POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - 'Dangerous Donald' Inventors Still Not In The Hague

Donald Trump and Paul Ryan engaged in some light rapprochement, thanks to Ryan’s brave stance of not wanting anything to do with the guy. North Carolina sued the federal government so its citizens’ will know what to expect when they purposefully gawk at each other’s genitals in bathrooms. And President Obama signed an executive order declaring the Bison to be America’s official mammal, this despite a vigorous astroturf campaign and several Bistro Bis fundraisers thrown by the Thinhorn sheep. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, May 9th, 2016:

TRUMP AND RYAN PULLED AWAY FROM EACH OTHER, TOLD IT'S NOT WORTH IT, MAN, IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT, BRO - That said, we would totally pay to watch Donald Trump and Paul Ryan literally fight. It could be held in the Izod section of Bloomingdales. Maggie Haberman and Jennifer Steinhauer: "Facing a steep challenge as he prepares to meet with Republican leaders about uniting their splintering party, Donald J. Trump on Monday struck a more conciliatory tone about House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. And Mr. Ryan appeared to reciprocate, saying he would step down from his position as chairman of the Republican National Convention in July if that is what the party’s presumptive nominee requests...Also on Sunday, one of Mr. Trump’s top supporters, the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, called for a primary challenge against Mr. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. But by Monday, both Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan appeared to be backing away slightly from confrontation. Mr. Trump disavowed any hand in Ms. Palin’s remarks in a morning interview on CNN with Chris Cuomo….For his part, Mr. Ryan told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist, Christian Schneider, 'I’ll do whatever he asks me to do,' referring to Mr. Trump. A spokesman for Mr. Ryan, Brendan Buck, said he understood Mr. Schneider’s report to be accurate." [NYT]

Marco Rubio wants everyone to know he doesn't want to be Donald Trump's running mate.

RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS HAVING A SAD - Loony Jesus thinks he's the son of God. Is betrayed by friend. Sad! Katie Zezima: "[C]onservatives whose voting decisions are guided by their Christian faith find themselves dismayed and adrift now that Trump has wrested control of the Republican Party … Even progressive Christians — evangelicals and Catholics, among others — who don’t necessarily vote Republican are alarmed that Trump is attracting many voters who call themselves religious. A coalition of nearly 60 Christian leaders — many progressive and some conservative — published an open letter last week asking voters of faith to reject Trump and his 'vulgar racial and religious demagoguery,' warning that the nation faces a “moral threat” from the candidate… There is consternation about the hard line Trump takes on immigrants and about the morality of a thrice-married man who has long bragged about his sexual conquests. But another factor is at work as well: The traditional social and cultural positions that drive many religious conservative voters, including same-sex marriage and abortion, have been cast aside by a candidate who seems to have little interest in fighting the culture wars." [WaPo]

In the latest Candidate Confessional, Jason and Sam sit down with Sandra Fluke and talk sexism in politics.

A GLIMPSE INTO DONALD TRUMP'S AMERICA - Erik Wemple: "Julia Ioffe has filed a report with the D.C. police department over the anti-Semitic threats that she received — many from apparent Trump supporters — after writing a penetrating profile of Melania Trump in GQ. The alleged offense is listed as 'threat to kidnap or injure a person,' as outlined under the Code of the District of Columbia 22-1810. Said threats came through phone calls and email, notes the report. And the 'public narrative' section reads as follows: 'C-1 states that an unknown person sent her a caricature of a person being shot in the back of the head by another, among other harassing calls and disturbing emails depicting violent scenarios.'" [WaPo]

DELANEY DOWNER - Famous actor Mark Ruffalo has a nonprofit called Water Defense that has been telling people in Flint, Michigan they could inhale aerosolized lead if they shower with unfiltered water, a concern not shared by any government agency, which have all said showering is fine. People in Flint have repeatedly voiced concerns about bathing with the water, which they've said causes rashes and hair loss. But Marc Edwards, the highly-respected civil engineer whose own testing of Flint's water helped expose the city's lead crisis last year, is calling Ruffalo's group out. "The individuals making these claims do not have expertise in potable water systems, epidemiology or toxicology, or for that matter any credentials that would qualify them to make statements about dangers of Flint’s current water supply from phosphate or aerosolized lead," Edwards said in a Saturday blog post. The item also said Water Defense hasn't responded to requests for supporting info. Water Defense hasn't responded yet to DDD's request for comment. [FlintWaterStudy.org]

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HOW OREOS EXPLAIN THE ELECTION - To our British readers, imagine if Walkers outsource their factories to France. Dave Jamieson: "Last year, Michael Smith learned that his middle-class factory job on Chicago’s South Side was headed to Mexico. The news stunned Smith. After all, his factory made an iconic American product: the Oreo cookie. Soon, real estate mogul Donald Trump took an interest in Smith’s plight. Every chance he had, the front-runner for the Republican nomination pilloried Mondelez, the snack conglomerate that produces Oreos, Ritz crackers and other treats, for its decision to offshore the 600 Chicago jobs. Trump vowed never to eat another Oreo again… The term NAFTA is practically a slur among the Mondelez workers. The 1994 deal, signed by President Bill Clinton, loosened trade barriers between the U.S. and Mexico, enabling American companies to seek out cheaper labor south of the border, and produce cheaper goods for American consumers. Smith said that as much as he appreciated the visit from Hillary Clinton — 'I thought it was a real class act on her part' -- NAFTA was very much on his mind. 'We were aware that it happened under her husband’s administration,' he said." [HuffPost]

Mitt Romney warned college grads about demagogues in a commencement address on Saturday, my friends.

N.C. SUES TO BE PREJUDICED ABOUT PEEING - Looking forward to a tied Supreme Court sending Pat McCrory's publicity stunt to its jurisprudential grave. Julia Harte: "North Carolina officials sued the U.S. Justice Department on Monday after the department challenged the state’s law on public restroom access for transgender people, accusing the agency of 'baseless and blatant overreach.' The department’s top civil rights lawyer, Vanita Gupta, last week sent three letters to North Carolina officials, saying the law was a civil rights violation. It is the newest chapter of a fast-evolving fight over rights for transgender Americans. The law, which went into effect in March, requires transgender people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s secretary of public safety sued Gupta as well as U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for their 'radical reinterpretation' of federal civil rights law in federal district court in North Carolina. Justice Department officials declined to comment on Monday. If the state does not pull back from implementing the first-of-its-kind statute on Monday, it could face a federal lawsuit, according to the Justice Department letters." [Reuters]

BACK ATCHA - Ryan Reilly: "The Obama administration on Monday filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina, alleging that a bill that blocks protections for transgender people violates federal law. The Justice Department said in a lawsuit that the so-called 'bathroom bill' 'stigmatizes and singles out transgender employees, results in their isolation and exclusion, and perpetuates a sense that they are not worthy of equal treatment and respect.' A person’s external genitals, the feds said, are 'but one component of sex and not always determinative of a person’s sex.' DOJ’s lawsuit highlights statements by North Carolina officials in support of the law, including a statement from Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R), who has said that a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte 'would have given pedophiles, sex offenders, and perverts free rein to watch women, boys and girls undress and use the bathroom.'" [HuffPost]

WASHINGTON STREET JUSTICE - Michael Calderone: "Two prominent foreign policy journalists are pushing back at The New York Times Magazine for what they described as a 'defamatory' characterization in a much-discussed article. The article, a nearly 10,000-word profile of Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, suggested that the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and Al Monitor’s Laura Rozen “helped retail” the Obama administration’s argument for a nuclear deal with Iran. Both Goldberg and Rozen described the description as false, even slanderous, and criticized the paper for failing to seek comment ahead of time. 'This is an unsupported, defamatory allegation that somehow slipped into The New York Times Magazine by a guy, it should be pointed out, who has had a grudge against me for several years,' Goldberg told HuffPost. (He later wrote of once accepting, then declining, a position at Tablet, where Samuels was a senior editor and Samuels’ wife is editor)." [NYT]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a canine zookeeper.

COMFORT FOOD

- 360-degree video from right near a tornado.

- A Hodor-centric "Game of Thrones" fan theory.

TWITTERAMA

@daveweigel: Is it time to ban “special interests” from the political lexicon? I mean, it means almost nothing yet everything.

@marinafang: Brian Williams on MSNBC just now: "John Kasich, if you're watching, please call into our control room."

@ErikWemple: On @MSNBC, Thomas Roberts just referenced Bill Clinton's "alleged misconduct with women." Come on.

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