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


Prof. Christine Blasey Ford sent a letter to Chuck Grassley asking for a full investigation by law enforcement into allegations that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. Grassley said no, then grumped like an old coot. Last night an attorney for Ford told Anderson Cooper that she wants the FBI to investigate before she speaks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, adding that Ford doesn't have 20 years of experience in Republican fuckery, or a phalanx of bros who can't remember who they might have (ALLEGEDLY) tried to rape while binge drinking in high school. [Video]

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer floated the possibility that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee could subpoena Kavanaugh's old drinking buddy Mark Judge to appear as a minority witness.

Anita Hill penned an op-ed for the New York Times and says that elected officials have an obligation to "heightened accountability" in the #MeToo era, and they "must demonstrate a clear understanding that sexual violence is a social reality."

A conservative dark money group is claiming that three groups crowdfunding to pressure Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins to vote against Brett Kavanaugh constitutes bribery after Collins whined about "quid pro quo fundraising." The group is demanding a DOJ investigation; lucky for them the head of the criminal division is a Trump stooge with shady Russian ties.

Conservatives are legit scared they're already losing votes for Brett Kavanaugh. Mitch McConnell tells Axios that he definitely has 50 votes, but a number of Republican Senators -- some spoiling for a fight with Trump -- are insisting that Prof. Ford be given a chance to speak in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A bunch of progressive groups are working with the the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Educational Fund Inc. to urge people to call their Senators and vote against putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. This morning they released a new ad with John Legend.

Rep. Adam Schiff and Democrats in the Gang of Eight sent a letter to Rod Rosenstein asking him not to comply with Trump's order to release classified Trump-Russia materials, saying it would violate DOJ policies and "assurances" made by Rosenstein not to screw things up. Early this morning anonymous DOJ officials told Bloomberg it would EVENTUALLY release of the documents, but first it needs to run a black marker all over the really juicy bits.

The Trump administration never intended to sanction Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, but Steve Mnuchin accidentally ran his mouth during a congressional hearing and forced the Treasury to find SOMEONE worthy of sanctions.

A recently released congressional investigation has found the Trump administration lost another 1,488 migrant children in addition to the 1,475 kids DHS lost earlier this year. Advocates and investigators say there's no way to know whether the kids have been snatched by human traffickers, or hidden in sanctuary towns and cities. #MAGA

The Senate is kicking the can of government funding down the road until after the election. The short-term spending bill has no money for Trump's tortilla curtain along the Mexican border, so it's entirely possible Trump shuts down the government at the end of the month.

Trump's Space Force is failing to take off because a Republican-led revolt in Congress, quietly backed by military brass throughout the Pentagon, think it's a YUGE waste of time and money. This is one of those times when the creeping lurch of bureaucracy works out for the best.

Trump's tax cuts (for the super rich) are proving to be a huge bonus for Democrats according to recent polls that show them with only a 39% approval rating. This follows reports that corporations haven't really bothered to "repatriate" the money they've hidden overseas, and new labor data showing businesses are giving out bonuses bonuses instead of raising wages. Corporations are screwing workers, who knew?

In an appearance on Rachel Maddow, Hillary Clinton warned that Trump is probably going to start "You're Fired"-ing people after the midterms, and warns that he could be "even more uncontrollable and unaccountable." This is fine .... [Morning Maddow]

Traditionally safe Republican House seats are in play as the #BlueWave forces Republicans from Missouri to North Carolina to dust off their old campaign coffers.

Even though he sold his soul for an endorsement, Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is being accused of TREASON by Donald Trump after he dared to stand with Florida's Puerto Rican community. Politico reports that a close Trump official called it a "divorce," and we can't.stop.laughing!

Former Kansas Republican Sen. Nancy Kassebaum is endorsing Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly's gubernatorial bid over the voter-fucking Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach. In a report from the Kansas City Star, Kassebaum states, "I felt her experience, 18 years in the Kansas Legislature ... has given her a real understanding of what it takes to work across the aisle."

A new Goucher College poll shows Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has a 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. Pundits and press wizards say this is because Democrats (again) nominated the equivalent of a dead fish as every other Democrat on the ticket has a commanding lead over their Republican opponents.

In an effort to convince Trump to create a permanent military base in Poland, Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested calling the base "Fort Trump" during a press conference yesterday. Trying to hide the toadstool growing in his pants, Trump then rambled inarticulate nonsense about NATO countries spending money for protection.

After Trump slapped another $200 billion in taxes tariffs on Chinese imports, China responded by slapping $60 billion in tariffs on US imports. Citing unnamed White House officials, the WSJ says Trump is probably going to drop another $257 billion in taxes tariffs later this week. Yesterday Trump stated that he was doing it to protect farmers and said, "We don't want to do it, but we'll probably have no choice." Yeah, probably ...

The DOJ wants two Chinese media outlets, the Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network, to register as foreign agents, just like Paul Manafort, RT, and Sputnik. This limits the outlets' access to US officials, officially branding them as state-run media outlets (which they totally are).

Russia is blaming Israel for downing a surveillance plane over the Mediterranean after it came close to an Israeli airstrike targeting Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces in Syria. The US, France, Russia, and Israel all agree that a Syrian surface-to-air missile took the plane out, but Russia is still blaming the Israelis because they need a scapegoat. SMH. [Dramatic Recreation]

In a stunning new report, the UN called for the leaders of Myanmar's military to be prosecuted for genocide for the mass killing and expulsion of Rohingya Muslims. The report also criticizes UN agencies for prioritizing diplomacy and development goals and ignoring the abuse, calling for an independent investigation into why such gross violations of humans rights occurred.

Coca-Cola is in talks with a Canadian weed company to make a CBD-infused drink to ease "inflammation, pain and cramping," according to a report in Bloomberg. Far-fuckin'-out, man!

And here's your morning Nice Time! Baby Pygmy Hippos!


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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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Alex Díaz de la Portilla on Facebook

Alex Díaz de la Portilla, former Florida Republican state senator, is in hot water over a leaked WhatsApp chat log that appears to show campaign workers chatting about destroying or disappearing absentee ballots filled out for the candidate's opponent in the nonpartisan county election, according to the Miami New Times. Díaz de la Portilla ultimately came in third in the May 2018 special election for a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission, so even if some of his people did deep-six some ballots, it didn't apparently help him. Clearly, these pikers could have learned a lot from the experts in North Carolina about electoral fuckery.

Still, you have to appreciate just how brilliantly Díaz de la Portilla plays the role of a local pol accused of just a teensy bit of ratfucking.

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Photo: Tony Webster, Creative Commons license 2.0

Under the Trump administration, the Environmental "Protection" Agency has adopted the vital mission of doing everything it can to prop up the dying coal industry, largely because 1) Coal CEO Robert Murray is among Donald Trump's best billionaire buds and 2) every last trace of Barack Obama's presidency must be eradicated. To that end, the New York Times reports the EPA is now planning to "change how it calculates the health risks of air pollution," to make it easier to reverse Obama's "Clean Power Plan" regulations and replace them with far dirtier air, for coal company fun and profit. It's remarkably similar to another bit of EPA fuckery from December, when the agency decided it was no longer "appropriate and necessary" to regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, claiming that the costs of regulating the neurotoxin was very very burdensome and wouldn't provide any real savings by comparison. In both cases, fucking around with the math and redefining pollutants as No Big Deal are at the heart of the agency's claims that coal plants can spew more pollution without doing any harm.

Now, before you freak out, we will not be making you do math. Stop whining, you. Rather, we just want to highlight once again how Team Trump changes the definitions of things to give a great big benefit to dirty energy while insisting that it's "protecting" the environment.

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