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We are all, of course, amazed and fascinated by the unfolding drama of the Devin Nunes Wet Fart Memo (and now the Democratic counter-memo, Please Clean That Out of Your Pants, DEVIN). It's insane and shiny and also maybe a constitutional crisis, so of course it's something to keep an eye on. But as Vox's Matthew Yglesias reminded us yesterday, there's a whole boatload of awful that's also going on while the Memo sucks all the oxygen out of our attention spans, and as Willy Loman would say, attention must be paid. We can't allow ourselves to go haring off after every latest distraction, or we'll lose focus on what really matters. Which reminds us, did you see what Donald Trump tweeted about Willy Loman?

Very much a fake tweet. FAKE, I SAY!

The point here isn't that the lamestream media isn't covering important stories; they are. But Yglesias reminds us that we shouldn't just relegate some of this stuff to the browser tabs that we definitely plan to read later, just as soon as we catch up on the latest dumb things Donald Trump said about how not applauding Donald Trump is pretty much the same as treason. As we like to say around here, go read the whole piece at Vox, especially the links, since that's the point. But since we have your attention here, we're going to grab a couple of the items Yglesias noticed and look at them a little more closely for your infotainment pleasure, if that's the word (it isn't).

The War On Healthcare Continues

While Congress finally funded the Children's Health Insurance Program last month as part of what started as a Republican attempt to fuck over Dreamers, there's still been no long-term funding for another key component of providing healthcare to kids and adults, community health centers. Like CHIP, community health centers are popular with both parties (George W. Bush and Barack Obama both expanded them), and they help a hell of a lot of people for fairly little federal money. Unfortunately, though, they have one other thing in common with CHIP: Money ran out for them at the end of September, and while reauthorizing funding for them is usually a simple matter, this year the funding for something large majorities of both parties want has become a bargaining chip (or bludgeon) for Republicans who think they can use a Democratic priority to force concessions on another: protecting DACA recipients.

These health centers are the primary source of healthcare for some 26 million Americans, many of whom are uninsured, and many of whom have just recently gotten health insurance for the first time with Obamacare. In fact, expanding community health centers was a key part of the Affordable Care Act:

With the law expanding coverage to millions, the Obama administration wanted to ensure that the newly insured would have adequate access to medical services [...]

“There was a fairly widespread assumption that this would become the norm, that these two programs would travel together,” says Sara Rosenbaum, a health policy professor at George Washington University who has written on community health centers. “One program would address coverage and the other access, but this year has upended that assumption. Now the program is standing on its own.”

And that's left funding for community health centers even more vulnerable, particularly now that CHIP has been funded. But the places where many families actually receive their healthcare are in more danger than ever, thanks to the complete chaos in the Trump administration and Congress, made worse by those Republicans who hear "community health centers" and assume that has to be something communist, like Mao's Barefoot Doctors.

Go read Sarah Kliff's excellent piece at Vox on what community health centers do (the pics of adorable babbies getting doctor visits are worth it) and what's at stake as the money runs short.

Mick Mulvaney Keeps Gutting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Mick Mulvaney keeps swinging his wrecking ball at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and here's the latest bit of rubble: Last week, Mulvaney declawed the agency's Fair Lending Office of the ability to actually enforce rules against discriminatory lending. Now, according to a memo Mulvaney sent to CFPB staff, the office will "continue to focus on advocacy, coordination, and education," while its enforcement functions get moved to a different part of CFPB, the Office of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending.

Mulvaney's surface explanation for the change is that it's simply a matter of streamlining: Since CFPB already has one office to enforce consumer financial rules -- or at least, whatever rules remain as Mulvaney slashes them -- why bother giving separate enforcement powers to the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, whose mission is to "ensure the fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit for both individuals and communities that are enforced by the bureau"? The main enforcement office already has "Fair" in its title, after all. And you know, under almost any other administration, that might sound like a reasonable thing to do -- maybe there really is some overlap and inefficiency? But with Trumpers, skepticism seems the best default, especially since the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the CFPB, specified that the Fair Lending office have enforcement powers. It's almost like that was what Congress intended, huh?

Elizabeth Warren, who helped make CFPB a thing in the first place, isn't buying it, and warns this is one more move to put all enforcement of consumer regulations under Mulvaney's control so he can block actual enforcement. Again, read the whole piece at American Banker and be ready to catch your jaw as it drops.

Oh, in other defanged-CFPB news, the payday loan industry is rewarding Donald Trump for killing off consumer protections by scheduling their annual retreat at Trump National Doral Golf Club just outside Miami. Fun!

But Wait, More Fuckery!

Those are just two of the dozen stories Yglesias called attention to in his (read the whole thing) list of stories that, in more normal times, would probably be getting more attention on cable news and on the twitters. But with everything in a constant state of chaos, they aren't grabbing a lot of eyeballs, and that's a damn shame. Because this shit matters:

In conclusion, everything is awful, but that's no reason not to be paying attention to it, or it might get more awful. Yes, we're the same mommyblog that told you to look at kittens earlier. Don't get all judgy.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. We need your money so we can boss you around more. NOW CLICK AND GIVE, YOU!

[Vox / American Banker / Vox / Bloomberg Law]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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