POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Nation Starts The Clock On John Edwards' Book Deal

06/13/2012 05:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 13, 2012

MItt Romney is planning an ice cream social for Friday, fueling speculation that his running mate will be a freckled kid in a propeller beanie who likes to push hoops down the street with a stick. A solid majority of Americans say they support the use of drones, though their support is clearly hollow given the unemployment rate among our drone veterans. And John Edwards at long last got the hope he insisted was on the way back in 2004 when the DOJ dropped the remaining charges against him. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 13th, 2012:

GREAT NEWS FOR CURRENT TV: DOJ DROPS EDWARDS CASE - Now the disgraced former senator and vice presidential candidate can spend more time teaching himself to cry on command for his Diane Sawyer rehabilitation interview... and impregnating random people. Or whatever. AP: "Federal prosecutors dropped all charges Wednesday against John Edwards after his corruption trial ended last month in a deadlocked jury. Jurors in North Carolina acquitted the former presidential candidate on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions and deadlocked on five other felony counts. The judge declared a mistrial. Prosecutors will not seek to retry Edwards on the five unresolved counts, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, who oversees the agency's criminal division, said prosecutors knew the case, like all campaign finance cases, would be challenging. But he said it is 'our duty to bring hard cases' when warranted." [AP]

ROMNEY GRANTING ACCESS TO K STREET DONORS - Running tomorrow in Roll Call from Eliza Newlin Carney: "Romney's success out-raising President Barack Obama last month was thanks in part to his exclusive team of Beltway lobbyist bundlers, who have collectively pulled in $1.2 million for his campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. But Romney's friends on K Street, who include not only fundraisers but an inner circle of well-placed policy advisers and strategists, are reaping their own reward. The top bundlers enjoy weekly telephone briefings with the campaign, VIP entry to exclusive receptions and retreats, and in some cases the chance to bend Romney's ear on policy issues... Never a Washington fixture, Romney was slow to win over some of the bundlers who had raise large sums for McCain and President George Bush. But in recent months Beltway lobbyists have embraced Romney without reservation, and the campaign has taken steps to woo bundlers more aggressively, dangling rewards to 'Stars' who round up $250,000 worth of donations, and 'Stripes' who collect $500,000. Romney's Washington outreach has gone so well that his campaign scheduled three fundraisers this month for greater Washington - not traditionally among the country's top region for political donations."

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST SEES EYE-TO-EYE WITH ED SCHULTZ - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist -- who was concerned about cannibals eating his face WELL BEFORE the bath salt phenomenon -- has found himself in the awkward position of agreeing with Ed Schultz. "I watched Ed Schultz' emotional reaction during MSNBC's coverage of the Wisconsin recall election with a ton of cynicism. And then I read today's HuffPost story, 'Ed Schultz Defends Rush Limbaugh From Media Matters,' PSLGOPL writes. "I think, for maybe the first time ever, we might completely agree about something, and I don't think we came to our conclusion from a different place. He worked really hard to get in the 1%, dammit if a bunch of progressives who don't like Rush are gonna screw that up for him..." Thanks, PSLGOPL!

Ed Schultz, brown-jacketed working man: "I don't fly commercial anymore."

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Per the desires of Congress, long-term unemployed are being cut off from benefits this month in New York, D.C., and West Virginia, according to the National Employment Law Project. Next month it happens in Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. People will be told the benefits are winding down because the unemployment rate is going down, but the real reason is that the benefits are done because Congress said they're done. They'd expire even if the unemployment rate wasn't falling at all, which it isn't, by the way... [NELP]

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

SEAN DUFFY WAS AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO RADICALS BEFORE HE WAS FOR THEM - San Francisco Chronicle: "When it comes to money, the politicians aren't picky: Wisconsin GOP Rep. Sean Duffy, who has publicly railed against all those 'San Francisco radicals,' is coming here to see the scene for himself. At a fundraiser. He's visiting our lovely city Monday for a big $1,000 per person evening fundraiser.... alongside GOP Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield." [SFGate.com]

DIMON IN THE ROUGH (EHHHH?): JAMIE DIMON APPEARS BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE - Bloomberg: "JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s switch to a new risk model may have helped fuel a $2 billion trading loss at the chief investment office, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told a U.S. Senate panel today... The switch [to new risk measurement approaches] -- and the timing of the firm's disclosures -- are the focus of an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission as the government examines how long senior executives knew about the CIO's swelling bets and losses. Dimon said May 10 that the bank had reviewed the effectiveness of a new VaR model, deemed it 'inadequate' and decided to return to the previous version. On that basis, the unit's VaR doubled... He expressed regret over losses in the bank's chief investment office, saying that its trading strategy was 'poorly conceived and vetted' by senior managers who were 'in transition' and not paying adequate attention." [Bloomberg]

OBAMA'S REALLY BAD TRADE AGENDA LEAKED - Why do we get the whiff of Cass Sunstein behind this trade deal? Zach Carter: "A critical document from President Barack Obama's free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.... The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration's advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws. Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings." [HuffPost]

ROMNEY MAKES HUGE AD BUY - Then again, with the amount of money his campaign is sitting on, when is it not in the midst of a huge ad buy? AP: "Romney's campaign is spending $3.3 million to run television ads this week in seven general election battleground states. The ads began running Wednesday and will continue through the week in Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, according to officials who track ad purchases. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Romney campaign has not announced the advertising plan. While Romney's team has run ads outlining what a Romney administration would do in its first days in office, his campaign largely left televised attacks to Restore Our Future and to Crossroads GPS, a conservative-leaning group tied to former President George W. Bush's longtime political director Karl Rove. Both groups have been running negative ads against Obama in battleground states for several weeks." [AP]

RICH GUY GIVES TO ROMNEY - Former Gingrich sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson has donated $10 million to the pro-Romney Restore our Future super PAC. That might sound like an unethical distortion of American politics, but to us, Adelson is simply saving 400,000 people the trouble of donating $25. Nice guy! AP: "Adelson's infusion marks the next stage for the super PAC as it pivots to target President Barack Obama. The billionaire's massive contribution signals that traditional GOP mega-donors will come out to fund the general election efforts of independent groups, from Restore Our Future to the Karl Rove-linked Crossroads groups, the American Action Network, the American Future Fund and others. The contribution also solidifies Adelson's position at the top of the list of super PAC donors. Through April, he and his family combined to give $26.5 million to super PACs. Most of that went to the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future, but in April Adelson and his wife combined to give $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with close ties to the House Republican leadership." [AP]

Romney will host an "ice cream social" in New Hampshire on Friday. It's obvious the guy missed his true calling imparting wisdom to kids named Bobby in 1950s educational films. Nashua Telegraph: "Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, will be on the Oval in Milford on Friday for what is being billed as an ice cream social. Details are sketchy but an email invitation obtained by The Telegraph says that "doors open" at 1 and the event begins at 2. Town officials, however, have been told that the event will begin at 1:30. Apparently the social is by invitation only. The park area of the Oval - the central island, featuring a gazebo and war monument - will be cordoned off and people will not be able to randomly wander there. Rather, they will have to go through a check-in spot and have an invitation." [Telegraph]

POLL: AMERICANS SUPPORT DRONE STRIKES, OTHER COUNTRIES JUST JEALOUS - A new Pew Global Attitudes survey finds that Americans are alone in their majority support of deploying unmanned drones into the field of battle. It's important in this time of war that we let our drones know we have their backs. TPM: "In 17 of 20 countries surveyed, more than half disapprove of the strikes carried out in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Sixty-two percent of Americans approve of the strikes, while 28 percent disapprove. Most Republicans -- 74 percent -- approve of the strikes, according to the survey. Britain and India are the only other two countries with less than 50 percent disapproval." [TPM]

CNN SCRAPS JOHN KING, USA, EXTENDS SITUATION ROOM AN HOUR - If they stretched it to four hours, they could pull a "Today Show" and have Kathy Lee Gifford co-host it with Wolf. We would enjoy that. Jack Mirkinson: "In a memo to staff, CNN president Ken Jautz said that King will become the network's 'lead campaign correspondent.' King has long been one of CNN's top political reporters, and he hosted the network's Sunday morning show, 'State of the Union' before moving to primetime. But he struggled to gain much traction in the ratings, remaining a perennial third place finisher to Fox News (where Bret Baier has dominated the timeslot) and MSNBC. In May, for instance, he averaged 341,000 viewers -- 200,000 behind MSNBC's Al Sharpton... The shift comes as CNN is battling through one of its worst ratings crises in decades. In May, the network saw its primtetime ratings hit a 20-year low. Jeffrey Bewkes, the CEO of Time Warner, and Phil Kent, the CEO of Turner, both sternly expressed their dissatisfaction with the plunge." [HuffPost]

@MattDeLuca: George W. Bush's decapitated head appeared on Game of Thrones bit.ly/K2oaiM

SOUTH CAROLINA UPDATE - Roll Call: "'Clusterf--,' South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said, enunciating every profane syllable in his Southern-tinged baritone... which is to say the South Carolina Democratic Party is not very happy with Tuesday's Democratic primary election results in the state's new 7th district. At first, the results appeared to indicate a Democratic primary runoff between long-shot candidate Gloria Bromell Tinubu, an economist, and establishment-backed attorney Preston Brittain, since neither received the more than 50 percent required to be declared the winner outright. But then, according to the Associated Press, the South Carolina State Election Commission disqualified the votes received by state Rep. Ted Vick (D) on the grounds that he had withdrawn from the race before primary day. That gave Tinubu more than 50 percent of the vote and the victory. Vick dropped out of the race after being arrested but remained on the ballot. Tinubu, who was a former state Representative in Georgia, is seen by South Carolina political operatives of both parties as almost certain to lose the race in this GOP-leaning district." [Roll Call]

DC ABOUT TO GET THE MUNCHIES - HuffPost DC:"Need medical marijuana in the nation's capital? You're a step closer to being able to get it. The District of Columbia's Department of Health announced Tuesday that four businesses may register as medical marijuana dispensaries." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Kittens taking a bath.

MARION BARRY: 'WE'RE THE LAUGHINGSTOCK OF THE NATION' - HuffPost DC:"D.C. Council picks Phil Mendelson as interim chairman amid tears and high drama." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Bionic Chihuahua. [http://bit.ly/LU3pYh]

- Despite what this 1950s DuPont advertising campaign might have suggested, it's NOT a good idea to wrap your baby in cellophane. [http://bit.ly/MF0Usc]

- Tay Zonday singing "Call Me Maybe" because what else is the internet supposed to do? [http://bit.ly/L5fg8s]

- Kittens befriends German shepherd. [http://bit.ly/LDKyCd]

- If there was ever a "GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT" moment in kickball, this would be it. [http://huff.to/L5om5b]

- Times Square in the 1980s was somewhat less Bubba Gump Shrimp-y than it is now. [http://bit.ly/OBmX5Q]

- Vintage covers of Smash Hits magazine. Elvis Costello wasn't into smiling, evidently. [http://bit.ly/K23lUB]

TWITTERAMA

@anamariecox: Watching Vitter question #Dimon is pretty impressive considering that he's wearing diapers behind that dias.

@FakeJimVandeHei: Another failed revenue model, huh? RT @WashingtonPost FYI: Robbing a bank is actually a horrible way to make money

@badbanana: Leon Panetta is warning of a possible Cyber Pearl Harbor. In our National Ben Affleck Warning System, that's just one below a Cyber Gigli.

TONIGHT

6:30pm: Dueling fundraisers at Ruth's Chris to benefit ambitious Republican senators. So, will it be Saxby Chambliss or Kelly Ayotte?? Why do they make it so hard to choose? [ 724 9th Street NW]

6:30pm - 8:30pm: Smithsonian receptions are notorious snooze-fests, and the National History Day "Night At The Museum" reception promises not to disappoint. Then again, the National Museum of American History is a sweet venue for cocktails. If you've never been, don't miss it.

TOMORROW

6:30pm: After a few stops in blue-collar towns this week, Obama lands back in Manhattan for a swanky fundraiser at Sarah Jessica Parker's house. His campaigner-in-chief, Anna Wintour, is a co-host. Air kisses are a must. [Some cavernous loft in Tribeca]

9:00pm - 10:00pm: It's intern season again, which means Georgetown bars are rolling in allowance money from Mummy and Daddy. If that's what you're spending this summer hit up the Redneck Yacht Club Summer Solstice Shindig at George. You won't go home alone regret it. [3251 Prospect St., NW]

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