While some politicians try to be comforting parent figures, Michele Bachmann is trying to be the parent who sent your gay ass to Christian readjustment camp. Steve Israel warned his colleagues that old people probably won't vote for Democrats if the party takes away their medicine. Paul Ryan enjoys the finer things. And Mike Lee must have a prolific internal monologue because he spent 18 months with Jon Huntsman and never got to know the guy. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 8th, 2011:
HOUSE DEMS ACCUSE CANTOR OF PROFITING FROM ECONOMIC COLLAPSE - Amanda Terkel: "House Democrats are circulating a resolution accusing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) of having a conflict of interest in the debt ceiling debate, a move that could provide an awkward C-SPAN moment for one of the lead Republicans in the budget negotiations. The resolution goes after Cantor's investment in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT, a fund that 'takes a short position in long-dated government bonds.' The fund is essentially a bet against U.S. government bonds. If the debt ceiling is not raised and the United States defaults on its debts, the value of Cantor's fund would likely increase. The Democratic resolution, obtained by The Huffington Post from a Democratic source on the Hill, argues that Cantor 'stands to profit from U.S. treasury default, which thereby raises the appearance of a conflict of interest,' and that he 'may be sabotaging [debt ceiling] negotiations for his own personal gain.' It's not clear how widely the measure was being circulated, with a House Democratic aide saying they hadn't seen the resolution or heard it being discussed." [HuffPost]
DCCC CHAIR WARNS OF CONSEQUENCES IF DEMS CAVE ON MEDICARE - In a closed-door meeting today, DCCC Chair Steve Israel told his Democratic House colleagues that he would have a harder time recruiting candidates if his caucus agrees to weaken (or "strengthen"? Or is that Social Security? What the hell are we calling it now?) Medicare."He said recruits would not consider running if Democrats did not stand up for Medicare," one attendee told Sam Stein. "He added that national polling showed a seismic shift against House Republicans after the [Paul] Ryan budget because of Medicare." [HuffPost]
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST TACKLES THE PHARMA INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX - Our Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist -- whose Paxil expenditures have single-handedly paid for at least six different GlaxoSmithKline executives' summer homes -- is wading into the debt ceiling negotiations. PSLGOPL emailed us about Chris Van Hollen's suggestion that the government draw revenues from pharmaceutical companies -- a suggestion that Republicans haven't totally rejected yet. "They should use the following formula," PSLGOP writes, "For each million dollars spent on quid pro quo legislative advertising they pay in $100 billion." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
PAUL RYAN VICTIM OF UNJUST CLASS WARFARE - This lady having dinner at Bistro Bis last night flipped out when she noticed Paul Ryan drinking $350 wine at another table while the Republican party is out to dismantle the New Deal. She and her husband got up like Ronnie and Pauly D and confronted Ryan and his companions, then told TPM all about it. Ryan's office actually sent TPM's Susan Crabtree a receipt proving he paid for one bottle. Ryan himself actually called it "stupid" to spend so much on libations in a followup interview. How dare you, lady, for trying to have a conscience around here. And how dare you, TPM, for telling us about it! [TPM]
DAILY DELANEY UPSIDE DOWNER - Donna Whitaker of Sacramento, Calif. applied for a mortgage modification from JPMorgan Chase via the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable program on April 1, 2009. After more than two years of lost paperwork, denied applications, and other such switcheroos by Chase, Whitaker finally won a permanent modification this week. She's feeling great now that the mortgage mod monkey's off her back. "I'm doing a lot better," she said. [HuffPost's 2009 Story on Whitaker]
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JOB NUMBERS RELEASED -- THERE'S NO WAY AROUND IT: THEY SUCK - The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released its monthly dose of sadness and this edition was a real serotonin killer. Unless the Council of Economic Advisers is aiming to have 9.2 percent of the working population familiarize itself with ABC's daytime lineup, this isn't good for the White House. Lila Shapiro: "Only 18,000 jobs were added to the American economy in June -- a blow to Wall Street expectations, which had estimated between 90,000 and 140,000 added jobs -- and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly employment report...May's employment numbers were also revised downward on Friday, suggesting that this is more than just one month's bad numbers. The unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May and only 25,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy, cutting the 54,000 added jobs the Bureau's June report had estimated in half." [HuffPost]
President Obama: "[T]oday's job report confirms what most Americans already know: We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give people the security and opportunity that they deserve...And over the past few months, the economy has experienced some tough headwinds -- from natural disasters, to spikes in gas prices, to state and local budget cuts that have cost tens of thousands of cops and firefighters and teachers their jobs. The problems in Greece and in Europe, along with uncertainty over whether the debt limit here in the United States will be raised, have also made businesses hesitant to invest more aggressively."
The White House sent around a release from Austan Goolsbee. The most descriptive word we could find in the first paragraph was "slowdown." He also broke out "headwinds," a term used by the president as well. "As the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report," Goolsbee writes. If we remove our semi-alcoholic snark hats and put on our amateur economist hats, we're pretty sure that means the White House isn't so happy with this one. Snark hats back on.
OBAMA LOOKING WEAK IN PENNSYLVANIA - Voters in Pennsylvania -- a place that puts more weight on job creation than a drunk places on a lamppost -- aren't crazy about the president's performance (today's job report can only further sour those views). PPP finds that 48 percent of voters disapprove of the way President Obama is handling his job while on 46 percent approve. [http://huff.to/qrkJjX]
SEN. MIKE LEE NOT REALLY SURE ABOUT HIS OLD BOSS, JON HUNTSMAN - Utah Senator Mike Lee spoke with TPM's Benjy Sarlin and had some not-so-enthusiastic words for Jon Huntsman, for whom he used to serve as chief counsel. "He's such a new entry that a lot of people -- including me -- have not yet had an opportunity to review his platform," he said. "He's something of an unknown quantity as a presidential candidate." We're guessing Lee -- who worked as Huntsman's lawyer for roughly 18 months but still doesn't have a good grasp of the guy -- never wants to be anyone's lawyer ever again ("Your honor, the charges against my client are unfounded. My client is a good man: He has ... um ... uh ... er ... sorry, dude, what's your deal again?"). [TPM]
HOUSE VOTES TO PROHIBIT SAME SEX MARRIAGES ON MILITARY BASES - We reported earlier this week that the Senate was wasting its time by debating a non-binding measure encouraging wealthy Americans to contribute more to deficit reduction. We assumed that worthless exercise in legislative grandstanding would be the most counterproductive thing to come out of Congress this week. BZZZZZZ. #Fail. The House today approved and amendment to prohibit chaplains on military bases from performing same-sex marriage, even as the military prepares to wind down "don't ask, don't tell." The measure, an amendment to the defense spending bill under debate in the lower chamber, passed 236-184. The larger defense bill was later passed. [AP]
Michele Bachmann signed a pledge declaring that homosexuality is a choice. Also included in the pledge -- written up by Family Leader, an Iowa conservative group -- are statements renouncing pornography, premarital sex, sharia law, and sex trafficking (One out of five ain't bad?). [WaPo]
"Today in Womp womp": The Arizona lawmaker who sponsored that state's controversial SB 1070 immigration bill is facing a recall election. "Maricopa County elections officials on Friday certified that opponents of Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce collected enough voter signatures to force a recall election...Pearce, who has said he won't resign, has said the recall proposal is an attack on Arizona and an attempt to undermine the state's attempts to combat illegal immigration. Potentially complicating Pearce's political situation are recent disclosures that he accepted gifts from the Fiesta Bowl for free trips to numerous college football games." [AP]
HERE'S SOME OTHER STATE NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Courtesy of Tyler Kingkade: "After dolling out tax credits to the film industry in an attempt to spur growth, this turns out to be one of the subsidies states are willing to eliminate. New Mexico, Washington, and Michigan have all scrapped millions. Rep. Kieth Ellison (D-Minn.) told HuffPost earlier this week his home state's budget dispute is 'a microcosm of what's happening [in Washington, D.C.]; Hardcore ideologues who are religiously-slash-ideologically committed to cutting government going about their work.' Detroit is counting on 'creative' hipsters to revitalize the city. Real estate is cheap, the crime rate is actually below the national average, and now the city has seen a '59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35,' higher than most major cities. Only 24 percent of likely Iowa Republican caucus goers had a 'negative reaction' to the idea of cutting ethanol subsidies, according to a new poll. Chris LaCivita, the mastermind behind the 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' 2004 campaign ads against John Kerry, will join U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) in his bid for the U.S. Senate. Akin was in hot water recently when he said liberals are driven by a 'hatred of God.'" Thanks, Tyler!
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Seeing as how the space shuttle is no longer lifting off, our society needs a new source of inspiration. Here's an eight-year-old performing "Ice Ice Baby" ... with Vanilla Ice. [NY Mag]
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Rain, obviously. More specifically, the threat of severe thunderstorms in the District, with actual, real thunderstorms outside the Beltway, especially to the west. The air was thick with moisture earlier, and it felt like the sky is going to explode. That's just the way I like it! Tomorrow: Hot and humid, with morning storms fading away. High in the 90s with high humidity. Same goes for Sunday. Thanks, JB!
- "Fastest Possible Drawings of Everything" is a blog that features...well ... exactly what it says.[http://huff.to/njSKiV]
- For the tech-conscious stalkers out there, here's a telephoto SLR lens that can hook up to your iPhone. [http://huff.to/qA2kt0]
- See if you can follow along: Tesco, the British supermarket giant, opened up a live virtual supermarket in South Korea. Just click the link. [http://huff.to/ntjkuN]
- An interview with Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of India, the first openly gay royal in the world. [http://huff.to/r8K5Xz]
- What if our state lines were formed by the people who call each other with cell phones? Some researchers at MIT created some friendly graphics and a video to show you. [http://huff.to/rh2p8m]
- A collection of screenshots from abandoned operating systems. RIP. [http://huff.to/pT7RJG]
- Remember those monkeys who took photographs of themselves (if not, well, it happened)? Just who owns the copyright on those pictures? [http://huff.to/r0UQIF]
- A demographic breakdown of cat owners versus dog owners. Thanks, infographics! [http://huff.to/qzbuY4]
@daveweigel: Time to Bring Back the Hawley-Smoot Tariff #slatepitches
@jmhattem: Obama is just always late for stuff. You'd think working from home would make him be on time more often
@zachdcarter: If Kim Stanley Robinson can put radicals on Mars, Obama can get a few neoliberals up there.
Tonight: HuffPost Hill reader Michael Hermann alerted us to the fact that his band, Paul Pfau and the Dimestore Band, are performing tonight at 9:30 Club. Their sound is described as, "a funky pocket that comes from a Motown background and a really organic chunky guitar that has its tonal roots in traditional rock and blues soulful vocals that are paired with a bluesy gravel that give our songs both depth and sincerity and the smooth emotional layer that is created using an electric cello to fill out the sound." Michael plays the electric cello. Awesome [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
Tonight - Tomorrow: Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas, takes his conservative benefactors to their favorite place in the Universe: Northern California. WINE COUNTRY!!!!! [Napa Valley, CA].
Tonight - Sunday: As if betting thousands of dollars on a political candidate wasn't enough of a gamble, Joe Courtney invites you to Foxwoods Casino for the weekend. a number of mostly New England Democrats, including John Larson and Rosa DeLauro, join him [Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket].
Tonight - Sunday: If we were to stereotype and guess what the average American liberal is doing this weekend, we'd be inclined to say "drinking a selection of wines in Portland, Oregon." Earl Blumenauer does just that at his "Penot in Portland" weekend fundraising retreat [Portland, OR].
Tonight - Sunday: If we were to stereotype and guess what the average American moderate-to-conservative Democrat is doing this weekend, we'd be inclined to say "engaging in wholesome summer activities along the Chesapeake." Blue Dog PAC does just that with its weekend getaway [Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, 100 Heron Blvd. at Route 50, Cambridge, MD].
Tomorrow: Johnny Isakson, who we think bears a striking resemblance to Michelle Wie, is the host/beneficiary of a golf tournament/fundraiser in ... Oregon? [Bandon Dunes Golf Course, 57744 Round Lake Drive, Bandon].
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