POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Obama Visits Disaster Area, Tells It To Stay The Hell Away From His Legacy

Russian hackers have breached the New York Times, giving intelligence officials in that country access to 14 unfinished style section pieces on people named Poppie. Bono once asked Hillary Clinton for help broadcasting to the International Space Station, really upending what we thought her private servers were capable of. And CNN livestreamed Mike Pence’s haircut, though that content will completely pale in comparison to next week’s Breitbart livestreaming of Steve Bannon being fit for a new skin suit. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016:

OBAMA BELATEDLY VISITS BATON ROUGE - Theodore Schleifer, Allie Malloy and Nick Valencia: “President Barack Obama toured flood-ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Tuesday, surveying wreckage that has also become a political football. ‘We are heartbroken by the loss of life,’ Obama said after seeing firsthand the damage in the state’s capital that has caused more than 106,000 residents and households to register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than 60,000 homes were damaged, officials said, and 13 people were killed.” [CNN]

STEVE SCALISE THANKS TRUMP AND OBAMA: “Their presence contradicts Hillary Clinton’s unbelievable claim that her presence would be a ‘distraction’ from our recovery.”

CLINTON EMAILS SUGGEST FOUNDATION QUID PRO QUO - Light quid pro quo, let’s say. Rosalind S. Helderman, Spencer S. Hsu and Tom Hamburger:  “A sports executive who was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and whose firm paid Bill Clinton millions of dollars in consulting fees wanted help getting a visa for a British soccer player with a criminal past. The crown prince of Bahrain, whose government gave more than $50,000 to the Clintons’ charity and who participated in its glitzy annual conference, wanted a last-minute meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. U2 rocker and philanthropist Bono, also a regular at foundation events, wanted high-level help broadcasting a live link to the International Space Station during concerts. In each case, according to emails released Monday from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, the requests were directed to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and confidante, Huma Abedin, who engaged with other top aides and sometimes Clinton herself about how to respond...The exchanges, among 725 pages of correspondence from Abedin disclosed as part of a lawsuit by the conservative group Judicial Watch, illustrate the way the Clintons’ international network of friends and donors was able to get access to Hillary Clinton and her inner circle during her tenure running the State Department.” [WaPo]

@AP: BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.

‘FIGHT SONG’ IS TERRIBLE: WHY WON’T CROOKED HILLARY TELL THE TRUTH? - We never thought we’d find ourselves longong for “Born Free,” but here we are. Hunter Walker: “Before and after the Democratic nominee takes the stage at rallies, her campaign inevitably plays the 2015 pop hit ‘Fight Song’ by Rachel Platten. The catchy tune inspires hatred from some outsiders, but some Clinton campaign staffers insist they’ve grown to love it... One aide referred requests for comment about the tune to campaign’s director of millennial media, Christopher Huntley, who suggested that it epitomizes Clinton’s values. ‘I actually love ‘Fight Song.’ It represents how Hillary Clinton will never give up, and she will do everything she can to make sure families to get ahead and stay ahead,’ Huntley said…’’Fight Song’ is an anthem. ‘Fight Song’ is a way of f***ing life,’ [another] staffer said. ‘It un-ironically brings me joy.’” [Yahoo News]

HuffPost Haircuts: Mike Pence (h/t: CNN, which literally livestreamed his goddamned haircut)

TRUMP LOSING SO BAD - Hillary Clinton is essentially tied with Donald Trump in red-tinted Missouri, according to a new poll.  Clinton garners 43 percent support to Trump’s 44 percent among likely Missouri voters in a Monmouth University poll that has a margin of error of 4.9 percent. While the survey is strikingly bad news for Trump ― Missouri went for the Republican in each of the past four presidential contests ― it’s just one survey. Others show Trump ahead, and HuffPost Pollster tracking shows the conspiracy theorist-in-chief maintaining his advantage in the state. [HuffPost]

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BICKERING ‘BOUT BERNIE’S BONES - It’s getting in the way of wringing money out of people with ankle tattoos.  Edwards-Isaac Dovere and Gabriel Debenedetti: “Less than a week before its official launch on Wednesday, Bernie Sanders’ new political group is working its way through an internal war that led to the departure of digital director Kenneth Pennington and at least four others from a team of 15, and the return of presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver as the group’s new president...People familiar with what occurred say that the board, which is chaired by the Vermont senator’s wife Jane, was growing increasingly concerned about campaign finance questions being raised over the last week. Their concern reached a breaking point, one person deeply involved with the Sanders world said, with a story last Friday from ABC News about how the group would handle the particular tax questions raised by having a senator so closely associated with a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that has strict restrictions on its political work.” [Politico]

WHY CLINTON IS LAYING OFF THE ‘FLIP FLOPPER’ ATTACK - Plus, you know, her flip flops. Sam Stein: “[T]he main reason the Clinton camp has kept the ‘flip-flopper’ charge on the shelf is because their research shows that voters respond better to the idea that Trump’s motives are subconscious, rather than political. It was, the aide said, the difference between being opportunistic and being ‘unstable’ ― a word used by other Clinton officials in recent interviews to describe the GOP nominee. ‘The effectiveness is showing people who he is,’ explained Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist. ‘When you make bigoted and racist comments, attack war heroes, it shows your lack of character to the American people. And our job is to not let voters forget who this man is and how he has vilified so many different groups of people through this campaign. It is part of what makes him unfit and it is what are explaining in very simple terms.’” [HuffPost]

Bewildered billionaires: “An ABC News analysis of several of Mitt Romney’s top donors in 2012 revealed that they have so far declined to donate to Donald Trump’s campaign, joint victory fund, or super PACs backing him, instead shifting their contributions to congressional re-election campaigns. Hedge fund manager Paul Singer, an outspoken critic of Trump, donated $1 million to Restore Our Future, the super PAC that backed Romney in 2012, and $5 million this election cycle to Conservative Solutions, a super PAC supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.” [ABC News]

WIKILEAKS REALLY GOING OFF THE RAILS - The organization is starting to feel a bit like the Stanford prison experiment of transparency groups. Raphael Satter and Maggie Michael:  WikiLeaks’ global crusade to expose government secrets is causing collateral damage to the privacy of hundreds of innocent people, including survivors of sexual abuse, sick children and the mentally ill, The Associated Press has found. In the past year alone, the radical transparency group has published medical files belonging to scores of ordinary citizens while many hundreds more have had sensitive family, financial or identity records posted to the web. In two particularly egregious cases, WikiLeaks named teenage rape victims. In a third case, the site published the name of a Saudi citizen arrested for being gay, an extraordinary move given that homosexuality is punishable by death in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom. ‘They published everything: my phone, address, name, details,’ said a Saudi man who told AP he was bewildered that WikiLeaks had revealed the details of a paternity dispute with a former partner. ‘If the family of my wife saw this ... Publishing personal stuff like that could destroy people.’” [AP]

RUSSIANS HACK NEW YORK TIMES - “President Putin, we have accessed Tom Friedman’s files, apparently Indian food vendors are the future.” Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz: “Hackers thought to be working for Russian intelligence have carried out a series of cyber breaches targeting reporters at the New York Times and other US news organizations, according to US officials briefed on the matter. The intrusions, detected in recent months, are under investigation by the FBI and other US security agencies. Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organizations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said.” [CNN]

FOX NEWS TERRIBLE, LAWSUIT ALLEDGES -  Michael Calderone: “Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros claims in an explosive new lawsuit that disgraced ex-network chairman Roger Ailes sexually harassed her and that high-ranking executives fostered a newsroom culture in which abusive behavior flourished.  ‘Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny,’ the suit reads. Ailes was ‘the primary culprit,’ according to the suit, but ‘his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation, and retaliation.’ Tantaros’ suit is the second leveled against Ailes, but the first to name the network itself and several current executives as co-defendants ― recently promoted co-president Bill Shine, general counsel Dianne Brandi, media relations chief Irena Briganti and executive vice president Suzanne Scott.” [HuffPost]

CLINTON CAMPAIGN OPENING OFFICE IN UTAH - Still unclear how much of a presence the Trump campaign has in Ohio. Dennis Romboy: “Seeing a rare opportunity to turn Utah blue, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will open a campaign office Tuesday in Salt Lake City. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has opened paths for Clinton to win the 270 electoral votes to become president, and maybe one of those paths runs through Utah, said Addisu Demissie, national voter outreach and mobilization director for Hillary for America...Donald Trump holds a 12-point lead over Clinton in Utah, according to the most recent local poll. But Utahns haven’t exactly embraced the billionaire businessman. Another poll showed they believe Clinton will win the election. Earlier this year, NBC News moved Utah to “lean Republican,” meaning the state is considered a competitive battleground in the presidential race.” [Deseret News]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a bunch of guys singing at a goat.

HOW ANTONIO WEISS BROKERED THE ONLY ECONOMIC POLICY CONGRESS MADE THIS YEAR - Laura Barron-Lopez: “In 2015, as talk began to circulate on Capitol Hill of crafting legislation to help Puerto Rico manage its billions in debt, a hedge fund creditor paid a visit to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s new special counselor. The creditor told Antonio Weiss, who would become the point person on the island’s fiscal crisis, that the Puerto Rico government should simply eliminate some waste and cut a certain number of jobs to pay back its debt. Don’t bet on Congress helping, the creditor said. A year ago, the idea of lawmakers lifting a finger to help the beleaguered commonwealth was indeed a pipe dream. But Weiss knew better. He told the creditor that history indicated otherwise. When Americans’ livelihoods are threatened, he said, Congress moves in. Puerto Rico is home to 3.5 million Americans. Earlier this summer, after a year of haggling and revising, Congress passed legislation allowing the commonwealth to restructure its $70 billion in debt under the supervision of an oversight board. The bill didn’t satisfy everyone, but it is nevertheless the only piece of major economic policy to pass Congress this year ― a sign of Treasury’s persistence in the face of incredible gridlock.” [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Today is the 25th birthday of the first web page, check it out.

- Ryan Lochte auto-tuned.

- Just another thing to pin on millennials: the decline of vacation.

TWITTERAMA

@KagroX: Dick Cheney was swapping out hearts twice weekly at the Jiffy Lube, but Hillary Clinton something, something.

@totallymorgan: If I could have dinner with five people, living or dead, I’d choose living.

@zachdcarter: This is my spite prong.

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