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Good morning and happy 4/20, Wonketariat! Here's some of the things wemay be coughing about today!


House Republicans got Comey's memos and immediately ran to Fox News. The memos talk about awkward dinners, Trump's obsession with the pee hooker tape, THE DOSSIER, leaking, Mike Flynn, Andrew McCabe, and Reince Priebus. [Read the Memos]

Last night James Comey was talking with Rachel Maddow when the memos dropped, and she pressed him on THE DOSSIER, their joking about jailing reporters, and how Trump's defense of the pee hooker tape stems from a phone call with Putin where he claimed that Russia had "some of the most beautiful [pee] hookers in the world." [Morning Maddow]

The RNC has been sending around a furry to stalk James Comey.

Trump has "You're Hired" Rudy Giuliani to defend him from Robert Mueller, but there's a couple of problems there as Mr. 9/11 says he's there to cut a deal with Mueller, not defend Trump. ALSO, Giuliani may be the subject of a federal investigation.

Joining Giuliani on Trump's deplorable legal team is husband and wife duo Jane Serene and Marty Raskin, best known for defending white collar criminals, suggesting that Trump may have serious legal trouble in Florida too.

Rod Rosenstein has reportedly told Trump he's not part of Robert Mueller's investigation (yet) and that seemed to calm him down. However, Axios calls that bullshit, and is reporting Trump is still "in a defensive posture."

A bill to protect Robert Muller might clear the Senate Judiciary Committee, and thus work its way to the Senate floor. Now we're just waiting for Chuck Grassley to shit or get off the pot.

GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will introduce a bill to decriminalize marijuana, and create a whole slew of regulations aimed at safety and opportunities for women and minorities seeking business opportunities. In an interview with Vice, Schumer notes, "My personal view is legalization is fine."

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has finally joined Ron Wyden and Kirsten Gillibrand in co-sponsoring a bill by Corey Booker to LEGALIZE IT, and expunge the records of people convicted on possession charges.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Even Mitch McConnell may be trying to join the party as McClatchy reports he may support legalizing hemp and CBD oil. Kentucky is facing slumping tobacco sales, and it's thought that hemp could offset agricultural losses.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth created history (AGAIN) when she brought her infant daughter onto the Senate floor! Yes, regulatory purists, her daughter was wearing the required blazer.

A group of Democratic senators want to know just how much influence the Koch Brothers have in Trump's White House, and they're about to go to war on the Senate floor over Koch-backed policy pushing.

Scott Pruitt spent $45,000 to fly an "advance" team of five people first class to Australia for a conference that was then canceled. Now there are signs that Republicans are done with Pruitt's ethical shenanigans.

Rand Paul is taking a stand against Mike Pompeo, and that's pissing off a lot of people on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp came out in support of Pompeo for Secretary of State.

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine is your new NASA administrator, and he doesn't have a clue what the fuck he's doing, but he did run the Air and Space Museum in Tulsa (into the ground).

The corruption trial against Aaron Schock has stalled while Schocks's legal team bitches and moans about procedures and process, just like on Downton Abbey.

The House Freedom crazies want Kevin McCarthy to make them an offer they can't refuse in order to secure their backing for the Speaker's gavel. The self-serving asswipes just want to know five things: "What's in it for me?"

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has built a huge war chest and outraised the state Republican AG Josh Hawley, but she still needs your help!

Mike Pence has a brother running for Congress in Indiana, and his campaign is basically "My Not Gay Brother Is Vice President."

An all conservative three judge panel of federal appellate judges has ruled the Trump administration's attempt to punish sanctuary cities exceeded legal authority, with two of the judges opining, "It falls to us, the judiciary, as the remaining branch of the government, to act as a check on such usurpation of power."

The Daily Beast reports Corey Lewandowski "fucked over" a Polish lobbyist in a massive arms deal, embedding himself in the skeeviest areas of DC.

Abortion is creeping into the 2018 midterm debates as conservative legislators in fly-over country continue to tell you little whooo-res to put on your magic chastity belts built by Jesus.

More and more candidates are openly running as socialists, or "far-left candidates," suggesting a shift in mainstream party politics.

Arizona teachers have voted to strike statewide on April 26 after turning down a proposed pay raise by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey that wouldn't take full effect until 2020. The teachers turned the deal down, instead arguing for an increase in school funding. #RedForEd

Yesterday we told you about Peter Thiel's creepy spy software being sold to cops, but today ProPublica's Mike Dumke has a story detailing how the Chicago police, who use Thiel's software, have been building a gang database with laughably inaccurate information, like an 80-year-old Black Panther.

Jared Kushner's family businesses got SERVED by a federal grand jury over a failure to admit rent-regulated tenants in an potential effort to skirt regulations. [Archive]

Students will stage walkouts to note the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School.

The Kremlin has been getting a crash-course in its own stupidity after the Russian government blocked millions of IP addresses and broke their own Internet access.

Russian state media has been uploading cleverly disguised propaganda videos to Youtube aimed at youths.

China is trying to make some friends in Europe in order to bolster its position in Trump's trade war.

The SPLC has a fascinating report out on what brings people into the demented world of the "alt-right." It's long and gets deep into the vomit-inducing weeds, but it is fascinating.

And here's your morning Nice Time! BABY GOAT ADVENTURE 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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Once upon a time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at least claimed to focus their efforts entirely on immigrants involved in criminal activity. Those days are long gone, and now they're going after anyone, including law-abiding people who are just trying to drive their pregnant wives to the hospital to give birth.

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I'd mentioned this week that there's definitely probably a tape out there of Donald Trump referring to a black person as a "nigger," because Trump is a racist and that's sort of what they do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders won't even affirmatively deny such a tape exists, and she's from the "two plus two equals five" school of communications management. I also speculated that once the tape was released, Republican supporters of the president would flock to defend his vile words: "Hey, if you rearrange the letters in "nigger," you get "ginger" and who doesn't like redheads and the occasional Dark 'n' Stormy?"

The shameful display has already started and the supposed recording isn't even available for pre-order on iTunes. Georgia State Senator Michael Williams stated in appearance on CNN's "New Day Saturday" that if Trump -- who's the president, by the way -- did say "nigger," it would certainly concern him as an "individual" but "not necessarily as a person that is running our country." So, uh, what the hell is that? This has been a standard argument from Republicans ever since Trump crawled his way out of the sewers of birtherism and onto a major political stage: "We think Trump is a terrible human being -- seriously, we have to shower immediately after meeting with him -- but we still think he's a suitable steward of the most powerful nation on the planet."

Normally, you'd think this would work the other way. You know, your brother-in-law is a nice enough guy. Your sister certainly could've done worse. You don't mind the slightly rambling sports-ball discussions with him at family gatherings. He's good for looking after the kids (as long as your sister is present or reachable by cell), but you'd never invest your hard-earned money into whatever half-assed business venture he's trying to get off the ground nor would you back his run for any serious political office.

I've long had issues with the "brilliant asshole" archetype in TV and movies. It's almost always a white male (because women and minorities must be perfect) whose emotional immaturity and overall jerkass behavior we're told to overlook because they're so goshdarned awesome. Do you want some PC "cuck" or do you want Dr. House to figure out that the MS symptoms you're suffering are really just because you ate a stale doughnut? Sherlock Holmes doesn't have time for your feelings or social niceties -- not while he's solving mysteries and being dreamy.

Trump, however, isn't "brilliant." He's just a guy who says "nigger." They're hardly a scarcity in the market. You don't even have to venture out to a klan rally to find one. You can order online -- same day social media delivery.

Williams argues that Trump didn't use the word "nigger" when he was in the "office of the president." It was just some youthful indiscretion when he was almost 60. I don't even know where he's going with this. Does he think Trump has changed? He routinely insults and belittles black people. He also calls black NFL players who peacefully protest "sons of bitches." Was that his way of weaning off calling us "niggers"? Has he been wearing a "nigger" patch on his arm to control his cravings for the racial epithet?

"He used the word in his personal life," Williams said. (It was actually in a workplace context -- SER) "Now if he were president and were to go on TV and use the n-word, I'd have a major problem with that."

media.giphy.com

It's heartening repulsive to see that Williams draws the line at Trump holding an official "nigger" press conference. I think once we reach that point, Trump will probably also reveal that his buddies on the Supreme Court discovered a typo in the Thirteenth Amendment and black folks' work-life balance will start to really suffer.

"I will always say using the n-word is wrong, and it's bad, and should never be accepted in our society. But just because (Trump) might have done it years ago, not as our president, doesn't mean we need to continue to berate him because he used it," GOP state Sen. Michael Williams, who is white, told CNN's Victor Blackwell on "New Day Saturday."

Blackwell, who is black, had to sit there and listen to this crap from a white elected official who is just 45 years old. You know, the word "nigger" doesn't even appear in the Dred Scott decision, for example, but that's not necessary for reasonable people to understand that it was racist as hell. We all know Trump is racist, but now Republicans can't even repudiate the worst demonstrations of his racial animus. The first black president hasn't even been out of office for two full years and already "nigger" is being redefined. What would once end a campaign in its tracks when Blackwell and I were growing up is now just an "oops, my bad."

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