POLITICS
11/28/2016 05:59 pm ET

HUFFPOST HILL - Washington Preoccupied By Democracy's Decline, 'Gilmore Girls'

The WB/Photofest

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening! 

Happy November 28th, or, as Donald Trump calls it, “Election Day.” It’s becoming increasingly clear that a “Westworld” host has an easier time shooting Ed Harris than headline writers have printing the word “lied.” And Washington is entering holiday mode, and we hope our Secret Santa gets us our dream Christmas present ― a Big Mouth Billy Bass that reads Bill Mitchell tweets. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 28th, 2016:

PRO TIP: DON’T TRUST ANYTHING DONALD TRUMP SAYS - Sam Stein: “Obama has Trump’s ear now. But he won’t when consequential decision after consequential decision gets made during the next four years. Beyond that, it’s not entirely clear how much Trump values outside opinions so much as entertains them. Those close to the president-elect say that despite his rough exterior, he tends to shy away from conflict ― choosing instead to tell people what it is they want to hear hidden behind just enough vague phrasing to allow him to change course later. In that vein, just a day after the Times interview, one former adviser said he was certain that Trump’s comments about the Paris accord were meant simply to placate his crowd. ‘If he’s in a room where people think global warming is a bigger threat than nuclear war, then he’s gonna say, “Yeah, I think some of it may be tied to human activity.” He’s not going to be confrontational in that moment,’ the former adviser said. ‘But, trust me, he doesn’t believe in global warming. I can tell you, the Paris agreement is a goner.’” [HuffPost]

TRUMP TOWER BEAUTY PAGEANT CONTINUES, ALSO REALLY DISTURBING INFIGHTING - Are Trump’s people on Whisper? Just curious. Jerry Markon and Paul Kane: “[T]the president-elect will hold a second session with [former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney along with another possible option, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), aides said Monday…. Trump is reportedly considering alternatives for the State Department as an extraordinary feud has broken out between those supporting Romney...and Giuliani, a fierce Trump backer seen by some as deserving the secretary of state post out of sheer loyalty…. The fight hit a fever pitch over Thanksgiving weekend as Kellyanne Conway...took to the airwaves to attack Romney’s credentials to be the nation’s top diplomat…. Another Trump backer, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), blasted Romney on CNN’s ‘New Day’ on Monday as ‘a self-serving egomaniac who puts himself first….’ Others inside Trump’s orbit, particularly Vice President-elect Mike Pence, are viewed as Romney supporters…. Trump was angered at Conway’s remarks, according to a report Monday on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’’” [WaPo]

DELANEY DOWNER: ECONOMIC ANXIETY EDITION - This is better than Ron Fournier’s entire body of work, combined. Arthur Delaney: “Donald Trump vowed during his presidential campaign to save the 1,400 jobs at the Carrier factory in Indiana, and on Thanksgiving Day the president-elect even tweeted that he’s ‘working hard’ to keep his promise. Not everyone at the factory thinks he can do it. ‘I think they know it’s mostly bullshit, but there’s a lot of people here talking about it,’ Carrier production associate T.J. Bray told HuffPost in an interview. Trump repeatedly bashed Carrier in campaign speeches over the company’s plans to close its Indianapolis furnace factory. The company wants to shift production to Mexico, where labor costs are much lower. Trump said that as president he would save the plant by threatening to slap a 35 percent tariff on the company’s imports.” [HuffPost]

Today in headlines that summarize everything perfectly: “Trump Turned Away Intel Briefings But Spread A Rumor Made Popular By One Guy On Twitter

Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

DOD LEAKS LEAK INVESTIGATION - A not-so-subtle nod from the Pentagon about whether it thinks David Petraeus should join the cabinet. Ted Bridis: “The Defense Department is conducting a leaks investigation related to the sex scandal that led to the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, The Associated Press confirmed Monday, the same day Petraeus was meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in New York. Petraeus, who could be in line for a Cabinet nomination, arrived at Trump Tower in early afternoon. He walked in without taking any questions from reporters. A U.S. official told the AP that investigators are trying to determine who leaked personal information about Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with Petraeus led to criminal charges against him and his resignation. The information concerned the status of her security clearance, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.” [AP]

STEVE BANNON: ACTUALLY A RACIST, NOT JUST A GUY GIVING RACISTS A VOICE - Nothing is more emblematic of the Times’ reporting this cycle than a hard-won piece detailing Steve Bannon’s racism, only to describe him making “no concessions to political sensitivities.” Scott Shane: “But if his scathing economic analysis sometimes seemed to dabble in Marxism, on other subjects, including race and religion, he made no concessions to political sensitivities. After Mr. Bannon met Mr. Breitbart at the 2004 screening of ‘In the Face of Evil,’ the two men hit it off, bonding over their similar views and a common irreverent streak. Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners. ‘I said, “That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,”’ Ms. Jones recalled. ‘He said, “Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.” I said, “But what about Wendy?”’ referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. ‘He said, “She’s different. She’s family.”’ [NYT]

TRUMP BACKERS IN CONGRESS READY TO HAVE BUTTS KISSED - Sometimes, putting all your chips on orange is a winning strategy. Rachael Bade: “[Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta], just elected to his fourth term in the House, is helping the president-elect fill out his Cabinet and hire thousands of appointees. Barletta jokes that he can’t make eye contact with his House colleagues because so many of them are seeking jobs in the Trump administration and know his pull could make all the difference. Barletta is a member of Washington’s newest and most exclusive club, a small band of Republican lawmakers who got behind Trump when their own party establishment had him pegged as a surefire general election loser, if he even managed to win the nomination. The few who were willing to endure the ridicule of other GOP lawmakers by placing their chips on Trump early have been vaulted from backbench obscurity to now arguably rivaling the influence of GOP congressional leaders.” [Politico]

JEFF SESSIONS SHARES TRUMP’S DEEP MISTRUST OF HISPANICS IN BLACK ROBES - His distaste for Hispanic judges is almost as palpable as the Judiciary Committee’s distaste for Jeff Sessions. Pema Levy: “[Sonia] Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings lasted three days, and senators questioned not only the nominee but many other witnesses. In one notable exchange with a witness, Sessions seemed to question whether Hispanics were overrepresented among judges. The question went nowhere because the witness, conservative activist Linda Chavez, who urged senators to vote down Sotomayor’s nomination, disputed Sessions’ premise that having a large number of Latino judges was problematic. ‘Ms. Chavez, I noticed one thing. According to the ABA statistics, only 3.5 percent of lawyers in America in 2000 were Hispanic,’ [Sessions said], ‘yet they—Hispanics make up 5 percent of the federal district court judges and 6 percent of circuit court judges.’” [Mother Jones]

SWAMP UPDATE: NOT DRAINED - But we hear the old fashioneds at the Old Post Office Pavilion aren’t half bad! Isaac Arnsdorf: “Bill Smith, Pence’s former chief of staff in Congress and the governor’s office, will start lobbying the federal government through his friend Terry Allen’s firm, Fidelis Government Relations. The firm represents the Alliance for Israel Advocacy, Microsoft, the Natural Products Association and Professional Bail Agents of the United States. Smith left Pence’s administration in 2014 to start a government affairs and strategic communications firm in Indianapolis called Sextons Creek….” [Politico]

Well, that’s one way to go about it: “Torn between voting his conscience and dutifully casting his ballot for President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican member of the Electoral College said over the weekend that he would resign his post. ‘I believe to resign is to honor the intent of the pledge as it relates to the people of my district,’ Texas elector Art Sisneros wrote in a blog post. ‘Since I can’t in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, and yet have sinfully made a pledge that I would, the best option I see at this time is to resign my position as an Elector.’” [HuffPost’s Max Greenwood]

MEDIA TOO BUSY ARGUING OVER WHETHER TO BE DISTRACTED BY DONALD TRUMP’S TWEETS TO ACTUALLY CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE - Lies. They’re lies. Michael Calderone: “On Sunday afternoon, Politico editorial director for digital Blake Hounshell rightly pointed out that President-elect Donald Trump’s claim that he actually won the popular vote, because ‘millions’ of Americans had voted illegally, isn’t true. ‘Trump claims, falsely, that millions voted illegally,’ Hounshell tweeted, along with a Politico story on the matter. The headline for the Politico story, however, lacked a key word: ‘falsely.’ This isn’t to pick on Politico, which was one of several news organizations to quickly publish stories Sunday based on Trump’s Twitter claim without clarifying in the headline that it was false. And Politico, unlike some others, later updated its headline.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a goat wearing a duck costume to ease its anxiety.

SAYING GOODBYE IS HARD - Unless you’re saying goodbye to an award from the Tri-State Area Mattress Salesperson Association. Saying goodbye to that crap is easy. Sarah Wire: “Except for the furniture, everything in members’ offices belongs to them. The House pays to send the members’ paper records home to be archived, but the cost of shipping things such as awards and knickknacks comes out of representatives’ pockets or leftover campaign funds…. Not headed to any university archive are the dozens of buffed wood plaques and etched glass trophies from interest groups that dot nearly every member’s office. ‘This room had wall-to-wall plaques and knickknacks and a lot of glass things,’ Farr said, pointing around his office. ‘The universities don’t want any of that. They don’t want anything three-dimensional or solid.’” [LA Times]

COMFORT FOOD

- A report on the people behind Cards Against Humanity’s campaign to dig a meaningless hole.

- Find your center with these slow-motion videos of magnets snapping together.

- We could witness a major upheaval in the chess world tonight.

TWITTERAMA

@LoganDobson: begun, post-election-new-job-congrats season has

@timothypmurphy: “waste, fraud, and abuse” is one of the best DC euphemisms for “I’m just making this up”

@BrandyLJensen: Dunno about you but I think I’m getting through the next few years fueled by pure spite

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

 

CONVERSATIONS