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The FBI seemed to arbitrarily tweet about documents pertaining to its investigation of Bill Clinton’s Marc Rich pardon, meaning it’s probably a few days away from making accusations about MLK’s infidelities. Donald Trump called for a puzzling “special session” of Congress to repeal Obamacare, though perhaps he meant one where members are in Washington for more than two-and-a-half days a week. And staff for Texas’ agriculture commissioner said a tweet in which he appeared to call Hillary Clinton the c-word was the result of a hack, which is very quickly becoming the Twinkie defense of our era. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 1, 2016:
MANAFORT DENIES WRONGDOING - He’s just an ordinary guy saving up for an extraordinary Dacha. Howard Fineman: “Manafort resurfaced on Tuesday to deny to HuffPost that he was under investigation for alleged ties to Russia, its hackers or its president, Vladimir Putin. Or for anything else.… ‘There is no story,’ Manafort insisted to me. ‘This is just Harry Reid and Clinton deflection.’ Comey, for his part, has not commented. NBC News reported Monday that Manafort was the subject of an ‘inquiry’ into his foreign business activities – an assertion that he hotly denies. ‘The NBC story is an outrageous smear,’ Manafort said to me. ‘There is nothing of my business activities to investigate. There is no FBI investigation and even NBC admitted that there is no criminal investigation.’’” [HuffPost]
SENATE REPUBLICANS HOPING FOR FBI BOOST - Michael McAuliff: “Whether or not FBI Director James Comey wanted to upset next week’s election by revealing the bureau is again looking at Hillary Clinton emails, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is trying to leverage that news to buttress its dwindling chances of keeping the Senate. According to HuffPost Pollster’s detailed poll modeling, the Republicans’ chances of maintaining a majority in the upper chamber are down to 17 percent ― a precipitous fall from a couple of weeks ago when they had about a 60 percent shot at holding on.... To that end, the committee dropped a new ad Tuesday aimed primarily at the web that tries to use the new news to motivate voters whose distaste for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump might have clouded their memories about how little they like his Democratic rival. ‘It’s time to start asking why are Democrat Senate candidates still standing with Hillary Clinton?’ the spot states.” [HuffPost]
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WASHINGTON IS TERRIBLE - Sarah Westwood: A Department of Justice official who notified Congress Monday that the agency would ‘dedicate all necessary resources’ to the reopened Hillary Clinton email investigation has a close relationship with campaign chair John Podesta, hacked emails show. Peter Kadzik, assistant attorney general, sent his son to seek a job on the Clinton campaign given his personal relationship with Podesta. He was invited to a small birthday gathering for Podesta’s lobbyist brother last year. Kadzik also dined with Podesta at his home in January, when the first FBI probe was well underway. Emails made public by WikiLeaks over the past several weeks raise fresh questions about the Justice Department’s handling of an investigation into a case with such close ties to the agency’s leadership. Just one week before FBI Director James Comey closed the original Clinton email probe in July, Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s private meeting with Clinton’s husband sparked a wave of outrage that ultimately clouded the Justice Department’s decision to end the investigation.” [Examiner]
FBI CLEARLY GIVING NO EFFs - J. Edgar Hoover would’ve thrown so much shade on Twitter. Josh Gerstein: “Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is raising questions about the timing of the FBI’s release Tuesday of records on a 15-year-old investigation into President Bill Clinton’s pardon to fugitive financier Marc Rich. The FBI posted the 129 pages of records in its online Freedom of Information Act reading room in apparent response to a FOIA request seeking information on FBI inquiries into the Clinton Foundation. The release was dated Monday, but an FBI Twitter account flagged the new posting Tuesday. The Clinton campaign, which is already at odds with FBI Director James Comey over his disclosure of new evidence in the Clinton email probe, immediately questioned why Clinton-related records were being released just a week before the election. ‘Absent a FOIA litigation deadline, this is odd. Will FBI be posting docs on Trump’s housing discrimination in ’70s?’ Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon asked on Twitter.” [Politico]
RIP SUPREME COURT - Well, at least there will be an even number of justices when RBG retires. Sam Stein: “Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) made a noteworthy declaration about his post-election political intents on Monday, though it was lost amid his joke, for which he has since apologized, about shooting Hillary Clinton. Should he head back to the Senate, Burr pledged, he would try to block any Supreme Court nomination from a President Clinton. ‘If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court,’ he said.... Burr isn’t the only senator who has abandoned the March dictum of letting the voters decide. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also recently pledged to block any Supreme Court nominee proposed by Clinton. And his press release from when Garland was nominated was even more explicit in saying that the next president, specifically, should get a say.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP ENDORSES ‘DIE ON THE STREETS ACT OF 2017’ - Donald Trump and Mike Pence, champions of the downtrodden, aim to liberate as many Americans as possible from the yoke of health insurance. Jeffrey Young: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence used the beginning of this year’s Obamacare enrollment period Tuesday to pledge to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care reform initiative next year…. Notably, Trump and Pence didn’t offer any recognition of the Affordable Care Act’s achievements, or new details on how their policies would actually replace a law that has led to more Americans having health coverage than ever before. Trump labeled the law as simply a ‘catastrophe,’ and ran through a litany of talking points about Obama’s broken promises on health care that would be familiar to anyone who’s seen a Republican talking about health care since 2009.” [HuffPost]
BLACK TURNOUT LOW - Ruh roh. Natalie Jackson: “With a week to go before Election Day, over 25 million Americans have already cast their ballots via early voting. If this year is similar to 2012, those early votes will be nearly 20 percent of the final turnout. So it could be a big deal that black voters aren’t opting for early voting as much as they did four years ago, especially in key swing states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Low turnout among African-Americans could hurt Hillary Clinton. In most polls, more than 90 percent of black voters support her over Donald Trump. North Carolina is seeing fewer black voters casting their ballots early this year, The New York Times reports. They accounted for just 22 percent of early voters as of Monday, compared to 27.3 percent of early voters in 2012. Although there’s still a week left for that proportion to increase, the decline is concerning for Democrats, who expect to receive nearly all of those votes.” [HuffPost]
DON’T CHANGE SEXY HORSES IN MIDSTREAM - Sexy days are here again. Matt Fuller: “At a recent debate in New York’s 23rd District, Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his challenger, Democrat John Plumb, were asked, ‘What qualities does your opponent possess that would cause you to vote for them?’ Plumb stumbled through the answer a bit, somehow relating the question to working across the aisle. But Reed took it to another level. ‘I was hoping you were going to say something nice about me, John. I think that’s what the question was, where you would agree with us,’ Reed began, seeming to understand the question a bit better. The New York Republican said he’d talked with Plumb on the campaign trail and gotten to know him a little. ‘You recently got married to a beautiful lady,’ Reed said. ‘And that maybe is a reason why I would consider voting for my opponent, given the relationship that he has there.’” [HuffPost]
AREA MAN GOES VIRAL, WISHES HE DIDN’T - All we know is Trump better stay away from ice cream in the snow guy. Jonathan Tannenwald: “Tom Kohler was on a run-of-the-mill lunch trip to the Wawa on DeKalb Pike in King of Prussia, ordering some food from the touchscreen at the deli counter just like anyone else would. When Kohler turned around, he was caught in the middle of a horde of politicians, security staff and media. And within a few seconds, he was photographed next to a smiling, thumbs-up-hoisting Republican presidential candidate... Kohler is the chair of the Upper Merion Area Democratic Committee, and a legislative aide to Democratic State House Rep. Tim Briggs. ‘The circus came into town and stormed through the store and disrupted everything and then up and left,’ Kohler said. ‘I was just annoyed because I was just trying to get my lunch and I couldn’t get away from him.’” [Philly.com]
AMERICA TO UNFOLLOW BARACK OBAMA ON JANUARY 20TH - But, really. Blake Montgomery: “Barack Obama was the first US president on Twitter, and he won’t be the last. So what happens to the @POTUS Twitter handle after the election? When Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017, Twitter will transfer his tweets to the new account @POTUS44, which will contain all of his previous tweets, according to a statement from the White House. The 45th US president, whoever that will be, will then receive the handle @POTUS, which will begin tabula rasa with no tweets on the timeline. As for Instagram and Facebook, the incoming presidential administration will own the White House username, URL, and followers, and it will also begin its term with a blank timeline. The same is true of the vice president and first lady’s social media accounts.” [BuzzFeed]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a rabbit chewing a flower.
ICYMI: LEAVE EVAN MCMULLIN’S MOM ALONE - Unless you decided to be “Evan McMullin’s mom” for Halloween, in which case you are weird and wonderful. Lisa Mascaro: “A white nationalist leader who has funded several ads supporting Donald Trump has a new robocall in Utah targeting Evan McMullin, the upstart who could stop a Trump victory in the Beehive State. McMullin poses a serious threat to Trump in Utah, where voters, many of whom are Mormon, have never fully warmed to the celebrity businessman’s candidacy. The robocall beginning Monday seeks to sway Utah’s conservative religious electorate by highlighting McMullin’s personal life; after his parents divorced, his mother married a woman. ‘Evan has two mommies,’ the ad says. ‘His mother is a lesbian, married to another woman. Evan is OK with that.’” [LA Times]
- More hydraulic press destruction porn: this time, the hydraulic press takes on paper.
- Checking up on the lost children from the “Runaway Train” video.
- Tremendously wrong old maps.
@mattduss: My offer of five dollars to watch Joe Walsh try to load and fire a musket still stands.
@igorbobic: Not sure why, but this, via Trump pool visit to Wawa, is poetry to me:
“Tiffany grabbed a single fruit pie.”