Anderson Cooper, Martha Raddatz, Chris Wallace and Lester Holt are your presidential debate moderators, although Brian Williams will later claim to have been there, too. A bunch of Trump campaign staffers are working for no pay, which gives you some insight into how he thinks that wall will get built. And Vladimir Putin told Bloomberg News he doesn’t favor any U.S. presidential candidate, but he did have “Сделайтe Америку Bеликой Снова” written on his eyelids, so. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, September 2nd, 2016:
WELCOME OUR CONQUERING DEBATE MODERATORS - It’s time for some lucky media personages to fire up Congrats Twitter with “some personal news.” Dylan Byers and Brian Stelter: “This year’s three presidential debates will be moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. The vice presidential debate moderator is Elaine Quijano of CBS News.” Congrats to these affluent media celebrities for obtaining yet another career milestone. [CNN]
TOP TRUMP STAFF WORKING FOR FREE. NOT GOOD! - Michelle Conlin and Grant Smith: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has run an unusually cheap campaign in part by not paying at least 10 top staffers, consultants and advisers, some of whom are no longer with the campaign, according to a review of federal campaign finance filings.” Apparently it is “unusual...for a campaign to have such a large group of people in top positions who are unpaid.” But I’m sure Trump knows what he’s doing. (Obviously, all unpaid Trump staffers are invited to stick with this trend and blog about their experiences for the Huffington Post!) [Reuters]
CLINTON ALLIES FEELING SWAGGY - How will she crush Trump? Let them count the ways. Annie Karni: “Advisers to Hillary Clinton’s campaign have identified so many paths to an Election Day victory they are now focusing not only on the one or two battlegrounds that would ensure a win but on opening up the possibility of an Electoral College landslide….’She is sitting at 269 electoral votes guaranteed right now,’ said David Plouffe, the architect of Barack Obama’s two victories and an outside adviser to Clinton’s campaign, including the battleground state of Pennsylvania in his count. ‘I would argue she is sitting at 347 but for argument’s sake we can suspend reality for a moment.’” [Politico]
DOES TRUMP EVEN KNOW HE’S LOSING? Alex Isenstadt: “The plan to get to 270 electoral votes remains unclear. The battleground state deployment plan is a work in progress. Money from big donors is slowing to a trickle. And aides are confused about who’s calling the shots. Donald Trump’s campaign is teetering, threatening to collapse under the weight of a candidate whose personality outweighs his political skill. And now, with 22 days until the start of early voting, the GOP nominee is running short on his most precious commodity: time.” [Politico]
DELICIOUS HELLSCAPE AWAITS UNDER LA PRESIDENTA CLINTON - The first hint was when she said that thing about carrying hot sauce in her purse. Ed Mazza: “Donald Trump won’t just deport undocumented immigrants. Apparently, he is also America’s best hope against the Great Taco Truck Menace. Latinos for Trump cofounder Marco Gutierrez issued the strange prophecy during a discussion of Trump’s proposal to deport millions…. ‘My culture is a very dominant culture,’ he warned. ‘And it’s imposing, and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re gonna have taco trucks every corner.’” ¡Un pollo in every pot and a taco truck in todos los garajes! [HuffPost]
That would amount to 3.2 million taco trucks, the Washington Post estimates, which still somehow doesn’t feel like enough taco trucks.
GRETCHEN CARLSON, AVENGING ANGEL - Turns out the lightly regarded Fox & Friends host was the person Roger Ailes should not have messed with. Gabriel Sherman: “A memorable Daily Show clip showed Carlson saying she needed to Google the words czar and ignoramus. But television is a deceptive medium. Off-camera, Carlson is a Stanford- and Oxford-educated feminist who chafed at the culture of Fox News.” Stick to pushing around Steve Doocy, that’s our advice. [New York]
A related whoopsie for fans of former Michael Dukakis staffers: “After news broke on the afternoon of July 19 that Kelly had come forward, Ailes’s lawyer Susan Estrich tried to send Ailes’s denial to Drudge but mistakenly emailed a draft of Ailes’s proposed severance deal, which Drudge, briefly, published instead.”
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BREITBART NEWS SURE SOUNDS LIKE A CHILL PLACE TO DO JOURNALISM: Former Breitbart staff collectively describe their boss, Steve Bannon ― now leading the Trump campaign ― as something of a holy terror but hey, at least he was erudite! Hadas Gold: “Two recounted Bannon’s use of nicknames for his staff ― cruel pejoratives that implied they were ‘expendable, low-life creatures,’ as one former employee characterized it. ‘Grundoon,’ the gibberish-speaking diapered groundhog from the comic strip Pogo, was a favorite, one former staffer said: ‘It refers to a low-life, a low-intelligence worker.’” We have met the enemy and he is our former boss. [Politico]
WE WILL TRANSMIT THIS INFORMATION FROM VLADIMIR - Vladimir Putin, Russia’s current president and Donald Trump’s future secretary of state, has some thoughts about the U.S. election. Ilya Arkhipov, John Micklethwait and Henry Meyer: “Putin denounced what he called playing ‘the anti-Russian card’ by the candidates as ‘shortsighted.’ He denied that his government was involved in hacking, sarcastically dismissing the DNC revelations as uninteresting, but said the breaches could be impossible to trace.” [Bloomberg]
THE YOUTHS LOVE THE BOOZE, THE HIP HOP, THE PUNK AND THE PANDORA - 79-year-old Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) has some weird and bad ideas about voter outreach. Amanda Terkel: “’What’s wrong with us people?’ Hastings said during a meeting with Florida Democratic activists Thursday, according to The Palm Beach Post. ‘We got that big old beach over there. And all you have to do is get some liquor and some punk rockers and some rappers and you’ll have all the kids you ever needed. But our old fogy behinds, we continue to not do the things that are necessary.’” [HuffPost]
THESE COPS ARE HAVING A BAD DAY - Hard to believe an Illinois politician had a run-in with the fuzz and wasn’t guilty of anything. Jeremy Gorner and Katherine Skiba: “U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush has filed a complaint saying he was racially profiled by Chicago police after two officers pulled him over while driving on the South Side in August, according to police sources and city records….The officers ran the plate on Rush’s Lexus and were told it was registered to a Cadillac, the sources said. The officers then stopped Rush shortly before 3 p.m. in the 4700 block of South King Drive, according to the sources and city records obtained by the Tribune through a Freedom of Information Act request.” [Chicago Tribune]
HERE’S WHAT TRUMP WILL SAY AT SOME BLACK PEOPLE - Yamiche Alcindor: “Instead of speaking to the congregation at Great Faith Ministries International, Mr. Trump had planned to be interviewed by its pastor in a session that would be closed to the public and the news media, with questions submitted in advance. And instead of letting Mr. Trump be his freewheeling self, his campaign prepared lengthy answers for the submitted questions, consulting black Republicans to make sure he says the right things. An eight-page draft script obtained by The New York Times shows 12 questions that Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, the pastor, intends to ask Mr. Trump in the taped question-and-answer session, as well as the responses Mr. Trump is being advised to give.” [NYT]
CONGRESS IS STILL TOTALLY BROKEN - They will return from recess with tons to do and no clear path to getting it done. Alexander Bolton: “Lawmakers are returning to Washington next week to confront an impasse over funding bills that threatens to cause a government shutdown, something Republican leaders want to avoid at all costs.” [The Hill]
PROBLEMATIC OLD MEN FOR HILLARY - Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman and Daniel Lippman: “When we were at Stanford a few weeks ago, former Secretary of State George Shultz acted viscerally when he was asked about the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. ‘God help us,’ he quipped. But during a visit with our colleagues John Harris and Bryan Bender yesterday, Shultz took it further, signaling that he was discussing issuing a joint endorsement of Hillary Clinton with Henry Kissinger. He didn’t say it directly, but he said ‘no’ when he was asked if there was still time for Trump to earn an endorsement. ‘We are going to do it together,’ Shultz told Harris and Bender in Palo Alto, speaking broadly of a possible endorsement.” [Politico]
BORING JOBS REPORT IS BORING - Lucia Mutikani: “U.S. employment growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of robust gains and wage gains moderated, which could effectively rule out an interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this month. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 151,000 jobs last month after an upwardly revised 275,000 increase in July, with hiring in manufacturing and construction sectors declining, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent as more people entered the labor market.” [Reuters]
OUCH - Saying a Jersey guy may as well be Southern is a good way to get punched by a Jersey guy. Rachael Bade: “Between his votes supporting the Confederate flag and stand against gay Republican candidates for Congress, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) has more in common with rural Alabamans than the people of northern New Jersey. At least, that’s the main message of a new, $162,000 House Majority PAC ad that will air online Friday and hit TV stations in his district Tuesday.” [Politico]
THIS MUST BE TRUMP’S DUMBEST FEUD, RIGHT? Literally no one cares about this but him. Paige Lavender: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump just won’t stop attacking MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that Scarborough was ‘a mess’ and accused Brzezinski of having ‘a mental breakdown’ on air.” [HuffPost]
FOOLISH CLINTON WASTES TIME ON POLICY - This could be key to winning the crucial voting bloc of racists who also have life-threatening allergies. Thomas Kaplan: “Amid an uproar over the steep increase in the cost of the EpiPen, a lifesaving injection device for people with severe allergies, Hillary Clinton announced a plan on Friday to crack down on unwarranted rises in price for prescription drugs that have long been available.” [NYT]
THAT’S A LOT OF SCRATCH - Paul Blumenthal: “Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton raised $143 million for her presidential campaign and the Democratic Party in August, according to a release from the campaign. The fundraising haul came from the combined efforts of Clinton’s official campaign committee and two joint fundraising committees, Hillary Victory Fund and Hillary Action Fund. The latter two raise money for the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party committees. The Clinton campaign took in $62 million while $81 million was directed to the Democratic National Committee and various state parties.” [HuffPost]
J/K SUPER PACS ARE GREAT! Add this to the list of things Trump is a huge liar and hypocrite about. Paul Blumenthal: “Donald Trump once denounced his Republican primary opponents as being “totally in cahoots” with the unlimited-money super PACs supporting their campaigns. But that was then, and this is now. This week, Trump announced he hired the man whose activism literally led to the creation of super PACs, and whose most recent gig was leading a pro-Trump super PAC. That man is David Bossie. The longtime head of the conservative nonprofit Citizens United is now Trump’s deputy campaign manager. Yes, that Citizens United.” [HuffPost]
(HONORARY) DELANEY DOWNER - Arthur is on paternity leave (adorbs!) but the world is still depressing and horrible. Ellen Cushing and Tamerra Griffin: “Brock Turner, a former student-athlete at Stanford University, was released from county jail on Friday after serving just three months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in January 2015.” [BuzzFeed]
MCCAIN IS READY FOR HILLARY - John McCain knows how to read polls and is too old to waste time pretending. Amber Phillips: “In a gauzy, five-minute YouTube video released Wednesday, McCain looks directly at the camera and says: ‘My opponent, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, is a good person. But if Hillary Clinton is elected president, Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check ― not a rubber stamp ― for the White House.’” [WashPost]
This thinking seems to be contagious.
FLORIDA HAS A LOT OF BAD PROBLEMS - Maybe this will kill the Zika mosquitos at least? Letitia Stein: “Wind and rain from Hurricane Hermine toppled trees and power lines along Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, inundating coastal areas with storm surges before it weakened to a tropical storm over land and plowed toward the Atlantic Coast on Friday. Hermine made landfall early on Friday near St. Marks, Florida, 20 miles south of the capital of Tallahassee, dumping heavy rains and packing winds of 80 mph (130 km/h), leaving tens of thousands of households without power along Florida’s Gulf Coast.” [Reuters]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR
MORE LIKE ‘TAKE WOBEGON’ - Who knew Garrison Keillor had such a nasty streak? This Trump column is brutal. “You own a lot of big houses and you wander around in them, followed by a waiter, a bartender, a masseuse, three housekeepers, and a concierge, and they probably gossip about you behind your back. Just like nine-tenths of your campaign staff. You’re losing and they know it and they’re telling mean stories about you to everybody and his brother.” [Chicago Tribune]
~ Mysterious Swiss kittycat leads hiker to safety.
~ Hikers repay feline kindness, rescue a whole bunch of cuddly kittens.
~ Bear family breaks into Pasadena yard, goes for a swim.
~ Thomas Edison made a cat video in 1894.
@MollyOShah: Taco truck on every corner, lesbian farmer takeover, army of Beyonces- I’m so down for the Republican dystopian future
@FanSince09: Just sent an email to the boss saying its disrespectful to our troops that we haven’t been let out early for Labor Day lets see what happens
@ArkansasFred: Know if your favorite player is sitting or standing during the national anthem with CBS Sports’ new RespectTracker, powered by Cisco.
Special thanks to Kate Sheppard and Irina Ivanova for their assistance with HuffPost Hill today.