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Until today, we had no idea, but, “Hello, my name is Mike Pence, and welcome to my Cinco de Mayo fiesta” are definitely the funniest-possible sequence of words. Despite our best efforts, no one liked our, “JACK BOOTS: FBI Head Nearly Vom’d Over Dem Nom News Bomb” headline about James Comey’s testimony to Congress. And it looks like the best the GOP can hope for on its health care bill is to delay its ultimate failure. To be fair, this has more or less been the 30,000-foot strategy of the Republican Party for the last decade or so. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017:
GOP HEALTH CARE BILL STILL BARRELING HEAD FIRST INTO A WALL - Nostalgia moment: Remember when the country spent an entire summer wondering what Olympia Snowe would do? Matt Fuller: “House Republicans are finally within striking distance on their health care bill, flipping at least two members through a small amendment and shoring up support among some undecided members through good old-fashioned whipping. But GOP leadership faces the same problem they’ve had all along: They’re still short the votes, and putting the bill on the floor now and trying to eke out passage could be disastrous if the vote doesn’t go Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) way. Republicans may vote this week anyway, after former Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Energy and Commerce member Billy Long (R-Mo.) worked out an amendment adding $8 billion over five years for states that waive Affordable Care Act protections for people with pre-existing conditions. While it initially looked like that money would go to the high-risk pools that states would have to set up as a condition of opting out of those provisions, it now looks like it will be a separate fund, though details have not been released.” [HuffPost]
And then there’s the whole CBO thing: “Even if the bill gets out of the House, however, the current legislation would face a tough time in the Senate, where Republicans have already spoken out about concerns over the $880 billion Medicaid cut that the House is proposing.” [Ibid.]
Beardcut: Congratulations to the fresh-faced Paul Blumenthal.
Have you had hair removed from your head and/or face in #ThisTown? Let us know!
NOTING THAT A LITTLE DRAMAMINE CAN’T FIX - You know, for the mild nausea brought about by gross leveraging of the state’s law enforcement organ to interfere in an election. Ryan J. Reilly: “The idea that the FBI’s actions just before the 2016 election affected its outcome makes FBI Director James Comey ‘mildly nauseous,’ he testified on Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. During the hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Comey to explain his decision to inform Congress ― and therefore, the public ― in a letter that the FBI might be reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server just days before Americans went to the polls. The FBI director responded by recalling a meeting on Oct. 27, 2016, when he was informed about metadata on former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s computer indicating that thousands of emails to and from Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, were on the device.” [HuffPost]
HOUSE PASSES SPENDING BILL - Kelsey Snell: “The House voted to approve a roughly $1.1 trillion spending bill which includes more than $15 billion in defense spending and $1.5 billion in money for U.S. border security. The measure is expected to come up for a vote later this week in the Senate ahead of a deadline to keep the government open past Friday.” [WaPo]
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JERK IN TROUBLE, PART 1 - It really was so unlike Rudy Giuliani to exploit sensitive national security matters for his own political benefit. Amanda Terkel: “FBI Director James Comey told senators Wednesday that the agency is looking into whether employees leaked information about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails to members of Donald Trump’s team, including Rudy Giuliani. Shortly before the election, Comey announced that he was reopening the probe into Clinton’s private server after more emails were found on the computer of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was married to a top Clinton aide. A few days later, Giuliani went on Fox News and bragged that he knew in advance about the new emails.” [HuffPost]
JERK IN TROUBLE, PART 2 - Also, this little glimpse into Anthony Weiner being reduced to an office monkey is quite enjoyable. Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian: “Hillary Clinton emails containing classified information were forwarded to former congressman Anthony Weiner, the director of the FBI testified Wednesday as he defended his handling of politically sensitive probes surrounding the last year’s presidential race. Under questioning from the senior Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), James B. Comey revealed more details about how Clinton’s emails ended up on Weiner’s computer…. ‘Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,’ Comey said, adding later, ‘His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.’” [WaPo]
SWAMP UPDATE: GETTING DECIDEDLY UNDRAINED - The swamp is now spilling over the sides of the tacky, plastic, above-ground pool that is Washington and really making a mess of the grass. Theodoric Meyer and Michael Stratford: “Three months after Trump moved into the White House, at least nine people who worked on his transition have registered as lobbyists, highlighting holes in the president’s pledge to keep people from cashing in on government service. Many are registered to lobby the same agencies or on the same issues they worked on during the transition, a POLITICO review of lobbying disclosures found. A former ‘sherpa’ who helped to guide Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos through the Senate confirmation process is now registered to lobby her department. The former head of the transition’s tax policy team has returned to his old company to lobby Congress on tax reform. One ex-member of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative team is now registered as part of a team lobbying on behalf of a major steelmaker.” [Politico]
This might not surprise you, but Ivanka Trump’s new book absolutely sucks.
Woman penalized for vocalizing what we all felt: “A jury convicted a woman on Wednesday who was arrested during a congressional hearing in January after laughing at the claim that now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a record of treating Americans equally.” [HuffPost’s Ryan J. Reilly]
CLINTON CASH - The Parkinson’s that Hillary Clinton has supposedly had for, like, a billion years now, is really going to interfere with this. Mike Allen: “Hillary Clinton soon will launch a PAC as a way of ‘acting as a quiet catalyst’ for organizations she cares about, and eventually will help 2018 congressional candidates — but with no intention of making it a vehicle to run for anything herself. According to a source familiar with the planning, the initial focus will be on lifting up organizations that are the product of the energy and activism she has seen since the election, and existing groups that have been reignited and reinvigorated by that energy. She has met with some of these groups, and it’s something she’s become increasingly passionate about with each meeting, the source said.” [Axios]
ACTIVISTS NOTCH MAJOR WIN IN MISSISSIPPI - Mississippi, goddamn. Daniel Marnas: “Progressive attorney and activist Chokwe Antar Lumumba defeated incumbent Mayor Tony Yarber in the Democratic primary on Tuesday ― virtually assuring his ascent to power in the heavily Democratic city of Jackson, Mississippi. Lumumba secured 55 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. The general election is on June 6, when Lumumba is expected to easily defeat Republican, third-party and independent candidates. Progressive groups closely watching the race praised the outcome as a win for social and economic justice in the city, as well as a sign of rising left-wing energy at all levels of government.” [HuffPost]
Free Melania update: “First lady Melania Trump ― or whoever is running her account ― liked a tweet Tuesday that implied a chilly relationship between her and President Donald Trump. Here’s the tweet from progressive blogger Andy Ostroy that earned a like from the first lady’s official personal account: ‘Seems the only #Wall @realDonaldTrump’s built is the one between him and @FLOTUS #Melania #trump’” [HuffPost’s Ed Mazza]
OBAMA’S CONDESCENSION TOWARD DONALD TRUMP STRETCHES WAAAAAY BACK - No comments to be found about the price of arugula, though. Carlos Lozada: “Obama had considered Donald Trump long before either man won the presidency, and brushed off his existence as a misguided national fantasy. Americans have a ‘continuing normative commitment to the ideals of individual freedom and mobility,’ Obama wrote in the old Harvard book manuscript, now more than 25 years old. ‘The depth of this commitment may be summarily dismissed as the unfounded optimism of the average American — I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will.’” [WaPo]
The failing New York Times: “The New York Times Company reported substantial growth in its digital business on Wednesday, as new subscriptions helped drive gains in circulation and digital advertising revenue increased.” [NYT]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog who is really committed to the whole stick concept.
CINCO DE OH-NO - “Mike, bring some taco bowls, people love them.” Rafael Bernal: “President Trump is doing away with the White House Cinco de Mayo celebration, a 16-year-old tradition, Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion reported Wednesday. Instead of a White House celebration this year, one headlined by Vice President Pence will be held at a to-be-determined location and with a reduced guest list, the report said. The White House did not respond to a request for comment and has not issued an official announcement of any planned events for the holiday “ [The Hill]
- History’s most DGAF designer.
- Trying to locate Stephen A. Smith’s mysterious “IMG_4346.jpeg.”
- Making Homer Simpson’s Moon Waffles.
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