thought. Wonkagenda For Wed., Nov. 6, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Another blue wave of Democratic electoral victories has left the GOP and Trump World reeling this morning. Democrats have flipped the Virginia legislature, and APPEAR to have ousted Kentucky's Republican Gov. Matt Bevin (the AP hasn't officially called it yet). The Washington Post reports Republicans are trying to shrug off Bevin's defeat by noting how much of a shitheel he is, and stressing that this isn't a reflection on Donald Trump despite his holding a rally for Bevin the day before the election. As of this morning, Bevin has yet to concede.
The major Democratic victories in Virginia are thanks in part to unfucking the state's gerrymandered districts. Among the notable victories, Shelly Simonds easily won the state's 94th District, 58-40 (this was that race decided by a coin toss). Ghazala Hashmi became the first Muslim woman elected to the state Senate. In suburban Fairfax County, former West Point grad and Army pilot Steve Descano was elected as a progressive prosecutor. Finally, Juli Briskman, the DC-area cyclist who was fired after a photo of her giving Trump's motorcade the single-finger salute went viral, won election to the Loudon County Board of Supervisors. #ALLPoliticsIsLocal
US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland revised his testimony to House impeachment investigators to say that AWKSHULLY there was one of those quid-pro-quo things. Sondland says he remembers things a little bit better now that he's heard the rest of the State Department will embussen Trump World.
The Daily Beast got its hands on a May 29 letter Donald Trump wrote to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy where Trump gushes "unwavering" support for the country ... at least until he strong-armed them into his Ukrainium One conspiracy.
Mick Mulvaney has been ASKED to testify before the House impeachment inquiry. Mulvaney's already ignored subpoenas for documents, and his closest lackey, Robert Blair, has similarly refused to comply with a congressional subpoena.
Minions working on Attorney General Bill Barr's investigation into the FBI's investigation of Trump's 2016 campaign are racing to get Barr's witch chase/shoot'em up thing done before the holidays.
David Fahrenthold has a great piece on how the Trump brand is worth less than dog shit now that President Puss-grab is in office.
The FCC has greenlit the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Piece of shit FCC chair Ajit Pai praised the dismantling of consumer choice by saying it'll be a boon for rural Americans who have garbage internet access and cellphone coverage. Dissenting Democratic commissioners, and state attorneys for New York and California, argue the telecoms' promises to expand coverage and lower consumer costs are worthless. Fun Fact: The Obama DOJ stood against the merger in 2014. T-Mobile executives and CEO Jon Legere then spent a lot of time and money at Trump trash palaces during the merger's review; House Democrats asked Legere about this and he denied any quid-pro-quo.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative party has posted a deliberately bogus video on social media that shows a rival liberal spox unable to answer a question. The highly edited video has been denounced up and down the political spectrum, except from social media companies and the UK's Conservative party. Since the video wasn't posted as an ad, and comes from a political party, social media companies aren't likely to do anything.
BoJoe is also being accused of covering up a report about Russian fuckery in the 2016 Brexit referendum by refusing to release the report before the country's parliamentary elections in December. BoJoe claims that the report requires a long approval process, but that reeks of bullshit as British intel agencies began clearing things back in March. [Morning Maddow]
UK Prime Minister Withholding Report On Russia's Role In Brexit | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com
Trump seems to be quietly walking back his order to withdraw US forces in Syria. A new order signed on Friday expands upon his earlier demand that US forces "keep the oil." Under the new directive, US forces would hold onto a large patch of territory controlled by Syrian-Kurdish forces. The Military Times notes the order raises very serious legal questions for Pentagon lawyers as there's a good chance US forces could open fire upon hostile Syrian-government and/or Russian forces.
Russian mercenaries are now moving into Libya's civil war, further escalating costs (read: body counts) in the on-going proxy war between European and Arab countries.
Russians are butthurt that a popular new video game has once again cast them as the villains. Russians (and their bots) have taken to shitposting and bombarding review sites to give the game low ratings. The game has allusions to Russian offensives in Syria, Afghanistan, and Chechnya, and shows Russians committing war crimes; the butthurt is compounded by a previous game in the series that had players participate in a Russian terrorist attack in a Moscow airport.
The basement dwelling hatemongers and shitposters from 8Chan have crawled out from their spider holes and created a new website, 8kun. On Sunday, Bellingcat reported that California legislators could've stopped 8Chan, possibly for good, but politicos caved under pressure imposed by internet shitlords.
New phone records show Trump called former "Apprentice" candidate Summer Zervos from his own cellphone right around the same time she claims he sexually assaulted her. The records also show Trump called Zervos the day after the alleged assault, and repeatedly over the course of the next few months.
The editorial director who thought he could fill the shoes of Deadspin's quit-fired writing staff, Paul Maidment, has now been quit-fired. Maidment, who was serving as the director of G/O Media, says he left to "pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity." Bye, Felicia!
The WSJ has a great piece on how Occidental College decided not to accept bribes from wealthy families trying to get their screw-up kid in school, and how it led to the school being one of the most ethnically diverse private colleges in the country with the highest number of poor and working-class students on Pell Grants, and allowed graduates to maintain a high rate of economic mobility. And since the school scoffs at bribes, it's now deeply in debt and student amenities are dwindling.
ICYMI: Four-year-old Jack Callahan suffers from a very rare and painful form of cancer, but that hasn't curbed his love of sports mascots. For Jack's fourth birthday his parents threw him a Gritty-themed birthday in honor of the Philadelphia Flyers big, orange mascot and...SHUT UP, WE'RE NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING!
A Louisiana man was arrested after being found naked in a chicken coop. When questioned by police, the suspect said he had been trying to speak to his car, and, "did way too much meth."
And here's your morning Nice Time: RED PANDA!
Red Panda Mei Mei Devours Bowl of Biscuits www.youtube.com
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