President Obama played basketball with George Clooney and Tobey Maguire, meaning a Mitt Romney/Stephen Baldwin croquet match is only days away. Tamron Hall and Tim Carney got into an epic on-air fight about the frivolity of modern news cycles -- an argument that might have been avoided in a more interesting news cycle. And Harry Reid spoke favorably about filibuster reform, giving both Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson one more glorious chance to screw him over before they call it a day. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 11th, 2012:
ROMNEY SEES YOUR STANDING UP FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND RAISES YOU... UM, ER... THE EXACT OPPOSITE - Elise Foley: "Immigration hawk and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach attended a fundraising appearance by Mitt Romney Thursday, according to a pool report of the event from the Kansas City Star. Kobach is the author of Arizona's contested immigration law, S.B. 1070, and is considered a leader in the anti-unauthorized immigration movement. He also says he is an informal adviser to the Romney campaign on immigration -- some of Romney's statements mirror Kobach's views -- a phrase the campaign backed away from in April." [HuffPost]
ICYMI: Harry Reid is sick and tired of being sick and tired. He's also sick and tired of the Senate's current filibuster rules.
LET'S GET READY TO
RUMBLEEEEEEEEEEE LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH THIS NEWS ITEEEEEEEMMMMMMM - Luke Johnson: "President Barack Obama played basketball Friday morning with George Clooney, Tobey Maguire and a few staff members, according to the White House pool report. The game came after a fundraiser on Thursday held at Clooney's house. The event raised nearly $15 million for Obama and the Democratic Party. Tickets cost $40,000. Barbra Streisand, Salma Hayek, and Jack Black also attended. Two small-dollar donors won a raffle and also attended. The event is part of a West Coast fundraising swing for Obama. Per a later pool report, Obama revealed the winner of the game. Asked by CBS News' Mark Knoller, Obama said, 'Of course George and I won but we're all winners because nobody got hurt.' The president attended two events in Seattle; the Dave Matthews Band performed at one." [HuffPost]
DAVE DOWNER - It turns out the only thing sadder than pink slime is pink slime workers who get pink slips: "The uproar over 'pink slime' beef products may have claimed some collateral damage, with a meatpacking worker in California saying she and her colleagues were laid off without notice in the wake of a bankruptcy filing by AFA Foods Inc. AFA decided to shutter a plant in Southern California amidst an Internet backlash to its controversial beef-trimmings product. 'They were rank-and-file employees,' said [lawyer Rene] Roupinian. 'Very few of them speak English ... so we think that contributed to their essentially not being aware of the right-to-warn notice and [made] it hard for them to reach out and retain counsel.' Roupinian said the workers earned an average of about $8.25 an hour, for an annual salary of roughly $17,000. They worked in a plant just south of downtown Los Angeles, where the mandated living wage for workers on city contracts is $10.42 an hour.[HuffPost]
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
MITT ROMNEY TO SPEAK AT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY, OBAMA CAMPAIGN GIDDILY REMINDS US - Andrea Stone: "One day before Mitt Romney is scheduled to give the commencement address at Liberty University, the director of religious outreach for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign said that when it comes to values that are important to religious Americans, there is 'a strong contrast' between the candidates...Putting a religious spin on the budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and endorsed by Romney, Rev. Derrick Harkins said Obama stood for 'values like loving our neighbors, being our brother's and sister's keeper and dignity for all,' a reference to Obama's statement Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage." [HuffPost]
Free idea: "Jesus is my Campaign Surrogate" t-shirts.
PETE KING'S SON EATS FRIED CHICKEN ON FOREIGN GOVERNMENT'S DIME, AND OTHER SHOCKING DEVELOPMENTS - ProPublica: "Two days after Christmas last year, Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., and his wife, Jane, boarded a first-class flight to Taiwan for a four-day tour of the island. Owens and his wife roomed at $500-a-night luxury hotels and enjoyed fine meals between meetings with Taiwanese officials and a day trip to Taipei's famed National Palace Museum. The Chinese Culture University in Taiwan had ostensibly invited the congressman and his wife 'to promote international cultural exchange.' In fact, lobbyists for Taiwan's government had organized the trip. Congressional ethics rules prohibit members from participating in most trips arranged by lobbyists. Although Owens filed a travel disclosure with the House Ethics Committee that identifies the trip's sponsor as the Culture University, email messages and other documents reviewed by ProPublica show that lobbyists from the New York firm Park Strategies, founded by former New York Sen. Al D'Amato, had invited Owens on the trip and spent four months organizing it. A rule passed by Congress after the Jack Abramoff scandal states: 'Member and staff participation in officially-connected travel that is in any way planned, organized, requested, or arranged by a lobbyist is prohibited.' Besides D'Amato, others involved in arranging the trip included two executives at his firm, John Zagame and Sean King, son of Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. The Park Strategies lobbyists are registered foreign agents for the government of Taiwan... The planning appears to have started in early August 2011, when Zagame and Sean King met for lunch at KyoChon Chicken at Fifth Avenue and 32nd Street in Manhattan to discuss the trip and other matters. They billed Taiwan for the $50 check." [ProPublica]
AMERICAblog has a helpful rundown of Team Romney's grandest achievements in homophobia, including the time Eric Fernstrom outed a transgendered Massachusetts politician.
ED RENDELL TO NATION: LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE - Professional big loud opinionated person Ed Rendell has a new book titled "A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great" -- so named because "Rar Rar Rar I'm Rendell Rar Rar Rar I'm From The School of Hard Knocks Rar Rar Rar Thanks For Having Me On, Chris," was deemed too clever. Politico: "Former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says in a new book that President Barack Obama has been 'badly outcommunicated' and that his push for health care reform was 'severely flawed,' according to The Philadelphia Inquirer... The former Democratic National Committee chairman also claims Obama allowed Congress too much control over the drafting of economic stimulus legislation and the Affordable Care Act, and didn't use the 'bully pulpit' of the White House to effectively communicate his message... 'I'm already campaigning to persuade [Hillary Clinton] to [run for president],' he writes, according to the Inquirer. 'I have told her that I would be her campaign manager and not even take a salary, that's how important it is for her to run.'" [Politico]
Ann Romney gets major AWWWWWW points for this: "Ann Romney had some kind words in a recent interview for First Lady Michelle Obama, the woman she could replace in the White House if Mitt Romney wins the 2012 election. 'I think she's lovely,' Romney said of Obama during an interview on Fox News. 'And as everyone can appreciate it is a very difficult position to be in. Where your husband's under enormous scrutiny all the time and attacks from one side or the other and yet to be able to keep your calm and to be able to have your composure, we appreciate that and see that in her.'" [HuffPost's Nick Wing]
Tamron Hall. Tim Carney. Touch gloves. IT'S ONNNNNNNNN!!!
CONGRESS STILL NOT CONTROLLED BY POTHEADS - One day -- probably after our first atheist president, our first transgendered president, and our first dog president -- things will be different. Just you wait and see. Lucia Graves: "A bipartisan measure that would have eliminated funding for federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they're legal failed Wednesday in the House of Representatives. The legislation, introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), was part of the appropriations bill to fund the Department of Justice for fiscal 2013. It failed 262-163." [HuffPost]
AT THIS POINT, WE'RE PRETTY SURE KANSAS IS WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS - John Celock: "The Republican-controlled Kansas House of Representatives on Thursday adopted a resolution condemning the United Nations' Agenda 21 environmental action plan, which focuses on sustainable development. Kansas lawmakers adopted the non-binding resolution following intense debate over what supporters believe is the U.N.'s attempt to 'indoctrinate' the public on sustainability issues and its desire to control the local government planning process. Agenda 21 was adopted by world leaders during a 1992 climate change summit in Brazil. It has not been ratified by Congress and does not have the force of law in the United States. 'This resolution informs policymakers of the aggressive environmental, social engineering and global political control that is Agenda 21,' Rep. Dennis Hedke (R-Wichita), the resolution's sponsor, told fellow lawmakers." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - A reading from the book of Craigslist.
A EISENHOWER FAMILY/FRANK GEHRY SPAT SOMEHOW HAPPENED - HuffPost DC: "The Eisenhower family isn't feeling optimistic about a 'refined' design for the controversial Frank Gehry-designed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial that is to be revealed Tuesday." [HuffPost]
- Here are some cool old dudes for you to watch. [http://chzb.gr/IZ5Uu1]
- The way this guy expresses himself just screams 'Gingrich' to us. Also, what? [http://bit.ly/IZ2MhH]
- Foto Friday: "The 35 Greatest Animal Photobombers" [http://bit.ly/IZ6zLW]
- Foto Friday: Animals photobombed by BP. [http://bit.ly/IZ71tu]
- Marine comes home to an ambulatory surprise. [http://chzb.gr/IZ5zHC]
@ryanjreilly: INBOX: "Exclusive: Why Ronald Reagan Still Matters."
@pourmecoffee: JPMorgan lost $2 billion on synthetic credit securities. In other news, JPMorgan announced a new $2 billion Loss Recuperation Fee.
Friday All day: Apparently not satisfied with the kick-ass fishing in Idaho, Republican Sen. Mike Crapo hosts a charter fishing trip in swanky Solomons Island, Md.
Friday 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.]
Saturday 6:30pm: If your idea of an awesome Saturday night is a black-tie children's medical charity gala, then you'll love the Children's Ball at the swanky Mellon Auditorium. Unfortunately, we've got plans that night. [1301 Constitution Ave. NW]
Saturday 7:00pm: Beloved by Southern frat guys, conservative blondes and burgeoning alcoholics across DC, the annual Taste of the South charity bash is one hell of a party, y'all. [1776 D St. NW]
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ryan Grim (email@example.com) or Arthur Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e