POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Democrats Suddenly Nostalgic For Mitt Romney, Clearly Forgetting About All That Weird Blinking

Donald Trump’s campaign manager has gone full poll truther, a stance that will no doubt harden  when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its doctored numbers on November 4th. Trump’s pivot seems to be having the unintended consequence of giving people time to think about what it would actually mean to vote for Donald Trump without being distracted by Donald Trump. And the AP says Democrats are feeling nostalgic for Mitt Romney. Listen closely to the wind. Do you hear it? Do you hear that sound? It’s Seamus Romney’s wimpering. Seamus is not nostalgic for Mitt Romney. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 24th, 2016:

REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT ANNOYED BY LATE-TO-THE-PARTY NEVER TRUMPERS - Ryan Grim: “Every day of the Donald Trump campaign seems to bring with it a new article about an establishment Republican whose conscience can’t bear to back the reality TV star. For those who haven’t made that decision, these relentless news items are starting to smart. Some Washington Republicans wish these folks and their consciences would shut up.  The most recent insult came Monday with a Politico story that began, ‘Former President George W. Bush’s Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy is the latest high-ranking Republican to announce his support for Hillary Clinton’s White House bid.’ …’Our majorities are at stake and there is so much more to being part of the team than voting for the White House,’ said Sam Geduldig, a former senior aide to then-Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and now a lobbyist with the CGCN Group… Another member of the GOP establishment, who also offered his criticism anonymously, called the public parade of conscience ‘commercial self-interest masquerading as ideological purity.’” [HuffPost]

JOE MANCHIN NOT ALLOWED TO SHOOT THIS PROBLEM - Catherine Ho:The growing congressional scrutiny of pharmaceutical giant Mylan over the high cost of EpiPens could prove awkward for Sen. Joe Manchin. The West Virginia Democrat’s daughter, Heather Bresch, is chief executive of the company, which appears to have hiked the price of the epinephrine auto-injector by 400 percent since 2007. The device, which is used to treat severe allergic reactions, now costs more than $600 per dose. This price increase has become a public relations disaster for Mylan and at least four of Manchin’s Senate colleagues are either pressing the company to reduce the cost of EpiPens, asking it to explain the price increase or requesting federal regulators to investigate the matter.” [WaPo]

HOLD OFF ON THOSE PEROT 2.0 PREDICTIONS - Or 3.0, we suppose. Mark Blumenthal: “Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party appeared on state ballots in all but two states in 2012, and Stein and the Green Party appeared on all but 12. They will likely gain access to at least as many state ballots this year, if not more. Without offering supporters of those candidates an explicit option to register their preferences, we have no practical way of tracking their support. Yet if we prompt for third party candidates, many voters who are undecided about Clinton and Trump (or about voting generally) tend to grab for these alternative options as a way of indicating their uncertainty. Whatever the reason, both history and our own data yield evidence that mid-summer polls greatly inflate the true preference for third party candidates.” [Survey Monkey]

Also, in case you need to hear this said, for some reason: “To put this year’s crowd photos into perspective, we asked Americans in a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll whether they’d been to any rallies in 2016. We found out two things: Only a small percentage had, and even by that metric, Trump wasn’t clearly ahead. Just 8 percent said they’d been to an event for Clinton, only 6 percent said they’d been to an event for Trump, and 3 percent said they’d attended an event in support of another presidential candidate. The same numbers applied to another pseudo-scientific gauge of support: 8 percent of Americans said they’re displaying bumper stickers or yard signs supporting Clinton, 6 percent said they have signs or stickers for Trump, and 3 percent said they’re expressing such visual support for another candidate.” [HuffPost’s Ariel Edwards-Levy]

DELANEY DOWNER - The water in Flint, Michigan, could have caused skin problems when the city used the Flint River as its water source, federal investigators concluded after an extensive study. Many residents have continued to complain of ailments. But the researchers say they don’t know how Flint’s water could still be causing rashes since the city switched back to more stable Lake Huron water in October 2015. “Fortunately, water samples from the city’s current water did not show metals and minerals at levels that would cause or make rashes worse,” Dr. Nicole Lurie, of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “Residents who are still suffering from rashes or hair loss or have other health concerns should visit a doctor or a community health center for care and possible referral to a dermatologist, Lurie said. [HuffPost]

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WITH A MARGIN OF ERROR OF +/- BENGHAZI  It’s really only a matter of time until the Trump campaign reanimates Research 2000 for some polling work. Igor Bobic: “Kellyanne Conway, a respected pollster with decades of experience in Republican politics, dismissed polls showing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton comfortably in the lead by claiming they ‘cherry-picked polling numbers that are put out there by media outlets that are also bent on his destruction.’ ‘Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election,’ Conway maintained in the interview that aired Wednesday. ‘It’s because it’s become socially desirable, if you’re a college-educated person in the United States of America, to say that you’re against Donald Trump.’” [HuffPost]

Always look on the briiiiiight side of life: “Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican rival Donald Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, her strongest showing this month, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. The Aug. 18-22 poll showed that 45 percent of voters supported Clinton, while 33 percent backed Trump ahead of the Nov. 8 election.” [Reuters]

MITT ROMNEY ARE PEOPLE, MY FRIEND, DEMOCRATS SUDDENLY REALIZE - Ha. Ha. Ha. Who wants a Subway Veggie Delite? Josh Lederman: “When President Barack Obama ran for re-election, Democrats made no secret of their disdain for Mitt Romney. That was all before Donald Trump...New York Rep. Steve Israel, one of the Democratic Party’s top campaign strategists, said ‘Romney was qualified, but he had the wrong ideas. Trump is unqualified, dangerous and still has the wrong ideas.’ And Obama’s 2012 campaign press secretary, Ben LaBolt, put it this way: ‘I don’t think anybody would have truly expected the country to go to hell in a handbasket’ if Romney had won. ‘Trump presents an entirely different level of threat,’ he said. Rewind to 2012. A pro-Obama super PAC aired a TV ad indirectly alleging that Romney caused a woman’s death. Democrats accused him of animal cruelty over a decades-old story about Seamus, the family dog, forced to ride rooftop on a road trip. Vice President Joe Biden told a largely black audience that Romney and his running mate were ‘going to put y’all back in chains.’” [AP]

TRUMP QUANTITATIVELY EASING HIMSELF - Get your mind out of the gutter. Olivia Nuzzi and Ben Collins: “Donald Trump’s campaign used its own funds to buy more copies of one of his books than the rest of the world did in the second week of May. The purchase was so large that it even it pushed the 2015 title onto the bestseller list of Nielsen BookScan, according to data obtained by The Daily Beast. On May 10, the Trump campaign spent $55,000 at a New York Barnes & Noble on 3,964 copies of Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. The buy was a departure from standard campaign practice, which dictates that bulk orders be placed with the book publisher to avoid artificially boosting sales. In the same week, other cities in the United States purchased a mere fraction of what the Trump campaign did: Seventy copies were sold in Philadelphia, 78 in Los Angeles, and 41 in Dallas.” [Daily Beast]

Why don’t you do HPH a favor and pull a Trump by spending $55,0000 pre-ordering Eliot’s book? Order five copies or more and join our Platinum Select circle where we will personally thank you, though not in person.

DEFENCE INDUSTRY RALLYING BEHIND CLINTON - This year, vote with bae [Systems].   Austin Wright and Jeremy Herb: “The Democratic presidential nominee is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by a ratio of 2-to-1 in campaign donations from employees working for defense giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. That’s a sharp turnaround from 2012, when defense contractors gave more to then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney than to President Barack Obama...Since Trump locked up the Republican nomination three months ago, employees of 25 of the nation’s largest defense companies have donated $93,000 to Clinton, compared with $46,000 for Trump, according to a POLITICO review of filings with the Federal Election Commission. Clinton’s donor rolls also include more than two dozen top defense executives, while Trump’s show just two.” [Politico]

Things must be so awkward for Peter Thiel on that fancy Google Bus every single person in Silicon Valley takes: “Hillary Clinton will seek to widen her lead over Donald Trump in Silicon Valley on Wednesday, when she heads to the Bay Area for a series of fundraisers and meetings. Clinton has close ties to the valley...Her list of Hillblazers — donors who have contributed to or raised more than $100,000 for her campaign — includes influential tech leaders like Google CFO Ruth Porat and Napster founder Sean Parker...She’ll attend a fundraiser on Wednesday night hosted by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson. Earlier on Wednesday, she’s scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Palo Alto hosted by Amy Rao, the founder and CEO of Integrated Archive Systems.  Clinton is expected to clear approximately $4 million at the two events.” [The Hill]

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT DONALD TRUMP’S LOUISIANA FLOOD CONTRIBUTIONS - He always needs to remind us that showing up and giving the thumbs up is a tax deductible use of his resources.  David Fahrenthold: “Trump promised a $100,000 donation to Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, which lies to the northeast of Baton Rouge, in a zone affected by floods. Trump had visited the church on Friday and helped hand out supplies for a few moments as cameras rolled. That church’s interim pastor is Anthony Perkins, who is also president of the Family Research Council — a powerful and politically active Christian conservative group that condemns abortion, homosexuality and what it calls ‘transgenderism.’ In recent days, the Baptist church has organized volunteers to help clean out flood-damaged homes and has offered hot meals and supplies to those affected. Perkins said Tuesday that Trump’s gift had not yet been paid... Trump has also been credited — by CNN, and by his campaign — with donating a truckload of supplies that arrived in the flood-ravaged town of St. Amant, La.” [WaPo]

LEFT STILL TRYING TO INFILTRATE CLINTON CAMPAIGN - And not in the Wikileaks sense. Zach Carter: “[Democrats are] confident in a Clinton rout on Nov. 8, and are spending their time and energy attempting to secure posts in the Clinton administration. And Clinton, in keeping with her sometimes-conservative, sometimes-progressive record, is sending mixed signals...some progressives are pinning their hopes for future employment on the naming of Heather Boushey to Clinton’s transition team. While the rest of the squad is composed of loyalists from the days when Clinton proudly styled herself as a moderate, Boushey has been a reliably progressive economic voice within Clintonian institutions like the Center for American Progress.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a child who is serious Dave Chappelle fan.

Congressional staffers, they’re just like us! “Rep. Bennie Thompson’s chief of staff has been charged with failing to file federal tax returns for five years. The Mississippi Democrat’s staffer Isaac Lanier Avant was named in five misdemeanor counts for not filing his returns for 2009 through 2013 when he earned $170,000 per year. Thompson told The (Jackson) Clarion Ledger that he wouldn’t fire Avant until he had his day in court and that he would follow up with him about the accusations.” [Roll Call]

COMFORT FOOD

- A supercut of SNL cast members breaking character.

TWITTERAMA

@SimonMaloy: [do research]

[send comment request to expert]

[sit patiently imagining them laughing at you and your life’s work]

[repeat daily]

@aedwardslevy: You know what they say about candidates with big rallies?

@perlberg:I am also separating myself into news and entertainment departments

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