POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Convention To Be Brokered With HotOrNot.com

Microsoft shut down an A.I.-based Twitter account after it became bigoted, got into fights with users and was tapped to be Donald Trump’s running mate. After a several-hundred year struggle, the Obama administration is finally regulating a dangerous workplace substance, despite the objections of the evil victorian shop foreman lobby. And Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a “sniveling coward” but refused to say immediately thereafter that he wouldn’t endorse the real estate mogul — officially the most Ted Cruz-y thing Ted Cruz has ever done. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, March 24th, 2016


We'll have to explain all of this to our grandkids one day.

THIS 1 WEIRD TRICK CAN MAKE YOUR CONGRESSMAN ENDORSE DONALD TRUMP - The trick is "threats." Matt Fuller: "When Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) became the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president, the reaction on Capitol Hill ranged from, 'Um, what?' to 'Uh, who?' Collins, a rank-and-file Republican who had previously endorsed Jeb Bush, wasn’t exactly on the shortlist of members expected to get on board with the bombastic and increasingly conservative Trump. But the story behind Collins’ support is maybe just as strange as the endorsement itself. A recent report from Syracuse.com detailed how deep-pocketed real estate developer and former New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino might have played a key role in securing Collins’ backing for Trump, describing how Paladino told GOP members from New York to get behind the front-runner or else face the wrath of his email list -- or maybe even a primary challenger…. In an interview with The Huffington Post this week, Collins denied he was 'pressured' into supporting Trump, saying he endorsed the GOP front-runner without speaking to Paladino about it. But pressed on whether the two had discussed an endorsement, he backtracked: 'Uh, so -- I mean, Carl and I know each other,' Collins said. Either way, Collins acknowledged that Paladino is a 'big Trump guy' and that 'he’s been pushing other New York members to endorse.'... When asked whether he has any concerns about some of Trump’s more egregious behavior and remarks, Collins came up with an explanation that was downright Trumpian. 'What I’m going to say is he’s been misquoted many times,' Collins said." [HuffPost]

Trump's gross cheap shots against Heidi Cruz are a great reminder that….

DONALD TRUMP HATES WOMEN - Franklin Foer: "Donald Trump holds one core belief. It’s not limited government. He favored a state takeover of health care before he was against it. Nor is it economic populism. Despite many years of arguing the necessity of taxing the rich, he now wants to slice their rates to bits. Trump has claimed his nonlinear approach to policy is a virtue. Closing deals is what matters in the end, he says, not unbleached allegiance to conviction. But there’s one ideology that he does hold with sincerity and practices with unwavering fervor: misogyny." [Slate]

NOT DYING IS GOOD, ADMINISTRATION RULES - Dave Jamieson: "After an extraordinarily long wait -- 45 years, to be exact -- the government is finally ramping up protections for workers from a carcinogen we’ve been aware of for centuries. The reform marks the most significant change in workplace health law during the Obama era, and officials project it will prevent 600 deaths per year. On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that it will be implementing what’s known as the silica rule, bringing a decades-long lobbying fight in Washington to an end. Crystalline silica is a dust that comes from sand and granite, and it has been debilitating lungs for as long as workers have been cutting rock, brick and concrete. Under the new rule, the feds will be vastly lowering the amount of silica dust that companies can legally expose workers to. Occupational health experts, labor unions and sick workers have been prodding for the tougher standard for decades, only to see the reform stalled under a succession of different presidents. But their hopes were buoyed during President Barack Obama’s first term when the Labor Department developed a proposal and the White House signaled it would carry it out. With Thursday’s announcement, that reform appears all but certain, unless Republicans who oppose it can manage to stymie its implementation through the appropriations process." [HuffPost]

DELANEY DOWNER - Donald Trump. Sad!

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GOP TRYING TO HANDLE CONTESTED CONVENTION WITH SMARTPHONES - Considering "backroom" is probably already the name of the app the attendees will be using to have illicit same-sex encounters with strangers, they'll have to find a new title. Darren Samuelsohn: "The race is on for the GOP convention killer app, the political equivalent of a moonshot that will enable the rival presidential campaigns to navigate what’s expected to be a chaotic July convention. Tracking, counting and potentially swaying the Cleveland convention’s 2,472 delegates -- amid a maze of confusing rules -- is a mission-critical function in a nominating process that figures to be contested, which is why the campaigns have already embarked on a once-in-a-generation feat of political and technological engineering. The goal isn’t necessarily an app but, rather, some combination of technology designed for the first contested national convention in 40 years. While campaigns for statewide office have used delegate-tracking data technology in state party conventions and even at recent national party conventions, nothing on the scale of what would be required for the summer of 2016 has ever been attempted." [Politico]

TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE A CLASSY BUNCH - Wonder if Trump will pay the legal fees of someone charged with a beheading. Jane Timm: "Liz Mair's mother didn't want her to go outside yesterday: She was convinced that Mair, a Republican political consultant who is running an anti-Donald Trump super PAC, would be hurt. Mair is in Trump's crosshairs -- albeit obliquely -- after her group attacked Trump via an ad that used an image of a nude-and-handcuffed Melania Trump, the Republican front-runner's wife, from a 2000 photo shoot. The candidate blamed the ad on Ted Cruz's campaign, but his supporters traced it to Mair anyway -- and her mom, too…'She woke up and there was a very, very nasty threatening voicemail from somebody who's a Trump supporter. She's going to make a decision about a police report,' Mair told MSNBC. 'I've already had to file a police report about a Trump supporter who threatened to behead me.'" [NBC NEWS]

@eliejacobs: in honor of Purim, my wife created the Trumpantash. #bakeamericagreatagain #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain #purim2016

TB STILL HERE - Lauren Weber: "Contrary to popular belief in the U.S., tuberculosis is not a disease of the past. It is a global threat, one that last fall surpassed HIV/AIDS to become the No. 1 infectious killer on the planet. More than 1.5 million people die each year of the disease, which some experts call “airborne cancer” because of the way it slowly ravages its victims. More than one-third of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, which is spread when a person with the active form of the disease coughs, expelling micro-droplets of saliva and mucus. Most of those infected people have immune systems that are strong enough to contain the bacteria, leaving them symptom-free and otherwise healthy. Around 13 million Americans have what’s called latent TB. But approximately 5 to 10 percent of people infected with TB will develop the active, infectious form of the disease at some point in their lifetime. That means as many as 1.3 million Americans could become infectious if not treated." [HuffPost]

CONGRESSMAN A JERK - Really angling for the Tay vote. Benjamin Freed: "Representative Rod Blum, an Iowa Republican, ticked off DC residents earlier this week when he tweeted his apparent desire to see the District hit by a crippling economic downturn. 'Washington DC is booming. Tower cranes everywhere. Being built on the backs of US taxpayers. DC needs a recession,' Blum wrote in the offending tweet, which was accompanied by a photo of seven construction cranes looming over Southwest DC. Blum fired off the message late Monday, but it was not noticed until Tuesday evening, when it began to pick up the ire of the locals. More cornball than Blum’s Monday-night spell of DC Twitter-bashing is that it wasn’t the first time he made that lame comment. Last October, he posted a similar tweet that featured tower cranes over Southwest DC and a call for a micro-targeted recession." [Washingtonian]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's an otter pup.

WOULD STILL BE A BETTER READ THAN JENNIFER RUBIN - Benjamin Mullin: "Since Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013, his ownership has been greeted by voluminous reportage from journalists seeking to discern his influence on the newspaper. A new longread from Fortune's Adam Lashinsky reveals that the Post has been bombarded with lots of ideas from the tech entrepreneur-turned-newspaper-owner — both good and bad. Case in point: One brainstorming session with Bezos yielded the possibility of creating a premium feature that would allow Washington Post readers to remove all the vowels from a story they didn't like. Mercifully, Executive Editor Marty Baron shot it down." [Poynter]

COMFORT FOOD

- If rappers had real jobs.

- Microsoft created an AI Twitter bot and it quickly became awful.

- A guy was arrested for not returnging a copy of "Freddy Got Fingered" in 2002.

TWITTERAMA

@marinafang: Thought I saw Idris Elba on the Metro...but then realized that DC is probably unworthy of his beauty.

@igorbobic: RT @RealBencarson: It's important that we have civility during times of disagreement.

@SuzyKhimm: Most serene response to an interview request ever:
"Monday at 9am works.
Please call my office line...
Until then may you be at peace."

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