Two front page headlines accidentally implied that Mitt Romney got drunk and ran a boat aground, a vessel that would undoubtedly be named the "SS American Metaphor." Conservative budget slasher Mitch Daniels will be named Purdue University's next president, which probably doesn't bode well for the school's apparel design and technology majors. And Harry Reid channeled Bryce Harper when he dismissed a reporter's query as "a clown question, bro." Time will tell whether Mitch McConnell follows up with an impassioned filibuster reading of "50 Shades of Grey." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, June 19th, 2012:
ISSA GOING AHEAD WITH HOLDER CONTEMPT VOTE - From a Oversight and Government Reform press release: "I had hoped that after this evening's meeting I would be able to tell you that the Department had delivered documents that would justify the postponement of tomorrow's vote on contempt. The Department told the Committee on Thursday that it had documents it could produce that would answer our questions. Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation. While I still hope the Department will reconsider its decision so tomorrow's vote can be postponed, after this meeting I cannot say that I am optimistic. At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee."
@KellyO: AG Holder "They rejected what I thought was an extraordinary offer" on docs he was willing to turn over to committee #FastandFurious
RUBIO REPORTEDLY OFF THE VP SHORTLIST - Yeah, he would outshine Romney, but so too would a colony of mold spores haphazardly slathered onto a two-by-four. So what gives? ABC News: "But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney's vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates. Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney's short list of potential running mates." [ABC News]
THEN THIS - @AP: BREAKING: Romney says Marco Rubio being 'thoroughly vetted' for vice presidential consideration.
TIM PAWLENTY SOMEHOW STILL ON IT - WaPo: "Another Romney adviser who works directly on the campaign said that Romney officials conducted a preliminary review of Rubio, mostly reviewing documents, statements and news reports that are publicly available. The team did a similar public vetting with a large number of other candidates before whittling down to a short list for a more thorough investigation. Other vice presidential candidates, including Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, are undergoing a more intensive review, according to two Republicans close to the campaign." [WaPo]
@GarrettNBCNews: Romney tells Hannity "Only Beth Myers and I know who is being vetted," in response to a Q about Rubio. #Veepstakes
GOP SENATORS MOVING TO PROTECT POLITICALLY ACTIVE NONPROFITS - In tomorrow's Roll Call from Eliza Newlin Carney: "As evidence mounts that the Internal Revenue Service is more closely scrutinizing politically active nonprofit groups, Republicans on Capitol Hill have lashed back with fresh demands for an explanation from the tax agency. The IRS may have stepped over the line this year by demanding the names of the donors who underwrite several groups that have applied for tax exempt status, wrote Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and 10 other GOP Senators in a letter this week to IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman. 'Unfortunately, the public release of private donor information exposes citizens to possible harassment and intimidation by those who oppose the goals of the charitable organization,' wrote Hatch, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. It's the second letter from Hatch to Shulman on the topic this year."
INTRODUCING HUFFPOST HILL'S NEWEST ANONYMOUS DISGRUNTLED REPUBLICAN CONTRIBUTOR: THE FORMER ABRAMOFF LOBBYIST PISSED AT THINGS - Please welcome our newest correspondent, the Former Abramoff Lobbyist Pissed At Things. FALPAT was kind enough to put his G. Gordon Liddy fan fiction side-project on hold to send us his thoughts on the news that Chuck Schumer is engaged in an ongoing campaign to improve his caucus' relationship with Wall Street. "Wait -- 'I want to kick you for nearly four years, now write me a campaign check'? Yeah, right," FALPAT writes. "Take a look at the GOP SuperPACs for their response. Only labor unions are stupid enough to fall for that bait and switch, and New York voters for continuing to elect fundamental orifices like Schumer. Seems to have worked out great for the state....." Thanks, FALPAT!
DEPARTING PANEL MEMBERS BLAST JAMIE DIMON - The toughest questioning of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon came today from three Democrats whose days on the Financial Services Committee are numbered. Barney Frank and Brad Miller are gone for sure and it's not looking good for Brad Sherman -- which'll leave the committee in the next Congress to debate whether Wall Street is merely the engine of the nation's economy and the hope for our future, or whether it's the hope for all humanity. Frank provided some of the harshest questioning of Dimon early in the hearing, directly accusing the executive of performing a "filibuster." Miller (N.C.) forced Dimon to resort to vague legalese countering allegations of a securities law violation. Sherman (Calif.) flatly declared that Dimon's bank is "too big to fail," and blasted the banker for sending billions of dollars to London for speculative trading instead of supporting businesses at home. In noting the massive $14 billion subsidy Dimon gets for being too big to fail (cheaper lending costs) Sherman asked "to, without objection, put in the record an editorial by the wild socialists over at Bloomberg [View]. I assume there is no objection." There was none. [Bloomberg]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Sad news from the Labor Department: "There were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of April, down from 3.7 million in March." That means the job-seekers to jobs ratio rose from 3.7-to-1 in April from 3.4-to-1 in March. "It is likely that April's increase represents a month-to-month variability in the data rather than a reversal of that trend," Heidi Scheirholz of the Economic Policy Institute says. "However, the odds are still against job seekers; a job-seekers ratio above 3-to-1 means that for more than two out of three unemployed workers, there simply are no jobs." [EPI]
REPORTERS TO LOB SOFTBALLS AT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS - On Wednesday evening, lady journalists and lady lawmakers will play softball. Everything is upside down in the universe of this game -- instead of practicing once and then playing a bunch of games, the two teams have been practicing relentlessly for this one game. "The Bad News Babes are just generally committed to delivering a resounding defeat this time around," our own Jen Bendery told the Washington Post. [WashPost]
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RON PAUL TO ATTEND THREE-DAY PRE-CONVENTION RON PAUL FESTIVAL - Is it appropriate to dive into a mosh pit during a live reading of Ludwig von Mises' "On the Manipulation of Money and Credit"? The Hill: "A festival for supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is set to go ahead the week of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, and Paul himself plans to attend. The event, called Paul Festival 2012, will likely draw many of Paul's college-age supporters. The three-day festival will feature live music and speakers at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa August 24 to 26. Independent Paul supporters planned the festival, but Paul's Communications Director Jesse Benton confirmed Paul's attendance to CBS's Hotsheet on Tuesday. Paul, who is no longer campaigning but has continued to rack up a significant number of GOP delegates ahead of the nominating convention, has maintained that he has no plans to disrupt the RNC event." [The Hill]
Front page fail: @AlexNBCNews: Front page of the Des Moines Register today -- Romney #decision2012 http://t.co/uJaAKXfe
MITCH MCCONNELL HOT POTATOES IMMIGRATION ISSUE TO ROMNEY - Politically speaking, you can't argue with the "I'm going to defer to my colleague who NEVER speaks to the press" strategy. Elise Foley: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) passed the ball Tuesday to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to present the GOP response to Obama's recent deportation decision. McConnell put pressure on the former governor to say how he would address young undocumented immigrants -- and soon. 'I think most of my members are interested in learning what Governor Romney has to say on this issue,' McConnell told reporters, when asked about the Obama announcement. 'We're going to withhold judgment, most of us, until that time.'" [HuffPost]
Gulp: "President Barack Obama is winning the opening round in the battle over immigration, according to a Bloomberg poll released today, putting Republicans on the defensive with his decision to end the deportations of some illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Sixty-four percent of likely voters surveyed after Obama's June 15 announcement said they agreed with the policy, while 30 percent said they disagreed. Independents backed the decision by better than a two-to-one margin." [Bloomberg]
IT PAYS TO KNOW MAX BAUCUS - Roll Call reports that Baucus staffers are in high demand on K Street, undoubtedly because of their intimate knowledge of the Montana senator's favorite "Harry Potter" installment and whether he has a taste for cilantro. Roll Call: "Seeing a major rewrite of the nation's tax laws on the horizon, lobbyists have been taking meetings with the Montana Democrat's aides, who in turn have quietly been reaching out to stakeholders. It's all part of what one downtowner referred to as the 'pre-process.' And it's a series of interactions that, no matter the outcome of the November elections, puts lobbyists with ties to the Senate Finance chairman in high demand. The six-term Senator's network of aides-turned-lobbyists isn't limited to tax issues. Baucus is taking a leading role in the handful of matters that have potential to move this year, such as a bill to normalize trade relations with Russia and an extension of highway and transit spending. His committee also has jurisdiction over major aspects of the health care overhaul." [Roll Call]
BOEHNER UPSET BILL HE KILLED IS DEAD - "Oh God, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?," politics edition: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that President Barack Obama's policy change on immigration makes it less likely that Congress will be able to reach a bipartisan, final solution on the matter -- a curious claim given that Boehner snuffed out that possibility months ago. 'It puts everyone in a difficult position,' Boehner said of Obama's policy change, during a scrum with reporters. 'I think we all have concerns for those who are caught in this trap, who through no fault of their own are here. But the president's actions are going to make it much more difficult for us to work in a bipartisan way to get to a permanent solution'... Boehner's charge that Obama's move means less chance for bipartisanship in moving Dream Act legislation comes after he already squashed the idea that a Dream Act-type proposal offered by someone in his own party, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), could advance. 'The problem with this issue is that we're operating in a very hostile political environment,' Boehner said in April. 'To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best.'" [HuffPost]
@elisefoley: Harry Reid to @StevenTDennis: "That's a clown question, bro."
ROMNEY TO ADDRESS THE NAACP - This will be great ("It's so great to be here at nakp!"). Sabrina Saddiqui: "Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will address the annual NAACP convention on July 11 in Houston, Texas, the organization confirmed on Tuesday. Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington Bureau and senior vice president for policy and advocacy, told The Huffington Post the NAACP is 'delighted' that Romney has accepted its invitation to speak before the group's full body of delegates... Shelton said the NAACP would like to see the candidates discuss the rising unemployment rate, which for African Americans is nearly twice the national average. But, according to Shelton, chief among the issues they expect Romney to address before the group is health care reform, citing the former Massachusetts governor's assertion that he would repeal the president's health care law if elected." [HuffPost]
Symbolic victories update: "Ron Barber was sworn in Tuesday as the newest member of Congress, succeeding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who resigned in Januaryto focus on her continuing recovery from injuries sustained in a shooting incident last year. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) administered the oath of office to Barber on the House floor Tuesday afternoon. Seven other members of the Arizona House delegation and three of Barber's grandchildren were at the new lawmaker's side." [WaPo]
UPDATE: POOR-HATING SENATE CANDIDATE STILL HATES THE POOR - And how can Eric Hovde not? Have you seen how they point their gruel bowls at you and ask for more? The nerve. National Journal: "In a Monday afternoon interview with Hotline On Call, Hovde defended his comments [that there are too many stories in the media about poor people], saying there is a dearth of stories on food stamp fraud and fraud in the Medicare/Medicaid system. 'Poverty in America is vastly different than poverty in most of the world,' Hovde added. 'And we have multiple safety nets and multiple programs that are taking care of people, and yet that is where the press almost always invariably goes."' [National Journal]
MITCH DANIELS TO BE NAMED UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT - Where, instead of crafting legislation and facing down Democrats in the legislature, he'll gladhand with trustees and serve as foil to a loveable frat of nerds and misfits struggling to maintain their charter in the face of opposition from a much more established frat of aristocratic athletes. Or something. WISH TV: "Purdue University officials plan to vote on a candidate for the school's next president this week - and WISH-TV has learned Gov. Mitch Daniels is the candidate in question. The Purdue Board of Trustees will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in Steward Center's Loeb Playhouse to vote on a nominee to be the school's 12th president. Several sources close to the proceedings tells WISH-TV that the nominee is Daniels. After the vote, the president-elect will be introduced, the school said in a news release... Daniels is likely to complete his term as governor, while Purdue appoints an interim president WISH-TV political reporter Jim Shella said." [WISH TV]
"First they came for the semi-automatics, and I didn't speak out, because I voted for Obama..." "Samuel 'Joe The Plumber' Wurzelbacher, the 2008 campaign microcelebrity and Ohio congressional candidate, has an interesting theory about the Holocaust. Yesterday, Mr. Wurzelbacher released a campaign web video in which he blamed the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide on gun control laws." [Obsever]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Stephen Fry feeds a baby rhino. So jealous.
WELCOME TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - HuffPost DC: "Mayor Gray knew that his nominee to lead the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development was embroiled in a Philadelphia sex scandal when he submitted his name for the post on Monday." [HuffPost]
- PBS maps out the supply chain supporting that Domino's pizza you ordered, from 18-wheelers to the delivery guy. [http://bit.ly/NfCqJN]
- Man with no legs climbs Mount Kilimanjaro. Whoa. [http://bbc.in/KiCaFp]
- This is Ryan Gosling performing "When A Man Loves A Woman" in some talent show around age ten. [http://bit.ly/NfCqJN]
- Make sure to wear a mask when painting with video. That stuff is caustic. [http://bit.ly/KiCROP]
- If you aren't excited for "The Dark Knight Rises" yet, here's a trailer that would like a word with you. [http://bit.ly/NfDJbO]
- Fake news is waaaay better than news news. [http://bit.ly/KiCV1f]
- 18 costume changes in a one-take music video gets this group a world record. [http://bit.ly/NfGj1f]
@FakeJimVandeHei: Announcing our new morning newsletter, following the timber & mining industry. We're calling it "Morning Wood"
@nickconfessore: Go to his office, stand over his desk, yell questions while he's on phone? RT @ErikWemple: Neil Munro refuses to answer qs about his qs.
@meredithshiner @SenatorReid just shhhhh'd us. "You're just like my caucus," he said.
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Prefabricated office furniture and recirculated air will really bring out the flavor of the steaks and Allyson Schwartz's "Philadelphia Cheesesteak Bash." [Cornerstone Gov't Affairs, 300 Independence Ave. SE]
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: There's something counterintuitive about three Republican senators attending a party at an art gallery, but we guess John Cornyn, Saxby Chambliss and Richard Burr go where the money is. [Longview Gallery, 1234 9th Street NW]
6:00 pm: The high is 98 degrees, so what better time to sink your teeth into a molded slab of piping hot sirloin? Roger Wicker meets and greets and eats meat at his third annual "Burgers and Beer" fundraiser. [330 Maryland Ave. NE]
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