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

Michael Cohen sent CNN an audio tape of Trump trying to pay off former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the fall of 2016. Trump's TV lawyers argue that the tape isn't what you think it is, and Trump isn't saying what you can hear him saying. In an appearance on CNN, Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, pleaded with Trump voters to listen to the tape and judge for themselves if Trump grabbed 'em by the pussy.

During an address to veterans in Kansas City, Missouri, Trump bitched that his sycophants shouldn't "believe the crap" they hear from reporters, adding "what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening." This prompted the VFW to issue a statement saying they were "happy" to have the press at the event, and "disappointed" when VFW members began to heckle and boo journalists.

The Trump administration announced a $12 billion bailout for farmers caught in Trump's trade war via a Depression-era program. With Republicans begging Trump to back off, yesterday Trump tweeted "Tariffs are the greatest!"

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Steve Bannon and Wilbur Ross immediately began trying to add citizenship questions to the US census, according to recently released emails. This suggests the Commerce Department lied to Congress when Ross said said he wasn't trying to screw over immigrants.

New documents from the CIA's recently declassified Gitmo files show how it trained agents how to torture people using a prisoner from the USS Cole bombing, then tried to hide if from court proceedings. In defending the accused, Navy Cmdr. Brian Mizer told a judge the jury needed to "smell the urine, the feces, the blood and the sweat and see just how vile and disgusting this process was" before a secret jury could sentence him to death. The ghost of Dick Cheney strikes again!

Defense lawyers for alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed are arguing that Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration are fucking up pretrial negotiations by pissing all over a military custom that bars political influence from secret war tribunals, and pushing for executions.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled 2-1 that the state of Hawaii violated the Second Amendment when it denied an open carry permit to a gun fetishist. So that's terrific then.

After cratering sales, scandals, and boycotts, Ivanka Trump has decided to kill off her line of clothes. After all, it's "Made in America week," and all her clothes are made in China and Indonesia.

New gossip from Maggie Haberman reveals Trump went ballistic on Air Force One after seeing a TV playing CNN, and that Melania had to sleep in a separate hotel room while traveling through Europe.

The Office of Government Ethics is now investigating if there's any truth to the allegations that Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett used staffers to clean up his dog shit while he battled a problem with booze.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr says that the FISA warrant to monitor Russian asset Carter Page was reasonable, implying that Devin Nunes and the House Freedom crazies' crusade for Trump is a load of malarkey.

Devin Nunes now has his own fancy flight scandal after a watchdog group found his PAC has been using political donations to charter private jets and buy sportsball tickets, winery tours, limos, hotels, and luxurious trips to Las Vegas for dinner.

According to Axios, Trump is terrified Joe Biden will run in 2020 because he knows SCRANTON like the back of his hand.

Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the state's Republican gubernatorial nomination after a late endorsement by Trump. Georgia voters will now have a choice between a pro-Trump racist clinging to his guns and religion, and a nice progressive black lady, Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Gun control activist Lucy McBath will take on Republican Rep. Karen Handel in the wealthy suburban Georgia 6th after defeating local businessman Kevin Abel in a runoff. McBath's path to politics began when her son, Jordan Davis, was brutally murdered in 2012.

The "alt-right" white supremacist who started last year's "Unite the Right" "movement" has decided to pull his permit request for a sequel, but his lawyers say he may still appear on the anniversary with less than two dozen people just to be a dick.

Georgia Republican state lawmaker Jason Spencer has been quit-fired after he ran around with his bare ass out dropping N-bombs and screaming 'Murica on Sacha Baron Cohen's "Who is America?" [Video]

Paul Ryan says he won't roll out the red carpet for Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, the Kremlin hasn't accepted Trump's invitation for a state visit to DC, and Putin may blow off Trump until the next G20 summit.

Tronc executives have told staffers at the New York Daily News that they don't have a fucking clue what they're doing, but they are going to save a lot of money now that half the staff has been laid off.

A new study shows that 5G wireless upgrades being pushed by big telecoms could actually make it harder for poor people in inner cities and flyover country to get internet access. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the problem will probably sort itself out.

And here's your morning Nice Time! Baby ducks!

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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 lying in a gutter taking photos.

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.

In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"


In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!

Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!


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