POLITICS
04/18/2017 06:21 pm ET

GOP Prays For Ossoff Lossoff

Reuters Photographer / Reuters

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30-year-old Jon Ossoff is vying to avoid a runoff in today’s special election — typical snowflake Millennial thinking his election is special. It turns out that claims about “Trump’s armada” — which already sounded like a misguided branding partnership he undertook with in the 1980s — were false. And Trump signed “buy American” legislation, and we don’t know how the Trump Organization will survive. This is HUFFPOST HILL for April 18th, 2017:

VOTERS HEADING TO POLLS IN GA-6 SPECIAL ELECTION -  What the polls are saying: “HuffPost Pollster’s average puts Ossoff at just below 43 percent, with surveys from both parties this month giving him a share of the vote ranging from 39 to 45 percent. As Enten notes, even with undecided voters proportionately allocated between the candidates, that leaves him several points shy of the 50 percent needed for an outright win.” [HuffPost Pollster]

From Eliot’s dispatch on the race: “Once upon a time, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District might have flickered into your mind while you contemplated the Republican electorate. Suburban and white, this collection of affluent commuter towns 45 minutes north of Atlanta is a maze of spiraling subdivisions, upscale retail stores and well-funded schools ― a veritable paradise of automatic sprinkler systems, Mercedes-Benz GLS-classes and C-suite types with names like Chet, Bobby and Judd…. Hostility to President Donald Trump and his populist message runs deep here. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won this district by over 20 points in 2012, yet Trump defeated his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton by a scant point in November, and it was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who carried it in the Republican primary.” [HuffPost]

Our prediction: Death comes for us all.

TRUMP SIGNS ‘HIRE AMERICA’ EXECUTIVE ORDER - Glenn Thrush: “President Trump...signed an executive order on Tuesday authorizing studies and tweaks in government rules that could lead to restrictions on foreign technical workers. Mr. Trump said the order, signed at the sprawling Snap-on tool factory in Kenosha, Wis., was a way to ‘restore the American dream’ and a means to end the ‘theft of American prosperity,’ which he said had been brought on by low-wage immigrant labor. While the order represents a sweeping policy recalibration, the text — distributed in paper-clipped printouts to reporters traveling with the president — calls for a series of relatively modest steps, most of which could take months or even years to carry out. They include a requirement that federal agencies produce reports on changes to improve the H-1B visa program, under which companies recruit and hire 85,000 foreign workers annually, many of them in high-tech, industrial, medical and science fields.” [NYT]

THANK GOODNESS THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUMP AND CLINTON - Congratulations to the Rust Belt on getting its jobs back! Alan Gomez and David Agren: “Federal agents ignored President Trump’s pledge to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children by sending a young man back to his native Mexico, the first such documented case, a USA TODAY examination of the new administration’s immigration policies shows. After spending an evening with his girlfriend in Calexico, Calif., on Feb. 17, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the U.S. since age 9, grabbed a bite and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached and started asking questions…. Montes had left his wallet in a friend’s car, so he couldn’t produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn’t retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first undocumented immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration’s stepped-up deportation policy.” [USA Today]

EMOLUMENTUM - Cristian Farias: “An ethics watchdog that sued President Donald Trump in January over violations of the so-called foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution has added new plaintiffs to its legal challenge — all in hopes of putting the case on stronger footing. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an amended complaint in federal court on Tuesday that now lists as parties the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, a nonprofit restaurant coalition, and Jill Phaneuf, an event planner. Both ROC United and Phaneuf claim they’ve been directly harmed by a loss of business and wages related to the Trump Organization’s dealings with foreign governments that seek its patronage. Rather than seeking money damages from the president, Phaneuf ― who liaises with embassies and other clients seeking to do business with Washington-area hotels — and ROC United want a declaration from a federal judge that Trump’s ongoing ties to his own properties are unconstitutional.” [HuffPost]

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NEXT THING YOU KNOW HE’LL SAY CHINA ISN’T A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR - Oh. Austin Wright: “President Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad — despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton. Congressional Democrats say it’s a striking omission that shows Trump’s campaign rhetoric was just that. And even some Republicans are urging Trump to move faster to fill this and other key State Department posts…. More than three dozen State Department leadership jobs remain unfilled, according to a tracker maintained by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service — with hundreds of jobs requiring Senate confirmation sitting vacant across the federal government. A White House spokesman said career professionals are fulfilling positions as needed on an acting basis and cited “a deep bench” at the State Department.” [Politico]

FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT IVANKA TRUMP IS INCREDIBLY CORRUPT - And not just that nice lady moving the president to the center. Erika Kinetz and Annie D’Innocenzio: “On April 6, Ivanka Trump’s company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago…. As she crafts a political career from her West Wing office, her brand is flourishing, despite boycotts and several stores limiting her merchandise. U.S. imports, almost all of them from China, shot up an estimated 166 percent last year, while sales hit record levels in 2017. The brand, which Ivanka Trump still owns, says distribution is growing…. ‘Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it,’ said Norman Eisen, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama.” [AP]

ACTUALLY, WE AREN’T SENDING ‘AN ARMADA’ - Paige Lavender and Eline Gordts: “When U.S. officials claimed two weeks ago that an American aircraft carrier was heading toward waters near North Korea, it was actually sailing in the opposite direction, The New York Times and Defense News report. Amid growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, U.S. Pacific Command announced on April 8 that the USS Carl Vinson strike group would sail north to the western Pacific after departing Singapore that day. An American official told Reuters at the time that the ships’ move toward the Korean Peninsula was a show of force directed at the regime of Kim Jong Un...Mere days after the announcement about the strike group’s new course, President Donald Trump weighed in on the North Korean threat. ‘We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier,’ Trump told Fox on April 12.” [HuffPost]

LIBERALS LOVE RICH PEOPLE, TOO! - Fenit Nirappil and Gregory S. Schneider: “Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam had almost twice as much campaign cash available as rival Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello two months ahead of the primary, according to data compiled Tuesday by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project…. Perriello’s haul was buoyed by several massive campaign contributions, with half of his money coming from four donors…. He launched his campaign on Jan. 5 with $500,000 from Sonjia Smith of Charlottesville, a major donor to Democrats in Virginia and nationwide, and $200,000 from Avaaz, an international nonprofit group that funds progressive activists and was co-founded by Perriello a decade ago. Philanthropist and liberal activist George Soros was his second-most generous contributor, at $250,000, and Soros’s son Alexander chipped in $125,000. New York financier Courtney Smith gave $75,000, while California philanthropist Stephen Silberstein donated $50,000.” [WaPo]

SUPER GRAFT-Y REPUBLICAN SOMEHOW NOT WORKING FOR TRUMP - Yet. Shane Goldmacher: “The Republican Party’s top digital strategist in 2016 got a nearly $1 million payout from a firm he co-founded that collected online contributions to the party and its nominee, Donald Trump — despite earlier claims that the strategist had severed his ties to the company. Gerrit Lansing’s joint roles, while legal, have raised questions of cronyism and profit-making at the Republican National Committee — and now sparked an internal review ‘to prevent a situation like this from happening again,’ the RNC told POLITICO in a statement…. The controversy puts White House press secretary Sean Spicer in an awkward spot. As the RNC’s chief strategist, Spicer denied to POLITICO in mid-2016 that Lansing had any financial stake in Revv.” [Politico]

HERE’S A THING THAT WON’T HAPPEN - This was already a stupid plot twist on what was already a terrible season of “The West Wing.” Allan Smith: “Chris Ruddy, a confidant of President Donald Trump, told Business Insider in a Monday interview that Trump should cut a deal with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His proposition: Replace her on the bench with Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacated seat in 2016. Ruddy, who wrote about his opposition to the Senate’s invoking the so-called nuclear option to help get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, said Trump nominating Garland to the court would be a ‘huge move.’ ‘They would remove a very liberal Democrat with a moderate, consensus Democrat, who I think Garland is,’ Ruddy added. ‘And I think it would be a huge move and a sign for Trump that he’s willing to break through the political ice.’” [Business Insider]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s an overjoyed dog.

TOM PEREZ DOESN’T GIVE A &#^$ WHAT YOU THINK OF HIS &*@$ING LANGUAGE - So shove it up your &#)*, you #@!*ing #^$#@)_!!!! David Weigel: “At the kickoff of a week-long tour with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez worked blue. Republicans, he told an audience in Maine, ‘don’t give a s— about the people they’re trying to hurt.’ The Trump administration’s ‘skinny budget’ was, in point of fact, a ‘s—ty budget.’ … ‘I’m always amused that Republicans feign indignation when they hear the word “s—” or “bulls—” out of Tom Perez, and they observe what Donald Trump has been saying for decades,’ Perez said…. ‘To compare what Donald Trump was doing to saying the word “s—” is unfair to the word “s—,”’ he said. ‘I mean, with all due respect, I don’t see the comparison there. The personal attacks, the collusion with the Russian government — to suggest that that’s somehow on par with using the word “s—”?’” [WaPo]

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