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Donald Trump Jr. continues to remind us that there is almost nothing a white man can do to land himself in jail in this country. Kid Rock unveiled a not-so-serious website for a Senate campaign, though his campaign could be hurt by his establishment ties to Mitt Romney. And the president’s nominee to be FBI director, Christopher Wray, said he would resign rather than stop an investigation at the behest of the president. We’re going to get in front of this and congratulate the would-be director on his successful four-hour stint leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, July 12th, 2017:
OH, RIGHT, WE NEED AN FBI DIRECTOR - In an alternate universe, this is all Washington is talking about. Ellen Nakashima and Karoun Demirjian: ”Christopher A. Wray, President Trump’s nominee to head the FBI, told Congress Wednesday that if the president tried improperly to get him to drop an investigation, he would first try to talk him out of it — and if that failed, resign. He also testified that no one has asked him for any loyalty oath as part of his nomination. ‘And I sure as heck didn’t offer one,’ he said. Wray, a low-key former senior Justice Department official, was nominated after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James B. Comey in May amid a bureau investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and the Kremlin to interfere in last year’s presidential election. In his opening remarks, Wray promised to be independent and resistant to political pressures, including from the White House. Wray said he would never allow the bureau’s work to be driven by ‘by anything other than the law, the facts and the impartial pursuit of justice.’” [WaPo]
THE TRUMPS KEEP INTERESTING COMPANY - Remember how angry Republicans got about Obama’s “hip hop barbecue?” Dana Liebelson, Travis Waldron and Chris D’Angelo: ”In many universes, it would be strange for Rob Goldstone...to be at the center of a massive political scandal involving the president of the United States. In a video he once posted to Facebook, Goldstone frantically shrieks while grabbing dollar bills out of a money wind tunnel…. Goldstone, who appears to own at least one pair of black and yellow shoes that say ’SEX,′ has a work history with the Trumps that dates back to at least 2013. That’s when he and Aras Agalarov, a billionaire Azerbaijani-Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, helped convince the Trump-owned Miss Universe Pageant to hold that year’s event in Moscow. Goldstone believed the Miss Universe event would help sell Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov — Goldstone’s client and Aras’ son — to a global audience.” [HuffPost]
Uh, what? “President Donald Trump used an interview with a conservative news outlet friendly to his administration to push back against U.S. intelligence officials’ conclusion that Russia interfered in last year’s election to help him win, claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin actually favored his opponent Hillary Clinton.” [HuffPost’s Marina Fang]
GOOD NEW FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP! - What an interesting bar to be clearing only months into an administration. S.V. Date: ″Donald Trump Jr.’s hopes of getting Russian government help for his father in last year’s election have popularized a word for critics of the White House: ‘treason.’ And it is almost certainly wrong ― at least in the legal sense. ‘There is a lot of behavior that is really bad, and is a betrayal of the United States,’ said Carlton Larson, a law professor at University of California, Davis, and an expert on the topic. ‘But it’s not technically treason.’ … While the colloquial meaning of treason is acting against the interest of one’s country, the legal definition ― spelled out in the United States Code ― is much narrower. The law states that an American citizen who ‘levies war’ against the government or gives ‘aid and comfort’ to the nation’s enemies is guilty of treason, punishable by at least five years in prison and possible execution. ” [HuffPost]
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TRUMP CONTINUES TO DRAIN SWAMP WITH ASTONISHING SPEED - The whole Trump administration is starting to feel like that David Foster Wallace commencement speech except with the punchline switched to “what’s swamp?” Daniel Marans: “Trump, distressing advocates of tough financial rules and pro-worker monetary policy, on Monday nominated veteran Wall Street lawyer Randal Quarles to serve as the Federal Reserve’s top finance regulator. Quarles has moved back and forth between finance and government, which critics pointed out makes his selection Trump’s latest departure from the campaign promise to ′drain the swamp.′ ‘Quarles is an insider. He has been an insider for decades to both Wall Street and the inside-Washington sort of swamp ― the Wall Street-Washington nexus,’ said Marcus Stanley, policy director of Americans for Financial Reform. Quarles likely was chosen to loosen carefully crafted new banking rules, and to prioritize inflation over jobs to the detriment of American workers, Stanley and other critics warned.” [HuffPost]
SENATE DEMS GETTING PARLIAMENTARY - Robert Pear: “Democrats may not have the votes to stop the Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but they do have the Senate rules…. One of the rules, originally intended to speed consideration of budget measures, also limits what can be included in such bills. And Democrats plan to use that rule to challenge major provisions of the Republican repeal bill. Senators can object to a provision if it does not change federal spending or revenues or if the budgetary effects are ‘merely incidental’ to some policy objective…. Republicans and Democrats are making formal presentations this week to the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, who serves as a sort of referee, deciding whether specific provisions of the bill comply with Senate rules. Provisions that flout the rules could be removed before or after the bill goes to the floor, and that could affect who votes for the measure.” [NYT]
LOL, he really doesn’t care: “President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will be ‘very angry’ if the Senate fails to pass a revamped Republican health care bill and said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must ‘pull it off,’ intensifying pressure on party leaders laboring to win over unhappy GOP senators and preserve the teetering measure…. In a White House interview conducted Wednesday for the Christian Broadcasting Network’s ‘The 700 Club,’ Trump said it was time for action by congressional Republicans who cast scores of votes ‘that didn’t mean anything’ to repeal the 2010 law while Obama was still president.” [AP’s Alan Fram]
FREEDOM CAUCUS DOESN’T WANT TO GO BACK TO ITS CRAPPY DISTRICTS… OR SOMETHING - Rachel Bade -“The House Freedom Caucus is not backing off its demand that GOP leaders cancel the August recess, urging House leadership once again to forgo the break to work on Obamacare repeal, a budget deal and tax reform. The group of hard-line conservatives, which often tangles with leaders, pushed back against Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Wednesday announcement that the House would not stick around unless the Senate passes a health care bill…. McCarthy (R-Calif.) said it would be pointless for the House to hang back with little to do. He warned members, however, that if the Senate were to pass the repeal bill, he would likely call everyone back to Washington within 72 hours so the House could send the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk for enactment.” [Politico]
JARED IS STILL IN TROUBLE - Igor Bobic and Sam Levine: “As attention focuses on Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to obtain negative information about Hillary Clinton, it’s easy to overlook how damaging and embarrassing the episode is for Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and one of his closest advisers. Kushner attended the June 2016 meeting in New York, along with Trump’s then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Kushner’s lawyers recently discovered he failed to disclose it on a form he submitted to obtain a security clearance, according to The New York Times. Last Saturday, the Times broke the story on the meeting…. He maintains a security clearance even though he failed to mention multiple meetings with Russian officials on the form he submitted before the Trump administration took office. Those meetings were with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., and the head of a Russian-owned bank.” [HuffPost]
Sure, why not? “On Wednesday, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced an article of impeachment in the House, seeking to remove President Donald Trump from office for obstruction of justice. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) co-sponsored the article.” [HuffPost’s Ryan Grenoble]
BOLD REPUBLICAN PLAN TO INCREASE THE DEFICIT - Melanie Zanona: ”A House push to separate air traffic control from the federal government would add $20.7 billion to the federal over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The score could add a new wrinkle to the spinoff effort, which supporters are actively working to secure votes for as House leadership prepares to bring the bill to the floor in the coming weeks. The CBO estimates that the legislation, which reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for six years, would increase revenues by $70 billion but decrease mandatory spending by $90.7 billion. Lawmakers could waive the budgetary point of order, however. The proposal would transfer the country’s air navigation system to a nonprofit corporation at no charge, while the FAA would still maintain safety oversight of the nation’s airspace. ” [The Hill]
ONLY TED CRUZ COULD MAKE HMOS LOOK LIKE THE GOOD GUYS - Carolyn Y. Johnson: “The powerful health insurance lobby has been noticeably absent from the public debate over the Republican health-care bill but finally stepped into the fray this week, with major trade groups slamming policy ideas proposed by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).... But in a letter to lawmakers and a document circulating on Capitol Hill, health insurers’ trade groups said that policy would destabilize the insurance marketplaces, cause premiums to rise unsustainably for people with chronic health conditions and leave fewer and fewer insurers selling plans — all the hallmarks of a death spiral.” [WaPo]
Like rain on your wedding day. “The White House attempted to discredit the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday, releasing a video that questions the accuracy of the agency’s previous projections on health insurance coverage under Obamacare…. But just 10 seconds into the video, the White House instead managed to strain its credibility with a misspelling of the word ‘inaccurately.’” [HuffPost’s Nick Wing and Jonathan Cohn]
THIS NEWSLETTER IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY VERIZON - Just like all HuffPost content, because they own us. We literally work for the phone company. Ryan Grenoble: “July 12 has been deemed a “day of action” by more than 200 websites, companies and organizations in support of net neutrality, a fundamental rule underpinning the internet that prevents service providers from playing favorites with or otherwise discriminating against data as it travels on their network. The list of participants includes tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and Netflix, and literally hundreds of other sites, from Reddit, Spotify and Airbnb to Pornhub, each of which is raising the issue Wednesday with their own spin…. Without net neutrality, for instance, Comcast could hypothetically prioritize content produced by NBC, which it owns, while slowing access to Netflix. Similarly, Verizon, which owns HuffPost’s parent company, Oath, could allot extra bandwidth to HuffPost content at the expense of others.″ [HuffPost]
‘NOT ALL MEN’ GOES TO DEVOS’ EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - Robert Silverman: “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will hear personal accounts on Thursday from two former students and attorneys representing men who allege they were falsely accused of rape, according to a spokesperson for Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), a nonprofit that is described by the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) as promoting misogyny.” [Daily Beast]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a happy dog getting a shower.
- Being pregnant is hard. Being pregnant and a dog is even harder.
@nktpnd: Honestly impressed Don Jr. wasn’t involved in Fyre Festival in some way.
[♫ of Bring It On Home To Me]
i have very
for putting TV, TV in my mind
aw bring it to me
bring yr sweet POTUS
your tape of pee
@elisefoley: The younger guy in The Chainsmokers will be old enough to run for the senate in 2020.
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