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HUFFPOST HILL - Obama Insults The Special Relationship

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The president behaved like such a radical leftist today. His administration ordered federal agencies to use alternative-fuel vehicles by 2015, no doubt a prelude to his next directive that all federal vehicles display a "COEXIST" bumper sticker by 2020. He betrayed his anti-colonial sympathies (again) by snubbing the queen of England. And he even dated his signature like a wine-sipping Eurosnob ("24 May"), a clear sign that the socialist takeover of our calendars is nigh. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

NEWT'S RELIGIOUS NONPROFIT ROLLING IN CASH - Jason Cherkis on the Tiffany's-level money that Gingrich has brought in for Renewing American Leadership: "Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, a nonprofit targeted toward evangelical voters, is seeking an extension with the IRS in filing its 2010 990s. 'We will not have enough time to accurately complete the 2010 Form 990 and go through the necessary review process to ensure accuracy,' says RAL's CFO and Treasurer David O'Grady, who adds that the nonprofit did have enough time to rake in roughly $3 million in revenue last year."

President Obama is apparently taking his royal etiquette cues from the movie King Ralph. During a reception with the queen, the president violated protocol by offering his toast before the band played "God Save the Queen." The end of his toast was cut off by the band who, we should note, INTERRUPTED THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH A SONG. Earlier, the president signed the Westminster Abbey's distinguished visitor book with the date, "24 May 2008." Whoops. Maybe it's his Kenyan anti-colonial sympathies?

" George Pataki 2012: Why Not?"

RSC HOSTS SWIPE FEE DEBATE - The Republican Study Committee booked a big room in Rayburn today so lobbyists for banks and merchants could save time by getting as many staffers and members in one room at once as possible. The bank's House strategy is to push the bill through committee and the floor just as the Fed is implementing its price cap.

NRCC EXPRESSES DOUBT ABOUT NY-26 - Hochulmentum: "National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions delivered a downcast assessment of the party's prospects in a western New York special election during a Tuesday morning House GOP Conference meeting, according to three GOP sources familiar with his remarks. In the meeting, Sessions told fellow members that while Republican Jane Corwin is a strong candidate, she found herself hamstrung in a three-way race that includes Jack Davis, a former Democrat who is running on the tea party ballot line and who is siphoning some GOP votes. While Sessions did not explicitly predict a Corwin loss to Democrat Kathy Hochul, the officials said, the undertone of the Texas Republican's remarks was that Corwin is facing a tough road." [Politico's Alex Isenstadt and FAST BREAK]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A 63-year-old tutor who said she'd been laid off in June 2010 by a private tutoring company told HuffPost she opted for early Social Security retirement benefits in January after a fruitless six-month job search. Since she opted for benefits before her full retirement age (which would have been 66), she received only 80 percent of her full benefit, which she said amounts to $857 a month. It covers rent, she said, but doesn't leave much for food. "I eat a lot of apples, bananas, rice, and pasta," she said, adding that she tends a garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, and cantaloupes. The woman, who lives in southern California, asked for anonymity because she feared revealing her name would be "deadly, deadly" for her job search. [HuffPost]

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HOUSE TO HOLD CLEAN DEBT CEILING VOTE - In the ongoing game of debt ceiling roulette, House Republicans have cocked the gun and will soon pull the trigger. Republicans in the lower chamber (we tried to work "chamber" into the roulette analogy but it proved more difficult than expected) have introduced legislation to raise the debt ceiling without any budget cuts. The Republicans' hope is that by voting down the bill, they will demonstrate to Democrats that they are serious about pinning budget cuts to any increase in the debt ceiling. "The legislation I filed today will allow the House to reject a clean increase in the debt limit, proving to the American people," Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp said in a statement, "the financial markets and the administration that we are serious about tackling our debt and deficit problems." [The Hill's Russell Berman]

NETANYAHU ADDRESSES CONGRESS, CONGRESS SWOONS - The prime minister of Israel addressed a joint session of Congress today, where he defended his hard-line views on a two-state solution to a rapt audience of lawmakers, cabinet members and other dignitaries (seriously, we're talking Obama talking to Irish people-level raptness). Unlike joint addresses by other leaders that draw crowds akin to a Montreal Expos home game (*cough* *cough* ANGELA MERKEL *cough* *cough*), the lower chamber was packed for Netanyahu's address. "Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967," he said of the two-state template offered by President Obama. At one point, a protester interrupted the speech, which proved to be a real hanging curve for the prime minister. "I take it as a badge of honor, and so should you, that in our free societies you can have protests," Netanyahu retorted. "You can't have these protests in the farcical parliaments in Tehran or in Tripoli. This is real democracy." That was met with thunderous applause. [CBS News]

"President Obama got 25 standing ovations during his 2011 State of the Union address. Netanyahu got 29 today."

ROMNEY RELEASED HEALTH CARE REFORM EMAILS IN MOST INCONVENIENT WAY POSSIBLE - Jason Cherkis on what will lead ThinkProgress reporters to drink over the next year or two: "In January 2007, as the onetime Massachusetts governor was leaving office -- and preparing for his first presidential run -- he and his staff were required, in accordance with state rules, to transfer much of their work product to state archives. Romney's administration responded by handing over materials measuring approximately 700 cubic feet. The boxes covered everything in his four-year term -- from legislative documents to legal counseling to travel records. If one wanted to search out all of Romney's emails on, say, health care reform, good luck finding anything. Not every document was necessarily put in order, nor even labeled...If one wanted to search out all of Romney's emails on, say, health care reform, good luck finding anything. Not every document was necessarily put in order, nor even labeled." [HuffPost]

Daily Mike Downer? @meredithshiner: Pssst @HuffPostHill, did you notice playbook now has a "top tweets" section? Like "twitterama" but with a less fun name.

RICK SANTORUM TO LIKELY ENTER 2012 RACE IN JUNE - CNN is reporting that Rick Santorum, a man who doesn't have free will so much as he has a talk radio receiver implanted in the place of his cerebrum, will likely throw his hat in the ring during the week of June 5th. Sources tell CNN that Santorum is "committed" to attending the first debate in New Hampshire on June 13th. He'll seek local endorsements but he won't kiss rings. That's what happens after man-on-dog. [CNN]

Ru-9-11-dy Giuli-9-11-ani is leaning toward running for president, Pete King says. "If he were to make the decision today, he would run," King told a dinner attended by Washington reporters, according to Byron York. Giuliani will hope to assemble a coalition of national security voters, social moderates and people who have suffered massive memory loss. [Washington Examiner]

A survey of New Jersey voters finds the 45th president of the United States, Chris Christie, isn't very popular at home. A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll finds that the offspring of James Gandolfini and a Mrs. Potato Head is favorably viewed by only 40 percent of the electorate. Forty-five percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the governor. [FDU]

CHRYSLER REPAYS BAILOUT FUNDS, DEMS GIDDILY HIT GOP - Big news today! An American company that received financial assistance from the government isn't treating its debts like that old roommate of yours who claimed they'd get you the rent money as soon as Etsy promotes their line of crochet wastebaskets on its home page. Chrysler announced that it has repays the $7.5 billion bailout it received from the U.S. and Canadian governments. To coincide with the event, the DNC released a video compilation of current Republican presidential candidates -- such as Tim Pawlenty and (undeclared) Mitt Romney -- opposing the auto bailouts. The video ends with the words, "Detroit Bankrupt: If Republicans were in charge, this would be the headline." Subtle. [YouTube]

PRESIDENT DIRECTS FEDERAL AGENCIES TO BUY ECO-FRIENDLY CARS - In a blatant example of government overreach into government, President Obama today signed a directive mandating that federal agencies move toward purchasing only alternative-energy cars and light trucks by 2015. The directive will initiate a pilot program of 100 electric vehicles. "Diversifying our transportation fleet with hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles is a critical element in President Obama's long-term plan to break our dependence on foreign oil and invest in America's growing clean energy economy," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in the statement announcing the initiative. [USA Today]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - A female lion befriends a video camera. Can't wait for video of this lion waiting in line for an iPhone 5.

Kansas State Rep. Pete Degraaf on unintended pregnancies: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life? ... I have a spare tire on my car."

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT -
Tonight
: Actually, pretty quiet if you live in the Beltway. If you're down south a bit, you may see some thunderstorms. Otherwise, there are some pop up thundershowers, but nothing too severe. Umbrella, just in case. Tomorrow: Another hot day, capped with thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80s. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- Today is Bob Dylan's 70th birthday. Here's a track from his 1970 alubm, "New Morning,' which we think is his most under-appreciated work. [http://youtu.be/J9dtEVPFcps]

- How vuvuzelas -- remember those? -- spread disease. [http://bit.ly/ivGV3X]

- So you can tag your office desk, and your lunch that you placed in the office refrigerator: a pen that doubles as a graffiti can. [http://bit.ly/jZmgya]

- Dog really doesn't want to take a bath, breaks out some Mission Impossible moves in the process. [http://bit.ly/krvNCT]

- Striking footage from a helicopter of Iceland's latest volcanic eruption. [http://bit.ly/leLGzf]

- The high school valedictorian speech to end all high school valedictorian speeches. [http://huff.to/m2AXXS]

- Also, the cover letter to end all cover letters. [http://huff.to/lw9fIi]

- The ten strangest flying animals. [http://bit.ly/irphQ0]

TWITTERAMA

@pwgavin: I think now's the time in each election cycle where so-and-so becomes "ready for their close-up"

@NoahPollak: Dark horse '12 RT @thegoldfarb: Bibi would cruise to Republican nomination.

@DRUNKHULK: ANOTHER VOLCANO ERUPTION! AND NOW NEW BJORK ALBUM COMING OUT! OKAY ICELAND! YOU SIT OUT REST OF YEAR! YOU DONE!

@Moira Bagley Just received my invitation to @washingtonlife's #YGL party, which appears to have happened last week. Thanks guys!

ON TAP

TONIGHT

6:00 pm: Claire McCaskill tries to forget about that whole private plane fiasco the best way someone can forget about a stressor: with MSG and money. Max Baucus, Jay Rockefeller and Jeff Bingaman will provide support at the Chinese restaurant fundraiser [Hunan Dynasty, 215 Pennsylvania Ave SE].

6:00 pm: File in "Things We Want Photographs Of": John Larson is the host of a bocce ball tournament on the rooftop of a law firm. Linda Sanchez, Shelley Berkley, Mike Capuano and Richard Neal are scheduled to attend [Venable Law Offices Rooftop, 575 7th Street NW].

TOMORROW

8:00 am: Richard Lugar, who's been trying to back-peddle some of his more moderate positions in the face of a tough primary, jimmys some wallets open [Monocle Restaurant, 107 D Street NE].

11:30 am: Mark Begich attends a "special luncheon" in his honor hosted by Clear Channel and Fluor. We're inclined to agree that any lunch in which representatives of two of America's largest companies feed you and write you checks qualifies as a "special luncheon." [Fluor Townhouse, 403 East Capitol Street SE].

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Maybe it's just us, but the last thing we think of when we hear the name Olympia Snowe is a giant steak. The two will mingle at the senator's steakhouse fundraiser [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW].

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Raul Grijalva, who can throw a drink back with the best of them, attends a campaign reception in his honor [National Democratic Club Townhouse, 40 Ivy Street SE].

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: A bevy of Democrats convene for a "Taste of New York" campaign function for Ed Towns. Steny Hoyer, Anthony Weiner, Charlie Rangel, John Dingell, Henry Waxman and Jim Clyburn, among others, are slated to make appearances [Altria, 101 Constitution Ave NW Suite 400 West].

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Brad Miller, a southern Democrat, dares to be seen in the same building as Teamsters (and will take their money, to boot!) [Offices of The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 25 Louisiana Ave NW].

6:30 pm: Holy crap, a politicians is venturing to H Street NE for a fundraiser?!?! Steve Israel, the DCCC chairman, raises some dough at everyone's favorite Jewish-Irish pub [Star and Shamrock, 1341 H Street NE].

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