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


A federal judge wants Robert Mueller to spill the beans about Paul Manafort's plot to leverage his Trump campaign job with his former European political friends. That'll help Manafort's lawyers get a better sense of just how deeply screwed he is.

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows Trump's 24/7 bullshiting about Mueller is taking its toll, with a 53 percent of Republicans seeing Mueller in an unfavorable light, and 24 and 33 percent increases among Democrats and Independents, respectively.

The Trump administration wants to build tent cities in Texas to hold as many as 5,000 children on military bases. This story is horrifying.

Paul Ryan has announced a floor vote on DACA in order to fend off a revolt from moderate House members.In reality, this is a procedural and legislative clusterfuck orchestrated by the House Freedom crazies in order for Ryan and Republicans to save face.

A bunch of nosey do-gooding journalists convinced Puerto Rico to release a database of all 24,000 deaths that have occurred since Hurricane Maria almost a year ago to CNN and the Center for Investigative Journalism, to get a better idea of how many may have been caused by the storm and the slow federal response.

A senior Justice Department lawyer has quit over the Trump administration's refusal to defend the ACA from red states suing to screw people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump's war with the press continues, as new reporting on journalist Ali Watkins shows Border Patrol official Jeffery Rambo confronted Watkins with a cache of private information about herself and her former lover, Senate Intel staffer Jeffrey Wolfe. Rambo reportedly attempted to recruit Watkins as a snitch for the Trump administration to ferret out leakers. The Times is combing through Watkins's past reporting, and the CBP has placed Rambo under an internal compliance investigation.

WaPo reports that last year, Scott Pruitt had one of his aides lean on top Republican donors to help find a job for his wife Marlyn. Leonard Leo, Pruitt's helpful pal at the Federalist Society, came through, and Marlyn Pruitt briefly worked at a related nonprofit, the "Judicial Crisis Network." Leo was also the nice guy who arranged Pruitt's big grift picnic to Italy. Friends are nice!

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford lost his primary to state lawmaker Katie Arrington last night, while Virginia Republicans nominated the KKK-loving Corey Stewart to run for Senate. Tim Kaine should be able to run some interesting ads in that race.

Jennifer Wexton will take on Barbara Comstock in Virginia's 10th, and Abigail Spanberger will face off against Tea Party nut Dave Brat.

Obama's old campaign group, Organizing for America, is parachuting into 27 House races to beat feet and knock on doors for numerous down ballot candidates, and is joining the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to push numerous ballot measures in nine states. Thanks, Obama!

A right-leaning rag in DC was stalking Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and found her using her private plane one day instead of an RV to criss-cross the state for campaign events. Now the right is screaming SCANDAL in an attempt to boost the foundering campaign of Josh Hawley.

Wisconsin Democrat Caleb Frostman won the special election for the state Senate 1st district! This is the special election that Scott Walker tried to avoid in fear of Republicans losing.

The Chicago Police Department has been tracking anti-Trump protesters using an obscenely large loophole that allows them to hoover up social media posts to ID protesters, and now mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to give the cops drones to make it even easier to spy on people.

North Korean state media is saying that Trump has agreed to lift sanctions on the brutal regime that still uses slave labor and murders dissenters. Shortly after landing at Andrews Air Force Base this morning, Trump began tweeting that he's made the world safe from nuclear war, and that you can go to sleep knowing that he's got the whole world in his hands.

The US, Mexico, and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup provided Trump doesn't nuke the neighborhood first. Or deport all the soccer players.

The right-wing echo chamber has been grinding its axe for CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta for over a year now. Yesterday Trump's pubic beard-in-chief and 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, started screaming for Acosta's severed head and press creds after he did his job by asking questions and writing about Trump's international circus in Singapore.

Senate booger eater Ted Cruz has agreed to a $5,000 charity basketball game with Jimmy Kimmel. Dubbed "The Blobfish Classic," it'll be a short and sad game of one-on-one with little dribbling as possible (like Cruz's sex life).

A judge approved the massive AT&T; and Time-Warner merger for a staggering $85.4 billion dollars, but all eyes are now on the cash bidding war for 21st Century Fox between Disney and Comcast, and Sinclair's attempt to gobble up local media markets to build a Trump news network.

The Daily Show has a new clip of Hannity blasting Hannity over North Korea. Aren't archives wonderful?

And here's your morning Nice Time!

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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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If it's a day, the New York Times is fucking shit up, but today, it fucked up BIGLY.

Fresh-faced access journalists Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt have just published what we can only describe as a drive-by shooting against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which reads as some bullshit planted by the White House to give Donald Trump the pretext for his Saturday Night Massacre, if he wants it. (He does.)

Maybe the White House is tired of talking about the flailing nomination of Judge Maybe Rapey and how Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and the New York Times was more than happy to help!

Or maybe it was planted by former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just hours before his pension was set to kick in, and may have a serious axe to grind with DoJ officials and leaked a copy of his own memos. (His lawyer says that's not true, but he would say that, wouldn't he?)

Or maybe it's both, somehow! Or one of many other things!

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It's not every day Golf Digest gets noticed as a source of hard-hitting investigative journalism, at least outside of reviews of titanium carbon fiber nanotech infinite improbability drivers or some such. But Wednesday, some journamalisming that started with a Golf Digest story about a guy who drew fantastic imaginary golf courses concluded with that guy, Valentino Dixon, walking out of Attica prison, 27 years after he'd been sentenced for 39 years to life. Not bad, Golf Digest. We give you a GOLF CLAP. And a Pulitzer if we had one, which, sadly, we don't.

As Golf Digest says, the twists and turns of the case are a bit complex (they're unraveled in more detail in this New York Times story), but it basically comes down to a local prosecutor who was determined to railroad Dixon for the 1991 murder of a 17-year-old, Torriano Jackson, in Buffalo, New York. The conviction involved

shoddy police work, zero physical evidence linking Dixon, conflicting testimony of unreliable witnesses, the videotaped confession to the crime by another man, a public defender who didn't call a witness at trial, and perjury charges against those who said Dixon didn't do it.

Dixon had a prior conviction for selling cocaine, and he made a convenient target for Erie County prosecutor Chris Belling, who was weirdly determined to ignore even statements from the actual killer, LaMarr Scott, who pleaded guilty to the killing shortly before Dixon's release this week.

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