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

Somebody secretly recorded smarmy Rep. Devin Nunes talking about the Tea Party plan to impeach Rod Rosenstein after the midterms so the Senate has time to ram through Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, adding House Republicans are the only ones who can save Donald Trump from Robert Mueller's investigation into his "crimes." OOPS! [Morning Maddow]

Judge Ellis has spent the Paul Manafort tax fraud trial being a cranky old bitch. Yesterday he ignored his own exceptions on a witness's presence in the courtroom, badgered prosecutors who asked to read court transcripts, grumped about the complexity of a flow chart showing how Manafort laundered money, and complained that there was too much evidence against Manafort, the defendant. Sounds like somebody skipped his nap!

Republican Sen. Rand Paul is on a field trip to Russia and says he just delivered a special letter from Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately, the macaroni pictures were confiscated by customs officials.

Rudy Giuliani went on Hannity (again) to ramble about "perjury traps" while flailing his arms and making stupid faces (again). Mr. 9/11 then said that Mueller needs to end the investigation, and that Trump doesn't need to sit down with Robert Mueller because Mueller already "knows all the answers." He also invoked Watergate, which ... well yeah.

GOOD NEWS: Effective immediately, the Army has temporarily suspended discharging immigrant soldiers trying to get US citizenship by serving Uncle Sam.

The Trump administration and Republicans are still pushing Jared Kushner's prison reform plan, but the House and Senate can't agree on the dirty details. Is it any coincidence Republicans suddenly want to make life easier for criminals now that they're being accused of serious crimes?

Eleven months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island FINALLY has power again ... Oh, and the government is admitting that 1,427 people died (not "dozens") as people began to commit suicide, and die from a lack of proper healthcare, food, and water. Thanks, Trump.

In a move to stomp out the rising #BlueWave, Trump's White House is planning to salvage vulnerable Republicans with a combination of shitposts on Twitter and parachuting Ivanka into flyover country, but new forecasts from political fortune tellers say it won't amount to doodly squat.

With polls showing voters hate the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich), Republicans are now running campaigns based on fear - fear of Nancy Pelosi, fear of impeaching Trump, fear of Mexicans, Muslims, and minorities, - because they've got nothing else aside from good, old fashioned lies (and vote rigging).

On Monday McClatchy reported some irregularities in Georgia's primaries, with voters making sworn statements that they were turned away from polls, received incorrect ballots, and encountered frozen voting machines. Also, one precinct reported a 243 percent voter turnout. Yesterday state officials defended themselves against allegations of incompetence and fuckery by saying, "NUH-UH!"

The Koch network is coming to bail out Ted Cruz as Beto O'Rourke continues to gain in the polls by trucking in disgruntled veterans to tell old stories about that time back in 'Nam.

News outlets are being forced to hire security for journalists at Trump rallies thanks to his repeated harassment of the media, and the blind, rabid frothing of his supporters.

After the US announced new sanctions on Russia for the poisoning of super spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Russia complained the sanctions were "asolutely illegal," almost as illegal as crossing into other countries to kill people with super rare nerve agents that exist nowhere else on the planet.

An appeals court denied a new trial for convicted sex offender Brock Turner and upheld earlier rulings that found him guilty of sexual assault and attempted rape. Apparently the court didn't buy his dry-humping defense.

Laura Ingraham whined about how brown people are taking our jerbs and giving all the white people perma-tans, though she stopped short of endorsing eugenics and skin bleaching.

Former reality TV villain and White House official Omarosa secretly recorded conversations while she worked in the White House, according to a new book of useless gossip that she desperately needs people to buy.

Tribune Media bailed out of a $3.9 billion merger with the pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and will instead sue Sinclair for hurting its shareholders by dragging its ass for over a year and refusing to sell off assets required to pass federal approval. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

State and federal officials are warning about an Asian super tick that's been showing up along the Eastern seaboard with the ability to reproduce asexually in massive numbers, and suck pets and livestock dry. Enjoy your hike!

And here's your morning Nice Time! Peaceful yellow tangs!

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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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Earlier this week, the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK told Julian Assange that it would evict him if he didn't stop being a slob and start taking care of his cat. Assange responded today by announcing he is taking legal action and claiming Ecuador violated his human rights by making him do his own laundry and pay rent. (He is reminding us of THIS awesome dude, who sued his parents for refusing to live anymore with a dude as awesome as he.) Pretty soon they're going to tell him to do things like "get a job" and "move out." GAWD, parents and embassies offering asylum to scumbag freeloaders are just the worst!

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The bat signal has gone out in Trumpland, and the vampires are obediently flying in formation. This Khashoggi murder story isn't going away, but here in US Amurika we got bombs to sell. So the GOP Brain Trust called an emergency meeting and came up with A PLAN. What if Jamal Khashoggi was a terrorist who deserved to be beaten, dismembered with a bone saw, and have his body repatriated to Saudi Arabia in pieces distributed among his killers' luggage? Can Republicans really have sunk that far?

YES, THEY CAN. The Washington Post reports,

In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly because of the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.

Wow, that's pretty fuckin' evil, even by the debased standards of today's GOP! But if that's what it takes to protect Trump and Kush, Fox is here to oblige. Here's Harris Faulkner on the curvy couch wondering if maybe Jared Kushner's BFF Mohammed bin Bonesaw even has time to order the murder of a dissident reporter since, "He's dealing with a whole host of other issues over there." He's probably too busy, like, washing his manly beard to murder people outside Saudi Arabia, right?

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