POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - You Cruz, You Lose

Donald Trump is the GOP’s presidential nominee and coastal elites haven’t been this freaked out since Oprah set up a non-cruelty free omelet station at the biennial Liberal Media Conspiracy conclave. Republicans facing tough reelection bids can suddenly relate to any teenager who’s ever been dropped off a little too close to school by their parents. And reporters eagerly await the leak of Trump’s VP shortlist. Its members will presumably be split into teams, provided $5,000 each to create a new dish for California Pizza Kitchen and ultimately judged by Trump and guest judge Donny Deutsch. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, May 4th, 2016:

KASICH DROPS OUT - Kasich made the announcement during a press conference in Columbus, speaking in front of a backdrop that appeared to be ripped from a 1970s basement. He's looking forward to spending more time explaining things to his family.

OUR TRUMP VEEP SHORTLIST
- Dr. Zizmor
- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis
- The exhumed and reanimated body of Don Zimmer
- Kevin James, in character as Paul Blart
- Andrew Dice Clay
- The person in your friend group who first purchased an Apple Watch
- A mudflap depicting a urinating Loony Toons character
- That "History of Dance" dude from YouTube
- Is Robert Evans alive?
- The guys from those "Don't Ride With THEM" posters in the baggage claim area at LaGuardia
- A Patek Philippe watch with googly eyes
- A cardboard cutout of Ed Koch
- Whoever invented car dealership airdancers
- A car dealership airdancer
- Jeff Sessions

DEMOCRATS COULDN'T BE GIDDIER - Remember that early viral video of the kid opening up a Nintendo 64 on Christmas morning? Fuse that with those videos of dogs greeting returning service member owners and you get the idea. Edward-Isaac Dovere: "The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee started Wednesday morning pushing reporters in the states to chase senators on recess and ask them whether they’re ready to support Trump as the nominee, and if they want his nominee on the Court. Top Republicans, meanwhile, continue to find ways to avoid saying Trump’s name. McConnell’s spokesman, Don Stewart, for example, responded to a question on Wednesday about whether the Senate majority leader was ready to back the billionaire by saying, 'He has long said that he'll support the nominee chosen by Republican voters. So I don't have a new position for you.'" [Politico]

The Clinton campaign is, needless to say, quite excited about all of this.

MCCONNELL NOT BUDGING ON GARLAND - This despite increasing anxiety in conservative spheres about the GOP's chances in November. Igor Bobic: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is continuing his no-holds-barred blockade of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, despite the risk that he may get a less palatable choice from presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, a spokesman for McConnell confirmed Wednesday. The conservative wing of the party, angry with Trump’s record and principles, is up in arms at GOP officials for coming around to the brash businessman. Some elected officials and party members on Tuesday made clear they would rather disown the GOP — one even burned his registration card — than vote for the real estate tycoon." [HuffPost]


We totally called this.

BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE CRUZ? Transphobia edition. Amanda Terkel: "Megan Robertson was the type of voter Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was trying to win over in Indiana. Robertson supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) for president, but she also desperately wants to stop Donald Trump from winning the nomination. In a last-ditch effort to stop Trump, Cruz formed a non-aggression pact with Kasich designed to let the senator win Indiana so that Kasich could focus his resources on defeating the real estate mogul in New Mexico and Oregon. And in order to win Indiana, Cruz needed voters like Robertson to back him. And Robertson considered doing so — until he launched a campaign going after lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights that immediately alienated her. 'I knew what he believed, but doing that ad took it to the next level,' Robertson, an Indiana GOP political consultant, said. 'I think that’s probably how a lot of Kasich supporters felt. I think it hurt him.'" [HuffPost]

DELANEY DOWNER - President Barack Obama visited Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday and drank a glass of water to assure residents their taps are safe as long as they use filters. Flint’s drinking water has been contaminated with lead, a deadly neurotoxin, for two years thanks to the government’s failure to treat the water correctly. Obama said he realized Flint residents were still suspicious, but emphasized that the Environmental Protection Agency has said filters can remove the lead….Reporters asked if a glass of water in front of Obama was from Flint, and he said it was before taking a sip. “Generally, I haven’t been doing stunts, but here you go,” he said, adding that he trusted the science saying the filters work and that the EPA deemed filtered water safe for everyone except pregnant women and children younger than 6. [HuffPost]

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WORLD ABSOLUTELY LOSING IT - Pathetic foreign reporters ignoring terrorists on their doorstep. Can't even speak English. Triste! Ishaan Tharoor: "After his decisive triumph over Sen. Ted Cruz in Indiana on Tuesday, Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee in this year's presidential election. And the rest of the world is aghast at the brash mogul's rise... 'So this Wednesday morning, Europe wakes up to Donald Trump across the Atlantic as the presumptive Republican nominee,' wrote the left-of-center French daily Liberation...Contemplating the 'craziest U.S. presidential election campaign' that awaits, Germany's conservative Die Welt declared 'the unthinkable has come to pass.' … An article in the Hindu, a leading Indian daily, summed up what has come to pass: 'Entering politics 10 months ago, Mr. Trump, whose business practices may be questionable but has unbeatable showmanship, ran a campaign that upended the Republican Party and outraged the American liberal conscience in his march to victory.'" [WaPo]

This is really going to hurt Trump's chances in Youngstown: "David Cameron has 'no intention' of apologising to Donald Trump for calling him 'divisive, stupid and wrong', Downing Street has said. Trump all-but secured the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday after his main rival Ted Cruz dropped out of the race. Today, George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to Tump told The Times the prime minister should say sorry for his past criticisms. However a spokesperson for Cameron said today: 'The prime minister has no intention of withdrawing his comments.'" [HuffPost UK's Ned Simons]

Well, at least the world can take solace in this: "A majority of Donald Trump supporters believe man-made climate change is happening, despite the presidential candidate’s history of global warming denial, a poll released Wednesday found. The survey, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, found that 56 percent of people supporting Trump in the 2016 race think global warming is real. Among John Kasich voters, that percentage jumps to 71, while only 36 percent of Ted Cruz’s supporters believe in man-made climate change. (Kasich and Cruz both left the presidential race after Indiana’s primary.)" [HuffPost's Mollie Reilly]

The worst predictions about Trump's candidacy.

BERNIE STILL DOING HIS THING - He'll make a great HUD secretary. Samantha Lachman: "Bernie Sanders’ victory in Indiana’s Democratic primary Tuesday demonstrates his popularity with voters hasn’t faded, even as his path to the presidential nomination has narrowed. Sanders led front-runner Hillary Clinton by 6 points, with 68 percent of precincts reporting, when networks declared him the winner. Exit polls had Sanders winning by 12 points, but they were based solely on interviews with voters on Election Day. Clinton narrowed the gap somewhat by dominating among people who voted early...Sanders was scheduled to hold two rallies in Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon, as he looks ahead to the rest of this month’s contests. While the remaining primary contests, including upcoming Oregon and West Virginia, are favorable to him, he faces a steep climb to catch Clinton with delegates." [HuffPost]


American Bridge trolled Reince Priebus by sending him this Vine.

RICH GUY DOESN'T NEED MONEY - Michael Beckel: "Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his super PAC allies spent more than $10 per vote on advertising ahead of Indiana's primary Tuesday. And Donald Trump — whose campaign spent about $1.50 per vote — clobbered him anyway. In all, Cruz and two supportive super PACs — the Club for Growth, an anti-tax organization that endorsed him, and Trusted Leadership PAC, a big-money vehicle designed to boost the U.S. senator from Texas — spent more than $4 million on television and radio advertising in Indiana, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by The Tracking Firm, a nonpartisan media tracking company headquartered in Washington, D.C." [CPI]

Larry Wilmore reflects: "From a pure comedic point of view, I know that I lost the room early."

VERY IMPORTANT CARL PALADINO UPDATE - "Things may be going well for Donald Trump these days, but they’re a bit rockier for one of his biggest backers, New York politician and real estate mogul Carl Paladino. Paladino nearly lost re-election to the Buffalo school board Tuesday, winning by just 107 votes out of the almost 3,000 cast. His opponent was an 18-year-old high school student who said he ran because it was time “to bring some adult behavior to the board.” 'Carl, you’re the loser. I’m not the loser,' Austin Harig said after the results came in, according to The Buffalo News. This wasn’t about winning a seat. ... This was about kids in the district.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby with a dog.

Alabama publication publishes list of 50 people to watch in local government and media. Every single person is white.

COMFORT FOOD

- From February, Slate's "If Terrence Malick directed 'Zoolander.'"

TWITTERAMA

@ariannahuff: Imagine someone pushing JFK and birther conspiracies being given the FBI.
@mollyesque: Text from a Kasich staffer: “Sucks to be a Republican."

@timothypmurphy: If you think the schadenfreude is bad now imagine what it'll be like when the Dem super-majority confirms Bill Ayers to the Supreme Court

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