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U.S. embassies are promoting President Trump’s properties — though without a “Plenipotentiary For You and the Kids!” slogan, alas. A Republican Senate campaign confused Washington with Hangzhou, China, so if the campaign doesn’t work out, the candidate probably has a future in Trump’s diplomatic corps. And the president has completed only 30 percent of his 100-day promises, though if you don’t count California, the number is much higher. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, April 24th, 2017:
GOVERNMENT SET TO SHUT DOWN SATURDAY MORNING - As if this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner weren’t already strange enough. Julia Edwards Ainsley: “Should talks fail, the government would shut down on Saturday, Trump’s 100th day in office. Trump, whose national approval rating hovered around 43 percent in the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling, is seeking his first big legislative victory…. The White House says it has offered to include $7 billion in Obamacare subsidies that allow low-income people to pay for health insurance in exchange for Democratic backing for $1.5 billion in funding to start construction of the barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border…. A Republican congressional aide said Democrats may agree to some aspects of the border wall, including new surveillance equipment and access roads, estimated to cost around $380 million. ‘But Democrats want the narrative that they dealt him a loss on the wall,’ the aide said, adding it would be difficult to bring any Democrats on board with new construction on the southwest border.” [Reuters]
HONESTLY, WE THOUGHT IT’D BE LOWER - Congrats to the president! Jill Colvin and Calvin Woodward: “Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day ‘contract’ with voters — ‘This is my pledge to you’ — he’s accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don’t require legislation, such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He’s abandoned several and failed to deliver quickly on others, stymied at times by a divided Republican Party and resistant federal judges. Of 10 promises that require Congress to act, none has been achieved and most have not been introduced. ‘I’ve done more than any other president in the first 100 days,’ the president bragged in a recent interview with AP, even as he criticized the marker as an ‘artificial barrier.’ In truth, his 100-day plan remains mostly a to-do list that will spill over well beyond Saturday, his 100th day.” [AP]
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U.S. EMBASSIES PROMOTE TRUMP PROPERTIES - This makes a certain amount of sense as the United Kingdom is the only country in the world with worse tourists than the United States. Darren Samuelsohn “President Donald Trump isn’t the only one promoting his private Mar-a-Lago club as the ‘winter White House.’ His foreign policy team is doing it too. The State Department and at least two U.S. embassies — the United Kingdom and Albania — earlier this month circulated a 400-word blog post detailing the long history of the president’s private South Florida club, which has been open to dues-paying members since the mid-1990s and is now used by Trump for frequent weekend getaways. He has hosted foreign leaders there twice…. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also slammed Trump’s administration, linking to an April 5 tweet from the State Department’s Economic & Business Affairs office that promoted the president’s club by asking: ‘Curious about the President’s winter White House also known as Mar-a-Lago?’” [Politico]
ADMINISTRATION LEVELS NEW SYRIA SANCTIONS - Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “The Trump administration on Monday said it was imposing sanctions on 271 employees of the Syrian government agency that produces chemical weapons and ballistic missiles, blacklisting them from travel and financial transactions in the wake of a sarin attack on civilians this month. The sanctions on members of President Bashar al-Assad’s Scientific Studies and Research Center more than doubles the number of Syrian individuals and entities whose property has been blocked by the United States and who are barred from financial transactions with American people or companies. It seeks to punish those behind this month’s chemical weapons attacks and previous ones carried out by Mr. Assad’s government, senior administration officials said, and to deter others who are contemplating similar actions.” [NYT]
Trump crapped on the United Nations today — and his own ambassador (sort of).
TRUMP FORCING ENTIRE SENATE TO COME TO HIS HOUSE - As power moves go, this one’s a little odd. David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe: “The White House announced Monday it would host an unusual private briefing on North Korea for the entire U.S. Senate, prompting questions from lawmakers over whether the Trump administration intends to use the event as a photo op ahead of his 100-day mark…. [T]he location at the White House perplexed lawmakers who have grown accustomed to such briefings taking place in a secure location on Capitol Hill, where there is more room to handle such a large group. Past administrations have often held briefings for smaller groups of about two dozen or fewer lawmakers in the White House Situation Room. But they have traditionally sent high-level aides to Capitol Hill to hold discussions with larger groups in secure, underground locations. A senior Trump administration official said the meeting with senators will take place in the auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the building next to the White House.” [WaPo]
REPUBLICAN LAUNCHES SENATE BID, PROMISES TO REFORM OUR CHINESE CAPITAL - Real estate executive and Republican bundler Jeff Bartos announced today he’s running for Bob Casey’s Senate seat. “Bob Casey’s Washington is booming,” Bartos said in his announcement video, which features scenes of economic decline from Bartos’ hometown of Reading. However one of images that flashes on the screen as Bartos discusses “Bob Casey’s Washington” (at the 29 second mark) is actually a stock image of a construction site in Hangzhou, China, according to this Getty Images page. We welcome our new Chinese overlords and hope to see them at the next Communist Party meeting at Ryan Grim’s house.
SO GLAD WE’RE MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN - But thank God Ivanka and Jared are moderating influences. Michael McLaughlin: “Harassment, vandalism and other hostile acts against Jewish people and sites in the U.S. increased by 34 percent last year and are up 86 percent through the first three months of 2017, according to data released on Monday. A spate of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and schools, and vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in the U.S. this year have contributed to the surge, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s report. There have been more than 100 bomb threats against 75 Jewish community centers and eight Jewish day schools around the country this year through early March.” [HuffPost]
Congratulations to the anti-globalists: “Why Paul Wolfowitz Is Optimistic About Trump” [Politico]
BEGUN, THE GREAT GOP FLOP SWEAT HAS - Alex Isenstadt: “Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast — or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018. With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern about Trump’s lack of legislative accomplishments, his record-low approval ratings, and the overall dysfunction that’s gripped his administration. The stumbles have drawn the attention of everyone from GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who funneled tens of millions of dollars into Trump’s election and is relied on to help bankroll the party’s House and Senate campaigns, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Adelson hasn’t contributed to pro-Trump outside groups since the inauguration, a move that’s drawn notice within the party, and McConnell is warning associates that Trump’s unpopularity could weigh down the GOP in the election.” [Politico]
LOBBYISTS PRETTY AMPED FOR YOU TO BREATHE SMOG - What’s the over/under on industry groups paying prominent fashion designers to include air masks in their next collection? Alexander Kaufman: “A utility lobbyist called on regulators to do less work monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. An oil and gas lobbyist praised the Trump administration’s retreat from safeguards and urged federal rulemakers to limit regulations on carbon emissions and smog. A lobbyist for wood-product manufacturers complained about the ‘ever-tightening’ public health standards for ozone pollution and asked regulators to change the permitting process. Those were just some of the requests made by industry advocates during a conference call Monday, when the Environmental Protection Agency held the first of several sessions to ask the public which rules should be eliminated under President Donald Trump’s executive order instructing agencies to slash regulations. The three-hour call, held by the Office of Air and Radiation, focused on clean air and ozone pollution rules.” [HuffPost]
IMPORTANT LABOR DEVELOPMENT - Man, the unreleased alternative ending to “Norma Rae” sure got weird. Cora Lewis: “Back in October, 2011, Hernan Perez got chewed out by his boss. We’ve all been there. But Perez, whose workplace was in the midst of a tense unionization campaign, escalated things during his next break by publishing a Facebook post dedicated to his boss: ‘Bob is such a NASTY MOTHER FUCKER don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!! Fuck his mother and his entire fucking family!!!! What a LOSER!!!! Vote YES for the UNION!!!!!!!,’ the post read. Three days later, after the post came to management’s attention, Perez took it down. A little over a week later, following an investigation, he was fired. He’d worked at the company for 13 years. But on Friday, a federal appeals court ruled Perez, like all workers, has the right to call his boss a nasty motherfucker — at least when such speech is part of legally protected statements involving union activity.” [BuzzFeed]
WILL THERE BE HEARINGS NOW? - Lesley Wroughton and Yeganeh Torbati: “Former Fox News anchor and correspondent Heather Nauert will be the new U.S. State Department spokeswoman, the State Department said in a statement on Monday. Nauert was most recently an anchor for Fox News’ morning news show ‘Fox and Friends,’ and previously was a correspondent at ABC News. ‘Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the administration’s foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world,’ the statement said.” [Reuters]
OBAMA RETURNS, THANKS YOU FOR YOUR ‘STILL MY PRESIDENT’ FACEBOOK POST - No, he didn’t. He doesn’t care. Marina Fang: “Former President Barack Obama returned to the spotlight on Monday, moderating a civic engagement panel featuring Chicago-area high school and college students and young leaders. ‘So, uh, what’s been going on while I’ve been gone?’ he joked at the start of the event, held at the University of Chicago. The panel discussion was Obama’s first formal public appearance since leaving office in January. It was also a homecoming, as Obama began his political career in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the university for 12 years. He is building his presidential library just south of the campus, in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, with the involvement of the university and community organizations.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a baby elephant frolicking on the beach.
STUPID RESTAURANT HAS STUPID NAME - It’s a real shame that the cultural mecca of Friendship Heights — the Paris of neighborhoods that abut AU Park — is taking such a hit. Dan Steinberg: “From the moment Tony Kornheiser announced in January that his high-powered group of friends would buy classic Friendship Heights restaurant Chad’s, it was clear that the name would eventually be changed…. Kornheiser announced on his podcast last week that the former Chad’s (formerly Chadwick’s) has been renamed Chatter, effective immediately. The name is both a reference to the restaurant’s new podcasting studio — which he said should be open by May 1 — and to a famous quote about newspapers…. As it turns out, though, I work at a newspaper, and I had never heard of this precise line. So I Googled it to try to source the origins correctly, and I was unable to find the reference. Then I put the beginning of that phrase — ‘Cut the chatter, sweetheart’ — into Nexis. I found six references. All six were Washington Post columns by Tony Kornheiser.” [WaPo]
- We can’t stop reading the Flat Earth Society’s FAQ page.
- Bowling a perfect game in 90 seconds.
- Don’t mess with the Utah Jazz’s mascot.
@AdamSerwer: What if Mark Halperin was replaced by a bowtied dog named Bark Halperin
@alanalevinson: Folks, can we all settle on one platform for posting our video “stories”? I am exhausted by watching your brunch boomerang three times
@pourmecoffee: @realDonaldTrump Maybe the Saturday rally will fill the hundred-day-hole in your heart.
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