POLITICS

Congratulations To OGE Director Jared Kushner

So proud.

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Some presidents go to Europe and make grand speeches; Donald Trump goes to Europe and speaks like that cousin of yours who’s read one too many biographies of Erwin Rommel. We’re starting to think that Trump’s tendency to assign a wide array of tasks to Jared Kushner is based on Kushner’s ability to embroil himself in a wide array of scandals. And Eric Trump said that the “lines at Home Depot” are evidence of his father’s success as president. For the record: Nothing would creep us out more than coming across Eric Trump buying a saw. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 6th, 2017:

OGE DIRECTOR RESIGNS - We’d say that this is the most thankless job in Washington. But...  Dana Liebelson: “Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub Jr. announced his resignation on Thursday, effective later this month. He is planning to join the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit that works on voting rights and campaign finance issues. Shaub’s resignation marks the culmination of a months-long battle between the federal government’s top ethics official and President Donald Trump, who once promised to ‘drain the swamp’ of corruption in Washington. In his resignation statement, Shaub appeared to be sending a message to the White House. He quoted federal law, praising ethics officials for their commitment to protecting ‘the principle that public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.’ Shaub said he was not pressured to resign, according to The New York Times.” [HuffPost]

There’s only one O.G. E who truly matters.

CHRISTENDOM CARNAGE - It’s amazing that a guy who sold steaks in an electronics catalogue is lecturing the world about the decline of Western civilization. Glenn Thrush and Julie Hirschfeld Davis: ”President Trump said on Thursday that Western civilization was at risk of decline, bringing a message about ‘radical Islamic terrorism and ‘the creep of government bureaucracy’ to the one European capital he views as most hospitable to his nationalist message. Mr. Trump, who broke with tradition by attacking American leaders and institutions while abroad, delivered his message in a speech to a friendly Polish crowd before a two-day summit meeting of Group of 20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany. Hours later, he flew from Warsaw to Hamburg, where he held a low-key private meeting with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who perhaps best symbolizes the deep skepticism shared by Western leaders toward Mr. Trump’s persona and his policies, ranging from addressing climate change to confronting Russia.” [NYT]

What is reality, anyway? “Hours before a crucial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump stopped short Thursday of condemning Moscow for meddling in the U.S. presidential election — and refused to say if he would raise the issue when the leaders go behind closed doors…. Trump’s critique of Russia did not appear to extend to its actions during last year’s presidential campaign…. During a news conference before his speech praising Poland for overcoming adversity, Trump again questioned the reliability of U.S. intelligence on the election issue and argued that Russia wasn’t the only country that might be guilty of interfering. ‘Nobody really knows for sure,’ Trump said.” [AP’s Ken Thomas and Darlene Superville]

BOY’S NIGHT OUT - Just Vlad, Vlad’s guy, The Donald, and the winner of the Russian Order of Friendship. So, Vlad and three of his guys. Jonathan Swan: “There will likely only be six people in the room when President Trump meets President Putin on Friday at the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. According to an official familiar with the meeting’s planning, it will be Trump, Putin, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and translators.″ [Axios]

CAN GETTING PRETTY ACCUSTOMED TO ITS UPROOTED EXISTENCE - Or, you know, a joke about punting. Burgess Everett: and Josh Dawsey: ”Senate Republicans are highly unlikely to vote next week to repeal Obamacare and are tentatively preparing for a vote in approximately two weeks, according to senators and officials on Capitol Hill and in the White House. The Congressional Budget Office is reviewing legislative language sent by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; the Senate parliamentarian must weigh in on controversial proposals; and GOP leaders still have not forged a bill that can get 50 votes. Those factors are likely to push the pivotal roll call closer to the end of July than immediately after the July 4 recess…. A White House official said there would be no health care vote next week and that the White House and Senate Republicans would consider nominations on the floor until the health care vote is ready. Republican leaders in the House and Senate originally hoped for a repeal vote as early as January.” [Politico]

...WHAT? This sounds suspiciously like responsible governance, so we’re assuming McConnell was misquoted. Bruce Schreiner and Alan Fram: “A bill focused on buttressing the nation’s insurance marketplaces will be needed if the full-fledged Republican effort to repeal much of President Barack Obama’s health care law fails, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday…. ‘If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur,’ McConnell said at a Rotary Club lunch in this deep-red rural area of southern Kentucky…. ‘No action is not an alternative,’ McConnell said. ‘We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.’” [AP]

Sexist House dress code gets well-deserved scrutiny. This has been going on for a long time (and has nothing to do with Republicans), and it’s bad. “A young, female reporter recently tried to enter a guarded room known as the Speaker’s lobby outside the House chamber, but her outfit was considered inappropriate because her shoulders weren’t covered. She was wearing a sleeveless dress. Forced to improvise, she ripped out pages from her notebook and stuffed them into her dress’s shoulder openings to create sleeves, witnesses said. An officer who’s tasked with enforcing rules in the Speaker’s lobby said her creative concoction still was not acceptable.” [CBS News’ Rebecca Shabad]

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JARED KUSHNER TARGETED FOR FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES - Sam Levine: “The ethics group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Office of Government Ethics on Thursday to probe whether Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, improperly failed to disclose his interest in a company and whether he has adequately divested from it since agreeing to serve as one of Trump’s top White House advisers. Kushner failed to include his interest in Cadre, a real-estate tech startup, on his financial disclosure forms, The Wall Street Journal reported in May. Jamie Gorelick, Kushner’s lawyer, told the Journal at the time that the stake would be included in a revised disclosure form.” [HuffPost]

ERIC TRUMP: JUST A NORMAL GUY WHO GOES TO HOME  DEPOT - Garet Williams: “On Thursday morning in an interview with Fox & Friends, President Trump’s son Eric Trump continued his father’s criticism of the media by saying that everyone — with the exception of Fox News — was focused on ‘garbage’ and ’distractions′ rather than how the United States is ‘thriving’ under the Republican administration. In fact, to see this abundance, apparently one need look no further than their local Home Depot. ‘I mean, go into Home Depot. Just a simple test. Look at the lines in Home Depot, right? I mean, we’re thriving as a nation,’ Eric Trump said. ‘Everybody wants to get focused on nonsense, on garbage, on distractions.’” [Vox]

NATION’S CAPITAL VERY POLITICAL: REPORT - Also, kind of (that is, very) segregated. Paul Schwartzman and Emily Guskin: ”One out of every three Washingtonians has marched in protest against President Trump or his policies at least once since January, making the District of Columbia the capital of national dissent, a new Washington Post poll finds.... According to the Post poll, 53 percent of white residents participated in a march or demonstration in opposition to Trump’s policies since the start of the year, compared with 16 percent of African Americans and 36 percent of Hispanics and those of other racial and ethnic groups. The overwhelmingly African American residents of Wards 7 and 8 are the city’s least likely to protest Trump, with only 12 percent saying they had. By contrast, 54 percent of residents in overwhelmingly white Wards 1 and 3 in Northwest D.C. say they have protested the president.” [WaPo]

Scalise returns to ICU. “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was wounded by a gunman in Alexandria last month, was readmitted to ­MedStar Washington’s Intensive Care Unit on Wednesday, said officials from the hospital and his congressional office.” [WaPo’s Clarence Williams]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s President Cat.

THIS IS HILARIOUSLY STUPID - Joe Flint: “In a game largely sanctioned by TV-ratings firm Nielsen, television networks try to hide their shows’ poor performances on any given night by forgetting how to spell. That explains the appearance of ‘NBC Nitely News,’ which apparently aired on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend this year, when a lot of people were away from their TVs. The retitling of ‘NBC Nightly News’ fooled Nielsen’s automated system, which listed ‘Nitely’ as a separate show. Hiding the May 26 program from Nielsen dramatically improved the show’s average viewership that week. Instead of falling further behind first-place rival ‘ABC World News Tonight,’ NBC news narrowed the gap.” [WSJ]

COMFORT FOOD

- Fans of colors will really like this internet website.

- In case you were in the market for an online version of a World War II German cipher machine.

TWITTERAMA

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