President Invents 'Internet Taxes' Because, Yeah, He's *That* Smart

Take that, Amazon Washington Post!

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Time magazine asked President Trump to remove fake covers featuring the commander-in-chief; if only Smithsonian Magazine would show similar courage about the River of Blood. The EPA is rolling back regulations on drinking water and, in a totally unrelated development, the population of Flint, Michigan, is roughly the size of Trump’s margin of victory in that state. And Bill Cassidy said that maternity coverage rules shouldn’t be scaled back because ‘women don’t get pregnant without sperm’ ― unless of course they shut that whole thing down. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017:

TRUMP READYING BODY BLOW AGAINST LABOR - Congratulations to economically anxious voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio on their new jobs making $2 an hour for UberLitter. Dave Jamieson: “Over the past week, Trump chose a management attorney and a former GOP staffer to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. Their nominations could help reshape labor policy in favor of corporations, potentially reversing Obama-era decisions and further weakening the U.S. labor movement. If confirmed as expected, Trump’s picks ― William Emanuel, who was named Tuesday, and Marvin Kaplan, who was named last week ― will occupy two seats on a five-member board that serves as referee between businesses and labor groups. The NLRB’s decisions help determine how easy or difficult it is for workers to unionize ― which, in turn, affects unions’ footprint in the U.S. economy, and how much bargaining power rank-and-file workers have with their employers. That includes Trump’s own family hotel business, which has come before the NLRB several times over labor disputes.” [HuffPost]

TRUMP REALLY MUST’VE LIKED THAT ‘PERSON OF THE YEAR: YOU’ EDITION - David Fahrenthold: “There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover. In fact, the cover on display at Trump’s clubs, observed recently by a reporter visiting one of the properties, contains several small but telling mistakes. Its red border is skinnier than that of a genuine Time cover, and, unlike the real thing, there is no thin white border next to the red. The Trump cover’s secondary headlines are stacked on the right side — on a real Time cover, they would go across the top. And it has two exclamation points. Time headlines don’t yell. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Time said that the magazine had asked the Trump Organization to remove the phony cover from the walls where it was on display.” [WaPo]

Maybe this is related to the Fahrenthold story (maybe): “President Trump has resumed his long fight with Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos. But his latest attack has left experts scratching their heads. ‘The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!’ Trump said on Twitter early Wednesday. The post contains multiple erroneous or misleading claims. The Washington Post is not owned by Amazon, but rather by Bezos personally. It’s also unclear what Trump means by internet taxes.” [CNN Money’s Seth Fiegerman]

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MCCONNELL STILL LOOKING TO PASS BILL - The GOP leader surely must’ve delivered the “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” speech from “Animal House” at the caucus meeting. Burgess Everett, Jennifer Haberkorn and Josh Dawsey: ”Senators left the meeting perplexed at what will come next, and people close to McConnell don’t fully comprehend how his strategy will play out, according to interviews with senators, aides and Republican operatives. Even Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), McConnell’s deputy and perhaps his closest ally, admitted that he was a ‘little bit’ surprised at the decision. Cornyn had said the vote was on just minutes before…. Behind closed doors Tuesday, McConnell informed the senators of his goal to strike a new deal by Friday or Saturday, with plans to have the Congressional Budget Office analyze that proposal and to hold a vote soon after the recess.” [Politico]


AWFUL THING IS AWFUL - Republicans are building the Grenfell Tower of health care systems. Jonathan Cohn and Alissa Scheller: “People who now buy insurance on healthcare.gov or a state exchange like Covered California would have to pay 74 percent more on average to get equivalent coverage, Kaiser’s analysts found…. Simply put, if Republicans get their way, then insurance policies will tend to cover less care, and fewer people with serious medical problems will be carrying insurance.” [HuffPost]

AWFUL THING IS UNPOPULAR - At what point do Senate Republicans throw in a 64-oz beverage ban into their health care bill to make it history’s least-liked piece of legislation?  Hayley Miller: “Americans largely do not approve of the GOP Senate health care bill, and many of them are dissatisfied with the way Republicans in Congress are handling the matter, according to a new NPR/‘PBS NewsHour’/Marist poll. The findings, released Wednesday, suggest that just 17 percent of those surveyed approve of the GOP Senate health care bill. More than half of respondents said they disapprove of the legislation, while 24 percent said they hadn’t heard enough about it to have an opinion…. Sixty-five percent of Americans, including 36 percent of Republicans, disapprove of the GOP’s handling of health care. If Congress fails to repeal and replace the ACA, the poll suggests the GOP would bear most of the blame. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said Republican members of Congress should be held responsible for such an outcome, while 23 percent would blame the Democrats.” [HuffPost]

The franchise: not as popular as you’d think. “The numbers from Pew show Americans are sharply divided on partisan and racial grounds in their attitudes toward voter access. Some 35 percent of Republicans think voting should be as easy as possible, while 63 percent think people should have to prove they want to vote by registering ahead of time. By contrast, 84 percent of Democrats favor making voting as easy as possible, while just 15 percent think potential voters should have to register ahead of time.” [HuffPost’s Sam Levine]

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BACTERIA SETTING UP COLONIES IN YOUR GUT - Smart career move for fecal coliform. Nick Visser: “The Environmental Protection Agency is set to undo yet another Obama-era environmental regulation after releasing a proposal on Tuesday meant to dismantle a rule protecting rivers and streams from pollution. The latest target from the notably anti-environmental administration of President Donald Trump is the Clean Water Rule, which in 2015 updated a longstanding act passed during the advent of the EPA to clean up heavily polluted federal waterways. The rule, passed under former President Barack Obama, expanded federal authority to include all ‘navigable’ waters under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. It ultimately protected the drinking water of more than 117 million Americans.” [HuffPost]

HOW BERNIE RAISED ALL THAT DOUGH - The latest episode of HuffPost’s “Candidate Confessional” podcast is up! Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became famous during his 2016 presidential run for his rumpled suits, the bird that took perch on his lectern at a campaign stop in Oregon, his calls for free college and universal health care ― and, of course, $27…. The strategists ― Tim Tagaris, Robin Curran and Michael Whitney, employees of the firm Revolution Messaging ― thought Sanders’ message could resonate. But they never imagined the fundraising successes it would produce…. By the end of the campaign, the team had raised $218 million online.″ [HuffPost]

OPINIONATED WHITE MAN WITH HIGH SELF-REGARD JOINING FOX NEWS - Mollie Reilly: “Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who is retiring from Congress at the end June, has signed on as a contributor for Fox News. A Fox press release confirms that Chaffetz will make his network debut on July 1, and he’ll contribute to both Fox News and Fox Business. (Politico first reported in May that Chaffetz was considering joining the network.)  Chaffetz, seen as a rising star within the Republican Party, shocked Washington, D.C., in April when he announced he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2018. ‘For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives,’ Chaffetz wrote on his Facebook page. ‘I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.’” [HuffPost]

TRUMP TO MEET WITH STEVE BANNON’S LEAST-FAVORITE HEAD-OF-STATE - Or, ’the poor social media director’s Justin Trudeau.”  Willa Frej: ”President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to celebrate Bastille Day in Paris on July 14. Macron extended the offer to Trump and first lady Melania during a phone call between the two leaders on Tuesday, and the White House announced Wednesday that the U.S. president and his wife will make the trip. In their phone call, Trump congratulated Macron on his big wins in parliamentary elections earlier this month, according to the White House. They also discussed the threat of new chemical weapons attacks in Syria. ” [HuffPost]

‘HOW IS BABBY FORMED,’ SENATORIAL EDITION - Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) ― a medical doctor ― came out in favor of requiring health insurance to cover maternity care as an Essential Health Benefit in the most blunt way possible. “Sen. Cassidy, pushing back on the idea that maternity care can be dropped from EHB: “Women can’t get pregnant without sperm,’” tweeted WaPo’s Dave Weigel.

This is a concept many of Cassidy’s GOP colleagues struggle to comprehend.

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a baby who loves cats.

I hear America...singing? “A man yelled ‘Freedom!’ as he crashed his vehicle into Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument early Wednesday, nearly three years after he was arrested in the destruction of Oklahoma’s monument at its state Capitol, authorities said. The privately funded Arkansas monument had been in place outside the state Capitol in Little Rock for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces.” [AP]


- Heads up, Amazon: Drones are susceptible to confetti cannons.

- Sinkholes: what the hell?


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