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HUFFPOST HILL - Donald Trump Making A Lot Of People Reconsider Their Stance On Abortion

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Eliot Nelson

D.C.’s Metro might shut down an entire rail line for half a year, furthering the possibility that our nation’s capital will be moved to the Panera Bread in Ballston. The Freedom Caucus wants to cancel Congress’ lame duck session, implying there is a time the Freedom Caucus would be OK with the government functioning. And Donald Trump is open to criminalizing abortion, though like everything else he does and says, it will never get Megyn Kelly to love him. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, March 30th, 2016:
[LITERAL WASHINGTON GRIDLOCK JOKE HERE] - But what will K Street's lobbyists do if they can't ride the Green Line? "Metro is in such need of repair that the transit system could shut down an entire rail line for as long as six months to do needed maintenance, Metro board Chairman Jack Evans said Wednesday. At a minimum, Evans said, Metro will have to shut segments of lines for extended periods because there isn’t enough time to do the necessary work using only nights and weekends. Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld confirmed that he was considering such lengthy closures but hasn’t made a decision yet. He said he expected to do so within a month to six weeks." [WaPo]
TRUMP DOESN'T LIKE WOMEN THAT MUCH - Elise Foley and Samantha Lachman: "Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday that there “has to be some form of punishment” for abortion if it were banned in the U.S. — as he says it should be — and that punishment should fall on the woman. Trump, who is currently struggling with women voters, was pressed on the issue of abortion during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, set to air Wednesday evening. Matthews asked whether abortion should be punished, and Trump initially skated around the issue. He said some Republicans would say it should be, and that he 'would say it’s a very serious problem and it’s a problem we have to decide on.' He then asked Matthews -- but didn’t answer himself -- 'Are you going to, say, put them to jail?' and added he was anti-abortion and that 'you have to ban” abortion.'" [HuffPost]
Pro-lifers do not appreciate this "punish women" business.TRUMP BACKTRACKS - What a loser. Sad! "If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed -- like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."
JOHN KASICH ALSO CAN INSULT WOMEN - Trump is better at it, of course. Samantha Lachman: "Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a habit of making awkward comments about women as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination. At a CNN town hall on Tuesday in Milwaukee, Charlotte Rasmussen from Butler, Wisconsin, asked Kasich whom he would choose as his vice president were he the GOP’s nominee. 'Are you available? You look great tonight,' he said to her in response." [HuffPost]
Republican candidates' pledge to support the eventual nominee has fallen apart.BRIBE, INC. - Nick Baumann, Ryan Grim and Paul Blumenthal: "On Wednesday, The Huffington Post and its Australian partner, Fairfax Media -- led by reporters Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie -- published the results of a months-long investigation of Unaoil, an obscure firm that helps big multinational corporations win contracts in areas of the world where corruption is common. Hundreds of major international corporations -- including Halliburton, its former subsidiary KBR, Rolls-Royce and Samsung -- counted on Unaoil to secure lucrative contracts in Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and other countries in Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union, tens of thousands of internal emails and documents reveal. It’s common for large multinational corporations to partner with smaller firms with local expertise to win contracts. But in many cases, Unaoil wasn’t winning contracts because of its expertise -- it was winning them by paying millions of dollars in bribes to corrupt officials." [HuffPost]
THE GOP CONVENTION'S GONNA BE A MESS- Natalie Jackson: "The biggest question of the political season is whether Donald Trump will get enough delegates to win the GOP presidential nomination before the convention. Prediction markets, which allow people to bet on future events using real money, estimate an average 61 percent chance of a contested Republican convention with two or more votes required. The chance Trump will fail to get to the required 1,237 delegates before the convention, they estimate, is 69 percent. This is exactly the type of situation where election 'prediction markets' can be most valuable -- rare events where we can’t rely on recent history and when polls aren’t terribly useful. Most people don’t understand the nuances of delegates and conventions, which means polling on what will happen is tricky and potentially unreliable." [HuffPost]
DELANEY DOWNER - Fox and Friends had former Dave County Florida Circuit Court Judge Alex FerreI talk about new work requirements for food stamp recipients. "First of all, there's a lot of people on food stamps, of course, who absolutely need food stamps and they're not gaming the system, but there's also people who are gaming the system. Who feel, 'I'd rather just get benefits, you know, and not work.' And, I did something very similar when I was a judge in the criminal court. You have the same problem with criminals who, let's say, burglarize your home and steal $5,000. They get caught, and they're ordered to pay the victim back. Well, they don't." [MediaMatters]

Like HuffPost Hill? Then pre-order Eliot's book's, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government.Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHillFREEDOM CAUCUS MOVES TO END LAME DUCK SESSION - At least demand that outgoing members maintain a C average if they want to keep their lobbying jobs. Matt Fuller: "When the House returns from a two-week recess on April 12, a small group of members are gearing up to stop GOP leadership in both chambers, if they have their way, from holding a legislative session after the November election. It’s not that the members are lazy, though doing away with the postelection session would mean the House would be in just 17 days for the rest of the year after July 15 — and zero past Sept. 30. Conservative members say they are trying to stop Congress from doing anything after the November election because Congress does some of its most slapdash lawmaking once the public has voted. The group of lawmakers, anchored by the House Freedom Caucus, doesn’t want to take any chances that the Senate confirms a Supreme Court nominee or that Congress rams through the expansive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal or a big budget agreement that raises spending. 'If you look at these lame ducks, you know, the American public gets screwed,' Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), the Freedom Caucus member leading the charge against the postelection session, told The Huffington Post last week. 'Increased spending, all these favors that we got to do for people — it’s got to stop.'" [HuffPost]
RNC ORGANIZERS TRYING TO UNDO RULE FAVORABLE TO TRUMP - Still hope for all of you "Draft Pataki" diehards. Kyle Cheney: "All four early appointees to the rules committee for this year’s Republican National Convention told POLITICO they’re prepared to weaken or scrap a rule that could limit the convention’s alternatives to Donald Trump. The four took issue with a rule, originally imposed by Mitt Romney forces in 2012 to keep rival Ron Paul off the convention stage, requiring a candidate to win a majority of delegates in eight states to be eligible for the party’s nomination -- a threshold only Trump has exceeded so far. If preserved, the rule could block John Kasich or Ted Cruz from competing with Trump at the convention, set for July in Cleveland. If the committee scraps the requirement entirely, it could open the door to multiple candidates, possibly even some who never entered the primaries, competing for the party’s nomination at a brokered convention. And even a lower threshold would make it easier for Trump’s rivals to challenge him." [Politico]
PUTIN APOLOGIST APPOINTS PUTIN APOLOGIST - Zachary Milder: "A globe-trotting American investment banker who's built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia's escalating involvement in the Ukraine. When Donald Trump named him last week as one of his foreign-policy advisers, Page says his e-mail inbox filled up with positive notes from Russian contacts...Over the course of his campaign, Trump has been a contrarian on Russia... So it makes sense that Trump tapped Page for his foreign-policy team. In writings postedonline, Page is a reliable defender of Russian intentions, and portrays U.S. policymakers as stuck in an outdated Cold War mindset." [Bloomberg]
Clinton making interesting moves vis-a-vis working people: "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed support for eliminating the “subminimum wage” for people with disabilities employed in specialized workplaces, a major coup for disability rights advocates who argue that the little-known loophole is discriminatory and harmful. The subject came up Monday in a question-and-answer session at a campaign event at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison...The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour. While employers are required to top it off if tips do not bring hourly pay to $7.25, that has proven difficult to enforce." [HuffPost's Daniel Marans]
ARIZONA MOVES TO BE AN EVEN MORE AWFUL PLACE - Godforsaken place doesn't even have a beach. Howard Fischer: "The state House gave final approval Tuesday to a major overhaul of campaign finance laws, including allowing individuals to spend unlimited amounts of money to help raise funds for candidates they support without having to disclose it to the public. On a 31-27 vote largely along party lines, lawmakers agreed to scrap the $100 cap on what people can spend in tickets, food and liquor for fundraisers for candidates. SB 1516 also eliminates existing law that requires groups spending money to influence elections to register first with the state. Those groups also could refuse to disclose donors if they have registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a “social welfare” organization. It also would allow candidates with large campaign war chests to transfer money to others. The measure, which now goes to the governor, also allows groups to spend unlimited amounts, including corporate dollars, to try to change state law while leaving voters in the dark about who is behind the campaign." [Arizona Daily Star]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a territorial gorillaCOMFORT FOOD
- Barn owl learns to fly.
- Some hyperrealistic drawings.
- Making super tiny donuts.
TWITTERAMA@colvinj: Trump says he likes having dinner w/ less successful people because then he's the star at the table: "Always be around unsuccessful people."
"He doesnt know her"
"He never touched her"
"She just wants attention"
"She bruised herself"
"Actually he was defending Trump"
"He's a dad!"

@pourmecoffee: Trump has someone keep a spreadsheet of all his positions, but they go mad every few days. You can't look at it. It's like Medusa.

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