The U.S. Olympic Committee won't boycott the Romney family "Olympics," which actually was a thing for about five seconds. Grover Norquist's popularity among House Republicans is declining, meaning the next form he asks them to fill out could be a folded sheet of paper with the words "do u like me? yes  no ." And Mitt Romney will attend a swanky fundraiser at David Koch's Hamptons getaway this weekend. With all do respect to P. Diddy and his own famous Hamptons shindig, Koch's fundraiser is the true "white party." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 6th, 2012:
HEALTH CARE RULING COULD PREVENT PLANNED PARENTHOOD DEFUNDING - By rewriting the rules that govern which strings the federal government can attach to its spending on the state level, John Roberts may have inadvertently prevented a future Tea Party-dominated Congress from executing one of its top priorities, defunding Planned Parenthood. At the same time, it raises the question of whether the federal government can withhold Medicaid money if a state decides on its own to defund Planned Parenthood. Before Roberts' ruling, no legal scholar would have questioned whether the federal government had the authority to spend its own money or tie any strings it deemed appropriate to it. But after the ruling, it's an open question that will likely be decided in court, legal experts told The Huffington Post. The issue raised by Roberts' opinion is whether the federal government can coerce a state into using its federal grant money in a particular way by threatening to withhold that money. For instance, if Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood through the Title X federal family planning program, but New York wanted to continue sending its federal Title X dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, could the government withhold all Title X money from New York? Andrew Koppelman, a Northwestern University law professor who writes for Salon, said lower courts are likely to see such questions before them. [With Laura Bassett]
Today is Jen Hoelzer's last day as Ron Wyden's communication director. Her next assignment will be at the American Film Institute where she'll serve as its vice president of communications. Here's hoping she can get Aspen Extreme added to the Criterion Collection.
ROMNEY HEADS TO HAMPTONS FOR KOCH FUNDRAISER - This could've been another bus tour, but on second thought, the optics of Romney busing across New York on the Jitney wouldn't have been fantastic. Anyhoo, the event is scheduled for Sunday evening and will be at Julia and David Koch's Hamptons mansion/very large house where the suggested contribution will be $50,000 per person and $75,000 per couple, money we'd much rather use to rent the house itself for a month or so. Forbes: "Also out in force: protesters. As the Koch brothers' profile has increased, there's scarcely an event connected to the two that isn't the target of activists from the Occupy movement. Busloads of Occupy Wall Street protesters from Manhattan will be on the beach on Sunday afternoon, waving signs and chanting. They'll be joined by like-minded members of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, MoveOn, United New York, Allign New York, and a handful of other organizations, including the somewhat incongruous Occupy the Hamptons." [Forbes]
Check out the original invitation at the Sunlight Foundation's excellent Political Party Time, which we use quite often to get the lowdown on fundraisers
FORMER ABRAMOFF LOBBYIST PISSED AT THINGS IS PISSED AT OBAMA - HuffPost Hill's newest anonymous contributor, the Former Abramoff Lobbyist Pissed At Things, did not receive today's job report well. "The jobs numbers looked wonderful terrible. If fact, they are going about as well as Jessica Simpson's diet," FALPAT writes, likely while he was planning his dream zoo tour with Newt Gingrich. "The similarities between BHO and JS are amazing -- She got $4 million and he wants 4-more years. Both the American people and Weight Watchers should ask for a refund. Spin those number E.J. Dionne." Thanks, FALPAT!
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GROVER NORQUIST'S TAX PLEDGE LOSING STEAM - Not as much steam as, say, your Change.org petition to bring back "John from Cincinnati"... but close. Patrick Svitek: "Rep. Scott Rigell's (R-Va.) message for up-and-coming Republicans would have been considered political heresy just two years ago: You don't have to bow to Grover Norquist to win. 'My advice and counsel to 'Young Guns' would be to not sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge,' the Virginia Republican told The Huffington Post. This election season is different. Rigell is one of dozens of GOP challengers and incumbents who have declined, so far, to take the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Their objections range from personal to political. But underneath is the belief that being locked into a pledge to never support new revenues in a debt-reduction deal is unpalatable. Just 45 of 83 of the Republican National Congressional Committee's current crop of so-called Young Guns have signed the no-tax pledge this election season, according to a Huffington Post analysis of pledge signatures. During the 2010 midterm elections, 81 of 92 of that Young Guns group signed the pledge." [HuffPost]
STATES OPTING OUT OF 'NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND' - Our kids might not read good, but our state bureaucrats can read the fine print quite well. Joy Resmovits: "The states of Washington and Wisconsin will be allowed to wiggle out of No Child Left Behind's rigorous test requirements, joining two dozen other U.S. states that have already agreed to waivers that require them to adopt the Obama administration's education agenda instead, the U.S. Education Department will announce today. The new waivers mean more than half the states have now won exemptions from the 2002 law, a signature initiative of George W. Bush's presidency that required standardized testing of students and a system of punishments based on the test scores." [HuffPost]
JOBS REPORT SUCKS - Fire up the stock photos of heads in hands, dejected-looking people queuing in line at some drab municipal building and fists clutching pink slips! This national malaise train ain't stopping! AP: "U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of weak hiring that shows the economy is struggling three years after the recession ended. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent. The economy has added just 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter. That's one-third of 226,000 a month created in the first quarter. Job creation is also trailing last year's pace through the first six months of 2012. Stock futures fell modestly after the report came out. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 24 points before the report at 8:30 a.m., and were down 60 points minutes later." [AP]
Romney responded to the report while campaigning in New Hampshire, calling it a "kick in the gut." "American families are struggling," he said. "There is a lot of misery in America today." And who's to blame? "The president's policies have clearly not been successful ... in reigniting this economy and putting people back to work and opening up manufacturing plants across the country." Interestingly enough, if you kick Mitt Romney in the gut, it causes his CD drive to eject. [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui]
President Obama responded to the report while on a his campaign bus tour in Ohio (we're still waiting for the "Megabusing for America" tour -- now THAT'S citizen solidarity). "It's still tough out there," he told the crowd in Poland, Ohio, calling the report "a step in the right direction," but adding that "we can't be satisfied." [HuffPost's Jon Ward]
Back in 2004, then-State Senator Obama attacked President Bush for basically the same thing: "For the past few weeks, President Bush and members of his administration have traveled the nation to celebrate recent improved economic statistics," he said during the Democrats' radio address on June 26th, 2004. "Well, I've been traveling too, all over this large and diverse state. In cities and suburbs, downstate and upstate, I've heard from people who say it's way too early to claim victory when it comes to our economy." [ABC News]
REPUBLICANS SKIPPING CONVENTION ALSO - At this rate we give it three cycles until the national conventions are downgraded to very large Google+ hangouts ("So join me in welcoming my husband, the next president of the United Sta--[CONNECTION LOST]"). Amanda Terkel: "Former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon is joining other Republicans in competitive Senate races and skipping the Republican National Convention in August... Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) also said he may skip the convention, unless he's offered a high-profile speaking role at the event. 'If they want us to speak, we'll probably be there,' Heller said. 'If they don't choose for us to get a good speaking position, we'll probably stay here and campaign.' Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and George Allen -- who is running for Senate in Virginia -- are also both planning to skip the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla." [HuffPost]
President Obama is touring Ohio and Pennsylvania by bus, shaking hands, kissing babies and... well, this... "A restaurant owner in Akron, Ohio who served breakfast to President Barack Obama on Friday morning died hours later of a heart attack, the Akron Beacon Journal reported... [Josephine "Ann"] Harris met -- and hugged -- Obama just after 8:00 a.m., when he stopped in unannounced for breakfast. Harris' sister, Frankie Adkins, told the Beacon Journal that meeting Obama was likely a "highlight" for her sister since she was a big fan. 'She loved Obama,' said Adkins." [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]
U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE WON'T RUIN FAMILY'S VACATION - How slow of a news week is it? This slow of a news week: "Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his family are winding down an action-packed vacation on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H., with this weekend's closing of the 'Romney Olympics.'... But wait. Who allowed the Romneys to use the term 'Olympics?' Just before the Romney Olympics story appeared, another Post front-pager described the U.S. Olympic Committee's wrath at learning that knitters planned a competition they called the 'Ravelympics.'... USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the committee hadn't gone after the Romneys because it isn't a commercial operation." WHEW. [WSJ]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Awake from your dream, pony of Shetland!
HOW TO RUIN A SUMMER VACATION - HuffPost DC: "This is not anyone's idea of a day at the beach. A 24-year-old visitor to Rehoboth Beach ended up at the hospital on Thursday when a sand tunnel he was digging on the beach collapsed on top of him." [HuffPost]
- Guy video-chats with himself, 20 years ago. [http://bit.ly/MaHdun]
- Moonwalking: giant leap style. [http://bit.ly/MaH4H6]
- Tiny tortoise tastes tomato. [http://bit.ly/LuE2RS]
- Foto Friday: Sorry to burst your bubble. [http://huff.to/MaHf5s]
- Screenshot Friday: Tumblr coincidences. [http://bit.ly/MaGZn4]
- Foto Friday: Higgs boson-finding machine! [http://bit.ly/MaHv4c]
@dceiver: From what I gather from Twitter is that we're still on schedule for economic recovery in about 2018, right?
@indecision: Obama's been president for over three years and he still hasn't gotten around to starting a Kickstarter for America.
Tonight, 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]
Tonight, 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]
Tomorrow, 6:00 pm: Rob Portman is the guest of honor at a New Hampshire reception benefiting the state's Republican committee. Is the timing a little suspicious? Sure, but maybe Rob Portman is just over the moon for New Hampshire: hiking, camping, state-controlled liquor. What's not to love? [Concord, NH]
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