Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Announces Super Soviet Comrades

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Mitt Romney is so popular on K Street that you'd think he was a beach house in Dewey. Jon Huntsman's major announcement couldn't have been more underwhelming if it took place in Al Capone's vault. And the Republicans unveiled their Super Lineup: It's a curious mix of heavy hitters, players-to-be-named-later and bullpen catchers. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 10th, 2011:

GOP SUPER CONGRESS MEMBERS NAMED - Republicans today announced which of their members WILL JOIN THE SUPER JUSTICE LEAGUE SUPER COMINTERN. There's Co-Chair Jeb Henserling, with the power to mimic a Houston-area car dealer at a moment's notice. There's Dave Camp, with the power to be on BOTH the Republican Main Street Partnership AND the Republican Study Committee because he likes principles so much he wants as many as he can. There's Fred Upton, with the power to summon energy industry interests to back up his newfound global warming denialism. There's Co-chair Jon Kyl, with the power to undermine empiricism whenever it's politically expedient. There's Rob Portman, with the power to make David Brooks forget about his crush on Barack Obama for a whole week. And there's Pat Toomey, with the power to be so boring that we can't think of anything amusing to say about him. TREMBLE, SPENDTHRIFTS OF GOTHAM. [HufPost's Elise Foley]

All of the Republicans on the panel have signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge. We could make other arguments about why it'll be a total disaster, but that factoid encapsulates our sentiments well.

Paul Ryan is not on the panel. He counts as one of those people we mentioned yesterday who are considered "serious" and were lobbying not to be on it.

FamousDC with what this means for you: "1) Staffer - Your August (and beyond) plans were just ruined by having your boss named. 2) Lobbyist - Business just picked up for those on K-Street with close ties to the Members. 3) Fundraiser - Go ahead and book and early flight back from ACK - you're hosting fundraisers in August." [FamousDC]

@2chambers: During a four-week stretch from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14, both chambers are in session at the same time for only four days

The market faceplanted again. D'oh.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A St. Louis TV station accidentally caused Washington media to pay attention to unemployment for 30 minutes on Wednesday by reporting that Claire McCaskill opposed reauthorizing federal jobless benefits. "I'm not for extending the unemployment benefits any further," McCaskill said in a soundbite cast as her opposition to President Obama's call for keeping the bennies. But her office said she was referring to giving additional weeks of benefits, not to preserving existing jobless aid programs, which is the matter at hand. It's actually impossible to tell what question McCaskill is responding to even from the "raw video" that has since been uploaded. The TV station, KMOV, hung up on the Daily Delaney Downer, then changed its web copy without alerting readers the story had a completely new meaning. [HuffPost]

Treasury yields fell again today. S&P is stupid.

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MICHELE BACHMANN REQUESTED STIMULUS $$$ - Whodathunk that a Bachmann would be devoted to vociferously opposing something while secretly being the thing they hate? "A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama's stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled "fantasy economics." Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House." [HuffPost's Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis]

ROMNEY A FAVORITE ON K STREET - Mitt Romneybot might have buggy software and a stodgy interface but, like his uncle Windows 95 back in the day, he is still the most popular operating system on K Street. "According to disclosure reports filed at the end of July, 61 registered lobbyists and five lobbyist-linked political action committees contributed $137,650 to Romney's campaign between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011. The former Massachusetts governor raised more money from lobbyists during this period than all of his competitors combined. The other Republican candidates who received contributions from lobbyists in the first half of 2011 were, in order of most money received, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty ($63,204), former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman ($31,600), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) ($25,500), former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum ($8,800), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) ($125). The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) do not accept contributions from registered lobbyists." [HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal]

DEMINT EVENT COULD REMIND GINGRICH, HUNTSMAN AND OTHERS THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT THEM - Tea Party kingmaker Jim DeMint is hosting a 2012 candidate forum on August 22nd. The invitations will be sent to whomever registers five percent or more in an upcoming RealClearPolitics poll. At this point, the only candidates who can claim to do so are Mitt Romney, a guy who shot a coyote with a laser-guided pistol, a pizza executive and Ronald Reagan's barber. David Drucker: "As of Wednesday afternoon, Huntsman, who most recently served as ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, wasn't registering any support. Gingrich had a 4.1 percent average, and Pawlenty garnered 2.6 percent. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), who registered at 1.8 percent, would also be excluded according to the invitation criteria as designated by the forum's organizers." [Roll Call]

NO DUH: CAMPAIGN FOR WEINER'S SEAT CLOSER THAN EXPECTED - A new poll from Sienna finds Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin leading retired Republican businessman Bob Turner by six points, 48 to 42 percent. He Who Shall Not Be Chat Rouletted won election in 2010 with a twenty-point cushion. David Chen: "Curiously, though, the poll did not ask voters about the one local issue that political analysts and residents say has dominated the race so far: whether Mr. Weprin, a Modern Orthodox Jew who observes the Sabbath, is the best pro-Israel candidate. After all, former Mayor Edward I. Koch, a staunch defender of Israel who ranked as the most popular political figure in the survey, with a favorable rating of 69 percent, crossed party lines to back Mr. Turner." [NYT]

Shira Toeplitz is reporting that former Republican Congressman Chris Shays will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman. "A source close to Shays confirmed that the former 10-term lawmaker is in the process of hiring staff and interviewing consultants for his campaign team," writes Toeplitz. "The source added that Shays plans to campaign for Senate as a full-time job through the GOP primary next August." When Shayes was defeated in 2008, he was the final House Republican to hail from New England. You know what the GOP wants more than anything right now? A Rockefeller Republican. Tea Party types will love that. [Roll Call]

Blue Dog Democrat Dennis Cardoza isn't denying reports that he might retire.

Nevada Senate candidate Byron Georgiou has dropped out of the Democratic primary, practically assuring Rep. Shelley Berkley her party's nomination. Georgiou was never viewed as a serious co`ntender but was outspoken enough to steal headlines from Berkley. [Las Vegas Sun]

OH COME ON: HUNTSMAN'S 'MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT' IS AN ENDORSEMENT FROM JEB BUSH JR. - Really? Really? After the Huntsman campaign -- wisely -- seized on a slow news day yesterday to tease an "announcement" today, epically bored political journos (guilty!) waited with baited breath for the announcement, which turned out to be an endorsement from Jeb Bush's kid. This is a guy who endorsed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, so you KNOW he can pick 'em. "I am confident that Jon's vision will appeal to young voters, who are concerned about the trillions of dollars in debt being piled on their backs, and who desperately seek jobs and economic opportunity," Bush said in a statement released by the Huntsman campaign. "Perhaps most importantly, Jon is the candidate best-equipped to defeat President Obama next November." THAT IS SO LAME!!! It's the political equivalent of Steve Jobs showing up at WWDC and announcing that Apple's big roll out will be a slightly cheaper iPod Nano. C'MON. [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Bulldog in cowboy costume rides toy horse

VICE PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH BUT ... DIFFERENT - "J. William Middendorf II, a longtime GOP fundraiser and confidant of Barry Goldwater, Nixon, Gerald Ford and Reagan, tells Whispers that he had worked the 1968 GOP convention to get support for Bush, a family friend and first term congressman from Texas. On the day after Nixon was nominated, Middendorf said he and associate Jerry Milbank went to Nixon's hotel room to talk about the vice presidential choices. "It was pretty early, I think it was about 7:30, I think it was his bedroom, actually, reading the paper. I said we've got delegates pretty much lined up for George and it looks like he'd be a very popular choice among the delegates," Middendorf recalled. "That's when he told me that, 'Oh gee fellas, I'm going with my man Spiro T. Agnew,'" the the little-known governor of Maryland who would later resign in a scandal." [U.S. News and World Report]

Tonight: The milder weather means that (fortunately), the cold front coming through will not bring about stormy weather. That's a positive. It means that, for the next few days at least, we can enjoy some cooler weather. Tomorrow: Sunny, clear skies, with temperatures in the high 80s, and lower humidity (cooler, drier air FTW!). Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- Photoshoplooter features smartly Photoshopped images of the English looters. A lot of the images feature very British items (lutes, plates with Prince Harry's face on them, etc). That especially ridiculous hat from the royal wedding makes an appearance. [http://huff.to/pkImvf]

- Because riding around in a self-propelled vehicle whose very existence was the stuff of dreams for 99.999 percent of human history isn't enough, a go-kart has been outfitted with a video screen to '"augment" the experience. [http://huff.to/qbyCue]

- David Lynch interviews Paul McCartney about the ex-Beatle's experiences with Meditation and Maharishi. [http://huff.to/pi7cRL]

- Video of a skateboarder crashing at the super-slow-mo speed of 1000 fps. GNARLY WIPE OUTS HAVE NEVER BEEN SO BEAUTIFUL, MAN.[http://huff.to/pTAW9r]

- Does shattering the glass ceiling get you hot and bothered? It should. A study finds people in countries with the more gender equality have more sex. [http://huff.to/r5PGO6]

- Google maps can't correctly place Mt. Whitney, the largest mountain in the Lower 48. Somewhere, a family car trip has been totally ruined by this. [http://huff.to/oOLzCH]

- Market gotcha down? Let this dubstep video featuring Bob Ross get you through the day. [http://bit.ly/n61sfg]

- Behold: The King of Batting Practice. [http://huff.to/opXUQY]

TWITTERAMA

@DarrellIssa: Staff tells me @barackobama dined at Teds Bulletin in #DC just now. Yeah, it's a Depression-themed restaurant. #irony

@brianbeutler: When we're done trying to scoop Super Committee appointments, let's move on to winning the Buddy Roemer veepstakes.

@DCJourno: wow, Iowa is neat! it's so flat!

ON TAP

TONIGHT

Today - Friday: Tom Price, Congress' most Ah-Do-Declarah southern lawyer-looking member, takes his donors on a very Southern getaway on his "Annual St. Simons Island Trip" [St. Simons Island, St. Simons, GA].

TOMORROW

All day: Gaze at the Tetons with Mike Enzi. The senator plays tour guide for his "Day at the Tetons Fly-Fishing Event And Dinner" [Jackson Hole, WY].

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Filed by Eliot Nelson