This F*cking Guy! Wonkagenda For Wed., Dec. 4, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
At 10 a.m. the House Judiciary Committee will start the next phase of the impeachment proceedings of Donald Trump. As usual, you can watch the whole thing on C-SPAN, and follow along with Evan on our liveblog. Multiple news outlets think the hearings will devolve into a three-ring shitshow after the House Intel Committee released its report showing Trump "placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States" in attempting to solicit a bribe from a US ally in exchange for military aid to boost his own chances in 2020.
Politico is reporting that Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina called as a witness by House Democrats, plans to say "The president's serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president," according to a copy of his opening statement.
The Fastest, Easiest Way To Understand The Impeachment Report | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com
One of the more interesting nuggets buried in the report was that Rudy Giuliani had a bunch of curious PHONE CALLS with key members of the Trump administration involved in the Ukrainium One plot around the same time that Giuliani was cooking up his "drug deal," and with the ranking Republican on the House Intel Committee, Devin Nunes.
Devin Nunes is suing CNN for $435 million after the outlet reported his ALLEGED trip to Vienna last year to dig up "dirt" on Joe Biden. Nunes isn't technically denying anything, though Nunes did tell Breitbart the story -- which is sourced to the lawyer repping one of Rudy Giuliani's indicted lackeys, Lev Parnas -- was "demonstrably false." Last night Nunes went on Hannity, to maybe admit phone calls with Parnas: "It's possible. I haven't gone through all my phone records. I don't really recall that name. I remember the name now because he's been indicted ... And I will tell you this, that, you know, anything that we have from Parnas and his lawyers, whatever game they're up to, we're going to work directly with the Justice Department to make sure that these guys aren't just trying to obstruct justice, to obstruct our congressional investigation or lie to Congress. I can guarantee you that. I don't know what these guys are up to. But the long arm of the law is going to catch them."
During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, David Hale, the State Department's undersecretary for political affairs, shot down the Ukrainium One conspiracy theory being peddled by Republicans, saying, "Yes, the intelligence community assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at our presidential election."
House Democrats took a moment out from their busy impeachment schedule to pass a resolution disapproving of Russia's participation in future G7 summits by a vote of 339-71. Considering there were only 71 "No" votes, a hell of a lot of Republicans voted in favor of the resolution.
We Build the Wall, the shady group led by Steve Bannon and pro-Trump grifter Brian Kolfage, have been ordered by a Texas judge to stop all construction on Trump's Tortilla Curtain due to possible "imminent and irreparable harm" to the National Butterfly Center, a local wildlife refuge. The Washington Post reports the group may try and move ahead with construction anyway, quoting Kolfage in an email saying, "I would put a 50/50 chance this is fake news, and if it's not it will be crushed legally pretty fast." Last night a man in a hard-hat ID'd only as "Foreman Mike" shitposted in a video from Kolfage that the group needed more money (natch) in order to "supercharge" the project and complete it by Jan. 15, 2020.
Illinois Nazi Art Jones has once again filed to run for Congress in the Illinois Third. Instead of an admitted white supremacist and Holocaust denier running uncontested for the Republican nomination (again), Illinois Republicans will have a choice between a local county GOP Board member and a suburban real estate broker. Over in the Democratic primary, progressive candidate Marie Newman picked up an endorsement from the SEIU in her primary challenge against "social-conservative" DINO Rep. Dan Lipinski.
The NATO meetings have been the complete clusterfuck that anyone with half a brain could have predicted. Yesterday French President Emanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to mock Trump in a short video obtained by the CBC. This morning, Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth, stood back from a reviving line for Trump and Melon, simply shrugging when the Queen looked over questioningly.
Yesterday Trump seemed to suggest that the US could enter into a new nuclear weapons treaty with Russia and China, but that was news to the State Department, Senate Democrats, hippy peaceniks, defense hawks, and foreign policy nerds who've been waiting for Trump to rip apart the last major nuclear weapons treaty for months. Meanwhile, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un isn't paying much attention to any potential nuclear deals with the US, China, or Russia, 'cause he just fucked off up a sacred mountain on a white horse. Poor horse.
Do me, yourself, conflict journalists, and the dead, innocent Syrians a favor: Bookmark this video of Russian pilots bombing civilians the next time some heartless bastard has the gall to engage in conspiracies or whataboutism when trying to argue argue the war crimes ordered by Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin.
On Monday retiring Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was fired by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and that's where the story gets interesting. Back in October Johnson was found passed out in his police SUV at late-o-clock in the morning. Johnson announced his retirement shortly thereafter -- which wasn't much of a surprise considering his history of health problems, and the fact that he never wanted the job -- but the city still went ahead with an investigation. Multiple news outlets are reporting the investigation found evidence Johnson did a little bar hopping and tried to drive his police SUV home, then tried to cover everything up after he got busted. Johnson says he "made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment," but disputes he intentionally tried to "mislead or deceive the mayor of the people" of Chicago. Chicago reporters have since been on an epic quest to hit all the bars Johnson might have visited that night ... for science.
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah points out all the random feuds and grudges Trump has with other world leaders.
Trump Feuds With France at the NATO Summit | The Daily Show www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: RED PANDAS!
Red Pandas Share a Snack www.youtube.com
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