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


After Trump, Mike Pence, and Jared Kushner went to the Hill in an attempt to slut shame Republicans who want to reopen the government, Trump threw a tantrum at the White House in front of congressional leaders. According to the Washington Post, a growing number of Senate Republicans are done with Trump's shutdown game, and told him to his face during a closed door meeting. Later, Trump met with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders at the White house and demanded his wall, but when Nancy Pelosi said, "No," Trump slammed his hands on the table, said "we have nothing to discuss," and huffed out like Veruca Salt. Since House Republicans and the administration don't feel like they're "losing," White House aides are now telling WSJ it's only a matter of time before Trump declares a national emergency and forces the military to just build his goddamn wall, stating, "It will come to this. The question is when." Trump denied acting like an toddler in a tweet this morning denying he'd thrown a tantrum, tweeting, "no slamming."

NBC News is reporting that tests of Trump's "steel slat" prototype show it could be easily cut through with a saw, according to a report DHS tried to hide. The report states that back in 2017, US Marines stationed near Tijuana were instructed to try and break THE WALL with common tools that could acquired by bad hombres, and DHS has been sitting on this information since February of last year...because reasons.

A union representing Customs and Border Protection officers is suing the Trump administration over officers being forced to work without pay during Trump's shutdown. Of course, they could take advice from the Coast Guard, which issued a five-page tipsheet encouraging employees to make some extra cash by selling old junk, or getting a side, like baby-sitting, dog-walking, or declaring bankruptcy. Or asking their dad for a small loan of a million dollars.

Cybersecurity geeks are hoping someone at DHS is keeping their eye on all the computers since there aren't any government contractors around to protect us from all 31 flavors of cyber fuckery. Experts are specifically warning the State Department, Homeland Security, HUD, the EPA, the IRS, NIST, and the National Park Service to keep an eye out for someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400lbs.

Axios decided to do a rundown on all the actual crises we're ignoring thanks to Trump sucking all the oxygen out of the newscycle. Since it's Axios there's some blatant clickbait fear mongering, but that doesn't change the fact there's no time to talk about the opioid crisis, healthcare, rising suicide rates, gun violence in Chicago, the Middle East, or disturbing climate change reports. #MAGA

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is headed to the Hill today to explain why the hell the administration quietly lifted sanctions on companies owned by Russian mobster oligarch, Oleg Deripaska right before the end of the year. It's possible legislators can reverse the decision and reinstate the sanctions, but Republicans in the Senate seem oddly sympathetic to the plight of the Russian aluminum magnate's money troubles in the midst of Trump's trade war.

Former coal lobbyist and acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has been formally nominated to replace Scott Pruitt as the grifty SOB in charge of poisoning the waterholes. Roll Call reports Wheeler's confirmation isn't a sure thing since a number of Republicans are up for reelection, and a recent court order demanding the administration release HIS EMAILS immediately after the government shutdown could allow Democrats to stall the confirmation hearing.

Led by clueless Confederate Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republicans want to charge a fee and force insurance providers to itemize abortion services on monthly premiums or bills as part of a stipulation within the ACA. According to them, a simple bill is too much, and we should be providing more detailed records and charging fees for people with vaginas.

Millions of dollars in bailouts for US farmers caught in the middle of Trump's trade war will be sent to a massive Brazilian meatpacking company in exchange for about 2 million pounds of pork. This is despite promises from the Agricultural Marketing Service, a division in the USDA in charge of the bailouts, to only send the cash payments to "100 [percent] American" farmers. Thanks, Trump.

Super rich guy Tom Steyer says #HesNOTrunning. This way Steyer doesn't step on the toes of Michael Bloomberg, allowing Steyer to keep spending $40 million dollars running ads that encourage people to #ImpeachTheMotherFucker.

West Virginia state Senator Richard Ojeda says he'll resign next week so that he can focus on running for presnit in 2020. Ojeda bitched to West Virginia Public Radio that the states turncoat governor, Jim Justice, will probably just install a one of his coal lobbyist cronies. #HesRunning

Politico is reporting one of Bernie Sanders's top 2016 campaign people, Robert Becker, allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Philadelphia shortly after the DNC. The victim says she came forward with the allegation after Becker began calling her and other staffers in an attempt to place staffers in primary states ahead of Bernie's potential 2020 run. The woman tells Politico, “It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with. This can't happen in 2020. You can't run for President of the United States unless you acknowledge that every campaign demands a safe work environment for every employee and volunteer."

If Bernie does decide to run in 2020, CNN is reporting that his longtime campaign manager Jeff Weaver won't return to the same job, and will instead become a top strategic asshole who yells at people on TV.

Poor racist Ron DeSantis! He can't even enjoy his stolen election because former Governor Rick Scott is stealing all the attention and job vacancies! Scott even snubbed DeSantis by leaving DeSantis's inaugural ball in Florida to fly to DC for Scott's own swearing-in ball, making DeSantis look like a loser. There's speculation that the budding bitter rivalry between Scott and DeSantis will spill into 2024, with one Democratic adviser joking, "It's pretty clear that both of these men think they're going to be president, one by being Donald Trump's vice governor and the other with Scrooge McDuck money."

FUN FACT: In 1958 a TV show called Trackdown, a show about a cowboy running around hunting fugitives, ran a episode titled, "The End of the World," where a snake oil salesman tries to convince people to build a magic wall to protect them from a cosmic crisis. The characters name name was -- no joke -- Walter Trump. [Full Episode]

And here's your morning Nice Time! A baby tamandua!

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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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CLEAR YOUR CALENDARS FOR FEBRUARY 7! And then fill them back up with whatever the fuck you want, because Michael Cohen has announced through his lawyers that he is too scared to testify before an open session of Congress that day, citing threats to his family from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

Wonkette has no reason to believe Cohen isn't being serious here, and NBC News reports Cohen's wife and father-in-law are particularly concerned about their safety if the man who used to call his boss MIS-TURRRR TWUMP goes to Congress and tells the truth this time. Still, we must pause to note that this is the same guy who said this to NPR reporter Tim Mak, back when Mak was at The Daily Beast:

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have," Cohen told Mak [...] "And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know."

"So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"

It's not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot, IS IT, MICHAEL?

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Did Nancy Pelosi do something to give Donald Trump the mistaken impression he has leverage here? We don't remember her doing anything like that!

Trump sent Pelosi a letter this morning to say that, despite how she told him to stay the fuck out of her House because of his government shutdown, he would still be coming to the House on January 29 to deliver his State of the Union address. And for some weird-ass reason, Trump and his advisers in the White House actually thought she would back down. It's both hilarious and alarming that Trump and his people are that stupid, isn't it?

Anyway, Pelosi took the dare. She took the dare. Was there anybody besides those dumb fucking idiots in the White House who thought she wouldn't take the dare?

Pelosi sent a letter right back to Trump to kindly explain to him that no means "go fuck yourself," and that if he'd like her to stick her foot further up his ass and kick it around a bunch, he's welcome to test her some more:

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