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Donald Trump is assembling an administration that is, more or less, the Traveling Wilburys of men who roll up their windows in black neighborhoods. Truly, not since New York City flirted with seceding from the Union in 1861 has a Big Apple businessman shown so much support for a white guy from Alabama with a name like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. And Chris Van Hollen agreed to serve as DSCC chair, easing the concerns of Democratic leadership who had exhausted all other options save the lady who carries that Jesus mannequin around the Capitol grounds. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, November 18th, 2016:
LOL, NATIONAL HEALING - For what it’s worth, the Mitt Romney-for-State choice will ultimately come off all the more better because of all of this. Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “Mr. Trump selected Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who has made cracking down on undocumented immigrants a signature issue, to be his attorney general, while installing Michael T. Flynn, a retired lieutenant general who believes Islamist militancy poses an existential threat, as his national security adviser. And as director of the C.I.A., Mr. Trump selected Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, who harshly criticized Hillary Clinton during the House investigation of the 2012 attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The flurry of decisions indicated that Mr. Trump was gaining some control over a transition operation that has been marked during its first week by chaos and infighting, and moving quickly to put his stamp on an administration-in-waiting that will break starkly with President Obama’s.” [NYT]
Concern about Alabama’s Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s record on race: “Civil rights groups are condemning President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as United States Attorney General. At issue are Sessions’ history of racist comments and hard-line anti-immigration stance. The Senate rejected then-President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Sessions as a federal judge in 1986 after colleagues testified about racially offensive comments Sessions made as a U.S. Attorney in Alabama.” [HuffPost’s Daniel Marans]
TRUMP SETTLES TRUMP UNIVERSITY CASE - So now we know he has at least $25 million to spare ― that’s a start. Rosalind S. Helderman: “President-elect Donald Trump, who has repeatedly bragged he never settles lawsuits despite a long history of doing so, has agreed to a $25 million settlement to end the fraud cases pending against his defunct real estate seminar program, Trump University, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman said in a Friday statement that the settlement includes a $1 million penalty paid to New York state for violating the state’s education laws by calling the program a ‘university’ despite offering no degrees or traditional education. Schneiderman said his office had sued Trump for ‘swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars’ and that the settlement had come despite resistance from Trump. ‘Today, that all changes. Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university,’ he said.” [WaPo]
From February: @realDonaldTrump: Trump University has a 98% approval rating. I could have settled but won’t out of principle!
And October 2014: @realDonaldTrump: just had a great victory against lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Most of his case re Trump U. was thrown out or gutted. Little remains
THE SCENE FROM TRUMP TOWER - Via John Stanton’s pool report (these things are informal so excuse uneven capitalizations): “Naked cowboy came over and sang a song about trump [sic] that included lyrics about blue lives mattering and trump putting thugs in jail. Also about how bad Obamacare is. And how trump tower is the greatest place on earth. He then picked up a tourist, cradled her in his arms, and kissed her. There’s not acid strong enough for this to be a hallucination, I assure you. Perhaps coincidentally, while naked cowboy was doing his thing, a motorcade left through the garage. No official word on if it is trump, pence, or someone altogether different. Fox News is reporting it is trump.”
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HERE’S YOUR LATEST TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONFLICT OF INTEREST - Ben Walsh: “There’s nothing odd about the founders of a health insurance company writing policy proposals after an election where the winner campaigned relentlessly on ending Obamacare. And Wednesday morning, Mario Schlosser and Josh Kushner, the founders of Oscar, a health care startup that sells insurance on the state exchange sObamacare created, did just that. They say they want more competition in the insurance industry, and they think allowing individuals to buy health care plans with pre-tax dollars would make that happen. Oscar’s founders also expressed openness to ideas Republicans have floated in the past. What’s interesting in this case is that Kushner is the brother of Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of President-elect Donald Trump.” [HuffPost]
@MalikObama: What does cuck mean?
VAN HOLLEN GIVEN WASHINGTON’S CRAPPIEST JOB - Well, after whoever is made Donald Trump’s body man and thus charged with keeping him off Twitter. Lindsey McPherson, Bridget Bowman and Niels Lesniewski: “Senator-elect Chris Van Hollen of Maryland will chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2018 cycle, incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Friday. “Chris Van Hollen was our first choice for DSCC chairman because of his talents, his work ethic, and his experience,” Schumer said in a statement.... ‘Tough’ is one word to describe what Senate Democrats face in 2018. The party will have 23 seats to defend, as well as two seats held by independents that caucus with them. By comparison, Republicans only have to defend eight seats. Ten of the states where Democrats will be up for re-election went to Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 presidential election.” [Roll Call]
BANNON SPEAKS! - Michael Wolff: “’Darkness is good,’ says Bannon, who amid the suits surrounding him at Trump Tower, looks like a graduate student in his T-shirt, open button-down and tatty blue blazer — albeit a 62-year-old graduate student. ‘Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they’ — I believe by ‘they’ he means liberals and the media, already promoting calls for his ouster — ‘get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.’ … He absolutely — mockingly — rejects the idea that this is a racial line. ‘I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,’ he tells me. ‘The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver’ — by ‘we’ he means the Trump White House — ‘we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.’” [Hollywood Reporter]
BANNON JOINED THE EGG-IEST FACEBOOK GROUP IMAGINABLE - If Steve Bannon had his own Great Gazoo, it’d be Boss Godfrey. David Corn and AJ Vicens: “Bannon joined a conservative Facebook group that has featured racist and extreme material. This material includes posts urging a military coup against President Barack Obama, featuring an image of the president dressed as an SS officer, celebrating the Confederate flag, highlighting a photoshopped picture of Obama with watermelons, praising a police officer who called Obama a ‘F*cking Nigger,’ and calling for Obama to be ‘executed as a traitor.’ This Facebook group is for an outfit called Vigilant Patriots, which claims its goals are defending and upholding the Constitution and preserving ‘our history and culture.’ As of Friday morning, it listed nearly 3,600 members, including Stephen Bannon, who apparently joined the group seven years ago.” [Mother Jones]
CORDRAY MULLING GUBERNATORIAL BID - Does Rich Cordray want to CFPB the main man in Ohio? Henry J. Gomez: “[A]llies of the former Ohio attorney general are increasing their activity on his behalf with one goal in mind: Making him the Democratic frontrunner for governor in 2018. The latest sign came Friday with the launch of @RichCordrayOH on Twitter. ‘Hello Ohio!’ reads the social media account’s first message. Cordray himself must refrain from partisan politics because of his federal job running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But one Democratic source confirmed that the new Twitter account is the work of his supporters. And State Rep. David Leland of the Columbus area, told cleveland.com Friday that he ‘would be happy to help’ a Cordray campaign.… The future of Cordray’s consumer-finance watchdog agency and his role with it is unclear after last week’s election of Republican Donald Trump as president. “ [Cleveland.com]
‘ONE MORE TIME, FOR OLD TIME’S SAKE,’ OBAMA TELLS ENVIRONMENT - *mournful handshake* Chris D’Angelo: “[T]he Department of the Interior announced on Friday its intent to ban oil drilling in the U.S. section of the Arctic Ocean for the next five years, citing environmental risks. The plan blocks the sale of new offshore oil and gas leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, north of Alaska, between 2017 and 2022. ‘The plan focuses lease sales in the best places ― those with the highest resource potential, lowest conflict, and established infrastructure ― and removes regions that are simply not right to lease,’ Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement. ‘Given the unique and challenging Arctic environment and industry’s declining interest in the area, forgoing lease sales in the Arctic is the right path forward.’” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog excelling at the mannequin challenge.
- Cyclist wearing GoPro races his dog down a mountain.
- Gorgeous destinations you can’t (or are advised strongly against) visit because of politics.
- The best nicknames given to world leaders.
@joshgreenman: Saul Alinsky references Satan: proof of devilish, un-American intent
Stephen Bannon references Satan: colorful use of language
@aterkel: SAD DEMS: Trump used to be more liberal. Maybe he will be now ―
[Jeff Sessions nominated]
SAD DEMS: Nooooo
@JesseLehrich: TRUMP ADMIN:
―> Mikes: 4
― >Women/Minorities: 0
@NickGreene: HELLO AND WELCOME TO CONGRESSPHONE
IF YOU KNOW THE NAME OF THE BIGOT WHOSE APPOINTMENT YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONDEMN, PRESS 1