'Individual 1.' Wonkagenda For Fri., Nov. 30, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Strap in, here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
While he was running for president in 2016, Trump was using Michael Cohen and Felix Sater to negotiate a Trump Tower in Moscow directly with the Kremlin. Part of the deal would have given Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse as a way to con other super rich
criminalsoligarchs into buying apartments in the building at inflated rates. Trump is now gaslighting people on Twitter and saying that the project was "very legal and very cool," and that he would have "put up zero money," but that's because most of the cash to finance his monument to male impotence and money laundering would have come from the sanctioned Russian state-owned bank, VTB.
This has been an especially bad week for Donald Trump. First, he turned in his midterm essay to Robert Mueller, and failed. Then Paul Manafort was accused of lying to Mueller and snitching to Trump. THEN Jerome Corsi admitted he's lied about EVERYTHING forever, and now Michael Cohen is doing a double-reverse backflip and admitting he lied to Congress! Gabe Sherman says Trump is super spooked that he has to add "Individual 1," to his list of aliases with John Barron, and he's even more worried that DJTJ and Ivanka are in Mueller's crosshairs for all their dirty dealing on the Trump Tower Moscow project. WOMP WOMP!
Trump just signed his stupid NAFTA 2.0 thing at the G20, but it's unlikely to pass the Democratic House next year. There's honestly no reason to talk about this horribly named shitshow unless it's to joke about the Canadian Milk Mafia again.
In yet another attempt to kneecap Obamacare, the Trump administration will give healthcare subsidies to unregulated health insurance companies. The move is seen as a way to further the GOP-orchestrated divide for states that would like to sell junk insurance plans, and/or deny health coverage to people with preexisting conditions. #MAGA
An investigation into some the crimes committed by Trump's former EPA head Scott Pruitt has been ruled inconclusive because Pruitt got the fuck out of Dodge before anyone could interview him. The investigation also concluded that there wasn't any evidence people were threatening Pruitt, so we'll probably have to eat the bill for all his security guards.
Congress lost its shit yesterday after the VA said it wouldn't pay out benefits to student veterans because it was too complicated. As a result, VA secretary Robert Wilkie now says they'll figure out a way to pay out benefits for veterans as mandated in the Forever GI bill, "retroactively if need be." They goddamn well better!
Earlier this week Defense One reported that
Mike Pence'snobody could hear Trump's Space Force was being dismantled deep within the bowels of the Pentagon, but Politico reports that the White House is going all-in and dumping as many resources as humanely possible into this starfucking boondoggle, and it's secretly worried that Congress could use the power of the purse to blow it up before it gets to the launch pad.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott has scuttled the confirmation of Thomas Farr, Trump's horribly racist nominee for a vacant US District Court seat. Scott cited the publication of Justice Department memos written under Pappy Bush that highlight Farr's work for former North Carolina Republican Sen. Jesse Helms in sending out 120,000 postcards to black voters that were intended to suppress their vote in 1991. Don't get cocky, they could try again next year.
This super secret plan by Tea Party Republican Rep. Mark Meadows just leaked to Bloomberg; it's a hilarious look at all the ways Republicans are going to try and thwart the slew of Democratic investigations going into 2020. One of their ideas is to say that the investigations "raise concern over separation of powers" because they interfere with Sir Tweets A Lot's Executive Time.
It would appear that the presumptive winner in the North Carolina 9th, pro-Trump Republican Mark Harris, paid a shifty local politico, Lesli McRae Dowless Jr., $40k to steal the election by stuffing ballot boxes full of mail-in ballots. ALLEGEDLY. According to one sworn affidavit, Dowless said, "You know I don't take checks. They have to pay me cash."
Wisconsin Republicans are trying to keep the newly elected Democratic governor, Tony Evers, out of the 2021 redistricting process by steamrolling gerrymandering legislation in the lame duck session. State Democrats are pointing to the fact that they just won a majority 54 percent of the vote, but control only 36 seats in the legislative chamber. Out of 99. Is that bad?
After machine and hand recounts, one state legislative seat in Alaska was DEFINITELY a tie, then a single ballot was found that would break the tie -- but it's not clear if it's valid. And control of the Alaska House hangs on that chad. THIS IS WHY YOU VOTE!!!
The FBI raided the offices of Chicago Alderman Ed Burke yesterday. Burke has long been seen as one of the scummiest politicians in the city, and many people SUSPECT the raid has something to do with all the years Burke helped Donald Trump not pay his taxes, but it's also entirely possible that this is just old fashioned Chicago politics.
Florida man Raimundo Atesiano has been sentenced to three years in jail for framing innocent black men for unsolved burglaries in Biscayne Park. As the former police chief, Atesiano says he was just trying to make the mostly white community leaders happy, that way they could all brag about a 100 percent case clearance rate.
The commander of a B-52 Stratofortress squadron in North Dakota was relieved of duty for drawing a lot of SKYPENISES while on deployment in Qatar. In other #SKYPENIS news, the Russian FSB has been attempting to draw mutant, double-dicked SKYPENISES over Moscow, but they failed to get it up.
US officials are really trying to stoke fears of a war with Iran. Yesterday they showcased a bunch of bootleg weapons Iran has been making and doling out to militant groups across the Middle East, including a missile that says "missile" in Arabic. Not to be outdone, Iran unveiled two adorable midget submarines designed to scare all the fishies in the Strait of Hormuz.
In a curious admission in its quarterly financial report, Russian state bank VTB says it accidentally sent a $12 billion "loan" to the Central African Republic, more than six times the country's gross domestic product. CAR has only recently climbed its way out of armed sectarian conflict, and Moscow has been helping the poor African nation with shady business and security. HHHMMMMM
The government of the Netherlands says that it can "independently confirm" that Russia was creating weapons that violated the landmark INF weapons treaty, and has been playing with its medium-ranged pocket rockets for some time.
Ukraine is not fucking around! They just banned all Russian men aged 16 to 60 from entering the country, and the Ukrainian border service is said to be in its "first level of full combat readiness."
The Kremlin is pretty damn confident that Trump lied about canceling his meeting with Putin. A Kremlin spox says Russia has doubts that Trump was angry about the increasingly hostile situation in Ukraine, adding, "I believe we should look for answers in the US domestic political situation."
LOL, Proud Boy's founder Gavin Mcinnes was denied a visa to tour Australia with his group of racist man-babies.
A new analysis by WaPo has found that most of of the angry old white men supporting Donald Trump have serious issues about their baby dicks. Researchers concluded that the "fragile masculinity hypothesis" has a strong correlation in areas where people search for things like "erectile dysfunction," and the number of Trump supporters. They swear this doesn't usually happen to them.
Former NBC anchor Linda Vester is waging war against Comcast, the parent company of NBC, by running around Fox News and screaming about NDAs and sexual harassment. Vester is most notable for accusing HUH-MERIKA's favorite doddering Reaganite grandpa, Tom Brokaw, of sexual harassment.
Fox News is in the middle of week three of a Twitter blackout, and nobody seems to have noticed. Politico notes that Fox has told its top talent not to tweet any links to Fox News stories, and quotes one former suit as saying, "It's like having a protest inside of your bedroom and not telling anybody."
Laura Loomer might have pissed herself while protesting in front of Twitter's HQ in New York. She handcuffed herself to their front door and reportedly lost the key. Meh.
Believe it or not, Milo Yianno-whatever is still trolling the interwebs and desperately trying to con people into giving him money to say racist stuff. The fact that you haven't seen or heard from him is proof that deplatforming works, and you should never feed the trolls.
Contrary to common sense and the advice of rational experts, including the DHS, NRA loudmouth Dana Loesch says you should run at active shooters. Loesch and some other dingus were bitching about a new security video from a university that instructs people to run and hide in the event of an active shooter situation, and if you have to fight, use "anything you can use as a weapon," like a fire extinguisher, as a "last resort."
Dame Pegginton awoke slumped over her Smith-Corona Sterling with a hangover. She attempted to brush aside the gin-soaked haze and read the scrawl she'd typed out in an angry stupor the night before. "Oh, dear," she thought plumping a Virginia Slim in her mouth, not even bothering with the pearl cigarette holder. Had she written another 1,400 words on Bill Clinton's penis AGAIN? Did she still carry this 20-year-old grudge? "Damn it, Peggy," she groused, "You didn't deserve that Pulitzer, you're a washed up hack!" With a sigh, she yanked the paper from its carriage and folded it into an envelope before summoning Manuel with a ring of the bell. Her editor would just have to accept this spiteful drivel, just as she would have to accept the sad bloody Mary Manuel would surely bring her. "Oh, woe is me!" she howled into the parlor.
DEAR GOD! Fox's new web-only service is a bigger shitshow than we could have possibly imagined, and Media Matters sat through HOURS of its bullshit to write a fantastic summary of all the mind-numbing snowflake-coddling crap. Somebody give Matt Gertz a medal!
The ACLU wants to know what the hell Facebook did when the DOJ demanded it crack open the encryption on its Messenger service to spy on suspected bad hombres. Facebook ultimately won a legal challenge to the DOJ, but the results of the ruling have been kept secret, potentially jeopardizing other services whom actually protect their users.
The New York Times reports that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg personally asked Facebook staffers to do oppo research on George Soros after he told a bunch of super rich people at Davos to #DeleteFacebook. Facebook confirms that Sandberg told staffers to look into Soros's financial ties with people who think Facebook is a depressing digital shithole, and notes that she's currently making the rounds apologizing to all the people Facebook has been caught screwing over in the last few months.
We humbly present to you Dozer, the giant Canadian freedom cow!
And here's your morning Nice Time! PAINTED WOLf PUPS!
Painted Wolf Fights Off Honey Badgers To Protect Pups | Dynasties | BBC Earthwww.youtube.com
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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.