Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!
Donald Trump’s inauguration was sparsely attended and marred by rain, but we hear the dress shops were absolutely swamped. In an alternate universe, we would all be chatting about how stupid Katy Perry’s rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was at Hillary’s inaugural ― but instead we’re just here hoarding canned beans. And protesters tore up the downtown of one of the most liberal cities in the country. They’ll presumably be trashing Ed Begley Jr.’s Prius next. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 20, 2017:
GULP - Donald Trump was sworn in as president and ― fun fact! ― we all might die. S.V. Date: “The nation’s 45th president promised Friday to put ‘America first’ in all aspects of his administration, painting a dark picture of ‘American carnage’ in an inaugural address that borrowed heavily from his stump speech. ‘We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power,’ President Donald Trump said in his 16-minute speech, delivered from the steps of the U.S. Capitol under gray skies and through light rain. ‘From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first.’ Inaugural addresses often attempt to cleave to a unifying theme that brings the country together. But Trump, as he has largely done since his victory in the 2016 election, instead continued with the ideas he pushed during his campaign: that the nation’s leaders have ignored its people, the military has been weakened and bad trade policies have stolen America’s wealth.” [HuffPost]
98-1: @jessicaschulb: Gen. James Mattis, out of uniform for 3.5 years, confirmed as Defense Secretary
Wow, George Will really did not like President Trump’s inaugural address.
TRUMP SCREWS HOMEOWNERS MINUTES INTO PRESIDENCY - We don’t know what we’re going to do with our airboats now that the swamp is drained. Ben Walsh and Paul Blumenthal: “With one of his first orders, President Donald Trump made it more expensive for working- and middle-class Americans to buy their first homes. The move will increase costs for 750,000 to 850,000 Americans in the next year alone, according to the National Association of Realtors...The reversal of the reduction will mean that homebuyers who borrow $200,000 under the program will see their mortgage insurance fees go up by $500 a year relative to what the Obama administration had ordered, according to figures released by the FHA when the cut was announced. The reduction was intended to help partially offset the cost of rising mortgage rates and was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 27. The government sells the insurance in case borrowers default. The mortgage industry’s main lobby group said when the cut was announced that it looked forward to working with the new administration on the issue. Congressional Republicans attacked the move, saying it would cut into the reserves the FHA held against defaults.” [HuffPost]
That whole bit was awkward: “Trump signed a law passed by Congress granting a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of Defense. He also signed documents making his Cabinet nominees official, and a document proclaiming a national day of patriotism...The president also signed the nomination for Rex Tillerson, joking he hoped his choice for secretary of State had already been confirmed. ‘This was for Rex,’ he said of the former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO. ‘I’m assuming he was approved today?’ ‘It’s coming through — right Chuck?’ Ryan asked Schumer to laughter. Schumer later responded ‘not that one, no thank you,’ when Ryan tried gifting him a pen used to formally nominate Betsy DeVos as Trump’s Education secretary.” [The Hill’s Mark Hensch]
‘AMERICA FIRST’ IS GREAT... - ...for talking about the Jewish Question, that is. Nick Bauman: “During Donald Trump’s campaign for president, the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, asked him to stop using the phrase ‘America First’ to describe his foreign policy views. As the ADL explained, the slogan was used by people who warned, ahead of World War II, that Jewish Americans were pushing the U.S. to enter the war because they put their own interests ahead of the country’s. But Trump never stopped using the slogan. And on Friday, he made it a key part of his inaugural address. ‘From this day forward,’ he proclaimed, ‘A new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.’ The crowd went wild. People who aren’t Jewish or familiar with the history may not realize this, but ‘America First’ makes many people deeply uncomfortable. In 1941, as members of the America First movement campaigned against U.S. involvement in World War II and expressed sympathy for the Nazis, plenty of people already knew that Jews were being persecuted in Hitler’s Germany. Even Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator who led the America First movement, knew it.” [HuffPost]
MOY-CHENDIZING! MOY-CHENDIZING! - Once again, allow us to voice our disappointment with the lack of t-shirt cannons. Rosalind S. Helderman: “On his first day in office, President Trump declared on the White House website that he would roll back a clean water rule that has been opposed as bad-for-business by a coalition that included his own golf courses. He also effectively became his own landlord at his Washington hotel, which his company rents from the federal government despite a lease that forbids benefits going to any elected official. And in his official biography on the White House website, Trump bragged of the success of the business he still owns and his book, The Art of the Deal, which remains for sale. Likewise, First Lady Melania Trump’s biography noted that her jewelry line is for sale on the television channel QVC and notes it is trademarked, a registration now overseen by a trademark office led by her husband. Trump’s first day as president was full of reminders that his administration will be entangled with his personal interests in a way unprecedented in presidential politics.” [WaPo]
Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
HMMMM, WONDER IF THIS WILL GO AWAY NOW - Besides, who needs a fully staffed FBI when you have the FSB, y’know? “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts. It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.” [NYT]
TRUMP’S SPEECH SPOOKS WALL STREET - Ben White: “Wall Street did not exactly celebrate President Donald Trump’s deeply populist inaugural address on Friday, with the stock market losing some of its early gains as the 45th president spoke darkly of ‘American carnage’ and promised a new era of trade protectionism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 100 points before Trump took the oath of office but began slipping as the new president promised to protect the country from foreign trade. That was a signal to investors that harsh rhetoric from the campaign trail could soon be policy reality…’Overall, that was a more protectionist and nationalist speech than I expected,’ said Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife Asset Management. ‘Rather than unifying the country after one of the most divisive elections in U.S. history, he highlighted how bad things are in the U.S. economy and engaged in scaremongering, which was consistent with his campaign.’” [Politico]
GODDAMNIT, ANARCHISTS - Those trash cans had families! Jessica Gresko, Michael Biesecker and Jeff Horwitz: “Protesters registered their rage against the new president Friday in a chaotic confrontation with police who used pepper spray and stun grenades in a melee just blocks from Donald Trump’s inaugural parade. Scores were arrested for trashing property and attacking officers while a burning limousine sent clouds of black smoke into the sky during Trump’s procession. Several spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, ‘Resist Trump Climate Justice Now,’ ‘Let Freedom Ring,’ ‘Free Palestine.’ But about a mile from the National Mall, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald’s as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters and eventually cordoned off protesters at 12th and L streets in northwest Washington.” [AP]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog comforting a small child.
THAT TIME ‘QVC’ SNUCK INTO THE WHITE HOUSE’S WEBSITE - But when will the East Room be used to film a Slap Chop infomercial? Kelsey Snell: “Visitors to the newly revamped White House website get more than a simple rundown of first lady Melania Trump’s charitable works and interests — they also get a list of her magazine cover appearances and details on her jewelry line at QVC. Trump’s biography starts with traditional details such as her date of birth in her native country of Slovenia and information about her background as a model. That’s when the brief backgrounder takes a promotional turn. The website includes a lengthy list of brands that hired her as a model and several of the magazines in which she appeared, including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It is not uncommon for the White House to note the accomplishments of the first lady in her official biography, but Trump’s decision to include a detailed list of her media appearances is unusual. The site also lists the brand names of Trump’s jewelry lines sold on QVC, at a time when questions have been raised by critics about the ethical implications of the family’s business entanglements. ‘Melania is also a successful entrepreneur. In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, ‘Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry,’ on QVC,” the site reads.” [WaPo]
- Wow, Bill Withers had some lungs.
- 2016 wasn’t just awful, it stunk.
- What happens to your body when you die in space? A good primer for those of you thinking about hurling yourself into the ether.
@aparnapkin: You know Donald Trump chair-dancing to Three Doors Down was def. something Nostradamus foresaw, but was like “No way I’m writing that down.”
@HayesBrown: 12:01 PM
OBAMA: [lights the fattest blunt of his entire life]
Flawless anarchist plan:
1) Break windows in 94% Dem city
3) Overthrow capitalism
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (email@example.com)