POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Still-Awful Trump Clearly Not Visited By Christmas Ghosts

The market plunged today, but not because Americans barely worked last week -- other than exchanging infinity scarves, that is. Jeb Bush lied about receiving an NRA award, which is the kind of thing that could hurt him if he were running a presidential campaign. And an armed militia remains in control of a Fish and Wildlife Services building in Oregon. Nothing tells the government what’s what quite like unloading a clip into a diorama of loon hatchlings. Go get 'em, Patriots! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, January 4th, 2016:

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DEFENDS DEPORTATIONS - We deported some folks. Elise Foley: "The Obama administration on Monday defended its deportation tactics and confirmed it has begun raids on families, despite Democratic candidates and immigrant advocates saying officials could be sending mothers and children to their deaths. 'This should come as no surprise,' Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. 'I have said publicly for months that individuals who constitute enforcement priorities, including families and unaccompanied children, will be removed.' The Department of Homeland Security began this weekend to conduct deportation raids that picked up 121 people, including children. All of them had exhausted their legal options to remain in the country after entering without authorization sometime after May 1, 2014, according to Johnson. Most of them are expected to be deported to Central America. ... A spokeswoman for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that the candidate 'believes we should not be conducting large-scale raids and roundups that sow fear and division in our communities.'" [HuffPost]

GOP EYEING OBAMACARE - This kind of "Republicans swear this time they'll get Obamacare" piece is so ubiquitous, it should be filed away with the pre-written obituaries for Jimmy Carter and Amanda Bynes. Lindsey McPherson: "House Republicans will begin the 2016 legislative session with another vote attacking the Affordable Care Act and defunding Planned Parenthood, and are also prepping their response to President Barack Obama’s upcoming executive actions on gun control. The House will vote Wednesday on a reconciliation measure to repeal most of Obama’s signature domestic achievement. It will be the chamber’s second vote on the measure, which the Senate altered to roll back more of the health care law than the original House version. Using the budget reconciliation process allowed the Senate to consider the measure without the threat of a filibuster.Obama has said he will veto the measure, and congressional Democrats have the votes to sustain it, but Republicans want to follow through with their promise to deliver the bill to the president’s desk." [Roll Call]

OBAMA TO CHOKE LADY LIBERTY WITH RED TAPE - C'mon, patriots! It's time to storm the Code of Federal Regulations! Timothy Noah: "Nearly 4,000 regulations are squirming their way through the federal bureaucracy in the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency -- many costing industry more than $100 million -- in a mad dash by the White House to push through government actions affecting everything from furnaces to gun sales to Guantánamo. That means a full court press at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce exposure limits for silica, a chemical used widely in construction and fracking that can cause cancer when inhaled; at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to require more small-scale gun sellers to perform background checks; and at the Food and Drug Administration, to make food manufacturers disclose on product labels how much sugar they add to cranberry juice. Much of this work will be carried out in the coming months by career bureaucrats working in the bowels of federal agencies, but the cumulative effect adds up to something larger: A final-year sprint by a president intent on using executive power to improve the lives of American workers and consumers -- in many instances over loud objections from the businesses that will have to pay for it." [Politico]

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RUBIO AND CRUZ URGE EXTREMISTS TO STAND DOWN Igor Bobic and Samantha-Jo Roth: "Republican presidential hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) urged a peaceful resolution to the armed occupation of a federal building in Oregon where a number of anti-government militants have seized a rural wildlife refuge headquarters...'Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds, but we don’t have a constitutional right to use force of violence or threaten force of violence on others,' Cruz told reporters before a campaign event in Iowa. 'There is no right to engage in violence against other Americans, and it is our hope and prayer that that situation resolves itself peaceably sooner rather than later,' he added. Rubio similarly urged the armed militants to pursue a more peaceful means of protest. 'You can’t be lawless. We live in a republic,' the Florida Republican told Iowa radio station KBUR on Monday. 'There are ways to change the laws of this country and the policies. If we get frustrated with it, that’s why we have elections. That’s why we have people we can hold accountable.'" [HuffPost]

DISPATCH FROM BUNDY STANDOFF - "Stand back or this framed portrait of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell gets it!" Dana Liebelson: "In the parking lot of the headquarters building, [Jorge] Calzadilla heckled Pete Santilli, a conservative radio talk show host from Cincinnati. Santilli wasn't involved in seizing the facility, but he said the local community supports the occupants. 'The federal government has been terrorizing ranchers, now they’ve spun that into these guys being terrorists,' he said. 'They’re actually defending the land that has been taken.' Like the Bundys, Calzadilla and Santilli aren't from anywhere near Burns, Oregon. (An address associated with Ammon Bundy leads to a collection of trailer homes and chickens in Idaho.) They're outsiders. The local sheriff has said the militants have 'alternative motives.' But although many people in Burns oppose the seizure of the federal building, Santilli's comments have a grain of truth: Some of the locals back the Bundys. ...There was no visible law enforcement at the facility -- for now, the feds are staying back -- and Bundy said he did not believe police would forcibly remove his group." [HuffPost]

BUSH NRA STORY BUNK - Oh man, if this doesn't result in Jeb! spraying literally dozens of pheasants with buckshot for the camera, we don't know what will. Andrew Kaczynski: "A spokesman for Jeb Bush’s campaign told BuzzFeed News on Monday that Bush had 'mistaken and conflated' his story about receiving the National Rifle Association’s 'statesman of the year' award. The former Florida governor has told the story on several occasions, saying he received a rifle from then-NRA president Charlton Heston and was the recipient of the group’s 'statesman of the year' honor in 2003. While the NRA rates the records of politicians on gun issues, the group does not hand out a statesman of the year award. In 2003, the NRA held its annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, with Bush as the keynote speaker. The NRA’s meeting page from that year makes no mention of Bush receiving any award." [BuzzFeed]

TRUMP FINALLY UP WITH TV ADS - We were a bit disappointed to learn they weren't modeled after those in-room video presentations hotels have on channel 3. Michael Calderone and Sam Stein: "Donald Trump has risen to the top of the Republican presidential primary field in part by manipulating the media. Rather than spending his personal wealth on television advertisements or devoting hours of his days to courting television and print reporters, he has, through the strength of his personality, gotten the press corps to cover him on his schedule and their dime. There have been tangible benefits for Trump, who has claimed that he is roughly $35 million under budget. The assertion is impossible to actually confirm but supports the idea he’s gotten a ton of free coverage… All of which made his claim this past week that he would start spending $2 million a week on advertising rather curious. With the media covering him so extensively, why would he start buying ads now? Several ad tracker sources confirmed to HuffPost that Trump's campaign has indeed booked spots for his first ad -- a fairly nasty anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant spot -- in Iowa and New Hampshire. Wilner confirmed to HuffPost that Trump’s campaign ordered airtime in Omaha, Nebraska, which covers parts of western Iowa." [HuffPost]

Well at least they agreed on something: "Marco Rubio on Monday framed the presidential election as a choice that would define America’s role on the global stage. In doing so, he took direct aim at both Hillary Clinton’s record as secretary of state and Republican candidates he called 'isolationists'. In response, a spokeswoman for one such opponent, Senator Ted Cruz, called Rubio’s stance on foreign policy 'incoherent' and 'dangerous'." [Guardian's Sabrina Siddiqui]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby sneezing spaghetti.


Goodnight, sweet prince: Dr. Zizmor has retired.

COMFORT FOOD

- A very lazy explanation of evolution.

- Meet the new periodic table.

- The matter of how many kisses one should greet a French person with is quite confusing

TWITTERAMA

@daveweigel: Talked to a Ted Cruz county leader who previously backed Walker, and backed Pawlenty in 2012. "Man, I sucked!"

@ibogost: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Name Their Top Five Aiolis of 2015

publication: Do Germans have a word for the soul-crushing anxiety that comes with going back to work after vacation?

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