'There Was Concern.' Wonkagenda For Thurs., Dec. 27, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
During his not at all secret trip to Iraq to distract people from his government shutdown, his failing foreign policies, the deaths of children at the border, and the stock market riding Santa's sleigh like the "Vomit Comet," Trump complained that flying with the lights off was the scariest thing he's ever faced since Robert Mueller started looking up his tax returns. In a rambling series of sentence fragments peppered with unnecessary adjectives about his wife, his wall, and Nancy Pelosi, Trump bitched in front of US soldiers serving in an active war zone that their lives were only as meaningful as the bottom dollar they saved the US. He lied to their faces about a 10 percent pay raise he didn't give service members, and said the US was "no longer the suckers" thanks to his doctrine of failed 19th century isolationism that has insulted the allies dying on the frontlines with our soldiers. Hashtag Support Our Troops
The reality of the government shutdown is beginning to hit Washington and Wall Street like the smell of rotting fish in a mid-summer heat wave. Even as Congress returns to the Hill, large parts of the government remain furloughed as Uncle Sam hacks off anything deemed "nonessential," like 2018 Census data, and almost 800,000 federal workers. While the Trump administration refuses to consider any spending compromise that doesn't include a goddamn wall, Wall Street is fearing that furloughed workers could cause dips in the stock market, and long-term pessimism in the overall economy. #MAGA
The Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, tells the WSJ that Fed chair Jerome Powell "is 100 percent safe" from being "You're Fired" by Donald Trump the next time the stock market tanks because of an ignorant Twitter tantrum. Hassett adds that it's possible Trump will sit down with Powell for a crash course in Econ 101.
For the third night in a row, ICE began dumping hundreds of immigrant families into a small El Paso bus station. The random dumpings are expected to continue today as ICE officials reach the legal number of days they can keep asylum-seeking families detained in Trump's baby jails. With no food or money, local residents have come to the aid of many families with food, clothing, and temporary housing because that's what good people do for one another.
After the death of a second child in the custody of CBP officials, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says she'll go wander around one of Trump's baby jails in an attempt to make it look like the administration actually shed a tear over dead brown kids. Yesterday, Nielsen blamed it all on the children's parents, stating, "Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north." Trump repeated those same humanitarian sentiments in a jetlagged tweet early this morning.
Even though the government is shut down, a US district court judge is still dragging Trump's DOJ to court to defend its intention to question the citizenship of people in the 2020 Census.
We are shocked -- SHOCKED -- to hear Acting AG Matthew Whitaker lied on his resume about being an All American honoree! Wait, the opposite of that.
In a farewell Christmas message, lame duck Republican Rep. Mark Sanford wrote a 4,000 word essay warning about the dangers of embracing a "future Hitler-like character." Sanford does make it explicitly clear that he was "not likening Trump to Hitler," before getting lost in a mountain of prose recalling his extramarital affairs.
Remember all the racist asswipes trying to out-MAGA one another in the Georgia GOP gubernatorial primary? Funny story! Republican state Sen. Michael Williams, the guy with the "deportation bus," has turned himself in on fraud charges stemming from an ALLEGEDLY fake burglary in which $300,000 worth of computer equipment being used to mine cryptocurrency (AKA: magical internet funny money) were "stolen." Bonus, he ALLEGEDLY lied to state investigators too! Naturally, his former campaign manager is calling it a "witch hunt."
Russia says it has a new nuclear toy that flies at 20 times the speed of sound. Vladimir Putin called it a "wonderful, perfect New Year's gift for the country." Whatever, here's a video of pretty kitty.
David Kaye, a UN special rapporteur, has called Donald Trump the "worst" perpetrator of disinformation and fake news in a new interview with Digital Rights Monitor. He goes on to state tech companies have an obligation to create a technical approach to pointing out bullshit.
The Mercer family is retreating from the political spotlight amid constant protests and backlash from high-snobriety. Rather than burn piles of cash backing crazy dingbats like "Chemtrail" Kelli Ward, the Mercers intend to dump cash into dark money Super PACs to push their lunacy into the mainstream, like treating PTSD-suffering vets with ecstasy.
Super rich Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman is super sorry he flipped the script on election fuckery in the Alabama Senate race earlier this year. Hoffman ALLEGEDLY dumped almost a million dollars into a group that used the same kind of Russian fuckery to defeat child predator Roy Moore. Hoffman says he had no idea what the group did until a secret cybersecurity conference back in September. Sometimes you fight fire with fire.
BONUS: WaPo has a nice retrospective of other presidents who weren't pissing their pants at the thought of rolling into war zones to #SupportOurTroops. FDR did it first, despite having polio, because FDR was an American Badass.
NICE TIME: Reggie Bullock, a sportsballer, spoke about LGBTQ acceptance, and love for his late transgender sister at the 29th annual GLAAD awards. In a powerful speech, Bullock stated, "I will do anything, go to any event, any parade, talk in any locker room about acceptance. I want the world to see what acceptance looks like, and hear that message from a straight guy, a professional athlete. Guess what – athletes have voices and we should be able to stand up for what we believe in. Am I right?" [Video]
And here's your morning Nice Time! PAINTED DOG PUPPERS!
6-Week-Old Painted Dog Pups www.youtube.com
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