Playing politics
April 17, 2014
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Trust in Obama has fallen to new lows, a new poll suggests.

Around six in 10 American voters think Barack Obama lies to the country on important matters some or most of the time, according to a recent poll commissioned by Fox News. Thirty-seven percent think Obama lies "most of the time," while another 24 percent say he lies "some of the time."

In case you're skeptical of the source, know that it was an actual poll of 1,012 registered voters conducted by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research, and not a phone-in poll on Hannity or The O'Reilly Factor.

Its findings are supported by the fact that last year a number of polls — including this one by CNN/ORC — found trust in Obama had fallen below 50 percent for the first time.

Does it matter? Well, Obama can't stand for a third term as president, so perceptions of him as untrustworthy are pretty irrelevant in the wider scheme of things. His domestic legacy remains very much up in the air, and will probably rest on actions taken much earlier in his presidency — like whether the relatively weak Obama recovery strengthens in his last years in office and beyond, and the long-term impacts of ObamaCare. Right now nobody really knows how those things will turn out.

And — importantly, for Democrats wanting to retain the presidency in 2016 — distrust in Obama hasn't seemingly rubbed off much on his potential successor, Hillary Clinton. The Fox poll found 54 percent trusted Hillary, compared to 49 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 41 percent for Chris Christie. John Aziz

the sky's the limit
8:18 p.m. ET

Putting LAX and JFK to shame, the most posh airport in the world opened up at Paris' Grand Palais on Tuesday.

For Chanel's aviation-themed show at Paris Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfeld pulled out all the stops, recreating an entire airport complete with check-in desks for Chanel Airlines, an electronic passenger information board, rows of lounge chairs, and baggage carts emblazoned with the Chanel logo. The runway show took place in Terminal No. 5 (a nod to the brand's famed perfume), and Lagerfeld told The Associated Press as he drank mineral water delivered on a silver platter the inspiration was "travel, long-distance travel to every destination."

It was interesting timing, as French union activists involved in a labor dispute ripped the suit jackets and shirts off of two Air France executives earlier in the day in another part of Paris. Lagerfeld said the thought of changing the show because of the protests never crossed his mind. "These shows are planned six months in advance," he told AP. "[Chanel's] an oracle of the times, but it takes months and months and months. Not 24 hours." Catherine Garcia

7:06 p.m. ET

The U.S. Treasury's Terror Financing unit has launched an inquiry into how the Islamic State is obtaining large numbers of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs.

The world's second largest automaker said it is "supporting" the investigation, with Ed Lewis, Toyota's director of public policy and communications in Washington, telling ABC News the company has briefed the Treasury on supply chains in the Middle East and procedures in place to safeguard supply chain integrity. Toyota, he said, has a "strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities."

ISIS propaganda videos filmed in Iraq, Syria, and Libya show numerous Hilux and Land Cruiser vehicles marked with ISIS seals, including one video ABC News says was shot in Raqqa, Syria, featuring an ISIS parade where more than two-thirds of the vehicles were Toyotas. "Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand," Mark Wallace, CEO of the Counter Extremism Project and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said. "ISIS has used these vehicles in order to engage in military-type activities, terror activities, and the like. But in nearly every ISIS video, they show a fleet — a convoy of Toyota vehicles and that's very concerning to us."

Lewis said most of the Toyotas appearing in the videos are not new models, and the company cannot track down stolen vehicles or ones that have been bought and re-sold by middlemen. An Iraqi military spokesman told ABC News he thinks trucks are being smuggled into Iraq by outside middlemen, and Toyota distributors in the region said they are unsure how the trucks are getting to ISIS. Wallace said he doesn't think Toyota is "trying to intentionally profit from it, but they are on notice now and they should do more." Catherine Garcia

stand up
5:28 p.m. ET
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It seems that, like the rest of us, the White House has been reading some hysterical articles about how sitting all day will kill you. And it also appears that, like the rest of us, the Executive Office of the President is now wondering if it's time to ditch chairs and exercise balls in favor of standing desks.

National Journal reports that, according to a recent public solicitation, the Executive Office of the President is seeking up to $700,000 worth of standing desks over a five-year period — though the remaining four years after the end of the Obama administration are optional. The government even has a brand preference for the desks, specifying that they must be "Varidesk brand name or equal." Large Varidesks cost in the $400-$500 range.

If the whole office has standing desks, though, one has to ask: How will your ultra-fit co-workers find a way to appear athletically superior? Samantha Rollins

planned parenthood
4:04 p.m. ET
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

A man named Ryan Gonzalez reportedly spent 11 months editing the secretly recorded Planned Parenthood video footage that was released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, a source close to Gonzalez told The Huffington Post. The videos, which appear to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the disposal of fetal tissue and whose content rallied Republicans to threaten to shut down the government, have since been found to have used actors and contain heavy edits that make them entirely unreliable.

The Huffington Post's source said that Gonzalez worked with his friend, David Daleiden, who started the Center for Medical Progress, in an apartment in Orange County, California. The pair began by meeting to edit the videos once or twice a week, then ramped up the frequency in May 2015 until it became a full-time effort. In July, Gonzalez promoted the videos on his personal Facebook page: "This is the first part of a project I've been editing since last August and haven't been able to talk about until now. It was just released today and the news is tracking well so far." The pair later made fun of allegations that the footage was manipulated on their Facebook pages.

The Center for Medical Progress blames the unexplained edits on "bathroom breaks or waiting time between meetings [that] were removed to protect the investigators." Daleiden added in an email to The Huffington Post that "the Center for Medical Progress works with a variety of contractors for technically skilled tasks like acting, legal research, and video editing, but as a general rule we do not publicly comment on or identify these individuals because of serious personal security concerns." He maintains that the authenticity of the videos has been verified. Jeva Lange

'He said Hitler!'
3:34 p.m. ET

When Whoopi Goldberg asked Ben Carson about his recent remark that Hitler "could happen here" in a Tuesday interview on The View, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate didn't try to explain the remark away — he doubled down on it. First off, he clarified, he knew exactly what he was doing when made the comment. "I purposely said that because I knew the left wing would go crazy: 'He said Hitler!'" Carson said.

He then went on to explain that his invocation of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany was really just a way to remind people of what can happen if people don't stand up for what they believe in. "So what I said is most people in Nazi Germany did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? No. They kept their mouths shut," Carson said. "And when you do that, you are compromising your freedom and the freedom of people who come behind you. You have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in. I want people in America to stand up for what we believe in."

But no matter what Carson was trying to say, even his campaign manager thinks it's about time he finds a new example to illustrate his point. "It's an example [Carson] has been using for years," Carson's campaign manager Barry Bennett told ABC News, "and, to be honest with you, he needs to find a better example because the problem is as soon as you say Hitler, nobody hears anything else you say."

Watch Carson's interview below. Becca Stanek

over and out
2:39 p.m. ET
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With prisons overcrowded and drug offenders facing long sentences, the Justice Department is now set to release 6,000 inmates early from prison, The Washington Post reports. The move, which marks the largest ever one-time release of federal prisoners, follows a decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission last year that reduced the punishment for drug offenders both in the future and retroactively. While President Obama has made headlines for granting clemency to large numbers of nonviolent drug offenders, the Justice Department's mass release is a separate initiative.

Approximately 100,000 drug offenders are serving time in prisons across the United States; sentencing guidelines could result in the early release of 46,000 of that number. While the first wave of 6,000 will be released between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 — primarily into halfway houses or home confinement — another 8,550 will be eligible between November 2015 and 2016, The Washington Post reports. The program eases sentences by an average of two years; the average sentence is 10.5 years. Jeva Lange

the saga continues
2:09 p.m. ET

Rihanna doesn't think that Rachel Dolezal, the white N.A.A.C.P. chapter president who identifies as black, is as bad as everyone is making her out to be. While Dolezal was largely scorned after her estranged parents revealed this summer that their daughter was actually white, Rihanna seems to be taking Dolezal's side.

"I think she was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit," Rihanna told Vanity Fair in an interview for the magazine's November cover story. "Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people's perspective a bit and woke people up."

While some criticized Dolezal for appropriating black culture, Dolezal maintains that she is "transracial" and that, for her, being black is "not a costume." Read Rihanna's full interview at Vanity Fair. Becca Stanek

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