HUFFPOST HILL - 'Was It Over When The Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?' Freedom Caucus Asks

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Barack Nobama is at it again with handouts, and all the prisoners whose sentences he commuted will no doubt become dependent upon all their newfound agency. Hillary Clinton is already preparing for the debates, punching a giant slab of meat, running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and pretending to debate a giant slab of meat. And all the cool kids in the Freedom Caucus know that overthrowing Paul Ryan is the new cool quixotic agenda ― defunding Obamacare is soooooo 2012. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 30th, 2016:

OBAMA COMMUTES 111 FEDERAL SENTENCES - Smash cut to 2018 when President Trump is trying to find the warden from “Shawshank Redemption” to run his Justice Department. Ryan Reilly: “President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 federal prisoners on Tuesday as part of an initiative aimed at shortening the prison stays of individuals incarcerated under the nation’s harsh drug laws. The White House said that the commutations brought Obama’s total for the month of August to 325, the most commutations granted in a single month in United States history. The total number of prisoners who met the administration’s criteria for clemency is believed to be around 1,500. So far, Obama has granted clemency to 673 individuals. Advocates have called on the administration to do much more.” [HuffPost]

THAT TIME DONALD TRUMP FOUGHT WITH BARRY MANILOW - Look out, ISIS. Cristian Farias: “In early 1994, [Trump] rose to defend [Atlantic City] against a surprising villain: Barry Manilow. The singer had just pulled out of a concert that was part of then Gov.-elect Christie Todd Whitman’s pre-inaugural festivities at the Atlantic City Convention Center, saying he didn’t want his show interpreted as an endorsement of the incoming Republican governor. Whitman’s team, scrambling after the last-minute diss, reached out to Trump, who was ready with a seemingly fair substitution: Singer Paul Anka was scheduled to play at the Trump Plaza, and Trump agreed to let him move across the street to appear at the convention center instead. Ticketholders for the Manilow show could either bask in the smooth sounds of Anka or receive a refund. But many of them were furious. Trump didn’t let Manilow off the hook so easily, either. In a little-known interview that aired on local TV, Trump ― with his then-wife Marla Maples standing beside him ― unloaded on the ‘Copacabana’ singer in a tirade that turned offensive enough for the station to censor several seconds.” [HuffPost]

TEAM HILLARY PSYCHOANALYZING TRUMP - “Get me CNN’s finest body language experts!” Patrick Healy and Matt Flegenheimer: “Hillary Clinton’s advisers are talking to Donald J. Trump’s ghostwriter of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in a generation. Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage.They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Mr. Trump’s performances in the Republican primary debates, cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.” [NYT]

OH, LOOK, ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO OUST PAUL RYAN - We miss this heady days of battling over silverware in the House cafeterias. Matt Fuller: “Conservatives don’t have enough votes to oust Ryan (R-Wis.). But they say their coup movement shows his hold on the speakership is far more tenuous than he realizes. Denying Ryan re-election on the first ballot would undermine his political future and cast him as a conservative pariah, they say, and may give conservatives leverage to enact rules changes that would help them push their agenda for years. “If he loses the speaker election, he’s not going to be president,” one conservative member told The Huffington Post on Monday. Conservatives hold no illusion of preventing Ryan from remaining speaker (or, you know, becoming president), according to the eight Republicans HuffPost interviewed on Monday. That there is coup chatter at all, however, suggests Ryan’s relationship with conservatives is already fraying, less than a year into his speakership.” [HuffPost]

Remixing Ryan: “So we can certainly understand why Ryan would want to re-use his own Republican National Convention speech to hype his party in a cool video ― and why his mini-movie would totally avoid the man of honor at that convention. After all, Ryan wants the GOP to maintain control of the House (and he already has problems with his own members, some of whom want to take his job away). In short, he needs Republican voters to turn out. But that doesn’t mean Ryan should be allowed to have it both ways on Trump. The Huffington Post made this remix of his video to remind everyone of the guy this election is really about.” [HuffPost’s Jeffrey Young and Christine Conetta]

ASSUME GARLAND DEAD? Maybe not. Sam Levine: “Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appears to have softened his stance on holding confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court…’I, myself, could not do that, based upon the letter that we sent, that the new president should make the appointment. And 52 senators, a majority of the Senate, right of that same position,’ he said. ‘If we have the election, and there was a majority of the Senate changed their mind about doing it in the lame duck, as opposed to January 20, I don’t feel that I could stand in the way of that. But I don’t think I can promote that idea,’ he continued.” [HuffPost]

HISTORY’S GREATEST GOVERNOR STILL INCREDIBLE- The guy who regularly answered the question, “what would’ve it been like if Carl Paladino won?” might bow out. Amanda Terkel: “Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is in hot water for calling a Democratic legislator a ‘little son of a bitch, socialist cocksucker.’ The situation is so bad ― and members of his party are so mad at him ― that he said Tuesday he is considering resigningbefore the end of his term in 2018. (He later walked back that speculation.)  Republican leaders in the state met with the governor Monday to explore what ‘corrective action’ he can take, and one GOP legislator floated censuring him.” [HuffPost]

WELL, OK - Sam Levine: “Someone using an email address connected to Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump’s doctor, apparently doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to cash in on the GOP presidential nominee’s campaign. Bornstein wrote a letter in December saying Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” The doctor told NBC News on Friday that he had written the letter in five minutes while a limo waited outside. A Huffington Post reader pointed out that the letter mentioned a website that wasn’t actually registered until several months after the endorsement of Trump’s health was written, so I sent an email on Saturday afternoon to the Gmail address listed in the letter’s header.  Someone replied from the address a little after 1 a.m. on Sunday, saying he or she wanted money to talk. ‘325 per hour in advance,’ the person wrote.” [HuffPost]

WE’RE DE-BLACKLISTED (SORT OF)! - Hadas Gold: “The print pool rotation for covering Donald Trump will include outlets that his campaign has blacklisted. BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, POLITICO and The Washington Post are among the blacklisted outlets that will be part of the pool rotation, which begins this week. BuzzFeed is the first outlet to act as official print pooler, through which reporters send out shared reports about Trump’s activities to the rest of the outlets on the pool rotation. ‘We just wanted to thank you for your patience over the past few weeks,’ reads an email sent to the Trump pool list, which will be managed by reporters from The New York Times and Time magazine. ‘But we are pleased to announce that after some start-and-stop negotiations with the Trump campaign, we are debuting our full print pool this week, starting with BuzzFeed today in Washington.’” [Politico]

LITTLE MARCO STILL HAS GRAND AMBITIONS - Sam Levine: “ Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he can’t commit to serving a full term in the Senate if voters re-elect him this year. ‘No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future is gonna hold in your life, personally or politically,’ Rubio told CNN. ‘I can commit to you this: That is that if I am running to be a U.S. senator, I am fully prepared to allow the U.S. Senate to be the last political office I ever hold.’ Rubio sought the GOP presidential nomination this year but dropped out of the race in March, shortly after losing the primary in his home state. During his presidential primary campaign, he said he wouldn’t seek a second Senate term or run for Florida governor in 2018. He broke his pledge in June, saying the stakes in the election were too high for him not to run. Republican leaders also reportedly urged him to launch a Senate campaign, fearing the party could lose Rubio’s seat to Democrats. Rubio, who was elected in 2010, has an awful Senate attendance record, which he had to defend on the presidential campaign trail.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a kitten giving it its all

PETER THIEL’S PARENTS MUST BE SO PROUD - It must put the Republicans in a slightly awkward position to have one of its biggest presidential surrogates be such an icon in the trial lawyer community. “In the wake of Gawker.com’s downfall, a host of start-ups are rushing to bring litigation finance to Main Street with a business model that could have far-reaching ramifications for both investors and the legal system. Until the news broke that tech billionaire Peter Thiel was funding former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan’s suit against (now-defunct) gossip blog Gawker for outing him as gay nearly a decade ago, most people were unaware that third parties — traditionally, hedge funds — could bankroll a lawsuit against a person or business As a result, start-ups in the field of litigation-finance investment have gained prominence, with a simple pitch to investors: Put up as little as $5,000 to fund lawsuits, and make money.” [NBC News]


- 1991 high school fashion show captures the most tubular looks of the period.

- Super Mario World in Dominos.

- Vladimir Putin was arrested in West Palm Beach, in case you didn’t hear.


@morninggloria: Rudy Guiliani Takes On Shonda Rhimes: ‘You Want Scandal, Honey, Come To New York! The Big Apple!’ (is dragged off by Applebee’s security)

@timothypmurphy: It is literally very funny that instead of Marco Rubio the GOP nominated a guy who thinks the president is named “Barry Soweto”

@MEPFuller: I find there’s a direct relationship between uber drivers not using AC and uber drivers driving badly.
I have a great brand why do you ask?

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