Gary Johnson wants to receive security briefings, which would be a great way to learn what Aleppo is. An FBI agent pretended to be an AP reporter, and we’re pretty sure that’s one of the few remaining ways to be a paid journalist. And John Boehner is joining the board of a cigarette company, meaning he needs now only land some consulting work with the National Association of American Wineries and Crappy Diner Coffee Alliance to be truly happy. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 15th, 2016:
PHLEGMGHAZI UPDATE: CLINTON RETURNS TO THE TRAIL, TRUMP APPEARS ON QUACK’S TV SHOW - “Hillary Clinton planned to resume campaigning on Thursday after pneumonia forced her to take time off and an aide to the Democratic presidential nominee said facing a Republican rival as controversial as Donald Trump makes it ‘harder to be heard.’ … With the candidates’ health in the spotlight, Trump, 70, on Thursday released details of a recent physical examination, a day after Clinton released details on her medical condition. Trump’s campaign said the results of his physical showed the fast-food fan has normal cholesterol with the help of a statin drug, weighs 236 pounds (107 kg) and has normal blood pressure...In a not-so-subtle slap at Clinton, the Trump campaign said the medical report showed Trump ‘has the stamina to endure - uninterrupted - the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of president of the United States.’ Top Clinton aide Jennifer Palmieri said ‘one upside’ of Clinton’s unplanned break was the chance to ‘sharpen the final argument Clinton will present to voters in these closing weeks.’” [HuffPost]
BUT, REALLY, DR. OZ IS A QUACK - Dana Liebelson: “Oz serves as director of the integrative medicine center at Columbia University. Last year, a group of doctors suggested he should be fired from Columbia’s medical faculty. The group, which included physicians from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pointed to Oz’s ‘disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine’ as well as his ‘egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments.’ They concluded that ‘members of the public are being misled and endangered.’ (In response, Oz said ‘we provide multiple points of view, including mine, which is offered without conflict of interest.’) … In 2014, BMJ, a British medical journal, published an analysis of recommendations made on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ and found that less than half were supported by evidence. Senators grilled Oz that same year for praising questionable weight loss supplements, like green coffee extract.” [HuffPost]
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CONGRESS WET WILLIES OBAMA ON GITMO - No Freedom Caucus member mustered the courage to send the president to GITMO. Man up, guys. Mike McAuliff: “Republicans voted again Thursday to tie President Barack Obama’s hands on one more issue for the remainder of his presidency, barring him from moving captives from the Guantanamo Bay prison facility for any reason. Congress has regularly restricted transfers from the naval facility in Cuba, and has expressly barred moving war on terror detainees to the United States mainland. But there were exceptions that allowed military and intelligence agency officials to transfer prisoners after elaborate reviews. When Obama took office, the Bush administration had already transferred 500 inmates from the facility, leaving 240 behind. Obama has whittled that down to 61, and has cleared 20 of them for release.” [HuffPost]
Great day for the Trump kids: “Donald Trump’s son, a primary surrogate for his presidential candidacy, alluded on Thursday to the mass killing of Jewish people in Nazi Germany while laying out what he sees as a media double standard in campaign coverage. In an interview with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Donald Trump Jr. made the argument that Republicans would be punished if they lied or schemed in fashions similar to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And then he decided to talk about gas chambers. ‘The media has been her number one surrogate in this. Without the media, this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up,’ Trump Jr said. ‘They’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy (sic), on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.’” [HuffPost’s Sam Stein]
THE HONORABLE PETER THIEL - This is all assuming that Pete Sessions doesn’t want the job. Ben Walsh and Ryan Grim: “Donald Trump has made it clear he will nominate Peter Thiel to the Supreme Court if he wins the presidency, Thiel has told friends, according to a source close to the PayPal co-founder. Trump ‘deeply loves Peter Thiel,’ and people in the real estate mogul’s inner circle are talking about Thiel as a Supreme Court nominee, a separate source close to Trump told The Huffington Post. That source, who has not spoken to Trump directly about Thiel being nominated to the Court, cautioned that Trump’s offers often fail to materialize in real life. It’s not clear whether Trump has indeed offered to nominate Thiel ― only that Thiel has said Trump would nominate him and that Trump’s team has discussed Thiel as a possible nominee. Both sources requested anonymity, given that Trump and Thiel have each demonstrated a willingness to seek revenge against parties they feel have wronged them. In Thiel’s case, he secretly financed lawsuits against Gawker.com with the intention of destroying the publication. He succeeded, and his role in the assault was only revealed in the final stages.” [HuffPost]
“Donald Trump Jr. says that one reason for not releasing his father’s tax returns ― a tradition followed by every major party presidential candidate in the past 40 years ― is that it would simply invite too much scrutiny from ordinary people. ‘He’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from [his father’s] main message,’ Trump Jr. said in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published Wednesday. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump often cites an ongoing IRS audit as the reason he will not make his tax returns public ― but even he recently admitted he could do so ‘immediately’ if he wanted. Moreover, there is nothing stopping the New York billionaire from releasing returns for previous years not currently under audit. His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has made her returns dating back to 1977 available online.” [HuffPost]
SUDDENLY IVANKA TRUMP DISLIKES NEGATIVE PEOPLE - Good thing that the media blacklist is no more, because “blacklisted Cosmopolitan Magazine” is not a great look. Paige Lavender: “Ivanka Trump...got defensive over her father’s past comments about pregnancy during an interview with Cosmopolitan on Wednesday.... After Donald Trump unveiled a proposed child care and maternity policy this week, Cosmo’s Prachi Gupta asked Ivanka about comments her father made in 2004, when he said pregnancy is ‘certainly an inconvenience for a business.’ ‘Whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business,’ Donald Trump told ‘Dateline NBC’ then. Ivanka Trump wouldn’t acknowledge that her father had made that statement. ‘Well, you said he made those comments,’ she told Cosmo. ‘I don’t know that he said those comments.’ Ivanka also accused Gupta of editorializing and having ‘a lot of negativity’ in her questions. She ended the interview soon after, saying: ‘I’m going to jump off, I have to run. I apologize.’” [HuffPost]
Interesting press release from the Johnson campaign: “The Libertarian Party has formally requested that the General Services Administration (GSA) designate the 2016 Libertarian presidential nominees, Governor Gary Johnson and Governor William Weld, as ‘eligible candidates’ under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (PTA). The designation, determined by GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth, would entitle the Libertarian candidates to receive national security briefings, among other services and facilities.”
OH, BUT OF COURSE - The folks who make wood paneling and green glass ashtrays are still mulling whether to give JB a gig. Megan R. Wilson: “Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has joined the board of directors at the tobacco company Reynolds American. He will also be on the board’s corporate governance, nominating and sustainability committee, the company said. It is the first corporate gig Boehner, a longtime smoker, has taken since leaving Capitol Hill last October. ‘RAI is striving to transform the tobacco industry through innovative strategies that include speeding the decline in tobacco use among young people and reducing the harm caused by smoking,’ said a spokesman for the former lawmaker. ‘These are objectives Speaker Boehner supports and looks forward to helping RAI advance through his service on the board.’” [The Hill]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog playing “Street Fighter.”
FBI AGENT IS A BAD REPORTER - He didn’t even provide the world with any takes. SMDH. Ryan Reilly: “In 2007, the FBI published fake Associated Press articles and impersonated an AP reporter in emails meant to help unmask a hoaxer who was sending bomb threats to a high school in Washington state. But the agency didn’t do a particularly credible job, even failing to follow AP Style. A new report by the Justice Department’s inspector general focuses on the FBI’s decision to create a fake news article with an Associated Press byline titled, ‘Bomb threat at high school downplayed by local police department.’ Opening the article would be used to put a tracking program on the computer of the hoaxer who sent the threat, and agents planned to use that to identify his location. Using the name ‘Norm Weatherill,’ an FBI agent identified himself as an ‘AP Staff Publisher’ in emails that were sent to the suspect’s MySpace account and included the link to the computer program developed to track him down. In one email, the agent capitalized the term ‘staff writer.’ In another, the agent capitalized the word ‘press’ and even the phrase ‘school meeting,’ for some reason.” [HuffPost]
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@joshgreenman: Either we elect our first female president or our first dangerously ignorant, authoritarian president. So any way you cut it, history.
@dan_munz: HRC should do a sit-down about her medical records with Jane Seymour in-character as Dr. Quinn.
@SimonMaloy: can’t wait for the detailed analysis of how Trump’s speech will hypothetically play in the Rust Belt