Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Tom Coburn Is Praying For Harry Reid (Seriously)

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The Obama campaign better not try anything tomorrow because the Romney campaign is totally ready to throw down, bro. John Boehner is partial to Camels, Merlot, and Rob Portman. And the Commerce Department announced today that the economy is the new 1 percent. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 27th:

ROMNEY CAMPAIGN PSYCHING ITSELF OUT - We're concerned Team Romney might slam its head into the wall like The Situation did that one time when he was about to fight Ronnie. Zeke Miller: "After a disastrous 48-hour news cycle in London, the Romney campaign 'wants the world to know' that they are prepared for a 'Saturday Obama Surprise,' of unknown specifications. 'We want to communicate to the world that we are ready for whatever they throw at us,' a Romney adviser told BuzzFeed unsolicited. 'After poor economic numbers today, we are preparing for them to throw out absurdities, distractions, and anything else they can to divert from the economy.' When asked why Romney's camp expected a sneak attack from the Obama campaign, the advisor said their guard was up because of 'how they’ve conducted themselves in the past.'" Thanks, Romney adviser! [BuzzFeed]

REID EXTRACTS PRAYER FROM COBURN - On C-SPAN recently, Tom Coburn took his typical criticism of Harry Reid and amped it up about 11 notches. "If you want to ask why the Senate isn't working, there's one reason; it's called Harry Reid. Incompetent and incapable of carrying on the leadership in the Senate." In our interview with Reid, we asked him how he took that. Reid said he called Coburn. "I said, 'Uh, Dr. Coburn, you know I -- you have given me a lot of trouble, but I would never, ever say anything about you, even though I think what you do is absolutely wrong, what you've done to hurt the country. Why would you say anything like that?' And he said, 'I'm gonna pray about it.'...So maybe he did, I haven't heard back from him, but I know what he said."

MORE REID ACTION - We asked him about Bill Magwood, a Democrat on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who lied to him about his position on Yucca Mountain, and we got a string of adjectives we never thought we'd hear from Harry Reid. Full story to come, but here's a sampling of what he pulled out of the thesaurus: "most unethical, prevaricating," "incompetent," "treacherous, miserable liar," "rat," "shit-stirrer." See? We told you our profile of Magwood was worth reading. We have the analytics, so we know you didn't believe us. So here it is again.

CHURCHILL BUST WILL MISS OLYMPIC GAMES - Dan Pfeiffer on the White House blog: "Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill. Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy. Now, normally we wouldn't address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.' This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room." [White House]

HuffPost Hill is sent to you today from a gun show in Virginia. Did you know that the most popular target practice sheet is neither a Nazi nor a zombie? It is a Nazi zombie, according to a lady Sam Stein met.

KRAUTHAMMER EMPTIES CHAMBER OVER MITT'S OLYMPICS GAFFE - Harry Reid would appreciate this one. "On Thursday's 'Special Report,' Krauthammer launched into a rant about Romney's Olympics comment. 'It's unbelievable, it's beyond human understanding, it's incomprehensible. I'm out of adjectives,' he lamented." [HuffPost]

Romney VP search chief @BethMyers2012: #FF @KellyAyotte @timpawlenty @GovChristie @BobbyJindal @marcorubio @RepPaulRyan @NewtGingrich Heh.

ROMNEY: THE ARAB SPRING BLOWS - Josh Hersh: "In an interview with the right-wing Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Mitt Romney said that the Arab Spring might never have happened had Bush's 'freedom agenda' not been prematurely halted by President Barack Obama. 'President [George W.] Bush urged [deposed Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak to move toward a more democratic posture, but President Obama abandoned the freedom agenda and we are seeing today a whirlwind of tumult in the Middle East in part because these nations did not embrace the reforms that could have changed the course of their history, in a more peaceful manner,' Romney said. Romney argued that with the rise of democratically elected Islamist governments in some of the countries undergoing revolutions -- Egypt and Tunisia in particular -- the Arab Spring has turned out to be less of a boon for Western interests than it initially appeared. 'Clearly we're disappointed in seeing Tunisia and Morocco elect Islamist governments. We're very concerned in seeing the new leader in Egypt as an Islamist leader. It is our hope to move these nations toward a more modern view of the world and to not present a threat to their neighbors and to the other nations of the world,' he said." [HuffPost]

Harry Reid told HuffPost Hill that Democratic senatorial candidate Mazie Hirono is up 19 points over Republican opponent Linda Lingle. Tammy Baldwin is up by three points in Wisconsin, and Elizabeth Warren is leading by four in Massachusetts, per Reid. (Hirono still has a primary to win.)

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Things won't ever get better. "The U.S. economy expanded at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a weak pace that few economists see changing much this year...Growth of around 1.9 percent typically generates roughly 90,000 jobs a month. That's too weak to lower the unemployment rate, which was 8.2 percent last month." Have a bad weekend.0 [AP]

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

BOEHNER LIKES A WELL-AGED WASHINGTON INSIDER FOR VP, WITH A FRUITY NOSE, POWERFUL BODY - Jen Bendery: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wants Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to be the next vice president. 'I'm partial to Rob Portman,' Boehner said Thursday night in an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. 'I've been a long-time friend. He's a United States senator from Ohio, served as director of Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush. Also served as the U.S. Trade Rep. Served in the House of Representatives as well. Knows his way around Washington,' Boehner said. 'I think he'd be a great asset for Governor Romney.'" [HuffPost]

TERRIBLE BLOGS BLAME UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR SHOOTING - Had the suspected gunman who allegedly killed 12 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater been collecting unemployment insurance? A wire story distributed by The New York Times News Service said James Holmes had been receiving unemployment insurance, citing "a federal law enforcement official." That piece of information did not appear in the story that ran in the Times itself, but it did land in several other wire stories. The news also made headlines on blogs. "Holmes didn't build his arsenal, Obama did," said InfoWars.com, a site that propagates conspiracy theories. "All over TV they're saying we need to ban guns as they enabled his attack, but where are the calls to ban welfare which enabled him to buy his guns?" [HuffPost]

SPOTTED - EPA administrator Lisa Jackson hit Churchkey last night. EPA bureaucrats, they're just like us!

OBAMA: HAVE FUN IN ISRAEL, MITT! Julie Pace: "President Barack Obama said Friday he is releasing an additional $70 million in military aid for Israel, a previously announced move that appeared timed to upstage Republican rival Mitt Romney's trip to Israel this weekend. The stepped-up U.S. aid, first announced in May, will go to help Israel expand production of a short-range rocket defense system. The system, known as Iron Dome, has proved successful at stopping rocket attacks fired at Israeli civilians from close range, including from Gaza. ... A Romney spokeswoman said the former Massachusetts governor was happy to see steps being taken to enhance security cooperation with Israel." [AP]

MORE #ROMNEYSHAMBLES - If you're touting your Olympic experience as a credential, it's probably a bummer when a nine-time gold medalist says this. Jerome Taylor and Rob Williams: "Carl Lewis, who spoke to The Independent as the First Lady, Michelle Obama, arrived in London to lead the US delegation, said: 'Every Olympics is ready, I don't care whatever he [Romney] said. I swear, sometimes I think some Americans shouldn't leave the country. Are you kidding me, stay home if you don't know what to say.'" [The Independent]

@jbendery: Carney asked how he would comment on Romney's past couple of days overseas. "I would not."

Obama has done some dumb things to the Brits, too. [Washington Examiner]

SHOW 'EM HOW IT'S DONE, MICHELLE - Mary Pilon: "Michelle Obama, visiting the Olympics as part of her campaign against childhood obesity, met with members of the United States Olympic team here Friday morning, telling them that she remembered watching the Games on television with her family growing up in Chicago and 'cheering at the top of our lungs.' ... 'We are all proud of you,' she told the American athletes. 'And try to have some fun.'" [NYT]

HuffPost FOIA'ed the EPA for visitor logs and they helpfully replied with an example of a blank visitor log. Thanks, EPA!

SELL-OUT WATCH - Mike Elk and Lee Fang: "[A] recent joint investigation by In These Times and Republic Report reveals that several millions dollars of union members’ dues have been going to firms that are actively working against labor’s top priorities on behalf of business interests. In some cases, unions are paying consultants who are simultaneously working on behalf of union-busting causes. SKDKnickerbocker (SKD) is one of the top firms providing outside assistance to labor coalitions while raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars for work to undermine organized labor, particularly teachers unions. Led by Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director and current Democratic Party advisor, SKD has spearheaded state-based campaigns for Students First, the anti-teacher's union charter and school privatization group founded by former Chancellor of DC Public Schools Michelle Rhee." [In These Times]

CANTOR JOINS TEAM BACHMANN (SORT OF) - Elise Foley: "[Cantor] hedged when asked on CBS's 'This Morning' whether Bachmann was 'out of line' -- a sentiment a number of Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have expressed. 'If you read some of the reports that have covered the story, I think that her concern was about the security of the country,' Cantor said. 'So that's all I know.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a cat pushing a trolley.

THIS 'COULD HAVE BEEN ANOTHER AURORA': - text href="http://www.huffpostdc.com" target="_hplink">HuffPost DC: "Police in Maryland foiled what may have been a shooting plot on the scale of last week's massacre at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.'" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Guys throwing things with their non-dominant hand look terribly uncoordinated. [http://bit.ly/SXPtkv]

- The olympic rings illustrate statistics, compare continents. [http://bit.ly/PSodnw]

- Latest episode of K-LOL, "the Internet's local news." Amusing so far. [http://chzb.gr/PSnvGW]

- Without the hat, this cat would be totally boring. [http://bit.ly/SXOUXQ]

- Bunny and bird are best friends! [http://bit.ly/SXP8OL]

- Foto Friday: On the relationship between nature and industry. [http://bit.ly/SXPzIU]

- New Yorker cartoons made hilariously literal at "The Monkeys You Ordered" [dot tumblr dot com]

TWITTERAMA

@pareene: Romney tries to return the Churchill bust to the White House, trips over ottoman and drops it, pieces fly everywhere...

‏@pareene: Romney hastily glues Churchill bust back together but the nose is on backwards and the Queen is visiting in 20 minutes

@pareene: Romney burns the Beef Wellington and accidentally paints the French tricolor on Churchill bust's forehead. Oh no, here's Kate and William!

@pareene: Soaking wet Vice President Pawlenty runs in as Romney greets PM Cameron; "Mr President that's not the Churchill bust, that's BENNY HILL!!"

ON TAP will return next week.

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