A vial of Ronald Reagan's blood will be put up for auction, forcing Republicans to rethink their position on human cloning. Mitch McConnell accused President Obama of attacking capitalism, prompting our editors to offer capitalism a blogging account. And President Obama will likely win the Arkansas Primary, unless of course enough people write-in "Cardboard Cutout of Sam Walton" -- which is a distinct possibility. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012:
PRIMARY DAY IN ARKANSAS AND KENTUCKY - Naturally, the main issues are how best to establish needle exchanges and which brands of condoms to distribute gratis to sex workers. WaPo, with what's actually happening: "[Retiring Rep. Mike Ross' seat] is one of the Democrats' toughest holds this year... On the GOP side, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Tom Cotton leads the way and has raised by far the most money ($1 million). The question seems to be whether he gets enough of the vote (50 percent) to avoid a runoff. Beth Anne Rankin, a former aide to ex-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, appears to be his top competition... On the Democratic side, the same poll showed attorney Q. Byrum Hurst (great name!) and state Sen. Gene Jeffress likely headed for a runoff, with Hurst at 23 percent and Jeffress at 22 percent... [Retiring Rep. Geoff] Davis was once a Democratic target, but this race is likely over once the GOP primary wraps up. Lewis County Judge-Executive Tom Massie (R) has been getting lots of tea party and conservative support - including from the Club for Growth and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) - and appears to be the favorite heading into primary day, but state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington has Davis's endorsement and support, and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore could be a player too." [WaPo]
In Arkansas, the president's reelection campaign simply wants to earn its delegates and not fork them over to a convicted felon. Politico: "Arkansas is a state that's never taken a liking to President Barack Obama. That might not matter, except that Tuesday's ballot has Obama in a one-on-one match-up with little-known challenger John Wolfe -- a scenario much like the May 8 West Virginia Democratic primary, where a convicted felon captured 41 percent against the president. The possibility that Wolfe could garner a significant portion of the vote - that is, enough to claim delegates to the national convention - is real enough that the state Democratic Party has already announced that Wolfe will not be awarded any delegates in the event he meets the 15 percent threshold." [Politico]
Crowd-sourcing this one: If you were at the Democracy Alliance gathering in Miami and happened to shoot iPhone footage of Ed Rendell and John Podesta celebrating the magic of fracking, please send it to email@example.com.
WHITE HOUSE LIKES COLIN POWELL IF COLIN POWELL LIKES IT BACK - Jen Bendery: "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday downplayed the fact that former Secretary of State Colin Powell won't commit to endorsing President Barack Obama again.
HuffPost Hill, for those of you who care, and those of you who don't, will be at the Tune Inn this evening sending Karina Newton and Nico Pitney off on a Mike Allen-esque vacation X1,000. It's our hope that Nico, our former boss, and Karina, who often felt like our boss, will feel the pull of Washington on their world tour and be sucked back in, Artur Davis-style.
ARTUR DAVIS REALLY MUST MISS RIDING THE HOUSE SUBWAY (OR SOMETHING) - BuzzFeed: "Artur Davis, the former Democratic congressman from Alabama, is considering running for a House seat in Virginia as a Republican, according to a source close to Davis, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor of Alabama in 2010. Davis is toying with the idea of challenging Democrat Gerry Connolly's for his seat in Virginia's Washington, D.C. suburbs in 2014, the source said; he's also been encouraged to run for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2013 or 2015. And if Davis runs, he is likely to do so as a Republican, the source said. A longtime Democratic strategist in Virginia said that Davis called him and said 'he hadn't quite gotten over the political bug and was thinking about running again.' The source had the impression that Davis had been calling 'a number of folks' to discuss the idea. That source, a Virginia Democrat, was under the impression Davis would run as a Democrat." [BuzzFeed]
LEADING LABOR OFFICIAL INTRODUCED TO A BUS UNDERCARRIAGE - Dave Jamieson: "Donna Dewitt, the president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, has spent two years doing battle with Republican Gov. Nikki Haley. At a picnic this past weekend, Dewitt put on what she thought was a playful demonstration of her feelings toward the South Carolina governor and GOP star -- by taking a baseball bat to a pinata bearing Haley's face, to the enthusiastic cheers of her fellow progressives. By Tuesday afternoon, Haley had posted a YouTube video of the bashing on her Facebook page, where the governor's supporters unleashed a torrent of anti-union comments. 'Wow,' Haley wrote in her post. 'I wonder if the unions think this kind of thing will make people take them seriously.'" Rut roh... [HuffPost]
Amanda Terkel with a report on how Mike Raven is spending his time: "Gay rights supporters have been working to change the definition of marriage for years, trying to get legislatures to pass marriage equality laws and securing more rights for same-sex couples. But New Hampshire resident Mike Raven is looking at the issue more literally: He wants to convince dictionaries to print a more inclusive definition of the word 'marriage.'... Raven's petition targets Dictionary.com, which attracts approximately 50 million readers each month." [HuffPost]
HAPPY NEWS - Andrea Stone: "The Department of Homeland Security has launched a program to 'facilitate and accelerate the adoption' of small, unmanned drones by police and other public safety agencies, an effort that an agency official admitted faces 'a very big hurdle having to do with privacy.'" [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Barbara in Fairborn, Ohio lost her job with the Census Bureau in 2010. "I sent out resumes, I had interviews and I went home to wait for that phone call. You know the one? It was the call that never came. It took about a year of this constant rejection before I realized what was happening to me. I was too old to be hired," Barbara wrote in an email. "I admit that despite reporting to the Unemployment Bureau that I was actively seeking work, there were weeks that I was too dejected and depressed to try. It became, at times, more than I could bear. I don't know whether or not you've ever been rejected on a systematic basis, but it cuts to your very core. Had the problem been a lack of skills, I could fix that. Had the problem been a lack of education, I could fix that too. But the problem is a lack of youth, something I can't fix." [Hang in there!]
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WHITE HOUSE NOT CRAZY ABOUT BOEHNER'S DEBT POSTURING - Jen Bendery: "Senior administration officials said Tuesday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) isn't going to win if he keeps up a fight about tying trillions in spending cuts to raising the debt ceiling. Boehner raised some eyebrows last week when he said he will 'insist' on linking matching spending cuts to a debt ceiling hike when it hits its cap late this year. Top Senate Republicans have since signaled that they are on board with Boehner's demand. But senior administration officials, who held a background briefing with reporters and spoke on the condition they wouldn't be quoted, said President Barack Obama isn't about to reenact the debacle that occurred last year when Republicans demanded spending cuts in exchange for a debt limit increase, a vote that historically has cleared Congress with little fanfare. The result of last year's protracted fight drove the U.S. to the brink of default and resulted in the country's credit rating being downgraded for the first time." [HuffPost]
MITCH MCCONNELL ACCUSES OBAMA OF PUNCHING ADAM SMITH IN THE THROAT - The Senate minority leader thinks the administration is attacking capitalism, so everyone be on the lookout for Alan Krueger taking a hammer and pick to the NYSE. Mike McAuliff: "Asked if President Barack Obama's campaign attacks on Mitt Romney's time running the private equity firm Bain Capital were out of bounds, McConnell didn't answer directly, but instead accused Obama of undermining the American economic system. 'I do think that it's interesting to note that the whole notion of our success and of capitalism seems to be under attack by this administration across the board, not just in the campaign, but through the actions of the government itself,' McConnell said at a Capitol Hill press conference." [HuffPost]
BICYCLES MAKING SENATE GRIDLOCK HEALTHIER - In tomorrow's Roll Call from Meredith shiner: "Beltway chatterers are saying Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is too boring to help Mitt Romney win the White House, but there's one kind of trail where the Ohio Republican defies conventional wisdom. 'Well, he's not boring on a bike,' quipped Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), one of the Senate's premier and most frequent bikers."
Bain is fair game, Romney surrogate John Sununu said today. Jon Ward: "Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu told reporters Tuesday that Mitt Romney's business record should be examined, but denounced President Obama's reelection campaign for 'cherry-picking' the investments that went bad. 'I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game, and what you have to do is do an honest evaluation,' said Sununu, an adviser to the GOP presidential candidate, on a conference call hosted by the Romney campaign... Sununu attacked Obama, as well as Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, for their taxpayer-funded $80 billion investments in the solar power company Solyndra and other clean-technology companies." [HuffPost]
Bain is fair game, says this new ad from Priorities USA. Sabrina Siddiqui (her first post for HuffPost!!!): "Super PAC Priorities USA Action released a new ad on Tuesday continuing attacks on Mitt Romney's business record at private equity firm Bain Capital. The 32-second ad targets Romney and Bain Capital for driving office supplies plant Ampad into bankruptcy and features former employee Loris Huffman, who worked at the company for 34 years before Romney's company left her with no health care insurance." [HuffPost]
RONALD REAGAN'S BLOOD UP FOR SALE - Thanks, in no small part, to its magical ability to keep your hair brown well into your 80s and its air traffic controller-melting properties. ABC News: "The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's executive director, John Heubusch, has declared an overseas auction house's plan to sell off a vial stained with the late president's blood 'a craven act,' and promised his organization 'will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase.' Heubusch also said that he's been promised that George Washington University hospital administrators will launch a probe into 'how something like this could possibly happen.'... Now his fans can put in a bid for a 5-inch long, plasma-stained glass tube and an accompanying medical form listing Reagan's patient identification number, age, sex, and the name of the hospital's chief cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. None of the boxes on the form indicating which tests should be done are ticked off, but instructions are written onto the page requesting the sample's 'lead level' be examined." [ABC News]
PRIVATE SCHOOL UPDATE - Washingtonian: "[Sidwell Friends] got pranked today with a fake e-mail to upper-school parents announcing that the school would henceforth make condoms available in school bathrooms and at dances, sporting events and other school activities. The reason? 'Many students have been engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior,' the e-mail read. It also announced students would have 'their choice of contraception' on prom night. It read: 'As students board the chartered buses that will transport them from Sidwell Friends to the Four Seasons Hotel, they will each receive a voucher that may be redeemed for their choice of contraception at the conclusion of the Prom and After-Party event.'" [Washingtonian]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog on a treadmill.
IS MAYOR GRAY'S GOOSE COOKED? - HuffPost DC: Now that a man in Vincent Gray's inner circle has pleaded guilty to destroying evidence from the 2010 mayoral campaign, what does the future hold for the mayor? [HuffPost]
- One advantage of America's ongoing underemployment problem: people make songs about harp seals. [http://bit.ly/JlDUhX]
- iPad beer is brewed with the finest hops, barley and Stanford graduates. [http://bit.ly/KwLarj]
- Cat boredom is no joke. It afflicts countless listless felines every single day. Yes, it's a Friskies commercial, but Dr. Spaceman is in it. [http://bit.ly/MiO3h9]
- John Mayer's hologram is less functional than the original -- it is also more entertaining. [http://bit.ly/KIWjcg]
- Sigmund Freud's home videos will probably not get the Bob Saget treatment anytime soon. [http://bit.ly/KIQ4Bg]
"O hai, moon!" "O hai, sun!" -- A solar eclipse timelapse. [http://bit.ly/K7XXD0]
- A filmmaker bravely answers the call for shorts about bike messengers in Brussels. [http://bit.ly/K8241R]
@FakeAPStylebook: There are differences between "pass," "enact," "approve" and "adopt," but remember: your readers don't care.
@nielslesniewski Is "debating the motion to proceed" the new "morning business"? #Senate
@dceiver: VIAL OF REAGAN BLOOD > CHUNK OF THE TRUE CROSS
5:30pm - 7:00pm: If there were ever a cocktail party where you should try those peanuts you're so allergic to, it's the American College of Emergency Physicians party. It's also a great place to attempt breakdancing for the first time ever, and to see if you can really fit 30 shrimp in your mouth at once. [325 Russell]
6:30pm and 7:30pm: There must be something especially sweet to POTUS about taking it to Mitt Romney on his home turf of Boston, where Joe Biden headlines an Obama Victory Fund reception for grown-ups on the same night that indie darling and very-shortlived-WH-staffer Kal Penn hosts a separate fundraiser there for the kiddies. [Biden: 8 High Street, Boston; Kal Penn: Top Secret Location]
6:30pm: Blame it on GOP Sen. Pat Toomey's elite, liberal Harvard education, but apparently he sees nothing wrong with holding his second fundraiser in a week at the overpriced French joint Central Michel Richard. [1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW]
8:30 am - 10:30 am: 2 + 2 equals SUCCESS when the National Math and Science Initiative hosts a teacher panel, "America's Future STEMS on Great Teachers: Are We Ready?" Dr. Carl Wieman, winner of the Nobel Prize and an associate director at the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy delivers the opening remarks. [National Press Club]
11:30am - 1:00pm: Free lunch today is brought to you by the generic agriculture industry, which is sorta like the generic drugs lobby, except they'll be yapping about soon-to-expire seed patents, which are the Rogaines and Allegras of big Ag. Fascinating. [Russell 385]
12:30pm: Less than two years after GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski survived a political knife in the back from the NRSC, she's actually hosting her birthday fundraiser at the scene of the crime. This should give her a perfect opportunity to poison the soup. [NRSC HQ: 425 2nd Street NE]
5:30pm - 6:30pm: While Obama and his ilk go hunting for rich liberals in Boston this week, Boston's own senator, Scott Brown, hits up conservatives in their natural habitat at a New England Clam Bake in a DC corporate lobbyist townhouse. Ahh, symmetry. [421 New Jersey Ave SE]
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