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Wheels On The Bus Go Over The Bodies. Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 11, 2019
The Republican civil war spills into the streets, no tax returns for Congress, and Julian Assange gets nabbed. It's your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things wemaybe talking about today!
The world's worst house guest and bullshit artist, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has been arrested by British police. Reuters reports police saying they were INVITED into his hidey hole in the Ecuadorian embassy by the ambassador following the country's withdrawal of asylum due to Assange's "discourteous and aggressive behavior." In a video message, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno stated Assange had "violated, repeatedly, clear cut provisions of the conventions on diplomatic asylum," and cited numerous incidents where Wikileaks began fucking with other countries. Yesterday Assange claimed he had been spied upon while living in the embassy, kind of like the Truman Show, as part of an ALLEGED extortion attempt. However, because he's a self-righteous asshole who lies constantly, nobody cares or believes him (except Russia).
Steve Mnuchin says the Treasury Department wasn't able to get Trump's tax returns for House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal. Both Mnuchin and Neal are talking with their respective legal teams on how to interpret a law that was created following a wide ranging corruption scandal involving the the president and his cabinet officials in the 1920s.
After having his nomination for ICE head yanked, the acting director of ICE, Ron Vitiello, is being quit-fired. Vitiello's departure comes as Trump runs around Washington throwing tantrums and decapitating the national security agencies.
With Mitch McConnell up for reelection in 2020, the quiet Republican civil war is beginning to spill out of the Hill's smoke-filled rooms. Trump's hostile takeover of the party has brought back ghosts of elections past and the moderates are desperate to keep people like Herman Cain and Ken Cuccinelli on the frozen fringes of Washington circles, but Politico reports Mick Mulvaney has been silently triggering Trump's worst instincts.
There's a fight in Trump's White House over baby jails. In one corner is Jared Kushner complaining that someone needs to clean up this mess, in the other is Stephen Miller screaming about taco trucks on every corner.
Trump's attempt to steal money from the Pentagon is pissing off Congress, and they're about to end a "gentleman's agreement" that allows the Pentagon to shift billions in discretionary funds. Despite being an absurdly small portion of the overall defense budget, the rainy day fund allows the Pentagon to be more nimble in the event of a crisis, like flooding of military bases throughout the Midwest and coastal states, but Trump's border wall cash grab threatens to screw over everyone.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a bad day on the Hill (again) yesterday after Democrats called her out on a ban for using federal money to put guns in schools. Last year DeVos claimed that she couldn't stop the government from using tax dollars to arm teachers to the teeth, but former teacher and freshman Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes whipped out emails from the department's own lawyers directly contradicting DeVos.
An evening of begging and cash grabbing for top lawmakers in Texas soured after a gun fetishist and Texas Speaker of the House got into a cat fight. Accounts of the altercation vary, but the gist is that the speaker was triggered about being seated next to the gun humper -- who had previously shown up at his house to whine about guns -- and the two rather quickly confronted one another. Then there was ALLEGEDLY a letter, and then a Kool-Aid packet, and the two almost broke out into a fist fight right in front of their own mega-donors.
The company of West Virginia's backstabbing and double dealing Republican governor, Jim Justice, owes $4 million in mining violations, the highest delinquent mine safety debt in the US mining industry, according to a new report by NPR. Over the course of Justice's term as governor, his family's mining company has almost doubled its debt despite pledging to pay off all the federal safety violations from mines in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia. NPR notes that the Justice Companies debt is almost 10 percent of all unpaid debt owed to Uncle Sam by mining companies. This morning Politico reports that Justice is scared shitless about losing reelection in 2020 after he became a Republican in 2017, so Trump World has dispatched some weasels to shore up Republicans who've begun a whisper campaign that Justice can't be trusted.
A 21-year-old person has been arrested in connection with three fires at historically black churches in Louisiana. Local police and state officials are expected to hold a news conference later this morning. In a related story, Republican Rep. Clay Higgins released a bizarre video earlier this week where he stood in the ashes of one burned church in his "Cajun John Wayne" persona. The video has drawn criticism thanks to Higgins's history with Islamophobia, gun humping, alt-right militias, and an equally dubious video he filmed at Auschwitz.
Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig is expected to face charges stemming time working with Paul Manafort on behalf of the Ukrainian government in 2012. At the time Craig's firm had been contracted to provide oppo research and advice on political rivals for the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych, but Craig decided not to register as a foreign lobbyist when Uncle Sam asked what the fuck he was doing while bathing in Not American blood money.
The EU is letting the UK kick the Brexit can down the road until October, avoiding a disastrous divorce (for now). For the past week, British Prime Minister Theresa May has been negotiating with Britain's left-leaning Labor Party in an attempt to create a compromise before begging the EU for another couple of weeks to cobble together another deal to avoid a "no deal" deal. May is now desperate to avoid calls for her resignation as the EU says it won't reopen Brexit negotiations, potentially creating a very unsavory hard border with Ireland.
Pope Benedict XVI (AKA the Nazi Pope) wrote a long and nasty letter bitching about clerical sex abuse, the 1960s sexual revolution, and the "homosexual cliques" he says are filling the seminaries. Benedict goes on to blame the Church's problem with pedophilia as an "absence of God" instead of a religious institution spending centuries covering up sex crimes against women and children.
Shortly after Donald Trump said he wanted to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for a third time, Kim started threatening the US with some kind of "blow" job.
Renaissance Technologies, the Mercer family's sketchy hedge fund, is getting fined for tax shenanigans. The IRS says the company owes about a decade's worth of back taxes because it sheltered up to $34 billion in profits, but it's only asking for an extremely reasonable $1 billion.
In a not at all shocking turn of events, the bastion of journalistic integrity known as the The National Enquirer is on the verge of collapse and expected to be sold at any time thanks to plummeting sales and mismanagement from David Pecker. It looks like Pecker's obsession with dick pics, porn stars, and Donald Trump has caused the paper to go limp.
Chrissy Teigen's advice to a room full of Democrats on their three day retreat is that women should say "Fuck You" more. Agreed.
Samantha Bee broke down all the way both George and Kellyanne Conway are full of shit and using people in some kind of weird fetish for their own personal amusement.
Fifty Cons of Way | April 10, 2019 Act 2 | Full Frontal on TBS www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time! BARN OWLS!
Graceful Barn Owl Hunting in the Daytime | BBC Earth www.youtube.com
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