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We made it to Friday, Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today while we try to drown out our fear of nuclear Trumpocalypse with an obscene amount of coffee and booze.


Trump appears to be using the madman theory of nuclear deterrence as he continued to scream at North Korea on Twitter this morning, just one day after he sent the majority of the human race looking for clean underpants when he threatened The DPRK (again) after getting a military briefing on his options for igniting WWIII.

Trump's lawyer has been spending some sleepless nights yelling at the Wall Street Journal for reporting on Robert Mueller spoiling Paul Manaforts sleepover, stating "These methods are normally found and employed in Russia not America." Seriously, these guys would know all about Russia. [Archive]

Paul Manafort has a new team of lawyers now that the FBI is keeping him up at night. Even though he looks like a door-to-door Tupperware salesman, his bio says he specializes in tax fraud, Bank Secrecy Act violations, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, civil tax litigation cases, and tax shelter litigation. [Morning Maddow]

Not only that, but Paul Manafort's son-in-law has had some talky time with DOJ investigators about some real estate dealings he's made with Manafort. It's probably a good time to start placing your bets on who will snitch first.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Robert Mueller's team of extraordinary investigators has ALSO been asking banks in Not America for Manafort's financial records. It's probably a good thing that someone is keeping an eye on Manafort's money as he has a habit of forgetting about millions of Ameros.

All this new Trump-Russia stuff is bad news for Trump as his legal team scrambles to pull their heads from their own asses before they're inevitably "You're Fired" by Trump incompetence.

MEANWHILE, there's a legal fight brewing involving Christopher Steele, with lawyers battling over whether or not he'll actually be forced to testify about the contents (read: pee hooker tape) of THE DOSSIER.

Congressional investigators want to sit down with Trump's secretary as she keeps popping up in reference to people trying to see Trump.

House Freedom Crazies plan on filing a petition to force Paul Ryan to bring up the "clean Obamacare repeal" bill during today's pro-forma session. This one is breaking as of publishing, so we'll get back to you on this.

Republicans are facing more #resistance at town halls over healthcare and tax reform efforts. Their pesky constituents keep reminding them that they kind of like not being dead.

That rumbling you're starting to feel at your feet is the death rattle of the government funding bill. Congress has less than two weeks to figure out how to fund the government for another couple of months, so keep your eyes peeled for crappy riders and porktastic add-ons.

Before he was "You're Fired," Rich Higgins, Mike Flynn's leftover stooge on the NSC, sent a memo trying to warn Trumpistas of a civil war -- an "existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative" from "deep state’ actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans." Clearly this is bullshit, which you would know if you attended the last secret meeting of liberal elites. It was all about weed and single payer.

Trump is expected to nominate two of Chris Christie's besties for judicial appointments, and one of those guys, Craig Carpenito, helped Christie squeeze through Bridgegate. With friends like these...

President Bannon has been hiding in his office and avoiding all human contact while he coordinates hitjobs on his enemies with Breitbart as if he were a boozed-out bootleg Rasputin.

Yesterday Trump changed his mind and said he will declare a "national emergency" on the opioid crisis and that the US will "spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money," which sounds great if you're the kind of person who thinks you can beat addictions by liquifying bundles of cash and injecting them directly into your bloodstream.

The lovers' quarrel between Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump is getting pretty heated as Trump continues to bitch and moan on Twitter. Wonder who's going to be sleeping in the dog house?

Before leaving for vacation, Senate Democrats blocked the nomination of Dr. Brett Giroir for assistant secretary of health due to his lack of support for Title X money going to Planned Parenthood, and the big pharma bulge poking out of his pants.

According to some LEAKERS at Fox News, the Seth Rich thing was an editorial fuck up that got out of hand after Inspector Clouseau, Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich went apeshit.

Four top-level cybersecurity officials suddenly quit their jobs at the EPA, DHS, OPM and the Navy. The rumor mill on the Hill says it was over frustration at the stupidity of Trump & Co., but then Trump did say he was trying to downsize the government, didn't he?

The first 65 endorsements have been announced by Run For Something, the group trying to shove young progressives and millennials into public office. YOUR MOVE, OLDS!

Trump thanked Putin for booting out 755 diplomats from Moscow in response to the passing of new sanctions "because we're trying to cut down on payroll." Literally.

Sebastian Gorka, the neo-Nazi, I mean, white nationalist, I mean, random ranting asshole with no discernible role in the White House, has been talking trash about Rex Tillerson, but when confronted he denied it and then carried on like he hadn't been caught taking a shit on the carpet.

Trump's DC trash palace and hotel has earned almost $2 million in profits, making it a hell of a lot harder to argue that Trump isn't profiting off public office.

West Virginia turncoat Gov. Jim Justice wants to sell a 4.5 billion coal bailout as a "homeland security initiative" to protect the energy grid, a fantastic leap of statistical logic that is hilariously stupid.

GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! An appellate court in San Francisco has ruled that a Silivon Valley billionaire can't keep people off the public beach surrounding his mansion.

China is warning the US to stop patrolling the South China Sea (again) and whining about the security and sovereignty of islands it stole from Vietnam, and/or the Philippines, and/or Taiwan.

ICYMI: Dana Loesch has words from the NRA about Philando Castile, and they are not good words.

CNN has "You're Fired" Jeffrey Lord for tweeting Nazi shit in response to some comments made by Media Matters' President Angelo Carusone, who just wanted his name spelled correctly.

Sounds like Michael Moore's Broadway show is an obnoxious series of unorganized fart sniffing rants, with the Times likening it to "being stuck at Thanksgiving dinner with a garrulous, self-regarding, time-sucking uncle."

DID YOU KNOW that there's a Congressional Cemetery and it uses our fuzzy, four-legged friends for guards? It's true! 'MERICA!

Your late night news brief is on FIRE this morningStephen Colbert is kind of hoping we don't die in a fiery inferno and had some talky time with Jim Jefferies; Jimmy Kimmel had a new drunk Donald Trump and some advice on surviving the nuclear Trumpocalypse; Seth Meyers took A Closer Look at Pence's bullshit, and had some talky time with Sen. Tammy Duckworth.The Daily Show sent Hasan Minhaj to coal country to check out workforce alternatives; Conan O'Brien sang America (and its territories) to sleep with a lullaby; James Corden wondered who will win the war between the Tortoise and the Hair; and SNL's Weekend Update checked in on the new bourgeois Lady Liberty.

And here's your morning Nice Time! A baby lowland tapir!

Money is a gas, and we need your cash to to keep making all the goody goody news stuff.

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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The Church of Scientology had some thoughts about Our Robyn's piece, Who Wants To Watch A Creepy White Guy Rap About Scientology? We had some thoughts about their thoughts.

Thanks for writing in, Scientology! As you doubtless realized when you didn't demand we take down our story, but requested it instead, our opinions of your weird cult and that poor young man's rap skills are protected by the First Amendment. (I learned about libel law in college and grad school but also on the job: I was in newspapers so long that I was actually colleagues with Tony Ortega -- about whom you sound quite "venomous" and "biased" -- at the very same newspaper chain you can't believe he defended! Next up, please show your due diligence by talking trash about a woman you didn't know was my mom.)

Also, a lot of your former members say on the record that you kidnap people, and stalk them, and harass them, and sometimes beat them up good, and I request that if so, fucking stop it.

The rest of you click the headline, if you want your OPEN THREAD.

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Monday's Trump-Putin press conference landed on the entire free world like a hot treason-shaped turd, didn't it? Congressional Republicans have been saying mean things about it on Twitter, and even Fox News has been less than 100% supportive! The White House communications department obviously knew it had a crisis on its hands, what with how it's generally considered inappropriate for the leader of the free world to get on all fours in front of the Russian president and wag his tail and slobber with anticipation while he awaits his next marching orders. WOMP WOMP, etc.

So the comms department typed up a thing for the president to read aloud today at the beginning of his meeting with members of Congress, about how he was VERY SORRY he said one word incorrectly during the Putin presser. That's right, only one word of that whole fucking shitshow was wrong. All the rest of his traitor words were exactly what he meant to say.

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