People are being so mean to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts that he is going into hiding. Republican governors won't implement health care reform no matter what some stupid supreme authority on our laws says. And the specter of gay marriage claimed another victim as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes announced they're getting a divorce. (That joke's layered pretty thick, right?) This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 29th, 2012:
HARRY REID STOMPS BIG NUKE AGAIN - One of the longest-running feuds in Washington is between Big Nuke, which wants to dump its toxic waste in Yucca Mountain, and Harry Reid, who would rather the industry shove it elsewhere. Reid won a decisive victory in backing Obama early and extracting a promise that he'd kill Yucca, which he promptly did by letting Reid name his longtime aide, Greg Jaczko, to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But like a tea partier in front of the Supreme Court, the industry didn't give up, launching a coup against Jaczko that resulted in his recent resignation. The industry charged that Jaczko was abusive toward fellow staffers, which was wholly made up. So how does Reid respond? He names Jaczko's good friend, Allison Macfarlane, to the post. He also offers to drop his opposition to a reappointment of another commissioner he'd been holding up, if the industry would go along with Macfarlane. Game over. So what'd Big Nuke get for months of fighting and dragging a public servant through the mud? Zilch. Macfarlane and the other commissioner, Kristine Svinicki, were both approved by the Senate today. Get your background on this whole thing here.
Donald Verrilli meme alert!
AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WILL NOT PROSECUTE ITSELF - Jen Bendery: "Attorney General Eric Holder won't be prosecuted for being in contempt of Congress because, per tradition, he is insulated by President Barack Obama's use of executive privilege, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday. House Republicans voted Thursday to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress -- a historical first -- for failing to provide certain documents they sought relating to the Justice Department's botched Fast and Furious operation. The vote came after months of threats by Republicans warning they would make the dramatic move if Holder didn't give them the documents they wanted, without condition, a process that Democrats and the administration have dismissed as a political stunt. But for all the GOP fireworks, Carney said that Holder won't be prosecuted for the criminal charge. 'It is an established principle, dating back to the administration of President Ronald Reagan, that the Justice Department does not pursue prosecution in a contempt case when the President has asserted executive privilege,' Carney told reporters in a gaggle aboard Air Force One. [HuffPost]
IF WE COULD BRING ONE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE TO AN IMPREGNABLE ISLAND FORTRESS - Joe Mandak: "U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joked that he'll spend some time on an 'impregnable island fortress' now that the court has ended a session that featured him casting the decisive vote to uphold President Barack Obama's health care law. Responding to a question about his summer break, Roberts said he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta, the Mediterranean island nation. 'Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea,' Roberts said, drawing laughter from about 300 judges, attorneys and others attending a four-day conference Friday at a posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort." [Associated Press]
Maybe Newt Gingrich will be there.
TEA PARTIER APPEALS OBAMACARE TO HIGHER AUTHORITY - And by higher authority, we wish we meant the people who make Hebrew National hot dogs. John Celock: "The leader of the Mississippi Tea Party is calling on God to save the country from 'criminal invaders' following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the health care reform law. Roy Nicholson, chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, posted a statement on the group's website Friday.... 'May all of us fall on our faces before the Heavenly Judge, repent of our sins, and humbly cry out to Him for mercy on our country," he wrote. 'And, may godly courageous leaders rise up in His wisdom and power to lead us in displacing the criminal invaders from their seats and restore our constitutional republic.'" [HuffPost]
PETULANT GOP GOVERNORS REFUSE TO EAT BROCCOLI - Amanda Terkel: "Just because the Supreme Court affirmed that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, doesn't mean that Republican governors are rushing to follow it. 'We're not going to start implementing Obamacare. We're committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare,' said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) Friday morning on a call with reporters hosted by the Republican National Committee. The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up health care benefits exchanges to help Americans buy insurance. If a state fails to act, the federal government will operate that state's exchange program. States have until Jan. 1, 2013, to demonstrate to the Department of Health and Human Services that it has a plan in place for the exchanges, which are required to be up and running by Jan. 1, 2014. 'On the exchanges, we've continued not to implement the exchanges in Louisiana. We're going to work very hard to get Governor Romney elected so this law will be repealed long before the effective dates,' Jindal added." [HuffPost]
Also, Bobby Jindal hilariously started to say "ObamneyCare": "There's only one candidate -- Gov. Romney -- who's committed that he will repeal the Obamney -- the Obamacare tax increase."
RECORD-BREAKING HEAT - HuffPost DC:" "D.C. is under an excessive heat warning, but you probably already knew that. Also wildfires in Virginia are sending smoke toward the nation's capital." [HuffPost]
CANTOR CASHOUT ALERT - Greener pastures await. Billy House: "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is losing another member of his communications team. Communications Director Laena Fallon has been named vice president for communications for The Financial Services Forum, the forum announced on Friday.... 'Laena brings to the Forum strong communication expertise, national media experience and a sophisticated understanding of Capitol Hill,' said Forum President and CEO Rob Nichols. 'She will be an extraordinary asset for our members as we go about communicating the important role the financial sector plays in economic growth and job creation.'" Indeed. Fallon's a highly talented flack and's always been good to HuffPost Hill. But it'll be nice to be down to one Fallon on the Hill for copy edit purposes. [National Journal]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The War on Men, courtesy of our HuffPost Women vertical: "Of the 925 single women surveyed, 75 percent said they'd have a problem with dating someone without a job. Only 4 percent of respondents asked whether they would go out with an unemployed man answered 'of course.' 'Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don't already know,' Irene LaCota, a spokesperson for It's Just Lunch, said in a press release. 'This is the rare area, compared to other topics we've done surveys on, where women's old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply.'" [HuffPost]
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EXPERT: OBVIOUSLY SIMILAR LAWS ARE SIMILAR - Case closed! Glad this one is settled for all time. Sam Stein: "One of the few individuals who worked on health care reform under both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama said on Friday that the controversial individual mandate provision was virtually identical in the bills signed into law by each of them. 'They are very similar,' said Jonathan Gruber, a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an interview with The Huffington Post. 'They aren't the same exact mandate, but they have the same basic structure.' Gruber was a key architect of the sweeping health insurance reform legislation that Mitt Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts. In addition, he advised Democrats and the Obama administration on how to build the Affordable Care Act. As that 18-month process unfolded, Gruber famously unloaded on Romney for his attacks on Obamacare, arguing that the two were the 'same fucking bill.'" [HuffPost]
CONGRESS PASSED A BILL! There's something you don't see every day. Joan Lowy and Alan Fram: "Congress has passed a massive measure that will salvage some 2.8 million jobs and shield college students from sharply higher interest rates on college loans. The bill would also shore up the federal flood insurance program. The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 74-19. The House passed the bill earlier in the day and it now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. The bill would spend more than $100 billion on highway and transit programs over two years. The measure would also prevent a doubling of interest rates on new student loans scheduled to go into effect on Sunday. [Associated Press]
DRUGS MADE ROBERTS FORGET HE'S CONSERVATIVE - Right-wing radio host Michael Savage says John Roberts is ON DRUGS. "I'm going to tell you something that you're not gonna hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to. It's well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts' writings you can see the cognitive disassociation (sic) in what he is saying..." [HuffPost]
If pre-existing conditions weren't covered, this would never have happened.
DEMS SEE AND RAISE GOP'S FAST AND FURIOUS CONSPIRACY THEORY - Greg Rosalsky: "Republicans are using the 'Fast and Furious' investigation to undermine Justice Department efforts against voter suppression, several Democrats said Thursday as the House of Representatives voted to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. 'I think it's an effort to undercut our fight against voter suppression,' Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Huffington Post. 'Eric Holder has been the point man on this.'" That conspiracy theory actually has some merit. John Cornyn slipped and referenced voter fraud in his call for Holder's resignation. [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Kitten born with two legs, an abundance of cute.
TRANSVAGINAL ZINGER - Luke Johnson: "Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) took a heck of a shot at Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) Friday on a conference call organized by the Obama campaign following the Supreme Court's health care ruling. 'The only health care mandate they can embrace are transvaginal probes for women,' he said of Republicans. McDonnell signed a mandatory ultrasound bill in March that required women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion. The bill was later revised, allowing women to opt for an abdominal ultrasound" instead of mandated vaginal penetration. [HuffPost]
- Hannah tries to make American apple strudel in the latest My Drunk Kitchen. [http://bit.ly/MZxIeZ]
- Adele covered by a lonely bulldog? [http://chzb.gr/L8tBTO]
- Foto Friday: Baby fennec foxes! [http://bit.ly/L8d7Lv]
- Foto Friday: Go crawl in a hole. [http://bit.ly/L8GayE]
- Foto Friday: Engines are really complicated, as is evident from this stop-motion disassembly/reassembly. [http://chzb.gr/L8IhlQ]
- Foto Friday: Colorado is burning. [http://bit.ly/L8Gldi]
@jackshafer: If I unfollowed you it's probably because you live-tweeted some sports event.
@ryanlizza: To save everyone a lot of time and Nexising: everything Republicans and Democrats said about reconcilliation in 2009 is now reversed.
@jbendery: Here you go @ArthurDelaneyHP, a funny tweet by a woman. http://bit.ly/OKwhbn
ON TAP from HuffPostDC's Brandon Wetherbee's Top 5
Cryfest: The Cure vs. The Smiths At Black Cat - Sometimes Morrissey makes us very sad. Sometimes he makes us want to dance. This makes us want to dance. Also, The Cure is better than The Smiths. 9 p.m., all ages, $10
Aisha Tyler At DC Improv - One of the few reasons to watch "The Talk" and one of the many reasons to watch "Archer," Tyler may be one of the only standups that draws equally well with house wives and comic book nerds. Funny and universal without cow towing, she's rare. 8 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 18+, $22, also June 30
Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper At Jiffy Lube Live - Because it's fun to act out scenes from "Wayne's World." 7:30 p.m., all ages, $40 to $109.25
Temperance Tour - It's too hot for booze. Take a stroll through the District of Columbia and learn about our former non-drinking days. 12 p.m., all ages, no cover, $7 for entry to the Woodrow Wilson House
DC Flea At Blackbyrd Warehouse - Once a month the bar/restaurant turns over their space to some of the finest curators of men's and women's vintage fashion. Besides saving hours, if not days, from visiting Goodwill and Salvation Army, you'll also find a good number of beautiful people willing to mingle. 12 p.m., all ages, no cover
"Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play" At Woolly Mammoth - Last chance to see the critically acclaimed new play from the Woolly Mammoth. The premise is the reality of many evenings spent in friends basements as a teenager, remember that time on "The Simpsons..." In a world without electricity, a group of survivors share stories of not quite their own experiences, but instead memories of "The Simpsons." 8 p.m., all ages, $40 to $50
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