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


Trump has been hiding all official and classified notes from his meetings with Putin, and going out of his way to make sure NOBODY knows what they've talked about, according to a new report in the Washington Post. On Saturday, Trump whined to Jeanine Pirro that "anybody could have listened" to his meetings and phone calls with Putin (if he let them), and he "couldn't care less" if the meeting notes became public, but no, he will not release them.The New York Times reports congressional Democrats want to know why Trump is so paranoid about anyone finding out what he and Putin have been talking about if there was, in fact, "NO COLLUSION" in the 2016 election.

The FBI was so freaked out when Trump "You're Fired" former FBI director James Comey that they opened an counter-intelligence investigation into whether Trump was working as Russian agent. NYT reports this investigation was the precursor to Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia criminal investigation, and the two have since been rolled into one another as it sure as hell looks like Trump has been obstructing investigations into his shady dealings with Russia.

Trump and Republicans are doubling down on their gaslighting of the American people by blaming Democrats for Trump's shutdown, with White House economic advisor Kevin Hasset even going so far as to call the shutdown a "vacation" for furloughed workers (fact check: people don't have to sell furniture on Cragslist during "vacations"). Despite the spin, a new WaPo/ABC News poll shows an increasing majority of Americans blame Trump and Republicans for screwing them out of their paychecks. This morning the WSJ reports the effects of Trump's shutdown on the overall economy may seem small, but economists are already subtracting a full percentage point from projected first-quarter growth estimates (that's REALLY bad).

TSA workers have effectively gone on strike at airports around the country. A "sick-out" at George W. Bush International Airport in Houston was so bad that an entire terminal was forced to close. A TSA spox was unable to comment due to the government shutdown, but a friendly automated response did say it would reply once the government reopens. Thank you for your patience.

ProPublica has an interesting op-ed on the witches' brew of debt crises being cooked up by various financial institutions. Nobody knows when or if the next crisis will hit, but we seem to be following a recipe for disaster, and Trump is the maître d′. The only item on the menu is "shit sandwich."

Axios gossips that during that Jan. 4 meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Mick Mulvaney tried to offer a $2.5 billion compromise to end the government shutdown, but Trump cut him off and lashed out, screaming, "You fucked it all up, Mick!" LOL, if true!

After Iranian-backed militants fired mortars into an empty parking lot in Iraq's Green Zone last year, national security mustache John Bolton tried to start a war with Iran. Once they changed their soiled underpants, Pentagon officials dutifully began drawing up plans for air strikes, but the plan was ultimately thwarted by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who wasn't about to become part of Trump's rickety war jalopy. Mattis isn't around to scotch any further crazy plans like that, but we're sure it'll be fine.

In yet another series of schizo shitposts on Twitter over the weekend, Trump threatened Turkey if it attacks US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria. Trump then threatened the Kurdish fighters if they fight back against Turkey's planned genocide, and claimed he was finally putting an end to "endless war" in the Middle East, even if US allies and the DOD think that's a horrible idea.

A federal judge in California has blocked a Trump rule that would have let employers deny paying for birth control for religious or moral reasons. Religious groups are furious and ironically screaming about the government telling women what they can and can't do with their own bodies.

The UK Parliament is set to take a crucial vote on Brexit tomorrow, and Theresa May is doing her damndest to convince people that her godawful deal is better than "no deal" this morning. In a message to MPs, May says, "You can take 'no deal' off the table by voting for the deal." A "no deal" scenario could send the UK violently crashing out of the EU, which many hardcore Brexiters think is a good idea, even as calls for a second referendum grow louder with the British Labour party threatening to call for another vote of no-confidence in May.

And here's your morning Nice Time! PENGUINS!

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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 in a gutter taking photos.

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