Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Well, it looks like grandpa got up and immediately started yelling at the TV on the interwebs this morning...
Jerome Corsi is suing Robert Mueller, the NSA, CIA, FBI and DOJ for a total of $350 million after Mueller circulated draft documents that said Corsi lied to federal investigators. Corsi says his lies about lying are lies, and everyone is a lying liar, so he's tapped Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman to smear his crap around the court.
WaPo has a good rundown of all the shady Russians Trump was COLLUDING with during the 2016 campaign. There's a hell of a lot of them!
Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, has an op-ed in WaPo further reviewing all the shady COLLUSION that went down during the election. Mook reminds us that the Trump campaign and its minions asked -- and later bragged -- about their support from the Kremlin, but nobody took the threat of foreign interference as seriously as HER EMAILS.
On Saturday Trump created another distraction by announcing John Kelly was being
"You're Fired" retiring at the end of the year. It WAS widely believed he'd be replaced with Mike Pence's smarmy chief of staff, 36-year-old Nick Ayers, but less than 24 hours later Ayers declined the gig. Maggie Haberman gossips that Ayers decided to go back to Georgia to be with his family, but the rumor mill just off the Hill speculates he wants to run for office and didn't feel like killing his career. Somewhere between blowjobs, Jonathan Swann heard that Trump wants House Freedom crazy Mark Meadows to ruin his future lobbying prospects by serving as his chief of staff. Reports are all over the place right now, human meatball/Acting AG Matthew Whitaker, CFPB dingus Mick Mulvaney, crumb-bum Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin, shady hedgefundy Wayne Berman, and even neo-nationalist dicknoodle Robert Lighthizer are all being considered. Ayers has said he's willing to hang around through the spring, but Trump wants a two year loyalty pledge, and it's anyone's guess who in DC would be dumb enough to eat shit sandwiches through 2020.
Jared Kushner's bromance with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has continued even after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to the New York Times, the Saudis knew damn well that Kushner was A Idiot, and MBS purposely got close to Trump's spawn-in-law by buying weapons and shacking up in Trump trash palaces just as he was pulling his own coup.
Following a massive rollback in advocacy and awareness campaigns, enrollment in Obamacare is down 11 percent compared to last year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. You've got ONE WEEK LEFT to sign up, just be sure to read the fine print!
At least 16 different companies and 300 drugs are now involved in an ALLEGED massive price-fixing scheme to control the cost of generic prescription drugs. New documents in a lawsuit accusing the companies appear to show executives getting chummy and shh-wasted, and agreeing not to compete with one another on the open market when they jack up prices for 3,400 percent.
Because it's not enough to build a wall or bar immigrants from entering the US, the Trump administration wants to charge $50 to apply for asylum.
Roll Call has a roundup of the 15 anti-Pelosi House Democrats. Pelosi can't afford to lose any more votes in her favor, so she's now trying to convince some of them to vote "present" in order to move things along.
Wisconsin governor-elect Tony Evers went on Meet the Press to call state Republican efforts to screw his incoming administration during the lame duck session "a hot mess." Evers revealed that he had spoken with the used car salesman pretending to be governor, Scott Walker, about the bills, but received a "noncommittal" response. [Video]
After students were unable to pay for their school lunches, Cranston Public Schools in Rhode Island has turned the outstanding lunch debt over to a collection agency. The school district COO, Raymond Votto Jr., says students with more than $20 in debt will start getting debt collection letters. #MAGA
In a less than ironic twist, the Trump administration plans to push coal and other fossil fuels at a Polish climate change conference intended to reduce the use of fossil fuels. It's being hosted in a small coal-mining city entirely dependent on the coal industry, and held in a pavilion that's literally made from coal. The administration is also joining Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait in challenging a UN report to cut carbon emissions within the next 10 years in order to avoid The Day After Tomorrow.
Robert Lighthizer went on Face the Nation to say it's a total coincidence the CFO of shady Chinese telecom Huawei was arrested in Canada and charged with violating US sanctions while Trump learns trade wars are hard to win. This is a criminal justice matter, Lighthizer started with a straight face, "It is totally separate from anything I work on or anything that trade policy people in the administration work on."
WaPo has a great photo essay and lengthy 'splainer about all the autocrats seizing power in Europe, just like they did decades ago. The only difference between the old'n timey days and now is that it's happening at an alarming rate.
The EU's high court says Britain doesn't have to dump the EU if it suddenly had a change of heart, increasing calls to abandon Brexit. Making matters even more terrifying, Andy Serkis dressed as British Prime Minister Theresa May and did a monologue in his Gollum voice about her precioussssss Brexit deal. "Control, money, borders, laws ... BLUE PASSPORTSES!"
WaPo's Fact Checker has introduced the "Bottomless Pinocchio" for politicians who repeat the same lie so much that they are "engaging in campaigns of disinformation." The paper clarifies claims must have already received three or four Pinocchios, and been repeated at least 20 times, adding, "Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware his or her facts are wrong." Naturally, there's about 40 different statements from Trump that have been awarded a "Bottomless Pinocchio."
NPR has been using temps to produce news stories for flagship newscasts as a way to get cheap labor and avoid union contracts in the increasingly shitty world of journalism. One temp tells WaPo, "You feel like you have the boyfriend who's never going to put a ring on it." This is some bullshit!
People in Hollywood are literally losing their shit over Trump's star on the Walk of Fame. Besides the poop and graffiti, there's been performance art for-and-against Trump, including a number of people who keep trying to deport Trump's star.
An Irish woman who spent thousands of pounds to turn herself into a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator has decided to end her marriage with a Haitian ghost pirate. Back in 2014, the woman said she "wasn't really cool with having casual sex" with a ghost, and now says that people should be "VERY careful" when they start banging ghosts.
Somebody released a Roger Ailes documentary over the weekend, and it only grossed $12,431. :(
And here's your morning Nice Time! It's TOPI!
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