The Need For Speed! Wonkagenda For Thurs., Dec. 5, 2019

News

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


The House Judiciary Committee's eight hour constitutional law class doesn't seem to have moved the needle too much on impeachment. The legal nerds called by Democrats to testify about the definition of impeachment and whether Trump had reached that threshold were all in agreement: Trump abused the power of the presidency. The Republican witness, Jonathan Turley, admitted that what Trump did sure as hell seemed wrong, yet urged everyone to slow down. Peter Baker is calling bullshit on the "moving too fast" argument, saying Republicans ran through Bill Clinton's impeachment in a similar time frame. Aaron Blake notes Republicans spent much of their time monologuing instead of asking questions.

By the time you read this, Nancy Pelosi will be issuing an update on the current state of impeachment. Pelosi has been quietly meeting with Democrats to make sure that everyone is on board even as moderate and freshman members nervously tap their feet and caution against including the Mueller Report in any impeachment articles.

Trump's White House is finally getting off the couch and attempting to create a defense against a near-certain impeachment trial in the Senate. The Washington Post reports the White House is likely to turn the whole thing into a grand reality show full of the usual spin room bullshit as the House remains on track to vote for impeachment by Christmas. Politico reports Republicans remain unified that Trump did nothing wrong, adding Trump finds censure "unacceptable" and anyone who suggests otherwise is likely to be on the receiving end of some shitposts.

The math nerds over at 538 had a new poll with Ipsos (and a podcast) showing how opinions on impeachment haven't really moved thanks (in part) to Fox News's non-stop mind fuckery. (Poll talk starts around the 20:00 minute mark.)

One of the talking points Republicans keep bringing up is the need to see Bill Barr's investigation into the investigation of Trump-Russia fuckery in the 2016 election, but the The Washington Post is reporting that Barr is now trying to bury the investigation after it failed to validate rightwing (or Russian) conspiracy theories.

Rudy Giuliani must have drunkenly buttdialed Ken Vogel and slurred that he was stumbling around Kyiv and Budapest over the last week, creating a doc-series for OANN, the rightwing network that's so familiar with Trump's ass that it might as well be a golden toilet. According to Vogel, Giuliani has teamed up with Chanel Rion to prove that Trump did nothing wrong when he bribed Ukraine for a 2020 "favor" in exchange for military aid. Rion, you may remember, is an anti-feminist and failed politician who peddles debunked conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic tropes.

GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! We might finally get some legislation to end those FUCKING ROBOCALLS before the end of the year. Yesterday the House voted 417 to 3 to pass the TRACED Act, which would require phone companies to verify where calls came from and let people block them without charging extra, and would create a number of various working groups and reports to check in on implementation and enforcement measures.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren went on Bloomberg TV and said that ONE CANDIDATE was literally trying to buy the 2020 election. In the last few days Warren has been floating a proposal to ban "mega mergers" and retroactively review 20 years of big corporate consolidations. [Full Interview]

The exit of Sen. Kamala Harris from the 2020 stage has set off a mad dash to court her delegates and donors in California. In a related story, Maayan Schechter writes the massive field operation Harris built in California is potentially up for grabs as well, but some of her most staunch supporters aren't budging (yet). In a related story, Sen. Cory Booker is hoping to capitalize on the departure of Harris but it may be too late.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is quietly schmoozing Republican mega donors as he see-saws on running for retiring Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts's seat in 2020. Trump offered a tepid endorsement for Pompeo's potential run in between insults at this week's NATO meeting.

Some 2020 candidates are creating idiotic dance moves to keep people at their rallies from getting so bored that they start flirting with other candidates. Never one to miss a beat, SNL writer Steven Castillo created a mildly NSFW "Amy Klobuchar Dance."

There's been a rash of people on social media freaking out about a white van abducting people. CNN's Donnie O'Sullivan has a great story about how this viral freakout spread from one nut all the way to the Baltimore mayor, and beyond.

Everyone in the world was making fun of Trump at NATO, so Trump threw a tantrum and stormed off. Before he ran off, Trump privately rattled off a list of grievances he had with NATO members like an uncomfortable Festivus party, and held an off-the-books chat with Turkey's authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then ran home (dragging a handful of former Soviet states with him). Shortly thereafter Joe Biden's cut a campaign ad.

Chinese-owned social media company TikTok has been caught suppressing videos from users with physical and mental disabilities, as well as users who self-identify with hashtags like #fatwoman, #disabled, rainbow flags and popular LGBT identifiers. TikTok has admitted and apologized, saying the practice was intended to prevent cyber bulling.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai just got the worst promotion in Silicon Valley after he was named CEO of Google's parent company, Alphabet, following the announcement that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were stepping down as CEO and president respectively. Casey Newton cuts out all the holy horse shit by noting that this is probably for the best as Google faces a techlash on all sides. Similarly, Kara Swisher opines that Page and Brin's departure could mean the tech giant has tossed out its diapers and is ready for big boy pants. "We'll see."

The Elon Musk "Pedo Guy" trial has been a crash course on internet lingo and genuine douchebaggery.

Stephen Colbert talked about all the things Congress is about to be impeached for in this, the era of baby Yoda memes.

Congress Looks Likely To Charge Trump With Abuse Of Power, Bribery, And Obstruction www.youtube.com

And here's your morning Nice Time: Cats and GIANT BALLS

Cats vs Ball Pit 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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