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Turns out there was an issue with Donald Trump’s mic during Monday night’s debate, probably due to interference caused by Hillary Clinton’s anti-coughing machine. Trump spent last night engaging in the sort of Twitter vomit usually reserved for Kanye West and people upset with Amtrak. And somewhere, a panicked middle-school civics teacher is altering their “fact-check the candidates” unit to not include “check out sex tape.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, September 30th, 2016:
DONALD TRUMP LITERALLY URGING PEOPLE TO WATCH PORN - God, how much of today’s news-based emails are going to end up in people’s spam folders? Elise Foley and Arthur Delaney: “Donald Trump’s supporters are having a hard time explaining why the Republican nominee for president tweeted a lot of mean things about a former Miss Universe in the wee hours Friday morning…. ‘Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?’ [Trump tweeted]. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) had one answer: The tweets were a good idea because social media is ‘the most effective manner to get his message out’ when the media refuses to tell the true story.” [HuffPost]
THIS IS THE BEST TRUMP THEORY WE’VE READ TO DATE - S.V. Dáte: “Alicia Machado or any other woman worried what Donald Trump might think of their ‘plumpness’ should just do what he did: Get taller. That’s apparently what the GOP presidential nominee has managed over the past year, going from the 6-foot-2 that had long been his claimed height to 6-foot-3, his stature according to his physician, Harold Bornstein, following a Sept. 9 exam. Perhaps coincidentally, that extra inch lets Trump escape the obesity label that being merely 6-foot-2 would have saddled him with. Using the National Institutes of Health body mass index calculator, Trump’s 236 pounds (also according to Bornstein’s note) would have given him a BMI of 30.3 – just over the threshold qualifying him as ‘obese.’ The calculation using the 6-foot-3 height gives Trump a BMI of 29.5 – close to ‘obese,’ but still technically just ‘overweight.’” [HuffPost]
FINAL STRETCH, CLINTON ABANDONS KISSINGER STRATEGY - Expect a lot more appearances by Bernie. Gabriel Debenedetti “As the last full month of this presidential contest begins, Hillary Clinton is shifting toward a pure base-turnout strategy, inching away from her all-out effort to lure disaffected Republicans in favor of a traditional get-Democrats-to-the-polls effort that mirrors Barack Obama’s 2012 game-plan. Gone are Clinton’s regular references to winning over moderate conservatives and her sly allusions to GOP leaders meant to give defecting Republicans a framework for abandoning their nominee. With 39 days to go, Brooklyn headquarters and battleground state operatives are activating the massive surrogate machinery, a heavy early voting push, and a large-scale registration offensive they think they need to secure a win in November.” [Politico]
This week’s “So That Happened” podcast features a conversation with Eliot about his new book, The Beltway Bible (out now!) and also chats with Jared Bernstein and the father of Pepe the Frog. [So That Happened]
The Wall Street Journal’s review of The Beltway Bible likens it to Jon Stewart, Molly Ivins and Stephen Colbert ―- which the reviewer hates.
WHAT WASHINGTON IS WATCHING THIS WEEKEND - Aside from “London Spy” on Netflix. Daniel Wagner: “A Washington, DC, judge on Friday released video depositions of Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Trump suggests in one exchange that his incendiary comments about Mexicans made during his campaign kickoff — he said people coming here from the country were ‘rapists’ — were premeditated. Another answer shows Trump bragging about how he signs hundreds of real estate leases but relies on others to actually read and review the documents. The depositions are related to Trump’s $200 million project to transform the Old Post Office building — a taxpayer-owned landmark just five blocks from White House — into a luxury hotel. Trump’s company won the right to develop the project by making numerous promises to the government that he failed to keep.” [BuzzFeed]
Haircuts: Nick Baumann (h/t Daniel Marans), Seth D. Michaels (h/t Seth D. Michaels), Steve Nelson (h/t Susan Nelson)
Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government
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TRUMP CAN’T LEGALLY ASK PEOPLE TO DONATE TO HIS TERRIBLE CHARITIES - David Fahrenthold: “Donald Trump’s charitable foundation — which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family — has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office. Under the laws in New York, where the Donald J. Trump Foundation is based, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public must obtain a special kind of registration beforehand. Charities as large as Trump’s must also submit to a rigorous annual audit that asks — among other things — whether the charity spent any money for the personal benefit of its officers. If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) finds that Trump’s foundation raised money in violation of the law, he could order the charity to stop raising money immediately. With a court’s permission, Schneiderman could also force Trump to return money that his foundation has already raised.” [WaPo]
TRUMP KIND OF RIGHT ABOUT THING - In case you wonder why that giant fissure in the Earth’s crust just appeared, releasing all the demons of the deep, this is why. Jesse Byrnes: “The Commission on Presidential Debates issued a one-sentence statement Friday admitting ‘issues’ with Donald Trump’s audio in this cycle’s first debate Monday. ‘Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall,’ the statement read. Trump argued after the debate that his microphone was defective, which rival Hillary Clinton dismissed as an excuse of someone who did poorly. Trump told reporters immediately following the debate that event organizers ‘gave me a defective mic’ that he said affected the audio inside the Hofstra University venue.” [The Hill]
What a great guy: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in a 1999 interview that he once promised his daughter Ivanka he’d never date a girl younger than her. Ivanka Trump would have been 17 in 1999, when Trump made the claim to radio host Howard Stern, according to the New York Daily News. ‘I have a deal with her. She’s 17 and doing great ― Ivanka. She made me promise, swear to her that I would never date a girl younger than her,’ Trump said. ‘So as she grows older, the field is getting very limited.’” [HuffPost’s Paige Lavender]
CLINTON SEES POST-DEBATE BUMP - But now that Trump’s microphone was officially faulty, we assume these numbers will revert back. Janie Velencia: “She is ahead of rival Donald Trump in three key swing states ― Michigan, New Hampshire and Florida ― according to polls conducted after the debate. Clinton has taken a 7-point lead against Trump in Michigan, with 42 percent of the vote to his 35 percent, according to a Detroit News/WDITV poll. In a two-way match-up that excludes third-party candidates, Clinton still maintains her 7-point advantage. She’s ahead by the same margin in New Hampshire, taking 42 percent of the vote to Trump’s 35 percent, according to a WBUR poll. And in Florida, Clinton leads Trump by 4 points, 46 percent to 42 percent, according to a Mason-Dixon poll. National polls released earlier in the week also signal good news for Clinton. The first set of post-debate polls found Clinton holding a 3- to 5-point advantage over Trump.” [HuffPost]
WHY THE GOP BEARS RESPONSIBILITY FOR BIRTHIRISM - Jennifer Bendery: “In a May 2011 interview with KCJJ radio, a recording of which was obtained this week by The Huffington Post, Grassley said Trump deserved ‘credit’ for forcing Obama to release his long-form birth certificate. This was after the show host said Trump looked ‘very racist’ for demanding proof of Obama’s citizenship. ‘Give him some credit, though, from this standpoint: He finally got the birth certificate,’ Grassley said with a laugh. ‘Nobody else could.’ … Grassley wasn’t part of that fringe group. But like so many other Republicans at the time, he didn’t do much to tamp down on birtherism, either. He let it percolate. A year after his KCJJ interview, he said nothing in response to a proposed plank in the 2012 Iowa GOP platform to require presidential candidates to prove they’re natural-born U.S. citizens.” [HuffPost]
ROY MOORE REALLY ON TRACK FOR SOME GREAT BOOK SALES - If he doesn’t leverage this episode into a sick book deal for something titled, “ORDER IN GOD’S COURT” that will sit on your grandmother’s shelf, he’s doing it wrong. Daniel Marans: “Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court’s chief justice, has been suspended for the remainder of his term as punishment for instructing state judges to flout federal orders legalizing same-sex marriage, a state court ruled Friday. Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary, which was responsible for handling the ethics charges against Moore, stopped short of removing him from the bench entirely. But suspending Moore for the remainder of his term, which lasts through the end of 2018, effectively accomplishes the same thing because it prevents him from presiding over cases and denies him pay for that period. Moore’s removal required unanimity from the Court of the Judiciary’s members. The decision came after a brief trial on Wednesday.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a peculiar dog.
THE GETTIN’ IS GOOD UP IN THE PALISADES - So this means we can’t go bow hunting for pheasants in NoMa? Andrew Beaujon: “On Tuesday, police say Vernon Goyne of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, ‘shot a deer in DC’s Palisades neighborhood’. He used a handgun to drop the deer and was reportedly standing over it in the woods, about to beat it with a stick, when police arrived. ‘Everyone should know that there is no hunting season in DC, ‘Scott Giacoppo of the Washington Humane Society told Fox5. Goyne has been charged with animal cruelty, among other offenses; the deer was euthanized.” [Washingtonian]
- Alien experts ― such as they are ― weigh in on which fictional president would most ably handle a UFO invasion.
- Rolling Stone ranks the best songs of the 2000s.
- A somewhat NSFW recap of “Game of Thrones.”
@ben_craw: Mr. Gorbachev, CHECK OUT THIS SEX TAPE.
@samsteinhp: sometimes you have to step back:
A candidate 39 days from the election is tweeting abt a sex tape in the midst of Shimon Peres’ funeral
@MEPFuller: What do we think Trump’s lead looks like among the key demographic of Guys Who Keep Receipts In Their Wallets?
40 points? 50 points?