Don't F*ck With Nancy. Wonkagenda For Thurs., Dec. 19, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
An Impeachment Carol | Full Frontal on TBS www.youtube.com
Last night Donald Trump became the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Members voted almost entirely along party lines on two articles of impeachment: one for abuse of power, and another for obstruction of Congress. Talking heads and political prognosticators have been quick to point out that the votes, 230-197-1 and 229-198-1, respectively, reflect the growing partisan divide in the American public, and that DINO Rep. Tulsi Gabbard -- the lone House member to vote "present" on both articles -- remains a mealymouthed Trump apologist.
Shortly after the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a rather solemn press conference that started with her saying it was "a great day for the Constitution of the United States and a sad one for America." Pelosi then declined to say when the House would send the articles over to the Senate to begin the impeachment trial, arguing that the House couldn't name its impeachment managers until they "see what the process is on the Senate side." In a direct swipe at the expressed partiality of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pelosi said it's not OK "for the foreman of the jury to be in cahoots with the lawyers of the accused. That doesn't sound right to us."
As the House was impeaching Trump, he held a Christmas-themed MAGA rally where he shouted, rambled, and lied while poking at his impeachment like a sore tooth. The poor wretches tasked with scribbling down his speech report Trump meandering about the SPACE FORCE, toilets, nuclear submarines, his (lack of) trade deals, the F-35, and a pilot who looked like Tom Cruise. During one more memorable moment, some protesters unrolled a large banner that read, "Don the Con. You're Fired." At one point Trump insulted the late Rep. John Dingell, and his wife, Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell. This morning White House Trump interpreter Stephanie Grisham went on "Good Morning America" to ramble that Pelosi was "changing the rules" on impeachment, and to write off Trump insulting Dingell as "riffing." Last night Rep. Dingell tweeted that Trump's so-called riffing had "brought [her] down in a way you can never imagine." [Full GMA Interview]
The Daily Beast gossips that the Trump administration is pushing back against a new package of sanctions on Russia working its way through the Senate. The bill, as described by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham as "the sanctions bill from hell," would punish large swaths of the Russian economy, including oligarchs, the oil/energy sector, ship building, and US real estate purchases that are often used as fronts for money laundering. Joining the opposition with the Trump administration are the usual cadre of conservative lobbying groups who care more about profits than people.
Page Six gossips that a very sober Rudy Giuliani spent impeachment night sucking down cigars at Jared Kushner's cigar bar with a couple of dudes, just as he has on the eve of every other milestone in Trump's presidency. Stephen Colbert had a chat with Rudy (who looks a lot like John Lithgow) last night about how his butt is constantly stabbing him in the back.
Rudy Giuliani Returns From His Conspiracy Tour Of Ukraine www.youtube.com
A federal appeals court struck down the Obamacare individual mandate and kicked the rest of the law back down to a lower court. With everything else going on right now, the Trump administration hasn't been too keen to remind voters that Republicans are still hard at work trying to strip millions of Americans of healthcare.
The Wall Street Journal reports the White House is mulling over a plan to ease the growing student loan crisis with legal gimmicks and refinancing options. The WSJ notes the administration is particularly concerned about all the elderly people who've co-signed with their kids and grandkids. The plan stands in stark contrast to those offered by Democratic presidential candidates that offer everyone a clean slate by simply canceling over a trillion Ameros in student loan debt.
The House is set for a floor vote on USMCA today after the Ways and Means Committee passed the moldy nothingburger between impeachment speeches. Blue Dog Democrats are pissed that #MoscowMitch has pushed a Senate vote on USMCA into next year, but #MoscowMitch is trying to pin the blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This morning, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has an op-ed blasting the USMCA as a "myriad of provisions" designed to "warm the hearts of protectionists." Meanwhile, bean counters at the Congressional Budget Office have a new report that says the deal will cost automakers $3 billion over 10 years, and some other geeks have noticed oil and gas companies get a convenient carve out in Mexico.
The new defense authorization bill has an order from congressional Democrats that would force the DOD to look into cleaning up "racially or ethnically insensitive" terms used in official government documents, like "negroid," "red," or, "yellow" in death certificates of fallen service members. House Democrats originally wanted the Pentagon to stop using the language altogether, but a BOGSAAT clearly felt that was a lot of paper to push.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows says #HesNOTrunning for reelection in 2020. Meadows, a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, tells Roll Call that he's still going to be spewing his special brand of Tea Party sewage, and gabs to Politico that he might fuck off early for a gig in the Trump White House. A quick look at the his new, ungerrymandered district shows Meadows might actually have to work to maintain his seat in the House.
Seven Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage for a debate in Los Angeles tonight. The debate starts at 8 p.m. eastern, and will be co-hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. CNN and NPR will be airing the debates, but you shouldn't have trouble finding a livestream. As usual, we'll be liveblogging the whole thing.
During his annual end-of-year "press conference," Russian President Vladimir Putin said Democrats "absolutely invented reasons" to impeach Trump (they didn't), calling it "simply a continuation of an internal political battle." The Washington Post points out Putin also suggested altering the Russian constitution's presidential term limits.
Samantha Bee went to Hong Kong to see why millions of badasses are fighting for their freedom, and how Hong Kong became one of the most important places in the global economy. Later, young Hong Kongers talk about lobbying the US Congress to hold China accountable for gross human rights violations, and why the hell they think Donald Trump is Nelson Mandela. [One / Two]
Why Are People Protesting in Hong Kong? Part 1 | Full Frontal on TBS www.youtube.com
The Fox News talking head formerly known as "Turd Blossom," Karl Rove, opines in the Wall Street Journal (natch) that Trump could "rise above impeachment" by using the 2020 State of the Union address to talk about the crusted-over alphabet soup of USMCA, the healthcare millions of Americans are losing, work requirements for SNAP, baby jails, stealing money for his Tortilla Curtain, etc., etc.
A Bible thumping professor in Missouri has been charged with misdemeanor prostitution after "harassing male Truman [State University] students for sexual contact as well as offering to pay for items for sexual favors by using the app Grindr." Local police busted the man, alias "DILF," during a sting operation where the suspect offered "sexual favors" in exchange for gas for the undercover officer, adding that he "might throw in an Arby's card LOL."
Seth Meyers took A Closer Look at the literal rambling bullshit Republicans have been blathering in their defense of Trump. And, for good measure, Trevor Noah checked in with DNC HQ as Democrats pour one out for democracy.
House Impeaches President Trump in Historic Vote: A Closer Look www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: IT'S LULU AND FRIENDS!
Cats vs Visible Wall www.youtube.com
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