Remember Wednesday when Donald Trump gave that bat guano insane press conference congratulating himself for losing the House? President Sundowner said a lot of craycray shit that day, but crapping all over Republicans who lost in swing districts because they didn't support him was pretty next level.

By any measure, the GOP got shellacked in the House, with losses headed for about 35 to 40 seats, since voters preferred the Democrats by a 7 point margin. They lost Senate races in swingy Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia, and are currently tied in Arizona and Florida. (And in known swing state "Texas," they came within THREE POINTS of losing.) But in Donald Trump's scrambled egg brain, the problem was that Rep. Barbara Comstock didn't kiss Trump's ass enough. If she and Carlos Curbelo had just campaigned wearing MAGA hats, in districts Clinton won by double digits, they would have coasted to victory! Like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and Adam Laxalt in Nevada, and Jim Renacci in Ohio, and Matt Rosendale in Montana, and Lena Epstein in Michigan, and ummmm ...

Here on Planet Earth, Trump's habit of endorsing the person who strokes his orange ego the hardest -- as opposed to the strongest candidate in the district -- seems to have actively harmed Republicans on election day.

Take South Carolina's first Congressional District, which Mark Sanford won by 22 points in 2016. Sanford made the unpardonable error of criticizing the Dear Leader and agreeing that the president ought to release his tax returns, so Donald Trump made damn sure that Sanford would lose his primary to wingnut Katie Arrington.

Which is how Democrat Joe Cunningham won Tuesday in a R+10 district. In true Trump style, Arrington blamed Sanford, saying, "We lost because Mark Sanford could not understand this was about the conservative movement, and not him." THANKS, DONALD TRUMP!

In Georgia, the local GOP vastly preferred Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle in the Republican gubernatorial primary. But Secretary of State Brian Kemp whispered sweet nothings into Trump's earhairs.

And even though Kemp humped Trump's leg for the entire campaign and booted more than a million voters off the rolls and ratfucked as hard as he could, he's still fighting for his life against superhero Stacey Abrams. Would Cagle, a normal Republican who is less viscerally repulsive than Kemp, be battling to avoid a runoff in a state Trump won by five points in 2016? Not likely. So, THANKS, DONALD!

But nowhere did Trump more spectacularly screw Republicans than in Kansas, where his endorsement propelled lunatic Kris Kobach to victory in the primary over sitting Governor Jeff Colyer. The local GOP begged Trump to stay out of the race, but he moved on Kansas like a bitch. Only he couldn't get there! In a state with three registered Republicans for every single Democrat.

The Kansas City Star has a post mortem on Kobach's hilariously incompetent campaign.

Interviews with more than a dozen Republican strategists and officials paint a picture of a candidate who refused to listen to advice, was unwilling to put energy into fundraising and failed to set up a basic "get out the vote" operation.

Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, struggled to pay his campaign staff on time and at one point lacked a working phone system at his Johnson County campaign office, according to GOP sources familiar with the campaign. And people who offered to volunteer were never contacted.

"It was the most dysfunctional thing I've ever seen in my life," said a long-time GOP operative in Kansas.

Kobach trusted that his regular presence on cable news, dominance in headlines and the full-throated support of President Donald Trump would carry him to victory, strategists told The Star. He also expected independent Greg Orman to siphon more votes from Democrat Laura Kelly than he actually did.

In the meantime, Democrat Laura Kelly racked up endorsements from several former Republican governors and former longtime Kansas Senator Nancy Kassebaum. Clearly their support mattered more than the reflected orange glow from the Excrescence-In-Chief! THANKS, DONALD!

Hey, you know who else's endorsement is better than Trump's?

That's right, it's Barack Obama, that guy who won the popular vote twice. SAD.

So, from the bottom of our cynical, liberal hearts, THANKS, DONALD! And please, keep going with your gut and picking winners in the primaries. No one understands local politics like you, buddy!


[Kansas City Star]

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Good morning, America! Attorney General Bill Barr is doing a presser at 9:30 AM EDT about the Mueller report, which nobody will be able to see until around noon or after, once Congress gets the redacted report on CDs. Seeing as that is bullshit, there's no reason to watch this thing, as journalists won't be able to ask him questions about a document they haven't seen. So ... go back to bed, everyone!

Ugh, fine, we guess we will do this, and that is because we care, even though we are quite certain HGTV is doing some kind of very important "Property Brothers" marathon that adds much more of value to the national discourse, and also covers it up with shiplap accent walls. Does Bill Barr do cover-ups with shiplap? No, because he doesn't have the good taste for that.

Reportedly, we are going to hear from Barr why certain things were redacted, including why he thinks certain facts are subject to executive privilege, which is funny because he is not the president and therefore cannot invoke executive privilege. But oh whatever! Details! Robert Mueller won't be there and none of his team will be there, which tells you something about how they feel about this whole process. If they felt like this was on the up-and-up, you'd imagine they might show up to present a united front. As that is not happening, assume the entire thing is a bullshit act meant to help Donald Trump set the narrative for what will otherwise be a very bad day for him.

The New York Times reported last night that the White House has already been briefed on significant portions of the report, because Bill Barr is a rightwing scam artist piece of shit who gives the Trump White House reacharounds. The briefings have reportedly been very helpful for the White House in coming up with how to rebut today's report, which is funny because we thought Trump said this report was a full exoneration, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. (Actually nope on both counts, since Mueller didn't decide the obstruction question, and even according to Barr's mash notes, he took a very limited view of the conspiracy question, focusing on the Russian government's hack and dump WikiLeaks operation.)

Anyway, assuming Trump is right about full exoneration, we guess Rudy Giuliani's rebuttal will state that Trump is guilty, full stop. Because that's what "rebuttal" means, correct?

Committee chairs in the House including Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters have called upon Bill Barr to cancel today's briefing, as it is useless horseshit. Because Barr literally gives zero fucks about his reputation and apparently is OK with going down in history as a fecal stain on our institutions and the rule of law, the show will go on.

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Now What? Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 18, 2019

Bill Barr's book report, the NRA is doomed, and Johnny Cash will watch over the Capitol. Your morning news brief!


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

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