PLAY FREEBIRD! Wonkagenda For Wed., Nov. 27, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Most of us are preparing for the War on Thanksgiving, so things will be fairly quiet today, but here's some of the things we may be talking about!
The New York Times reports Trump was briefed about the Ukrainium One whistleblower complaint BEFORE he decided to unfreeze military aid to Ukraine. In theory, this negates the main GOP talking point that Trump unfroze the aid ("so what?") as it suggests Trump only released the aid AFTER he realized he was caught with his hand in the golden cookie jar.
Mark Sandy, the White House Office of Management and Budget official who came forward to spill his guts to the House impeachment inquiry, testified that two OMB officials quit their jobs in response to Trump's Ukrainium One scheme. A transcript from Sandy's Nov 16. testimony shows one official in OMB's legal division was concerned the White House was attempting to use a legally dubious back door to cancel congressionally approved military aide to Ukraine, violating the 1974 Impoundment Control Act, by simply blocking disbursement of the aid until Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Roll Call notes livid Democrats on the House Budget and Appropriations committees are unlikely to hold more hearings in the last few legislative days of 2019 but are fuming at all the evidence OMB refused to cough up, pissed about the administration's numerous attempts to screw with foreign aid, and also threatening to put a leash on OMB's purse. An OMB spox said it was the "same old spin." [Transcript]
The House Judiciary Committee intends to push ahead with the impeachment inquiry, scheduling hearings for Dec. 4 of next week. AP reports the hearings will feature legal eagles squawking about constitutional powers, and that Trump and his TV lawyers have been invited to question witnesses. Democrats are still aiming to wrap impeachment proceedings up by the end of the year.
New polls show Rep. Adam Schiff's Impeach-a-Palooza helped swing some more people. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows support for impeachment sitting at 47-40, while a CNN/SSRS poll shows support at 50-43 percent.
The House Oversight Committee is suing Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, trying to force them to comply with a subpoena as part of an investigation into the administration's attempt to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The administration has claimed it has super double-secret executive privilege and doesn't need to listen to Congress's request for documents; the suit argues, "Executive Privilege cannot shield documents and communications that reveal how and why the Commerce Department made numerous false and misleading statements to the public, Congress, and the courts about the genesis of the citizenship question."
Prosecutors and Mike Flynn's TV lawyer want to delay Flynn's sentencing until after Attorney General Bill Barr's stooge releases his investigation into the investigation of Trump-Russia fuckery in 2016. Last weekend multiple outlets reported that Barr's investigation into the investigation is expected to be a fool's errand that turned up doodly squat.
Fighting between top health officials in the Trump administration has led to a delay of a long proposed TrumpCare stuff. Politico reports infighting between Alex Azar and Seema Verma has created a Game of Thrones-like scenario with the two competing to undercut one another.
The New York Times has a heart breaking investigation into how FEMA aid to Puerto Rico has stalled when compared to our mainland states.
Texas Democrats got their hands on Republicans' 2020 strategy reports the Dallas Morning News. The document details how the GOP intends deal with the "polarizing nature" of Donald Trump, and try to flip 12 districts by spending a few hundred bucks to camp on various web domains. After the March 3 primary, Republicans would launch "microsites" overflowing with hatchet jobs against Democratic candidates.
Do you guys remember that time Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat Michael Bloomberg tried to play both sides by donating to Republicans so that Sen. Mitch McConnell could keep screwing with poor people? The FEC remembers! Bloomberg's campaign says that he only gave money to Republicans to "get things done," and he "doesn't share their values." Bonus: Politico has an accidentally funny story about how Bloomberg (and his lackeys) think the campaign can overcome the perfect storm they're sailing into.
Today is the deadline for candidates to appear on the California primary ballot, and I swear to Crom, I will make sure anyone who fucks up today's news cycle by announcing they're a Democratic candidate will spend the next six months washing turds off their tour bus.
Obama went to California and hurt the feefees of some super rich donors by saying they need cough up more cash. People paid between $10,000 to $355,000, and then in strolls B. Barry Bamz to say, "If you've got a lot of money, give some more money. You can afford it. I know, because I can afford it. And, I see you all at the restaurants and these places. You know, I've been in some of your houses. I see what's happening with your accountants. You can do more. So, if you can do more, do more."
New documents show the NRA was showering its suits with cash and perks while it simultaneously slashed spending for education and training, hunter services, volunteer services, and promotional events at gun shows. The NRA tells the Washington Post it "eliminated costly advertising," and its top priority is "investing in the projects and services that best serve our members and protect their Second Amendment freedoms."
Trump held a rally in Florida where he yelled the impeachment inquiry into his Ukrainium One scheme was "bullshit," and claimed Democrats are trying to kill Thanksgiving. #WarOnThanksgiving
Melania Trump was greeted by long, sustained boos and hissing in Baltimore upon taking the stage at the B'More Youth Summit for Opioid Awareness. The crowd of mostly high school and middle school students talked throughout her speech, and told reporters from the Washington Post that they felt Donald Trump was racist, and complained Melon had plagiarized former First Lady Michelle Obama's convention speech. #BeBest
And here's your morning Nice Time: KITTIES!
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