Donald Trump supporters featured in a Bloomberg focus group denied that they support Trump, in much the same way Trump denies that he is bald. President Obama said other countries are better at funding their road infrastructure, once again ignoring the exceptional character of America's potholes. And because it's a midsummer Friday afternoon, the State Department released a bunch of Hillary Clinton emails, and Clinton's campaign sent out her health records and tiny cocktail umbrellas were all anyone could think about. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 31st, 2015:
PROGRAMMING NOTE: HuffPost Hill will be OFF next week, on vacation. Here is an excerpt from Jason Linkins' vacation autoresponse: "If you're a publicist, go ahead and delete me from your mailing list. Why are you making me the middleman between yourself and the garbage, anyway?" Thanks, Jason!
HILLARY CLINTON JUST SAYS NO - Hillary Clinton's doctor said she's not on drugs, but what difference, at this point, does it make? Amanda Terkel: "Hillary Clinton is a healthy 67-year-old woman who does not use illicit drugs or tobacco products, drinks alcohol occasionally and deals with relatively minor medical complications, her doctor said on Friday. 'She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States,' concluded Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group. The note from the personal physician is a right of passage for candidates running for the highest office of the land. And owing to the advanced age of many of said candidates, it can fill in important questions about their physical fitness -- in an effort to avoid a William Henry Harrison-like fate." [HuffPost]
Because the only thing worse than reading your own emails is reading someone else's, the State Department dumped more than 1,300 of Hillary Clinton's on to the world today.
SCRAPPY DC STREET BAND IS AMERICA'S SWEETHEART - Ian Shapira: "One morning this week, five members of Spread Love, a New Orleans-style street band, gathered at one of Washington’s busiest intersections, pulled out four trombones, a drum set and a tips bucket and began playing 'Don’t Worry, Be Happy.' The band’s brassy riffs at 15th Street and New York Avenue NW always delight the hordes of tourists heading toward the White House. But the very spot that’s proved so profitable for Spread Love to pull in tips has also earned it the enmity of employees at two major Washington institutions: the Treasury Department and the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom….'We have to relocate our conference calls. We can’t have meetings in that corner of the building anymore. It’s like they’re playing music in the building,' said one Treasury Department employee, who, true to Washington form, would speak only on the condition of anonymity and be identified only as an 'employee.'" Wow. Hardworking street musicians versus person who cares about conference calls. Truly, this is a story with no villain. [WashPost]
Fare thee well, MSNBC's three shows airing for the last time today.
HOW BOSTON ESCAPED HOSTING THE OLYMPICS - Thank you, snow. Good story by Travis Waldron: "[A]s Bostonians dug their way out of the blankets of white powder that suffocated the city, they grew increasingly skeptical of the city’s ability to handle such a large-scale event. Activists had begun fighting the Olympic plan months before, when it was more of an idea than a concrete proposal. They argued that Boston needed to invest in other priorities than a massive sporting event that, thanks to a requirement from the International Olympic Committee, could put taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars. As the snowstorm crippled the city's public transportation system and overwhelmed its agencies, support for the games only dampened. If a blizzard, even one of unprecedented strength, brought Boston to a standstill, what would happen when half a million global tourists descended on the city for three weeks?" [HuffPost]
The F-35 boondoggle is ready for takeoff!
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Michelle Jamrisko: "Wages and salaries in the U.S. rose in the second quarter at the slowest pace on record, dashing projections that an improving labor market would boost pay. The 0.2 percent advance was the smallest since records began in 1982 and followed a 0.7 percent increase in the first quarter, the Labor Department said Friday. The agency’s employment cost index, which also includes benefits, also rose 0.2 percent in the second quarter from the prior three months." [Bloomberg]
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
TRUMP SUPPORTER PUTS BAG OVER HEAD - This is so embarrassing. Shame shame shame. Catherine Thompson: "Bloomberg Politics' 'With All Due Respect' won the morning Thursday with a boffo focus group of New Hampshire Trump supporters singing The Donald's praises as a 'classy' commander-in-chief-in-waiting who is definitely 'one of us,' despite being worth billions of dollars. But one of the voters featured Wednesday night in the focus group told TPM that she's not a Trump supporter at all. And the same went for most of the other participants in the panel, according to the voter." [TPM]
LOSERS STRESSED - Steve Holland: "With Donald Trump sucking up the oxygen on the campaign trail, these are stressful days for the group of Republican candidates who, try as they might, may not qualify for their party's first presidential debate in Cleveland next week. Under controversial rules laid down by debate host Fox News and backed by the Republican National Committee (RNC), only the 10 top-polling candidates will share the prime-time stage on Aug. 6. But which polls Fox News executives will use is unclear, leading some candidates and campaigns to question the process." [Reuters]
OBAMA SIGNS TINY HIGHWAY BILL - Julia Edwards and Jeff Mason: "President Barack Obama signed a three-month extension of the surface transportation bill on Friday, admonishing Congress for failing to pass longer-term legislation…. 'We can't keep on funding transportation by the seat of our pants, three months at a time,' Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. 'I guarantee you this is not how China, Germany, other big powerful countries around the world handle their infrastructure.'" [Reuters]
HILLARY CLINTON: STOP EMBARGOING CUBA - Samantha Lachman: "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the Cuban embargo must be lifted in an address made Friday from Miami, the heart of the Cuban exile community. The speech was rife with symbolism. Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the embargo into law in 1996 as he faced re-election. Clinton made the Friday speech from Florida International University, where Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is vying for the Republican presidential nomination, has served as an adjunct professor. Rubio opposes an end to the embargo, as does his one of his main primary opponents, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), whose campaign headquarters are based in Miami." [HuffPost]
MIKE HUCKABEE SEEMS TO BE ENDORSING THE WAR ON WOMEN - With actual troops! Amanda Terkel: "GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is open to the idea of using federal troops and the FBI to stop women from having abortions. 'I will not pretend there is nothing we can do to stop this,' Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and an outspoken social conservative, said Thursday at a campaign stop in Jefferson, Iowa. Huckabee addressed abortion again at his next stop in Rockwell City, Iowa, where a reporter asked him whether stopping abortion would mean using federal troops or the FBI. 'We'll see if I get to be president,' Huckabee said, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal." [HuffPost]
Sorry, Huckabee, but The Onion beat you to this idea 16 years ago: "POINT/COUNTERPOINT - U.S. Out Of My Uterus vs. We Must Deploy Troops To Jessica Linden's Uterus Immediately"
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - This smart infographic uses SCIENCE to explain what happens to your body one hour after drinking a can of PBR. Thanks, science!
NEW HIT FROM TRUMP GOON - Here's another tidbit from Michael Cohen's tirade at Tim Mak: "Do you want to destroy your life? It’s going to be my privilege to serve it to you on a silver platter like I did that idiot from Pennsylvania in Miss USA, because I think you’re dumber than she is," Cohen said. "Sheena Monnin, another one that wanted to defame Mr. Trump and ended up with a $5 million judgment. That’s going to be nothing compared to what I do to you." [The Daily Beast]
Reminder: we're off next week. Maybe Donald Trump will be gone when we come back?
COMFORT FOOD: by @dmoralesgomez
@AndrewStilesUSA: Who the hell is Jim Gilmore? And where is his @ijreview video?
@slaughthie: You breed dogs? Don't they do that on their own?
@LizHackett: A woman with long talon nails was buying cans of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, so I'll be spending all weekend worrying how she got them open.
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (email@example.com) or Arthur Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e