'Russia, If You're Listening...' Wonkagenda For Tues., Nov. 20, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Now that the election is over, all the soldiers Trump sent to the southern US border to protect us from the little brown babies about to invade Texas with their taco trucks are coming home. Contrary to statements made by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that say "all northbound lanes" at the San Ysidro, California, border crossing are closed, the general in charge tells Politico the border is open, there's no imminent threat of a "mob" of Mexican-Muslim taco trucks, and now that that they've finished building Trump's temporary wall, they're going to send engineers and logisticians home first.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked Trump's Mexican ban, noting that it doesn't matter what port of entry someone comes to claiming asylum. The judge added that Trump's Mexican ban would make asylum seekers "choose between violence at the border, violence at home, or giving up a pathway to refugee status," and that Trump can't just override Congress because he's butthurt about the taco trucks on every corner.
Irony is officially dead now that WaPo is reporting Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails from her personal account last year. Crooked Vanky says she didn't know she was criming, and her lawyer says it was totes different from Hillary because Vanky's emails bounced around Microsoft servers, not a secured private server, and were about scheduling and travel (a violation of federal records laws), not classified retroactively. Besides, Crooked Vanky started sending public records through her private account during the transition. LOCK HER UP!
After pissing in the face of veterans and military members on Veterans Day/Remembrance Day (and then laughing about it), there's more pressure on Trump to visit a combat zone. Anonymous minions say Trump has privately groused about long flights to "shithole countries" that don't serve cheeseburgers, and add that Trump will spend Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago (again).
There's no price tag for the new throwback Army uniforms, but soldiers will certainly be able to put on a fashion show for the fam! The 1950s-style dress greens are coming back, as are the brown leather jump boots, bomber jackets, and fry cook-style garrison caps. The new regs are fuzzy; it'll be up to commanders and government sectors to decide what soldiers wear (like berets vs caps, or dress blues vs throwback greens), but it's all part of our new blind rush towards fascism.
Speaking of abusive government waste and fascism, new cost estimates for Trump's SPACE FORCE are bucking the initial projections by the Air Force. Most pencil pushers think the Air Force was acting in "malicious compliance," billing Uncle Sam an ungodly sum of money to shoot guns in space in an effort to smother a laughably redundant program before lift off.
The lede to this WaPo profile on Ryan Zinke's likely successor, David Bernhardt, starts with him wrecking his jeep in rush hour traffic while choking on a breakfast burrito, and it's a rather fitting analogy for how he's been instrumental in selling public land to oil companies who are skull fucking Mother Earth. He's got so many conflicts of interest from his years as a smarmy lawyer fighting California water restrictions he needs to carry a small card listing them all.
Snotty hardline Republican senators Tom Cotton and Mike Lee got into a spat on Twitter yesterday over Jared Kushner's white collar prison reform bill. The crux of their beef seems to center around the accumulation of "Good Time" credits. Jesus Christ, these two should just beat the shit out of each other in a dirty mens room, like in the old days.
Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sounded off against that letter to block Nancy Pelosi from reclaiming the speaker's gavel on Chris Hayes last night. She specifically noted that the petition is overwhelmingly full of white dudes, and the party just elected a bunch of women and brown people. [Video]
Stacey Abrams is calling bullshit on the Georgia election. In a new interview with NPR, she says she was almost denied an early voting ballot herself. Last night, Abrams told Chris Hayes that, "it was not a free and fair election," and Republican state Secretary Brian Kemp "oversaw for eight years the systematic dismantling of our democracy." [Video]
Democratic Salt Lake City Mayor Ben McAdams claimed victory over Republican Rep. Mia Love last night after a last minute lead of 739 votes. The race isn't over yet, and Love hasn't conceded, but it's looking more and more likely that McAdams prevails.
Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith just gave back $2,700 from a racist Seattle businessman known for discriminating against Muslims in order to present the appearance of shame before Trump starts blowing dog whistles for her in her runoff election.
FUN FACT: Almost every Republican in the Houston area was wiped out of public office. LOLOLOLOLOLOL!
All throughout the the Southwest, Latino people have helped push Democrats over the decayed Republican humps keeping a death grip on public offices. #BLUEWAVE
Y'ALL! Check out this campy official portrait of Christ Christie unveiled by people who haven't been been indicted (yet). #HesNotRunning
A gang of white supremacist Florida men were busted by the ATF. Police found 110 illegal weapons, including guns, pipe bombs, and a friggin' rocket launcher, along with several POUNDS of meth and fentanyl. So much for the master race!
Italy suffered a massive cyber attack to its certified email system, potentially exposing the private communiques of the country's top politicos, military brass, and ministers. There's no evidence (yet) that Russia was behind the attack, but geeks are still giving Putin the stink eye.
Fun Fact: Facebook is now dodging invitations from eight parliaments to explain just what the fuck it's doing with the personal information of over two billion people. So far Facebook has dodged Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK, but yesterday it added Brazil, Latvia, and Singapore to the list of governments Mark Zuckerberg is blowing off.
Trump's comms team is worried about drowning in the press pool after a judge bitch slapped them for taking Jim Acosta's hard pass. Yesterday they announced Acosta would get his creds back, but they were also issuing new "rules" that limit reporters to one question, and other mic dropping nonsense that nobody is taking seriously.
After hearing about the new rules, Lou Dobbs told everyone to "go to hell," then brought on Diamond and Silk to show everyone that he has black friends.
That New Jersey couple who asked people on the interwebs to donate money for a homeless Marine veteran are being accused of a running a big, fat Trumpian con job. Yesterday, a lawyer for Kate McClure released audio where McClure argues with her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, about the scheme and conveniently tries to blame everything on him.
Carolyne Cass, the lady lying jackasses Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman claimed was raped by Robert Mueller in 2010, says the dodgy shit show was a case of mistaken identity and a farce. SHOCKER!
ICYMI: Axios HATES people calling them out as bottom feeding whores with man purses full of moisty-naps, so it was no surprise that Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei called up a journo to bitch her out for saying mean words in the nerdy Columbia Journalism Review. This fucker actually had the balls to pull out a "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM," as if people (outside of the Trump White House) actually respect Axios's lack of ethics and "deep dives" into the kiddy pool.
And here's your morning Nice Time! Plains-wanderer chicks!
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.