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President Trump has found an incredible new way to hold someone hostage while also providing them a robust health plan. Three journalists found major weaknesses in Mar-a-Lago’s networks, which will undoubtedly save countless ambassadors the hassle of actually having to ask Donald Trump about secret material. And Ben Sasse’s parenting book is a real stinker, but no matter, as we’re excited for Bernie Sanders’ memoir about what happens when you hand over your house’s means of production to a six-year-old. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, May 17th, 2017:
FB-WHY - Maybe Trump should interview Ben Nelson just to really piss off Democrats. Ryan J. Reilly: “President Donald Trump, who fired FBI Director James Comey last week, will interview four candidates to replace him, the White House said Wednesday. White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump will interview four people on Wednesday: current acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; Frank Keating, the former governor of Oklahoma who previously served as an FBI agent and in high-level positions in the Justice Department; former Sen. Joe Lieberman; and Richard McFeely, who served in the FBI for 24 years before retiring as executive assistant director in 2014.” [HuffPost]
ANNNNNNNND THERE’S THE ‘I’ WORD - At CAP’s “ideas conference” yesterday, the biggest applause lines came during Maxine Water’s somewhat (er, very) unfocused rant about President Trump and Russia and the possible need for impeachment. Jennifer Bendery: “Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) called for impeaching President Donald Trump from the House floor on Wednesday. ‘I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice,’ Green began in a sermon-like speech. ‘I do not do this for political purposes,’ he continued. ‘I do it because, Mr. Speaker, there is a belief in this country that no one is above the law. And that includes the president of the United States of America. Mr. Speaker, our democracy is at risk.’ … The Texas Democrat rattled off a website, impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org, and urged people to sign a petition there saying they agree it’s time to begin impeachment proceedings. It is ultimately the public, he said, that will decide whether impeachment happens.” [HuffPost]
@mcalderone: Fox News downplaying/dismissing Comey news in primetime Tues apparently didn’t work with viewers. CNN first in demo; MSNBC first in total.
PRETTY SURE THE ADMINISTRATION IS JUST LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR TRUMP TV IN 2021 - Yep, 2021, he’ll likely still be president then. Ryan J. Reilly and Elise Foley: “President Donald Trump’s administration will appoint Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke ― a Fox News talking head with extreme rhetoric on law enforcement ― to a job in the Department of Homeland Security, Clarke said Wednesday. The sheriff has recently come under scrutiny because four people, including a newborn, died in less than a year inside the jail he’s charged with running. Clarke told 1130 WISN Radio that he will serve as an assistant secretary in the DHS’s Office of Partnership and Engagement and will work as a liaison between law enforcement and state and local governments. That job does not require a Senate confirmation.” [HuffPost]
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WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE - As a test, Fox News should run “Donald Trump” on an infinite loop in the news ticker and see if the president ever appears again. Steve Holland and Jeff Mason: “Besieged by controversy at home, U.S. President Donald rump is under pressure to stick to the script and avoid fresh flare-ups when he embarks this week on his first foreign trip, a nine-day trek to the Middle East and Europe…. National Security Council officials have strategically included Trump’s name in ‘as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned,’ according to one source, who relayed conversations he had with NSC officials. Trump likes to look at a map of the country involved when he learns about a topic.” [Reuters]
BUT WHO WILL GUARD THE PRESIDENT’S PRECIOUS LITTLE FEELINGS? Paige Lavender: “President Donald Trump found another opportunity to attack the media during a commencement ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday…. ‘Never ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine,’ Trump said. ‘Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media.’ Trump argued ‘no politician in history...has been treated worse or more unfairly’ by the media…. The president closed out his speech with one actual piece of advice for the graduates: ‘Enjoy your life.’” [HuffPost]
Hmm...has Trump been treated worse than any politician in history? “Fairness is a pretty interesting topic of conversation to be raising in front of men and women who will one day be jumping into the damn ocean in the middle of hurricanes to rescue people, in the service of an organization whose unofficial motto is, ‘You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.’ … Let’s just think about other presidents. Off the top of my head, here are some people who were treated more unfairly than Donald Trump.” [HuffPost’s Jason Linkins]
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON LIVING IN A PSYCHOLOGICAL CAGE - We hope you one day free yourself from the figurative prison your life has become. Josh Dawsey and Matthew Nussbaum: “In interviews, multiple White House officials indicated they feel under siege — unsure who in the intelligence community was leaking, how much damaging information was out there, when the next proverbial shoe would drop and what Trump might say. Staffers shuttled back and forth among West Wing offices debating what to say without divulging confidential material or getting anything wrong. A deflated and exhausted Sean Spicer, who continues to read reports that his job is in jeopardy while he works 12 hours every day in his office, huddled in his office with chief of staff Reince Priebus. There was a pervasive sense, another official said, that ‘we are kind of helpless.’” [Politico]
Maybe now Mitch McConnell will do something: “Interviews with Republicans in and close to the donor community revealed growing worries that Congress has been knocked off kilter by the problems engulfing Trump — and that it will be enormously challenging to get back on track as the contours of 2018 congressional races begin to take shape…. At a gathering of the Republican Governors Association at a Trump resort in the Miami area this week, donors were also anxious, consumed by the feeling that ‘it’s going to be impossible to get anything done,’ said one Republican operative in attendance. ‘They’re flipping out like everybody else, of course they are,’ said the operative, going on to add, ‘People are in meltdown mode.’” [McClatchy’s Katie Glueck]
¡Encerrarlos! “Deportation officers arrested more than 41,000 people on civil immigration charges between the Monday after Trump’s inauguration and his 100th day in office, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE deportation officers arrested about 30,000 people in roughly the same period in 2016. Arrests of noncriminals more than doubled during the same period ― from about 4,200 in 2016 to more than 10,800 in 2017, according to ICE. They made up about one-quarter of the total arrests.” [HuffPost’s Elise Foley]
GOP STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT BY MAKING IT SUPER-INEFFICIENT - Alexander C. Kaufman: “Shrouded by the political chaos surrounding the White House, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the Regulatory Accountability Act that would impose dozens of new requirements on the government rule-making process…. The act proposes adding 53 requirements to the regulatory process, including a mandate that all rules with an economic impact exceeding $110 million go through a lengthy review. The bill would, for example, make it harder for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update meat and poultry safety standards, the Food and Drug Administration to issue new rules on opioids and the Mine Safety and Health Association to upgrade protections for workers without clearing high hurdles set by deep-pocketed meat, pharmaceutical and mining companies.” [HuffPost]
DIVERSIFY YO BONDS, GREG GIANFORTE - Alexander C. Kaufman: “A Republican congressional candidate owns a stake in a French-Swiss cement company accused of making payments to the Islamic State militant group in Syria, according to financial disclosures HuffPost reviewed. Greg Gianforte, the millionaire GOP contender for Montana’s open seat in the House, reported owning $47,066 worth of shares in LafargeHolcim as recently as December…. LafargeHolcim operated a factory in the north Syrian town of Kobane for three years after civil war broke out and most foreign companies fled. The company evacuated foreign employees in 2012, but kept the business going with local workers until ISIS fighters seized the factory two years later. Payments made to local armed groups to secure the factory may have unwittingly ended up in ISIS coffers, French newspaper Le Monde reported last year. CEO Eric Olsen resigned from the firm last month.” [HuffPost]
BORIS IS INVINCEEEEBLE - Are the weaknesses detailed below that all the captcha prompts spell out “DONALD TRUMP”? Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Julia Angwin: “We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, and pointed a two-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club. Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes, but we refrained…. We also visited two of President Donald Trump’s other family-run retreats, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a golf club in Sterling, Va. Our inspections found weak and open Wi-Fi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software, and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information.” [Gizmodo/ProPublica]
SASSE-PLAINING - Free idea: this book, but replacing every reference to “millennials” with “my archnemesis, Herb Kohl.” Alyssa Rosenberg: “It says a lot about how engaging Sen. Ben Sasse’s Twitter feed is, and how novel it seemed that a politician would write what appeared to be a parenting book rather than a bland campaign volume, that I requested a copy of the Nebraska Republican’s new book, ‘The Vanishing American Adult.’ And I truly hoped to be able to report that it was good: Any sign that an American politician is capable of thinking in new ways or speaking in new terms is manna in the desert, and as you all know, it’s getting grim out there. So it’s with regret that I inform you that ‘The Vanishing American Adult’ is a reminder that there is more than one way for a politician to write a bad book, as well as an illustration of the limits of Sasse’s mildly maverick brand.” [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a lion being freaked out by bubbles.
MAYBE THEY WERE AFRAID THE SWAMP WOULD BE DRAINED - Fear not, little waterfowl. Dana Hedgpeth: “A dozen baby ducks and their mother were rescued Tuesday afternoon from a 6th floor balcony of a Library of Congress building with the help of the U.S. Capitol Police. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden posted a picture of the ducklings on Twitter. On Tuesday, around 4 p.m., a Library of Congress staffer noticed the ducklings and their mother go past a window of the 6th floor balcony of the James Madison Memorial Building, which is one of the library’s facilities, said Gail Osterberg, the library’s director of communications. There is no water around, so it seemed a bit ‘out of the ordinary,’ said Osterberg.” [WaPo]
- Apple really doesn’t want its employees to procreate.
- The 12,000-calorie diet of the world’s strongest man.
- Yoda tells a joke.
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