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


Early this morning Nixonian hatchet man and self-described "ratfucker" Roger Stone was arrested and indicted for lying to congressional investigators AND Robert Mueller's justice league about HER EMAILS! The gist of the indictment is that the Trump campaign was in touch with Stone and used him as a source for timing of Wikileaks dumps starting in July 2016. That SOMEONE directed a campaign official to use Stone as a channel for info on the subject and timing of dumps. Shortly after the election, Stone and his dumbass radio friend Randy Credico realized they were in deep shit and began trying to cover their tracks. Stone then told Credico to lie to the HPSCI and say he was Stone's middleman between Julian Assange, but Credico seems to have been smart enough not to lie to Congress -- though he still COLLUDED with Stone and tried to obstruct justice. Allegedly.

Two opposing bills to reopen the government failed miserably yesterday, sending Trump's shutdown into its 35th day. Shortly before the votes, several Republican senators bitched each other out in a closed door meeting, with Sen. Ron Johnson screaming at Sen. Mitch McConnell, "This is your fault!" Later in the afternoon, Chuck Schumer and McConnell were spotted talking to each other (for once), leading some of Washington's wizards to speculate that the votes were not a total bust.

After several Senate Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats' attempt to reopen the government, Trump kind of appeared to support a stopgap funding measure to temporarily reopen the government provided it contained a "prorated down payment" for his goddamn wall (or steel slats, or whatever), however Nancy Pelosi immediately rejected the idea, noting it was "Not a reasonable agreement," adding, "I don't know what he's talking about. Do you?"

Politico reports that behind the scenes Republicans are blaming Mick Mulvaney for Trump's shutdown. As Trump's latest chief of staff, Mulvaney has let Trump take as much "Executive Time" as he wants, and encouraged him to keep the government shut down until he gets his goddamn wall (or steel slats, or whatever), quietly orchestrating all the ridiculous spectacles splashed across the front pages, like the SOTU bluff. Look, Mulvaney's incompetence isn't a glitch, it's a feature.

Trump's White House is getting a crash course in empathy after multiple officials seemed unable to understand why they couldn't ask their parents for a bailout or bank loan to pay their bills. After Wilbur Ross said he didn't know why federal workers were facing so many problems, White House economic asshat Larry Kudlow called the shutdown "just a glitch," adding "I don't think I'm out out of touch. I'm addressing the problem. I've met with my individual staff members and God bless them. They're working for free. They're volunteering."

The Dallas Morning News reports employees at NASA's Johnson Space Center have been asked to take out the trash and clean the toilets on top of keeping astronauts on the International Space Station alive since the cleaning staff has been furloughed, and faces possible layoffs. A tweet showing a sign asking NASA employees to clean up after themselves read, "This is our reality ... while we work without pay to keep the International Space Station operating."

With federal workers missing their second paycheck today, and a surge in unemployment claims, many are considering jumping ship. WaPo reports that recruiters have noticed an uptick in the number of career federal employees trying to bail out from Trump's sinking ship, but they note that official numbers are unavailable due to Trump's shutdown. Recruiters note that former federal workers, like software engineers, attorneys, programs managers, and security officials, are in high demand because they've got college degrees and years of experience dealing with bureaucratic bullshit.

Just before yesterday's vote, Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet ripped Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz a new asshole in a 20 minute reality check. Cruz had the balls to claim that Democrats, not Trump, were holding the government hostage. Bennet noted that Cruz himself shut the government down for over two weeks in 2013 while Colorado was flooded. "People were killed, " Bennet yelled. "People's houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined, forever."

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes went on Fox News to claim that Mueller's evidence would be thrown out of court, which is clearly true as ROGER STONE JUST GOT ARRESTED. Shut the hell up, Devin MOOONES!

When Jared Kushner's security clearance application was rejected by two career White House security officials, Kushner asked his father-in-law to pull some strings and get him a job. NBC News reports that similar measures were taken by at least 30 other Trump staffers deemed to be security risks because Trump only surrounds himself with the best people.

The only thing that doesn't suck in the Senate right now is Pippa Heyrich, a tiny corgi puppy who is besties with Samantha Heyrich, a legislative aide to Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. Roll Call notes that Pippa still isn't potty trained, but at least the pupper isn't full of shit like so many other Republican legislators.

Chicago aldermen are PISSED that Alderdman Danny Solis wore a wire and snitched on ALLEGEDLY grifty Alderman Ed Burke. Aldermen aren't crying that Burke spent 50 years treating Chicago's tax system like a mob-run enterprise, they're pissed Solis helped expose the city's ridiculously corrupt government in order to mitigate his own legal problems. One Southwest side alderman, whose ward has historically been home to city police officers, told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Where I come from, if you wore a wire, someone's gonna kick your ass," while the chair of the city's black caucus told reporters, "If I was caught doing something wrong, I'd just take my punishment, deal with the consequences ... and keep my mouth shut." As mayoral candidates scramble to return money from Burke and Solis, Burke maintains there was NO COLL -- err, CORRUPTION, and is sounding optimistic about his chances in next month's municipal elections.

Florida Secretary of State Mike Ertel has been quit-fired after local newspaper, the Tallahassee Democrat, found pictures of Ertel in black face posing as a "Hurricane Katrina victim" at a Halloween party 14 years ago. Florida's newly elected and equally racist governor, Ron DeSantis, called it "unfortunate."

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has decided to keep the doomsday clock at two minutes to midnight, citing the increasing tensions between the US and Russia, rhetoric on building nuclear arms, the collapse of arms treaties, and garbage people who deny climate change. The Bulletin's executive chairman, former California Gov. Jerry Brown, stated, "We are like passengers on the Titanic, ignoring the iceberg ahead, enjoying the fine food and music," adding, "It's getting late and it's getting later. We have to wake people up." [Iron Maiden]

Amid a slumping stock price, government fines, and more shady garbage tech, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg penned an op-ed in the WSJ declaring that Facebook doesn't sell your data (obscuring the fact that Facebook sells access to its user data), and blamed the lamestream media and robots for his/Facebook's catastrofucks over the last few years. Zuckerberg's been on a laughable PR offensive over the last few weeks as Facebook faces a deluge of scandals, the most recent dropping yesterday when the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed Facebook knowingly tricked underaged kids into paying for games, like Angry Birds, for years, and encouraged developers to implement systems that secretly charged their parents' credit cards in order to maximize revenue. Facebook itself called the scheme "Friendly Fraud."

Mother Jones dug up videos from one of Beto O'Rourke's OTHER bands, The Sheeps. The videos show the band wearing various costumes, including paper bags and animal masks, which some obscure crackpot media outlets think is a clear indication they're all Satanists. Whatever, HAIL SATAN!

And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S TOPI! Even the best doggos have derps.

BLOOPERS COMPILATION - Topi the Corgi 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 in a gutter taking photos.

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