POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Democrats Get Back To Basics By Failing Easy Task

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump’s already-fraught relationship is another reminder that politics is just one big text chain where everyone forgot to turn off read receipts. We’re not saying that the White House and the Democratic Party are botching their anti-Donald Trump messaging, but it’s pretty clear “Recovery Summer” is still their high point. And Dick Cheney broke with other establishment GOP figures and said he'll support Trump. The former VP’s email list, connections to party officials and loyal army of undead soul reavers will really help the real estate mogul with turnout. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 6th, 2016:

OBAMA LAYS TRUMP OUT WITH KILLER LINE - The presidency isn't . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . a reality show! Wow. Wow. So great. So. So. Great. So glad Well-Connected Failed Novelist Ben Rhodes is there by the commander-in-chief's side, forming policy and crafting messages. Reuters: "President Barack Obama urged the U.S. media and American public on Friday to examine the 'long record' of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and not get distracted by the 'spectacle and the circus' aspect of the 2016 election campaign. The Democratic president delivered an indirect swipe at the flamboyant, combative Republican primary campaign run by Trump, a former reality television star, and how media have covered it. 'It’s important for us to take seriously the statements he’s made in the past,' Obama said in remarks to reporters. 'I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States.' He said Trump has a long record in public life and that should be closely examined, as should the statements and policy positions of all the candidates." [Reuters]

Take *that,* Dangerous Donald!

RYAN INVITES TRUMP TO MEETING - But will the customary turkey chili -- the dish the Constitution mandates advisaries eat during tete-a-tetes -- be served? Cristina Marcos: "Donald Trump will meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee works to unify a fractious party around him. Ryan invited Trump to Capitol Hill a day after he stunned Republicans by saying that he wasn’t ready to endorse Trump...Trump will meet separately with Ryan and Priebus at the RNC’s Capitol Hill headquarters on Thursday. He will not be addressing the entire House GOP conference as has been the norm with other presidential nominees, but he will have an additional meeting with House GOP leaders. Trump’s campaign recently instituted weekly meetings with lawmakers whenever the House is in session to provide updates about strategy. But the gatherings over the last month or so have only included Trump’s top aides." [The Hill]

This will end well: "Trump, speaking on 'Fox & Friends,' took a shot at the Romney-Ryan ticket, saying the 2012 election was 'a race that should have easily been won.'" [Fox]

PAUL RYAN'S DILEMMA - Matt Fuller: "Had Ryan immediately endorsed Trump, he’d be connecting House Republicans — and himself — to Trump’s toxic brand of politics. He’d be disregarding the offensive, sometimes insane things Trump has said over the course of this campaign and pretending that all is well. All is not well, and Ryan wanted some say over it. By holding off on a formal Trump endorsement, Ryan seems to be hoping that Trump will temper his rhetoric — if that’s what you call tweets about taco bowls and decades of horrible quotes about women — and start acting like someone who is running for the highest office in the country. If Trump doesn’t do that, Ryan will have insulated the GOP from the incendiary real estate mogul — and made himself look like one of the few adults in the Republican Party. And if Trump does clean up his act, Ryan can take some credit for taming a madman." Good luck, Paul! [HuffPost]

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Zephyr Teachout and Andrew Sullivan are guests on this week's HuffPost Politics podcast. Sullivan said he experienced sublime horror watching a Trump speech on weed.

DELANEY DOWNER - The Social Security Administration is quietly changing how it handles some appeals from Americans who’ve sought disability benefits. The changes are part of an effort to chip away at an unprecedented backlog of unresolved claims, one that’s left some people waiting more than 500 days for a decision. “With over 1.1 million people waiting for a hearing decision, we are in the midst of a public service crisis,” SSA spokesman Mark Hinkle said in an email. “For some people this results in a wait of over 17 months to receive a hearing decision, which we concede is unacceptable service.” … Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican who believes the disability program is rife with fraud, will hold a hearing on the new appeals policy next week, his office said. “These proposed changes break with decades of practice, run contrary to well established interpretation of the Social Security Act, and depart from the SSA’s own regulations,” Lankford said in a letter to the agency last month. “The possibility that such actions could invite large-scale, costly, and protracted litigation from affected claimants is very troubling.” [HuffPost]

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PAUL RYAN AND DONALD TRUMP: THESE TWO TEAMS JUST DON'T LIKE EACH OTHER - Jake Sherman: "On Wednesday morning, not even 24 hours after Donald Trump effectively clinched the Republican nomination, Paul Ryan convened his top advisers for a call. With Congress out of session, Ryan was bouncing between multiple states, raising the piles of money needed to keep House Republicans in the majority. But Donald Trump was on his mind. The speaker could not -- at least at this point -- support him. And he wanted to talk through how to proceed…Ryan never expected Trump to lock up the nomination so quickly. He didn't think Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would drop out of the race in May. In fact, Ryan's orbit was preparing for a contested convention in Cleveland, where he is slated to serve as chairman, effectively the emcee of the Trump coronation. The decision was made quickly. The next day, he would go on CNN and make it official, in no uncertain terms...Trump's campaign was stunned by Ryan's interview. Earlier on Thursday, campaign sources said, advisers to the candidate had reached out to Ryan's office with an invitation: Would the speaker be able to meet with Trump for a one-on-one meeting to discuss the fall campaign and the party's agenda? The invitation was passed on to a staffer, and the campaign didn't hear back immediately from Ryan's office." [Politico]

Donald must use inside voice: Republican Party chairman: "Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said Friday that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump understands the need to change how he speaks about marginalized groups…'Do Hispanics think Donald Trump likes them?' asked moderator Mike Allen.'I think there is work to do,” Priebus replied. 'There’s work on tone to do.' Priebus said he has spoken to Trump about his incendiary language, and that the candidate “understands it. He gets it. I think you’re going to see the change in tone.” [HuffPost's Christina Wilkie]

DONALD TRUMP DOESN'T BELIEVE IN MANY THINGS - Except for taco bowls. Matea Gold: "The New York real estate tycoon, who frequently boasted throughout the primary that he was financing his campaign, is setting up a national fundraising operation and taking a hands-off posture toward super PACs. He is expressing openness to raising the minimum wage, a move he previously opposed, saying on CNN this week, 'I mean, you have to have something that you can live on.' And Trump is backing away from a tax plan he rolled out last fall that would give major cuts to the rich. 'I am not necessarily a huge fan of that,' he told CNBC. 'I am so much more into the middle class, who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country.' The billionaire’s tendency to change his mind on policy matters is a hallmark of his unconventional campaign — a quality he casts as an asset, saying it shows he is open to new ideas. But even for a candidate who touts his willingness to change his mind, his latest reversals are striking — particularly when it comes to the financing of his presidential bid, a central part of his pitch to voters." [WaPo]

MICHAEL GRIMM OUT OF JAIL - Seems like just yesterday he was threatening to throw people off balconies -- a pity he missed the Trump wave. New York 1: "Michael Grimm says there's nothing like being home. The former Staten Island congressman has been released from a federal prison outside of Pittsburgh after serving more than seven months for one count of felony tax evasion related to a health food restaurant he owned in Manhattan before he was elected to Congress in 2010. In his first interview since his release, Grimm says he passed his time behind bars reading books, working out and corresponding with friends, family and more than 500 residents who he says wrote him letters of support...He says he has begun working on a book about his life and needs to find a job to begin paying off his many legal fees as well as pay restitution to the government under the terms of his sentence. He says he hasn't ruled out a return to politics. Grimm also says he'd like to work for change inside the prison system." [NY1]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are - lions playing with toys.

PAUL LEPAGE TAKES PUPPY, BREAKS HEART - Amada Terkel: "Hannah Arsenault had her heart set on adopting a cute 2-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix she saw on the local shelter’s website. Arsenault, 22, recently suffered a sexual assault and told the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal that she hoped the pup, named Jasper, would provide some much-needed emotional support. The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, Maine, says people can adopt animals on a first-come, first-served basis once they become publicly available. Arsenault planned to take off work and wait in line early Wednesday to be sure that she would be able to adopt the dog she had her eye on. But on Tuesday night, she noticed that the organization had posted a photo of Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) with that very same dog." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- What countrydo you sleep like?

- Baby announcements are getting weird.

- A supercut of writers block.

TWITTERAMA

@libbycwatson: Dangerous Donald

@jesseberney: Reminder that Trump, but not Clinton, is a No Labels "Problem Solver."

@dceiver: I think this stupid Dangerous Donald stuff boils down to

-there is a GOP nominee
-there's no Dem nominee
-Dems are all "gotta do something"

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