Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Elizabeth Warren Launches Exploratory Bid To Give You Something To Believe In For A Few Months

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Allen West compared himself to Harriet Tubman while Tom Coburn insinuated that if Tubman weren't so coddled, she might have been able to free a few more slaves. Joe Biden, as expected, went off-script and incited a minor international incident. And down-on-his-luck Jon Huntsman reminded us all of the famous line that, "when the fall is all that's left ... randomly tweet about Captain Beefheart." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, August 18th, 2011:

LIBERALS ARE ECSTATIC THAT A PROGRESSIVE HAS FORMED AN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE IN MASSACHUSETTS - That is just how completely bereft today's Democratic party is. As was expected, Elizabeth Warren today formed an exploratory committee to mull whether to run for the Bay State Senate seat currently occupied by Scott Brown. The former Obama administration official, who was tasked with creating the CFPB, also launched a website, Right now, it only features a donation prompt and a decidedly Massachusetts design scheme (re: a lot of water and teal colors). [Boston Globe]

@brady_dennis: According to, the #elizabethwarren campaign site was registered on July 29, just before she departed from #cfpb

Scott Brown will accept the "Spirit of Lincoln" award from Log Cabin Republicans. This comes after Brown's refusal to appear in an "It Gets Better" video alongside the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation (he's the only Republican). "As a currently serving officer in the Army National Guard, Senator Brown knew that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was not working and was a critical part of the legislative team that ended the policy," the group said in a press release.

BACHMANN HAS GIVEN GENEROUSLY TO GLAAD, THE NAACP AND J STREET - Kidding! No one actually knows who or what she's given charitable donations to because she won't disclose any! She does like attending fundraisers with dudes who equate President Obama with Osama bin Laden, however. And how's this for a quote, courtesy of Larry Sabato: "If you want to have the power to end all life on earth and affect every life in America in dramatic ways, your zone of privacy is quite small, and you must be open about your life." Yes, if you want to give Michele Bachmann the power to end all life on Earth... [HuffPost's Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie]

BITTER LAZY OVERPAID BUREAUCRAT COPES WITH HER EXISTENCE, NEED FOR RUNNING SHOES - Life's been pretty tedious lately for HuffPost Hill's own BLOB. "I'm especially bitter today," she writes. "Everything was going as usual: 2.5 hour lunch off-site.. Internet research on changes in the new model of my running shoes.. Party planning (I created and chair the party planning committee to help fill my days). And then I had a conference call and listened to people who don't know what they're talking about rip apart a beautiful piece of governmental literature with their overly legal and technical language, ultimately stripping the report from something that could truly resonate with Americans and Congress into an overly technical, legal, incoherent, incomprehensible piece of bureaucratic trash. This will not only deprive me of the pedicure I planned to get tomorrow while working from home, but -- more importantly -- fail at accomplishing the original task the report was written to address, which would create jobs. I would jump out of the window of my large office, but it's after 4, which means everyone's gone for the day so I'd rot on the sidewalk until Monday, since no one shows up on Fridays, anyway." Stay cheery, BLOB!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Weekly claims for unemployment benefits increased 9,000 to 408,000 last week, the government said today. Economists thought claims would not rise quite so much, and also they are sad that claims once again topped the 400,000 barrier, which is considered profound. Here's DDD's analysis: People are still losing their jobs left and right and the economy still sucks. [U.S. Labor Department]

HERITAGE FOUNDATION FTW - Why are children poor? The conservative "think" tank has this answer: ". In the best economic times, the average poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year. That's 16 hours per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year -- the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week throughout the year -- nearly 75 percent of poor children would immediately be lifted out of official poverty." Or, there's Tom Coburn's answer: Because they're black (see below). [The Foundry]

Also, if 100 percent of the workforce would just get to work already, then the unemployment rate would be 0 percent!

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PRESIDENT CALLS FOR ASSAD TO RESIGN, INCREASES U.S. PRESSURE ON SYRIA - The U.S. economy sure does suck, but remember ... the rest of the world? Joshua Hersh: "After months of stepping gingerly around calls that he firmly renounce the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad, President Obama today joined other world leaders in demanding that Assad step down...In addition to the tough language, the Obama administration also imposed strict new sanctions on the Syrian petroleum industry on Thursday, and introduced a blanket ban on Americans conducting business with the regime or its oil industry." [HuffPost]

Somehow Mitt Romney managed to attack Obama for being late on Assad -- and we're pretty sure Romney is just now getting around to wishing everyone a Happy July 4th. "America must show leadership on the world stage and work to move these developing nations toward modernity," he said in a statement. "This means using the bullhorn of the presidency and not remaining silent for too long while voices of freedom and dissent are under attack." [CNN]

Also, if 100 percent of homeless people found good jobs and bought homes, that would reduce homelessness.

ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW DEPORTATION POLICY- Elise Foley: "The Obama administration announced on Thursday it will do a case-by-case review of deportations, allowing many undocumented immigrants without criminal records to stay in the United States indefinitely and apply for work permits. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will send a letter on Thursday to Senate members who had asked for details on how the agency would prioritize its immigration enforcement. The policy change is meant as a framework to help prevent non-priority undocumented immigrants from 'clogging the system,' senior administration officials said on a conference call with reporters Thursday." [HuffPost]

TOM COBURN ASSUMES ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE LAZY, INCLUDING THE ONE WHO IS PRESIDENT - During a town hall meeting this week, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn expressed his belief that Barack Obama is a good person but is very much hampered by his blackness. "Obama's 'intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him,' he said. 'As an African-American male,' Coburn said, Obama received 'tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.' Coburn went on to say that most of the country's problems were created by Congress and that 'I don't think presidents matter that much.'" [Tulsa World]

Also, if people would pay more for houses, housing prices would rise

Congresswoman Bachmann, the word you're looking for is "mujer": "We need one strong hombre or hombre-ette, and I'm the hombre-ette to go and stand for you in Washington DC." [CBS News]

ALLEN WEST COMPARES HIMSELF TO HARRIET TUBMAN - Naturally. It was Tubman, of course, who shepherded oppressed Americans away from the tyranny of the individual mandate and cap-and-trade proposals and into the warm, liberty-imbued embrace of a flat tax. "So you have this 21st Century plantation...where the Democrat party has forever taken the black vote for granted, and you have established certain black leaders who are nothing more than the overseers of that plantation," West said on the Laura Ingraham show, recalling, apparently, how the Civil War was waged because slaveholders were taking their slaves' votes for granted. "And now the people on that plantation are upset because they've been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about." He continued: "So I'm here as the modern day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility." You know how Richard Nixon had White House guards don those ridiculous outfits in the 1970s? This is like that, but ten times crazier. No idea why we thought of that. [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]

"Former President Clinton now considers himself a vegan."

GOP HITS OBAMA FOR TAKING VACATION, BECAUSE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS NEVER DO THAT - The RNC today unveiled a series of joke postcards meant to highlight the fact that President Obama sometimes isn't in Washington during a month when no one else is in Washington. "After a three day taxpayer-funded campaign swing through the Midwest, President Obama will be taking a nine day vacation on Martha's Vineyard," the committee said in a statement. "This is the same president that said he 'will not rest until anybody who's looking for a job can find one,' yet he's jetting off to the Vineyard to play golf and relax on the beach." Forget jetting and golfing and relaxing, this a-hole continues to SLEEP!!! Doesn't Barack Hussein realize how anti-American the R.E.M. cycle is? Mark Knoller, in his own delightful way, calls bullshit: "So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch." [WaPo's Greg Sargent]

AND JUST HOW SLOW IS THE POLITICAL NEWS CYCLE? TAKE IT AWAY, POLITICO! - "Veepstakes speculation heats up". Thanks, Politico!

Rick Perry on evolution: "It's a theory that's out there...It's got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both Creationism and evolution." How can we expect Rick Perry to believe in evolution what with that hair of his??? That 'do is a shining example of intelligent design. [CNN]

Just don't call him "The GOP's nominee": @JonHuntsman: To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.

...and then this: @jonhuntsman: I wonder if a tweet where I admit how much I like Captain Beefheart will make the followers skyrocket even more!

CHINESE OPPRESSION CANNOT CONTEND WITH THE EVER-LOQUACIOUS JOE BIDEN - During Joe Biden's appearance with Chinese officials in Beijing, reporters were manhandled by their Chinese handlers because the vice president was talking longer than had been anticipated. This is going to affect our Treasuries somehow. Michael Memoli: "A Chinese press aide said Biden was going on far too long for their liking. But in fact, including the consecutive translation of his comments from English to Chinese, Biden spoke only two or three minutes longer than Xi had. Soon the stern shooing turned into forceful shoving. As reporters tried to stand their ground, Chinese officials locked arms and pushed forward in a show of overwhelming force. Soon enough Biden did finish, but reporters had difficulty hearing the entire thing because of the fisticuffs. Hours later, Biden held another meeting with the chair of the National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo. And again, Chinese officials attempted to force reporters from the room even as Biden was still speaking." At the very least, this suggests that China's foreign intelligence services can't quite pass muster yet. How difficult is it to anticipate that Joe Biden might talk beyond the scheduled time? [LAT]

Biden and Georgetown basketball: Our new foreign policy team.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog is tickled, make weird noise, creates uncomfortable feeling in viewer.

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Thunderstorms popping up around the area. Most likely won't be prolonged, but could get messy. Tomorrow: The higher humidity isn't so bad, but the pop up thunderstorms (again) might be worse. Thanks, JB!


- A stereotype map of Washington, D.C. HuffPost Hill lives in "Jumbo Slice." []

- Cool skate board tricks. Cool skateboard tricks in slow motion. Cool skateboard tricks in slow motion set to mood-setting music. []

- New Zealand recently experienced a rare snow storm. Here's some artsy footage of Kiwis enjoying the weather. []

- A study confirms what you have always though but were too afraid to say lest you seem not with it: 3D movies aren't that much better and often cause headaches. []

- iPads might be coming to a Delta flight near you. The skies about about to ge friendlier wayyyy more pretentious. []

- Wanna create a tornado and enjoy its awe-inspiring destructive power in the comfort of your own home? Now you can! []

- Andy Warhol's landlord wrote him a letter in 1965 asking him to quit it with the partying. []

- What does a neuron look like? Why, allow this 3D rendnering of one to demonstrate! []


@matthewstoller: Are financial crises and chatter about Karl Marx correlated?

@lehmannchris: Perry tells New Hampshire schoolkid that he doesn't know how old the Earth is--but does pledge to kick its ass and shoot it.

@brianbeutler: Shorter @JonHuntsman: The vast majority of my party and its base are deluded and ignorant. But @BarackObama's vacation timing is even worse!



7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Mike Michaud celebrates the summer and his constituents the only way he can: By boiling alive some live creatures at his lobster bake fundraiser [Casco Bay, 33 Island Avenue , Peaks Island, ME].

Beer week!

4:00 pm: Bread and Brew hosts "Doggy Yappy hour" which features drink deals and representatives from Canine Rescue who will be on hand with dogs who need homes [Bread and Brew, 1247 20th Street NW].

5:00 pm: Radius hosts a "Starr Hill Beer 101 Class" for all of you that still need an excuse to drinks all kinds of beers in one sitting [Radius, 3155 Mt. Pleasant Street NW].


Tomorrow - Saturday: Olympia Snowe plays hosts at a "Friends and Family" weekend. Man, if we wanted to spend a weekend with our friends and family, we wouldn't have them pay $1,500 for the pleasure of our company. Snowe must be popular [Colony Hotel - 140 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME]

Tomorrow - Sunday: Does the image of Sander Levin padlding around in a canoe make you laugh? Well it makes us laugh. The Michigan lawamaker and Ways and Means ranking member invites his donors to a "Weekend Trip to Mackinac Island" [Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI].

Tomorrow - Sunday: Sure, the president might be taking a vacation to Martha's Vineyard, but everyone knows that REAL money goes to Nantucket. Bill Keating tries to rake in some real money at his weekend fundraiser on the posh island [Nantucket, MA].

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Filed by Eliot Nelson