Hillary Clinton was minding her own business and delivering a speech last Thursday when suddenly a shoe went whizzing by her head. Judging by her startled reaction, she had no idea it was coming — or did she?
That's the question Rush Limbaugh and other "shoe truthers," as Talking Points Memo branded them, are pondering in the wake of the bizarre incident. On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh said that though he'd yet to see footage of the event, it would be just like Clinton to fake such a story. As for her possible motive? To distract from Benghazi, of course.
"Maybe it's because in my subconscious I think it was staged or set up or whatever.
Look, folks, I know these people so well that I do not attach much genuineness to them at all, and I don't know why anybody would be throwing a shoe at Hillary unless maybe it's an attempt to make the Benghazi people look like nuts and lunatics and wackos. That's if it even had anything to do with that, which I don't know. But apparently it's not just me, folks." [Rush Limbaugh]
Limbaugh wasn't alone either. Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg wondered in a blog post Monday if Clinton staged the story to "make her seem presidential."
Clinton has led every early poll of the 2016 Democratic primary by yawning margins and already has a well-heeled shadow campaign to support her likely presidential bid. Which is to say, she does not need a shoe-throwing hoax to lend her a presidential aura. Jon Terbush
On Monday evening, the Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo, a conservative congressman from Kansas, as the CIA director.
His responsibilities will include managing the global spy network and improving the contentious relationship between the agency and President Trump. As a Congressman, Pompeo was a Tea Party Republican who opposed the Obama administration's nuclear accord with Iran and called the attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi "worse in some ways" than Watergate, The Washington Post reports. Catherine Garcia
A federal judge on Monday blocked the proposed $34-billion merger of health insurance giants Aetna and Humana on antitrust grounds.
The Justice Department under the Obama administration sued to stop the deal. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Bates said the deal would threaten competition, writing that "federal regulation would likely be insufficient to prevent the merged firm from raising prices or reducing benefits" and there is "valuable head-to-head competition between Aetna and Humana which the merger would eliminate."
Aetna and Humana said that by 2018, they expected to see $1.25 billion in annual cost savings, but Bates wrote "the Court is unpersuaded that the efficiencies generated by the merger will be sufficient to mitigate the anti-competitive effect for consumers" in markets the deal affects, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Justice Department also sued to block Anthem's proposed $48 billion purchase of Sigma Corp on antitrust reasons; another judge is hearing that case. Catherine Garcia
Stephen Colbert will host the 2017 Emmy Awards, CBS announced Monday. The host of The Late Show will be the fourth late-night host this year to emcee an awards ceremony, following Jimmy Fallon for the Golden Globes, Jimmy Kimmel for the Academy Awards, and James Corden for the Grammys.
"This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the globe," said Colbert, taking a shot at President Trump and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for their claims about the record attendance at Trump's inauguration.
This will be Colbert's biggest live hosting gig yet; he previously hosted the Annual Kennedy Center Honors on CBS. He has won nine Emmy awards for his writing and for his Comedy Central series, The Colbert Report, which he left in 2014.
The Emmys will air Sept. 17, with nominees to be announced July 13. Becca Stanek
"For those plotting world domination from the comfort of their own living rooms, this is the ultimate armchair," says Margaret Abrams at New York Observer. A statement piece in any home, the Gold Skull Armchair ($500,000) from Harow, a Paris design studio, looks almost conventional when viewed head-on. From every other angle, it's "worthy of the next Game of Thrones season" — menacing, faceted like a diamond, and plated in 24-karat gold. You can also get the chair in black or chrome, but shiny gold "seems to be the newest (and oldest) trend when it comes to luxury items."
President Donald Trump's inaugural address about "American carnage" and "America first" apparently went over swimmingly with America's citizens. A Gallup poll released Monday revealed that 53 percent of Americans who watched or read about Trump's inaugural address Friday rated it as "excellent" or "good." Just 20 percent said the president's speech was "poor" or terrible."
However, Trump's ratings lag behind those of former President Barack Obama in both 2013 and 2009, and of former President George W. Bush in 2005. Sixty-five percent gave Obama's 2013 address an "excellent" or "good" review, while 81 percent did so in 2009; Bush's 2005 address got a positive rating from 62 percent.
Still, Trump's address did make Americans somewhat more optimistic about the future, Gallup found. While 30 percent reported feeling "less hopeful" after listening to Trump speak, 39 percent reported feeling "more hopeful." Another 30 percent said his address made "no difference" at all.
The poll surveyed 508 adults from across all 50 states immediately after Trump's inaugural address on Jan. 20. Its margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. Becca Stanek
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer really, really, really, really does not like Dippin' Dots.
we may not have inauguration attendance data yet, but one set of record turnout numbers are in:
Sean spicer's angry dippin dots twetes pic.twitter.com/KSXlXLLEeB
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) January 22, 2017
But Dippin' Dots just wants to be loved. The confection company sent an open letter to Spicer on Monday looking to become "friends rather than foes":
We understand that ice cream is a serious matter. And running out of your favorite flavor can feel like a national emergency! We’ve seen your tweets and would like to be friends rather than foes. After all, we believe in connecting the dots.
As you may or may not know, Dippin' Dots are made in Kentucky by hundreds of hard working Americans in the heartland of our great country. As a company, we're doing great. We've enjoyed double-digit growth in sales for the past three years. That means we're creating jobs and opportunities. We hear that's on your agenda too.
We can even afford to treat the White House and press corps to an ice cream social. What do you say? We'll make sure there's plenty of all your favorite flavors. [Dippin' Dots]
Eric Trump has replaced his father, President Donald Trump, as the head of Trump International Hotels Management LLC, Florida public records show. CNN confirms with documents provided by the Trump Organization that Trump resigned from more than 400 entities on Jan. 19, one day before he was sworn into office.
Eric Trump has replaced his father as president of Trump International Hotels Management pic.twitter.com/PhxzRMIPFg
— Nicholas Nehamas (@NickNehamas) January 23, 2017
Trump will still receive reports that detail the profits of the Trump Organization, but he will not speak to his adult sons — Eric and Don Jr., who will lead the company — about the business. "Company records will be updated with the various states in the ordinary course as and when required by law," Trump Organization General Counsel Alan Garten said in a statement.
Prior to the announcement, a group of constitutional scholars and ethics lawyers had planned to file a lawsuit Monday accusing President Trump of violating the U.S. Constitution by letting his hotels and other businesses take payments from foreign governments. Jeva Lange