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

Congress MIGHT have reached a deal to avoid another Trump shutdown after a group of lawmakers locked themselves in a room and beat the shit out of each other for a few hours. The deal ("in principle") has a little over a billion dollars for 55 miles of fences (or steel slats, or "peaches," etc.) to keep out the marauding hordes of taco trucks, and sets a wobbly cap on the number of beds ICE has to lock up the Mexican Muslims. Politico quotes Republicans and Democrats touting the agreement on and off the record in an effort to shore up the far left and right flanks, but after Hannity threw a tantrum and called it a "garbage compromise," nobody is sure if Trump will sign the bill. The New York Times reports Trump is probably just going to declare a national emergency and TRY to force the military to build his goddamn wall.

Trump and Beto O'Rourke held dueling rallies in El Paso last night. Trump dismissed the congressional agreement to keep the government open and stated he would build his goddamn wall (or "peaches") shortly before claiming that he needed to finish the stupid thing. He then exaggerated up a bunch of already fake stats about immigrants committing crimes (again), screamed about socialism, and said Beto had "a good first name." At one point, shortly after Trump began insulting the press (as usual), a "drunk" MAGA hat wearing Trump supporter stormed the press riser and assaulted a BBC cameraman, screaming, "Fuck the media." Meanwhile, Beto struck a more optimistic tone and told his crowd that El Paso was "Safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls."

Fun Fact: The El Paso Times quotes local emergency officials who say Trump didn't have the 35,000 people at his rally, it was more like 6,500 inside the arena. Contrary to Trump's claim, MSNBC says Beto had about 8,000 people who turned up outside.

Politico is reporting that Mick Mulvaney has a scheme to circumvent declaring a national emergency AND Congress by reallocating money from the Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects in Northern California, disaster relief for wildfires and Puerto Rico, and money for military family housing. According to Politico, a number of Republicans have cautioned that this would be even harder and less legal than declaring a national emergency, while simultaneously jeopardizing purple state Republicans facing reelection. It's a good thing Mexico will pay for it!

The GOP and Trump's 2020 team used the rally to introduce its new slogan, "Stronger Together," which was literally Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan during the 2016 campaign. We just ... okay.

After reports began surfacing that people will be getting pathetic tax refunds (or having to pay) thanks to Trump's tax cuts (for the super rich), the Treasury Department tweeted out that this was essentially fake news and that people were getting the biggest tax returns in the history of taxes. In related news, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell have introduced a bill to reinstate the State and Local Tax credits (SALT) credits killed off in the #GOPtaxscam.

The House is set to hold a hearing on potential legislation that would allow pot shops to (finally) deposit their cash in banks. Since marijuana isn't illegal at the federal level, most banks have refused to do businesses to with legal weed shops even if it's legal at the state level. With tax season approaching and the legal weed business booming, many state tax officials are sounding off about the fat stacks of cash they're forced to leave laying around their offices. Total bummer, man.

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst has paid back the $1,900 she tried to cheat out of tax payers by claiming her DC condo as her primary residence as far back as 2016.

Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of real life superhero Gabby Giffords, has announced he will challenge Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally in 2020. #FullSpeedAhead [Video]

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will roam around New Hampshire this weekend and decide if there's any room for him in 2020. #HesRunning.

Now that she's had time to get new marching orders and talking points, 2020 DINO candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is skulking around Iowa telling people that the Green New Deal is a joke, and that she doesn't technically capitulate to child murdering dictators, she just doesn't give a high-flying fuck when people like Syria's Bashar al-Assad gas innocent civilians and air drop barrel bombs on journalists.

Several Democrats are asking the House Administration panel if they can buy tampons with their office allowances. The members say the wording on the official regulations is murky, and it's a pain in the ass to find menstrual products around Capitol Hill, adding that menstrual products should be considered a necessity, not a luxury.

The NRCC has realized it can't beat Nancy Pelosi, so it's decided to start attacking lefty freshman Democrats like AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar by painting them as godless hippy socialists who want to steal from the rich and give to the filthy poors. Like that's not a selling point.

Following fierce bipartisan backlash, Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized for her tweets over the weekend that criticized the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, though Omar stated she wouldn't apologized for the "problematic role of lobbyists in our politics." For their part, a number of Republicans have tried to equate Omar's comments with the rash of neo-Nazi hate crimes and politically motivated mass shootings, though WaPo notes they've been noticeably quiet about their own history of anti-semitic statements.

In the wake of the neo-Nazi attacks on a Pittsburgh synagogue, city officials have tried to institute new gun laws that could take guns from crazy assholes, and limit semiautomatic rifles and certain types of ammo within city limits. Naturally, the suburban gun fetishists want to IN PEACH and arrest the city's Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto. In a tweet, Peduto responded to his critics stating, "Arrest me. Sue me. Impeach me. I was elected to protect my constituents and that is exactly what I will do."

The fate of former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke remains in question after Illinois Attorney General General Kwame Raoul and Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon asked the state Supreme Court for a new sentencing hearing -- not to lessen Van Dyke's sentence but to increase the time the Van Dyke spends behind bars. Van Dyke's attorney's are appealing the move because the court could find Van Dyke's murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald necessitates a hell of a lot more than a few years in prison.

The publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media, was REALLY worried about its dubious ties to Saudi Arabia after it spent a lot of time and treasure kissing the ass of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, so AMI asked the DOJ if it should register as a foreign agent. According to the WSJ, AMI was begging the Saudis for cash in order to expand the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest into North Africa and the Middle East while it simultaneously tried to buy Time magazine and Sports Illustrated, but the money never materialized. Curiouser and curiouser!

Michael Cohen's testimony before the Senate Intel Committee has been delayed AGAIN "due to post-surgery medical needs." How convenient!

A new WaPo-Schar School poll says people trust Robert Mueller way more than Trump, 56 to 33 percent, and similarly think that Mueller is interested in just the facts. According to the poll, there's still stark divisions between Democrats and Republicans on whether or not Trump COLLUDED with Russia, but WaPo notes that Mueller still hasn't charged any members of Trump's inner circle (beyond Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn, and 30-odd Russians).

David Brooks thinks liberals are all a bunch of elite, latte-sipping gaymo-sexual socialists from New York City who are taking their Obamacare and tax credits for granted. Don't these ungrateful pinkos remember what it's like to commute two hours from the suburbs just to work a shitty nine-to-five where you won't get healthcare, a lunch break, or a War on Christmas bonus just like the greatest generation? Why, Uncle Sam should wipe his ass with this "Green New Deal" before it kills the oil, coal, and gas companies making America great!

The FBI is offering a $2,000 reward for tracking down a tractor trailer full of energy drinks that was stolen somewhere around Tampa. #FloridaMan strikes again!

And here's your morning Nice Time! CORGIS!

Corgi Pups Explore The World On Their Tiny Legs | Too Cute!

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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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