A new poll finds that George W. Bush remains unpopular, probably because of his new White House portrait that looks like it could be hung outside the men's bathroom at Clyde's. Mitt Romney's campaign is raking in so much money from wealthy corporate types you'd think it was Mitt Romney. And Republicans in Michigan are revitalizing that state's economy by putting into action Milton Friedman's time-tested "shut down all the abortion providers" theory. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 7th, 2012:
'SEQUESTRATION' IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR 'OCTOBER SURPRISE' - Sydney Freedberg Jr: "Companies that do business with the federal government will have to announce 'hundreds of thousands' of lay-offs just days before the November election, predicted the former Pentagon comptroller for George W. Bush. As sequestration approaches, said Dov Zakheim, the former comptroller, companies large and small will be faced with layoffs, which by law -- specifically the 1988 WARN Act -- they must announce 60 days in advance. Sequestration would take effect on January 2nd. '60 days before January 2nd is November 2nd,' said Zakheim. Election Day is November 6. 'I wonder how many of our politicians went to face the fact that literally hundreds of thousands of people' -- all eligible voters, Zakheim noted -- 'may have gotten notices [four] days before Election Day.'" [AOL Defense]
BOEHNER DOESN'T WANT REPUBLICANS DRILL-BABY-DRILLING DURING THE ELECTION SEASON - AP: "House Speaker John Boehner says he may press for a six-month extension of highway and transit programs if the House and Senate fail to reach a deal by June 30. Boehner told reporters Thursday he is not interested in a 30-day or so extension for more talks this summer. He says it's better to move beyond the highly politicized, pre-election atmosphere in Washington. The chief hang-up is that Republicans insist on including legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil produced from Canadian tar sands to refineries in Texas. The Obama administration opposes the pipeline mandate." [AP]
Boehner shakeup: "House Speaker John Boehner has shifted his senior staff and moves his chief of staff since 2010, Barry Jackson, to a new role and replaces Jackson with Mike Sommers. Sommers moves up from the position of deputy chief of staff for leadership operations since 2011. Aides say this 'staff transition comes as Congress looks ahead to perhaps the most consequential end-of-session legislative period in modern history.'" [NBC News]
LAUTENBERG DECLARES WAR ON CRANBERRIES - Sen. Frank Lautenberg has a farm bill amendment to study the link between sugary drinks and obesity. "We know that soda is a major source of bad calories for Americans, and it's time for the federal government to determine whether these beverages are contributing to our nation's obesity problem," he said. Fine. Just leave OceanSpray ALLOOONNNE!
@DanaBashCNN: harry reid on senate floor paying tribute to the senate pages: "i really enjoyed walking past them"
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - It's Thursday! That means it's time for kinda krappy unemployment klaims news. "In the week ending June 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 377,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 389,000," the Labor Department said. "The 4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 376,000." Krap! [DOL]
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FAST AND FURIOUS: HOLDER AGREES TO GOP SITDOWN - Big news about the Fast and Furious scandal, which you might remember from every other RedState blog post over the last year (or every other sentence uttered by your conservative uncle last Thanksgiving). The Hill: "Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday offered to meet personally with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to discuss the possibility of giving Congress long-sought information about a failed federal gun-tracking operation. Holder's offer came amid highly charged exchanges between the attorney general and GOP lawmakers during a four-hour hearing in the House, with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) going so far as to tell Holder that he was not a 'good witness.'" [The Hill]
FYI: LGBT ENDA FTW: "An openly transgender person for the first time is set to testify before the Senate on Tuesday about the lack of federal employment LGBT non-discrimination protections and the need to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, according to a committee notice published Thursday. Kylar Broadus, founder of the Columbia, Mo., based Trans People of Color Coalition, is scheduled be among five witnesses who'll speak during the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing titled, 'Equality At Work: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act.'" [Washington Blade]
ROMNEY IS SUCH A BUZZKILL - What could possibly be worse than lighting up a big joint and then having Mitt Romney, of all people, walk over and hassle you about it? Michael Barbaro: "A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop. The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that 'your neighbors have complained,' Mr. Quint recalled. 'He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.'" [NYT]
THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN IS RICH - Really rich. Like, if the Romney campaign were a person, it'd probably equate the Hampton Jitney with hitchhiking. Luke Johnson and Sam Stein: "Mitt Romney, the Romney Victory Fund and the Republican National Committee raised over $76.8 million in May, according to the Romney campaign. Together, they have $107 million in cash on hand.
Perhaps taking a cue a John McCain's nightmares, Romney will pal around with gold button-blazered establishment types at one of those "Georgetown cocktail parties." WaPo: "Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is planning a trio of major fundraising events in the Washington area later in June, including a $50,000-per-person private dinner in Georgetown with the presumptive Republican nominee. Romney is holding an exclusive dinner June 27 at the Georgetown home of George and Suzy Pence, which will cost $50,000 a person, according to an invitation obtained by The Washington Post. Meanwhile, two of Romney's potential vice presidential running mates, Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), will be the special guests at a June 25 reception at a downtown Washington rooftop geared toward young professionals. Tickets begin at $100, with co-hosts asked to give or raise $5,000." [WaPo]
OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOOLISHLY GOES AFTER AMERICA'S MOST BELOVED AND SELFLESS INSTITUTION, CONGRESS - Elise Foley: "Barack Obama's campaign goes after Congress in a new ad out Thursday, calling on the Senate and the House to pass his proposed jobs plan. 'The president's jobs plan would put teachers, firefighters, police officers and construction workers back to work right now,' a voice-over says in the 30-second ad. 'And it's paid for by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. But Congress refuses to act. Tell Congress we can't wait.' The ad never mentions the president's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney... The ad is already airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It's set to hit national cable next week." [HuffPost]
Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg responds: ""Americans know we aren't moving in the right direction today, and they can't afford more of the same. As president, Mitt Romney will enact a pro-growth agenda that gets our economy back on track and allows our small businesses and job creators to thrive." [Ibid.]
Chris Rock on Mitt Romney, via Time: "I'm into the whole [Mitt] Romney Mormon thing. It's an odd choice for Republicans four years after a black President. It's like, 'Let's get the guy whose religion thought black people were the devil until 1978. That ought to do it!'" [Time]
MICHIGAN RAMPS UP ANTI-ABORTION CRAZY - When a state's economy is on the brink of reverting to a feudal barter system, what is its legislature to do? Propose sweeping anti-abortion legislation, naturally. We can practically *hear* the unemployment rate melt away! Laura Bassett: "A massive, 60-page omnibus bill that drastically limits abortion access and could shut down all abortion clinics in the state is being rushed through the Michigan State House of Representatives on Thursday... Specifically, the omnibus bill would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape victims, the health of the woman or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly. It would require health centers that provide abortions to have surgery rooms, even when they don't provide surgical abortions. It would require doctors to be present for medication abortions and to screen women for 'coercion' before providing an abortion, and it would create new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains. The bill would also ban 'telemedicine' abortions, or the use of technology to prescribe medication for abortion services and the morning-after pill. "It could shut down most reproductive health centers in the state of Michigan," said [Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan spokesperson Meghan] Groen. "It's the most extreme legislation we're seeing anywhere in the country." [HuffPost]
GEORGE W. BUSH STILL UNPOPULAR: POLL - CNN: "According to the [CNN/ORC International] poll, released Thursday morning, 43% of people questioned had a favorable opinion of Bush, with 54% saying they had an unfavorable view of the former president. Bush's 43% favorable rating is the same as it was in 2010 in CNN polling, but is up from his mid-30's favorable rating during 2009, his first year out of the White House. When asked in the survey whether they are better or worse off than they were four years ago, Americans are split, 44% to 43%. But when asked whether they are better or worse off than they were four years ago 'when Bush was president,' a small gap opens - 47% say they are better off compared to 41% who say they are worse off." [CNN]
BORING PHIL - HuffPost DC: "Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown was a young, overly ambitious politician known for his taste in big, flashy cars. His interim replacement is a balding, mild-mannered policy wonk who until this January drove a 1998 Mercury Mystique." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - We're all the real winners of this Bunny vs. Kitty wrestling match.
- We think Hamlet the pig stole our "death from above" oatmeal eating technique. [http://huff.to/KflSTI]
- You should probably check your backyard for mammoths. [http://bit.ly/KjzeaM]
- Foto Fursday: Newborn arctic foxes. Yay! [http://huff.to/KjzBSK]
- Did you see the video game episode of Community? A fan on Reddit made the game. [http://go.ign.com/KjxZbz]
- If we did a street art project, it wouldn't be this tame. Hey-o! [http://bit.ly/KfkNv6]
- One step closer to robo-roaches. Sorry, folks. [http://bit.ly/Kjzy9B]
@pourmecoffee: Today in 2001 Bush signed his tax cuts and the wealth all trickled down and everyone got tons of freedom and liberty.
@kristoncapps: Newspapers should append corrections to wedding announcements after couples get divorced.
@FakeAPStylebook: Don't reword seasonal affective disorder articles to meet tight deadlines for reports on tropical depressions. See also: Summertime Blues.
5:30pm - 7:30pm: The annual Small Craft Beers Reception is too popular for its own good. If you need pretentious beers tonight, skip the zoo and just get yourself a four-pack of sour kriek on the way home. [Rayburn B-357]
5:30pm - 7:30pm: National Geographic hosts a Coastal America Ocean Celebration, capping off what was undoubtedly a rough week for the environmentalists who lobbied Congress for "Capitol Hill Oceans Week." Better luck next year, right? [National Geographic Society]
6:00pm - 8:00pm: Sen. Mary Landrieu shows absolutely zero regard for the employees of some big law firm by throwing a huge crawfish boil fundraiser in the lobby of its building. Bet that'll smell awesome tomorrow. [Offices of Jones Day, somewhere downtown]
6:30pm: Say what you will about Scott Brown, at least he's got the courtesy to hold his seafood fundraiser in a seafood restaurant. Attn: Mary Landrieu [Legal Sea Foods - 704 7th Street, NW]
6:00pm - the wee hours: TV and radio political correspondents, long known for their humility and moderation, pat themselves on the back (for once!) at the 68th Annual Radio & TV Congressional Correspondents' Dinner. [Washington Convention Center]
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