QATAR WHO. Wonkagenda For Tues., May 22, 2018
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
In a troubling and unprecedented legal move, Trump's White House will get to review evidence gathered by the FBI in the Russia probe after an apparent concession by the DOJ amid another bitchy tweetstorm by Donald Trump. John Kelly will babysit members of Congress as they review documents with the the DOJ and DNI.
"Beltway bandits" Elliott Broidy and George Nader spent a year grooming princes from the UAE and Saudi Arabia for $1 billion in business, and all they had to do was convince Trump to dump Qatar and fundamentally alter US relationships in the Middle East...
Trump's new legal strategy seems to be a two-pronged attack aimed at attacking the credibility of law enforcement, and confusing the shit out of regular people.
Lawyers for Paul Manafort are attacking Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller's specialist in financial fuckery, claiming that Weissmann told the AP about Manafort's ALLEGED Not American "blood money." In a response, prosecutors rattled off a laundry list of people in Trump World who can't stop running their mouths.
Chuck Grassley wants all notes and phone records between former Associate Deputy AG Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele, noting that Ohr's wife worked for Fusion GPS.
The RNC has been bankrolling fancy lawyers for Hope Hicks and others under investigation for their involvement in Trump-Russia. NO COLLUSION NO COLLUSION NO COLLUSION!
Clearly worried that Trump's past comments might make him seem ignorant and racist, his administration sent out a press release titled, "What You Need To Know About Violent Animals of MS-13," and refers to the Salvadoran gang members as "animals" 10 times.
Trump is refusing to give up his unsecured iPhone because it would be "too inconvenient," despite concerns from security nerds about their vulnerability to hacking. But, her emails!
The Boston Globe reports that Trump's team is actually imitating his tweets, right down to the errors in syntax, grammar, and spelling...Pregnant Pause. SAD!
Trump was hosting some boring American sports car racers and made sure to note nobody protests the national anthem at racetracks (but that's because drivers are sealed into their cars).
In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS handed a big win to companies that force arbitration clauses in employment contracts preventing employees from joining together in class action lawsuits. The Notorious RBG blasted the decision as "egregiously wrong," adding, "Nothing compels the destructive result the court reaches today."
The Fed and other financial regulators are expected to start rolling back key provisions of the Volcker rule and Dodd-Frank so that banks can go back to gambling with other people's money.
The Hill's Rayburn Press Room will be converted into a WiFi-enabled and asbestos-free office for some congress critter. Speaker Ryan's office says that (eventually) they'll build a new "permanent, multi-use space" for DC's ink-stained wretches.
In a new interview with a glossy conservative rag, Mick Mulvaney says he's had discussions with Kevin McCarthy about replacing Paul Ryan, that way the House Freedom crazies can continue distracting everyone by throwing their poop at Nancy Pelosi.
Tea Party nut and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise appears to have wrangled enough votes to bring an immigration bill to the floor, along with another vote on the farm bill, but Republicans are still fearing a revolt from within their ranks over DACA.
Florida's House reps are about to kick a hornet's nest by refusing to sign on to anything that allows offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Calhoun Port Authority is nervously asking the Texas AG if hiring super gross and disgraced House bro-caucus member Blake Farenthold was legal under the Texas Open Meetings Act. HAHAHAHAHA.
Democrats are dusting off their 2006 playbook and calling for campaign finance and gerrymandering reform. It worked before, right?
There's a bunch of of primaries today in Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky, and electoral runoffs in Texas. Here's a rundown of some of the races we're watching, our early primer for the Texas 7th, and our analyses of House races in Georgia's 6th and Kentucky's 6th!
As Georgians go to the polls today, most eyes are on the gubernatorial primaries where Republicans are doubling down on racism, and Democrats hope to flip the state.
Meanwhile, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has finally canceled his $250 "Texas-made shotgun" giveaway.
A grocery store bakery in Charleston, S.C., got an order for a graduation cake, but it was was really worried about putting "cum" it, so it altered the latin text to seem less porny.
The former mistress of Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens tells USA Today she never had any agenda, never got any money, and never wanted to go public, but things just got crazy very quickly..
After embarrassing himself on the world stage (as usual), Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in an attempt to salvage the North Korean summit. Last night Mike Pence exacerbated fears by going on Fox News and warning that Kim Jong Un could end up like Gaddafi (read: sodomized with a bowie knife). And in a attempt to murder the definition of irony, Trump's team already pressed a challenge coin for an international meeting that might not happen.
Europe is freaking out about a new laundry list of demands made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the US to come back to the negotiating table with Iran; a number of EU officials are viewing Trump and his threats as sad and impotent.
Wilbur Ross is headed to China to help Trump's failing trade war. New reports state that Trump's team keeps wussing out every time the Chinese make demands, with the WSJ reporting an agreement to lift restrictions against ZTE, the tech company that computer nerds and defense experts warn has a penchant for spying. #MAGA, y'all. [Archive]
fascists populists on the far left and right are forming a coalition government that will try to stave off another government collapse by borrowing a shitload of money, lowering the tax rate on a population who doesn't pay taxes, kicking out all the gross refugees, and trash talking the EU. [Archive]
Russian's increasingly bold incursions into Scandinavia and former Soviet states has triggered the Swiss government to pass out 20-page war preparation leaflets to all 4.8 million homes. Gulp...
Australian archbishop Philip Wilson has been found guilty of molesting kids.
A major digital privacy law goes into effect in the EU today. EU citizens will now have the right to request companies erase data, and companies must prove they are protecting private information or risk massive fines.
Mark Zuckerberg will sit down with EU officials later today where he's expected to issue his 1,408th apology for exploiting your private information for his financial gain.
Senators Jeff Merkley and Pat Toomey want to know why their names are among the millions of Americans whose identities were used to file fake FCC comments about net neutrality, and they want the FCC to tell everyone how it could have happened. We're currently waiting for another bullshit statement from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
The Obamas are coming to Netflix in a series of programs aimed at inspiring the world to be less shitty by highlighting people who bust their ass to fix it.
DC criminal defense attorney and early civil rights champion Dovey Johnson Roundtree has passed away. She was 104.
And here's your morning Nice Time! Baby Tadjik markhor calves!