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We were reminded today that most of what goes on in Washington isn’t a tragedy, just tremendously awful. It was a bad day for journalism and an even worse one for politics; if we had to choose a song to set it to, it’d be that “So You Had A Bad Day” tune you hear at CVS, ideally covered by Cannibal Corpse. And along with the victims and their families, our thoughts are with the Congressional Baseball Game’s press coordinator, who began this week thinking they’d only have to field a few calls from WaPo’s society desk. Hang in there, press person. This is HUFFPOST HILL for ― Thank God it’s Friday, amirite ― Wednesday, June 13th, 2017:
SCALISE SHOT – Hayley Miller and Alana Horowitz Satlin: “A gunman opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for a congressional baseball game at around 7 a.m. Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, hitting House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas). Scalise was shot in the hip, his office said in a statement. He has undergone surgery at the nearby Medstar Washington Hospital Center and is in critical condition, the hospital tweeted. Scalise was ‘in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone’ ahead of the surgery, his office said. Zachary Barth, a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), was also hit, Williams said. Two U.S. Capitol Police officers were also injured, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said. They are in stable condition, according to Chief Matthew R. Verderosa. Matt Mika, director of government relations for Tyson Foods’ Washington, D.C., office, was also among those shot. ‘He has been taken to a local hospital and we’re awaiting word on his condition,’ the company said in a statement.” [HuffPost]
Unstable, monstrous person is unstable, monstrous: “The man who opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for an upcoming baseball game on Wednesday was apparently a Bernie Sanders supporter outspoken in his distaste for the GOP, President Donald Trump and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton…. He once posted a petition on Facebook asking the Federal Elections Commission to open an election fraud investigation into Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He wrote that Clinton was ‘Really a Republican in a Democratic Pant Suit!!!’ He also posted a photo of Sanders photoshopped into an Uncle Sam costume and joined a Facebook group stating that the ‘Road to Hell is Paved With Republicans.’ Sanders issued a statement on Wednesday saying he was ‘sickened’ by Hodgkinson’s ‘despicable’ act.” [HuffPost’s Ryan J. Reilly, Sebastian Murdock and Sam Levine]
Trump keeps it classy, for now: “President Trump, a political agitator pressed into the unfamiliar new role of soothing a nation, called for bipartisan unity in his first statement responding to the shooting Wednesday morning of a congressman and three others on a suburban Virginia baseball diamond…’We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember everyone who serves in our nation’s capital because they all love our country,’ added the president, who was scheduled to attend a party celebrating his 71st birthday Wednesday night. ‘We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans. We are strongest when we are unified and when we work for the common good.’” [NYT’s Glenn Thrush and Julie Hirschfeld Davis]
JFC, what is with people: “A Republican congresswoman from New York said she received an email threat just hours after Wednesday morning’s shooting at a baseball field that wounded GOP Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others. Rep. Claudia Tenney forwarded to several news outlets the email that began with the subject line: ‘One down, 216 to go…’ It read: ‘Do you NOT expect this? When you take away ordinary peoples very lives in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit. Certainly, your souls and morality were lost long before. Good riddance.’” [HuffPost’s Marina Fang]
Thoughts and prayers: “Following an early-morning shooting at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources has cancelled a hearing on a bill to make it easier for gun owners to obtain silencers. A Democratic congressional aide confirmed to The Daily Beast that the hearing, originally scheduled for 10 a.m., was to focus on the ‘Hearing Protection Act,’ which had been rolled into a larger sportsmen’s package called the SHARE Act.” [Daily Beast]
America’s favorite pastime to not be interrupted by America’s other favorite pastime: “Members of Congress will hold their annual charity baseball game on Thursday night, just one day after a man opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they practiced for the event. In a briefing to all members, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced that the game would be neither canceled nor postponed. Speaking to reporters after his announcement, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said lawmakers received the news with a standing ovation. ‘I haven’t seen a moment like that since I’ve been here,’ McSally said.” [HuffPost’s Sam Stein]
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BAD DAY AT HUFFPOST – We lost a lot of talent today. On the politics team alone, Jason Linkins, Christina Wilkie, Laura Barrón-López, Ben Walsh, Dave Wood, Mike McAuliff, Cristian Farias and Grace Sparks were let go. Dozens of other HuffPost employees on other teams are also departing. People looking for talented journalists should drop us a line and prepare for very lengthy and effusive replies. Michael Calderone: “The HuffPost layoffs come as Lydia Polgreen, who took over as editor-in-chief earlier this year, is assembling a newsroom leadership team, which includes former Daily News Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich, and charting a new editorial vision. She recently oversaw a rebranding of the site, which was co-founded by Arianna Huffington, who left the company in August…. The news about HuffPost’s layoffs followed shortly after Vocativ laid off its entire editorial team in a shift to an all-video strategy. Time Inc., the publisher behind titles such as Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and People, laid off 300 employees on Monday.” [HuffPost]
WILL THE SENATE FORCE TRUMP TO DEBUT HIS вето PEN? And who will transmit this news to Vladimir? Elana Schor: “The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of new Russia sanctions that also lets Congress block President Donald Trump from easing or ending penalties against Moscow, the year’s most significant GOP-imposed restriction on the White House. The 97-2 vote on the Russia sanctions plan capped a week of talks that demonstrated cross-aisle collaboration that’s become increasingly rare…. Senators merged the sanctions package with a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill that’s on track for passage as soon as this week, complicating the politics of any future veto threat from the Trump administration…. But the Senate’s deal faces a murky future in the House and with the White House, which has yet to say where it stands.” [Politico]
JUST THE CLASSIEST FBI BUILDING ― EVERYONE SAYS SO – Sure, but did the crooked media even report on JFK’s close ties to Charles P. Murphy and Associates?? Bernard Condon: “A company that owns buildings with Donald Trump and the family of Jared Kushner is a finalist for a $1.7 billion contract to build the FBI’s new headquarters. Vornado Realty Trust is one of three finalists to build a replacement for the bureau’s current headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., the massive J. Edgar Hoover Building, according to Garth Beall, manager of Renard Development…. Vornado is a partial owner with the Trump Organization in two buildings, one each in New York and San Francisco. It is also a major investor in 666 Fifth Ave., the flagship skyscraper of the Kushner Cos.” [AP]
Full disclosure: Vornado also owns HuffPost’s Manhattan HQ, so we’re probably somehow complicit. #MAGA
MAJOR CHARGES IN FLINT WATER CASE – Kate Sheppard, Arthur Delaney and Chris D’Angelo: “Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged five officials with involuntary manslaughter Wednesday over their handling of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan…. ‘People in Flint have died as a result of the decisions made by those responsible to protect the health and safety of families,’ Schuette said during a press conference Wednesday. The defendants, all high-ranking members of the city and state government, are Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former Flint water manager Howard Croft, and Liane Shekter-Smith and Stephen Busch of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Additionally, Dr. Eden Wells, the state’s chief medical officer, has been charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.” [HuffPost]
CONGRATS TO TRUMP UNIVERSITY CLASS OF 2021 – Valerie Strauss: “The Trump administration is suspending two key rules from the Obama administration that were intended to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges, saying it will soon start the process to write its own regulations. The move made Wednesday by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was a victory for Republican lawmakers and for-profit colleges that had lobbied against the rules. Critics denounced it, accusing the administration of essentially selling out students to help for-profit colleges stay in business.” [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR – Here’s a bird who thinks it’s a dog.
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS DEBATE COMING OUT AGAINST HORRIBLE RACISM – Who Would Jesus Hate?? Sarah Pulliam Bailey: “A Southern Baptist Convention proposal to condemn a white nationalist group drew some backlash during the convention’s annual meeting on Tuesday when a committee first declined to bring a proposed resolution to a vote…. The debate over the resolution highlights the many divisions within the denomination around the election of President Trump, which put the spotlight on white supremacists among his supporters. While several Southern Baptist leaders have served on Trump’s evangelical advisory board, many younger Southern Baptists — including the denomination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty president Russell Moore — vocally opposed his candidacy.” [WaPo]
THIS CHICKEN SANDWICH WILL LEAD A MORE INTERESTING LIFE THAN YOU – “KFC plans to make a space pioneer out of a chicken sandwich next week when it sends it to the edge of the atmosphere with the help of a high-altitude balloon.” [AP]
– Orchestral cover of “Harder, Better, Faster Stronger.”
– Dog really needs a break from the kids.
– Older gentleman just wants to rock out.
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