POLITICS
12/28/2016 04:35 pm ET

HUFFPOST HILL - Twitter Getting Real Close To Solving This Whole Israel Thing

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

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We’re back from the War on Christmas front ― our brigade lost a lot of good men in our sneak attack on the song “Christmas Shoes.” President-elect Trump tweeted about the “smooth transition - NOT!” recalling the famous “assholeidontlikesayswhat’ conversation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. And outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry made a last-minute plea for Middle East peace. Sadly, no one was around to translate his speech from Charlie Brown Teacher into Hebrew for the disinterested Israelis. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, December 28th, 2016:

TWEETFUL TRANSFER OF POWER - Vivian Salama: “Although Trump didn’t detail his complaints in his morning broadsides on Twitter, the president-elect has made it clear that it didn’t sit well with him when Obama recently boasted that he would have won the election if he’d been running. Trump’s largely respectful tone about Obama since the election evaporated in his latest tweets. ‘Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!’ Trump also took direct issue with the Obama administration’s decision to let a U.N. Security Council resolution critical of Israel pass. ‘We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,’ he said in a two-part tweet. ‘They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but ... not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!’” [AP]

@jeneps: Asked about his morning tweets on the transition, Trump says it’s going “very, very smoothly. It’s very good. You don’t think so?”

Check out Trump’s first presidential portrait.

DOESN’T HURT TO TRY: KERRY URGES FOR ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN PEACE -  Reuters/HuffPost: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Wednesday that the future of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was in jeopardy, and laid out parameters for future peace talks, saying the United States could not stay silent. In a speech just weeks before the Obama administration hands over power to President-elect Donald Trump, Kerry defended the U.S. decision to allow the passage of a U.N. resolution last week demanding an end to Israeli settlements, saying it was intended to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution. ‘Despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy,’ Kerry said in a speech at the State Department. ‘We cannot, in good conscience, do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away.’ … The Israelis are looking past President Barack Obama and expect they will receive more favorable treatment from Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20. The Republican used his Twitter account on Wednesday to denounce the Obama administration, including its U.N. vote and the nuclear accord it reached with Iran last year.” [Reuters/HuffPost]

IVANKA TRUMP’S COMPANIES USE CHEAP FOREIGN LABOR - We’re guessing she’s not going to get a stern talking from dad about this. Laura Holson and Rachel Abrams: “Cheap production overseas means more coin in the coffers of Ms. Trump and the shoe, accessory and clothing makers that are her partners, among them Marc Fisher footwear, the G-III Apparel Group and Mondani. (Ms. Trump’s company, which is privately held, does not disclose its financials.) Almost all of her goods are made overseas, according to a New York Times review of shipments compiled separately by Panjiva and ImportGenius, two trade databases. ImportGenius tallied 193 shipments for imported goods associated with Ms. Trump for the year through Dec. 5, mostly Chinese-made shoes and handbags. Her dresses and blouses are made in China, Indonesia and Vietnam, according to a review of hundreds of clothing tags and financial documents filed by G-III.” [NYT]

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ABORTION STILL UNDER ATTACK ACROSS COUNTRY - So let’s all be grateful for the 15-square-block radius of the Upper West Side where abortion will still be legal in 2019. Laura Bassett: “Republican state legislatures enacted more than 60 abortion restrictions this year and introduced more than 500, according to an analysis by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Ten anti-abortion laws were ruled unconstitutional and blocked by the courts, but lawmakers are outpacing the lawsuits and finding new ways to chip away at reproductive rights…. The slew of new laws continues a six-year trend toward eliminating access to abortion. States have enacted more than 300 restrictions since 2011. The Supreme Court’s decision this year in Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt only struck down two of these laws ― a pair of restrictions in Texas that required abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or mini-hospitals, and required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. But it set a legal standard on which courts can rely as they consider laws that restrict access to abortion without any benefit to women’s health.” [HuffPost]

OBAMA TO ANNOUNCE AMERICA VERY DISAPPOINTED IN PUTIN - And will ask him kindly to stop taking over the U.S. from the inside. Ellen Nakashima: “The Obama administration is close to announcing a series of measures to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, including economic sanctions and diplomatic censure, according to U.S. officials. The administration is finalizing the details, which also are expected to include covert action that will probably involve cyber-operations, the officials said. An announcement on the public elements of the response could come as early as this week.” [WaPo]

WHAT OBAMA CAN STILL DO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - Aside from separating the recycling at his new Kalorama Heights mansion. Nathalie Baptiste: “In 2010, the United Nations established the Green Climate Fund, a mechanism for wealthy countries to finance efforts by poor countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. Four years later, President Barack Obama pledged $3 billion to the fund. In March of this year—despite objections from the GOP-controlled Congress—the administration submitted its first payment of $500 million. The funds came from the Economic Support Fund, $1.9 billion that Congress had already appropriated to the State Department for the promotion of economic and political stability in countries with special conditions…. So climate activists are calling on the White House to deliver the rest of the funds before Obama leaves office on January 20. Last week, more than 100 organizations, led by Corporate Accountability International, signed a letter urging the Obama administration to hand over the remaining $2.5 billion to the GCF before Inauguration Day.” [Mother Jones]

DEMS TARGETING EPA PICK’S KOCH / FOSSIL FUEL TIES - Alexander Kaufman: “Six senators urged President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick on Wednesday to reveal his ties to a secretive fundraising group that enables fossil fuel companies to make anonymous donations to politicians. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt helped found the nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund to collect campaign contributions from companies like oil giant ConocoPhillips and coal mining titan Alpha Natural Resources, The New York Times reported in December 2014. Pruitt now sits on the group’s board. The group, which keeps the identities of most of its donors secret, received $175,000 in 2014 from Freedom Partners, a business organization that organizes political activities for the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who run the privately held chemical and oil giant Koch Industries…. [The letter was signed by] Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.).” [HuffPost]

PRESIDENT-ELECT NOT VERY ADMIRED. SAD! - Well, we just found the next thing that will keep Trump from paying attention to his security briefings. Jeffrey Jones: “Americans are most likely to name President Barack Obama as the man they admire most in 2016. Twenty-two percent mentioned Obama in response to the open-ended question. President-elect Donald Trump was second at 15%. It is Obama’s ninth consecutive win, but the seven-percentage-point margin this year is his narrowest victory yet…. Incumbent presidents typically win the distinction ― in the 70 times Gallup has asked the question, the president has won 58 times. The 12 exceptions were mostly times when the sitting president was unpopular, including 2008, when Americans named President-elect Obama over President George W. Bush.” [Gallup]

WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS? Ryan Grim, Laura Barron-Lopez and Matt Fuller: “The Huffington Post spoke with 11 of the 45 members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the House of Representatives and found the vast majority skeptical but willing to work on an infrastructure bill with Trump, even if Trump cuts House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), out of the process…. William Lacy Clay Jr., who represents St. Louis, perked up at the thought of Trump bypassing Democratic leadership and working directly with the CBC. ‘He’s got my attention, if that’s their approach. I don’t have a problem with it,’ he said, adding that St. Louis, being a transportation hub at the center of the country, has a number of infrastructure needs.” [HuffPost]

KEEP THE GOVERNMENT’S HANDS OFF MY OBAMACARE! - Sure, now Democrats think they’ve figured out how to make people like the Affordable Care Act. Lauren Fox: “In a letter Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked local communities to help them organize protests against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act…. In the letter, Schumer, Pelosi and Sanders designated Jan. 15 the day of action and asked activists to ‘organize a rally or other event’ back in the states. Democrats are calling Jan. 15, ‘Our first stand. Save health care.’” [TPM]

Just why is the GOP in such a big hurry to repeal Obamacare anyway? HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn has a theory.

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a cat Christmas pranking a girl.

WAIT, WHAT? The headline on this story reads like it was made from the National Enquirer edition of the Magnetic Poetry Kit. Brady McCombs: “A high-ranking polygamous leader was released from jail Wednesday after pleading guilty in a multimillion-dollar food-stamp fraud case, becoming the second of 11 defendants to accept a plea deal in the crackdown on the sect based along the Utah-Arizona border. [AP]

COMFORT FOOD

- The heart-wrenching social media posts from Carrie Fisher’s pet, Gary the Bulldog.

- Brick dominoes is definitely not for cucks.

TWITTERAMA

@ProffJeffJarvis: [Pandering remark about 2016 being a bad year]

@ElaheIzadi: can you start a gofundme to protect me from the passage of time

@morninggloria: attending the deploraball would be like a long-term IUD for the part of my brain that gets turned on

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com)

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