POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Leia Dies

A major PR shop closing over sexual harassment charges and the DNC mired in a data breach had liberals in a tizzy, but it’s nothing that a gazillion panels on coalition building filled with “digital strategists” can’t solve. Thirty percent of Republican voters want to bomb the fictional realm from “Aladdin,” while an indeterminate number of Dems take issue with its genie lamp internment. And the next Democratic primary debate is tomorrow night, undoubtedly an attempt to attract that most elusive of voting blocs: people staying home watching “Criminal Minds” reruns. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, December 18th, 2015:

CLINTON/SANDERS DATA BREACH FIGHT GETTING REAL, Y'ALL - LIBERAL FIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!! *Gets out olive oil and paprika dusted popcorn* Samantha Lachman: "The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) threatened to sue the Democratic National Committee on Friday if the committee did not restore access to its national voter database. The DNC has alleged that staffers from Sanders' campaign viewed, downloaded and exported confidential data from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's voter file after they discovered a breach in the database, which is maintained by the committee and rented out to the campaigns. The breach, which on Wednesday made Clinton's proprietary voter data visible to others through a bug in code, originated with the technology company NGP VAN. In the aftermath of the discovery of the breach, the DNC suspended Sanders' campaign from accessing the database, and the Sanders campaign fired one of the staffers, national data director Josh Uretsky. The DNC said the campaign wouldn't have access to its voter data until it provides an explanation of the episode and proves that Clinton's data had been discarded...In a press conference Friday outside Sanders headquarters near the Capitol, Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver...argued that the DNC 'is now actively attempting to undermine our campaign.'" [HuffPost]

Prediction: This whole thing ends with a lot of out-of-work people with "Dem Comms/Data guru" in their Twitter bios.

OBAMA HOLDS LACKLUSTER END-OF-YEAR PRESSER, SEEMS TO TAKE CUE FROM CHARLIE BROWN'S TEACHER - Corky Siemaszko: "President Obama dispelled any notion Friday that he intends to be a lame duck president and pledged that in 2016, 'I'm going to leave it all out on the field.' 'We still have some unfinished business,' an upbeat Obama said at what's likely to be his last press conference of the year before flying off to Hawaii for a family Christmas vacation. That business includes tackling the rise of ISIS and attacks inspired by the terrorist group. 'We're going to defeat ISIS,' the president said." Obama also wouldn't rule out unilaterally closing GITMO. [NBCNews]

Obama omnibus comments or half-hearted Yelp review? “There are some things in there that I don’t like.”

OBAMACARE DOING STUFF - Jeffrey Young: "Six million people have enrolled in private health insurance plans through the federal exchange marketplace on HealthCare.gov since Nov. 1, President Barack Obama said Friday. Notably, 2.4 million of those enrollees are new to the health insurance exchanges this year, and the remainder are current customers who visited the website to comparison shop for coverage that takes effect next year. The tally doesn't include millions of other currently covered people who will automatically be renewed in their plans because they didn't choose a different one. 'Years of steady implementation of the Affordable Care Act helped to drive the rate of the uninsured in America below 10 percent for the first time since records were kept on that,' Obama said Friday." [HuffPost]

***BURN WARD***

GET OUT YER ALOE: RUBIO UNVEILS NEW BURN - If we were Sheldon Adelson, we'd be deeply concerned by Rubio allotting resources to developing burns against a guy polling at near-Pataki levels. Rubio said Rand is "the only person running who likes politics so much, he's running for two offices at the same time." [@SabrinaSiddiqui]

STOP, DROP AND ROLL, JEB! realDonaldTrump: I have an idea for @JebBush whose campaign is a disaster. Try using your last name & don’t be ashamed of it!

PAUL RYAN BURNS STATUS QUO: A KEN BURNS DOCUMENTARY - We just got this from the Speaker's office:
"A long time ago in a Congress far, far away…
...wasteful spending riders known as earmarks were commonplace.
But, in reality, it wasn’t that long ago." OWWW!!!!!

Haircuts: Dave Jamieson (h/t Eliot Nelson), Eliot Nelson (h/t Eliot Nelson).

DELANEY DOWNER - Why is Flint's water crisis so dang bad? Lead poisoning is less prominent as a public health concern than it used to be thanks to a decades-long effort to reduce lead exposure in children, especially from paint and gasoline. But lead poisoning itself is no less serious, because once a small child is poisoned, they can't be cured. "We've been so aggressive about this because of what it can do to the whole life course trajectory of a child," Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician, told "So That Happened," the HuffPost Politics podcast. "Because [lead is] a neurotoxin, it affects your brain, it affects your development, it drops your IQ," Hanna-Attisha said. "It also causes problems with behavior. Increases the incidence or likelihood of violent offenses, aggressive behavior." [w/ HuffPost's Philip Lewis]

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GOVERNMENT GETS MONEY - Free idea: rename all appropriation bills, "Matthew Leskos." Laura Barron-Lopez: "[T]he Senate sped to pass a $1.8 trillion bill that funds the government until October and extends sweeping tax breaks, many permanently.
After months of tense negotiating, lawmakers on Friday passed the omnibus spending bill and tax extenders package in a 65-33 vote, sending it to the White House for the president's signature. The House passed the omnibus earlier Friday. Twenty-seven Republicans, 37 Democrats and one independent who caucuses with Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
While the legislation is riddled with measures both parties considered unsavory, lawmakers were able to reach a final deal that included policies each party could point to as victories. Arguably the biggest win for Republicans came in the attachment of a provision lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. In exchange, Democrats locked down five-year phaseouts of wind and solar production and investment tax credits, a three-year reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and no "poison pill" riders from Republicans attacking the administration's environmental policies." [HuffPost]

Bizarre omnibus roll call in the House: "The House passed the bill 316-113, with 150 Republicans supporting the measure and 95 opposed. Among Democrats, 166 voted for the legislation and 18 voted against it." [HuffPost's Laura Barron-Lopez and Matt Fuller]

FITZGIBBON MEDIA EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS COME FORWARD - Amanda Terkel: "Pedraja told several FitzGibbon Media employees what had happened, and the news started to spread. She was disappointed, she said, when some told her that it was probably best to keep her experiences to herself if she wanted to get the job. A couple of people, however, took her allegations seriously. Female employees said they began sharing stories with each other about their own experiences, and they realized they were not isolated incidents. The women who have spoken to HuffPost recount eerily similar experiences: uncomfortable physical interactions -- such as hugs that went on too long and became too intimate -- requests for photos and invitations to FitzGibbon's hotel. In more aggressive incidents, FitzGibbon reportedly reached down women's shirts and groped them." [HuffPost]

FORMER GAMING COMMISSIONER SHAKES DOWN THING - You'd think Reid would've been able to find a more intimidating pit boss than Dick Durbin. Grim and Paul Blumenthal: "...at a 2013 meeting involving Harry Reid and private equity CEO David Bonderman.. Reid directly solicited a contribution from Bonderman, sources present at the May 1, 2013, meeting at the Milken Institute said. The private equity giant then gave more than $1 million to a super PAC connected to Reid, and Reid later moved to insert two pieces of language into the 2015 end-of-year omnibus budget bill that would be a boon to Bonderman. One provision would have gutted a Depression-era financial law to help Bonderman’s TPG Capital muscle out public pensions and other bondholders in a battle over the potential bankruptcy of the Las Vegas casino company Caesars. That measure wound up getting pulled at the last minute, but Reid was able to insert the other provision beneficial to Caesars." [HuffPost]

WAR!.. AUMF!!!.. WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! - Say it again! Jen Bendery: "Congress has avoided authorizing the war against the self-described Islamic State for nearly a year and a half, but it had no problem voting Friday to spend billions more on it. Wait -- did lawmakers also just vote to authorize it? Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who previously served in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, says that because lawmakers voted for a $1.1 trillion government spending bill that clearly appropriates money for the fight against the Islamic State, they also voted to approve the war itself." [HuffPost]


Great still from "Ghost Hunters" of Hillary and Chelsea Clinton meeting Suri Cruise.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cat who hates Christmas.

POLL: SOME REPUBLICANS WOULD BOMB FICTIONAL DISNEY REALM - For what it’s worth, 30 percent of Democrats would probably support taking in Agrabahian refugees. Jana Kasperkevic: "Almost one-third of Republican primary voters would support bombing the fictional kingdom of Agrabah, according to a report released by Public Policy Polling on Friday. More than 530 Republican primary voters were polled this week on their support for Republican candidates and foreign policy issues including banning Muslims from entering the US, Japanese internment camps from the second world war and bombing Agrabah, the kingdom from Disney’s animated classic, Aladdin. In its poll, Public Policy Polling asked the 532 Republicans: 'Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?' While 57% of responders said they were not sure, 30% said they supported bombing it. Only 13% opposed it." [Guardian]

They didn't mention the Dothraki hoardes but we'll let it slide: "6 Fictional Lands We Should Bomb Once We're Done With Agrabah" [Reason]

COMFORT FOOD

- The year's best dog Vines.

- The Pantone factory is a magical, colorful and remarkably exacting place.

- Donald Trump with a British accent.

TWITTERAMA

@dceiver: the most potent thing we could do to fight ISIS is broadcast Don Lemon at ISIS everyone knows this

@swin24: best part about the star warriors' new movie is that the ewoks have gone over to the dark side and then water board Harrison ford

@owillis: and bernie was all
and hillary was all
and the dnc was all
and the unions were all
and moveon was all
and dfa was all
and im all...

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