POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - President Trump To Feel Your Pain, Inner Thighs

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A poll finds the staunchly isolationist Gary Johnson nearly tied for first among active members of the military, probably because they don’t want to know what Aleppo is, either. Democratic anxiety over poll numbers are reaching such a level that “A Trump win will really help the Democrats with 2020 redistricting” thinkpieces should be popping up soon. And work crews began construction of the inaugural platform in front of the Capitol, though President-elect Trump will be disappointed when he learns they had to scrap Tommy Lee’s rotating drum kit. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, September 21st, 2016:

TRUMP PROPOSES NATIONAL PROGRAM OF NEEDLESS THIGH GROPING - Marina Fang: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump thinks the best way to stop crime in black communities is to broaden the use of stop and frisk, a policing tactic that has been proved to be discriminatory against blacks and Latinos. In an excerpt from a Fox News town hall billed as a ‘meeting on African-American concerns’ and scheduled to air Wednesday night, Trump was asked how he would address ‘black-on-black crime.’ Trump replied that he ‘would do stop and frisk,’ a practice heavily championed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), who is now a prominent Trump supporter. Trump’s claim that ‘in New York City, it was so incredible the way it worked’ isn’t quite accurate. The tactics used there have been broadly condemned for disproportionately targeting blacks and Latinos while only incrementally reducing crime. It seems unlikely Trump’s endorsement of such practices will help the nominee’s standing with black voters.” [HuffPost]

Donald Trump loves the African-Americans: “Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that Oklahoma police officer Betty Shelby may have choked when she shot dead Terence Crutcher on the side of a highway last week in Tulsa. Speaking at a church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the Republican presidential nominee said, ‘This young officer, I don’t know what she was thinking. I don’t know what she was thinking, but I’m very, very troubled by that. I’m very, very troubled by that. And we have to be very — we have to be very careful.’” [Politico’s Yousef Saba]

TRUMP’S REFUGEE BAN IS JUST LIKE, Y’KNOW, A NOISE ORDINANCE OR SOMETHING - Jose A. DelReal: “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday said his proposed ban on Syrian refugees is not just about terrorism, but also ‘a matter of quality of life.’ Trump blasted his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, for supporting the admission of refugees fleeing the bloody civil war in Syria during a campaign event here. He has strongly advocated for ceasing all immigration from ‘dangerous countries,’ and in particular countries with “radical Islamic terrorism.’ ‘Think of that. Not only the danger of it all, this isn’t only a matter of terrorism, but also a matter of quality of life. We want to make sure we’re only admitting those into our country who support our values and love — and I mean love — our people,’ Trump said.” [WaPo]

TRUMP DROPPED A LOT OF DOLLARS ON HIMSELF - Donald quantitatively eases himself. Christina Wilkie: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign paid more than $500,000 in August to companies the brash businessman owns, according to campaign finance reports released late Tuesday. The chief beneficiaries were Trump’s aviation company and his office headquarters in Manhattan: TAG Air was paid nearly $320,000 for operating the campaign jet and Trump Tower collected nearly $170,000 in rent for the month of August. Another $23,000 went to smaller Trump properties and businesses. The biggest single recipient of Trump’s campaign largesse last month was the digital marketing firm Giles-Parscale, which collected more than $11 million in fees from the Republican nominee. Brad Parscale, the company’s president, has no formal political experience, but he’s been a key member of Trump’s resort marketing team for nearly a decade. Trump also increased the amount of money his campaign shells out for private security, by nearly 10 times. The expense went from $20,000 in July to more than $180,000 in August.” [HuffPost]

Keep the Sunlight Foundation’s Libby Watson in the U.S. because, journalists and transparency activists are our greatest asset ― right after oil and Froot Loops.

Hiccup: Yesterday we mistakenly called the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold Blake, subconsciously confusing him with the Republican Texas congressman. We sincerely apologize to both Fa(h)rentholds. Please don’t Fahren-hold this against us.

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TRUMP APPEARS AT RALLY WITH POSEIDON, GOD OF THE SEA - Jennifer Bendery: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke to a group of Ohio pastors on Wednesday, and joining him on stage was Frank Amedia, a man who claims he single-handedly stopped a tsunami from hitting Hawaii. Amedia, a pastor who has referred to himself as an apostle and a prophet, co-hosted Wednesday’s Midwest Vision and Values Pastors Leadership Conference. He sent out the invitation, a copy of which was obtained by Right Wing Watch, to evangelical leaders around the state asking them to come ‘meet with Donald Trump in an intimate setting.’ Trump tapped Amedia in May to be a liaison to the Christian community.” [HuffPost]

Also this: In an effort to sway black voters to back Donald Trump, legendary boxing promoter Don King called the GOP presidential nominee the ‘doctor of humanness,’ and then he dropped the n-word Wednesday in a predominantly black church in his hometown of Cleveland. Delivering a freewheeling and at times bizarre speech at a campaign event at New Spirit Revival Center, King made the case for why the African-American community should vote for the New York real estate mogul in November.” [HuffPost’s Igor Bobic]

400-LEVEL KABUKI THEATER - If you bring a meaningless stunt to a knife fight… Michael McAuliff: “House Republican leaders managed to derail a House floor vote last week on impeaching the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, but Donald Trump may wish they also squashed a hearing Wednesday on whether or not impeachment was a good idea. That’s because Democrats hijacked the hearing with Commissioner John Koskinen when they got their chance to speak, and managed to skewer Trump’s refusal to release his taxes. One Democrat, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), elevated the exercise to A-level trolling by opening his round of questions while munching on a bag of Skittles in a reminder of Donald Trump Jr.’s recent gaffe about Syrian refugees and the likelihood that they ‘would kill you.’ But that was just pointed mockery. The larger point was to turn a hearing that Democrats deemed a political stunt into a display that instead raised the serious issue of the Republican presidential nominee’s refusal to disclose his taxes.” [HuffPost]

JESUS H. CHRIST, ANTHONY WEINER - This officially downgrades the former New York congressman from “major douchebag” to “monster.” Alana Goodman: “Anthony Weiner carried on a months-long online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl during which she claims he asked her to dress up in ‘school-girl’ outfits for him on a video messaging application and pressed her to engage in ‘rape fantasies’, DailyMail.com can exclusively report. The girl, whose name is being withheld by DailyMail.com because she is a minor, said the online relationship began last January while she was a high school sophomore and before Weiner’s wife, Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin, announced she was ending their marriage.  Weiner was aware that the girl was underage, according to DailyMail.com interviews with the girl and her father, as well as a cache of online messages.” [Daily Mail]

THIS? IS CNN - FFS, guys, what happened to the CNN of Bernard Shaw, Judy Woodruff and that bitchin’ Cold War documentary you put on in the late 90s? Daniel Marans: “CNN openly mused on Tuesday about whether the U.S. citizen apprehended for his alleged role in a terror plot was entitled to due process under the law. A Twitter user spotted a chyron on the cable network with the question: ‘Does bombing suspect deserve due process?’ Contrary to CNN’s suggestion, no one ‘deserves’ or does not deserve due process. U.S. citizens on American soil are guaranteed due process rights by the Constitution. Those rights include being informed of one’s charges, the right to counsel and a fair trial. (Even non-citizens on U.S. soil are entitled to these rights.) Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, wrote as much in a column on CNN’s website.” [HuffPost]

ACTUALLY WOW: JOHNSON NEARLY TIED WITH TRUMP AMONG SERVICEMEMBERS - Leo Shane III and George R. Altman: “Conducted in September, it is the first scientific breakdown of voting preferences among service members, and includes more than 2,200 responses from active-duty troops. And it shows a very different race than the one playing out on the broader national stage. Among the entire military force, Trump leads Johnson 37.6 percent to 36.5 percent, within the study’s 2 percent margin of error. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton trails as a distant third-place choice, with only 16.3 percent of troops’ support.... Perhaps most notably, there is a sharp split between enlisted personnel and the military’s officer corps, which directs day-to-day operations and implements policy. Among the officers surveyed, Johnson is the clear choice, commanding support from 38.6 percent of respondents. Clinton actually outpaces Trump in that group, with nearly 28 percent support for the former secretary of State compared to the New York business mogul’s 26 percent.“ [Military Times]

LEAVE THE FED RATE ALOOOOONE - This is probably out of an abundance of caution for when President Trump’s moves to route 30 percent of M1 to Mar-a-Lago. Daniel Marans: “The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged, likely sparing consumers and businesses an increase in borrowing costs for another few months. The central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee kept the target federal funds rate — or the interest rate banks charge one another for overnight lending — at a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. The federal funds rate is the benchmark for short-term borrowing rates throughout the economy, including auto loans and some housing loans.  Maintaining the current target federal funds rate almost certainly ensures that the cost of borrowing for consumers and businesses will remain low. The decision reflects the central bank’s trepidation about the pace of economic growth, seven years after the Great Recession officially ended.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a bunch of cats chasing lasers.

COMFORT FOOD

- The hamdog is the most American thing.

- In case you missed this year’s Burning Man.

- The bittersweet history of Operation Babylift.

TWITTERAMA

@cwarzel: not clicking but assume spotify’s election 2016 playlist is just death metal and the sound of children screaming

@nickpwing: Really starting to think this Hannity town hall was a bunch of white people asking Trump what he’s going to do about black people

@mollyesque: The novel “Singularity,” but it’s a place I can be alone with my inbox while the outside world stands still.

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