Progressive activists from across the country will take a break from telling each other what to do over Twitter and head to Netroots Nation -- where they will tell each other what to do. John Boozman and Rand Paul might not see eye to eye on everything, but they agree that the world's hungry can find their own damn cheese ration. And a New Jersey mayor sent Chris Christie hostile messages through electronic traffic signs. Apparently it didn't occur to Mayor Brian Wahler to expand the waistline of the "SLOW CHILDREN AT PLAY" silhouettes. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 6th, 2012:
PARTIES POSTING OPPO ONLINE - How do you coordinate when the FEC says you can't? Just post stuff online and make sure the right people know how to find it. But some creative googling turns up both the House Democratic and Republican oppo rooms -- the GOP one is less hidden, but neither version is publicized. If there are any bloggers out there NOT curled up in a ball and sobbing after the recall, they'll have a good time digging through this stuff. Here's the GOP stuff and here's a way to get to the Democratic ones. Just play around with that link, following the url format. You're welcome.
OBAMA TO PROBABLY HAVE TERRIBLE JUNE - See what you're doing, Transit of Venus? AP: "The political blows from Tuesday's bitter loss in Wisconsin's gubernatorial recall and from last week's abysmal unemployment numbers, bad as they were, could multiply before the month is out. The Supreme Court will pass judgment shortly on the president's signature legislative achievement - the 2010 law overhauling the nation's health care system - and also will decide on his administration's challenge to Arizona's tough immigration law. If Chief Justice John Roberts and the court strike down all or part of the health care law, it could demoralize Democrats who invested more than a year -- and quite a few political careers -- to secure the bill's passage. And in Arizona, aside from the big immigration case, the Democrats are fighting to hold onto the House seat of Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned in January to focus on recovering from her gunshot wound. In next Tuesday's special election, former Giffords aide Ron Barber is locked in a close race with Republican Jesse Kelly, who lost to her in 2010 by just 4,156 votes." [AP]
NETROOTS NATION BEGINS TOMORROW - Liberals from across the country will officially convene in Providence tomorrow for America's most famous progressive singles mixer. There will also be seminars and keynote speakers. The conference began informally today, with a day of confidential strategic planning, bringing together the best minds of a movement that, since knocking off Joe Lieberman in a primary in 2006, has rattled off a string of victories that includes...hold on...um...one minute...uh...hey, yeah, how 'bout them Nats?! Anyhow, for those of you in D.C. this weekend, we suggest you take this opportunity to visit the temporarily vacated Red Derby and Black Cat. Also the entire neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant.
SENATE REPUBLICAN WAS AGAINST HUNGER BEFORE HE WAS FOR IT - Mike McAuliff: "Arkansas GOP Sen. John Boozman joined Senate Hunger Caucus co-chair Sen. Dick Durbin to unanimously pass a resolution declaring June 7 National Hunger Awareness Day. In late April, he offered an amendment that would cut about $14 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) signaled today that he hopes to offer that amendment during debate over the farm bill."
CRANBERRY CARVEOUT CAUCUS LAUNCHES - Godfather of cranberry lobbying Gerald Cassidy watched smilingly as Scott Brown and John Kerry launched the "Cranberry Caucus" in the Rayburn building this morning, just "to educate Members of Congress, their staffs, and federal agencies about cranberry production in Massachusetts and across the United States." Much was said about the health benefits of cranberries. No need to mention that cranberry juice has more sugar than soda, since that was the whole point of the event. "I put cranberries on my Cheerios, like, every day," Scott Brown said. Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said later that it seems the Cranberry Caucus wants favorable regulations from the USDA, which will soon update nutrition standards for food in schools. "It's yet another group wanting exemptions from school nutrition standards," Wootan said. As for the nutritional value of cranberry juice: "There's not an epidemic of urinary tract infections in this country. There is an epidemic of obesity."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Georgia businesses have complained recently that they have had trouble finding workers who can pass drug tests. But since February, when the Georgia Department of Labor started encouraging businesses to report job applicants with dirty urine, not a single one has done so. "We have not received anything since we sent notification to employers and put the website up back in February," Brenda Brown, director of the department's unemployment insurance division, said in an interview. "That doesn't mean we're not going to get one." [HuffPost]
DOUBLE DOWNER - The Treasury Department released its monthly update on the Home Affordable Modification Program today, and it's getting awfully close to 1 million canceled modifications...
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WISCONSIN: SQUEAKER ELECTION PROBABLY GIVES DEMOCRATS THE SENATE - Which is a notable accomplishment in and of itself, but the chamber is out of session until November. At the very least, Mark Miller, the would-be majority leader, can get a bunch of business cards printed and tick off his Republican counterpart, Scott Fitzgerald, by insisting they switch office for the next five months. CNN: "Four Republican senators faced recall votes Tuesday. At least three held on to their seats, but former Sen. John Lehman, a Democrat, declared victory in ousting incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard. The vote was extremely close, and results have not been certified, CNN affiliate WTMJ reported. 'It is clear that we won the 21 district,' Lehman told cheering supporters. Meanwhile, Lehman's challenger, Van Wanggaard, refused to concede. His spokesman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the campaign would wait for results to be examined before making any decision." [CNN]
AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka, framing the loss: "We knew a recall election would be tough and that we would be outspent," he said on a call with reporters. "But the best-funded politician in state history spent more than $50 million to hold onto his office, but he could not hold on to a majority in the state senate." [HuffPost's Dave Jamieson]
@ByronTau: Jim Messina calls the recall election a "terrifying experiment." Says outside money tipped the race.
OBAMA GETS HIS PITCHFORK - Jay Carney today handed bored segment producers at Fox a gift when he renewed his opposition to the soon-to-be-expiring Bush tax cuts (the Wisconsin recall AND the president opposing tax cuts for the wealthy? -- it's a class warfare bonanza!). Jen Bendery: "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday there is 'no daylight' between President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton regarding the Bush-era tax cuts, despite Republicans' claim that Clinton agrees with them on extending the cuts for everyone, including the rich. Clinton caused a stir on Tuesday when, during an interview on CNBC, he appeared to endorse the idea of temporarily extending all of the Bush tax cuts. The position would put him out of step with Obama and Hill Democrats, who are pushing for permanently extending the middle-class cuts while letting the upper-class cuts expire at the end of the year. A Clinton spokesman later walked back the former president's comments and said he doesn't support cuts for the wealthy. Still, Republicans have been hailing him as an ally." [HuffPost]
PRESIDENT SPENDING RECORD AMOUNT OF TIME CAMPAIGNING - Which is funny, considering all the productive things happening back here in Washington. Politico: "President Barack Obama is spending a whole lot of time fundraising, perhaps more than any incumbent president in history. Including this week's trip to California, he will have spent eight of 24 weekdays during the past month - that's a third of them - on the road and collecting cash. His event Thursday morning will mark his 153rd fundraiser since announcing his reelection bid last year. That's nearly double the number that his predecessor George W. Bush had attended by this point in his reelection campaign, according to CBS's Mark Knoller, who put 43's early June number at 79." [Politico]
RAND PAUL'S CAMPAIGN TO END FOREIGN AID - Hi, I'm United States Senator Rand Paul... and this is Patrick. Rebels recently drove Patrick and his family from their village where his parents were successful goat farmers. Now Patrick's parents are struggling to save Patrick and his siblings from malnourishment and disease. For just a dollar a day, you can ... save up for two weeks and see the "Avengers 3D." I heard it's SICK. Roll Call: "Paul doesn't like foreign aid -- and he's leveraging high-profile and controversial events in embattled countries to build a piecemeal legislative approach to show it. The most recent example is Pakistan. The Kentucky Republican would like the U.S. government to cut off aid over the imprisonment of a Pakistani doctor who helped provide information in the operation that resulted in the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. He introduced a bill Monday to strip all aid until Pakistan commutes the doctor's 33-year prison sentence. Earlier this year, Paul pushed for an end to foreign aid to Egypt and Iran. More than any other new Member of the Senate GOP Conference, Paul has developed a knack for getting votes on his pet issues, boosted by his symbiotic relationship with Kentucky's senior Senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell... In a budget he wrote this year, Paul crafted an entire section focused on reducing foreign aid, freezing it at $5 billion in fiscal 2013 -- one-sixth of the $30 billion request for foreign aid this year." [Roll Call]
MCCAIN CALLS OUT THE TIMES - Accusing the Gray Lady of treason-y behavior is about as original a GOP attack as "San Francisco values," "tax-and-spend" and "Hussein" but that didn't stop John McCain today. Michael Calderone: "The Obama administration disputed claims Wednesday from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others that it had revealed national security secrets to reporters for its own political gain. White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about McCain's call Tuesday for an investigation into leaks of classified information, following two front-page New York Times articles last week describing President Barack Obama's terrorist 'kill list' and the U.S. government's use of cyberweapons against Iran... McCain said Tuesday that 'such disclosures can only undermine similar ongoing or future operations, and in this sense, it compromises our national security.'" [HuffPost]
A New Jersey mayor figured out a way to flip a municipal middle finger at Chris Christie. Philadelphia Inquirer: "A subdued, sparsely-attended town hall meeting with Gov. Christie this morning in this Middlesex County town brought one noteworthy bit: Several anti-Christie electronic traffic signs, set up by town workers at the behest of the Democratic mayor, in apparent violation of state regulation. If you paused long enough as the words scrolled through, the signs read: 'WELCOME TO P-WAY GOVERNOR...PLEASE RETURN ME 3.4 MIL. IN ENERGY MONEY BACK TO TAXPAYERS' Another sign on the way out of the church, where the event was held, read: 'COME BACK SOON GOV. WITH ENERGY MONEY IN HAND'" [Inquirer]
FREDERICK DOUGLASS STATUE PROUDLY DISPLAYED IN NATION'S
CAPITOL *CAPITAL* - National Journal: "A five-year fight to get abolitionist Frederick Douglass inside the Capitol has apparently ended in an impasse, with the life-size statue of the 19th-century hero left standing in a District of Columbia government building about four blocks off the Hill. The statue, completed by sculptor Steven Weitzman in 2007, has been blocked from the Rotunda and the Capitol Visitor Center because current law allows only statues from the states--not from Washington, D.C.--to be displayed in the Capitol complex. Two weeks ago, Weitzman asked the D.C. agency that commissioned his work to make a last petition for its placement at the Capitol. But the Architect of the Capitol's office gave Lionell Thomas, the executive director of the D.C. Arts and Humanities Commission, the same answer that he has already heard many times before... A bill allowing D.C. to place two statues in the Capitol has been idling in the House Administration Committeesince last fall." [National Journal]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Beagle pup freaks out when her mommy comes home from Afghanistan.
- Crazy pool trick shots are crazy. [http://chzb.gr/Ls7RPN]
- Watch this guy explain how the sport of shin-kicking is about more than kicking shins. [http://chzb.gr/LaqMMs]
- The prettiest food is two-dimensional. [http://bit.ly/LasM7w]
- This handy guide will help you remember the characters in Game of Thrones. [http://bit.ly/Laro4R]
- Here are a bunch of New York movies that Wes Anderson likes. That means you have to like them, too. [http://bit.ly/Laq9T5]
- Comedian Eugene Mirman delivers a funny commencement address at Hampshire College. [http://bit.ly/Lar85E]
@PaulBlu: Congressional Republicans? RT @mattyglesias: If Kwame Brown and Vince Gray end up in jail simultaneously, who becomes mayor?
@DKThomp: Obama shld make a standalone streaming service called "BHO Go" and hope people confuse it with HBO and pay him, like, $10 million
@BenjySarlin: OK, today actually might be Democrats in disarray.
5:30pm - 7:30pm: Ever wondered about all those early morning workout classes Paul Ryan leads for other House members? (and you know you have) To find out what it's all about, swing by the free, outdoor P90X demonstration with founder Tony Horton. [The Yards Park - 10 Water Street SE]
6:30 pm: Scott Brown betrays his home state's rich history of fine seafood with a fundraiser at Legal Seafoods. C'mon... [Legal Sea Foods, 704 7th Street NW]
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