Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!
John McCain delivered a possible knock-out punch to Obamacare repeal, disheartening Republicans and emboldening your super-annoying friend who is always comparing politics to “The West Wing.” There’s already a declared 2020 presidential candidate, as if this year weren’t miserable enough. And between mounting civilian casualties and today’s endorsement of police brutality, we’re pretty sure President Trump has replaced his entire Cabinet with a “Faces of Death” VHS he got at a Blockbuster liquidation sale. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 28th, 2017:
REINCE OUT, JOHN KELLY IN - Proving once and for all that there actually is a worse job in Washington than secretary of homeland security. Daniel Marans and Sam Levine: “Reince Priebus is out as White House chief of staff after being accused of leaking sensitive information, a departure that adds to the rising turmoil in President Donald Trump’s already-fraught inner circle. Trump announced Friday that he would appoint John Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, as his new chief of staff. ‘I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American...,’ Trump tweeted, ”...and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.” [HuffPost]
Dead man walking, er, chauffeured, from Josh Gerstein’s pool report: “AF1 was wheels down at Joint Base Andrews at 442PM?? under light rain and somewhat behind the official schedule. It was the mid-size AF1 757 version. Most staff was off before we moved into position but Reince Priebus and Steven Miller and Dan Scavino loaded into one suburban then moments later Miller and Scavino got out and loaded another van. As word spread about Priebus’ dismissal, some reporters got up close to Priebus’ car, taking cell photos and such. Priebus’ car then pulled aside, out of the POTUS motorcade. Priebus car and a follow up departed at 458PM.”
TRUMP NOT LOOKING SO HOT RIGHT NOW - ...MAGA? Jennifer Bendery: ”It leaves Trump in his weakest position yet. Six months into the job, he has failed to unify his party, at a time when the GOP controls all of government, to pass their No. 1-priority issue. He’s proven to be a terrible dealmaker. He’s demonstrated that his grand promises to his base about repealing President Barack Obama’s signature law were empty, and that he’s more interested in showmanship than substance…. On Friday, in a series of tweets, he criticized Senate Republicans who voted against repealing Obamacare and ranted about the need to change the chamber’s rules, which he still doesn’t understand. He seems to think Obamacare repeal could have passed if the Senate only required 51 votes for its passage instead of 60. It couldn’t even get 50 votes.″ [HuffPost]
ER, NOW WHAT? GOP WONDERS - Don’t be surprised if House Republicans pass 500 straight nonbinding resolutions condemning political correctness for some much-needed catharsis. Matt Flegenheimer: “Hours after their seven-year pledge to dismantle the Affordable Care Act hurtled off the rails in the Senate, Republican lawmakers pointed fingers at their own on Friday for letting their voters down. Democrats exulted in blocking the repeal effort, at least for now. ‘They’ve got to get back at it,’ said Representative Tom MacArthur, Republican of New Jersey. ‘They’ve got to keep voting,’ said Representative Thomas Massie, another Kentucky Republican, going a step further to suggest that Senate Republicans who stood in the way of the repeal should be removed at the ballot box…. Then there was the scene at a meeting of Republican House members on Friday morning. According to lawmakers, the gathering included a recitation of lyrics from ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,’ a song about a sinking ship, which was likened to the Senate’s stumble.” [NYT]
BIPARTISAN GROUP MEETING ON HEALTH CARE - In case you thought “Freedom Caucus” was an obnoxious and self-aggrandizing name, behold the “Problem Solvers caucus.” Paul Demko: ”A bipartisan group of roughly 40 House members has been meeting quietly over the past month to explore ways to stabilize Obamacare — efforts that are expected to take on greater urgency after the shocking collapse of the Senate’s Obamacare bill early Friday morning. ‘This is our window to be relevant on a very real issue that impacts our constituents,’ said one Republican lawmaker in the group who requested anonymity. The negotiations among the so-called Problem Solvers caucus will resume this morning, the lawmaker said…. The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is about evenly split between Republican and Democratic lawmakers. It usually meets weekly as a full group, but a health care working group has been meeting over the past month on health care, the lawmaker said, declining to elaborate on the discussions.” [Politico]
HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn explains one simple reason why Obamacare survives: It helps people.
Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
POW, RIGHT IN THE KISSER! SAYS LEADER OF FREE WORLD - That sound you hear is thousands of community liaison officers getting drunk after watching decades of work being undone. Ryan J. Reilly: ”President Donald Trump received applause on Friday when he endorsed police brutality while delivering a speech to law enforcement officers on Long Island, New York. The president suggested that officers should hit suspects’ heads on the doors of their police cars. ’When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’ Trump said. ‘Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, “You can take the hand away, OK?”’ he added. His remarks received applause.″ [HuffPost]
WHY MOOCH HATES PRIEBUS - Vicky Ward: “While preparing for his move into government, Scaramucci struck a deal — which is still under regulatory scrutiny — to sell his stake in his hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital, to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group…. But Scaramucci’s plans were foiled in early January. That’s when Priebus, according to a confidant of both Scaramucci and the president, told Trump, ‘He played you.’ ‘How’s that?’ Trump asked Priebus, according to the same source, who has spoken to several people within the White House about the conversation. Priebus then told Trump that he felt Scaramucci had been offered too much for SkyBridge by HNA Group. The deal, he implied, smelled bad — as if the Chinese might expect favors from within the administration for that inflated price. The source also said that Priebus mentioned there was email traffic between Scaramucci and the Chinese proving this.” [HuffPost]
NO NO NO NOT YET - Jesus, we’re not ready to get back on the road and spend countless mornings eating the same Hampton Inn & Suites complimentary breakfast. John Fritze: “Rep. John Delaney, a former Potomac businessman who has cultivated a reputation for bipartisanship during three terms in Congress, announced Friday he will run for the Democratic nomination for president — becoming the first candidate to challenge President Donald J. Trump. The centrist Democrat, little known outside of his home district and relatively new to politics, will face a steep climb in building a credible national campaign. His departure from Maryland, meanwhile, could fundamentally alter the landscape in next year’s governor’s race and the state’s most competitive congressional district. One of the only members of Congress to have run a publicly traded company, Delaney’s presidential campaign appears to be centered on an economic message that the nation is poised to rebound if Washington embraces a ‘new economy’ that is more technological, entrepreneurial and forward looking.” [Baltimore Sun]
Stupid voter fraud legislation alert: “Texas Democrats are concerned a provision in a bill cracking down on voter fraud would make it illegal for family members to discuss politics at home if a family member has a mail-in ballot in the house…. Some Democrats said they could have supported the bill had it not been for a section making it a crime to ‘influence the independent exercise of the vote of another in the presence of the ballot or during the voting process.’ The act would carry a punishment of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.” [HuffPost’s Sam Levine]
POLL: AMERICANS FINE WITH TRANSGENDER TROOPS - Shout out to staunch Republican Caitlyn Jenner. Ariel Edwards-Levy: ”Half say that trans people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, while just 31 percent think they should be barred from doing so, according to a HuffPost/YouGov survey released Friday. For comparison, 59 percent think openly gay and lesbian troops should be allowed to serve. (A Reuters/Ipsos poll, also released Friday, found higher support for trans service members, with 58 percent of the public in favor.) ... Twelve percent of Americans think that allowing trans people to serve strengthens the military, the HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, while 25 percent say it makes the military weaker, and 50 percent say it doesn’t affect the strength of the military either way.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some dogs taking on windows.
FOX NEWS DISCOVERS HOW INSURANCE WORKS - Next thing you’ll tell us is that banks make money by lending other people’s money. Jenna Amatulli: “After lawmakers voted against the ‘skinny’ repeal of the Affordable Care Act early Friday morning, hosts of ‘Fox & Friends’ shared their distaste for how certain Democratic senators responded to the news. ‘Congratulations, the healthy people are paying for the sick people,’ said host Steve Doocy…. Additionally, Doocy’s ridiculing of senators like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) taking selfies seems a little much considering how much he and his fellow ‘Fox & Friends’ hosts love selfies.” [HuffPost]
The NRA, man: “NRA spokesperson: Penalizing gun owners for improperly storing firearms is ‘like shaming a rape survivor’” [Media Matters]
- An overview of Tesla’s Model 3, which is being rolled out today.
- A live stream of bears descending on Alaska’s Brooks Falls.
- How a font took down Pakistan’s prime minister.
Got something to add? Sen tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (email@example.com)