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President-elect Trump sparked a major international incident with China ― but look at it this way: it’s pretty clear he can distinguish Thailand from Taiwan. Washington’s most phallic building will be broken for most of Trump’s term, and we’re sure he has no problem with you remarking upon that symbolism. And Jared Kushner’s newspaper called for the arrest of anti-Trump protesters, Corey Lewandowski says the Times’ editor should be jailed, President-elect Trump invited a ― *literally* ― bloodthirsty authoritarian to the White House and, at this point, we just hope the firing squads will be quick about it. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, December 2nd, 2016:
WHO’S READY FOR ANOTHER LAND WAR IN ASIA? - “So, Bob, why did the United States End?” “Uh...because some ‘Hannity’ viewers in Oshkosh got some weird ideas and then the country went to war with China?” “Correct! Looks like you get thirty more minutes in President Leader Putin’s information chamber!” Demetri Sevastopulo and Geoff Dyer: “Donald Trump risks opening up a major diplomatic dispute with China before he has even been inaugurated after speaking on the phone on Friday with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan. The telephone call, confirmed by three people, is believed to be the first between a US president-elect and a leader of Taiwan since diplomatic relations between the two were cut in 1979. Although it is not clear if the Trump transition team intended the conversation to signal a broader change in US policy towards Taiwan, the call is likely to infuriate Beijing which regards the island as a renegade province. The US has adopted the so-called ‘One China’ policy since 1972 after the Nixon-Mao meetings and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter formally recognised Beijing as the sole government of China, with the US embassy closing in Taipei the year after. The Trump team did not respond to multiple requests for comment.” [FT]
Oh god, we’re all going to be popping potassium iodine because this gasbag wants to open a hotel: “The mayor of Taoyuan confirmed rumors on Wednesday that US president-elect Donald Trump was considering constructing a series of luxury hotels and resorts in the northwest Taiwanese city. A representative from the Trump Organization paid a visit to Taoyuan in September, expressing interest in the city’s Aerotropolis, a large-scale urban development project aimed at capitalizing on Taoyuan’s status as a transport hub for East Asia, Taiwan News reports.” [Shanghaiist]
@ChrisMurphyCT: What has happened in the last 48 hours is not a shift. These are major pivots in foreign policy w/out any plan. That’s how wars start.
WHAT’S A LITTLE ELECTION-RIGGING BETWEEN FRIENDS? Trump says the election he won was rigged against him, but his people aren’t too keen to prove it. Monica Davey, Julie Bosman and Steve Eder: “Supporters of President-elect Donald J. Trump have filed legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan in a suddenly robust effort to stop the presidential election recount efforts there. Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, said that the recount, initiated by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, put Michigan voters at risk of ‘paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process.’ [NYT]
That time Heidi Heitkamp shared an elevator in Trump Tower with The Naked Cowboy.
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RUSSIA GASLIGHTS THE WORLD - Ken Vogel: “A top Russian official is accusing the Ukrainian government of undermining Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by trashing him on social media and disseminating dirt on one of his close associates. A spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday contended that the Ukrainian government over the summer damaged Trump’s campaign by implicating his then-campaign chief Paul Manafort in a corruption scandal involving a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party funded by oligarchs…. In a follow-up exchange with POLITICO, [the spokesman] went further, suggesting that the Ukrainian government was intentionally trying to undermine Trump’s campaign by releasing records from the oligarch-backed party naming Manafort…. Thursday’s allegation from Moscow also seems at least mildly ironic, coming amid calls from Washington Democrats for an investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election in a manner that damaged Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.” [Politico]
LADY LOSES HOME, SWAMP STILL NOT DRAINED - Yeeeee-haw, who’s ready for a replay of the second Bush administration, but without puff pieces detailing Condoleezza Rice’s piano playing? Josh Boak and Jeff Horowitz: “When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink. She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — all too well. OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income. ‘I just wish that I had not voted,’ said Colebrook, 59. ‘I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in.’” [AP]
FIRE UP THE CHIN-SCRATCHING EMOJI MACHINE - Trump is going to be so surprised to learn how many constitutional amendments there are. Hayley Miller: “House Speaker Paul Ryan and President-elect Donald Trump have discussed the Constitution ‘extensively’ in their ‘almost daily conversations.’ In an excerpt of a ‘60 Minutes’ interview that will air Sunday, Scott Pelley asked the speaker if Trump understands the role of the president and his obligation to work with Congress, rather than acting as ‘CEO of the United States.’ ‘Oh, we’ve talked about that extensively,’ Ryan said. ‘We’ve talked about the Constitution, Article 1, the separation of powers.’ Still, it seems there are a few parts of the Constitution the pair could have spent some more time reviewing. Trump’s laundry list of comments about blocking constitutional rights touch on free speech, freedom of religion, due process and more.” [HuffPost]
THAT OTHER TIME TRUMP DEALT WITH CARRIER - Also, “why Trump hates that other judge who isn’t Gonzalo Curiel.” Daniel Marans: “Trump was less successful when he sued Carrier over a malfunctioning air-cooling system at the Trump International Hotel in New York City. In an October 2007 decision, federal judge Shira Scheindlin ― whom Trump maligned in the first presidential debate as a ‘very anti-police judge’ for halting New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy ― handed Carrier a partial victory in its quest to fend off Trump’s legal challenge, granting its request to dismiss Trump’s negligence claim but denying its requests to dismiss breach of warranty and breach of contract claims. Later that year, the company settled with Trump on the claims the judge upheld.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP LUCKS OUT BIGLY - We’re sure he’ll graciously acknowledge President Obama’s contributions all the time. Ben White: “On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly described the U.S. economy as a hollowed-out disaster of high unemployment and stagnant growth. But the latest numbers show the president-elect will in fact inherit a fairly robust economy with the lowest jobless rate in nearly a decade, record home and stock prices and a healthy growth rate. It’s a radically different position from the one President-elect Barack Obama found himself in 2008 with markets crashing, the financial crisis spinning out of control and joblessness headed toward 10 percent. Trump instead will take office with an economy near full employment and wages and spending rising…. Put together, the picture is radically different than the one painted by Trump on the campaign trail, where he railed repeatedly against the Obama economy.… No figures ever backed up Trump’s claims of soaring joblessness and no growth.” [Politico]
The union that reps workers at the Carrier plant weren’t invited to the talks: “Chuck Jones, president of the local chapter of the United Steelworkers union that represents workers at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant, had to go by the tweets. He was not a party to the deal. Jones told The Huffington Post that he first got the details from the company itself on Thursday shortly before Trump took a victory lap at the plant. ‘We met with the company at noon,’ Jones said, ‘and then we found out what the numbers actually reflected was, they weren’t keeping our 1,283 bargaining unit members, they were going to keep 730.’” [HuffPost’s Arthur Delaney]
SENATE GOP WOULD MEDICARE-NOT TO HAVE THIS ARGUMENT - Sorry. Jennifer Haberkorn and Adam Cancryn: “The GOP’s dream of privatizing parts of Medicare is running up against resistance among Senate Republicans. Interviews with more than a dozen GOP lawmakers reveal they’re not planning to pursue big changes to the popular health care program for seniors — at least not in the first year of the Trump administration…. Polls show seniors are deeply skeptical about privatizing either Medicare or Social Security. And Democratic lawmakers looking to reclaim the populist mantle are already salivating over how they might exploit Republican efforts to privatize Medicare. But at least for now, they may be disappointed…. Republicans already have plenty of thorny items on their agenda for next year— the biggest being repealing and replacing Obamacare. Adding Medicare to that debate ‘would fall in the category of biting off more than we can chew,’ said Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander. [Politico]
GOP Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) don’t seem too keen, either.
IT’S NOT TV, IT’S, UHHHHHHHHHHHH, BARACK OBAMA - Given his history of making up composite girlfriends, how can we trust him with the truth? Anyhoo, this is pretty thinly sourced. Jake Horowitz: “President Barack Obama has been discussing a post-presidential career in digital media and is considering launching his own media company, according to multiple sources who spoke on background because they were not authorized to speak for the president. Obama considers media to be a central focus of his next chapter, these sources say, though exactly what form that will take — a show streaming on Netflix, a web series on a comedy site or something else — remains unclear…. When contacted for comment, White House communications director Jen Psaki told Mic in a statement, ‘While the president will remain actively engaged in inspiring young people and he is interested in the changing ways people consume information, he has no plans to get into the media business after he leaves office.’ … According to another source, Obama met privately with Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in Lima, Peru, on the sidelines of the recent APEC summit to discuss the matter” [Mic]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a Tumblr dedicated to Trump supporters upset with the president-elect.
LOUIE GOHMERT STILL TOUCHY ABOUT HIS RIBS OPERATION - They apparently had ribs in the Rayburn buffet today, which might be the genesis for this rant. Cristina Marcos: “Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is still peeved that the Architect of the Capitol won’t let him grill his famous ribs on his office balcony. The lawmaker brought up his beef with the Capitol’s maintenance operation on Friday during a freewheeling House floor speech about the misplaced priorities of federal agencies. ‘About seven years ago, the Architect of the Capitol, who works for the House and Senate, had decided that we all work for him and started making demands. One of which was, I could not cook ribs and share them with other members of Congress,” Gohmert said…. Gohmert said his fellow lawmakers have told him it’s ‘the best meat they’ve ever tasted.’” [The Hill]
- A hi-res tour of the International Space Station.
- Maps are terrible.
- You can check out Santa’s North Pole crib on Zillow.
@BrandyLJensen: Dying with a bunch of money in your savings account is a self-own so I’m gonna live decadently until Trump kills us all
@joshledermanAP: Inbox: “Britney Spears is Now Constitutionally Eligible to be President of the United States.” Happy 35th, Britney
@timothypmurphy: pretty cool if Obama ends up launching Trump TV