Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Mike Enzi Needs A Hug

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Liz Cheney will challenge Mike Enzi for his Senate seat, though it'll be hard to establish Wyoming residency from a bunker in an undisclosed location. Febreze sales skyrocketed as concerned liberals endured a heatwave in their solidarity hoodies. And bears are running amok because sequestration cut funding for park rangers, endangering campers and threatening our nation's pic-a-nic basket supply. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 16th, 2013:

WYOMING: LIZ CHENEY TO CHALLENGE MIKE ENZI - What on Earth is left to be said when running to the right of Mike Enzi? ("In 2010 Mike Enzi SAID he loves America, but Mike Enzi supports compound adjectives, which have well-established Al-Qaeda ties. Mike Enzi: Bad for business, Bad for Wyoming.") AP: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz Cheney will run against Wyoming's senior U.S. senator in next year's Republican primary, her campaign said Tuesday. Cheney, 46, is the elder of Dick Cheney's two daughters. Her announcement is a political challenge unlike anything Wyoming has seen for years, maybe decades - Republicans in the state rarely challenge incumbents in national office. All three members of the state's congressional delegation and all statewide elected officials are Republican. Yet Cheney's interest in the seat has been an open secret for months. Last year, Cheney and her husband bought a home in the posh northwest Wyoming community of Jackson Hole. She has been in the public eye in recent years as a Fox News political commentator...US Sen. Mike Enzi also announced Tuesday he was planning to seek a fourth term, making clear he was seeking re-election bid more than six months earlier than he has in the past." [HuffPost]

LizCheney.com is not what you'd expect it to be.

:'-( @jeffzeleny Enzi reacts: "She said that if I ran, she wasn't going to run...I thought we were friends."

@DaviSusan: Sen. Mike Enzi candid on his fundraising up against someone like Liz Cheney: "Money raising has always been a problem for me."

FARM BILL UPDATE: The House sent its sans food stamps version of the farm bill to the Senate today. Now Debbie Stabenow can put the food stamps back in and everyone can appoint conferees. No word on when that might happen, though.

A BEAR WILL EAT YOU BECAUSE OF SEQUESTRATION - And lord knows what the cuts are doing to FEMA's sharknado preparations. Amanda Terkel: "A hungry bear has been stealing sausages from a boat and raiding campsites this summer at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, forcing the park to close one of its islands. And the problem may be made worse by sequestration. 'The bear problem ... is not caused by sequestration, but our response to the bear is affected by sequestration,' Superintendent Bob Krumenaker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There may be more than one bear involved. Officials closed Sand Island to overnight visitors on July 1 because one or more of the animals had been getting into campsites. Then on July 3, a bear climbed aboard a beached boat at least twice and removed sausages and Cokes. The island is now closed even during the day. As National Parks Traveler noted, the Lakeshore last year hired a seasonal ranger who, among other duties, focused on keeping bears and people apart and educating the people on storing food away from the animals...Because of sequestration, the lakeshore has only half of the 14 seasonal employees it usually hires in the summer." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Mississippi is one of 13 states that hasn't modified or eliminated the 1996 welfare reform law's ban on assistance for people convicted of drug offenses, so that's why this is happening in Jackson: "A federal judge has scheduled an Aug. 5 sentencing date for a man who pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud. Stanley Jones was charged with lying on food stamp applications in 2008 by representing that nobody in his household had been convicted of a drug-related felony since 1996. He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Jackson in April." He could get up to five years in prison. [Associated Press]

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SENATE AVERTS 'NUCLEAR OPTION,' APPROVES NOMINEES - Sam Stein and Mike McAuliff: "The Senate began stepping back from the 'nuclear' brink Tuesday as leaders were said to be close to cutting a deal to approve seven of President Barack Obama's long-blocked nominees. The deal, which was negotiated primarily between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), was described by a Senate Democratic aide as one in which the Republican Party will allow votes to confirm the seven executive nominees, provided that Obama replaces his two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board with two other names. Those nominees would have a commitment 'in writing' from GOP leadership to get a vote, the Democratic aide said. As an indication that the deal will hold, the Senate voted 71 to 29 Tuesday morning, with 17 Republicans in support, to end the filibuster on Richard Cordray's nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Getting replacements for the NLRB nominees is, more or less, a face-saving measure for the GOP leadership. Republicans had argued that the nominees, Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, were irrevocably tainted because Obama elevated them as recess appointments, which were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit." [HuffPost]

@CarrieNBCNews Big smile from Elizabeth Warren, who's presiding, in announcing 66-34 confirmation of Cordray.

First they came for the second-tier nominees, and I didn't speak out because I my job didn't require Senate confirmation... "Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), said Tuesday that the two members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Sharon Block and Richard Griffin Jr., are 'definitely tossed under the bus' in a Senate deal that will allow five of Obama's other nominees to receive up-or-down votes before the Senate." [The Hill]

Back in March, the Architect of the Capitol has released this great video on the Library of Congress' chief decorative painter.

'MICHELE BACHMANN HIDDEN CAMERA' IS A THING AND THE POLICE ARE BEHIND IT - We burned so many calories creep-shivering at those words that we had to eat lunch again. Star-Tribune: "Javier Sanchez, the legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann facing theft charges, was allegedly caught by a covert police camera set up in the Minnesota Republican's Capitol Hill office over the last three months. According to a court affidavit, U.S. Capitol Police responding to earlier theft reports installed a hidden camera in Bachmann's congressional office on April 4. They also left bait money in two envelopes, one containing $80, marked "petty cash," and another with $120 marked 'Birthday Money.' The money was discovered missing on June 25, and a subsequent check of the surveillance footage determined that the cash from at least one of the envelopes was taken two weeks earlier. Sanchez, 37, was arrested on Thursday after a 'non-custodial interview' with police where he denied any wrongdoing. His D.C. attorney, David Benowitz, said Tuesday that Sanchez 'fully denies the allegations.' He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Friday, and has been released pending a status hearing next month, according to D.C. Superior Court records." [Star-Tribune]

Scott DesJarlais, everyone's favorite abortion loving pro-life advocate, isn't posied for a strong reelection: "Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, the anti-abortion Republican physician accused of encouraging his wife and mistress to have multiple abortions, raised just $39,000 in the second quarter, according to his most recent report to the Federal Election Commission. It's a paltry sum for an incumbent member and signals more trouble for his re-election prospects in 2014. DesJarlais' weak fundraising quarter and measly $88,000 in cash on hand casts doubt on whether he can run a competitive campaign against two well-funded Republican primary challengers. His 4th District is the state's largest and most expensive congressional district in which to run a television campaign." [Roll Call]

WENDY DAVIS HEADING TO D.C. FOR FUNDRAISERS - The capital's liberal elite will be able to touch the hem of her garment and the lace of her bright pink Mizuno Wave Rider sneakers. Amanda Terkel: "Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) will be in the nation's capital next week, raising money with Democratic U.S. senators. Davis will hold two fundraisers on July 25, according to invitations shared with The Huffington Post. The first will be a breakfast costing $500 per person at the popular fundraising spot Johnny's Half Shell. Special guests will include Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). The second, lower-dollar event, will be a happy hour at the bar Local 16, with tickets ranging from $25 to $250." [HuffPost]

North Carolinians aren't pleased with their governor for that motorcycle abortion bill (of which we desperately tried to concoct a "pigs amending the hog bill" joke but failed miserably ): "A Public Policy Polling survey gave [Gov. Pat] McCrory a 40 percent approval rating with 49 percent disapproving, 15 points down from June. Despite a 2012 campaign promise that he would not sign further restrictions on abortion services, McCrory said that he will sign the motorcycle safety and abortion bill, which would bar so-called sex-selective abortions and impose additional regulations on clinics. By a 34 to 47 percent margin, voters disapprove of the proposal, and 48 percent think that McCrory should veto it...only 19 percent think the legislature is transparent in how it conducts business." [HuffPost]

FEDERAL BENEFITS BEING EXTENDED SENATE STAFFERS IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGES - Jen Bendery: "Things just got a little bit easier for Senate staffers in same-sex marriages. On Tuesday, a mass email went out to thousands of Senate employees giving details on how those in legal same-sex marriages can now extend their federal benefits to their spouses and any stepchildren. Senate employees were notified earlier this month that they would soon be able to extend benefits to their families, thanks to the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in late June. The new three-page document details how Senate employees in legal same-sex marriages can begin enrolling to extend benefits through August 26, 2013. Health benefits, life insurance, dental/vision coverage, long-term care, Flexible Spending Accounts and retirement benefits are now available to the spouses of any Senate staffer in a legal same-sex marriage, regardless of the employee's state of residency. If someone gets legally married to a same-sex partner in the future, that will 'be treated as a Qualified Life Event (QLE) in the same manner as opposite-sex marriages, regardless of an employee's state of residency,' the document reads." [HuffPost]

THAT TIME A REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN TWEETED A REVIEW OF JAY-Z'S NEW ALBUM - Now if only Mike Lee would release that long-awaited Danny Brown remix we know he's been tinkering with... @treyradel: "Have been asked several times here about #jayz's @s_c_ new album. On way to #DC. Totally unqualified review to come...Only... ONLY.. #JayZ @s_c_ can pull off a #hiphop ode to Kurt Cobain and REM @remhq. Not just an ode.. But lyrical references! Pretty sick...And only Hova @s_c_ can pull off references to the Concord, Paris n Rome and still sound real. Not @kanyewest. No one. #MCHG... .@S_c_ Shuts it down in last 1:30 of Picasso Baby. Love it. & at :30 where the beat drops out is pretty sick. #MCHG...Oceans w Frank Ocean (who I can't find a @twitter for!). Clever song name, huh? Solid tune. #MCHG... Somewhereinamerica. Helluva track. Piano, brass n strings rock. #Nola feel. & hilarious. Yes-- #Twerking. Even a ref to Frank Sinatra! #MCHG... On Crown. Love the use of old school synths & bass sounds like a TR-808. Old school. Solid beats. #jayz @s_c_ #MCHG... No idea who produced @s_c_ tunes, but Heaven has a @kanyewest kinda feel to it. #MCHG... BBC. Sick flow. Smooth beat. & respect to one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES @ericbandrakim Nice! #jayz @s_c_ #MCHG... Don't know who drops the hook w/ #jayz @s_c_ on "nickels & dimes." But solid track. Kinda dark. #MCHG... And only #jayz @s_c_ can throw down "nickels n dimes" after tracks about Concords, Paris, Rome n Tom Ford.. Dude still pulls it off. #MCHG" [@treyradel]

Eliot Spitzer missed the filing deadline for his ethics report, so here we are, mentioning "Eliot Spitzer" and "ethics" in the same sentence. This is why drug mules are the safest drivers on the road. AP: "Newly minted New York City comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as governor in 2008 after admitting he patronized a high-priced prostitution ring, did not file an ethics report on time with the city's Conflicts of Interest Board. Mr. Spitzer is one of several high-profile candidates who did not file a financial-disclosure report by last Thursday's deadline. Candidates can be fined between $250 and $10,000 for late filings, but the board provides a one-week grace period before imposing any penalties." [WSJ]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some dancing baby ostriches.

RICHARD COHEN: IT'S OKAY TO BE RACIST - In his latest piece, the WaPo columnist defends racially profiling young black men like Trayvon Martin because, to paraphrase Cohen, c'monnnnnnnnn. "I'm tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that, for recognizing the reality of urban crime in the United States, I am a racist," wrote Cohen. "The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman." Later, when asked by Politico about the piece, Cohen elaborated. "It's what's worn by a whole lot of thugs," he said. "Look in the newspapers, online or on television: you see a lot of guys in the mugshots wearing hoodies." Seriously, when we perambulate about the Five Points and spy a wastrel donning soiled suspenders and a tattered bowler hat, we panic. Who wouldn't? [HuffPost's Michael Calderone]

COMFORT FOOD

- Just because you aren't old or sick doesn't mean this heat wave can't waylay you. National Geographic on how the body goes on the fritz in high temperatures. [http://bit.ly/12SFKiO]

- Voice actor does pitch-perfect impression of Morgan Freeman reading "Everybody Poops." [http://bit.ly/15BxDJv]

- Keep Calm and STFU: The poster fad that must die. [http://bit.ly/12tLVdk]

- Not just one cat giving a person a massage, a whole slew of cats giving people massages. [http://huff.to/1apSW3U]

- The stories behind each American League team's name. [http://bit.ly/15eVSx4]

- All of Jay-Z's 99 problems, illustrated. [http://bit.ly/10YerWR]

- What would Manhattan look like if it were plopped in the middle of the Grand Canyon? [http://bit.ly/190Ldvm]

TWITTERAMA

@seungminkim: Today will go down as the day McCain asked me whether I have ever used those "dating websites"

@pourmecoffee: If you are an out-of-touch columnist, stick to the elegance of baseball or how LBJ called a lot of people and don't embarrass yourself.

@DouthatNYT: Her dad had never lived in Iraq, and he didn't let that stop him. RT @JGreenDC: Has Liz Cheney ever lived in Wyoming?

ON TAP

TONIGHT

6:00 pm: Smile-with-a-body-attached-to-it Jeff Flake attends a fundraiser hosted by Salt River Project, a major Arizona utility provider. [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW]

6:00 pm: Barbara MIkulski's campaign PAC is named "Building A Majority," despite our suggestion that it be rechristened "Better Not Mess With Babs, Ya Hurd?" (though "BAMPAC" is pretty appropriate). Anyhoo, the Maryland lawmaker attends a fundraiser for BAMPAC. [Bistro Bis, 15 E Street NW]

TOMORROW

5:30 pm: Freshman Rep. Steve Daines raises funds for his would-be reelection to Montana's at-large congressional seat. Rob Portman is scheduled to appear. Somewhere, Denny Rehberg is pouring himself a double. [310 D Street NE]

Bob Corker heads to the RIAA for "An Evening with Nashville Songwriters." The invite doesn't specify which Nashville songwriters, which suggests that you probably won't be greeted by Big & Rich. But, oh man, what if you were... [RIAA, 1025 F Street NW]

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