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


Turkish officials tell WaPo they have audio recordings of WaPo columnist Jamal Khashoggi being tortured and killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but they're worried about releasing them as it could compromise Turkish spies. Yesterday Saudi officials tried to mitigate the damage by asking Turkey for a joint investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.

Trump continues to brush off any action against Saudi officials, literally telling reporters that the Saudis give us lots of money (for guns and ammo) that they could give to Russia and China (for guns and ammo).

A bunch of big businesses and media outlets are pulling out of an upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia, including the NY Times, the LA Times, Viacom, and The Economist following Khashoggi's disappearance. At least someone cares.

Why is Trump one of the only people NOT distancing himself from the Saudis? Could it be they've been some of his best customers for years, and stay at Trump trash palaces when they need to peddle influence in Washington? (Yes.)

Trump's lawyers are trying to figure out how they answer written questions from Robert Mueller about allegations of conspiracy (NOT COLLUSION) without technically lying. Legal analysts think Mueller is serving up an appetizer while cooking up the main course, obstruction (perhaps with a side of treason).

After another dismal day on Wall Street, global markets appeared to steady overnight, leading number crunchers to nervously shout all is well. Trump also continued his dangerous attacks against the Fed in an attempt to blame falling markets on everything but his incompetence.

The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale has a detailed account of 129 "false claims" Trump made this week. It's the second most dishonest week of his presidency (so far). If he keeps this up he'll get a new high score!

The WSJ reports Trump is considering as many as five different people to replace AG Jeff Sessions -- who definitely isn't about to be "You're Fired" on Twitter -- but he can't find anyone who wants the job.

Buzzfeed's FOIA king Jason Leopold got his hands on John Kelly's emails, and boy does he hate Elizabeth Warren! Kelly called Warren an "impolite and arrogant woman" for lecturing Trump officials on the Muslim ban travel restrictions on ethnic and religious minorities from "shithole countries" after Mitch McConnell gave her detention for persisting on being mean to Jeff Sessions.

The New York Attorney General's office posted DOJ documents that say Wilbur Ross spoke with Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions and Kris Kobach about citizenship questions on the 2020 census in the spring of 2017, a direct contradiction to Ross's congressional testimony earlier this year. Ross's aides are shooing away reporters by saying Ross gets cranky if he doesn't get his naps.

After running the numbers Dina Powell realized that she's making way more money at Goldman Sachs and has no desire to replace Nikki Haley. Politico reports that Trump is asking central casting for a woman to replace Haley so that the administration can look better after that "Kavanaugh stuff."

Get ready for another government shutdown after the midterms as Republicans cave to Trump's demand that somebody (not Mexico) build his goddamn wall.

Now that Mitch McConnell can finish packing lower courts, the Senate is getting ready to leave for a recess through the midterms.

New Republican attack ads are painting Democrats as enablers of the vagenda of manocide being carried out by Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and the JOOOOOZ in Hollywood.

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is hemorrhaging campaign volunteers following his tepid support for Justice Rapey McPrivilege. Now people are worried they may be giving outgoing Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker's seat to batshit crazy lady Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

A new Mason Dixon-Telemundo poll of Florida's 27th has Donna Shalala running behind Republican TV news lady Maria Elvira Salazar. Transcripts from a Spanish language debate set to air this weekend show Shalala defending her record against attacks from Salazar, while Salazar tries to dodge questions about her support for Trump.

Fun Fact: There's a couple of ballot measures that could boost Democrats chances in key battleground races this fall, like voting rights for felons in Florida, marijuana in North Dakota, and Medicaid expansion in Montana.

The trial for indicted New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins has been scheduled for February of 2020, so even if he wins reelection he's going to be dogged by allegations of graft for the next two years.

The campaign of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is calling for her shady opponent, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, to resign after he held up 53,000 voter registration applications, most of which are from African Americans. Last night the Georgia NAACP announced it was readying a lawsuit to reopen voter registration in Georgia to allow the applicants to be processed.

Two young Republicans in Arizona tried to trick staffers for Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran into accepting a jar full of money from the "Northern Arizona University Communist Party." When they demanded a receipt, O'Halleran's finance director drove over to the local Republican field office and gave the jar back to the two staffers.

The damage from Hurricane Michael in Florida has devastated coastal towns and killed at least 11 people. While officials are still tallying the destruction and attempting to distribute aid via helicopters, preliminary reports suggest Panama City and Mexico Beach have been virtually wiped out with cinder block homes being scattered amongst miles of flattened forests.

Now that he's helped brutally murder most of the men, women and children opposing Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin is asking Europe for help rebuilding Syria so he can embarrass Trump (again) and get a better return on his investment.

It's not just Saudi Arabia, dictatorial regimes around the world have been murdering and imprisoning journalists. This year alone there have been 27 journalists killed, many while uncovering corruption.

BARF WARNING: ICYMI: Stephen Miller's third-grade teacher tells the Hollywood reporter that Miller was the creepy kid with shitty handwriting who used to pour glue on his arm, wait for it to get hard, then eat the crusty skin. She says the school principal later tried to hide some of her horrific comments about Miller at the end of the school year.

One of the guys on the "Shitty Men in Media" list is threatening to sue its creator, Moira Donegan, and threatening to expose the names of at least 30 anonymous women who edited or shared the list.

The ashes of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard will be interred at Washington's National Cathedral on Oct. 26, 20 years after he was brutally murdered for being gay.

Facebook slapped hundreds of US-based troll accounts with a banhammer for spreading Russian clickbait spam in an attempt to brainwash people. It only took them three years...

And here's your morning Nice Time! Sassy Macaroni Penguins!


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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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We know a few things about Donald Trump for 100% certain.

One is that his brain is broken. There are a million examples, but here's one, from this afternoon:

MICHAEL. FLYNN. PLEADED. GUILTY. TO. LYING. TO. THE. FBI!

A judge is not "looking into that situation," you fucking moron!

OK let us not get distracted, as that is not the point of this post.

Another thing we know about Donald Trump is that he sniffs A LOT. During all the debates, he sniffed. During lots of his Hitler rally speeches, he sniffs. When he's on foreign soil, he sniffs. When he's hunkered athwart his golden toilet Makin' Twitters, we assume he sniffs.

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My idiot brother used to get that face during rants

Kentucky's Extra-Crispy wingnut governor Matt Bevin sure knows how to pick a fight. A few years back, during his failed bid to primary Mitch "Top Turtle" McConnell, Bevin explained how "chicken boxing" was a benign pastime that even the founding fathers enjoyed, and also a great big states' rights issue. Once in office, he was, predictably, a reliable supporter of stupid ideas, like spending a lot of money to ramp up a "work requirements" bureaucracy to make sure fewer people received Medicaid, thus spending more but claiming he'd "saved" money. He also claimed this year that striking teachers probably caused an invisible wave of child rape and death, because kids weren't in school. No, of course there wasn't any such result, but hey, it's OK, Bevin eventually not-pologized.

Bevin's other specialty is trying to drum up a good culture-war panic, like that time in 2016 when he predicted there'd be bloodshed if Hillary Clinton were elected, because sane governors predict civil war all the time. That desire to warn of impending calamity seems to be behind Bevin's latest idiocy, a Twitter rant yesterday in response to national investigative nonprofit ProPublica's decision to partner with the Louisville Courier-Journal for coverage of state government. So it only makes sense Bevin would lose his shit over the fact that one of the many sources of funding for ProPublica is George Soros's Open Society Foundation. How dare those monsters bring their radical leftist "reporting" to the Commonwealth of Kentucky!

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