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Mitch McConnell took a stand against Donald Trump that will surely not melt away once a redundant biomass research facility for Paducah is included in the president-elect’s infrastructure bill. Bill Murray appeared with President Obama in a promotional video for Obamacare enrollment, while President-elect Trump and Scott Baio readied their own public health PSA, “I think there’s some Advil above the kitchen sink.” And during an appearance on Fox and Friends, John Bolton called the CIA’s Russia intelligence a “false flag” before giving a Simply Fit Board a try. We eagerly await next Tuesday’s episode when Steve Bannon will question the malleability of steel beams while operating a Shake Weight. This HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, December 12th, 2016:
MCCONNELL REMINDS TRUMP THAT HE ISN’T A RUBBER STAMP - LOL at any and all of you thinking McConnell is taking a “principled stand.” Mike McAuliff: “President-elect Donald Trump may have belittled the conclusions of the CIA that Russians hacked the presidential election in Trump’s favor, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) backed congressional investigations into the matter Monday. ‘Any foreign breach of our cyber-security measures is disturbing, and I strongly condemn any such efforts,’ McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.... ‘I have the highest confidence in the intelligence community, especially the central intelligence agencies,’ McConnell said.... McConnell also offered an implicit warning to Republican Trump backers who might want to criticize the CIA for its findings, and to Democrats who might accuse the broader GOP of siding with foreign hackers. ‘It defies belief that somehow Republicans in the Senate are reluctant to either review Russian tactics, or ignore them,’ McConnell said.” [HuffPost]
Also this: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday expressed some early skepticism about President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal to upgrade the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and waterways. During a press conference on Capitol Hill, McConnell warned against trying to pass a ‘trillion-dollar stimulus’ through a Republican-controlled Congress. ‘It will be interesting to see how this is put together,’ McConnell told reporters. ‘I hope we avoid a trillion-dollar stimulus.’” [Igor Bobic/HuffPost]
PAUL RYAN CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION, BUT DOESN’T REALLY ― HEY, LOOK HERE, SOME INSCRUTABLE VISUAL AIDES! - Whatever, the House speaker is just waiting to tear into Medicare privatization like that kid into his new Nintendo 64 on Christmas morning. Matt Fuller: “[Ryan] once again stopped short of calling for a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. ‘We must condemn and push back forcefully against any state-sponsored cyberattacks on our democratic process,’ Ryan’s statement on Monday promisingly began, adding that intelligence chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and his committee have been working ‘diligently on the cyber threats posed by foreign governments and terrorist organizations to the security and institutions of the United States.’ ‘This important work will continue and has my support,’ Ryan added. But does that mean the speaker supports investigating how Russia reportedly hacked the Democratic National Committee and published emails in an attempt to sway the presidential election? That question still hasn’t been answered, and Ryan’s office did not respond to attempts to clarify his stance.” [HuffPost]
Factcheck: “President-elect Donald Trump claimed Monday that tracking computer hackers is virtually impossible unless they are caught “in the act” – a theory that comes as news to cybersecurity experts…’That’s just silly,’ laughed John Schindler, who worked for 10 years as an analyst at the National Security Agency. ‘That is just simply false.’” [S.V. Date/HuffPost]
LAME DUCK HARRY REID IS THE YOLO-IEST HARRY REID - Ryan Grim and Sam Stein: “Reid, who has sharply criticized FBI Director James Comey for sitting on intelligence connecting Russian operatives and the Trump campaign, said he was unsure if Trump himself was aware of the activity. But he said people in Trump’s orbit certainly were. ‘Someone in the Trump campaign organization was in on the deal. I have no doubt. Now, whether they told [Trump] or not, I don’t know. I assume they did. But there is no question about that,’ Reid said in an interview with The Huffington Post. ‘So there is collusion there, clearly.’” [HuffPost]
DELANEY DOWNER - Trump saved 800 jobs at Carrier, but more than 800 people are still getting laid off and they’re praying for a miracle. Liz Adeola and Rafael Sanchez: “Hundreds of Carrier and Rexnord workers are hoping a Christmas miracle will save their jobs in Indianapolis. Many of those workers gathered Sunday night at a prayer vigil at Mount Olive Ministries. Carrier is planning to move 550 jobs, and Rexnord 300 jobs, to Monterrey, Mexico. The workers say they aren’t giving up. ‘Treat one another as the way you want to be treated, that’s how we’re raised. That’s all we ask for is fair wages and support for our family,’ said Frank Staples.” [The Indy Channel]
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FUTURE DE FACTO SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN BOLTON IS INSANE - Then again, he wouldn’t be the first Bush administration figure to publicly ignore the intelligence services. Derek Hawkins: “In an interview with Eric Shawn of Fox News, Bolton claimed the Obama administration had ‘politicized’ intelligence and suggested there may have been a hidden motive behind the CIA’s finding that Russians hacked computer networks belonging to the Democratic and Republican national committees. He questioned why the FBI did not uncover similar evidence of meddling by foreign intelligence services when it investigated Hillary Clinton’s private email server. ‘It’s not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation,’ Bolton said. ‘The question that has to be asked is, why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server but their dumb intelligence services against the election?’” [WaPo]
Oh, God, the “Tomi Lahren for Congress” train is leaving the station.
MOAR GOLDMAN SACHS ― MOAAAAARRR - [smash cut to December 30th] “And that is why I’m proud to name Zach, that 24-year-old analyst from the emerging markets desk, to the NEC. His work pounding 30-racks at Hamilton College will help Make America Great Again.” Ben Walsh: “[The president-elect tapped] Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to head the National Economic Council. The NEC advises the president on economic policy, and its director works in the White House. Cohn ‘fully understands the economy and will use his vast knowledge and experience to make sure the American people start winning again,’ Trump said in a statement. Trump and Cohn both said that their economic agenda will focus on increasing wages for American workers.” [HuffPost]
KELLYANNE CONWAY SELFLESSLY THROWS NEXT PRESS SECRETARY UNDER BUS - She will presumably call any questions about the propriety of publicizing such offers as “rude.” Gregory Wallace: “Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager who steadfastly defended Donald Trump through a series of controversies at the end of his campaign, said in a pair of recent interviews she will not serve as his administration’s top spokesman. Conway told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday she turned down the job of press secretary, traditionally the most visible staff role in the White House. ‘I have politely declined that job, Hugh,’ she said. ‘I think it’s an incredibly important position to fill.’ Conway first revealed the job offer ― and her decision to turn it down ― in an interview on Friday with The New York Times. She said she might instead work outside the White House steering a network of political organizations supporting Trump and his priorities. Her role there could be be a unique blend of confidant, operative and surrogate, she said.” [CNN]
HARRY REID UPDOGS JOE MANCHIN - Between the guy who manufactured his exercise band and Joe Manchin, it appears Reid is accepting applicants to his enemies list right up until he leaves the Senate. Burgess Everett: “Harry Reid sees Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin as having one foot out the door as he meets with Donald Trump’s team about a job…’I have no idea what they’re going to do. I just know Heidi Heitkamp, I would doubt very seriously she being the populist that she is, that she would’ join Trump, Reid said on CNN on Monday. ‘Joe Manchin obviously is running for a cabinet spot.’ … ‘He loves the press, I have no doubt..,’ Reid said. ‘I don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize what he wants or what he doesn’t want, so I’m not going to go into Manchin.’” [Politico]
CARLY ‘ROOTING FOR A HAWKEYES WIN TODAY’ FIORINA UPDATE - Bonus points for “Shaq O’Neal.” Igor Bobic: After the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard met with President-elect Donald Trump ― who is reportedly considering her for the position of director of national intelligence despite her lack of experience in that area ― Fiorina shamelessly heaped praise on the man who once mocked her face and instilled horror in her. ‘First I want to say, he has really cool stuff in his office,’ Fiorina told reporters after the meeting at Trump Tower. ‘All of these athletes have given him all this incredible memorabilia. I was particularly taken by Shaq O’Neal shoe, which is huge.’ ‘I guess it takes a champion to know a champion,’ she added, referring to her former primary rival.” [HuffPost]
FATTAH SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS - Soon, this news story will be filtered through the lens of Donald Trump tweeting about it to prove that he’s getting an unfair shake. Rema Rahman: “Former Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Monday following a corruption trial that centered around a failed bid for mayor of Philadelphia, The Inquirer reported. Prosecutors had asked Philadelphia federal Judge Harvey Bartle to sentence Fattah to 17 to 22 years, but defense attorneys called the recommendation ‘unnecessarily harsh.’ Fattah, 60, had been charged in a 29-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe launched by the IRS and FBI in March 2013. The case centered around a $1 million campaign loan to a 2007 mayoral bid that prosecutors said was paid back illegally.” [Roll Call]
AS IF POLLSTERS WEREN’T ALREADY UNSURE ABOUT REALITY - If anyone spots members of our polling team twirling Leonardo DiCaprio’s totem from “Inception,” give them some space. Grace Sparks: “[N]o one is sure exactly how Latinos voted in the 2016 election. Estimates of the vote vary from 66 percent for Hillary Clinton and 28 percent for Donald Trump in exit polls, to 79 for Clinton and 18 for Trump in a Latino Decisions pre-election survey. Both sets of numbers show Latinos heavily supporting Clinton, but it matters whether it’s an overwhelming 61-point Democratic lead or a more modest 38-point advantage. It’s not clear who is right, though...The differences in how race and ethnicity are classified and how the surveys sampled voters explain why the polls show varying estimates of how Latinos voted, and both methods are valid. We’ll have more insight into how Latinos voted in 2016 when the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey data comes out next year.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a cat talking to itself in its sleep.
OBAMA SELECTS POST-PRESIDENCY OFFICE - Google Maps says it’s only 10 minutes from the Islamic Center of Washington. Wake up, sheeple. Jonathan O’Connell: “Obama has agreed to lease office space in the headquarters building of the World Wildlife Fund, at 1250 24th St. NW, in Foggy Bottom, according to two officials familiar with the agreement. WWF, a nonprofit organization focused on environmental conservation, owns the building and leases excess space to other organizations. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced publicly...While much of Obama’s post-White House focus will be based in Chicago, where he is designing his presidential library and will be building out a center that will promote leadership and other public priorities, he will also engage in other activities. One of them will entail supporting the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which will pursue redistricting efforts to boost Democratic candidates across the country.” [WaPo]
- A smorgasbord of Donald Trump/Queen Elizabeth faceswaps.
- Guy films himself singing one note each day of “Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1.”
- Watch the Rubik’s Cube world speed record be broken.
@shaneferro: Is anyone else worried that by mid-January there will be no one left to run Goldman Sachs?
@wexler: What’s it like inside a morning show control room when Trump starts a tweetstorm?
@JuddLegum: In America, Trump runs for president
In Russia, president runs Trump
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