POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Treasury Announces Big Changes For Cocaine Users

For a second it appeared that the Treasury Department was changing our currency because of a musical but then we realized it was 4/20 and we were probably just really high. Bernie Sanders was once booted from a progressive commune for yakking about politics too much, not exactly the first time his incredibly vocal, and increasingly unwelcomed, presence irked a lot of liberals. And President Obama touched down for meetings with representatives of our ally, Saudi Arabia, where human rights have been under assault in recent years. To be fair who among us doesn’t have a friend who’s hired the Podesta Group to smooth over a questionable history of beheading people? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, April 20th, 2016:

LET'S ALL BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES: BERNIE'S IN IT FOR THE EMAIL LIST - Though, to his credit, he probably won't sell it to a marketing firm. Janie Valencia: "Despite closing in recently on front-runner Hillary Clinton in national polls, Bernie Sanders’ path to the Democratic nomination has become increasingly difficult after Tuesday night’s loss. Coming into Tuesday’s Empire State primary, Clinton had 1,289 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,045 delegates, meaning that Sanders didn’t just need a win in New York — he needed a big win. Once all the votes are counted in the Empire State, Sanders will get a proportional share of the 247 pledged delegates. To turn things around, Sanders needs to start winning many more contests by double digits. The next series of states — Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island — vote on Tuesday, April 26." [HuffPost]

AWW - "We kicked his ass tonight," a senior Clinton aide told Glenn Thrush Tuesday night. "I hope this convinces Bernie to tone it down. If not, f--- him."

METAPHOR ALERT - As far as plane related political stories, this isn't as good as Mitt "Why Don't Airplane Windows Open?" Romney or Mitt "I Possibly Got Into A Mid-Flight Kerfuffle With LMFAO's Sky Blue" Romney. Susanne Craig: "Donald J. Trump’s Cessna jet has been grounded. The aircraft, which records show has been used to shuttle Mr. Trump to dozens of campaign events in recent months, has been flying with an expired registration since Feb. 1. On Wednesday, a Federal Aviation Administration official informed the plane’s pilot that the Cessna cannot fly until it has been reregistered. 'F.A.A. inspectors have contacted the chief pilot of N725DT about the aircraft’s expired registration,' Laura J. Brown, a spokeswoman for the F.A.A., said in a statement, referring to the plane’s tail number. 'The aircraft owner is currently working with the F.A.A.’s Aircraft Registry and will reregister the aircraft before further flight.' The failure of DJT Operations CX, the limited liability company controlled by Mr. Trump that owns the 1997 Cessna 750 Citation X, to renew the plane’s registration was the subject of a recent article in The New York Times." [NYT]

Happy 4/20! We would never encourage our audience to do drugs, but on the off chance you happen to be stoned and wish to call Congressman Andy Harris, his Washington number is 202-225-5311.

SENATE PASSES ENERGY BILL WITHOUT FLINT PART - Chris Mooney: "The U.S. Senate acted in a bipartisan fashion to pass a sweeping energy bill, touching on everything from cybersecurity for power plants to the future of the grid. The bill resulted from collaboration between Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell." [WaPo]

CLINTON MAD: "​Senate Republicans have pushed through today’s energy bill at the expense of the people of Flint, who are still waiting for clean water and critical aid for rebuilding their infrastructure. It is unconscionable for this bill to move forward without this desperately-needed aid."

UGH DEMOCRATS STILL FOCUSED ON CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE - Senate Democrats are making a renewed push to address the dangers of lead water pipes across the country after their effort to send help to the city of Flint, Michigan, stalled. In the coming months, Democrats, led by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), plan to offer legislation that would inject billions into the nation’s crumbling water infrastructure through a piecemeal legislative strategy, using every avenue they think will work. “We’re going to take every opportunity we can to advance this bill,” Cardin told reporters, pointing to a Water Resources Development Act reauthorization senators are currently considering, the separate appropriations process, and even tax legislation if one comes forward as possible vehicles. A summary of the $70 billion package says it would include grants for public water systems to replace lead pipes, a mandatory requirement that states report elevated blood levels in children, and more aggressive testing and reporting of water lead levels. “I think it’s time we turn on the federal spigot, and begin to wash ourselves of inaction,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said. [w/ HuffPost's Laura Barron-Lopez]

Michigan's attorney general charged two state regulators and a Flint utility official with crimes stemming from their roles in the Flint crisis today.

DELANEY DOWNER - Lead is a handy metal for making pipes, but unfortunately people didn’t grasp its brain-destroying power when American waterworks were constructed a century ago. Now, new research shows that American cities with lead water pipes had higher murder rates in the first half of the 20th century. James J. Feigenbaum of Harvard and Christopher Muller of the University of California, Berkeley, report that on average, “cities that used lead water pipes had homicide rates that were twenty-four percent higher than cities that did not.” The paper, which will be published in the journal Explorations in Economic History, builds on a growing body of research linking lead exposure to various criminal behaviors, amounting to a plausible explanation for rising and falling crime rates in the United States over the past several decades. Most of that research to date has focused on lead exposure from air pollution caused by leaded gasoline, not water. [HuffPost]

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POPPIN' BOTTLES IN THE CLUBS, ME AND THE BOYZ SPENDIN' TUBS - Andrew Jackson can always make a comeback on the casino reward cards President Trump will replace our currency with. Paige Lavender: "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. In a call with reporters, Lew said the back of the $20 will feature an image of the White House as well as an image of Jackson. Lew said the image may reflect a statue of Jackson that sits in Lafayette Square, located across from the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. Lew also announced that leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote will be featured on the back of the $10 bill. Alexander Hamilton will remain the face of that bill. A new design of the back of the $5 bill will reflect historic moments that took place at the Lincoln Memorial, like Martin Luther King Jr.’s 'I Have a Dream' speech. Lew and U.S. Treasurer Rosa Rios said the Treasury Department has 'every intention and commitment' to reveal the new designs of all three bills by 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Lew and Rios said the $10 will be the first to go into circulation, due to security needs." [HuffPost]

HOTTEST TAKE, courtesy the Wall Street Journal's Nick Timiraos: "This time, Alexander Hamilton dodged the bullet."

People on Twitter were all upset that Jackson will apparently remain on the back of the twenty.

Well, nice to see Republicans defending Democrats: "Former Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson said Wednesday although he’s a fan of legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman, her likeness shouldn’t replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Asked in an interview on Fox Business Network about the announcement, Carson said Jackson, a slaveowner, was a 'tremendous' President who balanced the federal budget. 'In honor of that, we kick him off of the money,' Carson cracked. 'I love Harriet Tubman, I love what she did, but we can find another way to honor her.'" [TPM's ]

Our favorite story of the day: "Bernie Sanders was asked to leave a hippie commune in 1971 for 'sitting around and talking' about politics instead of working, according to a forthcoming book. We Are As Gods by Kate Daloz, scheduled for release April 26, chronicles the rise and fall of the Myrtle Hill Farm in northeast Vermont. Daloz, a Brooklyn writer, was in a special position to write a history of Myrtle Hill: she was raised near the commune in a geodesic dome residence with an outhouse called the Richard M. Nixon Memorial Hall. Her parents were close acquaintances of the commune residents, who offered them tips about wilderness living." [Free Beacon's Blake Seitz]

SAUDI ARABIA: OUR FRIEND - Who among us doesn't have a friend who forbids women to drive? Nick Robins-Early: "President Barack Obama is meeting with Saudi Arabia’s king and other Gulf Cooperation Council leaders key issues including counterterrorism. But his arrival in the capital Riyadh on Wednesday has also shone a spotlight on the U.S. ally’s appalling human rights record. Obama’s last trip followed the death of King Abdullah and the ascension of King Salman to the throne. Many observers predicted that Salman’s rule would largely be a continuation of Abdullah’s policies, but Saudi Arabia has instead intensified its crackdown on dissent and expanded its involvement in regional conflict and crises. In the past year, executions in Saudi Arabia surged to the highest level in decades, and rights groups have widely condemned Riyadh’s military intervention in Yemen for violating international law. The government has also continued to prosecute and arrest activists, often through broad anti-terrorism laws designed to stifle dissent." [HuffPost]

TODAY IN BABY PARTS - Laura Bassett: "House Republicans claim to have new evidence that abortion providers are illegally profiting from fetal tissue donation — but its source and reliability remains a mystery. Republicans presented documents at a hearing on Wednesday that they say show Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers using fetal tissue donations as a moneymaking scheme. But they would not reveal the source or context of those documents — even to their Democratic colleagues sitting on the same investigative committee." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some baby lemurs.

PRIMARIES MAKING PEOPLE HUNGRY - Great report from the perfectly named Andy Campbell: "By now, you’re aware that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is preparing for the apocalypse by hoarding so many cans of Campbell’s Chunky Soup that it scares his wife. New data suggests that his supporters are following suit. Google Trends numbers show that New Yorkers who search for 'Ted Cruz' also search for carrot bisque soup when looking for recipes online. Google made a hilarious -- and in Cruz’s case, telling -- connection between searches for presidential candidates and searches for recipes. Those who look up Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), for example, are also looking for better ways to prepare filet mignon and eggplant. People searching for GOP front-runner Donald Trump somewhat surprisingly sought out bland, boring and mild recipes for tilapia (the most egregiously dull fillet of them all) and rice bowls." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Augmented reality is trippy.

- The U.K.'s dreams of Boaty McBoatface may be crushed

TWITTERAMA

@thinkpiecebot: Tweens Are Clueless, Says White Google Executive

@libbycwatson: who's gonna be the first to get mad about jackson being taken off the $10

@MEPfluler: 2010: Dems don't do budget, Republicans bash Dems

2016: Republicans don't do budget, Dems bash Republicans.

Love #ThisTown.

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