HUFFPOST HILL - Obama Holds McConnell Meeting To -- We Don't Know -- Talk Sports?
Michele Bachmann is very supportive of TARP -- the kind you use to hide a body in your trunk, that is. The only job that future inmate Rod Blagoevich will have any hope of selling is laundry duty at the East Moline Correctional Center. And the Supreme Court, a panel that has protected the rights of racial minorities, women and others, today upheld the rights of young people who use their Xbox 360 controller to launch grenades from moving Ferraris. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, June 27th, 2011:
OBAMA HUDDLES WITH REID AND MCCONNELL ON DEBT CEILING TALKS - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is currently meeting with President Obama about the debt ceiling negotiations; their meeting will likely be about as effective as a campaign memo CCed to Newt Gingrich. Obama met earlier today with McConnell's counterpart, Majority Leader Harry Reid, who reportedly concurred with the president that tax sources -- like closing corporate tax loopholes -- must be on the table. However McConnell, in a CNN.com op-ed today, insisted that tax revenues aren't a politically viable way to end the current standoff. "America does not face a debt crisis because we tax too little, but because Washington spends too much," he wrote. "And tax hikes can't pass the Congress. Not only is there bipartisan opposition, the consequences of massive new tax hikes would be fewer jobs." [CNN]
It's not really news when a politician talks a lot. So if you're a politician trying to make news by talking, you better start gabbing like an auctioneer on meth. Bernie Sanders today delivered a nearly 10,000-word speech on the Senate floor on the need to have corporations shoulder a larger share of the tax burden. Kind of a premeditated filibernie.
BLAGO FOUND GUILTY - Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois who was once viewed as a likely presidential contender until it turned out he was a major felonious sleaze well-suited to reality TV, has been found guilty of 17 of 20 corruption charges. The guilty charges included an attempt to sell President Obama's Senate seat, along with wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy, all of which can carry a lengthy prison sentence. Was there an "Apprentice" challenge that involved making license plates for $.03 a day? We hope for Rod's sake that there was. [Chicago Tribune]
PROTESTERS TAKE ON ORRIN HATCH IN FREEDOMWORKS-ORCHESTRATED EVENT - Tonight in Roll Call, from Janie Lorber: When dozens of raucous conservative activists stormed the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Monday demanding the GOP campaign arm stay out of the Utah Senate race, it looked like the tea party mob was at it again. But underneath the chanting and handmade signs was a carefully orchestrated event, part of an effort by the libertarian advocacy organization FreedomWorks...The activists were fresh off a two-day 'boot camp' organized by FreedomWorks to teach grass-roots conservatives how to advance their agenda on the debt ceiling, health care and environmental regulations."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Democratic members of the Arizona legislature are going to donate their paychecks to the unemployed people they failed to help in a special session earlier this month. "The amount collected per diem in this session by out-of-county representatives -- $240 -- is more than one week of unemployment insurance payment," Dems said. Sadly, their remittance is a pittance. Preserving the federal Extended Benefits program, which gives 20 weeks of checks to long-term jobless who use up 79 weeks of combined state and federal benefits, would have pumped $3.5 million per week into the state for the rest of the year. [HuffPost]
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IOWA POLITICIAN MICHELE BACHMANN ANNOUNCES THAT SHE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT -
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann officially announced her campaign for president today in Waterloo, Iowa. "Our voice has been growing louder and stronger," she said during her announcement ceremony. "And it is made up of Americans from all walks of life like a three-legged stool. It's the peace through strength Republicans, and I'm one of them, it's fiscal conservatives, and I'm one of them, and it's social conservatives, and I'm one of them. It's the Tea Party movement and I'm one of them." Did we say it was in Iowa? Because it was in Iowa. You know, Iowa? That place where she's from? "I often say that everything I need to know, I learned in Iowa," she offered. IOWA. Seriously, she was YAY close to doing a keg stand of ethanol. She couldn't have played down her Minnesota roots more if she were a performance artist living in Brooklyn striving for street cred. "Iowa is not just another state on the presidential campaign trail," the narrator says in a Bachmann radio ad released in the Hawkeye state today. "For Michele Bachmann, Iowa will always be home. Born and raised in Waterloo, Michele Bachmann has deep roots here, and our town holds a special place in her heart." To whomever is running against Bachmann for her Minnesota House seat, she just produced your next radio spot. [HuffPost]
Bachmann (accidentally, we hope) said she wants to mimic the style of a serial killer. "Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too," Bachmann said during a Fox News interview. The thing is, John Wayne, the actor, wasn't from Waterloo. John Wayne GACY, the guy who raped and murdered 33 young men and boys and hid most of their bodies in a crawlspace in his property, was from Waterloo. Call us crazy, but "Bachmann 2012: Creating Jobs, Securing Our Borders, Murdering Young Men And Hiding Their Bodies In A Crawlspace in Her House" is a bad slogan. [Washington Times]
We don't entirely get the Atlantic Wire's rundown of the "Questionable Lyrics" in Bachmann's post-announcement playlist. The Rolling Stone's "Start Me Up" ("If you start me up I'll never stop/I've been running hot/You got me ticking gonna blow my top") might not be featured at the Boise Sunlight Church of God summer mixer/de-gaying potluck. However, "Dance don't ever stop, whatever rhythm/Every minute, every day" from Jennifer Lopez's magnum opus, "Let's Get Loud" is pretty PG stuff. Also, if you ever find yourself looking for double entendres in Smash Mouth's canon, just ... just ... just ... STOP. Keep reaching! [Atlantic Wire]
If Iowa picks Huckabee and then Bachmann, do they lose their caucus privileges?
SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW - Because corporations' hold on the electoral process isn't solidified enough, the U.S. Supreme Court today decided to step in. The court ruled 5-4 to nullify a 1998 Arizona law that boosts public financing for candidates as their privately-funded opponents spend more money. However the justices stopped short of overturning the principle of matching funds altogether because what's the point of twisting the knife currently lodged in democracy's torso if you can't, y'know, watch the light slowly go out of its eyes? [HuffPost's Dan Froomkin]
TODAY IN 'SENTENCES THAT ACCIDENTALLY SAY A LOT ABOUT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY' - "In a recent interview, Democratic consultant Pete Giangreco called the cost per vote in the media market 'ridiculous.'" [Roll Call]
SUPREME COURT ALSO NIXES BAN ON VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES - The high court also
struck down overturned hit the B and A buttons in rapid succession and ripped out the entrails of a California ban on the sale of violent video games to children. Technically, the justices upheld a lower court ruling that the 2005 law, signed by then Gov. Schwarzenegger, violates free speech protections. Aside from upholding our most sacred human right, the decision was a treasure trove of ridiculous sentences, like this one from Justice Scalia, writing for the court (which voted 7-2): "Reading Dante is unquestionably more cultured and intellectually edifying than playing Mortal Kombat. But these cultural and intellectual differences are not constitutional ones." Justice Thomas -- who, along with Stephen Breyer, voted to overturn the lower court ruling -- got a little crazy in his dissent, basically rambling on about how John Locke doesn't want strangers talking to your kids. [Kos' Adam Bonin]
LIBERAL TOUR HITS DETROIT - The Congressional Progressive Caucus speaking tour, which is taking town halls all over the place, heads to Detroit tonight, Milwaukee Wednesday and New York City Thursday. [YouTube]
Tom Manatos, longtime adviser to Nancy Pelosi and patron saint of job-seeking college graduates in Washington, D.C., is leaving the minority leader's office for the DCCC. He'll serve as a senior adviser to Chair Debbie Wasserman Scultz.
Politico has hired Roll Call's Anna Palmer and OpenSecrets.org's Dave Levinthal to cover the K Street beat. They will take over the excellent (really!) Politico Influence, which is currently written by Chris Frates, who is heading to the National Journal.
From the Department of Cloudy with a Chance of Sodomy / Pollster Email Subject Lines: "NY GAY Advisory."
Tim Pawlenty isn't fazed that he only garnered the support of six percent of Iowa voters in a poll released this weekend: "These early polls aren't a good predictor of how the race is going to come out," he said during a "Today Show" appearance. "There's still plenty of time to do well in Iowa and beyond." Tim, buddy: You're a former governor of a state who finished behind a guy most famous for running a company that specializes in bacon cheeseburger pizzas. You should be VERY worried. [The Hill]
Tomorrow in HuffPost: Rick Santorum, a kid with herpes, a half million dollar payday.
JUDGE BLOCKS GEORGIA'S FAR-RIGHT IMMIGRATION BILL - Reid Epstein: "A federal judge in Atlanta blocked portions of Georgia's new law that would have punished people who aid illegal immigrants and allowed local police to check the legal status of anyone not carrying identification, the Associated Press reported Monday. U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash wrote that Georgia was seeking to enforce immigration law that is the jurisdiction of the federal government. The law, which was to take effect July 1, led to thousands of migrant workers fleeing the state or avoiding it entirely, leaving Georgia's agriculture industry in peril as farms struggled to find enough workers to pick their crops. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal responded with a program to have the state's probationers fill an estimated 11,000 vacant crop-picking posts, though most of those workers walked off their jobs or did not return for a second day, according to top officials in the Georgia farm lobby." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Next time you're about to be hit by a train, try taking a page from this guy's playbook.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: The clouds have kept the temperatures down, and should lead to a nice cooling this evening. You're going to need it. Tomorrow: We return to temperatures in the 90s, with afternoon thundershowers popping up. Umbrella time! Thanks, JB!
- Sure, this robotic chicken deboner is just deboning chickens ... for now. [http://huff.to/mnNMTd]
- Behold the subtle lyrical beauty of "Cat Pretends to be a Robot." [http://huff.to/kJpvY6]
- Some teenager wrote and directed the video for "First World Problems." Man, people are losing their faith in humanity younger and younger these days. [http://huff.to/lIAMU2]
- A five-second film about how an American from the Heartland blends into New York City. [http://huff.to/mP5Hct]
- America loves giving you a gun when you buy practically anything. Apparently you now get a dog when you buy a gun. [http://huff.to/jUjEi0]
- So it turns out that a major pop star in Japan was created with CGI. Back here in America, our pop stars are created with good ol' fashion silicone. [http://huff.to/iWhY0j]
- This Connecticut movie theater is sorry if you thought Tree of Life was boring but it won't give you your money back. [http://huff.to/l9eiBj]
- The "What Song Are You Listening To?" fad hits Berlin. They like techno a lot more than we do. They also listen to a lot of English-language music. [http://huff.to/mxTRkZ]
@zachdcarter: Wonder how many Supreme Court justices are paying for an AOL subscription: huff.to/kbGATF
@ezraklein: BREAKING: Reality TV star Rod Blagojevich to move from NBC's 'Celebrity Apprentice' to MSNBC's 'Lockdown'.
@pourmecoffee: Pro Inmate Tip: Do not trade cigarettes to Blago for promises you will be made Senator.
6:00 pm: We never fully appreciate what BFDs politicians are. But think about this fundraiser for Mike Johanns at a private residence: It's probably a real highlight for the host. For Johanns, it's just the next thing [Home of Bryan Tramont, 1406 21st Street NW].
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: America's manufacturing sectors might be on the decline, but we can still name things, goddamnit. James Langevin attends a district fundraiser at "Harbourside Lobstermania." God Bless America [Harbourside Lobstermania, 38 Water Street, East Greenwich].
6:30 pm: If still attends in the wake of his White House meeting, Mitch McConnell will no doubt draw in some extra contributions thanks to his freshly-applied Oval Office scent [R.B. Murphy and Associates, 220 E Street, NE].
8:00 am: Richard Luger makes small talk at a fundraiser hosted by pharma PACs. Somewhat ironically -- considering these are organizations ostensibly dedicated to make you live longer -- it's being held at a steakhouse. Maybe they're trying to boost Lipitor sales [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW].
11:00 am: We aren't very avid golf fans, to say the least, but we're pretty sure the PGA doesn't recognize the "Ed Towns Golf Classic" [Dyker Beach Golf Course, 86 Street & 7 Avenue, Brooklyn].
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Reason hosts a shindig at its HQ celebrating the publication of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, penned by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch [Reason, 1747 Connecticut Ave NW].
6:00 pm: Debbie Stabenow has her fundraiser at the Mott House. Big apple juice, man. Running the show. [The Mott House, 122 Maryland Ave NE].
6:30 pm: Scott Brown, the most popular Massachusetts Republican since Curt Schilling, works some of that magic. Mark Kirk makes an appearance [Bobby Van's Grill, 809 15th Street NW].
6:30 pm: Pat Toomey is the guest of honor at a campaign function hosted by the Online Lenders Alliance. We suppose they could online contribute and not hold a fundraiser but then Pat wouldn't know their face, amirite? [Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) Townhouse, 330 Maryland Ave NE].
6:30 pm: Sure, they each represent two factions of the Republican party that couldn't hate each other more, but that doesn't mean that Mitch McConnell can't show up for Rand Paul's fundraiser. Kentucky love (really, the National Thoroughbred Racing Assn NTRA PAC, which apparently exists, is one of the hosts). [R.B. Murphy and Associates, 220 E Street NE]
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