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


Republicans gave up trying to reopen the government, and have decided to just let Nancy Pelosi clean up their mess. With Trump spending yet another day shitposting about his stupid wall, important federal offices began closing their doors, like FEMA and the EPA. Incoming House Democrats say they'll drop a funding bill without money for Trump's wall after they're sworn in on Jan. 3, but Trump is trying to change the subject (again) this morning by threatening to shut down the entire Southern border ... on Twitter.

Yesterday, the Trump administration's Office of Personnel Management -- the organization in charge of federal workers -- tweeted out "sample letters" to serve as a "guide when working with your creditors during this furlough." OPM's advice? Ask your landlords if you can do chores! OPM says that the letter shouldn't be considered legal advice since most rental contracts have clauses about paying rent with a doctor's note. [Sample Letter]

Chris Hayes lost his shit last night on Republican Rep. Michael Burgess after the rep continued to insist that Mexico might pay for Trump's stupid wall. It's worth six minutes of your time!

The Trump administration is now weathering charges that it used active-duty soldiers as political pawns. DOD/Army regs prohibit military personnel from showing their political affiliation while in uniform, but goddamn it, some SOB just had to get his MAGA hat signed by President Baby Fingers (and create an international incident that endangers the lives of spec ops ninjas all over the region). Making matters worse, Trump's mindless ramblings have infuriated Iraqi lawmakers who view his arrogant boast about using Iraq as a "base" for future colonialism as a "violation of national sovereignty," and they're now threatening to expel all US forces. #TiredOfWinning

Super rich mother fucker Michael Bloomberg says IF he decides to run in 2020, he won't accept any PAC money, and he's willing to spend at least $100 million. CNBC notes that Bloomberg donated $110 million in the 2018 midterms, and his cabal of uber rich white guys have recently been holding hush-hush meetings Democratic leaders. #HesRunning

For his final act as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte got into a pissing contest with North Dakota's outgoing Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp over violence against Native American women. A bill known as Savanna's Act would allow the DOJ to increase data collection on crimes against Native women, give tribal law enforcement access to federal crime databases, and establish guidelines for dealing with Native Americans -- but Goodlatte thinks this is just another handout out for them dang woo-woos at the expense of the white man.

The Alabama AG is thinkering about investigating the disinformation tactics used to remind people about Roy Moore's ALLEGED decades of kiddy fiddling. *GASP* Election fuckery might be ILLEGAL? Does Donald Trump know about this?

When far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen needed money for her racist and xenophobic National Front party, she turned to an obscure bank with close ties to the Kremlin (and the Russian mob). Shortly thereafter, the National Front began trying to make Russia great again, and Russia started covering its tracks by taking control of the bank, and turning it over to a Russian military contractor (read: arms dealer) who does work for the FSB. HHMMMMM!

Saudi Arabia's king is consolidating MORE power around Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman by appointing his trusted besties to top roles in the government. Nobody will ever find Dr. Bonesaw ...

The New Yorker has an interesting longread on how Mark Burnett resurrected Donald Trump's career with The Apprentice by billing it as Survivor in the city. Burnett then had to use the magic of reality TV to gloss over Trump's blatant racism, sexism, and shady mob connections to craft the image of a successful business tycoon who didn't regularly "You're Fired" the wrong contestants.

Trump's most diehard supporters may be the brainwashed little pukes still learning to wipe their own ass. Mother Jones writes that these white nationalist bubble boys are now soaking up MRA nonsense and conspiracy theories, and screaming into the ether about people snatching MAGA hats and ruining their spray-on hair.

The New York Times got its hands on Facebook's super secret Power Points for content moderators. Forced to do Silicon Valley's scutwork, an army of thousands of former call center employees, armed with nothing more than some slap-dash rule book, make judgment calls in seconds without context or knowledge of local laws or cultural mores. This is why Myanmar can commit genocide against the Rohingya Muslims while your drunk uncle rants about THE JOOOZ.

Macaulay Culkin will legally change his middle name to Macaulay Culkin. The change comes following a poll of Twitter users. His full legal name will will be: Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin. No, he's not dead, he just does a comedy thing now.

Public Service Announcement: This is your final Wonkagenda of 2018! If I don't see you at the bar, I'll see you next year!

Nena ‎- 99 Luftballons www.youtube.com

And, finally, here's your morning Nice Time! ALL THE BABY CRITTERS!

Babiest Moments of 2018 www.youtube.com

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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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CLEAR YOUR CALENDARS FOR FEBRUARY 7! And then fill them back up with whatever the fuck you want, because Michael Cohen has announced through his lawyers that he is too scared to testify before an open session of Congress that day, citing threats to his family from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

Wonkette has no reason to believe Cohen isn't being serious here, and NBC News reports Cohen's wife and father-in-law are particularly concerned about their safety if the man who used to call his boss MIS-TURRRR TWUMP goes to Congress and tells the truth this time. Still, we must pause to note that this is the same guy who said this to NPR reporter Tim Mak, back when Mak was at The Daily Beast:

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have," Cohen told Mak [...] "And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know."

"So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"

It's not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot, IS IT, MICHAEL?

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Did Nancy Pelosi do something to give Donald Trump the mistaken impression he has leverage here? We don't remember her doing anything like that!

Trump sent Pelosi a letter this morning to say that, despite how she told him to stay the fuck out of her House because of his government shutdown, he would still be coming to the House on January 29 to deliver his State of the Union address. And for some weird-ass reason, Trump and his advisers in the White House actually thought she would back down. It's both hilarious and alarming that Trump and his people are that stupid, isn't it?

Anyway, Pelosi took the dare. She took the dare. Was there anybody besides those dumb fucking idiots in the White House who thought she wouldn't take the dare?

Pelosi sent a letter right back to Trump to kindly explain to him that no means "go fuck yourself," and that if he'd like her to stick her foot further up his ass and kick it around a bunch, he's welcome to test her some more:

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