Amtrak service resumed along the northeast corridor today, with coastal elites bravely hushing people in the quiet car, nobly pretending to accidentally sit next to attractive women and fearlessly purchasing hamburgers in bags. With congressional recess next week, lawmakers are suffering senioritis, caring even less about their jobs than usual. And Mitt Romney told college graduates during a commencement speech that fame and fortune are not the most important pursuits in life. He then apologized for arriving late from his celebrity boxing match with Evander Holyfield. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, May 18th, 2015:
OBAMA GUN ROUNDUP BEGINS! Barack Hussein's gay Muslim jackboots will be arriving at your local police department for the trade-in. First fifty officers get an extra serving of healthcare rationing. Jen Bendery: "In an unexpected move, President Barack Obama on Monday will ban the federal government from providing certain military equipment to police departments . Effective immediately, the government will no longer provide local law enforcement with armored vehicles, grenade launchers and bayonets. Other items like explosives and riot equipment will be transferred to police only if they provide additional certification and assurances that the gear will be used responsibly. The changes stem from recommendations made to the president in a new report produced by a White House working group. Obama created the task force earlier this year via executive order. The president's action is part of a broader effort to relieve tensions between law enforcement and minority communities after the deaths of several black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore; and other cities. In Ferguson, for example, local police rolled out armored tanks and riot gear in response to protests over the 2014 death of Michael Brown, a reaction that many saw as making the situation dramatically worse." [HuffPost]
OBAMA ON TWITTER - Barack Obama: "Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account." [@POTUS]
RT To Torture Some Folks; Fav To Give You D.C. Abortion.
BOBBY JINDAL ENTERS NEXT PHASE OF PRETENDING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT - Igor Bobic: "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced Monday that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee, and that he would announce his decision about jumping into the 2016 race in the coming weeks. 'For some time now, my wife Supriya and I have been thinking and praying about whether to run for the presidency of our great nation. We’ll make a final decision in June,' Jindal said in a statement." Thanks, Bobby! [HuffPost]
Also, Jindal made it clear he thinks the Iraq War was the right call.
ELIZABETH WARREN CONTINUES BULLYING BARACK OBAMA - Zach Carter: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) issued a report Monday morning detailing decades of failed trade enforcement by American presidents including Barack Obama, the latest salvo in an ongoing public feud between Warren and Obama over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Obama is currently negotiating the major trade pact with 11 other nations. While the text of the TPP agreement remains classified information, it is strongly supported by Republican leaders in Congress and corporate lobbying groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The deal is opposed by most congressional Democrats, along with labor unions, environmental groups and advocates of Internet freedom. Obama has repeatedly insisted the TPP will include robust labor protections, and has dismissed Warren's criticisms as 'dishonest,' 'bunk' and 'misinformation.' On Monday, Warren fired back, showing that Obama simply has not effectively enforced existing labor standards in prior trade pacts." [HuffPost]
Haircuts: Ryan Teague Beckwith (cut by his wife, Alison), Mike McAuliff (h/t Arthur Delaney).
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Lorca Henley of Bowling Green, Ohio, said her family's dinners on different nights this week included taco salads, tuna casserole with mashed potatoes, spaghetti with meat sauce and hamburgers they fried on the stove because they were out of propane. Steak, lobster and crab legs were not on the menu, even though such fare figures prominently in political debates over what food people buy with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Henley, 42, said she's received SNAP benefits since October, when she lost her job as a registered nurse with a dialysis company. She said she gets $342 per month for herself, her husband and their three young kids. They buy lots of eggs, bread, apples and carrots, she added. "I’ve never had crab legs in my life," Henley said. "I’ve never had lobster –- I haven’t had a steak in like four years." [HuffPost]
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HIGH COURT DELIVERS BLOW TO WALKER'S CAMPAIGN - Lawrence Hurley: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid to stop an investigation in Wisconsin into possible unlawful coordination between potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign and conservative advocacy groups. In denying an appeal by a conservative group called the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the justices left intact a federal appeals court ruling from last September that overturned an earlier federal district court decision that had halted the investigation. Walker, a rising star in the Republican Party, is serving his second term as Wisconsin's governor after winning re-election in November 2014. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is currently considering separate cases concerning whether the investigation should continue. Attorneys representing the state-appointed investigators in the case noted in court filings that the investigation is dormant while the state court determines whether the alleged actions violated Wisconsin campaign finance laws." [Reuters]
White-on-white crime strikes again.
SENATE HAS LOTS OF WORK TO DO, PART 5,210 - Plus Mitch McConnell's mom won't let him play Mario Kart until all his work is done. Seung Min Kim: "Capitol Hill is -- again -- barreling toward deadlines on must-pass legislative items, this time on government surveillance powers and federal money for roads and bridges. The Senate, particularly the GOP, finds itself in a bind over surveillance, even as the chamber remains bogged down in a contentious fight over trade that’s scrambling party lines and eating up valuable floor time. Meanwhile, lawmakers are edging closer to a highway funding cliff -- though a two-month extension unveiled last week could resolve that tension. Still, it all makes for a hefty to-do list before lawmakers flee Washington for the weeklong Memorial Day recess at the end of the week...The most pressing -- and complicated -- hurdle is the stalemate over expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act used to authorize the controversial National Security Agency program that collects Americans’ phone records. Those provisions are set to lapse at the end of the month." [Politico]
BERNIE SANDERS TO MAKE HILLARY CLINTON UNCOMFORTABLE - And not just with the soup breath. Rebecca Shabad: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is set to unveil legislation that would provide free tuition at four-year public colleges and universities on Tuesday. The Democratic presidential candidate had called for two years of free tuition earlier this year. The Vermont independent argued in a statement Sunday that the U.S. needs the 'best-educated workforce' in order to remain competitive globally. 'That will not happen, if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt,' said Sanders, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. His legislation would eliminate undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities, the statement said, and would expand work-study programs. The measure would also 'substantially lower' student debt and bring down rates on student loans, it said." [The Hill]
MENENDEZ LAWYERS ARGUING FOR WASHINGTON TRIAL - "Now, I may be a simple country law-yah from Piscataway" *rubs thumbs down suspenders* "but it's clear to me we have a miscarriage of justice right here!" Hannah Hess: "Menendez also wants to stand trial in the Washington courthouse where [Ted] Stevens was unanimously convicted on all seven counts... In a May 11 motion, Menendez’s attorneys argued to move the case from New Jersey to D.C. They say a plurality of the witnesses named in the investigation are from Washington, and the 'official acts' the senator allegedly took on behalf of Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen almost all took place in D.C. Federal court rules give judges discretion to transfer cases to other districts 'for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice.' Judges weigh several factors, including the location of the witnesses, defendants and lawyers and the effect on the defendants’ business and judicial caseload…Holding the trial in Newark, N.J., could further interrupt congressional business if the two other senators, congressional staff members, Cabinet secretaries and executive branch officials who were mentioned in the April 1 indictment have to take part." [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a confused bird.
And listen up, boys and girls, he's an expert at this: "Mitt Romney encouraged graduates at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, on Sunday to 'live a large life.' Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate, was quick to note that living a large life didn't mean getting rich and famous, however. He reminded graduates during his commencement address there are more important things they should focus on to lead a 'fulfilling, purposeful life,' like making sure they 'value and nourish' friendships." [HuffPost's Tyler Kingkade]
- Video of Vin Diesel breakdancing in the 1980s... because the internet.
- Seven-note fart symphony... because the internet.
- The price of weed, listed by state.
@elisefoley: Real failure by Obama for saying “Hello, Twitter!” instead of “Hello, tweeps!”
@emmaroller: who will @POTUS subtweet first
@edwardslevy: Unfollow everyone
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