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Congress

Mitch McConnell, Cave Man

Somebody's finally allowing a vote to reopen the government!

Having largely sat out the government shutdown, which is now in its one millionth day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stepped up with a bold new plan to do virtually nothing: He's scheduled a vote Thursday on two different bills to reopen the government. Just a small problem: One includes funding for WALL and immigration provisions no Democrat will vote for, and the other is the same as a non-WALL stopgap funding measure passed by the House already, which may or may not get the 60 votes needed to proceed, but which Donald Trump has pledged to veto, lest Ann Coulter yell at him.

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News

Federal STRIKE. Wonkagenda For Wed., Jan. 23, 2019

Trump's shutdown enters Day 33, federal workers go on strike, and nobody wants the wall. Your morning news brief!

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

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Russia

Nastya Rybka Is Free! Sort Of! Wait, Y'all Remember Who The F*ck Nastya Rybka Is?

We wish we thought this was a happy ending to a fucked up story, but we're talking about Russia here.

Do we really have to write two posts in a row that feature Oleg Deripaska, whose face is really weird looking and stupid and we hate looking at it? Yes. Apparently we do.

OK, so we were just talking about how Deripaska is getting a sweet free handjob from Steven Mnuchin's Treasury Department with the deal to lift sanctions off his companies. We also know that Deripaska is Paul Manafort's former boss, to whom Manafort was in serious debt, and to whom Manafort weirdly offered secret briefings on the Trump camapign, as a way to "get whole." (We still don't know what exactly that means, or how involved Deripaska was in the Russian conspiracy to ratfuck the election and install Trump in office, but we bet Robert Mueller does.)

But another wang of the Deripaska story we've learned over the past couple of years involves a woman named Anastasia Vashukevich, AKA Nastya Rybka, an escort who traveled with Deripaska on his yacht, and who once claimed to have recordings of Deripaska on his yacht discussing the plan to skullfuck America's democratic presidential election, presumably because Russians never really have understood how democracy is supposed to work, and also because they wanted to steal the American presidency to use it for their own benefit.

Don't know if you've been following the latest news -- that Rybka was suddenly released from the Thai prison where she had been bizarrely detained, that she was assured she would be able to safely go home to Belarus, and that she was immediately arrested while changing planes in Russia -- but she's free now. Or, you know, "free."

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Russia

Trump Admin's Sloppy Wet Sanctions Kiss For Oleg Deripaska Sloppier, Wetter Than We Knew!

Is the Trump administration stupid or evil? Yes.

There is very surprising news about the Trump Treasury Department's decision to lift sanctions on companies controlled by Russian oligarch/former Paul Manafort boss/likely election ratfucker Oleg Deripaska, a move all Democrats except Bernie Sanders hated, along with a surprising number of Republicans in Nancy Pelosi's House and 11 Republicans in the Senate. While we already knew that it was pretty good for Deripaska in an incognito kind of way, you'll be shocked to learn that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's big wet kiss for Deripaska is even wetter and more XXX than previously understood!

The New York Times got its paws on a "binding confidential agreement signed by both sides" that suggests Deripaska got off sweet in this deal. Seriously, are you VERY SHOCKED right now?

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Courts

US Convicts Radical Water-Givers In 2017 Immigrant Not-Killing Spree

Saving lives? Why do you hate America?

In a federal court in Tucson on Friday, four Arizona activists with the group "No More Deaths" were convicted on an assortment of charges related to entering a wildlife refuge to leave water and food for undocumented immigrants. The four women were arrested by a US Fish and Wildlife officer in August 2017 after they'd left the supplies in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona; it's among the deadliest stretches of desert on the US-Mexico border. They face a maximum penalty of six months in federal prison and fines of $500 each for their acts of premeditated lifesaving, the Arizona Republic reports.

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Mommyblogging

Jesse Kelly Tweets 'My Nerd Kid Sux, Amirite?' Is Best Dad Because Libs Now Owned.

Robot boy wishes he could feel a parent's love.

Rightwing troll Jesse Kelly, who like all rightwing trolls has a radio talk show (his is in Houston), did him some heavy-duty trolling Sunday, pretending to be super bored and annoyed that his 10-year-old kid was at a robotics tournament, because how lame is that and don't most dads want their kids to play football, oh my christ I may have a NERD on my hands.

Kelly had a fun time pretending the whole thing was a waste of time, and more to the point, of valuable testosterone. How could anyone care about this dumb technofoolishness in which no one was even smashing anything?

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Post-Racial America

Kamala Harris Denied Key Asshole Endorsement From Bill O'Reilly

Can this candidacy be saved?

Kamala Harris announced her presidential campaign on Martin Luther King Day, and Bill O'Reilly, who shouldn't be allowed to speak or leave the house during the holiday, immediately declared that she had "lost" his vote. In the alternate reality where O'Reilly would cast a ballot for a Democrat or a black woman or a Democrat who is also a black woman, what has Harris done to lose the right-wing blowhard's support? It's simple -- her job.

O'Reilly is incensed that California's junior senator fulfilled her constitutional duty to advise and consent during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, who was credibly accused of sexual assault. This is a subject close to O'Reilly's shriveled heart. He lost his job as biggest asshole on Fox News in 2017 after multiple accusations of sexual harassment. He reportedly referred to a black woman employee as "hot chocolate," because presumably she was physically attractive and her skin was brown. She also came with marshmallows.

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Post-Racial America

Kirstjen Nielsen Lied To Congress About Family Separation? LOCK HER UP!

Maybe 'No family separation policy' was a pun. Or a palindrome.

US Senator Jeff Merkley is calling for the FBI to investigate Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for lying to Congress last month when she denied the existence of a family separation policy in House testimony.

Thursday, Merkley released to NBC News an internal Homeland Security document in which DHS and the Justice Department hashed out plans for what would become the Trump administration's family separation policy, arguing that separating familiies would scare asylum seekers away from the US. The document is from December 2017, well in advance of the family separation policy Nielsen repeatedly said didn't exist.

The document Merkley released is actually the second DHS memo to show Nielsen was lying; a previous memo from April 2018 also discussed options for taking kids from their parents at the border. That first memo was released last September, after a FOIA request, but Nielsen nonetheless said under oath, when she testified to the House Judiciary Committee in December, "I'm not a liar, we've never had a policy for family separation." She also has claimed DHS was simply enforcing existing laws, so no new policy, no new policy, YOU'RE the new policy.

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Tech

You're Not Gonna Believe It, But Michael Cohen Rigging ONLINE POLLS For Trump Gets Stupider

God help us, this is actually the reality we live in.

The other day, Wonkette told you the tale of Michael Cohen paying John Gauger, the computer nerd IT guy from Liberty University, to rig MEANINGLESS ONLINE POLLS so that Donald Trump could win them, back in 2014 and 2015. Cohen was supposed to pay Gauger $50,000, but instead he paid him a literal Walmart bag of 12,000 American stripper tip dollars and also a used boxing glove, because that's totally normal.

Strangely, in 2017, Donald Trump "reimbursed" Michael Cohen for the full Fitty Gs, "largely" from his own money, which by extension we guess means it came "small-ly" from the Trump Organization, to rig ONLINE POLLS, Jesus Christ!

Also Gauger set up a special Sex Twitter account for Michael Cohen, dedicated to showcasing the RAW ORGASM BONER MAGNETISM of Michael Cohen, which is a totally normal thing to get your pal from Liberty University to do for you when he's not too busy rigging online polls for you. If anybody needs to take a break from this post and go masturbate because we mentioned Michael Cohen's RAW ORGASM BONER MAGNETISM, please go do that and never come back.

Now the Wall Street Journal has added new and hilarious details to the a story that was already stupid, dumb and hilarious. Regarding the CNBC online poll in 2014 -- the one where Trump really wanted to top the list of America's business leaders in advance of announcing a presidential run, but he didn't even break the top one hundred, which is appropriate because Trump is really shitty at business and a "leader" at nothing:

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Trump

Donald Trump Knows WALL Always Works, Just Like At Alamo!

This here's the tale of Davy Crockett.

Donald Trump offered an interesting lie compounded by a fuckup this weekend in support of WALL, which is good and smart and, like WHEEL (which is older than WALL), so obvious that no one should question it, especially since it is LIE. Honestly, we don't even know why we need to write the rest of this article now, since that lede hit all the main points. But for the slowpokes among you, Trump said the benefits of WALL are obvious when you consider how border crime dropped following the construction of a border fence in San Antonio, Texas, which if you want to get all nitpicky is actually 150 miles from the border and has no wall, unless maybe you mean the 4-foot-thick lower walls of the Alamo, which didn't do such a great job of keeping Mexicans out during the Battle of Pearl Harbor on Cinco De Mayo in 1492. This is why we must all Remember the Maine.

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2020 presidential election

Kamala Harris Is Running!

We love her, shut up.

Kamala Harris is in! The junior US Senator from California chose the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to become the first black woman in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. The former California attorney general was also the co-recipient of Wonkette's coveted 2018 Legislative Badass of the Year (along with Rep. Pramila Jayapal), making her the second winner of that title to announce a run this year. Elizabeth Warren received the honor in 2014. It's a Major Award! Pundits who fail to note this distinction in their coverage of Harris's announcement are simply not giving you the full truth, America.

Here's Harris's announcement interview on ABC's "Good Morning America":

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News

'We Shall Override.' Wonkagenda For Mon., Jan. 21, 2019

Trump's shutdown enters day 31, Mike Pence gaslights MLK Day, and Rudy drunkenly stumbles on Trump-Russia (again). Your morning news brief.

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

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Post-Racial America

Forget Trump. Let's Have Some NICE THINGS.

Or at least move him to the background. We've got cool history and computers being strange (by design).

It's Sunday, and that means it's time for a break from the ongoing grind of awfulness out there. Let's dive into some cool, funny, thoughtful stuff to fortify ourselves before we get back to the daily madness, shall we?

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Russia

Relax, Everyone: Donald Trump Is Still A F*cking Criminal

WTF does tonight's special message from Robert Mueller tell us? Wonkette tries to answer that question!

HOLY ACHTUNG TWITTER IS FREAKING OUT! Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office (SCO) has issued a statement, almost 24 full hours after Buzzfeed's story on Donald Trump ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the failed Trump Tower Moscow deal started blowing everybody's minds. Mueller's spokesman says actually BuzzFeed got it a bit wrong. This is significant because 1) Mueller's office NEVER talks, and B) well, they're not actually saying BuzzFeed got it WRONG wrong. Just, you know, kinda wrong.

Wow, that statement is lawyered as fuck. BuzzFeed described "specific statements" wrong, and its "characterization of documents and testimony" was just an eensy bit off, and maybe if BuzzFeed moved this sofa over here it would take advantage of more natural light in the room, and honestly, BuzzFeed should trim up this one paragraph of its article, because those sentences DO NOT SPARK MARIE KONDO'S JOY.

Otherwise, it's great!

First of all, we want everybody to relax. Donald Trump is still a criminal.

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Russia

Trump Idiots 'Debunk' Michael Cohen Story By Shrieking HAW HAW BUZZFEED SUX!

Meanwhile, the president responded to the revelation he suborned perjury by tampering with the witness some more. Totally normal!

It's been a joy watching the reactions come in from TrumpWorld about the news that Donald Trump has committed YET ANOTHER CRIME, in this case suborning perjury by instructing his former lawyer thug fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. How many other people did he do that with? WE DUNNO! But that's not what this post is about.

First of all, let's see what the big guy himself did. As with all presidential statements from the un-president, it happened on Twitter:

Oh wait, that's (grapes) not it. Here it is:

That's right, the president of the United States reacted to a bombshell news report exposing that he had tampered with a witness by suborning perjury by ... tampering with that witness some more in public, by threatening his father-in-law! (To be fair, Trump has been trying to intimidate the witness by encouraging the feds to investigate Cohen's father-in-law for a hot minute now. It's one of his things, like tweeting and pooping at the same time and comparing WALL to WHEEL.)

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Culture Wars

Trump: Me, Impeached? LOOK, A TERRORIST PRAYER RUG!

His head's still stuck in A) 2014 and B) his ass.

President Grampa took to the Twitter Machine to again make the case that we need WALL to protect us from all the scary terrorists streaming into our country, repeating a completely hearsay story from the rightwing Washington Examiner about a rancher in New Mexico who says she has personally seen a lot of "Muslim prayer rugs" discarded in the desert. It's simply logic: Scary Muslim terrists are secretly infiltrating our country through the southern border, and we can tell because they casually cast aside their extremist Muslim religious accoutrements for any rando to find. That suggests either terribly lax operational security on the part of the terrists, or maybe just proves how brazen they are, leaving their jihad rugs right out for anyone to see.

There's a third possibility, which is that people are repeating some serious bullshit fresh from the border panic of 2014, and insisting any random scrap of fabric in the desert is a "prayer rug." But come on, that's surely a stretch. Errebody knows Obama allowed ISIS to operate "22 training camps" right here in the USA, and how else would all those terrists get here if not by sneaking up from the border, except not very sneakily?

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