HUFFPOST HILL - Hillary's Body Double Shines On 'Between Two Ferns'

A Trump staffer resigned over historically insensitive comments about African-Americans, further convincing us Trump will simply name “the good ol’ days” as his transition chairman. Paul Ryan reminded us that being “not familiar enough with an issue” is like the brain version of “looking forward to spending more time with one’s family.” And Michelle Obama’s passport was leaked by hackers, though they thankfully didn’t find the cache of Bo Obama’s entry visas into North Korea. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 22nd, 2016:

BOOK EXCERPT: ‘NEW WORDS FOR UNDERSTANDING WASHINGTON’ - The good folks at the Washington Post will be publishing an excerpt of Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government, in Sunday’s Outlook section, but in the meantime, you can check it out online. As always, you can (and should!) pre-order the book, which is coming out this Tuesday (!). Here’s an excerpt of … er … the excerpt:


Madame Tussauds Disorder, or MTD, is a condition in which politicians, pundits or journalists don’t remove their makeup after a TV “hit,” giving them the waxy, polyurethanic appearance of a Madame Tussauds statue. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, a lofty sense of self-worth, a near-constant need to know if anyone picked up their “hit” and the appearance of a walking, breathing cadaver.


In Washington, everyone.


Political version of yelling “fore!” after a wayward tee-off, screaming “timber!” while felling a tree or, perhaps most analogously, shouting “I’m going to stab you really hard!” before plunging a knife into someone’s abdomen.

Because political work is inherently adversarial, the standard practice among reporters, staffers, advocates, lobbyists and other political actors is to give a “heads up” before going ahead with a potentially unwelcome plan, thereby giving their counterparty the courtesy of some time to prepare. It allows the speaker to perpetrate some vicious act against his or her target while still maintaining a professional relationship, thanks to the observance of proper decorum.

“Heads up, I’m working on an article about your boss that says he’s been carrying on a three-year affair with a horse.”

“You’re putting us in a real bind here.”

“Just a warning.”

“Appreciate it.”


GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN MORE LIKELY THAN IT WAS BEFORE - Current shutdown status is code yellow (menacing statements in press), though it may be bumped up to orange (informing the Architect of the Capitol to get the cots ready). Matt Fuller and Michael McAuliff:   “The prospects of a government shutdown suddenly loomed larger Thursday as Republicans in the Senate offered a funding bill that Democrats summarily rejected. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered the measure in a way that cannot be amended, and Democrats objected, saying the bill was written without their input, includes poison pill riders and fails to do anything to help long-suffering residents of Flint, Michigan. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday morning that the Republican offer is so bad that she doesn’t think Senate Democrats should offer a counter-proposal. The top Democratic appropriator in the Senate, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.), agreed. ‘The majority leader has filed a Republican-only bill,’ Mikulski said. ‘We Democrats cannot vote for that.’” [HuffPost]

It appears that big game hunter Donald Trump Jr. likes posting rather aggressive things on a hunting message board.

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STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN CHARLOTTE AS PROTESTS CONTINUE - National dialogue on race to start at any moment now... Greg Lacour and Andy Sullivan: “Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, woke up to a state of emergency and the National Guard and State Highway Patrol deployed to their city on Thursday after a second night of unrest sparked by the fatal police shooting of a black man. According to police, Keith Scott, 43, was shot and killed by officers on Tuesday after he refused to drop a handgun. His family and a witness to the shooting said Scott was holding a book, not a firearm. A peaceful rally in response to the shooting turned violent on Wednesday as protesters threw rocks and bottles at police in riot gear, smashed windows and doors and looted stores in downtown Charlotte. Officers fired rubber bullets, tear gas, flash-bang grenades and used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.” [Reuters]

THE TRUMP/PENCE CAMPAIGN HAS LOTS OF BLACK FRIENDS! - And this particularly staffer will now have more time to cultivate more of them. Sam Stein and Sam Levine: “The chair of Donald Trump’s campaign in an Ohio county resigned on Thursday after claiming that racism against African-Americans didn’t exist before President Barack Obama. ‘My personal comments were inappropriate, and I apologize,’ Mahoning County chair Kathy Miller said in a statement. ‘I am not a spokesperson for the campaign and was not speaking on its behalf. I have resigned as the volunteer campaign chair in Mahoning County and as an elector to the Electoral College to avoid any unnecessary distractions.’ Miller’s resignation came hours after The Guardian published an interview in which she blamed low voter turnout among African-Americans on the way ‘they’re raised’ and stressed that blacks have only themselves to blame if they haven’t been successful ‘in the last 50 years.’” [HuffPost]

SO MUCH FOR OUR HOPES OF A BIGLY MAC - It’s amazing that Trump isn’t drawing more support from an industry that gave us Super Sizes and bucket-based meals. Dave Jamieson and Paul Blumenthal: “Donald Trump loves to eat fast food, and he isn’t embarrassed to say so. A Filet-O-Fish. A Big Mac. A Quarter Pounder. A bucket of fried chicken from KFC. ‘It’s good stuff,’ the Republican nominee once confessed. ‘I think the food’s good and I eat it very carefully.’ Unfortunately for Trump, his love for fast food appears to be unrequited. So far, the fast-food industry hasn’t put big money behind the real estate mogul’s candidacy, even though such companies traditionally support business-friendly Republicans over Democrats. It seems no matter how many McDonald’s runs New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) makes on Trump’s behalf, the candidate can’t lock down the fast-food contingent, according to campaign filings.” [HuffPost]

CLINTON FUNDRAISING EATING INTO CAMPAIGN SCHEDULE - Criticize all you want, but have you seen the inside of Marc Lasry’s apartment? Hot damn. Would you rather be at some VFW hall in North Carolina? Pffffft. Jonathan Martin: “Even as newly released financial disclosures reveal that Mrs. Clinton enjoys a substantial fund-raising advantage over Donald J. Trump, she is struggling to replicate the sort of small-dollar juggernaut that Mr. Obama enjoyed in his campaigns and Senator Bernie Sanders relied on in this year’s Democratic primaries. In an illustration of the lack of enthusiasm for her among some liberal activists, just 24 percent of the contributors to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign so far have given $200 or less. In 2012, 43 percent of the money to Mr. Obama was from contributors who gave $200 or less, and this year 58 percent of the giving to Mr. Sanders’s grass-roots bid came from small-dollar donors. Without this online network, Mrs. Clinton is being made to continue with an aggressive calendar of fund-raisers with rich donors as Election Day grows near — events that can limit her time in swing states and reinforce concerns that give rank-and-file Democrats pause.” [NYT]

LOOK, PAUL RYAN JUST WORKS HERE, MAN  - But just a really swell, gee-wilickers guy who just wants to get the best gosh darn waiver into that financial services bill. Jennifer Bendery: “House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday said he has no opinions on stop-and-frisk policing, and declined to say whether he supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s call for more racial profiling. ‘I haven’t given enough thought to it,’ Ryan said at his weekly press conference. We need to do more to stop homegrown jihadists.’ Trump raised eyebrows Wednesday when he said police should step up their use of stop and frisk ― that is, stopping and questioning people who seem suspicious, and frisking them for potential weapons or drugs ― to combat crime in black communities. Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in 2013, when a federal judge found that New York City’s police were using it to disproportionately target black and Latino men during routine traffic stops. Pressed on the constitutionality aspect, Ryan repeated that he’s not familiar enough with the issue to have an opinion.” [HuffPost]

THE MEDIA IS THE WORST, PT. 582,623,161 - But what about Hillary’s gaffe policy? Jonathan Cohn: “A few days before Clinton’s speech [on her college debt plan], [senior policy adviser Ann] O’Leary convened a final conference call to discuss media strategy. Anticipating a lot of attention, she instructed the team to be ready by the phones. Clinton delivered her address at a high school in Exeter, New Hampshire, and afterward, held a press conference in the gym. She got just one query about the plan. Earlier that week, Trump had described Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly as having ‘blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever’... Over the next 24 hours, the tuition plan received only perfunctory coverage. ‘The calls just never came,’ recalls Gene Sperling, another one of Clinton’s advisers. ‘It was all Kelly-Trump, 24/7.’ Even many professional policy types didn’t grasp the full scope of her proposal; I didn’t realize it myself until I began researching this article. As primary season wore on, her scheme was overshadowed by a bolder, shinier promise from Senator Bernie Sanders: free public college for everyone.” [HuffPost]

National dialogue on race update: “Conservative USA Today columnist and University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds caused an uproar on Twitter when he urged motorists to drive over protesters blocking a highway in North Carolina.  ‘Run them down,’ Reynolds, who also produces the Instapundit website, tweeted late Wednesday with an image of the protesters on I-277. Twitter suspended the account, but [later reinstated it].” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog who handles airport security.

THE PRESIDENT HAS JOKES - We can’t wait for his 2018 “Saturday Night Live” hosting turn. Marina Fang: “President Barack Obama isn’t pleased that Morgan Freeman frequently plays presidents in his movies. The Oscar-winning actor was among this year’s recipients of the National Medals of Arts and Humanities but was unable to attend Thursday’s ceremony at the White House. In explaining Freeman’s absence, Obama joked that he ‘undoubtedly is off playing a black president again.’ ‘He never lets me have my moment,’ Obama added, drawing laughs from the audience.” [HuffPost]


- Rolling Stone ranks the 100 greatest TV shows ever.

- Jumbo jets flying in formation ― not for those who freak out at the slightest bit of turbulence.  


@MEPFuller: First they came for Cheesesteak Twitter™, and I did not speak out, because they got me in that first sweep.

I mean immediately.

@AdamSerwer: gaffes made by democrats should be measured in units known as “rendells”

@OhNoSheTwitnt: Ah Fall. The leaves are changing colors and Donald Trump is trying to deport them.

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