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HUFFPOST HILL - Obama Supports Gay Marriage, Day 2: Western Civilization Still Standing

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Michele Bachmann renounced her Swiss citizenship, meaning we probably won't get a campaign ad with Marcus Bachmann on top of a mountain yelling "RIIIIIICOLA!!!" House Republicans really outdid themselves when they found a way to shortchange both victims of abuse AND California Central Valley Spring Run Chinook salmon on the same day. And Mitt Romney was a really nasty bully in high school, reports the Washington Post. However, in classic business management style, Mitt didn't "give wet willies," he "identified extraneous, ear-based liquidity solutions." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, May 10th, 2012:

HOUSE POINTLESSLY PASSES A PAUL RYAN BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR THE 5,000,000TH TIME - Is there some kind of Paul Ryan punch card that the House parliamentarian snips every time the lower chamber passes something like this? Does the House get a free large Coke the tenth time it gets snipped? Mike McAuliff: "The House drew up the 'reconciliation budget' in hopes of heading off automatic cuts mandated in last summer's deal to raise the nation's debt limit. Under that deal, $1.2 trillion must be 'sequestered' -- that is, cut -- from the budget over the next 10 years, with about half coming from the military. Such reductions would still allow the defense budget to grow by 20 percent. The House GOP plan passed 218 to 199, with 16 Republicans and all Democrats voting no. It replaces about $100 billion in the mandatory cuts next year and more than $300 billion over the next decade...Rather than decrease military spending, the plan reduces projected outlays elsewhere. The proposal, which emerged from the House Budget Committee chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Monday, would cut $83 billion in federal retirement benefits (equivalent to about a 5 percent pay cut), save $49 billion by capping medical malpractice lawsuits, slash about $48 billion from Medicaid programs and cut food aid by more than $36 billion." [HuffPost]

We're practically drowning in the conviction: @Chris_Moody: Leading House Dem Steny Hoyer announced he's flipping on gay marriage too yhoo.it/INMglT

GOP BLOCKS EXPORT-IMPORT BANK REAUTHORIZATION, HARRY REID LOSES IT - The House has come to a deal on reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank, which has been a huge K Street clusterf*&% (we have to blank that out for spam-filter reasons, sorry), but Senate Republicans didn't want to move forward. Harry Reid, in his regular form lately: “I have been here in Congress 30 years, but this is a new one. Even bills that they agree on, they want to mess around with. In years past, this would have gone through here just like this [snaps fingers]. Forget about what took place two months ago, but now the House passed something 330-93, and we're here playing around with it?" Reid said on the floor. "These days, the far right, the Tea Party wing of the Senate Republican caucus, I used to just talk about the House wing of the tea party, but it's over here now -- who think that everything has to be a fight, everything." He filed cloture. The vote'll be Monday.

At National Airport today, Hal Rogers (!) was the only congressman not to take advantage of the privileged security line at concourse 3, a guy who sat there all day tells us.

HOUSES ALSO PASSES COMMERCE, JUSTICE AND SCIENCE APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT WON'T GO ANYWHERE - White House has threatened a veto. Mike McAuliff with some of the juicier bits: "The Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill bars the following: The Census' American Community Survey. The use of funds for the Department of Justice to be a party to a single- or multi-state court settlement where funds are removed from any residential mortgage-backed securitization trust. The use of funds by the DoJ to bring any action against any state for implementation of a state voter identification law. The use of funds to litigate against any of the States on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board pertaining to secret ballot union elections. The use of funds to be used to enforce section 526 of the Energy Independence Security Act (using oil derived from coal), The use of funds for the White House's National Ocean Policy. The use of funds to implement a proposed rule for turtle excluder devices on shrimp trawlers. The use of funds to reintroduce California Central Valley Spring Run Chinook salmon. The use of funds to carry out activities of the Climate Change Education program of the National Science Foundation."

Also this, via Laura Bassett: "House Republicans voted down an amendment to an appropriations bill on Thursday that would have increased funding for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs by $20 million... The House Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Science for Fiscal Year 2013 carves out $420 million for grants under the Violence Against Women Act, which is $15 million less than those programs received in funding in FY 2010. After the Senate passed its version of the Violence Against Women Act, House Republicans trimmed the bill down by rolling back existing protections for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence and stripping provisions that would extend protections for Native American and LGBT victims. Nadler said Congress should pay for the additional $20 million in VAWA funding by cutting unnecessary administrative expenses." [HuffPost]

ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE PASSES BLATANTLY POLITICAL DEFENSE BILL - Seriously, it couldn't have been more pandering if it were called the We All Believe In A Strong National Defense And Low Taxes And The Super Bowl (Oh, And 80 Percent Lean Burgers With American Cheese) Act. AP: "The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a $642 billion defense bill that calls for construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast, restores aircraft and ships slated for early retirement and ignores the Pentagon's cost-saving request for another round of domestic base closings. Despite the clamor for fiscal discipline, the committee crafted a military spending blueprint that's $8 billion more than the level President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to last summer in the deficit-cutting law. The spending plan calls for a base defense budget of $554 billion, including nuclear weapons spending, plus $88 billion for the war in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts. Obama had proposed a $551 billion defense budget, plus $88 billion for the war and counterterrorism. The panel vote early Thursday morning was 56-5." [AP]

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JOHN BOEHNER: NO HOMO, BRO - Just a guess: Whatever part of the brain is typically used to form an opinion about gay marriage is filled up, in John Boehner's mind, with thoughts about golf. Jen Bendery: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) really doesn't want to talk about gay marriage. During his weekly briefing on Thursday, Boehner was asked several questions about his views on the issue, ranging from whether he considers marriage equality a civil rights issue to how much of a role he thinks the issue should play in campaigns. And every time, he had the same answer. 'I'm going to stay focused on what the American people want us to stay focused on, and that's jobs,' he said. Boehner said that he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman, but beyond that, he said he doesn't want to get into it." [HuffPost]

Michele Bachmann has renounced her duel Swiss citizenship, ending her long-planned bid for a spot on the European Court of Justice. USA Today: "Rep. Michele Bachmann said today she's withdrawing from dual citizenship with Switzerland. 'I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen,' the former GOP presidential candidate said in a statement. 'I am, and always have been, 100% committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America.'... Bachmann has dual citizenship because her husband, Marcus, is of Swiss descent and is a citizen of both the United States and Switzerland. She said the status was conferred to her automatically under Swiss law when she and her husband married in 1978." [USA Today]

FREE MENTAL IMAGE: Marcus Bachmann (bit.ly/K68ATS) in a Swiss Guard outfit ( bit.ly/bD5yyl). You're welcome.

MITT ROMNEY WAS A TOTAL JERK IN HIGH SCHOOL: CREDIBLE NEWS ORGANIZATION - "Bullying," "horsing around," "vicious hate crime"... what's the difference?!? Apples/oranges, amirite?! WaPo with quite the well-sourced anecdote from Mitt's formative years: "Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School...he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it... A few days later, [Romney friend Matthew] Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors." [WaPo]

Mitt is so sorry, even though he has no recollection of a significant fact from his childhood that has been confirmed by way more people than is necessary. Sam Stein: "Mitt Romney made a surprise appearance on Fox host Brian Kilmeade's radio show Thursday morning to respond to a lengthy Washington Post story on his time as a prep-school prankster and occasional bully of closeted gay students. 'They talk about the fact that I played a lot of pranks in high school,' Romney said. 'And they describe some that you just say to yourself, back in high school I just did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended by it, obviously I apologize.'.. 'The people involved didn't come out of the closet until years later," he noted. 'The idea that this is something that was known by me ... is obviously absurd. I had no idea that this person might have been gay.'" So does he not remember the incident, or did he not know "the people involved" were gay? It can't be both, guy. [HuffPost]

Michael Calderone reports that WaPo held the story for a day: "Post editors were concerned about placing the Romney story on the front page alongside pieces about Obama voicing his support for same-sex marriage, a lead story joined on A1 by a news analysis piece, a reaction story and a tease to the Post's editorial praising Obama for his 'statement that is both symbolically important, enormously cheering.' 'We're mindful of the news going on this week, particularly yesterday,' Post political editor Steven Ginsberg told The Huffington Post. 'We thought it was better not to have it in today's paper.'" [HuffPost]

ROMNEY SOMEHOW FOUND A WAY TO BULLY GAYS IN THE AGGREGATE - What a keen business mind! Amanda Terkel: "[G]ay-rights advocates argue that his policies toward the LGBT community as governor were just as troubling... 'Just looking at his current behavior, he's so politically opportunistic in his willingness to score political points on the backs of LGBT people -- if that's not the definition of a bully, I don't know what is,' said Kara Suffredini, executive director of the pro-gay rights group MassEquality. Most memorable for Suffredini and Byard were Romney's battles with a commission meant to help LGBT youth, as it became clearer that these students were targets of harassment and discrimination in schools. The Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth was first set up in 1992 by then-governor William Weld, a Republican... [Governor Romney] opted to put restrictions on the way the commission could use the approximately $1.2 million it received in state funds." [HuffPost]

REID: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING GAYER - No, it's not moving its headquarters to 17th and Q NW. The Hill: "The Democrats’ top leader in Congress said Thursday that the party’s platform will soon include a plank calling for the legalization of gay marriage. 'The president’s in favor of it -- I’m sure it will be [included],' said Reid. Delegates to the Democratic National Convention will meet in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the party's platform in early September. " [The Hill]

HOUSING ACTIVISTS TO PROTEST OBAMA/CLOONEY EVENT - Too bad that Obama is still politically invincible after he bumped his head against the gay marriage "?" box and got a flashing star in return. Politico: "When President Barack Obama and Hollywood's glitterati arrive for a million-dollar fundraiser at George Clooney's California mansion, they'll pass by a collection of 50 or so people urging the president to help them keep their homes. Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a group of underwater homeowners and housing advocates, plan to protest outside the Laurel Canyon event on Thursday. They want Obama to get tougher on the banks and mortgage lenders that triggered the housing crisis -- and force the conservator of federally-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to do more to help them." [Politico]

America's going to work out a lot of its problems through this campaign. ABC News: "Erika Harold, who won the Miss America crown in 2003, passed the first hurdle this week in becoming the Republican candidate to replace Illinois Rep. Tim Johnson, who dropped out of the race two weeks after winning the GOP nomination in March. The GOP county chairman tapped Harold, a Harvard Law School graduate who now works as a civil litigation attorney in Chicago, as one of four potential candidates to take on the Democratic nominee, physician David Gill, in November's general election. But while her stint as Miss America is nowhere to be found on her law firm bio, Harold said the title will be a plus in her bid for Congress." [ABC News]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Goose has clearly embraced the dark side.

TWENTY-EIGHT ACCUSED OF HELPING NOVA BRATS STUDY FOR THE GMAT, PARTY HARD - HuffPost DC: "Federal authorities have arrested 28 people and charged them with participating in a cocaine-smuggling ring that brought millions of dollars in drugs from Honduras to northern Virginia over the past six years. The drugs were smuggled in shoes and wooden frames." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Jon Hamm is an adult, answers questions from non-adults. [http://bit.ly/LsKcgS]

- Invention of the Day: Guy creates hummingbird feeder mask. Yes, let's have that pointy beak as close to our eyes as possible. Excellent. [http://bit.ly/LsIYSY]

- 12-year-old skateboarder nails the first-ever 1080-degree spin. [http://chzb.gr/LsLlFo]

- Invention of the Day: Robo-butt "represents emotions with visual and tactual transformation of the muscles." [http://bit.ly/KJ8xm2]

- Invention of the Day: Here is a very small go-kart. [http://bit.ly/LsM7Ch]

- One of these things is walking the other. [http://bit.ly/KJ6u1j]

- A peek inside the NYT's newsroom "morgue."[http://bit.ly/LsFv6Y]

TWITTERAMA

@Pat_Healy: In all fairness to Mitt, Chubby Checker's 'Pin That Gay Down and Chop Off His Hair' was all the rage in '65.

@umarjones: He wouldn't be alive if O was last man RT @FreeBeacon Mayor ‘I Wouldn’t Vote For Obama If He Was Last Man In The World’ http://wfb.tc/KprXJJ

@delrayser: see also: most of Twitter RT @ryanjreilly: Romney's problem only exacerbated by bias of political journalists who were bullied in HS.

ON TAP
By @christinawilkie

TONIGHT

6:00pm: In case you haven't read any newspapers in the past week, tonight is the ginormous Obama fundraiser at George Clooney's house. We're hoping the universe can absorb all those attractive rich people in one place, but we'll be on the lookout for a hole in the space-time continuum. [George Clooney's Playboy mansion]

6:30pm: Major DSCC donors get together to quietly celebrate the defeat of Dick Lugar and the newly minted in-playness of Indiana at a high-dollar fundraiser. [901 New York Ave. NW]

TOMORROW

All day: Apparently not satisfied with the kick-ass fishing in Idaho, Republican Sen. Mike Crapo hosts a charter fishing trip on swanky Solomons Island, Md.

2:00pm - 8:00pm: There must be some kind of fancy, conservative, One Percent fish running around this time of year, because Republican Maryland Rep. Andy Harris is following Crapo's lead with an afternoon of charter boat fishing. [Rock Hall Marina, Rock Hall, Md.]

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