POLITICS
07/05/2012 05:46 pm ET Updated Sep 04, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Mitt. Romney. Awkward.

Mitt Romney ran a quick diagnostic of his fluid analysis software after he described a glass of lemonade as "Lemon. Wet. Good." An HBO Roger Ailes biopic was scrapped, but we're hearing good things about that upcoming mini-series about "The Five." And Republicans have grown bored with the current campaign, a shocking development given all the riveting descriptions of lemonade. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 5th, 2012:

THE ROGER AILES BIOPIC THAT WASN'T - For a brief, glorious second today, it looked like Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were going to produce a made-for-HBO movie about Roger Ailes, raising hopes that James Gandolfini and Old Marlon Brando's love child would play the lead. That dream quickly died. "We recently decided not to pursue the Ailes project," HBO Films President Len Amato wrote Deadline Hollywood. "It had become clear to us before even receiving a script that due to our company's CNN affiliation the film could never be seen as objective" Oh well! [Deadline Hollywood]

MITT ROMNEY HAS ACCESS TO MONEY - Sabrina Siddiqui: "Mitt Romney, the Romney Victory Fund and the Republican National Committee raised more than $100 million in June, according to Mike Allen of Politico. The figure is a substantial jump from last month's, $76.8 million, which was a major fundraising haul for the Romney campaign and the RNC. Rick Wiley, the RNC's political director, confirmed the report over Twitter, taunting President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina and Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod with the following tweet: '.@messina2012, check this out bro, we raised north of $100 million in June. I'm assuming u & Axe will need beers 2night bro'" [HuffPost]

BIPARTISAN HEMATOMA - Amanda Terkel: "Partisan differences were put aside on Wednesday, when an Arizona Democratic Senate candidate treated the injury of a young Republican operative... When a GOP tracker's battery died on Wednesday, he asked [Richard] Carmona about the bump on his leg. Carmona -- a doctor who served as surgeon general under President George W. Bush -- diagnosed it as a hematoma, according to campaign spokesman Andy Barr... On Thursday, Carmona tweeted, 'When I was a trauma surgeon, nobody asked for an R or D doc, they just wanted help. Glad that's still true.'" We hear Bill Frist read the tweet and immediately emailed in a different diagnosis. [HuffPost]

If you haven't yet, think about giving to Tomorrow Magazine, the one-off publication from the former GOOD team. Despite our well known and justified hostility toward Tim "The Worst" Fernholz, who is unfortunately associated with this otherwise exciting venture, we have to admit we're impressed that the mag has already raised double its target on KickStarter. Fernholz emails: "Despite the heckling of HuffPo's politics team--we can't all enjoy balmy D.C. summers and steady paychecks--Americans are saying they want Tomorrow, today. Unfortunately neither Ryan nor Eliot would agree to be part of an incentive involving kidnapping, a bar crawl and some pharmaceutically altered farm animals, so we really need folks to buy subscriptions." --- Sent from the smoke-veiled LA HQ of Tomorrow mag, where we are drinking margaritas and trying to secure an interview with Elon Musk. Thanks, Tim!

MERSHON MISERY - Arthur is in Rehoboth, but here's Erin Mershon with a piping hot batch of sad: "A Pennsylvania mayor has an extreme plan to address his city's budget shortfalls: pay every public employee, including himself, minimum wage. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty announced last week his proposal to immediately and indefinitely slash the wages of the city's 398 police officers, firefighters and other public workers, from between $18 and $36 an hour to just $7.25 an hour...Pushed by Scranton's growing debt and the lack of city council action to address it, Doherty proposed the wage cuts in an effort to balance the budget until the city can secure a $16 million loan. He vowed to reimburse workers their back pay plus interest once the city receives the loan, but many workers have already said that without their normal paychecks, they will not be able to pay monthly bills." [HuffPost]

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OBAMA TARGETS CHINA AUTO TARIFFS IN OHIO - The president's play for Ohio votes couldn't be any shrewder... unless of course he started slapping buckeye stickers onto Joe Biden's head for good behavior (just for the record, we heartily endorse this). CBS News: "President Obama on Thursday will use his bus tour through Ohio to announce the U.S. plans to file an unfair trade complaint against China, accusing the country of imposing illegal duties on over $3 billion worth of cars and sport utility vehicles, including Toledo-made Jeep Wranglers, the Toledo Blade reports. The Obama administration will file the case with the World Trade Organization in Geneva, according to a senior administration official, on the grounds that the duties violate international trade rules. The announcement will come in Maumee, Ohio, outside Toledo, where Mr. Obama will kick off a two-day bus trip called 'Betting on America.'" [CBS News]

@reidepstein: Per pool, Obama to Ohio boy with blue spiky hair: "What do you put in there to make it spiky? Product?"

COMMIES FOR OBAMA - "The Chinese yuan currency has appreciated against the dollar but ought to rise further, the White House said on Thursday, after Washington lodged a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over Chinese tariffs on U.S. auto exports." Quick primer: That means the US can export more to China (good) but Chinese crap will cost us more (bad, but actually good). [Reuters]

One second you're tweeting out photos of campaign volunteers and opining on Obamacare, the next second you're communicating with a shut-in porn addict. Twitter is weird. Jen Bendery: "Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) on Wednesday deleted a tweet he sent to a self-described 'pathogen' who has 'lots of porn.' 'Campylobacter' tweeted at Rigell earlier this week to praise the congressman's fiscal views outlined in a recent Time magazine article. Campylobacter uses the Twitter handle @campyspornshack. Rigell tweeted back two days later, on July 3, '@campyspornshack Thank you for the words of support!' But a day later, the congressman deleted his tweet." [HuffPost]

ROMNEY GOES AFTER ROBERTS FOR HEALTH CARE RULING - This all but guarantees that the chief justice will purposefully screw up the oath of office if Romney is elected ("I do solemnly pinky swear..."). "It gives the impression the decision wasn't made on the Constitution, but on political consideration between the branches of government," he said in an interview with CBS. "But we won't really know the answers to those things until maybe the justice speaks out sometime in history." Romney, who had previously said he'd nominate someone like Roberts to the high court if elected, insisted that he would makes sure to propose someone "who I knew would come out with a decision that I violently disagreed with or vehemently disagreed with." [The Hill]

Weirdest. CNN. Interview. Ever. @aterkel: My mash-up of Joe Walsh saying "Ashleigh" 90 times youtu.be/clnGrA5gg7g

OBAMA GOES AFTER ROBERTS FOR HEALTH CARE RULING - Amanda Terkel: "Although the Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama a victory by upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Obama campaign made clear on Thursday morning that it still disagrees with Chief Justice John Roberts' ruling that characterized the individual mandate as a tax. 'The difference between the Obama administration -- and the president -- and Mitt Romney is that we've been consistent,' said Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, on MSNBC. 'This is a penalty administered through the tax code. It's a penalty of less than 1 percent of the American public who can afford to get health care but choose not to get it.'" [HuffPost]

WALL STREET JOURNAL NOT PLEASED WITH MITT. From an editorial published this morning: "He is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts's ObamaCare salvage operation -- that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax -- into a second political defeat... This latest mistake is of a piece with the campaign's insular staff and strategy that are slowly squandering an historic opportunity. Mr. Obama is being hurt by an economic recovery that is weakening for the third time in three years. But Mr. Romney hasn't been able to take advantage, and if anything he is losing ground." The Journal referred to Republicans as "them" in the editorial. Is that a new type of royal we? [WSJ]

The Times gets some spin from Team Romney: "Mr. Romney's advisers say privately that having Mr. Murdoch sniping at them is better than the alternative. To be praised by him would open the campaign up to criticisms that it is a tool of the conservative establishment." [NYT]

During a Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, N.H., yesterday, Romney eloquently described lemonade: 'Get out and vote next year, this November, I mean!' said Romney, wiping beads of sweat off his brow. At one point, stopping to guzzle a glass of lemonade, Romney was asked how it tasted, to which he replied, 'Lemon. Wet. Good.'" [ABC News]

The DSCC is making bank off of the health care ruling, enough to offset Republican super PAC funding for a whole five minutes. Sam Stein: "The campaign committee tasked with electing Democrats to the Senate raised $2.5 million in the three days following the Supreme Court's ruling on the president's health care law, a committee source tells The Huffington Post. The total resembles a historic haul for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which raised $5.6 million in all of May combined. And it underscores what Democrats have been arguing since the court ruled that President Barack Obama's health care law was constitutional: that the decision was just as galvanizing for their party as it was for Republicans." [HuffPost]

DCCC GIVING TO ANTI-HOLDER DEMS - Sam Stein: "The extent of that support is disproportionate to the help the DCCC is offering House members and candidates at large. During the same period that the committee funneled $1.3 million to those 17 anti-Holder lawmakers, it sent just over $9.1 million to all House Democratic candidates. That breakdown may seem counterproductive -- why reward the party's least orthodox members? -- but for party strategists, it reflects a political reality. Those 17 members hail from some of the most closely contested districts in the country, meaning that they, more than their colleagues, need the support." If only these folks had raised a fuss about the long-form birth certificate, they'd be blanketing the airwaves in their districts! [HuffPost]

At least the Romney campaign's private equity arm is honest. - Solamere Capital, run by Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, a top Romney aide known as the candidate's "sixth son," says on its website that the firm makes money "by leveraging their unparalleled networks."

POLL: VOTERS THINK CAMPAIGN HAS MITT ROMNEY IN IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG AND BORING - Which is precisely why Romney needs to jazz up his campaign a little and name Tim Pawlenty his running mate. Sparks. Will. Fly. Pew: "The expectation that the election will be exhausting is in line with perceptions of the campaign so far. Most Americans say the campaign has been too long and dull (56% each), while 53% say it has been too negative. At the same time, an overwhelming majority (79%) views the presidential campaign as important... Currently, 33% of Republicans say the presidential campaign is interesting down from 52% in late March (March 22-25)... Currently, 45% say it is interesting, up from 36% in March." [Pew]

PAUL FAMILY SHIFTS ATTENTION TO INTERNET FREEDOM - So if you see Ron Paul at a press conference talking about DNS blocking alongside the Nyan Cat, you now know why. BuzzFeed: "Kentucky senator Rand and his father Ron Paul, who has not yet formally conceded the Republican presidential nomination, will throw their weight behind a new online manifesto set to be released today by the Paul-founded Campaign for Liberty. The new push, Paul aides say, will in some ways displace what has been their movement's long-running top priority, shutting down the Federal Reserve Bank... The manifesto, obtained yesterday by BuzzFeed, is titled 'The Technology Revolution' and lays out an argument -- in doomsday tones -- for keeping the government entirely out of regulating anything online, and for leaving the private sector to shape the new online space." Indulge us a brief rant against libertarians: Allowing "the private sector to shape the new online space" is asking cable companies and other providers to pick which sites load faster, and which barely load at all. In other words, corporate control of the Internet, then end of Net Neutrality. Someone who cares about freedom in general would find that appalling. But libertarians only fear power concentrated in the state, and think anything else is fine because it's an expression of private activity. Phooey. Corporations are creatures of the state, so even under the narrow libertarian definition of what threatens your liberty, unchecked corporate power should count. [BuzzFeed]

WIKILEAKS DROPS AP FROM LIST OF 'COLLABORATOR' AGENCIES - Yeah, that recent stylebook update emphasizing the dash in "man-made" really set us off, too. Michael Calderone: "When WikiLeaks began publishing some 2.4 million Syrian files on Thursday, a trove that it said includes emails from 'political figures, ministries and associated companies,' the anti-secrecy organization listed the Associated Press as one of its media 'collaborators.' And during a Thursday press conference, WikiLeaks spokeswoman Sarah Harrison said that 'groundbreaking stories derived from the files' would be published in the coming months by several news organizations, including AP. But AP has since been removed from the list, raising questions about the news organization's relationship with WikiLeaks on this major release." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat confused by bizarro mirror enemy cat

PAY FOR OUR CIRCULATORS, TOURISTS!!!!11 - HuffPost DC: "When tourists were in the nation's capital for the Fourth of July, they may have noticed a new unwelcome sign taped up to Metrorail farecard machines. The transit agency is now charging a $1 fee for each trip used with a paper farecard.." [HuffPost]

SPIKE MENDELSOHN ACTING EXACTLY LIKE A GUY WHO WEARS A FEDORA SHOULD - HuffPost DC: "Well at least they have somewhere they'll be treated nicely. Spike Mendelsohn, the celebrity chef and acid reflux medicine spokesperson, told Playboy about an otherwise discriminated-against group that gets preferred treatment at his restaurants: Playboy Playmates" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Us, last night. [http://bit.ly/LrOSbc]

- Creepiest credit card commercial ever. [http://bit.ly/M8HSwk]

- Ridiculously awesome portraits of presidents. [http://bit.ly/LrReXH]

- Great old-school PSA about... catnip. [http://bit.ly/LrQTEj]

- Box fan fire-tornado shouldn't work but totally does. [http://bit.ly/LrPPQZ]

- Beijing is kind of gross. The Atlantic has a graphic. [http://bit.ly/LrQhP1]

- Higgs-Boson discovery is gonna change everything! [http://bit.ly/LrPZI1]

TWITTERAMA

@pourmecoffee: Today in 1948, Britain's NHS went into effect and they lost all freedom and liberty and lived in utter tyranny ever after.

@delrayser: "COME to the Dark Side, John. JOIN US, and together we will rule... on Obamacare." - Ruth Vader Ginsburg

@FakePewResearch: Biggest Jerks: Rasmussen (31%); Zogby (22%); Quinnipiac Univ. (19%); Gallup (15%); Washington Post/ABC (8%); American Research Group (4%)

ON TAP

TOMORROW

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm: 100-degree temperatures might not be ideal for Jazz in the Garden at the National Sculpture Garden, but if you feel so inclined, Afro Bop Alliance will be performing. [National Sculpture Garden]

7:00 pm - 10:30 pm: The Capital Fringe Festival previews thirty of its acts in four-minute installments. Food and drinks, also. [Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar, 607 New York Ave NW]

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