POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - RNC Tripped Up By Our Laziness

08/06/2012 05:56 pm ET | Updated Oct 06, 2012

Recess time: It's unclear who will witness less activity over the next month: the Capitol police or NASA's Curiosity rover. Speaking of celestial objects, the Republicans' best vote whipper for the farm bill might not be Kevin McCarthy but the sun god Ra. And a North Carolina Republican insists that Planned Parenthood is "wealthy," so it's a wonder why the GOP is so gung ho about extending *all* of the Bush tax cuts.This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, August 6th, 2012:

DELAWARE SET TO UNDERMINE WESTERN CIVILIZATION AGAIN - The First State's governor told Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein that his state could legalize gay marriage as early as next year -- we suppose the state could store the extra marriage licenses in that office that is the technical home to umpteen million corporations (there's plenty of room). Terkel and Stein: "[Jack] Markell, a Democrat, supports legalizing same-sex marriage, and he has said in the past that he believes marriage equality is 'inevitable' in his state. He previously predicted the Delaware legislature would take up the issue "probably within the next few years." But in an interview at The Huffington Post's offices on Monday, Markell said he expected the legislature to work on it as soon as the next session. 'I think it probably will,' he said." [HuffPost]

Whatever happened to the Capitol Hill Couchsurfing Caucus? Of the 21 new members of Congress who vowed to sleep in their offices last year, only a dozen confirmed that they were still doing that. One admitted he'd given up, the rest didn't respond to multiple requests for information. [HuffPost]

Language typically reserved for alley oops and Shark Week was employed by Nancy Pelosi when discussing the prospect of defeating Allen West: "How sweet would it be for the country?" [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]

RNC: AXELROD WAS LIKELY REID'S SOURCE - Notch one for the RNC's research department: RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer argued to CNN today that David Axelrod was the likely source of Harry Reid's claim that Romney paid no taxes for ten years, noting that the HuffPost story was published just hours after Axelrod met with Reid Tuesday. "You've got to wonder if the so-called source is Axelrod himself. Hours after meeting with Axelrod, Reid comes out and makes baseless accusations?" Only problem: The RNC failed to take into account that we were operating on our preferred August pace. We interviewed Reid last Thursday but only got around to publishing his charge on Tuesday. [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Gawker has the latest entry in our ongoing series PASTED: The Emails of the Jobless. "No one I know has been unemployed, and I'm not sure anyone who hasn't really understands its effects. In spite of my relative resilience the first time around (three months of unemployment), it had taken me nearly a year to stop feeling insecure about my credentials, my skill-set, or my capability. My identity had been my job, and my friends from work had all disintegrated. I've always been an extremely independent person, and I felt worthless, powerless. I felt needy. I probably submitted a couple hundred resumes and individual cover letters, and heard back from only half a dozen in that three month period." [Gawker]

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

GOP ANNOUNCES CONVENTION SPEAKERS/NARROWS VP LIST - In an attempt to counteract the view that it is a party inhabited primarily by individuals who blend nicely at Augusta National, the GOP announced last night, to the Tampa Bay Times, a diverse and disproportionately female group of primetime convention speakers. AP: "South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the first female governors of their states, are among party leaders slated to address the gathering that begins Aug. 27. Martinez has the additional distinction of being the first female Hispanic governor in the country...Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who briefly ran for the GOP nomination in 2000, also was set to speak at the convention, as was Florida Gov. Rick Scott, whose state is host to the event. Both are tea party favorites and are set to speak to fiscal issues many Republicans hold dear." [HuffPost]

A shift in Romney campaign policy means the Washington press corps will soon be spammed with awkward Mitt-isms. Politico: "The Mitt Romney campaign has finally allowed the press to keep a protective pool on the candidate. Like the White House press pool, the rotating group of reporters in the protective pool will trail Romney and provide an account of his day-to-day, minute-to-minute activities, which will be sent to all political media outlets and reporters." [Politico]

ROMNEY AGAIN OUTPACES OBAMA IN FUNDRAISING - The Romney campaign announced that it raised $101 million in July while team Obama had a $75 million haul -- so expect to see Obama and Romney's grimacing faces in black and white on your Virginia TV at a ratio of about 4:3 in the coming month. It's the third straight month that Romney has outpaced Obama. [AP]

REPUBLICANS RELY ON BIG TUMBLEWEED FOR VOTE WHIPPING - For the last few months, Washington has been steamy -- like Dan's-Cafe-on-a-Saturday-night steamy (RIP), but out in the middle of the country, things are awful parched. Naturally, it wouldn't be a national catastrophe if someone wasn't benefiting from it politically. Roll Call: "House Republican leaders are counting on the August heat to help them pass a farm bill when Congress returns from recess in September -- and not just the kind causing the record drought parching 80 percent of the country. They are hoping that Members headed home for the district work period, particularly in drought-affected states, will hear from angry constituents all month, demanding that Congress do its job." [Roll Call]

SHELDON ADELSON LOBBYING FOR ISRAELI SPY'S RELEASE - The casino magnate and GOP mega-donor has been pressing Mitt Romney to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard if he reaches the White House (Given America's semi-obsequious relationship with Israel, we're surprised our government is comfortable labeling an Israeli infiltrator a "spy" and not, say, an "overly curious friend"). Daily Beast: "Romney has rejected the request so far, telling Adelson he would have to review the relevant intelligence material accessible to him as president before granting Pollard clemency, said the sources, who are relaying accounts of conversations from both Adelson and Romney... The billionaire has also asked Romney to state publicly that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are a waste of time because the Palestinians are unwilling to make peace, according to the sources -- and he wants a firmer commitment from Romney to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in what would be a de facto recognition of Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem." [Daily Beast]

PELOSI BACKS HARRY REID'S TAX ALLEGATION - The House minority leader, in an interview with Jen Bendery, defended the Senate majority leader against claims he fabricated his claim about the Bain investor who declared that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. "Harry Reid made a statement that is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact," she said on Sunday. "Whether he did or not can easily be disposed of: Mitt Romney can release his tax returns and show whether he paid taxes." [HuffPost]

JAY CARNEY: WE WEREN'T BEHIND REID'S STATEMENT... BUT NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT... - During his briefing today, the White House press secretary told reporters that Harry Reid "speaks for himself" and had not received any instruction or advice. With that said, Carney said in so many words, what the hell, right? The tradition, HINT HINT, "has been in place since 1968 of candidates for the president releasing multiple years of their tax returns is an important one." He went on: "You know, it's not always every candidate's favorite part of the process, but it's a tradition that's important... It's valuable to the American people as they decide who should be president. So that's why the president has put forward his financial information, his tax returns when he was a candidate, and believes that that's an important tradition." [The Hill]

Joe Lieberman is enjoying his final few months of relevance by continuing to be Joe Lieberman. "I just thought it was uncalled for and unjustified and really not what we should expect from our political leaders," he said of Reid's charge on the Kilmeade & Friends radio program this morning. "Harry's a friend of mine, but I just think he went over the line on this one... One of the things I grew up with is the idea that if you're talking about somebody else, you really should be not speaking unless you know for sure." [HuffPost's Cole Stangler]

Unions are getting in on the action. Sabrina Sidiqqui: "Workers Voice, the super PAC of the AFL-CIO, is supporting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the fight over Mitt Romney's tax returns. The super PAC announced plans on Monday to ramp up efforts calling on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to release more tax returns. The largest union-affiliated super PAC, Workers Voice launched a petition where anyone can sign and back up the recent charge led by Reid. The group also plans to add the tax return issue to its protests outside of Romney campaign events." [HuffPost]

KOCH MONEY BEHIND CONSERVATIVE RELIGIOUS CAMPAIGNS - Peter Stone: "A conservative group led by longtime political activist Ralph Reed has budgeted $10 million for a major 2012 election push to turn out the religious right and block a second term for President Barack Obama, a top executive with his organization told the Huffington Post... Concerned Women for America, a Christian advocacy group, already has run $6 million in ads in six battleground states including New Hampshire and Wisconsin, warning that the White House-backed health care law might limit patient care and increase the federal deficit. The Pennsylvania-based Let Freedom Ring quietly cobbled together a nonpartisan 2,000-member pastor network to spur voter registration efforts and is planning a multi-million dollar ad drive this fall focused on social, economic and foreign policy issues, according to Colin Hanna, president of the organization... Propping up this trio of right-leaning organizations are several of the country's wealthiest conservatives. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus and John Templeton Jr., who runs a family foundation, are offering financial support, as are organizations that receive funding from the billionaire Koch brothers, according to two GOP fundraisers familiar with the separate operations of the three groups." [HuffPost]

A state lawmaker in North Carolina had harsh words for Planned Parenthood, basically calling it the Snoop Pearson of health coverage. Laura Bassett: The Winston-Salem Journal reports North Carolina State Rep. Larry Pittman (R) sent an email to colleagues in which he accused the family planning provider of 'getting wealthy on murder for hire.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Sleeping dog sleep barks and/or does phenomenal turkey impression.

L-CUBED (LOCAL LESBIAN LAWSUIT) - HuffPost DC: "Two female Metropolitan Police Department officers whose lesbian relationship started while they were detailed to the same squad car say they were harassed and discriminated against by coworkers and supervisors and are suing the city." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Ferocious corgi attacks water. [http://bit.ly/Q3YnZG]

- FIRE TENNIS!!!... IN SLOW MOTION!!! [http://bit.ly/MYKhxJ]

- Cincinnati Zoo tells Usain Bolt to shove it, unleashes cheetah that runs the 100m considerably faster. [http://bit.ly/MYFfkM]

- How to make Vietnamese coffee, which uses condensed milk and is sweeter than the coffee you're probably accustomed to. [http://bit.ly/Tb5ROv]

- The New York Times created a really fascinating video analyzing the speed and nationality of 100 meter olympians over the years. [http://nyti.ms/MY7pML]

- 65,000 LEGO bricks sorted by colors in just under three days: it's like the OCD Olympics.[http://bit.ly/R8Ygjn]

- The costs of being Batman. [http://bit.ly/OMrzTZ]

TWITTERAMA

@brianbeutler: Worried martians will get the wrong idea about America from the socialism rover we just sent them.

@dceiver: Landing a rover on Mars sure SEEMS impressive, but need I remind you that Mike Huckabee got 1000s of ppl to devour greasy chicken lunches?

@Rafalca-Ebooks: Sean Hannity synergize diagonal foreleg so Bain can morph at-the-money current assets

ON TAP

TONIGHT

5:30 pm: Famed architect Frank Gehry and his wife Berta host an Obama campaign fundraiser at their Santa Monica home featuring a performance by Yo-Yo Ma, whose music is that noise you hear in your head when you are inside a Gehry-designed edifice. [Santa Monica, CA]

7:00 pm: Wall Street Journal editor David Wessel discusses his latest, "Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget" which features all the masochism of "50 Shades of Grey" but in a more fiscal sense. [Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW]

8:00 pm: It's the final Screen on the Green. The outdoor film series finishes on a scary note with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. [National Mall]

TOMORROW

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Bobby Schilling is the beneficiary of a fundraiser hosted by Quad City Automobile Retailers -- whose events we can only assume feature a lot of ham cubs on toothpicks. Mike Kelly makes an appearance. [Silvis, IL]

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: National Journal celebrates its expanded Influence Alley blog with a D.C. meet-and-greet at the Pour House where attendees can nominate the most influential Hill staffers under 35. Interestingly enough, the Hill staffer under 35 named most influential is almost always named the most insufferable the following year. [Pour House, 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE]

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