POLITICS
07/10/2012 05:55 pm ET Updated Sep 09, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - This One Goes Out To All The Patriotic Tax Dodgers

John Boehner added Mitt Romney to the list of things that excite him (also on the list: merlot, Camels, golf and not being around Eric Cantor). Politicians are aggressively editing their Wikipedia pages, which might explain why your local conservative representative is described as a "foot soldier in James Madison's liberty brigade." And Lindsey Graham thinks it's "American" to avoid taxes. We choose to express our patriotism in a somewhat similar fashion by digging potholes in highways and stealing textbooks from kids. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 10th, 2012:

TIM GEITHNER: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY - D.M. Levine: "As president of the New York Federal Reserve before and during the financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met repeatedly with Barclays officials, according to documents released by the bank and the New York Fed. Though the subject of those discussions is unknown, they came at a time when Barclays was also talking to New York Fed officials about problems with an interest rate known as Libor, some five years before the bank agreed to pay $450 million to settle charges that it manipulated that interest rate. The meetings raise questions about just how much Geithner, now the U.S. Treasury secretary, knew about the alleged manipulation of Libor, a critical interest rate that affects borrowing costs throughout the economy -- questions he'll have to answer at a Senate hearing later this month. They could also renew criticisms of Geithner as being too chummy with the banking sector he was charged with regulating in his role at the Fed." [HuffPost]

Geithner, David Axelrod and Rob Nabors ventured to the Hill today to talk with Senate Democrats about their tax plan, we guess pretending like they'll implement it. Geithner took no questions on the way out, so who knows.

NO ONE QUITE SURE HOW LOADED TIM PAWLENTY IS - Running tomorrow in Roll Call from Janie Lorber: "For example, the most recent filing for Pawlenty, who served as the governor of Minnesota until January 2011, reveals only a list of 28 securities each of which is valued at more than $2,500. The state requires no further disclosure. [Chris] Christie, a former U.S. district attorney who became governor in 2010, appears to be the wealthiest, but the nature of the filings makes it impossible to rank the candidates by riches. Christie and his wife reported assets in excess of $1 million at the end of 2011. The figure does not include two blind trusts, which brought the couple at least $40,000 in income last year. Christie estimated he was worth $3.8 million in a 2009 interview with the New Jersey Star Ledger. Christie and his wife, who earned a salary of at least $250,000 as vice president at the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald, reported income of just under $500,000 in 2011, only a touch more than they brought in the year before, according to 2010 tax returns, which he released publicly in October 2011. Christie requested an extension on his income tax returns for the third consecutive year."

LINDSEY GRAHAM: IT'S 'AMERICAN' TO DODGE TAXES - Is it ever! Seriously, we spent the Fourth of July grilling, watching baseball, having drinks with friends and calling our guy in Manila via secure line to launder a few mil we came into recently. Mike McAuliff: "Mitt Romney shouldn't be criticized for using off-shore tax havens because "it's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday. Graham argued that Congress is responsible for tax avoidance because it has crafted such convoluted rules and said he was fine with Romney's taking advantage of the loopholes... 'As long as it was legal, I'm OK with it,' Graham said. 'I don't blame anybody for using the tax code to their advantage. I blame us for having it so complicated and confused. Pick a rate and make people pay it.' In the meantime, anything within the rules goes, he argued. 'It's a game we play,' Graham said. 'Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game.'" [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - President Barack Obama's plan to let Bush-era tax cuts expire on earnings above $250,000 is part of a "class envy" plan to make people who aren't working feel okay about not contributing to the nation's economy, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said on Tuesday. "There are more and more people that are looking at others saying they shouldn't be making that much money because I'm not. And they don't feel as much guilt about the 72 different means tested welfare programs that we have," King said on CNN's "Starting Point." "Today it's almost a government guarantee of a middle-income standard of living from all these [government safety net] programs we have. I like an America where people feel some guilt about that and they want to step up and help and carry their fair share of the work." Get back to work, losers! [HuffPost]

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LAWMAKERS EDITING THEIR OWN WIKIPEDIA PAGES - Sure, that's about as shocking as "Lawmakers Whitening Their Teeth," "Lawmakers Feigning Enthusiasm" or "Lawmakers' Egos Unsated By Accumulation Of Power And Influence," but the alterations are pretty alarming. Via BuzzFeed: "Rep. Allen West: Removed an incident in which he called members of the Progressive Caucus 'Communists'...Rep. Dan Burton: Removed a section saying Burton had received illegal contributions from Pakistan...Rep. Jean Schmidt: Removed entire 'Armenian Genocide Denial issue' section...Rep. Steve Austria: Removed the sections 'Controversial Comments On The Great Depression,' 'Controversies" and 'Allegations Of Plagiarism.'...Harry Reid: Removed the section 'Relationship to Jack Abramoff and his firm.' Rep. Candice Miller: Removed section about being admonished by the House Ethics Committee." [BuzzFeed]

Speaking of self-editing, Orrin Hatch is suddenly all gung-ho about use of reconciliation. Laura Bassett: "Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said on Monday that Republicans may use the budget reconciliation process to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- a procedural tactic he condemned Democrats for using to pass the health care bill in 2010. 'We will repeal it,' Hatch said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute on Monday. 'And the Democrats know that we can. After their abuse of the budget reconciliation process in 2010 to get this law passed, it should come as no surprise when Republican majorities legitimately and appropriately use the same process to repeal this unpopular law next year.'" [HuffPost]

SPEAKING OF HATCH, HE GAVE LBJ, JFK AND ROBERT CARO SOME LOVE TODAY On the Senate floor, Orrin Hatch: President Lyndon Johnson "decided that he was going to make sure that the president's tax cuts went through. Naturally, there was a serious involvement with the civil rights bill at that time, something that many of the southern senators, most all Democrats, did not want to pass. He knew that if they brought that up first, the tax bill would never pass. So it's an extremely interesting book by Robert Caro as to how the president was able to get the tax cuts through ahead of bringing up the Civil Rights bill and then bringing up the Civil Rights bill and putting the pressure on everybody, Republicans and Democrats, to do what should have been done many years before. I pay tribute to President Johnson, who, of course, in the eyes of many Democrats and Republicans, have a mixed record, but he was a master in helping President Kennedy's tax bill to go through." That bill lowered taxes, if you were curious.

That book is totally on my coffee table, bro.

Here's video of Nancy Pelosi dancing to "It's Raining Men" at Barney Frank's wedding. Now you don't need to see the Pyramids or anything.

ONCE AGAIN, MITT ROMNEY DID NOT LEAVE BAIN IN 1999 - TPM with some more evidence: "The gist of the disagreement comes down to this: There's no question that numerous public filings and some contemporaneous press references say Romney was still running things at Bain after 1999. But his campaign insists that whatever securities filings may have said, in practice, he was so busy running the 2002 Winter Olympics that he actually had no role at Bain after early 1999...But here's the thing. I've found yet more instances where Romney made declarations to the SEC that he was still involved in running Bain after February 1999. To the best of my knowledge, no one has yet noted these. The documents go into different aspects of Romney's ownership of various Bain and Bain related assets. But in both Romney had to say what he currently did for a living. Here are two SEC filings from July 2000 and February 2001 in which Romney lists his 'principal occupation' as 'Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.'" [TPM]

BOEHNER NOW THINKS MITT ROMNEY IS COOL - Like white jeans, Mitt Romney popularity is cyclical, according to John Boehner. A week after the House speaker declared that Americans "probably aren't going to fall in love with Mitt Romney," he sung a different tune today, insisting that voters will take to the former Massachusetts governor. Jen Bendery: "'Listen, I'm going to be enthusiastic about voting for Gov. Romney in November,' [Editor's note: Has anyone ever been truly excited about something they prefaced with "listen"?] Boehner told Capitol Hill reporters. 'And I think the American people will be enthusiastic about voting for Gov. Romney in November.' Boehner's comments come after he raised some eyebrows at a June 30 fundraiser by saying that, apart from Romney's 'friends, relatives and fellow Mormons,' most people will be motivated to vote for Romney because of their opposition to President Barack Obama, not because they're actually excited about Romney. His comments reinforce a feeling expressed earlier in the race that conservatives aren't thrilled by their party's candidate." [HuffPost]

REPUBLICANS TRYING TO USE OUTSOURCING AGAINST DEMOCRATS - No, they won't try to remind you just how much you hated that IT support job, what with the hours of mind-numbing conversations, the numbskulls in sales who didn't know the difference between an IP address and a SecureID login. Thank you, outsourcing! Jon Ward: "For days, Republicans have struggled to defend Mitt Romney against attacks from President Barack Obama's campaign labeling the presumptive GOP nominee an "outsourcing pioneer" who shipped U.S. jobs overseas during his private equity career. But the Republican National Committee launched a website Tuesday morning that workers said they hope will shift momentum in the political debate largely aimed at winning voters in Rust Belt states including Ohio. The RNC website is labeled 'Obamanomics Outsourced,' and focuses on 'how Obama shipped the recovery overseas.' It is a catalogue of how U.S. taxpayer money spent as part of the $831 billion economic stimulus in 2009 went to foreign-owned companies, or to companies that hired workers overseas. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus plans to show up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- an hour before Obama is set to host two campaign events in the same city -- to promote the website and to hit back at the president on the issue." [HuffPost]

Heh. "For years now, former GOP presidential nominee Rick Santorum has had a Google problem, and now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might have one too ... albeit one with a slightly more boring definition. According to the Urban Dictionary, the 'Harry Reid' is 'a sexual position where you climb on top and then do absolutely nothing.'" [Roll Call]

TOP REPUBLICANS WEIGHING 'NO SOLYNDRAS' ACT - The proposed legislation -- sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns -- would prohibit DOE from granting governmental loan guarantees submitted after 2011. The two are proposing instead to cultivate national green energy solutions by having Stephen Chu generate electricity by running in a hamster wheel at all hours of the day. The Hill: "But the plan could run into conflict with lawmakers who say the loan program should be altered, not scrapped. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has taken a mend-it-don't-end-it approach...In addition to sun-setting the program, the bill would set new restrictions on review of existing loan guarantee applications that are meant to correct what Republicans call deep flaws in DOE's vetting process." [The Hill]

POLL: SIZABLE NUMBER OF FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS WOULD COMMIT INSIDER TRADING IF NOT CAUGHT - WSJ: "[A] new survey by law firm Labaton Sucharow LLP, which looks to work with potential whistleblowers to help SEC investigations, found 26% of financial employees in the U.S. and U.K. surveyed had firsthand knowledge of 'wrongdoing in the workplace.' Partly explaining that: 24% of those surveyed believed rules 'may have to be broken in order to be successful.' But perhaps most damaging to the industry that has been walloped by allegations, 16% of those surveyed said they would engage in insider trading if they could make $10 million and not get caught. Only 55% said they 'definitely' would not, leaving the remaining 29% apparently on the fence about committing crimes." [WSJ]

Speaking of gross violations of the public trust, here's an uplifting update from our friends at the National Reconnaissance Office: "One of the nation's most secretive intelligence agencies is pressuring its polygraphers to obtain intimate details of the private lives of thousands of job applicants and employees, pushing the ethical and legal boundaries of a program that's designed instead to catch spies and terrorists. The National Reconnaissance Office is so intent on extracting confessions of personal or illicit behavior that officials have admonished polygraphers who refused to go after them and rewarded those who did, sometimes with cash bonuses, a McClatchy investigation found." [McClatchy]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - How to bathe a kitten.

WASHINGTON LIBERALS SUDDENLY VERY FREE MARKET - HuffPost DC: "After sudden outrage over a D.C. Council proposal that the popular Uber car service said would stifle its business, the D.C. Council passed an amendment to taxi reform legislation that 'explicitly allows Uber to continue to operate legally in the District without newly proposed price controls.'" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Here are a bunch of absurd things that humans can do. [http://bit.ly/O17CZg]

- This should help with that complicated "science" stuff. [http://bit.ly/O15b90]

- Cats of the Hermitage. [http://bit.ly/O18DAK]

- If Romney and Obama had high school Facebook pages... [http://bit.ly/LFOvKr]

- She asks if the dog on the treadmill is cheating. Because walking the dog using a treadmill is definitely NOT cheating. [http://bit.ly/LFMtdk]

- Lutz and Liz Lemon's possibly-terrorist neighbor made a funny web video. [http://bit.ly/LFODcR]

- Short explainer of how the Intertube works. [http://bit.ly/O18NYH]

TWITTERAMA

@glennthrush: 'Doubles down' dumbest journo expression ever. Translation -- "no news, folks -- they are doing-saying same s**t as yesterday"

@pourmecoffee: House now voting for 31st time to repeal Obamacare. After that, vote to mandate babies be read Atlas Shrugged in the womb.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm: George Allen benefits from the Chamber of Commerce's largess at its "Margaritas and Cocktails Reception." If you ask us, the party necessitates that Allen wears shorts with little martini glasses imprinted on them -- that feels like his speed. [419 Jersey Ave SE]

7:30 pm: Allyson Schwartz welcomes Democratic donors (and Steny Hoyer) to a fundraiser benefiting her We The People PAC. The event is being held at Sonoma wine bar, harkening back to that great day in Philadelphia when the framers first gathered in a wine bar to declare "We the people..." [Sonoma, 223 Pennsylvania Ave SE]

TOMORROW

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Reclaim America PAC, which seeks to reacquire America from the person who snatched it away and stuffed it in their breast pocket, hosts a fundraising reception with the boy wonder himself, Marco Rubio. [21st Century Townhouse, 434 New Jersey Ave SE]

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm: Tommy Thompson, one of the few politicians able to make Herb Kohl seem interesting, continues his quest for Kohl's Senate seat with a D.C. fundraiser. [Gray residence, NW]

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