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And We're Back. Wonkagenda For Tues., May 28, 2019
Trump goes on a field trip, local governments fight back, and social media is rotting our brains. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things wemaybe talking about today.
This shit happened. So much for the master race.
President Trump bestows the massive 4 1/2 foot, 70-pound President's Cup to the champion of Tokyo’s top sumo tourna… https: //t.co/HC5y3IdaWS
— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics) 1558882924.0
Trump is bitching about North Korea and Joe Biden, but nobody wants to listen to his bullshit. After shitposting about Biden over the weekend, Trump parroted rhetoric from North Korea. Now all the other Republican children are pissed Trump's in a foreign country defending a dictator who's talking shit about another American on Memorial Day.
That North Dakota construction company backed by Kris Kobach and pushed by Trump claims that it just finished building a chunk of the privately crowdfunded wall.
Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy blocked disaster relief for Puerto Rico, Florida, and the parts of flyover country ravaged by natural disasters because there wasn't any money for Trump's goddamn wall.
HHS is getting ready to roll back protections for transgender people created under the ACA. The administration's proposed law would consider sex discrimination as based on biological sex as opposed to gender identity; there are also rules governing the "termination of pregnancy."
SCOTUS has ordered a hold on the redrawing of gerrymandered maps in Michigan and Ohio so that the local GOP can concoct a new scheme that lets them avoid holding fair elections.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao still hasn't divested herself from a construction-materials company despite promising to do so over a year ago. Ethics geeks say that this a bit fucked.
Rudy Giuliani will be stumbling his ass into every TV studio and to wing it (again). Trump World thinks of Giuliani as the jackass-of-all-trades, admitting that his "f--- ups takes more than one man" to clean up.
Senate Republicans don't really care if the House votes to impeach Trump, and they're openly admitting that the charges "would be quickly disposed of."
The administration has declared a(nother) national emergency in order to sell $8.1 billion worth of bombs and boom sticks to the Saudis so that it doesn't have to deal with Congress. In attempting to explain another potential abuse of war powers, the administration held up the obscure The Arms Export Control Act and mumbled something incoherent about Iran.
At a time when military nerds debate whether or not we even need aircraft carriers now that missile tech is much cheaper and more deadly, Trump is jabbering on about some steam-powered bullshit from the 1950s. SERENITY NOW!
2020 Democratic candidates Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand are racing to raise their respective profiles in order to make it to the debate stage next month. Both candidates need to raise some cash, and their poll numbers, or risk sitting on the sidelines in 2020.
Aside from all the new progressives in the House, Sen. Bernie Sanders is looking for allies in old Democratic power circles, like state governors and union leaders. Politico notes many are surprised to hear Sanders working the phones, adding that this could have something to do with Joe Biden's "meh" factor. For their part, Biden's camp argues that you can't judge the man by his crowd size.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been on the campaign trail talking about how, during the 2016 inauguration, the late Sen. John McCain kept grumbling the names of dictators in her ear as Trump rambled about "American carnage." Right on cue, Meghan McCain reminded everyone that she is terrible.
INDICTED California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter admitted to posing with dead bodies. Hunter's comments came in defense of his support of Navy Chief Eddie Gallagher who faces a court martial for murdering a detained teenaged ISIS fighter and posing with the body for photos, as well as murdering women and children.
Despite all their talk about inviting women into the the old boys club, Republicans have abandoned women running in GOP primaries.
Illinois state legislators voted to give voters a chance to raise taxes on the super rich. The measure, pushed by super rich Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, would scrap the state's flat tax in favor of a graduated tax rate that makes rich SOBs pay their fair share.
Washington state legislators want to send poor kids to college (for free!) by jacking up the taxes on businesses, and it has the support of both Microsoft and Amazon.
The Texas Secretary of State, David Whitley, was quit-fired yesterday after the Republican-led state Senate was unable to confirm him. Democrats stood united against Whitley over his laughably bogus attempt to purge voter rolls . Whitley eventually sent thousands of names to the state's attorney general for prosecution only to find most were naturalized citizens.
Center left and right parties lost seats in EU elections over the weekend. First the bad news: Anti-EU nationalist parties gained significant ground in Italy, France, and Hungary, but they ultimately did worse than many pollsters feared. The good news is that progressive and far left parties gained more seats than the
fascistsnationalists. Germany's Green Party gained a number of seats previously held by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Union bloc. In the UK, pro-Brexit forces gained ground over the Tory and Labour parties, respectively, but not as much as the lefty Liberal Democrats.
In a related story, the BBC has a bunch of infographics about how the EU elections may affect the future of Brexit. TLDR: Brexiteers may have gained ground, but not as much as people who are pro-European Union.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be forced to call snap elections after failing to create a coalition government. If Bibi can't cobble together support from enough officials who think he's a terrible grifter and budding dictator by tomorrow, it's possible he could be forced to find a new job. I hear the Trump administration has a few openings.
An Israeli PR group has been pushing disinformation across Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, according to The Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. Unlike other campaigns, this one is more interested in making money than pushing a political agenda on (where else) Facebook.
Someone seems to be targeting journalists with a fake news articles in an anti-Western disinformation campaign that's been going on since 2016. Nerd world is pretty sure the campaign, dubbed "Endless Mayfly," is coming out of Iran.
ICYMI: Snopes has found that a pro-Trump network pushing conspiracy theories and Islamophobia on Facebook is actually run by a crazy evangelical lady who showered Ben Carson with cash in 2016. Kelly Monroe Kullberg operates 24 different pages that reach 1.4 million people, with each one catering to a specific group -- like Jews, Christians, veterans, teachers, unions, old folks, and black folks. Snopes notes that it's exactly what the Russians did in 2016, except it's from some crackpot with a 501(c)(3) in Columbus, Ohio, not the Kremlin.
The New York Times has a great story about how a stolen NSA cyber tool has been wreaking havoc across small governments from Baltimore to El Paso. Of course, the problem could be fixed if everyone just UPDATED THEIR COMPUTERS and the NSA wasn't acting like dicks.
The wingnuts behind the Noah's Ark theme park are suing an insurance company for denying claims of flood damage. The insurance company blames the damage on shoddy construction and design flaws. How ironic.
Jordan Klepper went down southern border to talk to US veterans who've been deported while super rich Not Americans are able to buy Uncle Sam's blind eye.
What Factors Really Determine Who Gets American Citizenship - Klepper www.youtube.com
And here's your morning Nice Time: A RED PANDA!
Red Panda Mei Mei's Feeling Grapeful www.youtube.com
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