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


Officials inside the Trump administration are climbing over one another to deny writing THE OP-ED, calling one another "cowards" and knifing each other as they hunt for a witch to burn and pretend to be patriots.

While slurring and rambling his way through an hour-plus rally in Montana, Trump screamed that he wasn't running around the White House screaming, that his administration is doing fine. In fact, the deep state #Resistance makes him look better, or whatever. He then told his supporters if he's impeached, "It's your fault." Business Insider's David Choi has some great video of a guy booted out of the Trump rally for repeatedly scoffing at Trump's ridiculous statements last night. \

Charlie Pierce's wife, Margaret Doris, supposes Kellyanne Conway wrote THE OP-ED as a way to cover her ass after the fall of Trump. Then again, the very stable geniuses at Wikileaks think it's an old, conservative white male.

Elizabeth Warren wonders why Trump's henchmen don't use the 25th Amendment to kick him out of office if they think he's too stupid to be President. Brushing charges of a constitutional crisis aside, Warren said either he's A Idiot, or he's not.

Bloomberg's Jonathan Bernstein took a look at the wording 25th Amendment and opines the 25th Amendment is kind of vague and wonky, having been created under the assumption that the President would never contest a forced resignation, and 2/3 of Congress would still have to go along with the whole shebang. FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU


For once Rudy Giuliani seems to have told the truth when he told the AP that Trump won't answer any questions about obstruction of justice from Robert Mueller, HOWEVER Giuliani backpedaled and told NBC News that there hadn't been any "commitment." Then he did it AGAIN when he told Politico, "I think we're pretty close to an agreement, maybe this weekend."

Natasha Bertrand has a new piece in the Atlantic detailing how a Florida court just blocked Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley from getting his hands on a deposition of THE DOSSIER author, Christopher Steele, where he ALLEGEDLY talks about how Russia used "botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and 'conduct altering operations' against the Democratic party leadership." Grassley's really having a bad week, isn't he?

Internal documents recently obtained by the Guardian via FOIA show that Trump ordered official pictures of his inauguration crowd to look bigger by cropping out all the blank space. You know what they say about the size of your inauguration crowd -- that everyone hates you and also you suck.

The Trump administration announced that it intends to hold immigrant children with their parents in detention centers indefinitely. Anonymous administration officials tell NBC News this is an attempt to scrap the 1997 Flores settlement that says immigrant parents and children can't be detained longer than 20 days.

Grifty bastard and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke used federal funding to get $43,000 worth of tickets to the Wolf Trap, a posh Northern Virginia amphitheater, according to a new report by the Interior Department's Inspector General. The report also found that Wolftrap hasn't been paying its dues to Uncle Sam, despite receiving oodles of Ameros and using federal resources.

Paul Ryan says he has "a very good understanding" with Trump about signing appropriations bills in order to avoid a government shutdown. On Wednesday Trump giggled to a gaggle of Republicans at the White House about a shutdown, saying, "If it happens, it happens," but last night he told Fox News that he "most likely" won't do it but he'd consider it over "border security." Meanwhile, the House Freedom crazies are split on whether they should shut down the government (again) just to make a point. Ugh.

Speaking of the Freedom Crazies, reps Steve Scalise and Mark Meadows are stabbing each other in the back as they make not-so-secret plans to replace Paul Ryan. Crom help us all.

In a shocking turn of events, Paul Ryan says he probably won't bring back so-called "pork projects" or earmarks, calling them a "corrupt" and "abusive process." He would know, wouldn't he?

FAA and water infrastructure spending bills have stalled in the House and Senate over whether or not states can enforce food and rest breaks on truckers, and over "issues" in the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an Interior Department program that protects national parks, water, and woodland critters. Wonder what those "issues" are?

A Richmond Circuit Court Judge just slapped the hell out of Virginia Republican Rep. Scott Taylor, and threw out every single petition signature to get Independent candidate Shaun Brown on the November ballot. The judge stated Taylor's staffers were responsible for "blatant forgeries ... such as the signatures of deceased persons" with the intent of defrauding the public. It's a lot like that Chris Farley movie.

Somebody not-at-all connected to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz seems to have snuck into Beto O'Rourke's campaign as a volunteer and sent out a mass text calling for help getting undocumented immigrants to the polls, and asking about "the dangers of socialism."

The House Ethics Committee created a subcommittee to investigate Rep. Duncan Hunter's ALLEGED grift of campaign cash, but it's all an act as the DOJ has asked them not to interfere with its own investigation.

Delaware Democratic Sen. Tom Carper fought off a primary challenger from progressive activist and Air Force vet Kerri Evelyn Harris, winning with about 65 percent of the vote after precincts closed. Delaware, how exciting.

The NRCC has bailed out of negotiations with the DCCC to not use hacked "dirt" on the campaign trail this year. The deal fell through after the NRCC insisted on being able to use things leaked to the press, causing the DCCC to wonder why they bothered to to treat them as equals.

Tennessee Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is running ahead of batshit crazy Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

A new AJC poll shows Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp dead even at 45 percent of likely voters, and suggests that Abrams's progressive bonafides are beginning to resonate with more and more people. BONUS: Trump's LOW RATINGS in Georgia seem to be slipping as well, with a majority disapproval.

Your B. Barry Bamz is heading out on the campaign trail to kick some tires and light some fires as he stumps for Democrats across the country. His first speech is said to be a "pointed" critique of politics in the Trump-era.

The NYTimes is publishing real time polling data from congressional and gubernatorial races across the country, but what's even more interesting is that they've also published their methodology (if you're into that sort of nerdy stuff).

A man running as a Republican for the Kansas 26th District House seat has been charged with election perjury after submitting falsified records about his residency. Kris Kobach declined to comment.

At some point this weekend we're going to try to read this MASSIVE story on the DeVos family by Sam Tanenhaus in Vanity Fair about how the entire family has been engaged in a decades-long plan to sell off large chunks of America, piece by piece.

Elon Musk bro'd out on the Joe Rogan bro-dcast, smoking weed, drinking whiskey, and dicking around with flamethrowers. With Tesla already suffering major production problems, cash shortages, maturing debt, a flurry of lawsuits, an SEC investigation, and a revolt from its board of directors, Tesla shares tanked overnight (again).

Twitter perma-banned Alex Jones and Infowars after Jones spent Wednesday running around Capitol Hill harassing Twitter CEO @Jack Dorsey, the DC press corps, and Marco Rubio. And nothing of value was lost.

And here's your morning Nice Time! BIG KITTIES and boxes!

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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!"

EXTREME SHUDDER.

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!

[Politico]

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