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IG Will Investigate Rudy And The FBI's New York Field Office As Soon As We're All Dead

Many fascinating shitshows happened in Wednesday's hearing with Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans lied and pretended the central focus of Horowitz's report was that there were some unexplained fuckups with the FISA applications for Carter Page, when the actual main point -- you could tell because Horowitz listed it first every time he was asked -- was that the Trump-Russia investigation was correctly predicated, without political bias. All the rest is "room for growth" at the FBI.

But another thing came up in the hearing. We all know Rudy Giuliani is currently committing election inteference crimes on behalf of his client Donald Trump in Ukraine, that Giuliani is under criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York for Ukraine stuff and God knows what else, and that his best Chucklefuck pals Lev and Igor are currently under indictment related to those schemes.

But do you remember Rudy's first weirdass scheme for Trump, the one that happened in the month leading up to the 2016 election?

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White House: Ukraine Shakedown Was Just 'Policy Process,' Totally Normal, Everything You Learned In HS Civics Class

In its continuing effort to prove that Donald Trump didn't shake down the president of Ukraine by withholding congressionally appropriated defense funds to extort him to smear Joe Biden, the Office of Management and Budget has produced yet another post hoc memo 'splaining that the hold on the money was totally normal and appropriate. Nothing to see here, move along folks! At least three media outlets -- the Washington Post, Roll Call, and the Washington Examiner -- have copies of the memo. And yet not a single one of them has been allowed publish the memo in its entirety. Which is a pretty good indication that OMB isn't entirely confident in the persuasiveness of its legal reasoning.

In a word, this memo is horseshit.

The Post reports that Donald Trump only learned of the aid to Ukraine from a June 19 article in the Washington Examiner on the importance of US military assistance to Ukraine's war to repel the Russian invasion in Crimea. At which point, President Russophile lost his shit at the prospect of the US doing anything to piss off his pal Putin. A fact the GOP conveniently forgets when they brag that Trump provided Ukraine with Javelin missiles eventually.

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Time Honors Greta Thunberg, Nobody Being Insane About It Even At All

Time magazine named teen climate activist Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year yesterday, making her, at 16, the youngest person to ever receive the title (and no, all those fresh off the shelf computers in 1983 don't count). The cover article noted that she'd started her climate protests alone in August 2018, skipping school to stand in front of the Parliament building in Stockholm with a sign reading "Skolstrejk för klimatet: 'School Strike for Climate.'" The idea caught on, and now Greta is the face of what finally seems to be a global surge in people demanding their governments address a civilizational crisis.

Somehow, a memo must have gone around Greater Wingnuttia, because all of a sudden yesterday rightwingers were OUTRAGED that Time hadn't given the honor to the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Sure thing! Remember how concern for the protesters in Hong Kong has been one of the great causes of the American Right all year? Nope, us either.

Donald Trump Jr. set the tone, and just look at the sick burn he tossed at Time, with Greta's own words, wow, such burn, many libs triggered.

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Procedural BULLLLLLLLLLSH*T. Let's Mark Up The Trump Articles Of Impeachment!

Hey, are you guys watching this bullshit? Or rather should we say, ARE YOU WATCHING HISTORY BEING MADE?

The hearing in the House Judiciary Committee to mark up the impeachment articles against Donald Trump has been going for a few minutes, and so far what we have seen is what is known in Congress-ese as procedural buuuuuulllllllllllllshit. And that's how it's going to go during today's markup, in large part. Democrats will be normal, and Republicans will offer as many amendments as they can to slow down the process and gum it up and just generally be obnoxious.

So far, Jerry Nadler offered an amendment to change references to "Donald J. Trump" to "Donald John Trump" in the impeachment. Ranking member Doug Collins said Nadler's amendment was DUMB.

Then Jim Jordan offered an amendment to delete all of the first article of impeachment, you know, the one with the Ukraine crimes. This happened after last night, when Jordan explained that Democrats are only doing this because they don't like Trump supporters. While that may be true, actually we are doing this because Trump committed a fuckload of crimes and is a danger to the national security of the republic.

Glad we could clear that up, Jim!

This livestream will probably turn into a liveblog as the day goes on and bullshit happens, but for now, if you'd like to watch, here is a video to you!

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Immigrants

Border Patrol Sending All The Cubans Back To Mexico Even After They Win Asylum

They're not Norwegian dissidents, after all.

Not content with its plan to effectively end asylum for new applicants, the Trump administration has dreamed up some brand new fuckery to hit asylum-seekers with. Immigration attorneys tell Buzzfeed News and the San Diego Union-Tribune the Border Patrol has taken to issuing fake court notices to asylum seekers, as a way of keeping out immigrants who could otherwise legally be allowed into the US. Yes, you read that right. We have to repeat it to believe it ourselves: The Border Patrol is telling migrants they have nonexistent court dates so they won't exercise their rights to legally enter the land of freedom and equal justice under law.

Because without respect for the law, you don't have a country, right? Doesn't mean the law has to respect you.

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Impeachment

Doug Collins BIG MAD About Coming To Work Today. Impeachment Vote Liveblog!

BIIIIIIIIIIIIG MAD.

One of the grossest and most special features of the impeachment of Donald Trump is that Doug Collins, the carnival barker auctioneer redneck from Georgia, is the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee. And he did not want to come to work this morning.

If you had the TV on last night, you saw that Congress worked late last night marking up the articles of impeachment. In fact they worked so late that Chairman Jerry Nadler decided, you know what, fuck it, let's recess and come back in the morning to actually vote the articles out of committee.

Did we say Collins was mad? He was BIG MAD.

"You've just blown up schedules for everyone" said Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.). "This is the kangaroo court we're talking about."

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) called the decision "Stalinesque."

Typical Stalin. He was always like "Let's do some more democracy at 10 a.m. tomorrow!"

Collins was big mad because Republicans had important places to go today, but all of a sudden mean Jerry Nadler was like "DURRRRRR COME TO WORK!" So rude and unfair.

But you see, they weren't actually supposed to work that late last night, and it was the Republicans who dragged it on and on and on and on and on and on:

A Democratic aide refuted the notion that there was any agreement to have a vote this evening. But behind the scenes sources pointed out how both sides originally agreed to finish by 5 p.m. Thursday – and the GOP changed its mind at the last minute and dragged the hearing out, ruining Democrats' plans. Democrats dished it back, in a way.

Please enjoy these videos of Collins calling the impeachment hearing "bush league" and "words cannot describe" and WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE, and also Louie Gohmert calling it "Stalinesque," because of how they all had to come to work today. They must have had something important on their Friday schedules, like maybe Doug and Louie were going to get a couples massage or something.

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Guns

Court Hears 'What Is Definition Of Machinegun' Case, Everybody Murdered With One Still Dead

But is a part 'designed and intended for use converting a weapon into a machinegun' actually turning it into a machine gun? And how many angels on the head of this pin?

Earlier this week in Cincinnati, lawyers for the Department of Justice and anti-gun-control nonprofit Gun Owners of America sparred over what makes a weapon a machine gun.

Newly manufactured automatic machine guns have been illegal in the United States since 1986. But, until earlier this year, civilians could legally possess devices bump stocks, which allow a user to mimic the firing motion of a fully automatic weapon.

Oddly enough, the Trump administration is on the right side of this one, defending the bump stock ban against challenges from people who care more about guns than gun violence.

On Wednesday, a conservative panel of the conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Gun Owners of America v. Barr, a case challenging the ban on bump stocks. And right now, things aren't looking great for the future of the bump stock ban.

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News

All The President's Lawyers. Wonkagenda For Fri., Dec. 13, 2019

Impeach-a-Palooza, Trade Wars, and Dame Pegginton goes to Iowa. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Trump

The 856,973 Most Perfect Tweets President Stable Genius Sent Today

OR IS IT?

GOTCHA LAST, we are not including any of that dumbfuck's tweets in this post. They are all irrelevant, they are all whiny, but did you know he's sent over 100 of them today? He is really handling this day of impeachment very well! And doing a lot of work in the process, obviously, like a worker bee who works. Politico reports that his tweetstorm started at 6:51 a.m. with a "Fox & Friends" thing, and, well, it's been going all day, with tweets and retweets and more retweets and more tweets and oh my god, that man does not have even one friend.

His tweets include whining, complaining, lying, and also bitching and moaning. Oh yeah, and he attacked Greta Thunberg, a child, because he is SUPER J she got Person Of The Year from TIME. In other words, a typical Trump day, just even more tweety than usual.

Politico notes that Trump broke the number he hit Sunday, which was 105 tweets and retweets. Dunno why people harbor suspicions that the president SNIFF might SNIFF have a habit of SNIFF snorting things.

If you'd like to see the president stabling his genius all over Twitter, you know where it is.

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Impeachment

Matt Gaetz Wraps Impeachment Hearing Around Tree

Wonder what Stephanie Grisham thinks about this!

You know ... there are people who should say certain things, and people who should not. For instance, that time OJ Simpson wrote If I Did It -- it would probably have been a good idea for him to just not say that collection of words at that particular time.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-I'm Fine, Ossifer) gave us a good case study in this today during the impeachment markup hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Desperate to make the hearing about (debunked) allegations of nefarious Biden activity in Ukraine, and NOT Trump's attempted election-stealing crimes, Gaetz thought it would be good to talk about Hunter Biden's substance abuse issues and DUI.

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Post-Racial America

Nikki Haley Keeps Digging Confederate-Flag-Shaped Hole For Her Dignity

Haley's self-respect shall never rise again!

Former South Carolina governor and current Donald Trump stooge Nikki Haley questioned in a Washington Post op-ed yesterday whether we could've removed the Confederate flag from the statehouse in today's political climate. This isn't because the president is a racist who has empowered racists. No, Haley specifically says the "reason is not the upsurge in white nationalism," which she considers a "disturbing trend that must be resisted." That's a pretty weak condemnation. It's like she's pooh-poohing all the live-action remakes of classic Disney cartoons.

Haley believes "media hysteria" is to blame for why apparently South Carolina's leaders would now choose to keep up a racist flag after a white supremacist murdered black churchgoers at Mother Emanuel. We just couldn't pause today and have the "thoughtful and prayerful dialogue" we had following the murders. Haley doesn't mention the name Barack Obama, who was president at the time and brought down the house during his moving eulogy for church pastor Clementa Pinckney. We lived through Charlottesville so we have depressing precedent for how Trump might've handled the tragedy.

We just talked about how Tom Nichols blamed liberals for why Republicans refuse to hold Trump accountable. Haley makes a similar, baseless argument. "Outrage" culture would make the "good" conservatives less likely to do the right thing and more likely to support Confederate apologists. Will you just look at what we made conservatives do with our liberal insistence on acknowledging history? This is a chilling sentiment when the president runs concentration camps. It feels like Haley and other "good" conservatives are shaking us down for "protection." All they ask in return is our silence and submission.

Haley's op-ed that the Post ran for reasons is filled with the same historically illiterate garbage about the Confederate flag that she offered up last week on Glenn Beck's show. Haley subjects us to more Lost Cause bullshit and the moral relativism of owning people.

HALEY: In South Carolina, as in much of the South, the Confederate flag has long been a hot-button issue. Everyone knows the flag has always been a symbol of slavery, discrimination and hate for many people. But not everyone sees the flag that way. That's hard for non-Southerners to understand, but it's a fact.

Southern racists have used this rhetoric for generations. During the height of Jim Crow, they often claimed it was only Jews "outside agitators" who were making a big fuss about the ongoing oppression of black people. Nice, polite black folks loved riding in the back of the bus. That's where all the heat was.

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Religion

Donald Trump And Two Bigot Pastors Wish You All A Merry Jewish Christmas

Happy Hanukkah! You're all going to Hell!

Donald Trump held a White House reception to mark Hanukkah 11 days early yesterday, complete with a couple of popular rightwing Christian pastors, a signing ceremony for his great big I Heart The Jews executive order, and Jared Kushner closing out the event by lighting a menorah, and everyone chanting the traditional Hanukkah greeting, "Four more years!" We always thought it was "Next year in Jerusalem," and on a whole 'nother holiday, but what do we know? We leave a place at the table for Elijah Cummings.

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Culture

This Is The Best GOP Idea Of The Entire Decade, Not That There Was A Long List!

Also it was kind of MY idea, but we're letting that slide.

As we have heard over and over and over again for the last several years, we are a divided nation. Mostly because of the people who are terrible. It's not us, we're lovely.

But there is one thing — one person, rather — who unites us all, kind of, and it is Dolly Parton.

Really? you ask. Everyone likes Dolly Parton?

YES. Sort of! The North loves her, the South loves her, liberals love her, conservatives love her, old people love her, young people love her, squares love her, hipsters love her. At the very least, no one is mad at Dolly Parton, which counts for a lot these days. And sure, you could note that she is, indeed, very much a white lady, but rather than stealing from black culture as many white artists are wont to do, she brought this:

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You www.youtube.com

IT'S STILL SO GOOD.

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2016 Presidential Election

IG Will Investigate Rudy And The FBI's New York Field Office As Soon As We're All Dead

Or maybe he won't, dunno, gonna have to check his schedule.

Many fascinating shitshows happened in Wednesday's hearing with Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans lied and pretended the central focus of Horowitz's report was that there were some unexplained fuckups with the FISA applications for Carter Page, when the actual main point -- you could tell because Horowitz listed it first every time he was asked -- was that the Trump-Russia investigation was correctly predicated, without political bias. All the rest is "room for growth" at the FBI.

But another thing came up in the hearing. We all know Rudy Giuliani is currently committing election inteference crimes on behalf of his client Donald Trump in Ukraine, that Giuliani is under criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York for Ukraine stuff and God knows what else, and that his best Chucklefuck pals Lev and Igor are currently under indictment related to those schemes.

But do you remember Rudy's first weirdass scheme for Trump, the one that happened in the month leading up to the 2016 election?

Keep reading... Show less
Ukraine

White House: Ukraine Shakedown Was Just 'Policy Process,' Totally Normal, Everything You Learned In HS Civics Class

Lyin' sumbitches!

In its continuing effort to prove that Donald Trump didn't shake down the president of Ukraine by withholding congressionally appropriated defense funds to extort him to smear Joe Biden, the Office of Management and Budget has produced yet another post hoc memo 'splaining that the hold on the money was totally normal and appropriate. Nothing to see here, move along folks! At least three media outlets -- the Washington Post, Roll Call, and the Washington Examiner -- have copies of the memo. And yet not a single one of them has been allowed publish the memo in its entirety. Which is a pretty good indication that OMB isn't entirely confident in the persuasiveness of its legal reasoning.

In a word, this memo is horseshit.

The Post reports that Donald Trump only learned of the aid to Ukraine from a June 19 article in the Washington Examiner on the importance of US military assistance to Ukraine's war to repel the Russian invasion in Crimea. At which point, President Russophile lost his shit at the prospect of the US doing anything to piss off his pal Putin. A fact the GOP conveniently forgets when they brag that Trump provided Ukraine with Javelin missiles eventually.

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Trump

Charmless Scold/Never-Trumper Tom Nichols Blames Liberal Protestors. Just In General.

Republicans won't impeach Trump because a random protestor asked for it once.

Temporarily embarrassed Republican Tom Nichols likes to lecture liberals as if we're the ones who put Donald Trump in office. We didn't vote for the president but every move we make, even every breath we take, somehow enables him. Yesterday on Twitter, Nichols, who also enjoys mocking homeless families, dropped an "I told you so" bomb about impeachment. See, Republicans are rallying behind their mob boss president, and liberals are somehow to blame because people took to the streets in horror after the Electoral College gag-gifted us Trump.

Republican defenders of Trump make shit up at the speed of lies. As Gutman said in The Maltese Falcon, "There's never any telling what [they'll] say or do next, except that it's bound to be something astonishing." There was never any "right" way to oppose Trump that would somehow magically lead to bipartisan consensus, as if we were living inside a "West Wing" rerun.

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Environment

Time Honors Greta Thunberg, Nobody Being Insane About It Even At All

It's a greenhouse gas, gas, gas.

Time magazine named teen climate activist Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year yesterday, making her, at 16, the youngest person to ever receive the title (and no, all those fresh off the shelf computers in 1983 don't count). The cover article noted that she'd started her climate protests alone in August 2018, skipping school to stand in front of the Parliament building in Stockholm with a sign reading "Skolstrejk för klimatet: 'School Strike for Climate.'" The idea caught on, and now Greta is the face of what finally seems to be a global surge in people demanding their governments address a civilizational crisis.

Somehow, a memo must have gone around Greater Wingnuttia, because all of a sudden yesterday rightwingers were OUTRAGED that Time hadn't given the honor to the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Sure thing! Remember how concern for the protesters in Hong Kong has been one of the great causes of the American Right all year? Nope, us either.

Donald Trump Jr. set the tone, and just look at the sick burn he tossed at Time, with Greta's own words, wow, such burn, many libs triggered.

Keep reading... Show less
Impeachment

Procedural BULLLLLLLLLLSH*T. Let's Mark Up The Trump Articles Of Impeachment!

Is it a liveblog? Or a livestream? OH WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.

Hey, are you guys watching this bullshit? Or rather should we say, ARE YOU WATCHING HISTORY BEING MADE?

The hearing in the House Judiciary Committee to mark up the impeachment articles against Donald Trump has been going for a few minutes, and so far what we have seen is what is known in Congress-ese as procedural buuuuuulllllllllllllshit. And that's how it's going to go during today's markup, in large part. Democrats will be normal, and Republicans will offer as many amendments as they can to slow down the process and gum it up and just generally be obnoxious.

So far, Jerry Nadler offered an amendment to change references to "Donald J. Trump" to "Donald John Trump" in the impeachment. Ranking member Doug Collins said Nadler's amendment was DUMB.

Then Jim Jordan offered an amendment to delete all of the first article of impeachment, you know, the one with the Ukraine crimes. This happened after last night, when Jordan explained that Democrats are only doing this because they don't like Trump supporters. While that may be true, actually we are doing this because Trump committed a fuckload of crimes and is a danger to the national security of the republic.

Glad we could clear that up, Jim!

This livestream will probably turn into a liveblog as the day goes on and bullshit happens, but for now, if you'd like to watch, here is a video to you!

Keep reading... Show less
News

'Programmatic Delay.' Wonkagenda For Thurs., Dec. 12, 2019

Cold feet, British elections, and Greta's just chilling. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

Keep reading... Show less
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