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Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.


As promised, House Democrats passed a bunch of bills to reopen the federal government and reform ethics and campaign finance rules last night, and none of them contained a penny for Trump's goddamn wall. One of the spending packages was the exact same stop-gap bill, "word for word," the Senate sent to the House prior to the shutdown, however Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to "take up any proposal that does not have any real chance of passing ... and getting a presidential signature." Several Republican senators are beginning to break ranks with McConnell and sound off against the shutdown, with Republican Sen. Cory Gardner telling The Hill, "We should continue to do our jobs and get the government open." Politico gossips that Mick Mulvaney is now wormtonguing Donald Trump's ear, encouraging him to double down on the shutdown shitshow until he gets money for his wall.

Earlier in the day, SPEAKER Pelosi joked that she would only give Trump "one dollar" for his wall, calling it "an immorality," and adding, "It's not who we are as a nation. And this is not a wall between Mexico and the United States that the president is creating here, it's a wall between reality and his constituents, his supporters."

Trump is thinkering about tapping 2016 presidential failure and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb for Secretary of Defense, according to random minions gossiping to Maggie Haberman. Trump World is floating Webb's name because, like Trump, Webb has a rather isolationist view of foreign policy, doesn't like women in military, and he's bragged about killing a guy in Vietnam. Politico notes the rightwing nut-o-sphere has been whispering Webb's name through the East Wing for several days.

GASP! The DOJ thinks Ryan Zinke might have LIED to investigators who were poking around his involvement in a Native American casino project that threatened to compete with an MGM resort. Citing court documents, WaPo reports the Native American casino was all set to go until former Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller "pressured Secretary Zinke to do what was necessary" to kill the project during a fancy Las Vegas dinner.

WaPo's Dave Weigel and Annie Linskey noticed talking heads are regurgitating the same anti-Clinton crap about potential 2020 candidates who don't have a penis. It's a good piece that dissects the blatant sexism, ageism, and racism coming from genuine assholes who don't think girls can knuckle up and play ball.

SENATOR Kyrsten Sinema making Mike Pence swear her in on a copy of the Constitution is like returning to your home town to see your high school bully bagging groceries.

Newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib is already chapping the asses of Washington's rank-and-file. First, she started the day with an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump. Then, she embraced her Palestinian-American heritage and insisted on being sworn in upon Thomas Jefferson's Quran while wearing a traditional thobe. Later, her adorable kids dabbed as she cast her vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. She finished her day off by addressing a MoveOn rally and saying, "we're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the motherfucker." BOOM, mic drop!

In case you were wondering, here's the 15 Democrats who didn't vote for Nancy Pelosi. You'll notice most are vulnerable Blue Dogs from fly-over Trump districts who promised not to vote for Pelosi on the campaign trail.

Nice Time: Despite the best efforts of Liz Cheney and the House Freedom fucking leftovers, Father Patrick J. Conroy will remain the House Chaplain for the 116th Congress. Last April, evangelicals ALLEGEDLY pressured Paul Ryan to "You're Fired" Conroy after he reminded House members that Jesus encouraged helping sick and poor people (a charge Ryan denies), but Conroy eventually rescinded his resignation in a letter stating, "Had I known of any failure in providing my ministry to the House, I would have attempted to make the appropriate adjustments, but in no case would I have agreed to submit a letter of resignation without being given that opportunity."

Check out the 37-page federal indictment of Chicago's longest serving alderman, Ed Burke. According to recorded phone calls named in the indictment, Burke was using his law firm's tax business to shake down a Burger King where 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014. Burke's ward employee can be heard on tape telling him that they will play "hardball" after the the owner of the Burger King refused to use Burke's tax services. Shortly thereafter, the business spent months struggling to get remodeling permits approved by the city. Burke's indictment has also upended the already insane mayoral race as the two front-runners rush to distance themselves and return Burke's mountains of cash. This is the definition of "Chicago politics"!

For some odd reason, Trump started echoing Russian revisionist history about the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during his televised cabinet-level blowjob festival the other day. Maddow 'splainers that whitewashing the blood away from the Soviet Union's occupation has only been a thing in obscure Russophile circles for about a month, but in less than 24 hours Trump has freaked out nerd world, and pissed off the WSJ editorial board and the Afghan government. Never mind that (at the time) the US was so invested in the mujahideen that it was literally the plot of Rambo III and the inspiration for Red Dawn, Vladimir Putin says history was wrong! And he was there, shirtless and on horseback, fighting the freedom fighters terrorists! [Morning Maddow]

Jerome Corsi laughably failed at "judge shopping" for his pending lawsuit against Robert Mueller. Despite a lavish tongue bath from Corsi's superlawyer, Larry Klayman, the judge told Corsi and Klayman to go fuck themselves by reminding Klayman that just last March he submitted court filings that claimed the judge was "harvested" by intelligence agencies, and "co-opted by the deep state."

When we first read this anti-pot op-ed in the WSJ we thought it was a bad joke from big pharma written by Louis CK. Then we realized the author, Alex Berenson, it's just another sketchy asshole jerking off in our faces.

Waking upon her fainting couch with an empty gin bottle still in hand, Dame Peggington cursed, lit a cigarette, and spat upon the marble floor. She peeled a cocktail napkin from her forehead and strained to read last night's chicken scratch. Something about censorship, and social justice warriors ruining the classics, like "Baby It's Cold Outside," and Randy Newman's "Rednecks." She groused, crushed the napkin in her palm, then hurled it towards the waste bin. It sputtered in mid-air, twisted, tumbled, and finally floated down into the overflowing crystal ashtray. "Story of my life," she muttered through a puff of smoke.

And here's your morning Nice Time! 360° of Africa's beautiful Okavango Delta!

Return from the Okavango in 360 - Ep. 4 | The Okavango Experience www.youtube.com

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or lying in a gutter taking photos.

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One of the most common things to say in America, just behind "Happy Birthday" and "NO COLLUSION," is "Mitch McConnell should go fuck himself." It works for all occasions, whether you have just stubbed your toe or whether you are in the middle of your wedding to your sweetheart. Try it!

But why should Mitch McConnell go fuck himself at this particular moment? Let's look at the top three current reasons!

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Sucks to be you, Pat Shanahan! The acting Defense secretary is currently under investigation for preferential treatment of his former bosses at Boeing, who just got busted letting planes fall out of the sky if buyers skimped on the upgrades. Shanahan was never a favorite of Trump's, and now his chances of getting made Big Boy For Real Sec Def are decreasing by the day. Which means that he's going through all this shit for nothing! Womp womp!

What shit, you ask? Well! Last night Shanahan announced the first tranche of the "found" money the DoD is shifting over to fund WALL in defiance of Congress's constitutional spending powers. The Defense Department will be transferring the cash from accounts meant to support military personnel into "anti-drug funding," which they've decided means they can use it to build "18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border." Already pissed off about the fake EMERGY declaration, although not pissed enough to override a veto, congresspeople on both sides of the aisle are hopping mad that the Trump administration dicked them around for months, shut down the government, forced them to negotiate for wall funding in good faith, and then said HA HA SUCKERS, WE'RE JUST GOING TO STEAL IT FROM THE RAINY DAY FUND ANYWAY!

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