Morning Wonketariat! Here’s some of the things we may be talking about today.
Don’t expect any top Trump officials to appear at public Trump-Russia hearings, as Republicans keep avoiding or flat-out denying Democrats’ attempts to interview people like Trump Jr and Jared Kushner.
Kevin Harrington is a former Peter Thiel hedge fund manager and a Mike Flynn flunky who still sits on the National Security Council. Back in February, Harrington tried to get the US to pull ALL US troops out of Baltic states in an attempt to appease Vladimir Putin (and simultaneously scare the crap out of Eastern Europe). [Morning Maddow]
Democrats are fed up with Republicans stalling on Russia-related stuff, and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin just released a report calling for more Russian sanctions and safeguards against inevitable Russian election fuckery.
The Trump administration is attempting to restrict “unmasking” of US citizens caught in international surveillance operations in response to Trump transitions officials (*cough*Mike Flynn*cough*Paul Manafort*cough* Jared Kushner) being caught up in Trump-Russia investigations.
The socialites who used to be FABULOUS friends with Princess Ivanka are calling her praise of her own feminist accomplishments tone deaf.
A new poll predicts that Trump and Republicans will be trounced in 2018 and 2020. Of course, the same poll also found that a bunch of people think Trump will eventually be cleared by Robert Mueller, so there’s still a lot of work to do.
With the Jan. 19 budget deadline looming, Democrats are considering a government shutdown over DACA.
Jeff Sessions is sharpening his sword and recommending the Justice Department seek the death penalty in two two cases, and there’s word they want to kill a lot more people. [Archive]
Republicans are hoping nobody notices their quiet effort to stop military sequestration from going into effect by dumping BILLIONS of dollars into defense spending, and some Republican are bitching that they want even more money. [Archive]
Trump is giving a pass to five big banks who were caught screwing with global interest rates. Coincidentally, Trump owes one of those banks $130 million.
Coal giant Bob Murray has been winning bigly under Trump as his administration just ticks off everything from Murray’s policy wish list.
Interior Secretary and grifty bastard Ryan Zinke has given Florida an exemption from its new oil company free-for-all after Republican Rick Scott whined that oil companies might ruin Florida’s tourism industry; now EVERYONE up and down the East and West coasts is calling bullshit.
The former big pharma CEO and Bush 43 alumni, Alex Azar, is Trump’s new HHS nominee, and he swore that his experience in big pharma makes him the only person who can convince drug makers to lower the soaring cost of prescriptions. [Archive]
Federal judges have tossed out North Carolina’s gerrymandered congressional map, calling it overly favorable to Republicans. The three-judge panel has said that if a new map isn’t redrawn by Jan. 24, the court will do it for them.
A federal judge has blocked Trump’s attempt to shutdown DACA, calling Jeff Sessions’s view of the program “a flawed legal premise.”
A leaked memo from DHS suggests that the Trump administration may kick out hundreds of thousands of Indian H1-B visa holders as they wait for Green Cards so that some unqualified patriotic Americans can fill their IT jobs.
Human Rights Watch released a lengthy report that suggests intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been trying to hide potentially illegal efforts to get information on suspected criminals so that they can make arrests without anyone ever knowing.
NOAA just released a brief preliminary assessment on US climate in 2017, and the data suggests that climate change is raising temperatures to all-time highs.
The NYPD has solved a 1994 rape case that saw the victim repeatedly libeled by New York Daily News columnist Mike McAlary due to her history of activism.
As the number of incarcerated veterans increases, more and more state and local prisons are setting up “veterans pods” so that vets can help each other deal with life behind bars and work through personal issues. Of course, it’s probably better to help vets BEFORE they commit crimes, but that’s just my opinion, man.
Actor James Franco was on Colbert last night, dodging questions about being an awful sex monster that surfaced on Twitter Sunday night during the Golden Globes. [Video]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in hot water after a recording of his kid, Yari Netanyahu, surfaced where he and his obscenely rich friends drunkenly look for a cheap hooker while degrading women and boasting of their wealth.
Trump will travel to Davos, Switzerland, for the 2018 World Economic Forum, an annual gathering of world leaders, super rich people, and global elitists and media whores — but nobody knows if he’s just going to crash the party, have another secret meeting with Putin, or just go skiing with snow bunnies.
Mike Pence and Princess Ivanka will lead the US delegation to South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Hurray… [Archive]
Some turtle populations in the Great Barrier Reef are almost exclusively female thanks to global warming, and though science nerds say they could adapt, climate change is happening faster than evolutionary biology.
AT&T and Comcast already screwed the city of Nashville out of municipal fiber Internet access, and now the telecoms just buried any chance for Nashville to build its own cheaper, faster, locally owned Internet service.
You wouldn’t know it, but Huawei is the third largest cellphone manufacturer in the world, and Huawei’s CEO, Richard Yu, just eviscerated US telecom carriers at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo for their shitty and shady practices.
Youtube has FINALLY made a statement about a douchebro Youtuber who vlogged about his field trip to the “Suicide Forest” in Japan, but it’s being criticized as a half-assed “we R sadz” rather than a full-fledged condemnation.
Here’s some nice time about Patrice Banks, a lady who started her own full service auto repair shop with all female mechanics and a mani-pedi/blowout salon after being told girls suck at car stuff.
And here’s your late night wrap-up! Stephen Colbert laughed at Trump singing the national anthem; Seth Meyers took A Closer Look at Trump’s crazy and lazy behavior; The Daily Show talked about Trump’s authoritarian use of the Justice Department; Jordan Klepper had a report from Kobi Libii about Muslim refugees in Idaho.
And here’s your morning Nice Time! PUPPIES!
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