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Commander in Chief? Wonkagenda for Mon., Dec. 2, 2019

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Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.


Last night White House lawyer Pat Cipollone fired off a five-page letter to the House Judiciary Committee saying Trump wouldn't participate in this week's impeachment hearings. Cipollone left the door open for Trump to possibly come out and play games later, but whines the hearings are "an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors."

This morning the gang at Fox & Friends gave Trump a reach around, and predicted you'll be bored by this week's impeachment hearings due to their lack of zazz.

Republicans plan to spend the rest of the week dicking around in the impeachment hearings, with Republican Rep. Doug Collins filling the role of Trump stooge. Collins thinks he'll be able to one-up Democrats by calling Rep. Adam Schiff to testify. Yesterday Collins dodged questions by Fox's Chris Wallace by rambling about the debunked Ukrainium One conspiracy. [Video]

As a very sober Rudy Giuliani was flying around the world peddling the debunked Ukrainium One conspiracy at the request of Donald Trump, Giuliani was simultaneously trying to cut private business deals with Ukrainian government officials. Rudy says he "never received a penny" from any of his shady dealings, but his attempt to build his own leaning tower of bullshit runs smack into all his drunken rants on cable news. Yesterday, a lesser-known Fox News talking head embussened Rudy, his lackeys, AND Trump's TV lawyers, saying, "All these hangers-on have been trying to make money for themselves off Trump."

Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy seems to have reversed his apology from last week, saying that both Russia AND Ukraine were dicking around in the US election in 2016. When he was called out by Chuck Todd for being a bullshit artist spreading Russian conspiracy theories, Kennedy slobbered that people should "read the articles."

Chris Wallace tried to peddle some garbage about people not "buying" into the impeachment proceedings, but polling averages show public support for impeachment has grown steadily over the last month.

Last night former FBI lawyer Lisa Page emerged from the shadows in a long interview with Molly Jong-Fast at the Daily Beast. In a single sentence tweet promoting the piece, Page says she's "done being quiet." Page says she had been reluctant to step into the public spotlight in fear of attracting more Trump tweets and rightwing vitriol with the "MAGA meat grinder," saying, "It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back."

Legal nerds seem to think Trump's DOJ is beside itself, weighing whether or not to launch a criminal investigation to see if Trump and his lackeys broke the law with their Ukrainium One scheme. Seeing as how Trump and the GOP are spending millions for anti-impeachment ads on social media, as well as hats, t-shirts, and a rumored Super Bowl ad, we're not exactly holding our breath.

The CDC wanted to give the flu vaccine to people being held in Trump's baby jails and tent cities, but the Trump administration officials scrapped that plan. At least two children have since died after being diagnosed with the flu, and hundreds of others have become ill.

Politico reports there's a "black hole" of medical records that is contributing to the deaths of immigrants. A new lawsuit by the SPLC points the finger at ICE.

There are some people who seem to think Trump's NAFTA 2 thing might actually pass Congress since it may appeal to some vulnerable Democrats with constituencies who've been royally screwed over the last few decades.

The New York Times has a sobering longread about how the the fight for abortion rights is failing.

Sen. Cory Booker went on Face the Nation to beg for money and attention (again). Booker denied that his campaign's new message of "Love" has been falling on deaf ears, saying, "If you want me in this race, if you want my voice and message — which is resonating — then I need help." [Video/Transcript]

Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock suspended his 2020 presidential campaign this morning. In a statement, Bullock (finally) admitted he couldn't "break through to the top tier" of 2020 Democratic candidates, and again declined to RUN FOR THE FUCKING SENATE. In a related story, last week Mitch McConnell's pet PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, started running attack ads against Bullock just in case he started getting any bright ideas about a Senate run.

Form US Navy admiral and Pennsylvania Democratic House Rep. Joe Sestak also ended his 2020 presidential bid, leading many people to say, "Wait, who?" In a message to posted to social media, Sestak thanked his supporters, and criticized the press for ignoring him. Sestak then checked out of the Iowa motel he'd been living in for the last several months, and started his long walk back to Pennsylvania.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is pissing off Trump World because he doesn't want to rubber-stamp some loyal minion to the state's soon-to-be vacant Senate seat.

Over the holiday Trump took his first visit to Afghanistan (it only took him three years). In a speech before US soldiers, Trump whined about not being able to eat his turkey, and claimed that the Taliban wanted a cease-fire -- which was news to the Taliban.

Brazil and Argentina just got dragged into Trump's trade war. In a series of shitposts (natch), our very stable genius king railed about the country's "massive devaluation" of their respective currencies, then yelled at the US Federal Reserve to lower interest rates (again), and bragged about Wall Street making money.

Trump will bugger off to Not America today for a two-day meeting of NATO leaders. Global policy experts who think autocracies are bad are freaking out, noting the meeting comes at a time when cooperation between governments is dwindling in the face of the increasing number autocratic leaders who think they're God's gift humanity.

The Chinese government hates reporters who keep telling the world about its horrible treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, so it's started harassing and threatening their family members.

Russia is making a big deal about Apple recognizing Crimea, the Ukrainian territory it forcibly invaded and has occupied since 2014. The only problem is that it's half-bullshit: Russia has been leaning on money hungry tech companies like Apple and demanding they call Crimea Russian territory, and store data on Russian users on servers in Russia.

Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki sat down with 60 Minutes to explain how Republicans know doodly squat about the internet, brag about all the misleading pro-Trump ads the company has taken down for TOS violations, and whitewash Youtube's white supremacy problem. TechCrunch excoriates Wojcicki, calling her defense of fake news and white supremacy "laughable."

In their first joint interview, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, defend Facebook's decision to let politicians shill whatever bullshit they want by saying a "private company" shouldn't be "censoring politicians or the news." In his usual robotic and rehearsed hogwash, Zuck says it's all about supporting democracy. [Video]

Stephen Battaglio has a great piece in the LA Times about how big newsrooms are now more interested in protecting their bottom lines than breaking big, controversial investigations that might ruffle the feathers of some big names.

Mother Jones editor Monika Bauerlein has a great piece about whether or not journalists and news outlets should be part of the #Resistance after Times editor Dean Baquet ran around jerking himself off in public (again).

Over the weekend the New York Times editorial board started begging Mitch McConnell and his ilk to support the free press and "to proclaim its value, in the United States and around the world."

Acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli got chased out of a Irish bar by former Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley. According to witnesses, O'Malley lost his shit upon seeing Cuccinelli and criticized the administration's treatment of migrant children. O'Malley tells WaPo that Cuccinelli got in his face, "put his chest up in mine, to which I said, 'What is it, Ken? You want to take a swing?" Cuccinelli quickly nope'd his ass out of the bar. O'Malley adds, “We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages -- certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga [College High School]."

Roy Wood Jr. notes the accomplishments of forgotten African Americans, and how they've helped contribute to the history of Thanksgiving.

CP Time - Thanksgiving Edition | The Daily Show www.youtube.com


And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S OWLKITTY!

If Baby Yoda was a Cat (Mandalorian + OwlKitty) www.youtube.com


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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.

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