POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - CPAC Refuses To Normolopoulize Pedophilia

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Donald Trump paid a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture or, as he knows it, “Examples of People Who’ve Done an Amazing Job and Are Being Recognized More and More, I Notice.” The president went most of the day without tweeting, which might explain why all those coyotes finally stopped howling. And Milo Yiannopoulos was disinvited from this year’s CPAC, so as to avoid sullying the good name of the annual conference that has played host to such high-minded things as the “Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award,” the “If Heaven Has a Gate, A Wall, and Extreme Vetting, Why Can’t America?” breakout session and “Tomi Lahren.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 21st, 2017:

ADMINISTRATION RAMPING UP DEPORTATIONS - Willa Frej: “A set Department of Homeland Security memorandums released Tuesday reveal that President Donald Trump has declared an open season on the deportation of undocumented immigrants. ‘The Department will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,’ one document says. They also expanded Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to perform expedited removals on people who have been living in the U.S. for up to two years. The U.S. will also prosecute the parents of unaccompanied minors as smugglers, according to the documents. DHS directed ICE to hire 10,000 additional people to get the job done, according to one of the memos. The document does indicate that the priority remains ‘removable aliens’ who have been convicted of a crime or charged with a crime. It does not, to the chagrin of many conservatives, suggest any changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.” [HuffPost]

WHY WE’RE LOCKING OUR DOORS - In case you’re wondering why a lot of D.C.-based reporters made a big deal about a gunman showing up to Comet Ping Pong, this is why. Ariel Edwards-Levy: “A narrow majority of President Donald Trump’s supporters agree with him that the media is their enemy, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, although most Americans overall don’t feel similarly. Trump tweeted last Friday that the media is the ‘enemy of the American People,’ a statement that drew criticism from many reporters and disavowals even from some members of his party. Most Trump voters, 51 percent, say the media is an enemy to people like them, according to the poll, with 36 percent considering the media unfriendly, and just 5 percent saying it’s friendly or an ally. Overall, 22 percent of Americans consider the media an enemy to people like them, with 19 percent saying it’s unfriendly, 21 percent that it’s friendly, and 14 percent that it’s an ally.” [HuffPost]

HuffPost Haircuts: Arthur Delaney (h/t Christina Wilkie), Christina Wilkie (h/t Christina Wilkie), Whitney Snyder (h/t Jeffrey).

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PRUITT: SAY ‘PLEASE’ AND ‘THANK YOU’ AS WE DESTROY THE EARTH Also, he’s probably going to fire everybody. Alexander Kaufman: “Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt mentioned a ‘toxic environment’ just once during his first address Tuesday to the embattled agency staff. But he wasn’t talking about industry pollution or conserving nature. He was referring to his critics’ political rhetoric. ‘Forgive the reference, but it’s a very toxic environment’ the controversial new administrator said in the speech, which lasted under 20 minutes. ‘Civility is something I believe in very much,’ he added. ‘We ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some issues in a civil manner.’ Then, at last, he began to outline his vision for the EPA. He described an agency that prioritized making it easier for polluters to comply with regulations. He promised to listen intently to companies before saddling them with new regulations. He admonished his new employees, some fearing layoffs amid looming budget cuts, for acting outside the agency’s legal mandate and running roughshod over states’ rights.” [HuffPost] 

Oh right, this: “Today is the deadline for former Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to hand over thousands of emails. A judge set the deadline last week, a day before Pruitt was confirmed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Center for Media and Democracy first requested the emails in 2015 over concern for Pruitt’s interests with energy companies as attorney general, specifically oil, gas, and coal companies, and conservative organizations. Nearly 2,600 emails have been requested.” [KOTV’s Justin Dougherty] 

HERE’S ANOTHER THING THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN - Maybe his tax returns will be included in the budget. Paul M. Krawzak: “President Donald Trump’s administration is aiming to release a fiscal 2018 budget outline on March 14, a White House official confirmed Sunday to CQ. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it is the White House’s ‘intention’ to release the outline, also called a ‘skinny’ budget, on that date. That date is not set in stone and could change. Mick Mulvaney, the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, has only just gotten to work in the White House budget office. He was confirmed and sworn into office on Feb. 16…. Some congressional aides and budget experts had earlier expressed doubts about whether the Trump administration would have time to craft a budget overview, depending on when the Senate confirmed an OMB director…. Previous presidents in their first year typically have released a budget outline in late February and the full budget in April or May.” [Roll Call] 

WHITE HOUSE SHORTCHANGES TRANSGENDER KIDS - Thank goodness that Ivanka is there to moderate President Trump. Amanda Terkel: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave a clear indication Tuesday that the new administration will not be a forceful defender of transgender rights, saying President Donald Trump believes that issue should be left up to the states. The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to rescind a policy issued by President Barack Obama’s administration mandating that any school that receives federal money must treat a student’s gender identity as his or her sex. Schools, for example, would therefore have to allow transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. Spicer declined to say exactly what the administration had in the works, although he said it was an issue that the Departments of Education and Justice are addressing…. ‘The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government,’ Spicer said.” [HuffPost] 

PRESIDENT HAS TO INSIST HE’S NOT INTERESTED IN KRISTALLNACHT 2 - Our correspondence with our pen pals on Earth 2 has really ground to a halt as we have to explain everything twice. Fred Barbash, Ben Guarino and Brian Murphy: “President Trump called anti-Semitic violence ‘horrible’ and vowed Tuesday to take steps to counter extremism in comments that followed criticism that the White House had not clearly denounced vandalism and threats targeting Jewish institutions. Hours before Trump’s remarks, Hillary Clinton called on her former presidential rival to speak out against anti-Semitic acts after more than 170 Jewish graves were found toppled at a cemetery in Missouri…. The remarks by Trump also appear aimed at easing pressure on his administration, which faces claims from opponents that it has failed to distance itself from extremist ideology and has emboldened right-wing groups through its populist, America-first themes.” [WaPo] 

IT’S POSSIBLE TRUMP IS AN ENORMOUS HYPOCRITE - It’s almost as though he thought Obama was “lazy” because of ugly stereotypes or something! Josh Dawsey: “Donald Trump regularly assailed President Barack Obama for playing golf, then spent the first weekends of his own presidency doing just that. He attacked Obama for using Air Force One to campaign, and did it over the weekend just a month into the job. He mocked Obama for heading out of Washington at taxpayer expense, but appears to have no qualms about doing so himself. One month in, Trump is using the presidency to boost his political and personal goals — not breaking laws or ethics rules, experts say, but ignoring his past criticisms and vows.” [Politico] 

Trump is running out of non-crazy national security experts. National Security Council spokesman and former CIA agent Edward Price explains why couldn’t work for this president in a brutal op-ed. [WaPo] 

FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT STATE LEGISLATORS KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING - Well, most of the time ― certainly more than the current administration. Ian Simpson: “Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have blocked funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and other health services. The bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature would have barred the state from providing funds to clinics that perform abortions not covered by Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor. McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the measure would harm thousands of Virginians who relied on Planned Parenthood healthcare services and programs. He vetoed a similar measure last year. ‘Attempts to restrict women’s access to health care will impede the goal of making Virginia the best place to live, work, and run a business,’ he said in a statement. Advocates for the law had said it would underpin organizations that provide the widest range of services.” [Reuters] 

North Carolina governor not completely devoid of powers: “North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced Tuesday he was dropping his state’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over a 2013 voting bill that a federal appeals court called the most restrictive in the state ‘since the era of Jim Crow.’ Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit struck down a North Carolina bill that required residents to show photo ID at the polls, shortened early voting and eliminated same-day registration. The court ruled that the law intentionally discriminated against African Americans ‘with almost surgical precision.’ With days left in his administration, former Gov. Pat McCrory (R), whom Cooper defeated last year, appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.” [HuffPost’s Samuel Levine] 

JESUS RODE ON DINOSAURS, PT. 230,351,757 - That is, before he smote the dinosaurs so we could have fossil fuels. James Nord and Hannah Weikel: “South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. A House committee on Wednesday is set to consider the measure, which would give legal protection to teachers who want to discuss ‘in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses’ of the subjects. South Dakota is one of at least three states, along with Texas and Oklahoma, considering such a bill. Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have enacted similar laws, according to Glenn Branch, deputy director of the California-based National Center for Science Education, which opposes the proposal. Branch said there are concerns that such a bill would embolden some teachers to start presenting creationism in their classrooms.” [AP] 

SERIOUS PIG FARMER PWNAGE - Assume Grassley town hall dead. Samuel Levine:”A pig farmer confronted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) at a town hall meeting early Tuesday morning to warn that Republicans would essentially create a giant death panel if they repealed the Affordable Care Act. Chris Peterson, 62, told the senator that he has diabetes and that he would not be able to afford health insurance if not for the Affordable Care Act. ‘You’re the man that talks about the death panel,’ Peterson said at the packed town hall in Iowa Falls. ‘We’re gonna create one great big death panel in this country [if] people can’t afford to get insurance. Don’t repeal Obamacare, improve it.’” [HuffPost] 

MILO OUT - Hey, Socrates was another Greek guy down with pedophilia, maybe he’s available. Michael Calderone: “Milo Yiannopoulos resigned Tuesday from Breitbart News, the right-wing nationalist site where he’s served as a senior editor and high-profile contributor…. He said it would be ‘wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues’ important reporting’ and added that the decision to leave was his own. Yiannopoulos ― a conservative provocateur banned by Twitter and known for mocking Muslims, feminists, transgender people, the Black Lives Matter movement and liberal student activists ― seemed to have finally crossed a line Monday with a major publisher and a conservative organization that was giving him a platform. His apparent defense of sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13 during an interview last year on the Drunken Peasants podcast began circulating recently and led to the quick unraveling of a career built on outrage and offensive behavior. “ [HuffPost] 

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a wounded owl with a cast. 

NICE TRY, NEW YORK CITY BULL - But no one escapes from all this hideousness until we all do. Ali Bauman: “The bull that was first spotted Tuesday morning on Lakewood Avenue near Sutphin and Archer in Jamaica has died. It escaped from a slaughterhouse on Jamaica Avenue…. After being captured alive, the bull was loaded into a trailer but sadly died en- route during transport to the Center for Animal Care and Control on Linden Blvd in Brooklyn.” [WCBS]

COMFORT FOOD

- This is why astronauts can’t get drunk in space. 

- Alex Trebek reading rap lyrics.

- UPS is getting in on the drone delivery game.

 TWITTERAMA

2015: i’ll just mute breitbart guy tweeting racial slurs at me
2017: scrutinize internal breitbart politics to divine future of our nation 

@electrolemon: you guys do not have a good case to say “his fake news claims are nuts” when you keep retweeting fake sally yates & “rogue govt” accounts 

@Rossalincoln: This Milo thing has taught conservatives a valuable lesson: properly vet nazis to ensure they only heterosexually sexualize pubescent kids.

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