Let The Eagle Soar! Wonkagenda For Fri., Nov. 16, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
A US Attorney accidentally spilled the best beans last night: JULIAN ASSANGE HAS BEEN CHARGED! We're not exactly sure what he's been charged with (espionage? animal husbandry? unpaid rent?), but we do know Robert Mueller would love to have a chat with Assange! Last night Assange's lawyer started telling the Russian state press that there's a secret agreement between the US, Ecuador, and Britain to evict Assange from Ecuador's embassy in the UK, have the Bobbies take him into custody, and then let Uncle Sam deal with him.
Robert Mueller scored a massive win yesterday when a federal judge slapped the troll farm run by "Putin's chef" in a 31-page opinion. The troll farm tried to argue what they did wasn't technically illegal, but the judge noted that it was not only a shitty thing to do, but the troll farm lied and tried to hide what they did from the federal investigators.
The Daily Beast reports Mueller is zeroing in on John Hannah, an aide to Dick Cheney who has been canoodling with a number of other schemers on the outskirts of the Trump-Russia investigation. HHMMMMMM
Jonathan Swan put on his ill-fitting thinking cap and realized that Trump is his own worst enemy. His constant appearances in friendly conservative media outlets keep opening him up to obstruction of justice charges, and his lawyers are worried that he fell into his very own perjury trap.
With a nerdy laugh, the IRS announced a change to the 2019 tax code that will gradually erase the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich). The changes adjust tax rates based on the rising rate of inflation. TLDR: Uncle Sam's got bills, and rich folk need to cough up their fair share for the roads and bridges.
Wilbur Ross may be getting "You're Fired" for sleeping on the job and grifting too much, and Mick Mulvaney is already packing up his desk and measuring the floor space in Ross's office.
Later today the Education Department is expected to release new rules handling Title IX that strengthen the rights of students accused of sexually harassment, and allow them to cross-examine accusers in a private room. We don't even have a joke, that's just stomach turning, so here's a panda playing in the snow.
NBC reports estimates on the special security detail provided by the US Marshal service for education ding-a-ling Betsy Devos will total $19.8 million by September 2019. We've no idea why Devos is the only administration official ringing up astronomical charges on the taxpayer's dime, but the Marshal service says there are credible threats against her -- and we don't know what those are either.
Political watchdogs have submitted a mountain of evidence accusing congressional leadership PACs of operating as personal slush funds, potentially spurring the FEC to ban their use. Evidence includes Rep. Pete Sessions paying $27,000 to the Dallas sportsball team, Sen. Johnny Isakson's $60,000 in golf outings, and Sen. Rand Paul spending $4,000 on a trip to London.
Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge may challenge Nancy Pelosi for the Speaker's gavel. Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus are being coy, but key members of the CBC have already offered full-throated endorsements of Pelosi. During a presser yesterday, Pelosi said she's counted her votes and has more than enough Chiffon soldiers to fight off any challengers, but she did welcome the fight by joking, "Come on in. The water's warm." (Warm...WITH THE BLOOD OF MY ENEMIES!)
New York Democratic rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got into a closed-door spat with New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone over her Green New Deal proposal. Pallone says her call for a special select committee would ultimately slow down other committees working towards the same goals, but Politico notes Nancy Pelosi has already called for the reinstatement of a panel she herself started more than 10 years ago. HHMMMMMMM.
Oh, mon Dieu! Did you see what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Hill yesterday? She looked like a professional! How dare she find one of the 9,000 second-hand boutiques where yuppie DC socialites dump last year's wardrobe (as a tax write-off)! If she's so poor, why isn't she wearing the bleach-stained shirts she wore at her old bar gig, huh?
Orange County has almost entirely flipped y'all! Last night the AP called the California 45th for Democrat Katie Porter over the incumbent Republican Rep. Mimi Walters. HOT DAMN! Rebecca would like to step in here and tell you about the olden days, when a SINGLE Democrat being elected in Orange County (Loretta Sanchez) caused defeated Bob Dornan to accuse a bunch of nuns of voter fraud because they were all registered to vote at the same address -- their convent.
Over in New England, Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin lost the Maine 2nd to Democrat Jared Golden after the state laughed Poliquin's suit against ranked-choice voting system out of court. RANKED-CHOICE VOTING WORKS, BITCHES!
A bipartisan group of senators is dropping sanctions on Saudi Arabia in an effort to curb the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This is different from the half-assed sanctions the Trump administration proposed, and would hold Trump's feet to the raging oil fires.
The father of one of the Green Berets killed in Nigeria last October is asking the Army not to punish the commanding officer in charge of the ill-fated rated raid. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has announced it's pulling back some of its 7,200 resources deployed in Africa; luckily they won't be sent to the US-Mexican border to stare aimlessly at the desert.
US Special Operations Command says the first female soldier has passed Special Forces Assessment and Selection process, the first step towards becoming a badass Green Beret. And she did it WITH A VAGINA, 'ya misogynist dickholes!
The Brexit plan proposed by British Prime Minister Theresa May is being panned by the hardline pro-Brexiters who want to have their tea and drink it too. After the resignations of several key cabinet members, hardline conservatives are (again) calling for the head of May, and pushing rumors about a vote of "No Confidence" following May's commitment to at least try to clean up the Brexit mess she helped start. Here's a modest recap of the Category 5 shitstorm brewing in Parliament.
For the first time a UN-backed tribunal has found leaders of the Khmer Rouge guilty of genocide after listening to hundreds of witnesses recount how Pol Pot and his supporters murdered hundreds of thousands in the killing fields of Cambodia. #Justice
North Korea is bragging about its new "high-tech tactical" weapon like a hormonal teenager with an erection. Nobody has seen the weapon, but the DPRK swears it's big, awesome, and it fills Kim Jong Un with "passionate joy." B====D
Dame Peggington believes Melon Trump to be in a bit of a quandary: Does one embrace her inner Hillary Clinton and get a job outside the kitchen, or should she channel the howling spectre of Nancy Reagan and live as American royalty? Melon certainly wasn't blessed with the "Trifecta" like Michelle Obama. Is it lady-like to phone in a drunkenly racist commentary, or should she simply look exquisite while smiling and nodding?
A consortium of nerds from 60 nations will weigh whether or not to change the official weight of the kilogram in order to make sure we're still sciencing properly.
And here's your morning Nice Time! Sir David Attenborough and PENGUINS!
Penguins' Amazing Survival Skills | BBC Earth www.youtube.com
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