Mitt Romney's assessment of London's Olympics was borne out by the opening ceremony, which looked like it was choreographed by drunk Cirque du Soleil interns. Harry Reid, a guy who ran the *Nevada Gaming Comission* for crying out loud, insists that he wasn't lied to for the first 70 years of his life. And Scott Brown's new web video glowingly features a Spanish gentleman and is called "Let America Be America Again"... so maybe he wants to cede Florida back to Spain? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, July 30th, 2012:
WHITE HOUSE: PLEASE DON'T MAKE US TALK ABOUT GUNS - The tragic shooting in Aurora has renewed debate about our country's there-but-for-the-grace-of-God gun laws, but the White House is about as interested in engaging in that discussion as it is in having Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko and Bill Ayers moderate the first presidential debate. Behold White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest's awe-inspiringly tepid response to Frank Lautenberg and Carolyn McCarthy's bill that would limit an individual's ability to anonymously buy unlimited amounts of ammunition online or through mail orders: "The president's views that have been relayed quite frequently over the last few days, he said that he believes in the Second Amendment of the Constitution and the right to bear arms, but he also believes we should take robust steps within existing law to ensure that guns don't fall into the hands of criminals or others who shouldn't have them." Good national dialogue, everybody! [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]
WHICH WAY TO THE GUN SHOW? ::flexes muscles:: With Sam Stein: "At the back end of a 100,000 square foot showroom, past the rows of guns, holsters, knives, swords, tasers, war books and political memorabilia, Kenny, a 50-year-old construction business owner, has found what he came for: a 100-round magazine. Having placed it inside a plastic bag, he seems, at first, a bit hesitant to discuss the purchase. Ultimately, he relays that it's for a friend. 'I know why he wants it,' Kenny said. 'A) it's going to be gone soon, and it's a great clip. And B) he wants to be armed.'" [HuffPost]
ETHICS HICCUP - In Roll Call tomorrow, from Humberto Sanchez: "An immigration reform group handed out a report that included a fundraising solicitation at a press conference last week hosted by three Republican Senators – a move that may have been a breach of Senate rules. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) joined forces with law enforcement officers at a Thursday press conference to argue that the Obama administration’s directives would put agents and citizens at increased risk. But at the event, which was open to the public, a representative with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, also known as FAIR, attended and handed out a report just before the press conference began...A spokesman for Sessions said none of the Senators were involved with the report or its distribution, and that the thrust of the press conference was to hear from law enforcement agents who were concerned with the White House’s immigration policy."
Issue alert! "The lines are now drawn on a political hot button in Iowa: a lucrative tax break for wind energy. Mitt Romney is against it, President Barack Obama favors it -- opposing stances that could have political and economic implications in Iowa, which has more wind energy jobs than any other state in the nation. The wind production tax credit is big deal because it creates the market for more turbines and towers." [Des Moines Register]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A new research paper suggests potential employers think less of unemployed job candidates no matter how briefly they've been out of work. And it doesn't matter whether workers quit voluntarily or were laid off through no fault of their own. "Although it has long been theorized that the simple fact of being unemployed carries a stigma, the idea has never really been tested outside some studies by economists who have focused on the duration issue," said Geoffrey C. Ho, a doctoral candidate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management who co-authored the article. "We found bias against the jobless, among human-resource professionals as well as among the broader public, virtually from the outset of unemployment," Ho said....To illustrate "a psychological stigma against the unemployed," the new research paper's epigraph is a line from a piece Ben Stein wrote for the conservative American Spectator in 2010: "The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities." [HuffPost]
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ROMNEY: PALESTINIANS MUST STOP LOVING POVERTY - Never mind the limits on their movement or the turbulent political situation, Palestinians are poor because of their culture, Mitt Romney implied during a fundraiser in Jerusalem today. "As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita [Editor's note: It's actually $31,000 versus $1,500, per the AP], you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," he said. "And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things." Saeb Erekat, a senior adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, called the statement "racist." [AP]
Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarnosc, the trade-union that led the revolt against Poland's communist regime in the 1980s, more or less endorsed Romney today.
VP PICK POSSIBLY DELAYED BY HORSE - Looks like the campaign is going neighgative! HAHAHAHA!!! Whew! ::Wipes tears from eyes::. Okay... Jon Ward: "Ann Romney is reported to be attending Olympic events in London on Thursday and Friday of this week. She's there to watch equestrian events, known as dressage, in which a horse that she partially owns is competing. There has been some speculation that Romney could name his veep as early as Friday of this week, to drive the news cycle for as long as possible in the run up to the GOP convention starting Aug. 27, and to help with fundraising. But it seems unlikely that Romney would announce his running mate without Ann present. Campaigns, on announcement day, like to have pictures of their candidate and his or her spouse with the running mate and his or her spouse." [HuffPost]
MORE ROMNEY/ANIMALS NEWS - An Oregon judge said he "probably" would have found Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney guilty of animal abuse had Romney's dog transport antics landed him in the judge's court. Romney received a shoutout in an Oregon case involving four people who accidentally tied a pit bull to their Jeep, then forgot they'd done so before driving off. The Multnomah County district attorney's office tried two of the people for second degree animal abuse. According to a report in the Oregonian, a defense attorney pointed out that even aspirants to the nation's highest office have subjected the family pet to questionable car treatment. "Our presidential candidate tied up a dog and drove off with him for quite a while," a defense attorney said. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Kenneth Walker reportedly responded, "I would have probably found him guilty for that." [HuffPost]
Dick Cheney will skip the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This is probably for the best as the sulfuric vapors that emanate from his person will no doubt interfere with the venue's lights. He will go fishing instead, so take this moment to enjoy the mental image of the former vice president hunched over a rowboat's bench in a floppy fishing hat with tackle affixed to it. [Politico]
Fans of impassioned lip-biting and gesturing with lightly clenched fists will seriously enjoy the Democratic convention. CNN: "Former President Bill Clinton will play a prominent role at the Democratic convention in Charlotte by giving a major speech and placing President Barack Obama's name into nomination, two Democratic sources confirmed to CNN. The former president will give a primetime speech on Wednesday, September 5, in which he is expected to starkly lay out the differences in the economic policies of the two parties and describe why Obama is the best choice compared to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the aide said." [CNN]
Those of you who thought Bobby Jindal's 2009 response was a shining example of the power of oratory, then you'll *love* Todd Akin's latest campaign ad
MCCAIN NOT A FAN OF SELF-DEPORTING - When Mitt Romney declared during a primary debate in Tampa that he wishes undocumented Americans would "self-deport," he greatly alarmed the Arizona senator, who is more a fan of erecting danged fences and the like. Daily Beast: "John McCain was downright disturbed. Worried that his former rival was grievously wounding himself with Hispanic voters, the Arizona senator staged an intervention. He and fellow senator Lindsey Graham placed a joint call to Romney in January, urging him to tone down his rhetoric. Romney listened politely, sources say, and did not use the phrase again... And, even though Romney took McCain’s advice on the phrase 'self-deport,' he has remained further to the right on immigration than the senator would like. 'He gets 24 percent of the Hispanic vote,' McCain told me. 'They need to do more outreach.'" [Daily Beast]
STAR OF 'I BUILT THAT' AD RECEIVED GOV'T CONTRACTS - A web ad released today by the Romney campaign features the testimony of Dennis Sollmann, owner of Sollmann Electric Company of Sidney, Ohio. In the ad, Sollmann lambasts President Obama for his "you didn't build that" speech, telling the commander-in-chief that "unfortunately you have no idea how we here in midwestern Ohio have to try to run a small business from daylight till night." The thing is, as Sam Stein reports, Sollmann is so knee-deep in government money he might as well wear blazers speckled with question marks and appear on commercials during early morning reruns of "Mad About You." Sam: "According to notes from a Jan. 26, 2006 meeting of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, Sollmann Electrical Company was rewarded a $915,117 contract for work in the Trotwood-Madison City school district. Notes from a May 31, 2007 meeting of the same body show that Sollmann Electrical Company placed a $1,080,700 bid to do work in the Dayton County School District. This was the lowest bid offered and the commission recommended that it be finalized. According to notes from a May 25, 2010 meeting of the School Facilities Commission, meanwhile, Sollmann Electrical Company was awarded a $1,689,829 contract for work in the Miami East school district." [HuffPost]
Scott Brown's new web video trumpets Americans' indomitable work ethic... with b-roll of foreign workers. Getty Images, you're a harsh mistress. Patrick Svitek: "In one scene, a beaming chef is shown before he flips ingredients in a frying pan over an open flame, while President Gerald Ford praises American capitalism. According to Getty Images, the kitchen is located in Barcelona, Spain...In two other scenes, video portraits depict a butcher standing in the doorway of his shop and another worker posing in front of a delivery truck full of boxes. Both clips were filmed in Dublin, according to Getty Images." [HuffPost]
HARRY REID UNLOADS ON NRC OFFICIAL - It's politically -- ahem -- toxic in Nevada to support storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain (take Martha Coakley's Curt Schilling gaffe, multiply that by opposing ethanol subsidies in Iowa, then add a hypothetical Texas politician who insists that everything is only comparably sized in Texas and you'll get an idea). That should help explain why Harry Reid unloaded on Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Bill Magwood when asked whether Magwood could be elevated to chairman. Magwood, Reid said in an interview with Ryan Grim (on vacation this week), "is one of the most unethical, prevaricating, incompetent people I've ever dealt with." Reid was promised by Pete Rouse that Magwood would oppose the Yucca plan but ended up supporting it. "The man sat in that chair -- right there," Reid continued, "and lied to me. I've never, ever in my life had anyone do that. Never." It got better... er, worse: "That man I will never, ever forget what a treacherous, miserable liar he is... He's a first-class rat." [HuffPost]
DEMOCRATS ADD GAY MARRIAGE TO PLATFORM - The Democratic Party "evolved" today when it unanimously voted to add support of gay marriage to its official platform. The party's platform drafting committee approved the measure 15-0. Somewhere, Joe Manchin is ducking behind something, praying no one asks him about this. [Washington Blade]
Only 52 percent of Americans know that there are nine Supreme Court justices, a new "60 Minutes"/Vanity Fair poll finds.
WHEATIES BOX MODEL CAN'T SAY ENOUGH NICE THINGS ABOUT MITT ROMNEY - A new campaign spot from the pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future features three former winter olympians praising Mitt Romney's work on behalf of the games, including renowned figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. "As an athlete you're training your whole life for that one moment at the Olympics... Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope." Although it may seem like Romney gave Yamaguchi pointers on how best to flawlessly transition from a stag jump to a haircutter spin, Yamaguchi and her fellow athletes were praising Romney for his management of the 2002 winter games. [AP/HuffPost]
PRESIDENT OBAMA MULTIDIMENSIONALLY MULTIRACIAL - During the 2008 campaign, a recurring criticism of then-Senator Obama campaign was that he couldn't truly identify with African-Americans because he derived his skin color from his Kenyan father. An Ancestry.org project reveals that not only is Presidnet Obama descended from an African-American -- through his mother, actually -- but he is, in fact, descended from the urAfrican-American. USA Today: "The nation's first African-American president may be descended from America's first documented slave. After years of research, Ancestry.com has determined that Obama is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, the first documented slave in American history... John Punch, an indentured servant in colonial Virginia, was punished for trying to escape in 1640 by being declared a slave for life -- the first documented case of slavery." [USA Today]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - You want a collection of cats with their heads wedged into tissue boxes? You got it, friend.
AREA ESTABLISHMENT IN ROW WITH TV HOST - href="http://www.huffpostdc.com" target="_hplink">HuffPost DC:"Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer has an important question about one of the D.C. area's most quirky businesses, an establishment that revolted against the Spike TV host's best make-over efforts. 'If you had a pirate concept that had failed for five years and had a new concept, would you go back to the concept that failed for five years or try something new? It defies logic that someone would go back to a concept just because they don't like the new name.'" [HuffPost]
- The Olympics are a time of heartfelt cheer and brotherhood... no one told this super sardonic London 2012 worker. [http://bit.ly/MVFviw]
- The Olympics reimagined in a paltry 8 bits. The frame rate makes fencing much easier to follow. [http://bit.ly/Oxmu46]
- Golf trick shot is tricky. [http://bit.ly/NQCnU8]
- The Dark Knight and The Lion King mashed-up into one really ominous trailer. [http://bit.ly/OcTOzM]
- Behold "Boys," a Judd Apatow-sanctioned spoof of "Girls." Conclusion: no one has problems. [http://gaw.kr/T0O38X]
- Cat enjoys pushing around lawnmower-type toy. We assume it enjoys it, because cats don't do things they don't enjoy, obviously. [http://bit.ly/Q5956k]
- "Arrested Development" fans will appreciate this treasure trove of George Michael Bluth freeze frames and .gifs. [http://bit.ly/OxmaCx]
@kate_sheppard: Has anyone started Fanny PAC yet? If not, I would like to.
@ChrisHarrisKS: hard to believe that 4 years ago no one cared about Sarah Palin yet. We've come full circle.
@jonlovett: Can't wait to watch The Newsroom in two years to see how Real Journalists would have covered the Olympics.
5:00 pm: While Mitt Romney tours Israel and Europe, President Obama visits another foreign locale, New York City, for a splashy fundraiser. Your $40,000 will hopefully make the braised quail that much more tasty. [NoMad Restaurant, New York City]
6:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Pat Roberts might have the most forgettable name in the Senate, but that's nothing that a finely cooked porterhouse, some creamed spinach and obscene amounts of campaign contributions can't fix. [Ruth's Chris Steak House, 724 9th Street NW]
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm: If you're in the Eastern Market/Barracks Row area and wanna chill out with a group of 20-somethings who all have strong opinions about loafers and the estate tax, then make your way to DC Young Republicans' July happy hour. [Banana Cafe, 500 8th Street SE]
8:30 am: Orrin Hatch seems like the type of dude who, without fail, eats a grapefruit half and a slice of toast everyday for breakfast. Prove us wrong by attending his breakfast fundraiser. [Oracle, 107 D Street NE]
9:30 am - 2:30 pm: The Center for American Progress Action Fund hosts "Romney University," a day-long series of lectures ranging from
Immaculate Hair Combing 101 "The Anatomy of Romneycare" to Corporations Are People: A Biological Perspective "Women's Health and Economic Wellness." [Center for American Progress Action fund, 1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor]
6:30 pm: M-I-$-$-I-$-$-I-P-P-I!!! Roger Wicker raises money for his easily pronounceable RFWPAC. [Central, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW]
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