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


It's looking less and less likely that the government will shut down (AGAIN) after Trump backed off from nuking the bipartisan government funding deal. As usual, President Grandpa is grousing that he doesn't like it, complaining that it doesn't include money for his "beautiful, big, strong, wall," (or steel slats, or "peaches") and suggesting that he'll just take money from somewhere else to build the damn thing. Moments ago, Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested Trump might not sign the bill, adding We want see what the final piece of legislation looks like." This from the idiots who can't even read the menu at a drive thru, let alone 1,000 pieces of government spending legislation.

Fun: The New York Times has a hilarious infographic showing how Trump's rambling sentence fragments over WALL have changed over the last two years.

With the Trump White House expected to take money from disaster relief and military housing projects as a source for funding Trump's goddamn wall, an armed services advisory organization just released a report showing on-base housing is full of black mold, lead, rats and pests, subject to flooding, radon and bad wiring, regardless of branch, rank, or location. The military says families can simply ask to move, but anyone who's ever lived in the rat-traps on post will tell you it's far easier (and lucrative) to volunteer for a suicide mission, or stand around in the desert with a thumb up your ass.

Army Gen. Robert Abrams threw some serious shade on Trump's photo op with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday. Gen. Abrams told Congress that North Korea is just a crazy as ever, and has made no effort to squash it's nuclear goals, but they did note that Trump's promise to build big, beautiful hotels along North Korea's desolate beaches helped quell their constant threat that nuclear winter was coming.

Last week Pro Publica published a brilliant investigation into the collisions of the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald, concluding that the Navy brass had pushed the 7th fleet to its literal breaking point despite years of warning. Yesterday, Navy Adm. Phil Davidson got pissy with Maine Senator Angus King during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, arguing we shouldn't see those ships as half full of sea water thanks to overworked crews and gross negligence from the brass, we should see them as half empty because accidents are rare. It's all about perspective.

Shortly after the 2016 Republican National Convention, Paul Manafort ran to the cigar bar atop Jared Kushner's Manhattan trash palace with his lackey, Rick Gates, for a secret meeting with Russian spy oligarch Konstantin Kilimnik, according to court documents dug up by WaPo. Apparently, it was at this meeting that the Trump campaign and the Russians began swapping spit (read: COLLUDING) on the 2016 campaign as Manafort tried to wipe away his debt to the Russian mob oligarchs.

Trump wants Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign after she apologized for saying mean words about AIPAC, or at least lose her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In response, the progressive caucus noted that Trump has "unapologetically trafficked in white nationalism, Islamophobia, sexism and racism," adding that Trump has no authority on anti-semitism as he "referred to neo-Nazis as 'very fine people,'" in addition to literally all the rest of it. Whatever, here's fuzzy baby flamingos!

Hundreds of Flamingo Chicks Rescued in South Africa www.youtube.com

Chuck Schumer has recruited fighter pilot and bad ass mom Amy McGrath to take on Mitch McConnell in 2020!!!!!!!!!!

During a private conference call to donors last Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy whined that too many House Freedom crazies lost their seats thanks to TrumpCare. If only there had been literally any poll in the world to tell them this was a bad idea. #MAGA

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is roaming around Iowa gripping and grinning with law students as he mulls his own possible 2020 bid. NPR notes that Holder has been urging Joe Biden to run, and that he'll make his decision within the next few weeks. #HesRunning

After an ALLEGEDLY "drunk" MAGA hat wearing Trump supporter assaulted a BBC cameraman, Trump's White House asked for the ravenous band of sycophants attending Trump rallies to stop assaulting journalists. The WSJ reports the El Paso District Attorney has not been given a case for review from local law enforcement, so Trump won't have to hire some TV lawyers to defend the guy.

Drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera (AKA "El Chapo") was found guilty on 10 out of 10 federal indictments. Guzmán ran one of the most infamous Mexican drug cartels, so it was only natural for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to suggest using his money to build Trump's wall instead of helping victims of drug addiction.

If Trump and Congress can't reach a deal to keep the government open, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will head to the annual Munich Security Conference with acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, and a number senior Senate Republicans that include Lindsey Graham, where they will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian Foreign criminal Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. According to Defense News, the US delegation will speak as a group and stress the power of Congress as an independent branch of the US government -- which is a nice way of saying we're not crazy, it's just Trump.

Bigwigs from T-Mobile and Sprint are set to testify before Congress about their proposed merger, and according to their prepared remarks, it's all about breaking China. T-Mobile's CEO John Legere will scream about the security of 5G wireless, and probably dodge questions about his frequent visits to Trump's DC hotel, while Sprint is expected to downplay its connection to China's shady quasi state-run telecoms. Consumer rights groups are expected to warn that the merger will stifle competition and increase prices throughout the marketplace, a charge telecoms guffaw and say has never happened in the history of businesses businessing.

For months Apple has been telling media publishers to prepare themselves for ... something, and Buzzfeed gossips that something is a paid subscription news service. Apple will reportedly continue its long habit of ripping people off by borrowing from Facebook's business model and charging publishers a large fee to feature them in their own bootleg RSS feed reader. Like the saying goes: If you can't beat them, con them into giving you money for something they're already getting for free.

ReCode's Kara Swisher (finally) convinced Twitter CEO @Jack to answer questions about why his platform sucks and coddles Nazis, and it quickly devolved into a "chaotic hellpit." In a less than ironic twist, Dorsey eventually admitted that Twitter's cesspool of screaming in short bursts isn't a bug, it's a feature.

There's a new pizza-based conspiracy theory surrounding Chuck E. Cheese's trash pizza that supposes the chain recycles leftover slices after a Youtuber started screaming about its ugly, oddly shaped pieces. Chuck E. Cheese denies the charge, and WaPo notes that the Youtuber has a history of making dubious claims and racist jokes.

Starving polar bears have staged a "mass invasion" of a remote Russian town thanks to a combination of climate change and filthy trash people. Melting polar ice and the struggle for fresh food led the bears to the Russian trash buffet. Even though attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, and it's a crime to harm the endangered polar bears, the village has declared a emergency, allowing Putin to blame it all on America.

Rutger Berman, the historian who made billionaires cry at Davos, went on Tucker Carlson to have a civil shouting match about something, but the segment was canned after Bergman triggered Tuck-tuck into a rant full of cusses and swears. After the show was canned, Tucker had his assistant email Bergman to call him a "fucking asshole," so that's nice.

BONUS NICE TIME! Researchers are capturing the songs of endangered critters in their natural habitats in order to convince them to have more sexy times!

By Eavesdropping Underwater, Scientists Hope to Capture Endangered Frog’s Song | Short Film Showcase www.youtube.com


And here's your morning Nice Time! A TEENAGED FIGHTING TURTLE!

Saving B6, the Tiny Turtle 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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