The Huffington Post announced that its Donald Trump coverage would be filed to the Entertainment section, and in an unrelated announcement the company said its entire politics staff had switched to the Entertainment section. After President Obama, Michael Grimm plans to be the next politician to visit a federal prison. And Gawker Media performed an unthinkable feat, publishing a story that Glenn Greenwald and Charles Johnson both condemned. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 17th, 2015:
DONALD TRUMP IS BIFF TANNEN - With Laura Barron-Lopez: "Donald Trump is Biff Tannen from "Back to the Future Part II," and we're in the future now. In the classic 1989 movie, the villainous Biff gets rich when he takes a trip to the future and nabs a sports almanac from the year 2015. When Marty McFly, the film's hero, travels to a dystopian 2015, he encounters a rich Biff: a blonde, casino-owning jackass living in a Vegas-style palace." [HuffPost]
GAWKER ATTEMPTS TO GAY-SHAME, MANAGES INSTEAD TO SHAME ITSELF - Glenn Greenwald: "Last night, Gawker published one of the sleaziest and most repugnant articles seen in quite some time from an outlet of its size and stature. The story had no purpose other than to reveal that the male, married-to-a-woman Chief Financial Officer of a magazine company -- basically an executive accountant -- hired a male escort. When the escort discovered the real-life identity of his prospective client – he’s the brother of a former top Obama official -- he began blackmailing the CFO by threatening to expose him unless he used his political connections to help the escort in a housing discrimination case he had against a former landlord. Gawker completed the final step of the blackmail plot by publishing the text messages between the two and investigating and confirming the identity of the client, all while protecting the identity of the blackmailing escort. I don’t want to reward them or contribute in any way to this disgrace by linking to it: Google it if you must." Actually, you can't, because Gawker took the extraordinary step of taking it down, giving no other reason than the story sucked.
Ted Cruz says he will block all of Obama's State Department nominees over the Iran deal.
JOE BIDEN REALLY MIGHT RUN FOR PRESIDENT - Grim: "Vice President Joe Biden is still very much considering a bid for the White House, people close to Biden say, and will make a final decision at the end of the summer, targeted for September. The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for early February, meaning Biden would have roughly four months to barnstorm the first-in-the-nation state, before the contest turned to New Hampshire. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton has faced a surprisingly tough challenge from democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, who is within striking distance in Iowa, despite not being registered as a Democrat, and trailing far behind in establishment support. Sanders' surge suggests Clinton could be once again beatable in a Democratic primary. 'He has said he would announce his decision at the end of the summer,' said Ted Kaufman, a former Democratic senator from Delaware and longtime aide to Biden, when asked about Biden's plans."
WARREN TALKS SHIRTLESS, PILL-SLINGING SCOTT BROWN AT NETROOTS - The liberal blogger convention was held in Phoenix this year, which we took as a subtle message that our presence was not needed. But Elizabeth Warren went. "The guy who was Senator from Massachusetts five years ago now sends around shirtless pictures of himself and sells diet pills. Seriously, look it up....I know there was some controversy about being in Arizona, and not because it’s hot enough out there to melt your flip flops. So I want to start, right off the bat, as loud as I can. No ifs, no ands, no buts: Arizona’s SB 10-70 is a stupid law. It’s stupid, it’s racist, it’s unconstitutional, and it should be struck down. And let’s say loud and clear to the Republicans: if you truly want to do something about immigration, then get out of the way, get on the right side of history, and let us pass comprehensive immigration reform." [HuffPost]
OBAMA SENDING MILITARY-GRADE SPY GEAR TO EGYPT - What could go wrong? Akbar Ahmed, Ali Watkins, and Sophia Jones: "President Barack Obama's State Department has approved the sale to Egypt of a sophisticated, military-grade mobile surveillance system that experts and activists fear Cairo's authoritarian regime will use against the country's citizens. The State Department says that Egypt will only use the system on the Egyptian border with war-torn Libya, where a branch of the Islamic State group is mushrooming. But the current Egyptian government sees domestic critics as existential threats at least on par with the extremist group. With the world's largest Arab nation still reeling from the consequences of a 2013 military coup that removed Egypt's first democratically elected president, controversial Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, the country's government is cracking down on dissent. And the Arab Spring showed that repressive regimes in the Middle East can and will use U.S.-provided equipment against their own citizens, argued Cole Bockenfeld, the advocacy director at the Project on Middle East Democracy. 'We may have an agreement that this kind of equipment is for external use only, but of course these security services did -- and can again -- turn it anywhere,' Bockenfeld said. The State Department won't say exactly what the surveillance system will do." [HuffPost]
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) stopped by our weekly politics podcast, lamented the lack of bankers behind bars.
MICHAEL GRIMM GOING TO PRISON - With good behavior he should be able to break his sentence in half. Stephanie Clifford: "Michael G. Grimm, a former New York congressman who resigned from office after pleading guilty to tax fraud, was given an eight-month sentence on Friday. A federal investigation that initially focused on Mr. Grimm’s campaign fund-raising turned into a 20-count indictment related to his running of a restaurant in Manhattan, Healthalicious. Prosecutors said he underreported wages and revenue to the government and filed false tax documents as a result. 'I was wrong, absolutely wrong, to pay them off the books,' Mr. Grimm said at the proceeding, just before he was sentenced by Judge Pamela K. Chen of Federal District Court in Brooklyn." [NYT]
TAN SUIT: Nick Baumann
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - New Mexico is the latest state cracking down on food stamps for unemployed able-bodied adults without children, although the state's idea of "without children" might be kinda fuzzy. "A single mother said the proposed changes to SNAP would break her. The state wants people with children older than 6 and no job to do 80 hours of community service a month to stay on food stamps. Salina Blea said this isn’t the life she wants to live. She and children live with her brother. 'It’s difficult. We share a bedroom. My son is 13, my daughter is 8 and there's me,' she said. She’s unemployed, and uses SNAP benefits to feed her family. Blea said she’s applied for several jobs, but has had no luck." [KOAT.com]
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BILL CLINTON IS SORRY - Marina Fang and Amber Ferguson: "As president, Bill Clinton was wrong about Wall Street deregulation and various elements of his foreign policy, pushed trade policies that painfully drove up drug prices around the world, sowed chaos in Mexico through his prosecution of the drug war and exacerbated the problem of mass incarceration through an overly punitive approach to sentencing. It may be a harsh judgment, but it's one that carries weight considering the source: former President Bill Clinton. Unlike a lot of politicians, Clinton has shown a willingness to own up to his mistakes." Check out our list of Bill Clinton oopsies.
TRUMP!!!! Journalists spent all day whining on Twitter about HuffPost's announcement that we would be covering Donald Trump as entertainment instead of politics. Here's what Trump himself said: "The only clown show in this scenario is the Huffington Post pretending to be a legitimate news source. Mr. Trump is not focused on being covered by a glorified blog. He is focused on Making America Great Again." Thanks, Donald!
STEVE KING, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN - Roque Planas: "U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) either thinks he’s Latino or that Julian Castro, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former mayor of San Antonio, is not. Responding to a quote from Castro that said the 'GOP can kiss the Latino vote goodbye,' King tweeted about his own ethnicity: '@SteveKingIA: What does Julian Castro know? Does he know that I'm as Hispanic and Latino as he?'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Watch this basketball fall far.
CHRIS CHRISTIE SAYS LIBERAL POLICIES STABBED A GUY TO DEATH - Amanda Terkel: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) went after the failure of 'liberal policies' Thursday during a speech on criminal justice, saying they failed to prevent the death of Kevin Sutherland, a 24-year-old who was murdered on the Washington, D.C. metro on July 4. The reference to Sutherland's death left Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) disgusted. Sutherland was an intern for Himes in late 2013, and the congressman said in a statement Friday that he deserved better than to be used for partisan shots. 'Kevin Sutherland was a friend of mine,' said Himes. "He was an intern on my campaign and in my Congressional office. I am friends with his parents. By speaking about Kevin Sutherland and his family in this way, Christie has once again shown himself nothing more than a pure opportunist with no sense of decency and a severely distorted idea of right and wrong.'" [HuffPost]
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- Alejandro González Iñárritu’s latest film, “The Revenant,” features Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy with grizzly beards.
- How not to say ”Happy Birthday.”
@owillis: if journalism was all about the audience's base demands it would be boobs and puppies and kittens and fail vids all around
@mattyglesias: Unfortunately, outing someone and ruining their marriage is kind of a “no backsies” situation.
@mileskahn: Anyone know where I can find some Ant-Man/Insect erotic fan fiction? Asking for a friend.
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