All Is F*ckery. Wonkagenda For Thurs., Dec. 26, 2019
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she's "disturbed" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's acknowledgement that he's coordinating the Senate impeachment trial with Trump's TV lawyers. Murkowski says senators should "take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense," and that #MoscowMitch's comments, "further confused the process." Murkowski also complained about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying "[she] was very clear, very direct that her goal was to get this done before Christmas."
The shameless Bush-era bastard affectionately known as "Turd Blossom," Karl Rove, scribbled an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal (natch) declaring Bill Clinton's impeachment "dignified," and Nancy Pelosi a Confederate general who has yet to accept defeat.
A lawyer for Lev Parnas has bailed from his client after Parnas couldn't afford to pay the bill. Commenting on the initial report Parnas's other lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, tweeted that divorce was in everyone's "best interests."
Media Matters has named John Solomon its "2019 Misinformer of the Year" for helping create and peddle the disinfo campaign that Ukraine meddled with US elections in 2016, and then helping in the administration's bribery and extortion scheme. Congratulations, asshole.
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe says the Trump administration -- including 30 people across multiple government agencies -- is withholding evidence in his lawsuit against the Department of Justice. McCabe is suing the DOJ after he was "You're Fired" two days before he was set to retire.
The Trump administration is learning that it can't fuck with Texans who own land on the Southern border. The administration has been trying to lean on land owners any way it can in order to get chunks of Trump's Tortilla Curtain built before the election, but landowners keep telling them to get lost in the desert.
Trump's hotels might be seeing a depressed number of visitors, but his commercial and office properties -- most stripped of their Trump branding -- have seen increased growth thanks in part to rising rents.
Democrats are jumping on a new anti-Obamacare court ruling. The hope is that they'll be able to use the ruling, which found the individual mandate unconstitutional, and other Republican-led efforts to strip people of cheap healthcare, as the GOP's Achilles heel in 2020.
Flagrantly fucking rich 2020 DINO candidate Michael Bloomberg was caught using prison labor to make campaign calls. The Intercept reports the campaign used a third-party vendor which contracts with a call center that used prison laborers in Oklahoma to make phone calls for the Bloomberg campaign in California. After being caught and called out, Bloomberg's campaign said it had no idea this was happening, that it didn't "believe in this practice," and dumped the "subcontractor in question." In a related story, Bloomer's campaign has been tapping serious players in the digital ad business, and making million dollar ad buys on social media. Bloomberg's campaign has even begun selling t-shirts with the slogan, "In God we trust. Everyone else, bring data." OK, Bloomer.
Both of the super rich guys running for the 2020 Democratic nomination are blowing millions on ad buys. Where Tom Steyer has dropped $37 million in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire, effectively doubling what's been spent by other top tier candidates, Bloomberg has dropped $83 million targeting the March 3 Super Tuesday states. Nobody knows if spending stupid amounts of money will do anything, but political wizards point out that Bloomberg is already tracking at five percent in national polls despite entering the race a month ago.
The Trump campaign has created a propaganda website of pro-Trump talking points in case politics comes up at the holiday dinner table and some awful, college educated and media savvy LIBERAL decides to use facts and evidence. Without acknowledging the hypocritical irony, the website is intended to refute "that liberal snowflake who starts an argument and then runs and hides."
The obsession with ousting DEEP STATE loyalists, in connection with the Ukrainum One scandal, has left the US without any senior officials heading up US policy in Ukraine.
dictator President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he might kick US forces out of NATO bases housing nuclear weapons and cozy up to Russia if Congress decides to slap sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems. Turkey is still butthurt that Congress blocked the delivery of F-35 fighter jets following a 2017 brawl where Turkish security forces stomped on and kicked the asses of American protesters in Washington DC.
Russia has successfully tested a cyber threat protocol that would disconnect the entire country from the internet. Known as RuNet, the idea was to build the largest intranet routed through central hubs monitored by the government, and create a giant "off" switch for all external internet activity. Geeks and free speech advocates caution that the increasingly authoritarian control and monitoring of information systems is an ominous sign.
US military officials are developing an offensive cyber strategy targeting senior Russian officials and oligarchs in the event of Russian fuckery in the 2020 elections. The basic idea is similar to the military's 2018 strategy of fingering trolls and knocking them offline, except this would target senior officials in charge of trolling, hacking, and general fuckery operations, and warn them about possible consequences.
In a related story, Politico has a super long investigation into Russian fuckery in the 2016 elections. The TLDR: REALLY strange techno stuff happened to at least one company providing electronic polling and registration systems in 2016, but a lot of the underlying info is being kept under wraps for reasons that range from the traditional national security response of "go fuck yourself," to a lack of laws governing electoral transparency at the national, state, and local level.
Current and former military people are training local election officials on how to spot and respond to electoral fuckery ahead of 2020. The idea is the brainchild of the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfere Center, and is modeled after military responses to battlefield crises. [The Elections Battle Staff Playbook]
In a new memo the Pentagon is warning service members not to use those stupid home DNA testing kits that dredge up whatever is beneath your family tree. The New York Times has confirmed the memo, which comes from the Pentagon's chief intelligence official, and quotes a Pentagon spox saying, "The unintentional discovery of markers that may affect readiness could affect a service member's career, and the information from [direct-to-consumer] genetic testing may disclose this information." Policy and privacy nerds warn that the exploitation of client DNA data (like the acknowledged data selling, massive data breaches, and murky relationship with law enforcement) pose serious risks to general public safety, and feeds into a all sorts of crazy bullshit that's best left in sci-fi stories.
A 65-year-old man was arrested in Colorado Springs Monday after reportedly robbing a bank, then walking outside and throwing the money in the air, yelling, "Merry Christmas!" The man then sat on the patio of the coffee shop next door and waited for police. Witnesses report people picking up the bills and returning them to the bank.
And here's your morning Nice Time: OTTERS!
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