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

Now that the government has (temporarily) reopened, Nancy Pelosi has sent Trump an invitation to deliver the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 5. Trump immediately accepted the opportunity to scream about "American carnage" and duct taped women in trunks on primetime television (again).

Trump's White House held a press conferences yesterday where an oddly sweaty and stammering Matthew Whitaker claimed that Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation was almost complete. Whitaker then tried to blame Democrats for Trump's shutdown slowing government responses to a crawl. Later, Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged questions about Trump pardoning his longtime friend and self-described "rat fucker," Roger Stone, telling reporters, "I'm not going to talk about hypotheticals that are just ridiculous." [Morning Maddow]

Trump might be screaming about money for border security, but his administration has already allocated millions to "You're Hired" thousands of Border Patrol agents and so far only found 120 people. This is in addition to the 33 people hired through a consulting firm that was awarded a $300 million contract to find 7,500 workers. According to the LA Times, the number of CBP agents has declined since Trump took office as people retire, or quit for better jobs.

Senior Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley and John Thune have introduced a bill to repeal the estate tax. Commonly referred to by super rich conservatives as the "death tax," the law affects fewer than 2,000 geriatrics who call themselves multi-millionaires and billionaires, and is projected to account for .06 percent of the federal budget in 2018. It used be 1 percent, but the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich) made it easier for the wealthy to cheat Uncle Sam. #MAGA

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris told a CNN town hall that she not only backed a "Green New Deal," but was going all-in on "Medicare for All," and proposing the possible elimination of private insurance companies in favor of a government-run insurance system. Harris also explained her vote against using DACA kids as a bargaining chip for Trump's "medieval vanity project," and came out in support of gun control legislation, telling voters that anyone who votes their conscience should first be shown autopsy photos of "babies" killed during the massacre at Newtown, Connecticut.

Starbucks' billionaire CEO Howard Schultz is already facing fierce criticism across the Democratic spectrum for the self-aggrandizing vanity project he calls his potential independent 2020 candidacy. Yesterday Schultz was bitched out by hecklers in New York at the kickoff for his book tour, one of the Pod Save America guys sent him a nasty-gram calling out his faux-progressive bonafides, and even his fellow super rich douche noodle Michael Bloomberg stated the numbers don't add up. This morning the WSJ Editorial board is laughing at the blatant hypocrisy of Bloomberg and Schultz, while Schultz is defending himself in a lame video and on NPR where he whines about healthcare handouts to poor people, adding that he "will embrace the best ideas of both parties."

Adding to the list of snake oil salesmen running in 2020, New Age yahoo Marianne Williamson has decided to stop focusing her chakra energy crystals on sucking up Social Security checks from gullible Boomers and announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination. According to the PR company running her campaign, for only three low payments of 99.95 (plus shipping and handling) you too can find the secrets of love and happiness in 2020.

The Koch Brothers say they're getting out of the divisive politics they helped create in order to invest mega millions in a "bipartisan" list of social reforms. At their annual super luxurious retreat, the Kochs signaled their buyers remorse by telling WaPo that they have interest in continuing a longstanding data sharing agreement with the RNC through the 2020 election cycle.

Conservative Tories in UK Parliament will spend today in a knife fight over Theresa May's Brexit deal, hoping to fend off a "no deal" scenario, or a second referendum. May is gambling that she can restart negotiations with the EU over the Irish border, but the EU keeps telling them to piss off, with one top EU official mocking May's effort to avoid a hard Irish border as a "cunning plan."

In what's widely viewed by nerds as another shot in Trump's trade war, the DOJ announced charges against Huawei Technologies, the world's largest telecom equipment manufacture. According to the 13-count indictment, the company violated sanctions by doing business with Iran for over a decade, and the company's CFO, Meng Wanzhou -- who is currently out on bail while awaiting court proceedings in Canada over similar charges -- purposely helped obscure the relationship. Huawei denies the charges, and says it's NEVER directly stolen technology from other companies, or done business with Iran.

The US has announced sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry in an effort to oust the country's dictator, Nicolas Maduro, but national security mustache John Bolton shit the bed when he walked out with his notepad clearly visible. Bolton's pad suggests the Trump administration plans to send 5,000 troops to Columbia, and "welcome" negotiations with terrorists in Afghanistan, but the New York Times reports that the negotiations are effectively stalled since nobody knows if Trump will suddenly tweet a troop withdrawal (again), and hand the Afghan government over to the same assholes who've spent the last 15+ years trying to destroy it.

Aging Reaganite reporter extraordinaire Tom Brokaw was on teevee rambling about how Messicans need to "work harder" in order to be considered real Ameri-CANs, not a bunch of lazy freeloaders who don't teach their "brown babies" to speak American. About 0.3 seconds later, the senile Boomer was paying a millennial in Werther's Originals to tweet out his dictated apology.

The Military Times' JD Simkins discovered an obscure Russian military commander who used to beat his soldiers with rubber dildos before being court martialed in 2002. There's even a Suess-ical poem that tells the tale of his tectonic "dildonic strike to the knees" for misbehaving soldiers.

BONUS TIME: Here's Randy Rainbow's Cell Block Tango. You're welcome!

The Donald Trump CELL BLOCK TANGO (Part One) - Randy Rainbow Song Parody

And here's your morning Nice Time! IT'S NATHAN, the beach cat! He really loves the water!

1 year of Nathan the Beach Cat

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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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