POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Terry McAuliffe Will Raise Bail Like A Pro

Hillary Clinton’s stump speech is painfully unoriginal and also it rained today. Terry McAuliffe is mired in allegations of campaign impropriety and also it rained today. And Democrats are getting increasingly anxious about a handful of bad polls . . . and also it rained today. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, May 23rd, 2016:

UGH TERRY MCAULIFFE - Somewhere, McAuliffe is giddily checking off "Be investigated" from the "Things Bill and I have in common!!! :-) :-)" checklist he keeps in his bedside drawer. Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown: "Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department's public integrity unit, U.S. officials briefed on the probe say. The investigation dates to at least last year and has focused, at least in part, on whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law, the officials said. McAuliffe wasn't notified by investigators that he is a target of the probe, according to the officials… As part of the probe, the officials said, investigators have scrutinized McAuliffe's time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a vehicle of the charitable foundation set up by former President Bill Clinton." [CNN]

TRUMP COULD WIN - Eliot was in Montreal this weekend -- it's a lovely city! Natalie Jackson: "But there are also indications that the 2016 general election won’t be all that different from the early polls. Republicans will vote for the Republican candidate, Democrats will vote for the Democratic candidate and the election will come down to a handful of battleground states. In short, Trump might fail — his polling bump could be short-lived. He could lose in a close race. But he could also win this election.Despite the overarching narrative of a fractured Republican Party elite, most national and state-level general election polls are showing that most Republican voters support Trump. The numbers are pretty similar to the proportion of Democrats who indicate they will support Hillary Clinton. The most recent national polls show nearly identical degrees of support for Clinton and Trump from respondents in their respective parties." [HuffPost]

HILLARY APING RUBIO - Clinton’s stump speech has become so painfully derivative that we suspect it will soon devolve into a series of burps and "Scandal" references. Chris Megerian: "Hillary Clinton took some new swipes at Donald Trump in a Monday speech to a powerful labor union, saying that his checkered track record in the business world shows he's not the right choice for the presidency. 'He could bankrupt America like he’s bankrupted his companies,' she said. 'I mean, ask yourself, how can anybody lose money running a casino?' The comments, which Clinton made at an SEIU convention in Detroit, were a reference to Trump's history as a casino owner in Atlantic City, N.J., which involved multiple stints in bankruptcy court." [LA Times]

Rubio said this. DELANEY DOWNER - Scott Smith, the guy Mark Ruffalo put in charge of his nonprofit, Water Defense, is warning Flint's water is unsafe for bathing while simultaneously promoting a proprietary sponge technology he invented. It's called the "WaterBug," and it soaks up money. Opflex Environmental Technologies, his former company, manufactures the materials used for the WaterBug and Smith gets royalties on sales of those materials, according to a company spokesman. The spokesman confirmed Water Defense purchased Opflex materials to create the WaterBug. “[Smith] gets a royalty payment, so it’s in his and our interest if he can find end uses and promote the product,” said the spokesman. “We’d make more and sell more, then his royalty payments go up.” You guys, it's called a nonprofit... [HuffPost]

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TOUGH ROAD AHEAD FOR RYAN - If there's one thing the American people are looking for in congressional candidates, it's one who supports the Education and Labor Committee having its full say during a FY 2017 markup. Rachael Bade: "Paul Ryan vowed when he took the speaker’s gavel last fall that the era of top-down, get-in-line leadership was over . . . But now the speaker’s commitment to 'regular order' is being tested. Last week, conservatives twisted Ryan’s (R-Wis.) arm into allowing panel hearings on impeaching the IRS commissioner, a move GOP leadership has never supported. Then, a gay rights amendment to a spending bill blew up on the House floor, forcing Republicans to run a last-minute whip operation to switch a handful of GOP votes and defeat the measure...It’s a reminder just how risky 'regular order' can be. On the one hand, empowering committees and allowing House votes on even controversial amendments affords lawmakers more independence and leeway to advance their own ideas, promoting good will. But it also means tough votes that can embarrass the party or trip-up lawmakers trying to survive re-elections in November." [Politico]

CORKER MEETS WITH TRUMP, SKIRTS VEEPSTAKES Qs - We're still hoping that the Naked Cowboy gets a vetting. Ian Swanson: "Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he had no reason to think he was being considered for vice president after meeting on Monday in New York with Donald Trump. Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, didn’t rule out serving as Trump’s vice presidential candidate or in his Cabinet, but characterized his meeting with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee as a getting-to-know-one-another session. 'I have no reason whatsoever to think that I am being considered' for vice president, Corker told reporters outside Trump Tower...Corker said the two men talked about China and Russia during their meeting. He said he believes allies and rivals of the United States are taking note of Trump’s rise — something Corker characterized as a positive." [The Hill]

ACTIVIST INVESTORS LAUNCH LOBBYING CAMPAIGN - Think of it as "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" but with more dudes who think the Princeton Club has really gone downhill in recent years. David Benoit: "Billionaire investors Paul Singer, Carl Icahn, Barry Rosenstein, William Ackman and Daniel Loeb are setting aside their political differences to launch a Washington-based lobbying group to fight mounting attacks on shareholder activism. Dubbed the Council for Investor Rights and Corporate Accountability, or Circa, it is the first coordinated effort by activists to make their case to lawmakers and the American public that their investment strategy helps, rather than harms, companies and the U.S. economy. The lobbying push comes as debate over the merits of activist investing spills over into the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton last year proposed changing the tax code to crack down on 'hit and run' activists. In March, Bernie Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, co-signed legislation aimed at their ability to buy stakes and influence companies." [WSJ]

LEFTY ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSING WAGE RULE - Never have so many people who drive Dodge Neons been so opposed to such a move. Dave Jamieson: "A network of left-leaning public-interest groups has come out in opposition to the Obama administration’s new overtime rule, prompting charges of hypocrisy from progressives who back the rule. U.S. PIRG, a coalition of state nonprofits around the U.S., issued a statement last week saying the new overtime regulations would hamstring its efforts to hold corporations accountable. The new overtime rule will expand overtime eligibility to millions of workers who currently don’t qualify. 'Organizations like ours rely on small donations from individuals to pay the bills. We can’t expect those individuals to double the amount they donate,' the group said in its statement...The share of salaried workers eligible for overtime pay is a fraction of what it used to be in the U.S. By updating the rules to make them more generous to workers, the Obama administration will be giving employers a tough choice: Either limit the workers’ hours to 40 per week, or pay them time-and-a-half for any extra hours they work." [HuffPost]

SUPREME COURT THROWS OUT DEATH SENTENCE - Cristian Farias: "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Georgia prosecutors discriminated on the basis of race when they excluded two black prospective jurors from serving in the trial of a black defendant facing the death penalty. Timothy Foster had argued that the exclusion of African-Americans from the jury tasked with weighing his case violated the Constitution, which prohibits states from using what are known as peremptory strikes to leave out jurors because of their skin color ... [the 7-1 sentence] effectively [threw] out Foster’s sentence, which was reached by an all-white jury. Peremptory strikes allow lawyers for both sides to strike jurors for any reason other than a discriminatory purpose. But after Foster death sentence was final, his legal team had uncovered 'an arsenal of smoking guns' in his case -- namely, notes from the trial in which prosecutors weren’t so subtle about their exclusion of potential jurors on the basis of race." [HuffPost]

REMEMBER ROD BLAGOJEVICH? HE'S STILL IN JAIL - Reuters: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected for the second time flamboyant former two-term Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's appeal of convictions on corruption charges including attempted extortion, wire fraud and other crimes. The court denied a request by Blagojevich to reconsider its March decision not to take up his appeal of a July 2015, ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld most of his convictions. Prosecutors said Blagojevich was at the center of a conspiracy to seek cash, campaign contributions and jobs for himself and others in exchange for state appointments, state business, legislation and pension fund investments." [Reuters]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a tryannical cat.

ENJOY THIS HEALTHY SERVING OF FFS - BureaucratsWithNoPoliticalAcumen.Tumblr.com. Sarah Westwood: "Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday compared the length of time veterans wait to receive health care at the VA to the length of time people wait for rides at Disneyland, and said his agency shouldn't use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn't either. 'When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what's important? What's important is, what's your satisfaction with the experience?' McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. 'And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.'" [Examiner] COMFORT FOOD

- How not to die.

- The "Game of Thrones" intro recreatedwith mold spores.

- Time-lapse footage of a pumpkin's growth.

TWITTERAMA

@TomKludt: REPORTER: This is corruption of the highest order, and we have the sourcing to back it up. EDITOR: Is there a Game of Thrones angle for us?

@skoczela: Trump will fade: Jun-After initial bump Sep-Soon Dec-When voting starts Feb-When field shrinks Mar-When it's 1 v 1 May-When Sanders gets out @mckaycoppins: It's strange to think about how lovingly pundits and political commentators from left to right would treat a Romney protest candidacy.

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