We’re not sure what’s worse, the media circus surrounding Donald Trump’s VP selection, or that Hillary Clinton upended it by mentioning Pokemon Go. Tim Kaine said Hillary Clinton reminds him of his wife, clearly trying to supplant Terry McAuliffe as Virginia’s creepiest Clinton fanboy. And Congress will adjourn without addressing Zika, letting the invisible hand of the market swat all the mosquitos. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 14th, 2016:
Today’s dose of nothing matters: “Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is holding a campaign event at a Pokémon Go gym. The area is Madison Park in Lakewood, OH, and it doubles as a Pokéstop as well. ‘Join us as we go to the Pokéstop in Madison Park and put up a lure module, get free pokémon, and battle each other while you register voters and learn more about Sec. Hillary Clinton!!! Kids welcome!’ reads the Clinton campaign website. The event takes place this Saturday, July 16th, from 1PM to 2PM ET.” [The Verge]
@woodruffbets: Hillary: “I don’t know who created Pokemon Go but I’m trying to figure out how we get them to Pokemon Go to the polls!!” -crowd cheers-
TRUMP GOES WITH PENCE … BUT MAYBE NOT - Trump may have selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence . . . or members of his inner circle leaked it to force his hand … or Trump will go off the reservation and name one of the comely middle-aged ladies from those Viagra commercials. Jim Acosta and MJ Lee: “Donald Trump indicated to Mike Pence late Wednesday night on the phone that he is moving toward choosing the Indiana governor as his vice presidential nominee, a source familiar with the process tells CNN. Pence’s team has gotten word to start preparing to get the official nod Thursday, and the Trump campaign is currently planning for the official nod Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the process. The timing of a decision is important. Pence is running for re-election as governor and he faces a deadline of noon on Friday to withdraw his candidacy for that office. Indiana law prohibits him from running for both a state and federal office. The Pence campaign has all the paperwork prepared and ready to file in order to meet the deadline in case he is tapped by Trump. But until an offer is made and accepted, nothing is certain in this very fluid situation. Earlier on Thursday, a Trump adviser cautioned Trump’s leaning could change.” [CNN]
@GovPenceIN: Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.
TRUMP CAUCUS CHAIRMAN UNBOTHERED BY POLICY INCOHERENCE - Mike McAuliff reports for HuffPost Hill: Jeff Sessions, who has been a lonely Republican voice in the Senate opposing free trade deals, declined to offer any criticism of Mike Pence, although Pence has been a strong advocate for trade deals. Instead, he praised Pence’s courage and his “great family,” and suggested the Hoosier could come around to see things Sessions’ and Trump’s way. “We all have to change and grow and make some changes, so I think he’s adaptable and certainly is not afraid to learn,” Sessions said. (He also felt vindicated in his anti-trade, anti-immigrant stances by Trump’s win: “I have been making this basic message for several years now. And I believe it was a key to this election. A lot of good candidates with a lot of good money and a lot of talent have been dispatched by the one candidate who spoke in these terms.)
Ann Coulter sad.
The Huffington Post this week published an epic investigation into the 800-plus jail deaths since Sandra Bland died in custody one year ago yesterday. Dana Liebelson and Ryan Reilly: “Many people believe Sandra Bland did not take her own life. But the circumstances of her death fit a recognizable pattern. In a significant number of the cases we found, people killed themselves within just a few days, even when they had been arrested on minor charges that were extremely unlikely to result in prison time. Nearly one-third of the deaths we found were suicides. And at least one-third of people died within three days of being booked.” [HuffPost]
DELANEY DOWNER - Congress is set to adjourn for the summer without approving any of the big aid initiatives that had been discussed for Flint, Michigan. Several senators urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the weeks leading up to the break, which starts on Friday, to bring up a broader piece of legislation that contains a $220 million aid package for communities grappling with crumbling water infrastructure like Flint. “Here I was, wishful thinking for a long time,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told The Huffington Post on Thursday. “I’m not criticizing Mitch, because he said if we can find a place ... we can do it, but it just didn’t happen.” [w/ HuffPost’s Laura Barron-Lopez]
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CONGRESSMAN’S ABUSE OF OFFICE TUT-TUTTED - Matthew Daily: “Veteran Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky violated House rules by allowing his wife to lobby staff members on a bill he sponsored that was related to her work, the House Ethics Committee said Thursday in a report. The ethics panel rebuked Whitfield for his actions but said they were unintentional. Whitfield, a Republican, is retiring this year after 11 terms.” [McClatchyDC]
From the official tut-tut: “[W]hen Ms. Harriman’s supervisor at [the Humane Society Legislative Fund] asked her about getting quotes from Representative Whitfield regarding horse racing for a story on pending legislation that HSUS would subsequently publish in one of its magazines, Ms. Harriman responded, ‘I do not need to tell YOU that going through a spouse is usually more efficient than going through the office! . . . I will get a couple of quotes from him.’ 20 Ms. Harriman’s supervisor responded 90 minutes later: ‘Oh, I know you’re the one to ask! I just think we ask A LOT! And, thank you, I already heard from [Representative Whitfield’s press secretary]—you work fast!’”
CONGRESS ISSUES NON-BINDING, ‘WATCH OUT FOR STANDING WATER’ RESOLUTION - J.Res 000: Getting Out Of Town ASAP. Mike McAuliff: “The political conventions, followed by a long summer break, proved a higher priority for Congress on Thursday than funding the nation’s response to Zika, as the Senate failed again to pass legislation dealing with the mosquito-borne illness. With Congress leaving this week to pick presidential candidates, and then staying on recess until after Labor Day, the rest of the summer will pass before there’s another chance for lawmakers to fund the efforts to prevent Zika from becoming an epidemic in the United States...The White House sought $1.9 billion for anti-Zika efforts in February. The House passed just $622 million in May on a party-line vote, and the Senate passed a bipartisan bill for $1.1 billion soon thereafter. In working out the differences between the measures, a Republican-led conference committee kept the Senate’s spending levels, but added riders restricting birth control, promoting the Confederate flag, cutting Obamacare and relaxing clean water rules. It also included a provision to cut funding for the ongoing response to Ebola, which would run out of money in October. The resulting measure again passed the House, but Democrats in the Senate objected to the ‘poison pill’ riders that were added, and blocked it.” [HuffPost]
CLINTON CAMPAIGN TO HOST ‘COUNTER CONVENTION’ IN CLEVELAND - The Trump campaign, meanwhile, will presumably send one of those car wash marketers in gorilla costumes to spin a sign outside the Philadelphia convention. Amanda Terkel: “Hillary Clinton campaign staffers will be on the ground in Cleveland next week, running a counter-convention operation to convince voters that presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump would actually be a really, really bad choice for president. The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee’s efforts will be focused on the theme ‘Better Than This,’ arguing that basically, America can do better than picking a man like Trump as president. Expect celebrities and activists to be tweeting #BetterThanThis as Trump and other Republicans take the stage at the convention. The Clinton campaign will be basing its operations from its headquarters, less than a mile from the Quicken Loans Arena where the Republican action will be taking place. It will hold a daily press conference, offer calls for the media and send out rapid response.” [HuffPost]
Alternate idea for the Clinton campaign: a counter convention called “Not Like This” where everyone cries.
@danmerciaCNN: Kaine looking right at HRC: “I have to admit to some partiality here, because I like in you what I like about my wife Anne...”
SENATE REPUBLICANS NOT EVEN TRYING ANYMORE TO APPEAR PRINCIPLED ON JUDGES - Smash cut to Merrick Garland organizing his sock drawer for the fifth time this month. Jen Bendery: “Republicans have never made it easy for President Barack Obama to confirm judges. But Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) came up with a new reason the Senate shouldn’t be filling empty court seats: It’s not our job. Democrats including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) made repeated requests Wednesday to confirm a batch of Obama’s judicial nominees who are ready for votes. Each time they tried, Tillis objected and suggested the Senate shouldn’t be spending time on judges. ‘What we get are things that have nothing to do with doing our jobs,’ he said. ‘I’m doing my job today and objecting to these measures so we can actually get back to pressing matters.’ It’s a weird thing to say since it is literally the Senate’s job to confirm judges, as spelled out in the Constitution. It’s also ironic that Tillis is the one saying this, given that he’s overseeing the longest federal court vacancy in the country. There’s been an empty seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina for 3,848 days, or 10.5 years.” [HuffPost]
RBG APOLOGIZES FOR SAYING THING SHE CLEARLY THINKS ALL THE TIME - After issuing her apology, the Supreme Court justice returned to her sensory deprivation chamber where she is only allowed to consult the law record and back issues of Parade Magazine. Cristian Farias: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has regrets about her recent comments on Donald Trump, whom she has assailed as a ‘faker’ and a potential threat to the nation and the Supreme Court. ‘On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office,’ Ginsburg said Thursday in a statement provided by a court spokeswoman. Notably, this statement isn’t exactly an apology. Nor was it directed at Trump himself, who on Wednesday demanded contrition from Ginsburg via his bully pulpit on Twitter. ‘In the future I will be more circumspect,’ Ginsburg added.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP STAYS ON MESSAGE - That is, he went off-message, which is his message, so to be off-message, he would have to be on-message ― which, well, would actually make him off-off-message, which―[fissure in space time, universe implodes]. Michael Calderone: “Donald Trump on Thursday waded into the media controversy of the moment by defending Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. ‘I think they are unfounded, just based on what I’ve read,’ Trump told The Washington Examiner of the claims made against the 76-year-old media executive and Republican power player. ‘Totally unfounded, based on what I read.’ Former ‘Fox & Friends’ co-host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes last week, claiming that she was fired in retaliation for rebuffing his sexual advances and pushing back against a sexist newsroom culture.” [HuffPost]
MUST READ: THE LONG, HARD FIGHT TO FINALLY GET A WOMAN AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET - Amanda Terkel and Christine Conetta: “The Huffington Post spoke with Pelosi and other Democratic women who have fought their whole lives to make this moment possible ― from shifting the conventions’ decision making out of those male-only smoke-filled backrooms to electing female candidates to political offices across the country. These women have waited their whole lives to see a woman in the White House. And they’ll be in Philadelphia later this month to see Clinton accept the nomination. ‘On my grave, I want it to say that I was a good mother and that I helped Hillary Clinton become president of the United States in 2016,’ said Roz Wyman, who in 1984 was the first woman to chair a major-party convention and has missed only one convention since 1952. ‘I’ll tell you, I want Hillary so much that it hurts. And I got shingles, I think, from the aggravation of it.’” [HuffPost]
POLL IS CORRECT - However, a thing can’t scientifically be said to be unpopular until someone polls it against Nickelback for publicity. Charlotte Klein: “As cable news outlets prepare for round-the-clock coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions over the next couple of weeks, many viewers could already be tuning out. Nearly 60 percent of Americans say they’re exhausted by coverage of the 2016 presidential election, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The Pew survey found the fatigue was greatest among 18- to 29-year-olds. Still, 39 percent of Americans appear to be hardcore news junkies, telling pollsters they appreciate the media’s exhaustive approach to the presidential contest.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s some content.
U.S. OFFICIALS NOT SMITTEN WITH BORIS JOHNSON - Though Trump’s secretary of state, the guy in those Perillo Tours commercials, will certainly get along with the new foreign secretary. Kathryn Snowdon: “A leaked message sent between US diplomats reveals what they really thought of Boris Johnson when he became London Mayor - and it’s not complimentary. Wikileaks reminded us about the the cable, which was sent in 2008, with a tweet on Thursday, after Johnson was appointed. The cable included a section about Johnson titled ‘gaffe-prone, but popular.’ Wikileaks tweeted an extract from the document hours after Johnson was named as Foreign Secretary in Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle.” [HuffPost]
- Meet the dude who inspired The Dude from Big Lebowski.
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit” performed on outdated computer hardware.
- A guide to Pokemon Go, because that’s what you awful, awful people want.
@elisefoley: Pokemon go look around at the glass house you’re in before you throw stones about Pokemon Go jokes
@KagroX: I love Hispanics! Get me a taco bowl! I love Pence! Get me mayonnaise on white!
@Slade: Night 3 RNC Speakers:
Jimmy the Greek Hologram
Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Screenshotted FB Memes