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Jeb Bush gave up his bid for the Miami Marlins and looks forward to getting on with his life, which we suspect mostly involves online shopping for buttondown shirts and giving thumbs up to people while waiting in line at Smoothie King. Jerry Springer might run for governor, a development that would represent daytime television’s most significant foray into politics since Tom Daschle stole Sally Jesse Raphael’s glasses. And Darrell Issa accosted protesters outside of his office; the congressman hasn’t experienced such frosty treatment since that time Trey Gowdy kicked him out of a Benghazi deposition. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, May 30th, 2017:
COMMS DIRECTOR OUT AS WHITE HOUSE SHAKEUP APPEARS IMMINENT - Daniel Lippman and Alex Isenstadt: “Mike Dubke, President Donald Trump’s communications director, has resigned as Trump considers a larger personnel shakeup to confront the growing scandals weighing down his administration…. Beyond Dubke, Spicer, the press secretary, is expected to take on a reduced public role…. Dubke, who was only on the job for a little over three months, had generally been seen as a Spicer ally in the White House. Trump has also been in talks with former campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie about taking on more formal roles, possibly in a crisis management function…. Trump is also said to have become more frustrated with Kushner, a top adviser who has become the subject of damaging reports alleging that he tried to set up secret communications with the Russians during the transition and failed to disclose multiple meetings with Russian officials.” [Politico]
HOPE YOU ENJOYED NOT BEING CELIBATE OR PREGNANT, LADIES - Laura Bassett: “The Trump administration is on the verge of rolling back a federal rule that requires most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans at no cost to women…. The contraception mandate, enacted under President Barack Obama in 2012, for the first time in U.S. history deemed birth control an essential preventative health service that should be fully covered alongside well-woman visits, mammograms and sexually transmitted infection screenings. It guarantees coverage to more than 55 million women, saved women $1.4 billion on birth control pills in the first year it went into effect, and has contributed to the lowest U.S. abortion rate since the procedure became legal in 1973.” [HuffPost]
MAYBE THE MOST REPUBLICAN STORY EVER - Soon, Republican agreement about this will break down and everyone will just agree on some more corporate tax cuts. Lydia Wheeler: “The debate over criminal justice reform has taken a head-spinning turn on Capitol Hill. After months of debate over whether to curb mandatory minimum prison sentences, Republicans are now going in the opposite direction. A new border security bill includes mandatory minimum sentences for certain immigrants who try to re-enter the country after they’ve already been deported and for people convicted of violent crimes against judges and police officers. The Hill reviewed a draft copy of the legislation, which is still being hammered out by Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas).” [The Hill]
Journalism has broken our spirits and we’ve been trying to donate those for years: “Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs replaced his glasses on Tuesday, after they were broken when he was assaulted by Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte…. At the request of the Washington DC media museum the Newseum, Jacobs has agreed to donate his broken glasses to the museum for display in their collection.” [The Guardian]
ISSA HITS ROOFTOP FOR FINAL SHOWDOWN WITH SHERLOCK, OR SOMETHING - If there was one person in Congress jealous of Greg Gianforte’s body-slamming of Ben Jacobs, our money says it was Darrell Issa. Teri Figueroa and Joshua Stewart: “U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa stepped onto the roof of his Vista office building Tuesday, as hundreds of people protested below, and took out his cellphone to snap a few photographs of the crowd. It was an unusual moment during a morning in which Issa and a protest organizer briefly spoke to each other on the sidewalk, then accused each other of failing to engage in polite dialogue. In a phone call to the Union-Tribune, Issa said he attempted to speak with the protesters and to field their queries, but they would not have a conversation with him…. Ellen Montanari, who organizes the weekly rallies and often leads the crowd chants, said she tried to shake Issa’s hand and was rebuffed. Montanari said Issa told her ‘step away, you are a protester’ and that she replied ‘I am a constituent.’ She said he then made ‘disparaging remarks’ about the protesters and the signs they carry.” [San Diego Times-Union]
LOL, also this: “On Tuesday morning, Issa did give a smile and a piece of cake to an Oceanside man and President Donald Trump supporter who attends the weekly rallies as a counter protest. ‘The historical significance of that was not lost on the group,’ Montanari said, referencing the famed ‘let them eat cake’ quote from Marie Antoinette.” [Ibid.]
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MICHAEL COHEN UNDER INVESTIGATION - Say’s who? Say’s who? Marina Fang: “President Donald Trump’s personal attorney is under investigation as part of the congressional probes into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, NBC and ABC reported Tuesday. Michael Cohen, who has been a close adviser to Trump for years and was a campaign surrogate, confirmed to both outlets that the House and Senate intelligence committees requested ‘information and testimony’ from him, but he chose not to comply. ‘I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,’ he said in an email to ABC News.” [HuffPost]
RUSSIA TRYING TO ELBOW ITS WAY INTO ITALY - Add this one to “headlines we thought we’d never read after 1947.” Jason Horowitz: “Russia is assiduously courting Italy, a country that once had the largest Communist party outside the Soviet bloc and that many analysts consider the soft underbelly of the European Union. In Rome, Mr. Trump left behind an embassy without an ambassador, and forfeited a geopolitical playing field that Moscow’s ambassador in Rome, Sergey Razov, is exploiting…. A deliberate, gray-haired career diplomat, Mr. Razov has been plugging away at building relationships with Italian politicians, organizing concerts for Italy’s earthquake survivors and visiting Italian regional officials who lament the “unfair” sanctions on Russia — which Moscow dearly wants lifted…. But there is a fear among Italian, European and American officials that Russia is also using the same kind of behind-the-scenes influence and news media obfuscation it has employed in the United States and elsewhere, creating a tilt in Italy toward Moscow.” [NYT]
SENATORS BEGIN LONG, ARDUOUS PROCESS OF SHELVING HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL - It’s like America’s upper chamber has become one big blue ribbon commission. Erin Mershon: “Senate leadership staff will huddle this week with their colleagues on three key committees to begin drafting the chamber’s legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law…. The drafting efforts will include Senate staffers from the Budget Committee, the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said [South Dakota Sen. John] Thune and Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin But the lawmakers also declined to put any artificial deadlines on the drafting process or their broader efforts to vote on a repeal and replace package. They said they are still far from an agreement.” [Roll Call]
BREAKING: NEWT GINGRICH TRYING TO BILK PEOPLE - The principles of Trumpism also involve never paying back anyone who loaned your presidential campaign money. McKay Coppins: “Even as the unique brand of politics that Trump championed in the campaign has been all but sapped of meaning in the early months of his presidency, an ever-growing number of opportunists and stakeholders has emerged to compete for the mantle of Trumpism’s premier public intellectual. Arguably no one has pursued that title more aggressively than Gingrich. Since Trump was elected, Gingrich has written two books — a quickie ebook titled Electing Trump, and a slightly-less-quickie biography due out next month titled Understanding Trump — and has expanded his original Heritage speech into a six-part lecture series on the subject of Trumpism.” [Atlantic]
OH, YOU WANT TELEVISION PERSONALITIES TO RUN FOR OFFICE? CLEARLY FRUSTRATED AND CONFUSED OHIO DEMOCRATS ASK - This ends with the DGA recruiting the Cucumber from VeggieTales to challenge Charlie Baker, doesn’t it? Allan Smith and Maxwell Tani “Influential Ohio Democrats are pushing former Cincinnati mayor and daytime-TV host Jerry Springer to run for Ohio governor in 2018, more than half a dozen Democrats familiar with the race told Business Insider. Many said Springer, who sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio in 1982 and remains active in state politics, could be a good fit for the current political climate. Springer’s proponents have highlighted his ability in the era of President Donald Trump to provide his own funding for a campaign and to connect with working-class voters familiar with his television show and history in Ohio politics.” [Business Insider]
South Carolina congressional candidate Archie Parnell doubles down on being a Democratic House candidate and goes full “House of Cards” in its latest campaign ad.
Jeb? “Jeb Bush has dropped his pursuit of purchasing the Miami Marlins, according to a source close to the talks. The source, confirming a report by the Associated Press, did not offer an explanation for Bush’s change of course. ‘He just decided to take a step back,’ the source said. The former Florida governor and candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination had teamed with retired New York Yankees star Derek Jeter in a bid to buy the franchise from Jeffrey Loria, the current owner.” [Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a ruthless tiny dog.
POLITICS GETTING TO BE TOO MUCH FOR PEOPLE RIGHT NOW - Stephanie Marcus: “Nearly every politically driven show on both network and cable TV ― ‘Scandal,’ ‘The Americans,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Madam Secretary,’ ‘Designated Survivor’ and ‘Quantico’ ― saw a decline in viewership numbers through the election season and dropped further after Trump won…. ‘Scandal,’ in particular, feels like victim of the Trump era. Though the show’s ratings had been declining since 2015, it wasn’t in danger of being canceled. After the election, creator Shonda Rhimes would often say in interviews that she no longer knew what to do with the series now that Trump was president — the on-screen scandals handled by Olivia Pope and her Gladiators were still far more dramatic than anything on the nightly news, but the latest season’s first few episodes, which aired right after Trump’s inauguration, forced viewers to endure yet another election narrative and relive the loss felt on election night all over again.” [HuffPost]
- A map of the most misspelled words by state.
- A foolproof kale chip recipe.
- Hospitable elephants eagerly greet new elephant.
@lukeoneil47: HELLO IT IS I THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE MEDIA LEFT HERE TO SAY THE KATHY GRIFFIN THING SUCKS AND... IS BAD. PLEASE EMBED THIS TWEET ON BREITBART
@morninggloria: “if anybody’s going to take down the Trump presidency through BITING SATIRE, it’s everybody’s favorite provocateur Kathy Griffin.”
@pourmecoffee: *logs on*
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