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HUFFPOST HILL - Republicans Form Communist Caucus

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Washington residents will exact revenge on the weather tomorrow when they fire explosives at the sky. On the financial creepiness spectrum, Mitt Romney's money falls somewhere between "Goldline" and "metal briefcase with handcuff." And Batman aficionado Pat Leahy will have a cameo in The Dark Knight Rises. Impressive, yes, but it'll pale in comparison to Bernie Sanders' scene-stealing performance in Katy Perry: Part of Me. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012:

Programming note: We're doing the patriotic thing and not working tomorrow.

ROMNEY'S PLAN TO BRING INVESTMENT DOLLARS BACK TO THE U.S.: A LONDON FUNDRAISER - Mitt Romney is on the lookout for a new co-host for a London fundraiser he has planned for the summer. Bob Diamond, resigning in disgrace amid a price-fixing scandal at Barclays, has pulled out of the soiree, the FT scooped today. If you're the CEO of a major foreign bank and you'll be in London during the Olympics -- we know, that's redundant -- the Mitt campaign could use your help. Ongoing employment in good standing preferred. Multiple ongoing investigations (ahem, Adelson) okay. [HuffPost]

GOP CHILDREN STAYING ON THEIR PARENTS' HEALTH PLANS - Congressman, the socialism is coming FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!! Amanda Terkel and Patrick Svitek: "Congressional Republicans may not have been happy about the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, but many of their children probably are. According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, dozens of Republicans who want to repeal Obamacare have adult children who are allowed to stay on their parents' health plans thanks to the law, which extended this benefit nationwide. Many of the lawmakers' children are employed and on their own health care plans, but others continue to take advantage of their parents' coverage... Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has at least one of his daughters on his health care plan (he isn't sure about the second). He said he liked the provision. He believes, however, that the market would have provided the extra coverage for adult children, even if the Supreme Court had struck down the Affordable Care Act. 'They're going to continue that [provision] anyway,' he said. 'I think the insurance companies have all kind of decided that that's an okay thing. They were in our office, they've been in our office in the last few weeks.'" [HuffPost's splash headline: Hypocritic Oath]

FOOD STAMP SMACKDOWN - The Senate farm bill's food stamp cuts are too modest for House Republicans. Politico's David Rogers has another excellent column on what might happen next: "Do Republicans in Congress want to fix the food stamp program -- or punish it? That's the question facing the House Agriculture Committee leadership as it rolls out its plan this week to cut farm subsidies together with about $16 billion in 10-year savings from food stamps -- also known as SNAP." Rogers notes that how much various eligibility rules contributed to the rise in food stamp usage is a matter of dispute, with "independent experts" on one side and Republicans with their gut feelings on the other. [Politico]
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DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Liza Brings of Richmond, Va. has been unemployed for eight months, and it gets on her nerves. "It's really depressing not to have a job," Brings, 56, said over the phone. "I'm very antsy, I'm very Type A. I walk around the house, I've done the laundry four times, the house is very clean. I'm stressed. The hardest part is to keep up a positive self image when every day you feel your confidence slipping." Brings said she's got some interviews coming up. [Hang in there!]

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MITT ROMNEY'S MONEY IS ON THE LAM - A sprawling piece in Vanity Fair surveys the dubious methods the Romneys use to increase their wealth and protect it from U.S. taxes. It's like the world is their bedroom and the Cayman Islands is their mattress. VF: "[T]he Romneys were reported to have invested at least $1 million in Elliott Associates, L.P., a hedge fund specializing in 'distressed assets.' Elliott buys up cheap debt, often at cents on the dollar, from lenders to deeply troubled nations such as Congo-Brazzaville, then attacks the debtor states with lawsuits to squeeze maximum repayment. [Lobbyists and international financial institutions are often marshaled to make this scheme work.] Elliott is run by the secretive hedge-fund billionaire and G.O.P. super-donor Paul Singer, whom Fortune recently dubbed Mitt Romney's 'Hedge Fund Kingmaker.' (Singer has given $1 million to Romney's super-pac Restore Our Future.) It is hard to know the size of these investments. Romney's financial disclosure form lists 25 of them in an open-ended category, 'Over $1 million,' including So­lamere and Elliott, and they are not broken down further. Romney hides behind a disclaimer that the fund managers 'declined to provide such information' about their underlying assets. Many of these funds are set up in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, where a confidentiality law states that you can be jailed for up to four years just for asking about such information." [Vanity Fair]

Mitt Romney's campaign does not know what a venn diagram is.

ENVIROS GET MILEAGE OUT OF SEAMUS ROMNEY - Mitt Romney's former dog makes a cameo appearance in a TV advertisement supporting the Obama administration's proposed regulations for fuel efficiency. In the ad, paid for by an environmental advocacy group, an Irish Setter becomes increasingly alarmed as he listens to news that forthcoming gas mileage standards will mean fewer stops for gas. At the same time, the dog's owner is rounding up the kids for a long drive, telling them to be sure to go to the bathroom because the family will only stop when it needs gas. The dog is horrified to see his crate fastened to the roof of the family station wagon. The scene is an allusion to the Romneys' 1983 trip to Canada, during which Seamus, the family's Irish Setter, rode in a crate on top of the car for the 12-hour drive. [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE BEGINS STATE-LEVEL HEALTH CARE PUSH - Sam Stein: "In response to criticisms that the law hamstrings governors, defenders of the president's health care law will be championing a states-rights amendment that already enjoys Republican support. Under current law, states are allowed to opt out of various requirements of the Affordable Care Act by 2017, provided that they meet minimal standards for coverage. The Empowering States to Innovate Act would move that date to 2014. For the Obama White House, the amendment has a number of politically appealing aspects. The most obvious is that it provides an avenue to the type of federalist approach that the Republican Party, and its standard-bearer Mitt Romney, has argued should have been adopted in the first place. More bluntly, the co-sponsor of the amendment, along with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), is Sen. Scott Brown, a Massachusetts Republican who happens to share a senior adviser with Romney." [HuffPost]

Recent polling on the Affordable Care Act indicates the public's attitude toward the law didn't change following the Supreme Court ruling. Seeing as how the president -- who couldn't be more charming if he ate Ryan Seacrest's brain -- lobbied for the bill for three years to little effect, we're absolutely stunned that Stephen Breyer didn't have better luck. Mark Blumenthal: "These reactions show the same partisan division that has long characterized public opinion on the health care law. Roughly three out of four Democrats tell pollsters they approve of the ruling, at least three out of four Republicans say they disapprove, and independents divide almost evenly (although the independents tilt slightly toward disapproval on surveys with a larger percentage of undecideds)." [HuffPost]

The biggest takeaway from this photo of Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel from high school dressed in drag? He's definitely much more of a Jackie than a Marilyn. [DRAG KING]

To defend everything is to defend nothing... unless you're the chief justice. Salon: "My source insists that 'most of the material in the first three quarters of the joint dissent was drafted in Chief Justice Roberts' chambers in April and May.' Only the last portion of what eventually became the joint dissent was drafted without any participation by the chief justice." [Salon]

A new poll from PPP finds that support for gay marriage among African-Americans in Ohio has spiked since President Obama's updated his views on the matter. As far as gay marriage "evolving" goes, this is a veritable cambrian explosion. PPP: "Although it's a small sample the movement has been particularly acute among black voters. They opposed gay marriage by a whooping 63/16 margin on our October poll but now express support for it by a 42/35 spread. That's reflective of the movement we've seen everywhere among African Americans since Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage." [PPP]

CHRIS CHRISTIE WOULD 'LISTEN' TO VEEP PITCH FROM ROMNEY - During an appearance on CNBC this morning, the New Jersey governor said that he would pick up the receiver of his phone and place it against his ear if Mitt Romney called about adding him to the ticket. That contradicts our earlier expectation that Christie would tear the phone out of the wall, stuff it into a blender and force feed it to a union teacher. "This is an election with one voter, Mitt Romney. He gets to decide who he thinks should be the vice president of the United States," Christie said on "Squawk Box." "I love being governor of New Jersey, you can tell. But the fact is, if Gov. Romney picks up the phone and calls, you have to answer the call and listen at least." [CNBC]

Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell won't endorse President Obama and probably won't appear at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, which is a short distance from his district. That's right, Kissell is so terrified of contracting Democratic cooties that he won't travel the distance that some people traverse to get to Sam's Club. Got it. News and Observer: "Last week, Kissell was one of 17 Democrats who voted with Republicans to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress. And next week, he plans to vote with them again to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law. 'I've heard from hundreds and hundreds of people from my district about their opposition to the health care law,' Kissell told the Observer Monday. 'I voted against it originally and I will vote to repeal it.'" [News and Observer]

WHOOPS - WRAL: "State House lawmakers have apparently accidentally legalized fracking in North Carolina, due to a deciding vote one Democrat says was a mistake. Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, says she did not intend to cast the key vote that overrode the governor's veto of the bill. The vote was 72-47, exactly the number needed for an override. Without Carney's vote, the veto would have been sustained. Carney characterized her vote as 'very accidental.' ... Carney pointed out that she has voted against fracking in the past, and said she spent the day lobbying other Democrats to uphold the veto of Senate Bill 820. 'And then I push the green button,' she said." [WRAL]

The best/worst part: "Under House rules, members can change their vote if they've made a mistake - unless the change would affect the bill's passage." So liberals can't even win when they win. We give up. This is the last HuffPost Hill. [Ibid.]

Pat Leahy will have a cameo in Dark Knight Rises. As you probably remember, Leahy briefly appeared in The Dark Knight, where he told Heath Ledger to shove it. As you probably also know, Leahy is a passionate advocate of Hollywood's interests in the Senate, and the prime mover behind the controversial Senate anti-piracy bill Tinseltown wants. Nothing to see here. Shut off your cell phone and enjoy the show. [HuffPost]

US GOVERNMENT DENIES EXISTENCE OF MERMAIDS - You ever notice how specific agencies and lawmakers are mentioned for non-conspiracies, but it's the government that denies the existence of paranormal beings? From BBC's "No evidence of mermaids, says US government": "The National Ocean Service made the unusual declaration in response to public inquiries following a TV show on the mythical creatures. It is thought some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary. 'No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,' the service wrote in an online post... The inquiries followed May's broadcast of Mermaids: The Body Found, on the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet network." [BBC]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - "How To Restore Your Faith In Humanity"

VIRGINIA OFFICIAL USES NJ COUPLE'S ENGAGEMENT PHOTO IN ANTI-GAY CAMPAIGN - HuffPost DC: "New Jersey residents Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere did not expect their engagement photo to turn up in in an anti-gay mailer put out in Colorado by a Virginia Republican official who once criticized Florida pirate festivals for their 'invasion' by 'radical homosexuals.'" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Happy Independence Day! The movie. The holiday, too, but we meant the movie. [http://bit.ly/LkwlO5]

- How fireworks... work. [http://bit.ly/LkwFfP]

- Need to displace responsibility for your unattractive personality onto your taste in music? Have we got a listicle for you! [http://bit.ly/KRPnVK]

- "Game of Thrones" reimagined as a 16-bit video game is basically Zelda with more nudity. [http://bit.ly/M4vOfD]

- We <3 NPR so much right now: "Three Ways Pie History Is Like HBO's 'Game Of Thrones'" [http://n.pr/LkCIkr]

- Not bad, Batman, but our spaceship time machine is way better. We'd show you, but it's in the recycling space garage right now. [http://bit.ly/LkzsW8]

- Not bad, Spiderman, but our non-super-journalist costumes are way better. We'd show you, but they're in a phone booth somewhere awaiting our return. [http://bit.ly/LkBeGU]

- Too busy wrapping head around CainTV to write joke about CainTV. [http://bit.ly/LkCc6b]

TWITTERAMA

@FakeJimVandeHei: POLITICO 1776: Leaked Declaration of Independence text: Jefferson says "government" 9 times; "law" 8 times; "jobs" 0 times

@brianbeutler: Supreme Court sources: Roberts overheard in chamber saying "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe," repeatedly, while sobbing.

@JeffreyYoung_HC: Say, when did the Fox Mole become a SCOTUS clerk?f

ON TAP

TONIGHT

7:00 pm: Disco glam rockers Scissor Sisters play the 9:30 Club. BYOGL (bring your own gold lame). Also a show on Monday [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW]

9:00 pm: Make sure our boys at Lexington and Concord didn't die in vain by ringing in July 4th at the Air Sex World Championship at Rock and Roll Hotel. Don't bring your kids. [Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street NE]

TOMORROW

11:30 am - 1:00 pm: The National Independence Day Parade will run on Constitution Avenue around 7th street. Marching bands, police motorcades, a possible d-list celebrity or two... you know the deal. [Constitution Ave and 7th Street].

3:00 pm - 8:00 pm: A Capitol Fourth, that Independence Day concert featuring American Idol contestants/winners and probably a Glee cast member or two, provides yet another opportunity to bake in the sun for a few hours. [Capitol West Lawn]

Sundown-ish: Fireworks! Celebrate America's birthday as pyrotechnicians besiege the sky. [National Mall]

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