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

Trump's congressional minions are trying to put the screws to Rod Rosenstein, threatening to impeach the Deputy AG over clerical nonsense in an effort to kill the Trump-Russia investigation.

Trump reanimated the corpse of his 1990s lawyer to ask about Michael Cohen. Naturally, the old fossil immediately called up the WSJ and dished about the Cohen's chances of rolling over. [Archive]

White House officials are telling reporters that Trump is freaking out over the raid on Michael Cohen, with one aides wondering how much loyalty Cohen will have when faced with decades of federal fuck-my-life-up prison.

Early this morning Cohen dropped his lawsuit against Fusion GPS and Buzzfeed over THE DOSSIER.

An internal memo from the Pittsburgh police has instructed cops to bring riot gear to work in anticipation of Robert Mueller being "You're Fired" after somebody saw a website calling for pop-up protests in US cities. Yesterday Trump was asked about the fate of Mueller and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and commented, "They're still here."

During a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump noted that he might walk away from North Korea talks if he suddenly thinks he's getting a shitty deal.

Trump and Abe were talking about trade relations between the US and Japan, but as Abe faces a political shitstorm back home for failing to secure a shield in Trump's trade war, Trump is drawing criticism from the global business community (as usual) for being a fucking idiot and starting a damn trade war.

The Senate changed its rules to allow Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth to take her infant onto the Senate floor. Hurray!

Farmers in the rurals are warning the GOP of repercussions in the midterms if they don't fight back against Trump's trade war.

Republicans are getting ready to try and kill ACA's individual mandate (AGAIN); coincidentally, insurers are supposed to announce rate hikes just before the midterms.

As House Republicans move to make the Trump/Ryan tax cuts (for the super rich) permanent, Senate Republicans are having heart attacks and hoping they don't have to kill the bill.

Texas Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry wants to slash 800,000 Pentagon support jobs as part of an effort to reduce bureaucracy. The agencies affected cover international arms sales, HR, arms control, and IT. No need to be hovering over people, right?

Donald Trump has put the Harriet Tubman $20 bill on ice. God forbid Trump be known as the guy who put the face of an angry black woman on his favorite coke straw.

Nikki Haley is telling Trump and his minions to back the fuck off, but that's not necessarily a good thing as her hawkish disdain for the UN is shared by both Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. This is merely confirmation that everybody hates Larry Kudlow.

Once a titan of the Trump administration, Jared Kushner now meets with the most useless congressional caucus in order to avoid further catastrophic fuck-ups. SAD!

More and more whispers are coming from the shadows to talk about Gina Haspel's time overseeing the CIA torture program, and while the CIA is denouncing the accusations, it isn't exactly denying them either.

The US Air Force is saying that we already have a space force, Mike Pence just has a hard-on for Buzz Lightyear; the Air Force is already going balls-to-the-wall to build up US capability for the coming SPACE WAR!

Heads are rolling in the the Tennessee Air National Guard in the fallout from PuppetGate. The NCO, Master Sgt. Robin Brown, faces administrative action for reciting her her re-enlistment oath while wearing a dinosaur hand puppet, as does the unidentified SNCO who videotaped it. The colonel who led the ceremony has been demoted and immediately announced his retirement. Here's the video, in case you missed it!

The DHS accidentally released a cache of documents on "remote mind control" when FOIA'd for info on white nationalist and Antifa groups. There's no indication that this was a government program, but it does have details about attempts to induce "wild flailing" and a "forced orgasm."

The death of HR McMaster's dad is being investigated by multiple agencies after being labeled "suspicious." Huh...

A new report from the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency has found a number of recurring problems in federal workers, IT security, and financial management that point to major deficiencies in the federal government, and they're hoping somebody (ANYBODY?) is paying attention.

A federal judge has bitchslapped Kris Kobach, ruling that Kobach was dicking around with voters and county election officials in Kansas, violating a court order.

The Koch Brothers are dumping half-a-million into a digital and TV ad campaign aimed at unseating Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester by blaming him for the shortcomings of Obamacare that were created by the Trump administration.

Arizona's special election in the 8th District is this Tuesday, and as the heavily Republican district heads into the final days there's a great deal of skepticism that the Republican candidate can succeed against her Democratic opponent, Hiral Tipirneni.

Republican incumbents are getting their asses kicked in fundraising this year, and California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is at the top of the list.

California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has apparently reached a deal to allow national Guard troops on the California border. Details are still being ironed out, but Brown says troops won't be building a wall, or be involved with immigration enforcement.

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal has settled her lawsuit with the tabloid company that was preventing her from talking about her sexy times with Donald Trump.

Puerto Ricans are waking up in the darkness (AGAIN) after an excavator working near high-voltage line caused ANOTHER blackout, across the entire island. The blackout happened at the same time as a much-hyped baseball game (aimed at showing the success of the government) was set to begin.

Cuban President Raul Castro is stepping down, ushering in the first non-Castro presidency since the Cuban revolution almost 60 years ago. There remains a great deal of skepticism from hardliners in the US as Vice president Miguel Diaz-Canel takes power.

During a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, members bitched out what's left of the State Department and pressed for a clear goal in Syria after Trump's mixed messages.

Three former US service members have been found guilty in an attempted assassination in the Philippines, and revealed to be part of a network of international contract killers.

Russia says it totally wasn't trying to break into your router and steal your pasta recipes. Good thing that John Bolton just gutted the NSC cyber security experts.

As one of the most prolific hackers/spammers settles into a federal work camp for the next year and a half, we're learning how he was able to steal passwords to peddle bullshit diet products and face cream just like Dr. Oz. Note: Today is a good day to change your password.

Meggles McCain got into a TV pissing contest with James Comey. Comey, ever the sassy bitch, urged people to read his book, and Meggles, ever the hack, called him a stoolie. Yes, this story is as stupid as it sounds.

Here's a good story from Lloyd Grove about Heath Freeman, the president of Digital First Media, the assholes buying up and burning local newspapers.

And here's your morning Nice Time! Endangered piggies!

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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

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[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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