HUFFPOST HILL – 'War On Women' Looking Depressingly Quaint

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The Trump campaign is pulling out of Virginia, the largest exodus of racists from the state since the Confederacy abandoned Richmond. “I will not lie,” Trump told a crowd in Florida, though that was cast into immediate doubt when he then declared that his campaign “is not about me.”  And apropos of nothing, we assume Merrick Garland spent the day sitting in a room and staring up at the ceiling fan, trying to follow a single blade around and around. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 13th, 2016:

‘LOOK AT HER,’ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS – “Tens only for this guy” is just about the worst defense possible at this point ― and any point, really.  Amanda Terkel: “GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at new reports that he has sexually assaulted multiple women over the years, even attacking the physical appearance of one of his accusers…’Why wasn’t it part of the story that appeared 20, or 12, years ago? … I was one of the biggest stars on television with ‘The Apprentice,’ and it would have been one of the biggest stories of the year. Think of it. She’s doing this story on Melania, who’s pregnant at the time, and Donald Trump. Our one-year anniversary. And she said I made inappropriate advances. And by the way, the area was a public area. People all over the place. Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so. I don’t think so.’” [HuffPost]

A REMINDER OF WHERE WE ARE – Well, Trump may have Bill Cosby’s vote. Mollie Reilly: “Four women came forward Wednesday night with allegations of Donald Trump sexually assaulting them.  The New York Times began the wave of accounts with a bombshell report on two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, who say Trump groped them. Both had told close friends of being assaulted by Trump, but neither had gone public with their story until Wednesday. A third woman, Mindy McGillivray, also accused Trump of groping her in a story published by the The Palm Beach Post shortly after the Times article appeared. And later Wednesday, People writer Natasha Stoynoff said Trump had attempted to force himself on her while she was interviewing him.” [HuffPost]

AND ANOTHER TRUMP ACCUSER TODAY ON HUFFPOST – Mollie Reilly and Sam Stein: “Lisa Boyne, a health food business entrepreneur, described a disturbing episode in the mid-1990s: While at a restaurant with her and others, she said Trump paraded women in front of their table, looked under women’s skirts, and commented on whether they were wearing underwear. ‘It was the most offensive scene I’ve ever been a part of,’ Boyne told The Huffington Post on Thursday. “I wanted to get the heck out of there.” [HuffPost]

@AP: BREAKING: Trump says he has evidence to disprove allegations of sexual assault, will release it at `appropriate time

LOL: TRUMP SAYS HE’S IN ‘A DEAD HEAT’ – And we thought he wasn’t going to lie to his supporters. Ariel Edwards-Levy:  “’The polls are showing us in a dead heat,’ Donald Trump said in a speech Thursday afternoon. A dead heat, according to Merriam-Webster, is ‘a contest in which two or more competitors earn the same score or finish at the same time.’ HuffPost Pollster’s model, which aggregates publicly available polling, shows Hillary Clinton leading by 8 points in a two-way race nationally. That is not a dead heat. HuffPost Pollster’s model shows Clinton ahead by 6 points when third party candidates are included. That is not a dead heat either.” [HuffPost]

Michelle Obama delivered a real stemwinder today in New Hampshire.

TRUMP CALLS REPORTER ‘SLEAZEBAG’ – Igor Bobic: “Following a meeting with 35 small-business leaders at the South Florida Fair Expo Center in West Palm Beach, AP’s Jonathan Lemire asked the GOP nominee whether he had in fact ever touched or groped a woman without her consent. Trump shook his head in disgust, per a campaign pool report, while some participants in the room booed. The campaign then immediately rushed the assembled media out of the room. As the reporters walked into the hallway, Trump remarked, ‘What a sleazebag.’” [HuffPost]

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THIS IS A GOOD SIGN TO QUIT THE CAMPAIGN YOU’RE WORKING ON – As if the “yeah, let’s campaign in Texas!” wasn’t warning enough. Kevin Cirilli: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rebuffed political aides’ requests to research his past, people familiar with the matter said, a decision that contributed to his campaign being caught unprepared for the past week’s barrage of claims he mistreated women. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager, requested that Trump submit himself to a forensic evaluation that is traditional for any public figure seeking office, according to people granted anonymity to speak freely about the campaign’s start-up days last year. Opposition research would allow Trump’s new political team to prepare for potential attacks on his candidacy. Paul Manafort and his team made a similar request when they took over the reins after Lewandowski, who was ousted this June. Trump declined, the people said, and the issue became a point of contention among his closest political advisers and some long-time employees at the Trump Organization.” [Bloomberg]

Lauren Weber looks at global efforts to combat TB, which is curable and back on the top ten list of global deadly diseases.

TRUMP PULLING OUT OF VIRGINIA – Also, we’re assuming a tape will surface in the next few days where Trump boasts of doing just that. Alexandra Jaffe and Ali Vitali: “Donald Trump’s campaign is “pulling out of Virginia,” a move that stunned staff in the battleground state, three sources with knowledge of the decision told NBC News. The decision came from Trump’s headquarters in New York and was announced on a conference call late Wednesday that left some Republican Party operatives in the state blindsided. Two staffers directly involved in the GOP’s efforts in Virginia confirmed the decision. The move to pull out of Virginia shows Trump is “running essentially a four state campaign,” with the focus now shifting to battlegrounds critical to his chances in November: Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, a source with knowledge of the decision told NBC News.” [NBC News]

And the First Amendment: “The Committee to Protect Journalists took a break Thursday from condemning media crackdowns in far flung dictatorships to highlight a threat in a country where press freedom is constitutionally enshrined.  ‘Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values,’ CPJ board chairman Sandra Mims Rowe wrote in a statement Thursday.” [HuffPost’s Michael Calderone]

TODAY’S SICK BURN COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIME’S LEGAL TEAM – And here we thought all those lousy fire marshals that Trump hates would be responsible for his trip to the burn ward. Michael Calderone:  “The New York Times rejected Donald Trump’s request that the paper retract and apologize for its explosive Wednesday report alleging the Republican nominee groped two women, part of a growing list of accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct.  ‘The women quoted in our story spoke out on an issue of national importance…,’ Times assistant general counsel David McCraw wrote in a letter to Trump’s attorney…In Thursday’s response, McCraw suggested Trump couldn’t claim libel against the Times because he, not the paper, sullied his own reputation. ‘…Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.’” [HuffPost]

There was a weird story about Donald Trump apologizing to Serbia for the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, but the story was apparently some kind of hoax.

LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR NOT LOOKING TOO STELLAR  – Paul Ryan is not having a great year. “Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to finish the year’s spending negotiations with a series of small appropriations packages known as minibuses. But a short legislative calendar, a lack of preparation, and Democratic concerns about the piecemeal approach make that goal a difficult one to achieve. If the Republican leaders’ minibus dreams do not come true and Congress instead passes a massive omnibus appropriations measure — or even worse, another continuing resolution — it would be a pitiful bookend to a year in which Ryan and McConnell had listed restoring regular order to the appropriations process as the No. 1 item on their to-do list.” [Roll Call]

DEMS TRYING TO BRING DOWN ISSA – We remember a simpler time, some five to seven years ago, when people like Darrell Issa and Virginia Foxx were among the most loathed people in Republican-dom. Cristina Marcos: “Democrats think they have a realistic shot in November of taking down Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who made life miserable for the Obama administration after Republicans took back the House in 2010. They’d love to send the former House Oversight Committee chairman packing and are looking to their candidate, retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, to make it happen. Democrats think they have a realistic shot in November of taking down Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who made life miserable for the Obama administration after Republicans took back the House in 2010. They’d love to send the former House Oversight Committee chairman packing and are looking to their candidate, retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, to make it happen.” [The Hill]

DELANEY DOWNER – It’s been a year since whistleblowers exposed the government negligence that led to very high levels of lead in the water supply of Flint, Michigan ― a scandal that public figures have said must never happen again. The problem with drinking lead-tainted water is pretty clear: Just like lead paint, it can stunt growth and cause permanent brain damage in young children. Recognizing these dangers, the Environmental Protection Agency makes utilities conduct regular testing to ensure that drinking water contains the smallest amount of lead possible. But the spokespeople for the water utilities serving 10 of America’s biggest cities were strangely coy when we asked if they thought someone could suffer lead poisoning due to drinking leaded water. Not a single one offered an unqualified “yes.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR – Here’s a baby elephant chasing birds.

D.C.’S UNRELENTING GENTRIFICATION FINALLY REWARDED – Jessica Sidman: “After months of speculation and hype, DC’s very own Michelin guide has finally arrived. Twelve restaurants earned recognition, but none received the highest rating of three stars…DC is not the first US city without a three-starred restaurant. The ill-fated Los Angeles guide, which only lasted two years, never included one. Currently, only 13 restaurants in the entire country have three stars…Last week, Michelin also released its (confounding) Bib Gourmand list of more affordable eateries, and 19 spots made the cut. The DC guide is much smaller than any that of other American city. New York has 76 starred restaurants, San Francisco has 50, and Chicago has 22.” [Washingtonian]

COMFORT FOOD

– Why rappers love Grey Poupon.

– The best Ken Bone joke so far.

– Your free throw game is nothing compared to this.

TWITTERAMA

@PastVox: 1965: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act; Six reasons why this will forever eliminate voter suppression

@BrandyLJensen: I’ll take Ken Bone shills for uber over Chewbacca Mom addresses racism with a song any damn day

@OliviaMesser: Please do not send me PR emails with the subject line: “Timely – Clown Coping.” Thanks.

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) or Arthur Delaney ([email protected]).

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