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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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

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[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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