POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Nomination Secured By Guy Who Sold Steaks In An Electronics Store

Donald Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination, so another William Kristol column declaring him a fad should arrive at any moment. The GOP killed its own water and energy spending bill — which is surprising as the Republican Party never cannibalizes itself. And Orrin Hatch used all he learned from his time beneath the weirwood tree with the three-eyed raven to predict the outcome of a future meeting with Merrick Garland. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, May 26th, 2016:


Congratulations, America! Donald Trump is officially the Republican nominee.

CONGRESS IS USING ZIKA TO SHOW HOW TERRIBLE CONGRESS IS - Mike McAuliff: "Congress managed to beat the Memorial Day vacation traffic by fleeing town on Thursday. But what it failed to do before taking 10 days off was pass a bill that gives health officials the funding they estimate they need to combat the Zika virus. What Congress did instead is offer an object lesson in what’s wrong with Congress, treating the need to respond to Zika not as a public health emergency that’s already affected more than 1,500 Americans, but as an opportunity to pass other things, usually things the public doesn’t want. It began in February when the Obama administration, advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asked Congress to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding to begin dealing with Zika. The virus is especially dangerous to pregnant women, who, according to a new study, have up to a 13 percent chance of delivering a baby with microcephaly. The idea had been to begin getting ready for the mosquitoes that carry Zika well before the start of summer breeding season, and to dramatically ramp up vaccine research, education and mitigation efforts. Congress decided that the administration already had enough money. The White House had to transfer $589 million from its successful, ongoing Ebola response to get started. And that’s when Congress started treating the still-standing funding request (the administration wants to replace that Ebola funding) as an opportunity." [HuffPost]

GOP KILLS ITS OWN WATER SPENDING BILL - Well, when you remember how fluoride transmits homosexuality, the rationale starts to make more sense. Jen Bendery and Matt Fuller: "House Republicans unexpectedly sunk their own $37.4 billion water and energy spending bill on Thursday because it included a provision ensuring that people who work for government contractors can’t be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The bill failed 112 to 305, with 130 Republicans and 175 Democrats opposing it. Nearly every Democrat voted against it, but that was expected. They’d raised concerns with riders in the bill that would undermine the Clean Water Act and allow people to carry firearms on Corps of Engineers lands. They also opposed language added late Wednesday by Republicans that would prevent the federal government from revoking funds to North Carolina over its controversial law affecting transgender people going to the bathroom." [HuffPost]

John Hickenlooper has some really awful socks.

ORRIN HATCH CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE -- WHY ISN'T ANYONE TALKING ABOUT THIS? Wake up, sheeple. Cristian Farias and Sam Stein: "Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in an op-ed published early Thursday morning that a meeting with Merrick Garland hadn’t persuaded him that Garland should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, despite the long history that the two men share. The meeting, however, had not actually taken place yet. Hatch and Garland were scheduled to sit down with each other on Thursday in a session that has been kept highly secret by both parties. But before that happened, the Deseret News published a piece by Hatch saying that he had come away unmoved in his belief that the next president should fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court...Hatch’s piece was published briefly at midnight, Utah time, and then deleted. The link was redirected to an error page, but a cached version remained accessible for everyone to see." [HuffPost]

Utterly arbitrary behavior is a great way to fight the Washington machine: "One of two Democrats who voted against giving D.C. control over its own tax dollars admits he did it by mistake. The GOP majority in the House voted Wednesday to strike down a ballot measure, passed overwhelmingly by D.C. voters in 2013, that would have given the District the power to allocate its own tax dollars (according to the Constitution, Congress has 'exclusive authority' to govern the federal district). Two Democrats broke ranks to join the Republicans: Jim Costa of California and Brad Ashford of Nebraska. The New Republic reached out to both congressmen for comment. Through his press secretary, Ashford declined to comment. Costa, meanwhile, said his vote was an accident." [TNR's Laura Reston]

Line of the day: “Wow, is that how people see me? I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about. I’m an artist, I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.” [Washingtonian]

DELANEY DOWNER - Christopher Cousins on Maine's continued wonderful treatment of food stamp recipients: "More than 3,000 Mainers face bills from the state or federal government because they received too much food stamp funding due to errors by the state. Some of those Mainers face reductions of up to 10 percent of their food stamp benefits, seizure of their income tax refunds or garnishment of up to 15 percent of their Social Security benefits. The Department of Health and Human Services said its own errors led to the overpayment of nearly $2 million to 2,257 Mainers in 2015, plus another $700,000 in overpayments to 811 Mainers in the first four months of 2016. 'You are receiving this letter because our records show that you owe us money,' reads a letter DHHS sent to one of the affected people in September 2015." Food stamps aren't exactly money, so good luck paying back the state money you don't have, Maine Food Stamp Recipients. [Bangor Daily News]

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 huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

TRUMP CINCHES NOMINATION, IMMEDIATELY OFFERS TO DEBATE PERSON WHO WON'T BE HIS OPPONENT - He crossed 1,237 today, per AP and NBC News. Harper Neidig: "Donald Trump on Thursday said he would 'love' to debate Bernie Sanders — as long as the event raised money for charity…'So what we can do, if we can raise for maybe women’s health issues or something — if we can raise 10 or 15 million dollars for charity, which would be a very appropriate amount. I understand the television business very well.'...The Sanders campaign told The Hill earlier Thursday that the Vermont senator is eager to make the debate happen, although the two sides had not discussed it." [The Hill]

If you haven't already, check out Howard Fineman's terrifying interview with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

HILLARY WILL BE THE NOMINEE BUT THIS IS SUPER WOMP WOMP-Y - Christopher Cadelago: "Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are in a virtual tie two weeks ahead of the primary election in California, with Sanders eliminating the modest advantage she held two months ago, according to a new statewide poll released late Wednesday. Clinton leads Sanders 46 percent to 44 percent among Democrats and independents likely to vote on June 7. Her narrowing primary edge in the Public Policy Institute of California survey is well within the margin of error. Clinton was topping Sanders 48 percent to 41 percent in March. 'Definitely the race has tightened up,' Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s president and chief executive, said in an interview." [Sacramento Bee]

AND THEN THEY CAME FOR THE JEWS - And I said nothing … because I was Jewish? Jessica Schulberg: "Trump still hasn’t spoken out against his anti-Semitic supporters, who also threatened New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman, called for the death of conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro and his children, and told conservative writer Bethany Mandel she deserved 'the oven.' That silence has both Trump’s neo-Nazi fans and his Jewish supporters convinced the candidate is secretly on their side. 'We interpret that as an endorsement,' Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, named for the Hitler-era tabloid Der Stürmer, told The Huffington Post in an email...And although many Jewish conservatives are disgusted that Trump’s campaign has invigorated and delighted fringe neo-Nazi groups, some top Jewish Republicans have decided to simply look the other way." [HuffPost]

Corporate America is clearly not going to stand up to Trump, by the way.

Your daily dose of nothing matters: "[A]t least three-dozen campaign contributors who gave money to both [Clinton and Trump], according to a Center for Public Integrity review of federal campaign finance filings…Professional poker player Daniel 'Miami Boss' Suied also likes Trump’s economic views. Suied, who gave Clinton’s campaign $500 last year at the behest of some Democratic Party friends in Florida, has also donated $367 to Trump’s campaign, including at least $200 in April. 'I was a huge fan of Bill Clinton,' Suied told the Center for Public Integrity. 'I like Trump now.'" [CPI's Michael Beckel]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a raccoon on a bike.

PETER THIEL: WHADDA GUY - Dude is totally landing himself a spot on No Label's board. Emily Peck: "The secretive tech billionaire who recently admitted to funding a lawsuit meant to crush the media company Gawker is known for having some radical opinions. But in an essay published in 2009, he surprised many when he wrote that giving women the right to vote — by constitutional amendment in 1920 — was a blow to democracy...Thiel is well known in the tech world: he an early funder of Facebook and sits on its board. His remarks on women earned the billionaire a lot of criticism at the time. That he also seemed to blame social security and other New Deal-era benefits for the decline of democracy — a fairly common conservative and libertarian view — got less attention. Cato later updated the essay and Thiel clarified that he does not want to disenfranchise women." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Racism is alive in well in Chinese commercial breaks.

- Great spoof of Netflix food documentaries.

TWITTERAMA

@MEPFuller: Whaddya think it's like to come to DC, take a tour of the Capitol, then have the first thing you watch on the House floor be #GohmertHour?

@emmaroller: I think our next president should be whoever actually uses an entire tub of salad greens before they go bad

@leighmunsil: “Mr. Trump, did you change your iPhone pin to 1-2-3-7?"

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com) or Arthur Delaney (arthur@huffingtonpost.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill).

CONVERSATIONS