Sleighbells Ring! Wonkagenda For Tues., Dec. 24, 2019

Sleighbells Ring! Wonkagenda For Tues., Dec. 24, 2019

Happy Christmas Eve, Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about in our stumpy, shortened day today.

After newly released EMAILS revealed aid to Ukraine was suspended 90 minutes after Trump's "perfect" quid-pro-phone call, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer drew up a list of evidence and witnesses Democrats are demanding for the Senate's impeachment trial. This comes as the House Judiciary Committee suggested it MIGHT draft more impeachment articles over the White House's refusal to let former White House counsel Don McGahn spill his guts about the obstruction outlined in the Mueller Report.

A very sober Rudy Giuliani grabbed some Bloody Marys with New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi and slurred an explanation for using Google Translate on kompromat in his latest Ukrainium One scheme. Real Talk: I'm not even going to make jokes here. If you stumble up to an interview with your fly down, drooling and ranting about the good ol' days, being a better Jew than Holocaust survivors, and bloviate how you "know how not to commit crimes," you shouldn't be flying all over the world trying to get political favors. As someone who's been moonlighting bar gigs for years -- dude! -- you need help from a licensed medical professional.

NPR has a good story about how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grabbed the patriarchy by the balls and dragged Democrats over the finish line on key legislative priorities, securing victories that have come to define the modern political era. As usual, here's your Wonkette's official Pelosi editorial policy.

Freshman Democrats are coming home to find what they already know: Impeachment isn't on the minds of constituents in flyover country. Back home people complain members don't "get stuff done." People might not agree on what kind of "stuff" they want, or understand how "stuff" gets "done," but they certainly care about the issues.

Georgia will start rolling out some new voting machines, but geeks say the state is still half-assing election security (at best).

The FBI has begun poking around former Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's last minute pardons before leaving office. Investigators are particularly curious about Bevin's pardoning of a man convicted of reckless homicide and robbery whose friends and family threw a $21,500 bribe fundraiser for Bevin. As usual, Bevin denies he did anything wrong.

The administration has recalled the US ambassador to Zambia, Daniel Foote. The recall comes after Foote criticized Zambia's strict laws restricting homosexuality and the government's routine snubbing of US officials only to be met with threats. The administration says the US is committed to working with Zambia -- one of the largest recipients of US foreign aid -- but an anonymous US embassy official says, "The US cannot be paying a salary to someone who cannot work because the hosts don't want him." Last year the UK joined Ireland, Finland and Sweden in suspending aid to Zambia over fears of widespread corruption. [Foote's Letter]

In an unrelated story, the US is currently considering a draw-down or pullout of US troops in West Africa. US troops (and a slew of shadowy contractors) have largely served as a quasi-police force that hunts terrorist douchebags while (surprise!) Russia and China have been trying to court nutbag warlords, stripmine the large swaths of countryside for natural resources, and test out new forms of election fuckery and disinfo.

Finally, NORAD is currently tracking a magical fat man and his radioactive reindeer over Sydney, Australia. Yesterday afternoon the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service granted the Not American cookie monster a permit to move freely throughout the United States. Stephen Miller must be pissed.

And here's your morning Nice Time: BABY PENGUINS!

Baby Penguin Annoys Neighbour | Penguin Post Office | BBC

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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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