Prospects for success in Afghanistan made an abrupt turn for the better this evening, as the commander in chief certified the military's fierceness. A new survey of Americans finds that "the most important financial problem their family faces today is a lack of money." And a day after warning that House Republicans' decision to take the weekend off would lead to financial Armageddon, Senate Democrats left for the weekend. This is HuffPost Hill for July 22nd, 2011:
GOP HITS OBAMA FOR CUTTING SOCIAL SECURITY - While the White House may think its biggest nuisance on Social Security is HuffPost Hill and its fellow travelers, the conservative blog RedState is here to demonstrate how to truly, shamelessly, make politics of the issue. "First he says he'll never consider cutting Social Security. Now he says he WILL consider cutting Social Security," the site's founder, Erick Erickson writes in a fundraiser blast to RedState's rather large list. "And the young will go along with it. Just because he says it's right. 'Don't worry, Dad, President Obama says you'll hardly notice the cuts.' If I were counting on Social Security today, I'd be dead scared." But HuffPost Hill is the problem. [digby]
Today's the deadline by which the White House said debt-ceiling legislation must be introduced by to get through in time.
Obama, to a College Park audience today: "I was actually reading an article on the way over here, and the basic notion was that, well, Obama is responsible, but he doesn't fight enough for how he believes, and the Republicans are irresponsible but all full of conviction. So this was sort of the way the article was posed. And this notion that somehow if you're responsible and you compromise, that somehow you're giving up your convictions -- that's absolutely not true." In his next breath he returned to his Abraham Lincoln analogy, the one where he says HuffPost would've accused Lincoln of selling out slaves. Point: Obama - 1862 HUFFPOST: Lincoln SELLS OUT Slaves
Here are a few charts on exactly how much the Social Security cuts would be.
Heads up, GOP: Switching to the chained CPI is a tax increase, Grover Norquist is here to remind you. "This is one of those things invented by people who are trying to raise taxes and pretend they're not," he said. "If you change the law to get more money, that's a tax increase -- doesn't matter how you do it or what you call it."
THE MILITARY IS TOTALLY GAY: President Obama certified repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell on Friday, meaning that the policy will now officially end on Sept. 20. We are now one-step closer to... Sharia law.
Gallup: "Lack of Money Tops List of Americans' Financial Worries"
Fantasy legislating -- which makes fantasy football look hip -- is sweeping the Hill. House Republicans are now demanding that, as part of the debt ceiling deal, if an agreement isn't reached on tax reform, the individual mandate from the president's health care law gets repealed. It got us thinking: what other asinine policy trades could be made to get this damn deal done?
* If lawmakers fail to coalesce around raising tax revenues, Planned Parenthood gets defunded.
* If Obama agrees to change Social Security's payment structure, Republicans drop the use of the filibuster for a week.
* If House Republicans can't muster up the votes to pass a debt-ceiling deal on the first go-around, Obama gets to bring back ACORN and divert the entire Pentagon budget to it.
Send us better suggestions.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - One part animal cruelty, one part hilarity, and a splash of adorable. [collegehumor]
BIGWIG CEOs CELEBRATE STRENGTHENED GOP SUPPORT FOR JOB-KILLING TRADE DEALS In case you forgot who wins the most from the pending trade deals with Korea, Colombia and Panama, the CEOs of the nation's largest corporations want to remind you: them. The Business Roundtable issued a press release celebrating newfound Republican support for Trade Adjustment Assistance -- basically federal payouts to American workers whose jobs get sent abroad under trade agreements. Dems had refused to budge on the payments, and the new GOP support makes the deals far more likely to clear the upper chamber.
The House and Senate are adjourned until Monday. That makes this weekend one of the first chances the president has had this year to make recess appointments.
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KOCH, PICKENS IN AN OLE-FASHION PLUTO-CAT FIGHT - Ken Vogel: "An increasingly bitter personal rift between billionaires T. Boone Pickens and Charles and David Koch has morphed into an expensive political battle that is testing the commitment of House Republicans to the tea party principles many of them have publicly embraced...Last month, for example, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) withdrew his co-sponsorship of the measure after "I heard," he said, that "T. Boone Pickens tends to stand to make a lot of money on it." Pitts said, "I don't want to be accused of, you know, doing some sweetheart deal for somebody." So, he said "I decided I better get off." [Ken Vogel]
CUT, CAP AND RUN Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor Thursday to mock House Speaker John Boehner for letting the House have the weekend off, and warned the other chamber could spark a devastating default by not working hard enough. So of course, having cancelled a Saturday vote, the Senate leaders followed that example. They declared the debt deal is up to Boehner and the president -- and fled D.C. until Monday afternoon.
Not that Republicans weren't in bipartisan accord on that. A spy informs HuffPost Hill that Scott Brown and his wrap-around sunglasses made it to the 11 a.m. Delta shuttle to Logan before the Cut, Cap and Balance vote was even done. Perhaps he needed time to rest up before his fundraiser at the Dry Water Farm Barn in Stoughton this afternoon. The press is not invited. Didn't Scawttie promise some sort of transparency and accessibility? It's yours, for $100 (which a Patch reporter says he's paying to get in).
Here's a picture of 25-year-old Scott Brown in a sweater catalogue. [Boston Globe]
REAGAN WOULD HATE CUT, CAP AND BALANCE - Remember the other day, when we pointed out how much Democrats love to quote Reagan lately? Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) told HuffPost why: "Because Reagan wasn't absolutely crazy. ... Reagan wouldn't have stood for [Cut, Cap and Balance], he wasn't crazy. Those people are."
Darker ages averted Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) lost his war on energy efficient lighting, and the House rejected his amendment to ban compact florescent lightbulbs. But all hope is not lost for defenders of technology from 1879: 129 other members of the House voted with Thompson. It was actually a good day for newer technology. The Reps also voted to keep their Styrofoam coffee cups, instead of those paper thingies Nancy Pelosi made them use.
Somebody was stalking Tamron Hall! They got him.
CORY MAYE LIVE CHAT - Radley Balko, as a top editor at Reason magazine championed the cause of Cory Maye, a man on death row in Mississippi for shooting a cop during a mistaken raid on his home. Tonight, Balko and Maye -- who was just released -- will take questions during a HuffPost livechat.
HUFFPOST INTERN STORMS FAMOUS DC - In an effort to rebut claims of fashion dysfunction in the nation's capital, HuffPost intern Alex Becker pitched the first DC Intern Fashion-Fail Detector app in FamousDC.com's DC Dream App contest. Becker: "The app, which would include instructional diagrams explaining how to dress for every possible DC function, should be a mandatory addition to the phones carried by hoards of fresh-faced, ill-dressed interns descending on Capitol Hill each summer." Looks like something good CAN come out of bare midriffs and exposed crew-neck undershirts after all. Becker won a FamousDC t-shirt, which he has been instructed not to wear to his next black tie event. [FamousDC Dream App Contest]
FOLEY FROWNER - Aaron, a 32-year-old from Fort Wayne, Ind., has been living apart from his wife, April, since November after she moved temporarily to Mexico City to sort out her immigration status. (Aaron asked that their last name be omitted to prevent potential retribution.) April, who was undocumented, lost her job when she went on maternity leave in 2007. To receive a visa to get it back, she was forced to leave the country and apply for an "extreme hardship" waiver to return -- which was denied in February. Now the family must live apart for months until they can reapply for a waiver that will allow her to live in the United States. "You don't know if you're going home, you're in a state of limbo so you have no idea," he said of his wife.
TPaw says his team didn't push the Bachmann-migraine story, tamping down the type of persistent rumors that might give him massive headaches... the kind that if he were president would be utterly incapacitating... not that anybody should or would push a storyline line like that, because he certainly wouldn't.
LADY BUTTONS - Democratic lawmakers and staffers are banding together with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz after Rep. Allen West questioned her "lady" qualities. Rep. Bruce Braley's office made pink buttons reading, "We Stand With The Lady," and is handing them out on the Hill. HuffPost spotted Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Carolyn Maloney wearing the buttons today, and the offices of Kirsten Gillibrand and Nancy Pelosi, among others, requested the flair. TGI Friday. [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
@BruceBraley: Go @DWStweets - I stand with the Lady!
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT
The weather for the weekend, described simply: Miserable; staying miserable but less craptacular; followed by just plain stinky on Sunday.Thanks, JB!
Iguana has no idea what's going on. [collegehumor]
A very creative anti-zombie weapon, presented by a guy you would expect to build an anti-zombie weapon. [collegehumor]
Blenders and glowsticks. [youtubes via laughingsquid]
Check the parameters. [youtubes]
Comfort Food Classic: Monkey washing cat. [youtubes]
@DaveWeigel: Up next: Locusts. RT @StewSays: AlertDC: Natl. Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for DC.
@bigjohnrc: The terrible amount of fail that is the dc metro system makes me think dan snyder is running the place
@pbsgwen: POTUS tells @npr he wants a debt ceiling deal for his birthday. "That's kind of sad, I know" (Uh, yes Mr President)
@aseitzwald: Hearing rumors it may be hot outside, but this is the first I've heard of it. Can anyone confirm?
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.: The Republican Party of Arkansas hosts Reince Preibus for a riverboat cruise on "The Arkansas Queen." But just when you think a roasting hot riverboat cruise in Arkansas couldn't get any worse ... Ahoy! There's a counter-cruise! A Facebook group called "Politicians Cruise While Working Families Lose" is planning to protest the outing. [Little Rock]
6 p.m.: What's worse than the disgusting weather in Washington? The disgusting weather in Houston, Texas, where a DSCC fundraiser is scheduled, with or without headliner Dick Durbin.
July 22-July 24:
Robber barons Hedge fund managers hit up grand old Newport for a weekend-long paaahty, dahling, for Sheldon Whitehouse. The $5,000 price tag excludes fancy hotel, seersucker pants. [One Bellevue Avenue, Newport, R.I.]
July 22-July 24: Only slightly more fun than a day at the OTB: Playing the ponies all weekend at in Saratoga, at a fundraiser for Joe Crowley.
5 p.m.: Texas resident T. Boone Pickens hosts a fundraiser for Virginia resident Brian Bilbray, so that Bilbray can continue to serve the good people of California. [Del Mar Country Club, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.]
July 24: "Spaulding! Get dressed, you're playing golf." Sound like fun? Hit the Caves Valley Golf Course for "gof outing" fundraiser for Mike Conaway. [2910 Blendon Road, Owings Mills, Texas]
July 24: Tickets to the fourth annual barbeque for Allyson Schwartz only cost $25. Which means you'll have Yuengling, and like it. [201 Leedom Street, Jenkintown]
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