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CNN called Ivanka Trump “America’s most powerful Jewish woman,” bringing to mind an old Jewish saying: “Why is this hot take dumber than all other hot takes?” Richard Burr said the Senate won’t tackle Obamacare repeal until next year, when Mitch McConnell presumably will be too busy whipping votes for President Pence’s “Bibles for ISIS” bill. And the level of climate denialism and newspeak emanating from the administration this week suggests it isn’t long until it rebrands CO2 emissions as “freedom burps.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 2nd, 2017:
TRUMP REALLY THINKS THE WHOLE GOVERNMENT IS HIS - We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that he’s going to have someone fill a U-Haul with a bunch of art from the Smithsonian before he leaves office. Jan Wolfe: “U.S. President Donald Trump will decide whether to invoke his presidential powers to block former FBI Director James Comey from giving congressional testimony next week, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Friday. Comey, fired by Trump last month, is due to testify on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in both an open session and behind closed doors. The hearings could add to problems facing the president over probes into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s U.S. election and potential collusion by his campaign. In an interview with ABC News, Conway appeared to indicate that the president would allow Comey to testify, saying, ‘We’ll be watching with the rest of the world when Director Comey testifies.’ But asked directly whether Trump would use executive privilege to prevent Comey from speaking with lawmakers, Conway added: ‘The president will make that decision.’” [Reuters]
BURR: NO HEALTH CARE REFORM THIS YEAR - Thank goodness the president already repealed Obamacare though, right? Laura Barrón-López: “Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) doesn’t think the Republican-controlled Congress is going to succeed in passing a health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this year. Speaking to local TV station WXII 12 News, Burr said, ‘I don’t see a comprehensive health care plan this year.’ ‘It’s unlikely that we will get a health care deal, which means that most of my time has been spent trying to figure out solutions to Iowa losing all of its insurers, to Tennessee potentially losing theirs,’ Burr said. He was referring to states where struggling insurers have withdrawn or threatened to withdraw, potentially leaving consumers with no options for buying subsidized coverage. Iowa, for example, is down to one insurer for most of the state ― and that insurer has warned it may have to pull out. He added that the health care bill passed by the House about a month ago is ‘not a good plan’ and was ‘dead on arrival’ in the Senate, which plans to craft its own version.” [HuffPost]
POLL: AMERICANS WANT TO STICK TO PARIS AGREEMENT - Ariel Edwards-Levy and Grace Sparks: “Most Americans probably weren’t thrilled on Thursday when President Donald Trump announced he plans to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Sixty-one percent of Americans wanted the U.S. to stay in the Paris accord, according to a HuffPost/YouGov survey taken before Trump’s decision was announced, and just 17 percent wanted the U.S. to withdraw. Democrats were the staunchest supporters of the historic climate pact, saying by a 76-point margin that the U.S. should remain in it, but independents and Republicans agreed by margins of 39 points and 7 points, respectively. Trump voters were one of the few demographics to outright favor withdrawal, which the president has touted as a populist position. His supporters said by a 15-point margin that the U.S. should leave.” [HuffPost]
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WHITE HOUSE STONEWALLING DEMOCRATIC INVESTIGATIONS - Burgess Everett and Josh Dawsey: “The White House is telling federal agencies to blow off Democratic lawmakers’ oversight requests, as Republicans fear the information could be weaponized against President Donald Trump. At meetings with top officials for various government departments this spring, Uttam Dhillon, a White House lawyer, told agencies not to cooperate with such requests from Democrats, according to Republican sources inside and outside the administration...The declaration amounts to a new level of partisanship in Washington, where the president and his administration already feels besieged by media reports and attacks from Democrats. The idea, Republicans said, is to choke off the Democratic congressional minorities from gaining new information that could be used to attack the president.” [Politico]
SCOTT PRUITT, THE BAGHDAD BOB OF CLIMATE SCIENCE - This week’s Steve “The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out” Stockman award for achievements in climate denialism goes to the EPA administrator. Alexander C. Kaufman and Christina Wilkie: “Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said he doesn’t ‘know what it means to deny the climate’ in a defiant rebuke of his critics one day after President Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. ‘People have called me a climate skeptic or climate denier,’ Pruitt said at a White House press briefing on Friday. ‘I would say that they were climate exaggerators.’ To back up his point, Pruitt read from Bret Stephens’ controversial debut column in The New York Times, in which the former Wall Street Journal opinion writer rebuffed environmentalists and climate scientists who took issue with his earlier work defending the conspiracy theory that manmade global warming is either overblown or a hoax.” [HuffPost]
Speaking of hot air: “Spicer told reporters that he hasn’t had the opportunity to discuss climate change with Trump ― even though when a reporter asked Spicer earlier this week about the president’s views, he promised to ‘get back to you on that’” [HuffPost’s Ryan Grenoble]
We’re forgetting the most important question here: is Ivanka OK?
MIKEPENCEHEADSHAKE.GIF - There is no Earth Mother. Only Mother. Hayley Miller: “Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he doesn’t understand why so many people are making such a big deal out of climate change, a phenomenon connected to such global issues as declining food security and wildlife populations. Pence mocked ‘the liberal left’ for condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the historic Paris Agreement, an international pact that aims to curb global warming by reducing carbon emissions. ‘For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world,’ Pence said during an appearance on ‘Fox & Friends.’” [HuffPost]
We missed the North Korean-levels of Dear Leader Worship Pruitt engaged in yesterday during the White House Paris Agreement announcement: “Your decision.. reflects your unflinching commitment to put America First. And by exiting, you are fulfilling yet one more campaign promise to the American people. Please know that I am thankful for your fortitude – courage – and steadfastness as you serve and lead our country. America finally has a leader who answers only to the people.... In everything you do, you are fighting for the forgotten men and women of America. You are the champion for hardworking citizens all across this land who just want a government that puts their needs first. You have promised to put America First in all aspects of your Administration. And you have done that in any number of ways – from trade – to national security – to protecting our border – to right-sizing government here in Washington, D.C…. Mr. President – it takes courage and commitment to say no to the plaudits of men while doing what’s right by the American people. You have that courage – And the American people can take comfort because you have their back.” Get a room, Administrator Pruitt!
TRUMP ADMIN ASKS COURT TO REINSTATE TRAVEL BAN - Nick Visser: “The Trump administration on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to revive the president’s controversial executive order that intended to temporarily bar travel to the U.S. by citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. Lawyers at the Department of Justice filed two emergency applications with the nation’s highest court asking it to block two lower court rulings that effectively halted the implementation of his second travel ban, which also halted refugees seeking to enter the U.S. The filing asks for a stay of a ruling made last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and another stay of an injunction made by a judge in Hawaii. The Justice Department has asked for expedited processing of the petitions so the court can hear the case when it begins a new session in October.” [HuffPost]
JOURNALIST GROUPS CALL FOR INVESTIGATION INTO GIANFORTE’S BODY SLAM - Callum Borchers: “Four groups representing journalists plan to call on Congress to investigate the alleged assault of a reporter by Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) and also will ask President Trump to personally denounce violence that might be inspired by his anti-press rhetoric. The Society of Professional Journalists, PEN America, Free Press, and Reporters Without Borders on Friday will submit joint letters to the president, the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Congressional Ethics Committee...A criminal court could punish [Gianforte] with a fine of up to $500 and a prison sentence of up to six months, but the journalism groups will ask Congress to consider discipline of its own.” [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a low-energy rooster. Sad!
- How’s this for a headline: “Narwhals Are Actually Unicorns Of Death.”
- The world of “Harry Potter” erotic fan fiction is … oh dear.
- How old photos are colorized.
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