'Crime Of Interpretation.' Wonkagenda For Dec. 14, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump is trying to blame everything on Michael Cohen now that a federal judge has decided to LOCK HIM UP for the next three years for lying to federal investigators, and for trying to pay off all the traumatized porn stars who allegedly were subjected to playing with Trump's toad peen. NBC News is reporting that Trump not only knew about the porno payments, he was the "other member" in the room when Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker hashed out the agreement! Later, Rudy Giuliani called the New York Times and called Trump's pornstar payments a, "crime of interpretation," adding, "If they [Congress] want to pursue an investigation for impeachment on this and if they do want to vote on an article of impeachment, somewhere between 30 to 40 of them better get a lawyer."
This morning Michael Cohen sat down with George Stephanopoulos and said, "Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters." Cohen admits to knowing what he was doing was wrong, adding. “He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth. And here is the truth: People of the United States of America, people of the world, don't believe what he is saying. The man doesn't tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds." [Part 1 and Part 2]
You're not going to believe this, but Trump's inaugural committee and super PAC might have been accepting
bribes donations from Not Americans! Federal prosecutors want to know why it sure as hell seems like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates were laundering money paying tribute to Donald Trump, after the FBI got its hand on audio tape of Michael Cohen talking to Melon Trump's "You're Fired" friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, about donors he was canoodling with in order to carry favor with Donald Trump. LOL, that's bad (if true)!
Trump spent yesterday locked in his room shitposting on Twitter. First he denied that he told Michael Cohen to pay off all the porn stars he allegedly begged to touch his choad. Trump then went on Fox News to double down, and rant that Michael Flynn didn't lie to the FBI, even though Michael Flynn has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. This morning, "Fox & Friends" worried about what else Michael Cohen was secretly taping. [Trump Interview]
A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl has died of "dehydration and shock" after being
kidnapped taken into custody by CBP officials as she was trying to illegally cross the border with her father. The girl reportedly had "not eaten or consumed water for several days," and was sent to one of Trump's baby jails where she began having seizures. She was airlifted to a hospital where she later passed away.
EMERGENCY NICE TIME: Here is a baby goat kid named "Bruce Wayne."
Ohio Republican Rep. Warren Davidson wants to use BitCoin to build Trump's goddamn wall because he's a fucking idiot that doesn't have any common sense or understand basic economic principles. Let's all point and laugh at Rep. Warren Davidson and his hilarious disaster of a bill, the "Buy a Brick, Build A Wall Act," that would allow the Treasury to accept "gifts" to build Trump's goddamn wall.
Of course, Rep. Davidson's idea isn't half as stupid as Diamond and Silk telling the crew at "Fox & Friends" that we should turn the border into a demilitarized zone.
Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon has decided to sign on to a House effort to overturn the FCC's anti-net neutrality ruling. Scanlon initially avoided signing on to the discharge petition and tried to kick the can down the road, but with the deadline approaching, the internet decided to spam her office into seeing the light at the end of the telecom-controlled tunnel.
Jared Kushner's white collar prison reform bill is still not a sure thing, even after Ted Cruz tried to staple a bunch of crap on top of it. Politico has the full story on how Kushner has conned everyone into supporting his white collar prison reform bill by cutting a deal with the Fox News spin machine to slut shame the bill's haters. Earlier this week, The Daily podcast kind of glossed over how some Republicans came around to supporting the bill after Jared spent over a year incessant pestering legislators. It's not a terrible bill, it's just curious that Kushner would support sentencing reforms for non-violent criminals. HMMMM.
In a fleetingly rare showing of bipartisan support, the Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for (ALLEGEDLY) ordering the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and to stop paying for Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen under the War Powers Resolution. The measure passed 56 to 41 after several Republicans pulled their heads from their asses to vote in favor of the measure put forward by Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee. However, Paul Ryan and House Republicans are still carrying suitcases full of Trump's skeletons and pussy-footing around any direct condemnation of MbS or the Saudi-led war by refusing to take up any measures before the end of year, including the Senate's Yemen resolution. Separately, the Pentagon has announced it's going to bill the Saudi's and the UAE $331 million for aerial refueling operations in Yemen. It's not like they can't afford it.
The Navy has two SUPER COOL (kind of secret) floating truck stops known as afloat forward-staging bases (AFSBs) built from modified oil tankers. Naturally, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst not only wants more, but she wants to turn these floating truck stops into special ops playgrounds. This comes on the heels of the DOD dealing with a rash of horrific scandals involving spec ops assholes that have put SOCOM and special forces culture under a microscope. Hey, what happens in international waters STAYS in international waters, right?
The DOD has finally figured out who's going to be in charge of the Space Force, but they're not telling anyone. And why would they? There might not even be a Space Force after House Democrats (and almost everyone else in DOD) abort its launch sequence next year.
Betsy DeVos has given up trying to force students who were scammed by bogus for-profit schools (*COUGH* Trump University! *COUGH*) to pay back their student loans. About 15,000 borrowers will have their debts forgiven, totalling $150 million. DeVos, who was a large investor in numerous shady for-profit schools, has steadfastly fought Obama-era rules to shutdown for-profit universities, and return money to students.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had a super secret dinner meeting to "take a hard look" at their mutual interest in running for president in 2020 and NOTHING HAPPENED! #ShesRunning #HesRunning #EverybodyIsRunning
Maryland House Rep. Steny Hoyer doesn't want to give up his position as the second most powerful Democrat in the House. He's pissed that the whipper-snappers caucus thinks it can up-end his five decades of hard work and party loyalty, but the 'ol rumor mill on the Hill says his personal beef with Nancy Pelosi -- something that stretches back to the 1960s when the two were interns -- has something to do with her backing of term limits for Democratic leaders.
For her part, Pelosi says she never wanted to be speaker for life, and term limits don't make her a lame duck. But Politico reports Pelosi "shocked the shit" out of everyone when she agreed to the term limits because she's spent the past decade brushing off critics and challengers to her leadership of House Democrats.
Things just keep getting worse in the North Carolina 9th District! Republican candidate Mark Harris ALLEGEDLY was warned that the McCrae Dowless would probably use some less than legal tactics to help him win his election, but Harris used him anyway.
Rolling Thunder, the massive motorcycle rally that annually comes to DC, is coming to an end next year because the times, they are a changin'! The organization says it's become a expensive and logistical nightmare trying coordinate with with the alphabet soup of security agencies and city of DC.
Finally, today is the last day to sign up for healthcare coverage through the ACA. If you're one of the millions of poors who might need to go to a doctor next year, GET YOUR ASS SOME OBAMACARE! Seriously, just fucking do it!
And here's your morning Nice Time! X-MAS KITTIES!
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