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


A federal judge rejected the Trump administration's initial request to keep federal prosecutors from reviewing stuff seized by the FBI in its raid on Michael Cohen; HOWEVER, the judge did order the government to make the information available to Cohen, and noted her openness to a taint team or "special master" to review documents.

Poor Sean Hannity! The no-necked schlub doesn't understand that everyone is laughing AT him. Last night he was hilariously mocked by Chris Hayes, bitched out on his own show(!) by Alan Dershowitz, and Maddow struggled to contain her giggles.

Like the rest of us, late night shows were freaking over #HannityDay, leaving Colbert sprawled in a leather chair drinking red wine while rubbing his nipples. OH MY!

The Government Accountability Office says the installation of Scott Pruitt's $43,000 cone of silence broke laws on appropriations and congressional notification.

Ryan Zinke is in trouble (again) for chartered flights. Also, Zinke had some birthers on his radio show and is padding his resume by now calling himself a geologist. 

John Bolton has been gutting the NSC staff, and you can add Rob Boyce to the growing list of quit-fired hippies.

A new NBC News/WSJ poll shows Democrats holding the lead in social issues, the Trump tax cuts (for corporations and the super-rich) take a dive, and 56 percent think the Trump administration is incompetent.

Keep your eyes to the sky because Mike Pence just gave Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross the job of tracking space debris. In a pre-nap statement to reporters, Ross stated, “We’re the new kids on the block...we want to make sure we understand the things that are troublesome to industry before proposing specific fixes." [Archive]

New York Rep. Joe Crowley is gonna duke it out with Nancy Pelosi for leadership of the Democrats, whether she's ready or not. (She's ready.)

The race to replace Paul Ryan is getting bitter behind the scenes as the House Freedom crazies are attempting to cut deals in vape-filled rooms. [Archive]

Elizabeth Warren is trying to drag Wall Street into the #MeToo era, but coke-fueled boardroom executives are working with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to keep their naked dwarf tossing parties quiet.

The new farm bill being introduced by congressional Republicans will give all rural poors their farm subsidies, but anyone 18-59 on SNAP will have to go get a real job (instead of the farming job they have). Fun Fact: Hillary Clinton won many of the districts most affected by this bill.

US gun makers have been DYING to sell sell AR-15's overseas; now the Trump administration is expected to make it easier to sell guns in Not America by wresting control of munitions from the State Department and giving it to Commerce.

A new WaPo/ABC poll finds that a majority of Americans support additional Russian sanctions, but Trump doesn't give a shit about you people -- he's rejecting the additional Russian sanctions Nikki Haley announced at the UN.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker has proposed a new AUMF that would repeal and replace the 2001 AUMF that's been used as an excuse to dick around in the terror-filled sandboxes and jungles of Not America. The main change in Corker's bill puts a clock on the back of Congress, and limits the president's authority to launch airstrikes.

The Pentagon has acknowledged US contractor presence in Syria. Unlike the Russians, US contractors are there for logistical support, like delivering food and gas and fixing vehicles.

Gubernatorial races in Wisconsin, Nevada and Michigan are looking better for Democrats, while Minnesota, Alaska, and Rhode Island are starting to see red.

State legislators in Maine want to make an overdose reversal drug available to more people, but Republican Gov. Paul LePage thinks that encourages kids to raid medicine cabinets. [Archive]

Old racists in Australia are going to be pissed when they find out embattled Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is standing by a report that shows immigrants are saving Australia's economy.

A racist fringe group of UK Brexit supporters has been caught on tape with the founder of Cambridge Analytica's parent company comparing Trump's 2016 political campaign to Hitler, stating, "[Hitler] didn’t have a problem with the Jews at all, but the people didn’t like the Jews … So he just leveraged an artificial enemy. Well that’s exactly what Trump did. He leveraged a Muslim ... I mean, you know, it’s ... it was a real enemy. ISIS is a real, but how big a threat is ISIS really to America?"

Early this morning a British PM stated in Parliament that Cambridge Analytica had exclusive rights to Breitbart data. NO COLLUSION COLLUSION NO COLLUSION!

The DHS, FBI, and Britain's National Cyber Security Center have issued a stern warning about Russian hacking shifting to the public and private sector with "man-in-the-middle" attacks. [Simple 'splainer]

Major tech firms are telling Uncle Sam and John Bull that they're not hired guns, pledging not to assist their governments in cyberattacks. Even the goddamn geeks are hippies!

Military brass did not think it was funny for an Air National Guard master sergeant to recite her reenlistment oath using a dinosaur hand puppet. Lucky for us, someone filmed it!

Here's a list of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners! Great job, everyone! NOW GET BACK TO WORK!

And here's your morning Nice Time! BEARS!

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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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Barack Obama delivered his first major address of his post-presidency Tuesday at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa, honoring the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth. It was -- as you'd expect for the occasion -- appropriately dignified and thoughtful. It was also every bit as inspiring as you might expect from the first black American president speaking in memory of the first black president of a nation that for most of its modern history was synonymous with apartheid. Let's take some time to bask in what an actual world leader sounds like, shall we?

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Guess what Vladimir Putin's getting for Christmas! He's been dropping hints, and you know the Big Orange Baboon can't say no to him for some unknown reason. Gonna be so cute when little Vladdy stumbles down the stairs in his PJs, brushes the sleep from his eyes, and finds MONTENEGRO all wrapped up with a big bow under the Christmas tree. Adorbz!

Oh, but we are to kid! Just a little levity as President Treasonweasel slams a sledgehammer into the international framework that kept us out of another world war for the past 70 years. So why are we suddenly talking about a tinyass country whose chief export appears to be consonants? (Sorry, Montenegro. But your Predsjednik Crne Gore is Milo Đukanović, and your capital city is Cetinje, which is just cheating at Scrabble.)

Well! Donald Trump just got out of a two-hour, closed-door meeting with Vladimir Putin, whose government tried to stage a coup in 2016 to assassinate Đukanović and stop Montenegro's accession to the European Union. Which might not be a coincidence!

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