POLITICS
02/09/2017 05:54 pm ET

HUFFPOST HILL - Washington Spared From Debilitating Whiteness For Once

Bria Webb / Reuters

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Today is National Pizza Day, a sad reminder of what we could’ve had under President Kasich. D.C. avoided a major snowstorm, and speaking of ‘za, if any of you White House correspondents ask the president about how he stopped the blizzard, we’ll buy you a slice. And Kellyanne Conway urged people to buy Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, recalling how non-enlisted Americans helped defeat the Nazis by heading to Eleanor Roosevelt’s Big Barn O’ War Bonds. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, February 9th, 2017:

PRESIDENT APPALLED BY THING AND WILL FIND OUT WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS, ASAP -  Jonathan Landay and David Rohde: “In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call. When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said. Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.” [Reuters]

OLD MAN MiLLS ABOUT HOME, IS URGED NOT TO WATCH SO MUCH CABLE NEWS -  Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire: “Trump has privately conceded some early missteps after a turbulent start to his term, including the flawed rollout of his controversial refugee and immigration plan and a lack of clear lanes for his top advisers. But despite public opinion polls showing less than 50 percent of Americans approve of his presidency thus far, Trump has sounded confident about his standing…. The president’s advisers have tried to curb his cable news consumption during the workday. But there are no limits when the president returns to the residence. During another recent telephone conversation, Trump briefly put down the phone so he could turn up the volume on a CNN report. When he returned to the call, he was complaining about ‘fake news.’” [AP]

MUSLIM BAN RULING COMING SOON - Sudhin Thadawala: “A federal appeals court in San Francisco said Thursday it will release its ruling by the end of the business day in the legal fight over whether to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. A panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is deciding whether to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban and allowed previously barred travelers to enter the U.S. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is possible.” [AP]

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CHAFFETZ FINALLY PRETENDS TO CARE - Never mind that the president literally violated the terms of his Old Post Office lease *the moment he took office.* Marina Fang: “House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he will refer White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway for an ethics investigation, after she promoted Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a Thursday appearance on Fox News. Chaffetz told reporters on Capitol Hill that Conway’s remarks were ‘clearly over the line’ and ‘unacceptable,’ and that he and the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), would jointly refer Conway to the Office of Government Ethics for an investigation. ‘It should have never happened, and they better learn this lesson very quick,’ Chaffetz told NBC. Chaffetz was referring to Conway’s appearance on ‘Fox and Friends’ Thursday morning, when she defended President Donald Trump’s attack against Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s fashion line by advertising the brand.” [HuffPost]

GOP TOTALLY UPSET GORSUCH EXPRESSED INDEPENDENCE FROM TRUMP - Right this way, Senator Manchin. Yes, that’s good, just vote yes riiiiight here. Hayley Miller: “Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) doubled down on claims that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was incensed by President Donald Trump’s recent efforts to undermine the judiciary system…. Sasse also called the president’s tweet ‘disheartening’ Thursday and shed light on his conversation with Gorsuch. ‘Frankly, [Gorsuch] got pretty passionate about it,” Sasse said. ‘He said, ‘Any attack on...brothers or sisters of the robe is an attack on all judges.’’” [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFINGS NOT GETTING ANY LESS TERRIBLE - What’s the over/under on the number of times this week Sean Spicer has crushed up a pair of Xanax with a lowball of whiskey? Christina Wilkie: “Spicer was attempting to explain to reporters at the daily press briefing why Trump did not use his massive Twitter reach to address last month’s mass shooting at a Quebec mosque. Earlier this week, White House aide Kellyanne Conway had defended Trump’s silence by saying, ‘The president doesn’t tweet about everything.’ But why, a reporter asked Spicer, was Trump so willing to use Twitter to launch an attack on Nordstrom ― over his daughter’s clothing line, no less ― when he didn’t use it to respond to the deadly Jan. 29 attack by a white supremacist? The press secretary, who was already on the defensive, became irate. ‘I stood at this podium and opened a briefing a couple days ago about the president expressing his condolences [for the mosque shooting],’ Spicer said. ‘I opened the briefing about it. So for you to sit there and say ― why are you asking why [Trump] didn’t [tweet about it], when I stood here and did it? I don’t understand what you’re asking.’” [HuffPost]

OFA GRIPING BUBBLING TO THE SURFACE - Gabriel Debenedetti: “[N]ow that Obama and the political operation that succeeded his campaign, Organizing For Action, have expressed interest in playing a role in the task of rebuilding, it’s sparking pitched debates over how much blame he deserves for the gradual hollowing out of a party that now has less control of state-elected positions than at any other time in nearly a century. That degree of mistrust — rooted in the idea that OFA was always primarily interested in advancing the president’s political interests, often at the expense of the party — is already showing signs of hampering Obama’s former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as he pursues the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. And the wariness — expressed by nearly three dozen Democrats in interviews — also threatens to create a divide between Obama’s loyalists and the rest of the party.” [Politico]

THAT’LL DO IT! - Also, maybe sprinkle the phrase “used needles” into the copy here and there. Paige Winfield Cunningham: “The Trump administration has stripped healthcare.gov of positive references to Obamacare, including removing the words ‘Affordable Care Act’ from the federal website. The pared-down insurance marketplace website now lists fewer details about the healthcare law’s insurance reforms and coverage expansions. Entire sections praising the law’s impact on costs, coverage and care have been removed. Some pages, including some that explain emergency room access and doctor choice, have been removed entirely. And most references to the ‘Affordable Care Act’ have been replaced with simply ‘healthcare law.’ For example, a section called ‘About the law’ used to contain language crediting it for giving consumers more control over their healthcare and detailing the services insurers must cover. All those details have been removed, and the section now just links to the text of the 2010 law and a separate website where its regulations may be viewed.” [Examiner]

@jbendery: At the House Dem retreat, where one lawmaker says it’s “fucking bullshit” that centrist Third Way led one of their sessions today. “Idiots.”

THE COLLAPSE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IS ALL LAUGH AND GAMES… - … Until one day you find yourself trying to score a spot on laundry duty at the Eric Trump Center for Re-Education and Tying Pastel Sweaters Around Your Shoulders. Meagan Flynn: “Now, [Texas] senators have drafted a formal resolution to ‘hereby encourage the President of the United States to refrain from threatening elected officials.’ Trump’s ‘joke’ came during a meeting with the National Sheriffs’ Association. He had asked the group of cops for suggestions about how law enforcement could be improved, and Texas’s own Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson responded: ‘Asset forfeiture. We’ve got a state senator in Texas that’s talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we can receive that forfeiture money, and I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed.’ ‘Can you believe that?’ Trump muttered. ‘What’s his name? Want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career.’” [Houston Press]

BUT HER EMAILSSSSSSSSSS - Republicans still think voter fraud is as endemic to polling places as “Law and Order” viewers think murder is to the Upper East Side. Sam Levine: “A Michigan investigation into voting irregularities in the November election has found that discrepancies between the numbers of voters and ballots cast were due to human error. It found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. As President Donald Trump calls for a national investigation into voter fraud, the Michigan investigation, released Thursday, highlights how easy it is to have unintentional voting irregularities that aren’t nefarious at all. While Trump has claimed there was widespread voter fraud in the election, the Michigan probe found potential instances of fraud to be extremely rare.” [HuffPost]

STEVE BANNON, OH MAN - Is it just us, or do you think if Steve Bannon were 50 percent more charming he’d try to start his own religion? Asawin Suebsaeng: “More than a decade before Stephen K. Bannon became one of President Donald Trump’s closest White House aides, he tried to make an epic documentary-style film about the eugenics movement, Adolf Hitler, ‘blood purity,’ abortion, contraception, Darwinism, mutants, and cloning. According to his longtime Hollywood writing partner, Bannon even met with controversial Oscar winner Mel Gibson in his effort to get the picture made. The 11-page outline for Bannon’s unmade movie, a copy of which was reviewed by The Daily Beast, was written in the spring of 2005 and bears the ominous title The Singularity: Resistance Is Futile. (The project’s alternate working title: The Harvest of the Damned.)” [Daily Beast]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog who can’t roll over.

ffs: Caitlyn Shelton: “Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knox Co.) introduced a free speech on college campuses bill Thursday. A group presented ‘The Milo Bill’and claimed its purpose is to protect free speech of students on college campuses, WTVF reports. The new bill comes after a similar version of the bill was pulled during the 2016 legislative session when Daniel said it would allow Islamic State recruiters to operate on college campuses.” [WVLT]

COMFORT FOOD

- Tom Cruise plummeting through movies he didn’t star in.

- Watch Barack Obama ball in NBA 2K17.

- How to make snow ice cream, if that’s your thing.

TWITTERAMA

@DLin71: [2050]

GRANDSON: Tell me about The Resistance

ME: Our leaders had failed us. Fortunately, we had the Park Service, Nordstrom, and WeRateDogs

@SimonMaloy: fun, exciting time in which the smart strategy for judicial confirmation is to say the president’s views on government are abhorrent

Democrats: Unfortunately, primarying senators we dislike is simply not practical

Republicans: We’ve just made it illegal to look at the moon

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