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We’re approaching 100 days of Trump’s presidency and if we make it that far, Vegas will have to pay out millions to everyone who bet the under. White House staffers are anxious to “turn everything around” before that milestone arrives later this month, so expect a few more countries to get bombed. And Neil Gorsuch issued his first opinion as a SCOTUS justice immediately after being sworn in, ruling himself the winner in the case of McConnell v. Democracy. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, April 10th, 2017:
KANSAS SPECIAL ELECTION TOMORROW - Igor Bobic and Ryan Grim: “James Thompson, the Democrat running to fill the House seat vacated by Trump administration appointee Mike Pompeo, is seeing a last-minute fundraising surge in the days before Tuesday’s unexpectedly competitive Kansas special election. Thompson, a civil rights attorney and Army veteran, raised approximately $240,000 in 20,000 individual donations, much of it since Thursday, according to his campaign manager, Colin Curtis. The haul was bolstered by an ActBlue fundraising campaign backed by several progressive grassroots groups, including Daily Kos, Democracy for America, and Our Revolution. The surge in donations shows a groundswell of support for Thompson, the first Democrat to face voters in a federal election since Donald Trump won the presidency in November. The Democratic Party, however, is staying away from the race.” [HuffPost]
GORSUCH GORSWORN IN - Cristian Farias: “Flanked by the president who promised to fill the seat of conservative Antonin Scalia with someone in the mold of the late justice, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in on Monday as the Supreme Court’s newest member — ending a bitter, yearlong fight that may forever change how Supreme Court battles are waged and won. In a private ceremony at the Supreme Court and later in a public event at the White House, Gorsuch took separate constitutional and judicial oaths as the nation’s 113th justice. The lifetime appointment restores the court’s half-century-old conservative majority. At 49, Gorsuch could serve on the bench for decades. It is also by far the biggest coup of President Donald Trump’s chaotic first 100 days in office ― the confirmation process went relatively smoothly despite bitter bickering in the Senate, which blew up its own rules to get Gorsuch confirmed. ‘I’ve always heard that the most important thing that a president of the United States does is appoint people ― and hopefully, great people, like this appointment ― to the United States Supreme Court,’ Trump said to the crowd gathered in the Rose Garden, which included every sitting justice now on the court. ‘And I got it done in the first 100 days!’ Trump boasted.” [HuffPost]
SPICER STRUGGLES TO DESCRIBE NON-POLICY IN SYRIA - Red line, no red line, whatever. Bombs are cool! Christina Wilkie: “Spicer’s definition of a national security threat is broader than Trump outlined during his presidential campaign. Trump frequently extolled non-interventionist foreign policy, and a belief that Syria should be left alone to resolve its six-year civil war. But a chemical weapons attack on civilians early last week, carried out by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, appears to have altered Trump’s perspective. ‘If you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president,’ Spicer explained. This statement appeared to convey a new ‘red line’ for the Trump administration, namely that any future use of chemical weapons, or of barrel bombs, will elicit further U.S. retaliation. Yet moments after his ‘if you gas a baby…’ line, Spicer seemed to contradict himself, saying the president refuses to ‘telegraph a response to every corresponding action, because that just tells the opposition or the enemy what you’re gonna do, and whether or not that response is worth taking.’” [HuffPost]
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN TANTALIZINGLY POSSIBLE - Billy House: “Members of Congress are back home for a two-week recess after one of the most bitterly divided and least productive starts in recent history. A new, urgent challenge is waiting for them when they return: finding a way to set aside their anger and mistrust long enough to keep the federal government open. Government funding expires on April 28, which will give Congress five days to unveil, debate and pass an enormous spending bill, or trigger a government shutdown…. The only exception has been that through all the partisan rancor, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has been quietly negotiating an omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Nobody has seen the result yet, which leaves conservatives deeply suspicious about why their party’s leaders are waiting so long to unveil the legislation. ‘It’s like a florist being surprised by Valentine’s Day,’ said Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. ‘I don’t get it.’” We don’t get it either, Mark Meadows. Are you the florist in that analogy? Are flowers government spending? [Bloomberg]
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WHITE HOUSE TOTALLY STRESSED OUT - You guys signed up for this. Shane Goldmacher: “President Donald Trump has far more than three years left in his first term. But inside his pressure-cooker of a White House, aides and advisers are sweating the next three weeks. The symbolic 100-day mark by which modern presidents are judged menaces for an image-obsessed chief executive whose opening sprint has been marred by legislative stumbles, legal setbacks, senior staff kneecapping one another, the resignation of his national security adviser and near-daily headlines and headaches about links to Russia…. ‘One hundred days is the marker, and we’ve got essentially 2 1/2 weeks to turn everything around,’ said one White House official. ‘This is going to be a monumental task.’” [Politico]
LUV GUV IN BIG TROUB - How will the people of Alabama cope with having a problem for the first time in the state’s history? Mike Cason: “A legislative committee starts hearings this morning to consider impeachment of Gov. Robert Bentley, a historic process that could remove the governor from office over allegations that he abused his power to try to hide from the public an affair with top advisor Rebekah Mason…. A parallel criminal investigation is also pending. The Alabama Ethics Commission last week issued three findings of probable cause that Bentley violated the campaign finance law and one finding of probable cause that he violated the ethics law.” [Alabama Media Group]
BREITBART CUCKED - Oliver Darcy: “Employees at Breitbart News have been asked by senior editors to refrain from writing stories critical of Jared Kushner, two people familiar with the matter told Business Insider. The news comes after The New York Times reported over the weekend that Kushner had complained to President Donald Trump about the negative coverage he was receiving from the far-right website. Kushner had become a target of Breitbart News amid reports that he was feuding with Stephen Bannon, the news website’s former executive chairman.” [Business Insider]
TRUMP GOOD FOR DEMS MAYBE - Check out these nifty graphics illustrating Democrats’ performances at the polls since Trump won. Alissa Scheller and Daniel Marans: “President Donald Trump’s election has sparked an enormous groundswell of activism from rank-and-file voters angry about his policies. Political analysts have wondered whether Democrats can turn this wave of progressive enthusiasm into concrete electoral gains in the 2018 midterms. One way to test that: special elections to fill empty state legislature and congressional seats.” [HuffPost]
DCCC EYES O.C.’S GOP - Javier Panzar: “The arm of the Democratic Party in charge of winning control of Congress is moving senior staffers from Washington, D.C., to Orange County in hopes of flipping Republican-held House seats out west during the 2018 midterm elections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is aiming to defeat seven California Republicans who represent congressional districts where Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump — including a cluster of seats in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.” [LA Times]
EASTER EGG ROLL FAN BUMMED ABOUT TRUMP - Petula Dvorak: “[Trump] has not only inspired folks to open their wallets, he’s also helped raise a small army of newbie activists. Folks like English teacher Natalie Rebetsky, who never thought of herself as a political person or partisan activist. Until now…. Before Trump, Rebetsky was known as the colorful chair of the English department of Linganore High School in Frederick, Md., whose only involvement with the White House was a mild obsession with the annual White House Easter Egg roll…. She has almost two dozen commemorative White House Easter eggs on display in her Sykesville kitchen…. ‘I just don’t feel that with this administration,’ she said. ‘Donald Trump has broken that trust with families and children.’” [WaPo]
TRUMP LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT BORING - Disappointing, José Andrés! Zoe Tillman: “The Trump Organization has settled a lawsuit against a celebrity chef who in 2015 dropped plans for a restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in response to then-candidate Donald Trump’s statements on the campaign trail. The Trump Organization and chef José Andrés’ company ThinkFoodGroup issued a joint statement on Friday announcing the settlement. The terms are confidential. The amicable announcement — it includes the word ‘friends’ twice — came after more than a year of hard-fought litigation…. Andrés and another celebrity restaurateur, Geoffrey Zakarian, announced in 2015 that they were pulling out of plans for restaurants at Trump’s DC hotel after Trump made disparaging statements about Mexicans and immigrants at a campaign event. The Trump Organization sued both chefs in District of Columbia Superior Court for breach of contract.” [BuzzFeed]
DESERVING PERSON WINS PRIZE - Paul Farhi: “Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold remembers being struck by Donald Trump’s pledge to donate $6 million, including $1 million of his personal funds, to veteran groups during a televised fundraiser before the Iowa caucuses early last year. Did Trump follow through, he wondered? So, weeks after the event, Fahrenthold started asking questions. For several months, he found, the answer was no, despite assurances to the contrary from Trump’s campaign. When Trump finally made the donation in late May the reporter set off on a broader inquiry. In a detailed series of articles, he found that many of Trump’s philanthropic claims over the years had been exaggerated, and often weren’t truly charitable activities at all. On Monday, Fahrenthold’s investigative digging was rewarded with the Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s most prestigious award.” [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - “Remember that guy from The Apprentice? He got HOT and bombed Syria.”
ENJOY SPRING, YOU SNEEZY BASTARDS - There’s nothing so nice people won’t complain about it. Angela Fritz: “Between last week’s heavy rain and the weekend’s sunshine, the trees are exploding with tiny yellow particles that make my eyes water and my nose run. There’s also the sneezing. Oh, and that horrible itching sensation in my ears — is that normal?” [WaPo]
- The bleakest ghost town.
- The guy who vacuumed Neil Gorsuch’s podium.
- Happy inception day to Blade Runner replicant Leon Kowalski.
@thinkpiecebot: Why Are SJWs So Obsessed With Pharmaceutical Side Effects?
@sam_baker: Obama must be a little preemptively jealous of how many vacations the *next* president will be able to take without it seeming like a lot.
@petegaines: Today’s real heroes are those standing up and loudly proclaiming “well actually according to United’s contract of carriage, they have the ri
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