We're too angry after that botched World Cup call to write an intro but here goes: After Hillary Clinton let slip that the government will get all litigious on Arizona's "Leave No Mexican Behind" law, an administration official confirmed that DOJ is planning a suit. The Senate can't seem to figure out what to do with the extenders bill, but we've confirmed that doctors have WAY better lobbyists than unemployed people. Mark Kirk lied about playing with little kids and Tony Hayward's getting his life back -- as a villainous soldier from "The Patriot." Happy Father's Day, everyone. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 18th, 2010:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WILL PROSECUTE ARIZONA LAW - CBS News: "Now a senior administration official tells CBS News that the federal government will indeed formally challenge the law when Justice Department lawyers are finished building the case. The official said Justice is still working on building the case. Contacted about Clinton's comments today, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said they reflected her beliefs...Despite the senior administration official's comments, an official at the Justice Department told CBS News today that the question of whether to sue is still under consideration." http://bit.ly/aejMSd
SENATE AGREES TO DOC FIX, STILL NO JOBS BILL - Arthur Delaney: "Republican and Democratic leaders cut a deal Friday to prevent a 21 percent pay cut for doctors who see Medicare patients, resolving one of the major sticking points from a stalled bill to reauthorize several expired domestic aid programs. 'Sometimes the Senate can be terribly disconcerting, aggravating, but that's the way the senate is,' said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the Senate floor. 'I'm glad we were able to work this out. This is extremely important for everybody and we're going to move on with the rest of the information in the bill and try to finish that at the earliest possible date.'" http://huff.to/9Y7lad
"Clearly, the doctors have more lobbyists than the unemployed do," said Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project.
TOO LATE - Moments after the Senate leaders congratulated themselves on the deal, Medicare announced it would begin processing claims for June at the reduced rate. http://bit.ly/bRrh6a
NEW DNC AD TARGETS GOP AND JOE BARTON - "VOICEOVER: BP caused the worst oil spill in American history. [Images or video of spill] VOICEOVER: Now, at President Obama's direction, BP's set aside 20 billion for recovery on the Gulf coast. [Images of Obama at the White House with BP execs; images of video of the spill] VOICEOVER: But if Republicans were in charge, this is the guy who'd be overseeing BP. VIDEO OF BARTON: '...I apologize.'" Video: http://bit.ly/amZkQI
Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner is the 2nd Republican to call for Barton to step down as ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Politico: http://politi.co/bDssdf
Barton has as lot to apologize for. Flip through his mea culpas here: http://bit.ly/aQFrFa
Also: Check out BP's totally awesome website redesign! http://bit.ly/bZEmhQ
COMING TONIGHT: Check WonkRoom.org this evening for a major report on the various companies BP is secretively employing to run the Gulf Coast -- the 21,000 people who are making the money, getting exposed to toxic waste, managing claims processing, conducting tests, making decisions, flying the planes, etc. Some fascinating stuff.
BANKS INTRIGUED BY AFGHANISTAN'S MINING POTENTIAL - NYT: "Mining companies around the world are eager to exploit Afghanistan's newly discovered mineral wealth, but executives of Western firms caution that war, corruption and lack of roads and other infrastructure are likely to delay exploration for years. A few high-risk investors are sufficiently intrigued by the country's potential to take an early look. JP Morgan, for instance, has just sent a team of mining experts to Afghanistan to examine possible projects to develop." http://nyti.ms/bsypK0
YES, WE WERE ROBBED: WORLD CUP UPDATE - The United States overcame a daunting two-goal deficit to force a draw against Slovenia on Friday, but the Americans actually deserved to win outright. Shortly after tying the game in the 81st minute, the U.S. had a free kick near the Slovenian goal. USA team captain Landon Donovan, who scored the first U.S. goal of the game, lobbed the ball towards the goal and teammate Maurice Edu knocked it in -- but the referee called the goal off, apparently citing Edu for a foul (though the exact infraction still remains unclear). Replays suggest the call was completely baseless -- if anything, Slovenian defenders should have been flagged. See the video/photo proof: http://huff.to/bmxcEM
What comes next: USA plays Algeria next Wednesday at 10AM ET. If they win, they're through to the round of 16. If they tie, they STILL are almost assuredly through to the round of 16. If they lose... not good.
DC's top soccer pundits weigh in: When they aren't working on national security policy for the Center for American Progress, Max Bergmann and Ken Gude are DC's most fanatical soccer fans/analysts. http://bit.ly/bvRTyf Some thoughts on today's action:
Max Bergmann: "In the second half, the US played as they mentally like to play -- as a team with their backs against the wall. This really is the 'don't tread on me' team, a group that thrives on being counted out and being the underdog. Before the game, I noted this match would be a test of the US team's maturity: could they win when they were supposed to. The answer is not yet. When we play top teams in the world we show up with a chip on our shoulder and put it all out there. We play with something to prove. But we simply don't know how to play as favorites." More: http://huff.to/aZ6RxT
Ken Gude: "The pattern of poor refereeing against the US needs to be reversed, and we can do something about it. Bob Bradley needs to complain, and complain loudly. The USSF needs to make some noise. Elevate this into a controversy so that everyone knows that the US team feels aggrieved. Not only will that help the psyche of the team - 'us against the world' - it will put the match officials on notice that we are watching, perhaps shading it a bit in advance of the next game. A rather successful manager for some team in Manchester has made a career out of it. We were robbed." More: http://huff.to/cscVyl
Arthur Delaney: "Soccer sucks!"
MARK KIRK "OVERSTATED" TEACHING EXPERIENCE - "After Mark Kirk's campaign dismissed the story published in The New York Times this week regarding exaggerations about Kirk's teaching experience, a representative from the school in question came forward--and said Kirk was 'an assistant who played with the children.' On Wednesday, the New York Times published a story examining Kirk's teaching experience, which he has touted in campaign ads and on the House floor. Reporter Jeff Zeleny explained that Kirk has been less than forthcoming about how brief his teaching experience was, and had trouble confirming his alleged employment at a New York nursery school." http://huff.to/9ojNY3
VAN HOLLEN: DON'T COUNT "DISCLOSE ACT" OUT YET - Sam Stein: "Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said on Friday that any obituaries being written about his push for new campaign finance legislation are 'very, very premature.' Speaking the morning after House leadership pushed back consideration for the DISCLOSE Act, the Maryland Democrat said that the delay is not an indication of flagging support. A host of lawmakers and good government groups have aired reservations about the bill due to a disclosure exemption granted for the National Rifle Association, in addition to other groups -- saying it makes little sense to cut a deal with a special interest for a bill meant to tackle special interests."
Maria Cantwell schooled her colleagues at the Dems' Senate caucus meeting yesterday on the art of the policy presentation. Cantwell played this nifty video to support the CLEAR Act, which she's sponsoring with Susan Collins, at the meeting to decide what direction to take on energy legislation. The next most sophisticated presentation involved a chart. Still, we're pretty sure that's Super Mario music in the background. http://bit.ly/bazssn
DEMS RECONVENE ON ENERGY TUESDAY, HEAD TO WHITE HOUSE WEDNESDAY - The search for an energy legislative strategy continues Tuesday, as Thursday's presenters field questions from colleagues ahead of a Wednesday energy meeting at the Whtie House.
Unemployed Man In Skirt Raises $385 From YouTube Parking Lot Dance - Aswad was so angry about the Senate's dithering over unemployment benefits he put on a skirt and started dancing in a parking lot. Since HuffPost's story about his YouTube mission to raise $100,000 for his own personal use, Aswad's blog says he's actually received $365 in PayPal donations. See his story on the local ABC affiliate in Oregon tonight. http://bit.ly/ampm5z
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY - Here's Robert Byrd reciting a poem about fatherhood. http://bit.ly/351YXv
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com
TONY HAYWARD OUT AS BP'S OIL SPILL POINT MAN - But who will Grand Moff Tarkin order to fire the Death Star when ready? Sky News: "BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has told Sky's Jeff Randall that embattled chief executive Tony Hayward is to have a changed role in dealing with the oil spill. Asked by Randall about Mr Hayward's ongoing role, Mr Svanberg said: 'He is now handing over the operation to Bob Dudley.' Robert Dudley has been the managing director of the oil giant since 2009." http://bit.ly/b9TOYn
BP REPORTS PROGRESS IN OIL SEQUESTRATION - The Gulf's condition has now been upgraded from "Satan's Outhouse" to "Murky Abyss." Hooray! Bloomberg: "BP Plc captured 18,600 barrels of oil from its leaking Gulf of Mexico well yesterday, a 78 percent increase from the previous day and the most since the spill began in April. About 21 percent of the oil was burned aboard the Q4000, a floating rig connected to the wellhead that began operations early yesterday, BP said in a statement posted today on its website. The rest was stored aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, a drillship that's been collecting oil since June 4, BP said." http://bit.ly/cSR4Wz
...and the relief well is a week ahead of schedule. LA Times: "The interception shaft was about 1,000 feet away from the well on Thursday. BP has said that the relief will be complete in August. 'We are going down to the very bottom of the well bore for this intercept,' [Thad] Allen said. 'Hopefully, at that point, we will start pumping mud in and fill the well bore ... then put enough weight into the mud to hold the oil in the reservoir and put a plug in it.'" http://bit.ly/brYybM
BP HAS PAID 12% OF CLAIMS, COMMITTEE REPORTS - When it comes to screwing people, BP is no one-minute-man...AP: "The House Judiciary Committee says data it has collected shows that BP has paid less than 12 percent of claims submitted by people and businesses arising from the Gulf oil spill. The committee said in a statement Friday that only $71 million out of an estimated $600 million had been paid as of Tuesday. In addition, the panel said that BP didn't make any payments in the first two weeks following the explosion and oil spill. Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers said he's concerned that BP 'is stiffing too many victims and shortchanging others.'" http://huff.to/c9Z3ac
Os no! The Department of Agriculture is recalling SpaghettiOs and Marie Callender frozen dinners from the shelves out of concerns that the two products weren't refrigerated properly. AP: "The Department of Agriculture announced both recalls late Thursday. ConAgra Foods is recalling all Marie Callender's brand cheesy chicken and rice frozen meals after they were possibly linked to a salmonella outbreak in 14 states. And Campbell Soup Co. is recalling 15 million pounds of SpaghettiOs with meatballs after a cooker malfunctioned at one of the company's plants in Texas." http://nyti.ms/cncf1t
DEMS WOOING FEINGOLD FOR WALL STREET VOTE - Brian Beutler in TPM: "Progressive backers of financial reform are pushing Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to reconsider his protest vote against imposing tougher rules on Wall Street. Feingold opposed the Senate's regulatory reform bill because in his view, by lacking provisions that explicitly limit the size of major financial institutions, it didn't go far enough. But with House and Senate negotiators now ironing out the differences between their two bills, progressives see an opportunity to strengthen the final legislation... if only Feingold considers changing his vote." http://bit.ly/cuXZBK
OBAMA DEFENDS ECONOMIC AGENDA IN OHIO - AP: "President Barack Obama focused attention Friday on construction jobs created by the federal stimulus law while acknowledging the grinding toll the slow-to-rebound economy has taken. 'I'm under no illusion that we're where we need to be yet,' Obama said during an hourlong visit to the capital of a state he won in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote. The event was a groundbreaking for the 10,000th road project paid for by stimulus money, and it gave the president an occasion to leave Washington and promote progress on jobs." http://huff.to/c6lMtD
Somewhere, Harry Reid is quietly sobbing: Nevada now has the nation's highest unemployment rate, finds a government report out today. Nevada's status denies Michigan the top spot for the first time in four years. CNN: "The Silver State's unemployment rate climbed to 14% in May, the highest in the state since 1976 when the Labor Department began collecting the data. It was up from 13.7% in April. Meanwhile, joblessness slipped to 13.6% from 14% the previous month in Michigan, which has been ravaged by the struggles of the auto industry. The state has been the leader in unemployment rate since April 2006.During the last year, Nevada has lost a net total of more than 29,000 jobs, and posts the highest percentage increase in unemployment at 2.5%." http://bit.ly/aNs7C2
Aggressively confronting reporters is all the rage in the political arena! former senator and chair of Obama's Debt Commission Alan Simpson got feisty when a Social Security Words staffer questioned him about cuts to entitlement programs. Eat your heart out, Bob Etheridge! From Firedoglake: http://bit.ly/dl31P0
PLAYBOY'S TEA PARTY CONFESSIONAL - Sam Stein: "Playboy Magazine has published an anonymous confessional of sorts from K Street consultant who lifts the curtain on many of the politically crafty, somewhat seedy, underpinnings of the Tea Party movement, for which this consultant works. The article has been relatively un-commented upon. But its contents, if true, are illustrative and fascinating. The consultant, who doesn't identify who he actually works for, paints a picture of a movement that has strengths in the legions of followers outside the beltway but harnesses its power from the 'black arts' of politicking."
Rand Paul feels Joe Barton's pain. Sam Stein: "[T]he Tea Party darling offered his sympathies for the Texas Republican, noting that he too understands what it's like to be at the bottom of a political pile-on...'I don't know about that,' Paul said, when asked about Barton's statement during an appearance on WVLK-AM radio on Friday. 'I don't want to pile on him... I know what that feels like. What I will say is I have never liked the tone of the president when he said things or his administration says things like he is going to put the boot on the throat of BP... If we put BP out of business, they can't pay for the cleanup.'" http://huff.to/9PKPHa
Better than making her breakfast, we suppose. The South Carolina blog editor who claims he slept with Nikki Haley has endorsed her for governor. http://bit.ly/bjhDms
The mayor of Hartford, Connecticut has been found guilty on corruption charges. AP: "A one-time gang leader who escaped an impoverished childhood to become Hartford's first Latino mayor was convicted Friday of five corruption charges, including taking a bribe and attempted extortion. Eddie Perez, who had insisted on his innocence and vowed to clear his name, faces up to 60 years in prison, with each of the five counts carrying a minimum of one year in jail. The six-person Hartford Superior Court jury acquitted him of one count of tampering with evidence. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10."
Speaking of crime and punishment, Utah's AG tweeted the news of Ronnie Lee Gardner's execution by firing squad. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, via his TwitBird for iPhone, tweeted: "I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims."http://bit.ly/alvcZT
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Remains picture perfect, with mostly sunny skies and temperature in the high 80s. Tomorrow: Temps and humidity rise, making it a bit sticky. Scattered showers and possible storms. Sunday : Humidity will decrease, temperature will stay in the high 80s/low 90s range. Should be a great day. The link contains awesome video of Tornadoes in Minnesota. Obviously it's not that good if you live there, but for a weather geek, it's pretty awesome: http://bit.ly/bET2eg Thanks, JB!
- One of the funniest sketches we've seen in a while. IMMORTAL DOG. http://huff.to/bsGqDe
- Lord of the Rings, meet the vuvuzela. http://bit.ly/afFz6X
- What every dive bar needs: a pool-playing robot. http://bit.ly/9OCUT7
- A woman burst her windpipe from blowing her vuvuzela too hard. http://bit.ly/c5AoW8
- Deer vs. Puppy. Spoiler: deer wins. http://bit.ly/bDUqYl
- 11 brands that will disappear in 2011. http://huff.to/aGeVzs
- Ron Artest isn't going to Disney Land, he's going to his shrink. http://bit.ly/clDju3
- Snoop Dog cut a track about "True Blood" entitled "Oh Sookie." http://bit.ly/9QYjN1
@friedmanjon: I get the feeling BP wants to use these 15 million pounds of recalled Spaghetti-Os to plug the oil gush hole. http://bit.ly/bfsPWV
@MoRocca: Representative Joe Barton apologizes to British for American Revolution http://bit.ly/aBNyur
@AndrewWK: Life is either a massive party, or it's nothing. http://bit.ly/cpPL5h
@kagrox: Joe Barton already apologizing to Slovenia. http://bit.ly/cXDU1e
Tonight: Charles Djou and Alan Grayson were on Ratigan. Joe Sestak is on Hardball. Gary Peters and Luis Gutierrez will be on Schultz. "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian is on Larry King. Anthony Weiner talks oil on Olbermann. Debbie Stabenow gives Rachel Maddow a piece of her mind about unemployment. Ed Markey discusses the oil spill with Al Hunt.
Tomorrow: Charlie Melancon and Tony Blair appear on the Situation Room.
Meet the Press: Haley Barbour, Mary Landrieu, Ed Markey, and Kenneth Feinberg.
Face the Nation: Barbara Boxer, Bill Nelson, Richard Shelby and Anh "Joseph" Cao.
This Week:Rahm Emanuel
Fox News Sunday:Robert Gates, Mitch McConnell.
State of the Union: Richard Lugar, Dianne Feinstein, and Joe Lieberman.
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm: Jazz in the Garden brings Ron and Ryan Diehl for a Father's Day tribute concert [Constitution Avenue and 7th Street NW].
7:00 pm: The "I Love The 90s" Outdoor Film Festival continues with a screening of "Mrs. Doubtfire" [Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Hwy].
8:00 pm: Weird Al Yankovic, who provided the soundtrack to our 4th through 6th grades, puts on a show at the Warner Theatre [Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW].
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm: The Old Ebbit Grill hosts its second annual block party featuring food, drinks and music [15th and G Street NW].
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm: The Columbia Pike Blues Festival brings some soulful music to an area about as soulful as its dirtiest Cheesecake Factory. Debbie Davies, Matt Wigler, Danny Blew, Bad Influence and Moondog Medicine Show perform [South Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike, Arlington].
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