HUFFPOST HILL - Trump Has The Classiest Etch A Sketch

President Obama presented HRH Elizabeth II with a gift, though sadly it wasn't framed “YAS QUEEN” embroidery. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe restored voting rights to 200,000 convicted felons, meaning Ted Cruz will probably remind us what they could do to little girls in voting booths. And a bunch of A-listers in California accidentally registered for the American Independent Party, suggesting that celebrities don’t really spend much time thinking through their political decisions. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 22nd. 2016:

OBAMA GOES ON APOLOGY TOUR -Juliet Eilperin: "President Obama said Friday that North Carolina and Mississippi's laws limiting protections for transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are 'wrong' and 'should be overturned.' Speaking at a news conference in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama praised Americans living in states that have recently taken steps to single out individuals based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, even as he criticized their approach to the issue. The North Carolina bill requires individuals to use the bathroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate and restricts local governments from providing specific protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Mississippi's law allows people to withhold services from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals on religious grounds. The U.K. Foreign Office issued a recent advisory warning British citizens they could face discrimination in parts of the United States based on their sexual orientation or gender identity." [WaPo]

"Joe wears the same thing around the office." (via @caityweaver)

North Carolina Senate leader and apparent internet commenter Phil Berger had this reaction: "Not every father has the luxury of Secret Service agents protecting his daughters' right to privacy in the girls' bathroom."

MCAULIFFE LAYS SERIOUS TRUMP BAIT, ALSO DOES GOOD THING - Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Erik Eckholm:"Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia used his executive power on Friday to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons, circumventing the Republican-run legislature. The action overturns a Civil War-era provision in the state’s Constitution aimed, he said, at disenfranchising African-Americans. The sweeping order, in a swing state that could play a role in deciding the November presidential election, will enable all felons who have served their prison time and finished parole or probation to register to vote. Most are African-Americans, a core constituency of Democrats, Mr. McAuliffe’s political party. Amid intensifying national attention over harsh sentencing policies that have disproportionately affected African-Americans, governors and legislatures around the nation have been debating -- and often fighting over -- moves to restore voting rights for convicted felons. In Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin, a newly elected Republican, recently overturned an order enacted by his Democratic predecessor that was similar to the one Mr. McAuliffe signed Friday." [NYT]

Mike Konczal explains how financialization -- e.g., shareholder worship -- has warped our economy to benefit only the rich.

DELANEY DOWNER - Sabrina Tavernise: "Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans, sending a signal of deep anguish from a group whose suicide rates had been stable or falling since the 1950s." Need help? Call 1 (800) 273-8255. [NYT]

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LIKE THE '47 PERCENT' COMMENTS, BUT FOR LOW EXPECTATIONS - This country is going to have a very good sense, come October 2017 or so, what Trump's exes feel like. Steve Peoples and Thomas Beaumont: "Donald Trump's chief lieutenants told skeptical Republican leaders Thursday that the GOP front-runner has been 'projecting an image' so far in the 2016 primary season and 'the part that he's been playing is now evolving' in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters. The message, delivered behind closed doors in a private briefing, is part of the campaign's intensifying effort to convince party leaders Trump will moderate his tone in the coming months to help deliver big electoral gains this fall, despite his contentious ways. Even as his team pressed Trump's case, he raised fresh concern among some conservatives by speaking against North Carolina's "bathroom law," which directs transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificates. Trump also came out against the federal government's plan to replace President Andrew Jackson with the civil-rights figure Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill." [AP]

David Popp, currently comms director at House Financial Services, is heading over to the Senate to do the same job for Mitch McConnell. We congratulate Popp for successfully leaving the Cash Committee for a job that isn't Wall Street.

Scenes from Trump's Harrisburg rally, courtesy of Scott Conroy: "When a Trump-supporting woman stepped out of line for a brief moment to continue the verbal sparring she’d been conducting with a female protester, a young man from the anti-Trump forces presented himself inches from her face, and called her a 'skank.' A couple of people 'oohed' and then got back to the business of spewing their own animosities. 'Did you see the black lady in Chicago?' a goateed man in a black T-shirt asked his companion, just before entering the arena. 'Trump’s, like, ‘Get her out!’ So they picked her up and dragged her out kicking and screaming!' 'Oh, man,' his buddy replied. 'I hope something like that happens tonight.'" [HuffPost]

YOU CAN'T SPELL REINCE WITHOUT 'NICE' - Harper Neidig: "Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus on Friday called for Republicans to unite ahead of the presidential election, striking back against the Never Trump movement. 'It is essential to victory in November that we all support our candidate,' Priebus said at the RNC’s spring meeting in Hollywood, Fla...The comments seemed pointed at the growing movement of conservatives who insist they won’t back Donald Trump if he’s the GOP nominee. Priebus also promised that the nominating process at July's Republican National Convention in Cleveland would be “fair, democratic and transparent,” and that the GOP would not give the nomination to anyone who does not secure a majority of delegates." [The Hill]

Trump will be our greatest veterans president: "Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has been vocal about the need to take care of U.S. veterans. He’s said that if elected, he’ll 'put our service men and women on a path to success as they leave active duty.' But that’s not what the Trump Institute, a get-rich-quick real estate seminar, did for Richard Wright, a senior master sergeant in the Air Force reserves who worked for the company in 2006 and 2007. Wright was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2007. When he came home to his job, the Trump Institute fired him. 'All of your absences,' Wright’s boss at the Trump Institute told him, had forced the company to “reevaluate your position with the Trump Institute.' It is a violation of federal law to penalize an employee for absences caused by military service." [HuffPost's Christina Wilkie]

BIG SURPRISE: TRUMP SUPPORTERS SENDING GOP DELEGATES DEATH THREATS - It's amazing how Trump supporters don't listen more to the mogul's message of classiness. Eli Stokols and Kyle Cheney: "First it was an email warning Steve House, the Colorado GOP chairman, to hide his family members and 'pray you make it to Cleveland.' Then there was the angry man who called his cell phone and told him to put a gun down his throat. 'He said, ‘I’ll call back in two minutes and if you’re still there, I’ll come over and help you’,' House recalled. Since Donald Trump came up empty in his quest for delegates at the Republican state assembly in Colorado Springs nearly two weeks ago, his angry supporters have responded to Trump’s own claims of a 'rigged' nomination process by lashing out at Republican National Committee delegates that they believe won’t support Trump at the party’s convention -- including House." [Politico]

LAWMAKER LOOKING OUT FOR MMA FIGHTERS - It's like that Bob Dylan song, "Who Killed Davey Moore?" but with more people drinking Monster Energy Drink. "[R]ancor has bubbled up among the ranks of fighters on whose names and images millions of dollars are made. Some are talking about creating an organization that can advocate for fighters, pay their legal bills and negotiate with promoters over salaries and benefits...Still, fighters have found a lawmaker — Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), who’s spent some time in the ring himself— to back legislation that would subject MMA to the same rules that were instituted for boxing 16 years ago, giving fighters more leverage in their negotiations with the corporations running the show." [WaPo]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some puppies in a van.

DAMN COASTAL ELITES - Like voting for Buchanan, but for a whole new generation. John Myers, Christine Mai-Duc and Ben Welsh: "Some of California's top celebrities got a surprise when the Los Angeles Times informed their representatives they were members of the ultraconservative American Independent Party. The Times investigation revealed a majority of people in the party, which opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage, might be in it by mistake. That was the case for several A-listers with Democratic leanings, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Demi Moore and Emma Stone. Kaley Cuoco issued her own statement to The Times suggesting she wants to change her registration immediately, after learning she was among those who believed they were declaring that they preferred no party affiliation when they checked the box for the American Independent Party." [LA Times]


- Medical weed is kosher for Passover.

- The cast of "Hamilton" remembers Prince.

- Proving that reality is an illusion.


@AdamWeinstein: has anybody asked justin trudeau about prince & made a viral "Justin Trudeau's Perfect Prince Tribute Gives Us All The Feels" video post yet

@AliWatkins: The word "brexit" makes me think of a breakfast pastry and now i'm hungry.

@emmaroller: "Andrew Jackson!" chant briefly breaks out among Trump supporters across from BLM protesters

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