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HUFFPOST HILL - Obama Nominates Wise Latina White Guy

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 16/03/2016 Eliot Nelson

“JUDY GARLAND?” a confused but intrigued nation exclaimed, before reading closer and letting out a disappointed sigh, “oh, Judge Garland.” The entire Metro system was closed, but the Capitol subway system continued running, helping tens of people cross a short distance slightly faster. And Donald Trump said a contested convention could give rise to riots, promising the classiest breakdown in the social contract you’ve ever seen. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, March 16th, 2016:
OBAMA NOMINATES MERRICK GARLAND -- PRESUMABLY SOME KIND OF BILLFISH -- TO THE SUPREME COURT - We missed the announcement, but that's a bold direction to go. Cristian Farias: Settling for a centrist candidate with nearly two decades of judicial experience, President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick Garland, a federal appeals judge in Washington, D.C., to the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. 'I said I would take this process seriously, and I did,' Obama said while announcing his choice from the Rose Garden at the White House, adding: 'The one name that has come up repeatedly -- from Republicans and Democrats alike -- is Merrick Garland.' … An honors graduate of Harvard Law School, Garland is also chief judge of a federal court that's widely regarded as second only to the Supreme Court: The D.C. Circuit is not only a pipeline of sorts for future justices -- Scalia and Justices Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg also sat there -- but it also hears major challenges to federal regulatory action, including cases on net neutrality, health care and the environment." [HuffPost]
MCCONNELL: NO - But stop trying to make "Biden Rule" happen and just accept the lousy narrative you helped create. Jen Bendery, Laura Barron-Lopez and Mike McAuliff: "Within minutes of Obama's news on Garland, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was already declaring his nomination dead on arrival... McConnell said in a statement: 'The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next President nominates, whoever that might be.' Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, echoed McConnell's sentiments, saying the Senate should punt the nomination to 2017 because it would 'get bogged down in politics' this year." [HuffPost]
HATCH, TARGETED REPUBLICANS: MAYBE - Amanda Terkel and Jen Bendery: "[F]or the first time, senators indicated that they might be willing to take up Obama's nominee during the lame duck session in December, if they lose the presidential election. 'I'd probably be open to resolving this in a lame duck,' Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said. Hatch's comments came after Obama announced the nomination of Merrick Garland, a federal appeals judge in Washington, D.C. widely considered a centrist choice. 'The only position I've had is 'Hey, I'm concerned about the direction of the court,' and so if we come to a point where we've lost the election, and we can get a centrist like Garland in there as opposed to someone like Hillary Clinton might appoint then I'd go for it,' Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) added." [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE: EVERYBODY LOVES A WHITE GUY! - Getting a Supreme Court seat definitely is worth the whole world calling you a bland white dude, but only by a little. Edwards-Isaac Dovere: "People close to the White House’s discussions say Obama made the political calculation that Garland was the one potential nominee with so many professional and personal qualifications -- and so few potential knocks against him -- that any opposition to him will be clearly seen as pure obstructionist Republican politics. He may not have what people believed to have been Obama's perfect choice. But he's who the president and his aides have determined is their best shot -- Mr. Right Now, if not the dreamy Mr. Right (or in this case, Mr. Left). Obama pressed that point on Wednesday, calling Garland “uniquely prepared to serve immediately.' The fight began instantly, with Garland making phone calls to senators as soon as he walked back out of the Rose Garden with Obama. Thursday, he heads to the Hill for the first of his meetings with senators that will kick off an intense media and political strategy all about pressuring Senate Republicans to crack." [Politico]
NOBODY KNOWS MERRICK'S PH - Richard Wolf couldn't turn up any major decisions: "During 19 years at the D.C. Circuit, Garland has managed to keep a low profile. The court's largely administrative docket has left him without known positions on issues such as abortion or the death penalty." [USAToday]
DELANEY DOWNER - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) would like you to know that lead pipes are bad and that America's national policy is to continue using them anyway. "The truth is, there are many communities with potentially dangerous lead problems," Snyder will say in his testimony tomorrow morning before the House Oversight Committee. "And if the dumb and dangerous federal lead and copper rule is not changed . . . then this tragedy will befall other American cities."
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 - @HuffPostHillPOLL: WHAT SHOULD ELIOT NAME HIS MARCH MADNESS BRACKET?
1. Brick Santorum
2. Merrick Ballin
3. Donald Dunkpf
DONALD TRUMP MOB JUSTICE UPDATE #624,122 - Nothing like some RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE to really spice up a convention. Jessica Schulberg: "Trump warned Wednesday morning that there would be widespread unrest if he does not "automatically" get the nomination as the candidate with the greatest number of delegates. 'I think you would have riots,' Trump said during an interview with CNN, adding that he represents 'many, many millions of people,' including several first-time voters. Party operatives hoping to stop Trump have looked to the possibility of a brokered convention, which could block his path to becoming the nominee should he only win a plurality of delegates. … 'If you disenfranchise those people, and you say, 'Well, I’m sorry, but you’re 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short,' I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen,' Trump continued. 'I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen.'" [HuffPost]
GOP DEBATE CANCELED, AMERICA'S BLOOD PRESSURE SPARED FOR AN EVENING - Though the dick joke probability is plummeting ever closer to zero. Michael Calderone: "The Republican debate season may have ended Wednesday, as the 13th contest of the primary cycle, scheduled for March 21 in Salt Lake City, was cancelled. Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday on 'Fox & Friends' that he would not participate in the upcoming Fox News debate, deciding instead to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference. John Kasich's campaign later announced the Ohio governor wouldn't attend either. Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente confirmed in a statement that the debate would not take place. He said the Republican National Committee had offered Fox News the opportunity to host the Utah debate 'provided there were enough candidates actively campaigning.' ... The Republican National Committee has sanctioned one additional debate, if needed, to take place in New York in April. When asked if he expected the New York debate to happen, RNC communications director Sean Spicer told The Huffington Post 'that will be up to the candidates.'" [HuffPost]
With all apologies to Joe Scarborough, Hillary Clinton would probably not placate people if she spoke more quietly.TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE READY TO PUNCH SOME PEOPLE - Eliot and Scott Conroy: "If the mood at Trump's events are any indication, his supporters might be spoiling for a literal fight. During Trump's rally in Boca Raton on Sunday, his supporters were already anticipating the unrest that could result from an attempt to hand the party's nomination to someone with less success in the primaries. Ron Royce, a DJ who was sporting a leather jacket with the words 'OBAMA SUCKS' scrawled on the back in white paint, foresees a level of discord not witnessed since the 1968 Democratic National Convention erupted in violence over Vice President Hubert Humphrey's nomination. 'That was the Democratic Party. Democrats are the only ones that riot. Republicans don’t riot. This time they might,' he mused. 'There’s gonna be pandemonium on the floor between all those delegates. They’re gonna start some sh-t.'" [HuffPost]
Oh Ben: "Carson on Trump comparing him to a child molester: "It did work" [Yahoo News]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some Metro closure happy hour deals.
WOMP WOMP, DEMOCRATS EDITION - Tuesday was a very good day for Hillary Clinton. She swept primary challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in five states, effectively ending his chances of securing the Democratic presidential nomination. But buried within the clear victory was a troubling trend for the party front-runner: She is doing a terrible job turning out voters, particularly in the states that will matter most in a November matchup against Donald Trump. More people voted for Trump than for Clinton in two states Tuesday night -- Missouri and Ohio. In Florida, Clinton edged Trump by a nose -- less than 2 percent. Clinton had only one other candidate splitting the Democratic vote in a contested election, while Trump was embroiled in a four-way contest that factionalized Republican voters. In Ohio, Trump bested Clinton by about 50,000 votes despite coming in second in the GOP contest to John Kasich, the state's current governor. In Missouri, both Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) bested Clinton's vote total by nearly 20 percent." [HuffPost]
- A 1984 demonstration of email.
- The making of a Damascus steel sword.
- Dog has maniacal laugh.
TWITTERAMA@BCAppelbaum: True story: There once were trains that ran underneath the streets of Washington DC.
@elisefoley: I'm going to take the fact that I woke up to the sweet, sweet sound of honking cars to mean that this no metro thing is going well.
@JNicholsonInDC: Officially reached the leg-cramping-up-Dave-Brat-explains-the-problems-with-min.-wage portion in Hour 7 of budget markup.
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