POLITICS
07/17/2013 06:09 pm ET | Updated Sep 16, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL - House Repealzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Former Indiana governor and current university president Mitch Daniels tried to ban books on college campuses, a move that will definitely give him a five-to-seven percent bump in the Iowa caucuses. Politicos were incensed that a high school student, who spends his day taking notes and asking obvious questions, was allowed to attend a White House press briefing. And Rolling Stone provoked outrage by putting an alleged Boston Marathon bomber on its cover, even though the appropriate post-attack move would have been to name Rudy Giuliani man of the year. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, July 17th, 2013:

HOUSE BEATS OBAMACARE AGAIN, SETS NEW HIGH SCORE - Donna Cassata: "House Republicans pressed ahead Wednesday on delaying key components of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, emboldened by the administration's concession that requiring companies to provide coverage for their workers next year may be too complicated. The House has scheduled votes later Wednesday to delay the law's individual and employer mandates, the 38th time the GOP majority has tried to eliminate, defund or scale back the program since Republicans took control of the House in January 2011. The votes were a chance to score political points and highlight public skepticism over the law. The House legislation is going nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the administration said emphatically Tuesday the president would veto the measures." [Associated Press]

Thank you Republicans! But our princess is in another castle!

FAHRENHEIT 541(c)(4): MITCH DANIELS TRYING TO CENSOR BOOKS - Sure, "A People's History of the United States" might not reach the literary or intellectual heights of "Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans" (Daniels, 2011), but that doesn't mean you have to ban the thing. AP: "Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels pledged to promote academic freedom when he became president of Purdue University in January, but newly released emails show he attempted to eliminate what he considered liberal 'propaganda' at Indiana's public universities while governor. Emails obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request show Daniels requested that historian and anti-war activist Howard Zinn's writings be banned from classrooms and asked for a 'cleanup' of college courses. In another exchange, the Republican talks about cutting funding for a program run by a local university professor who was one of his sharpest critics. The success of those efforts remains unclear; Zinn's book, for example, is still used in some courses for aspiring teachers. But Daniels did launch an expansive push while governor to change what courses those hopeful teachers could take for credit at Indiana colleges... The emails are raising eyebrows about Daniels' appointment as president of a major research university just months after critics questioned his lack of academic credentials and his hiring by a board of trustees he appointed." [AP]

Hey House GOP! Don't look now but you've lost Joe Kernen on Obamacare. How did you manage that???

DAILY CALLER SENDS A HIGH SCHOOLER TO COVER WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING - Politico: "The Daily Caller reporter who asked White House press secretary Jay Carney about the Zimmerman family's security is a junior at the Potomac School in Maryland. Gabe Finger, who told POLITICO he's 16, tweeted a photo of the White House briefing room and later posted: 'Just angered Obama's press secretary. Word.' While students interning at news organizations are often brought to the White House briefing, it's rare for them to ask questions, and even rarer for high schooler to get a question in." Gabe Finger? Yeah right. [Politico]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Sequestration is making the heat wave worse for old people. A TV station in Dayton, Ohio reported this week that the local Meals On Wheels, like many of its 5,000 counterparts across the country, is serving fewer seniors food each day because of the budget cuts. That means fewer volunteers knocking on doors checking in on people who aren't healthy enough to leave home, who might be in trouble if they can't keep cool inside. Good work, Congress! [WDTNTV]

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IRS INSPECTOR GENERAL HAS REGRETS - And not just that he leveraged several decades of education and a lifetime of dreams into becoming the IRS inspector general. Sam Stein: "J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), will be just one of several witnesses at a Thursday hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but he will likely command the spotlight... That's because over the past few weeks, George has come under increased scrutiny for his report on the IRS' screening of groups applying for tax-exempt status. Democrats, in particular, have questioned why the TIGTA study failed to mention that progressive groups were targeted in addition to tea party groups, or that one of George's own investigators had concluded from a review of 5,500 emails that the targeting had not been politically motivated...Asked if he now believes he and others -- the White House included -- were too quick to judge and condemn the IRS, Cummings replied: 'Yes. Absolutely yes.'" [HuffPost]

COMMITTEE FIIIIIIIGHT! - Straight out of the Thunderdome of Congress, the House Natural Resources Committee. Roll Call: "Rep. Peter A. DeFazio bested Raúl M. Grijalva in the hard-fought race to win the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee endorsement to serve as the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee... The Oregon Democrat was favored against the underdog Grijalva to succeed Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., who on Tuesday was sworn in as a senator. The steering committee voted 33-16 on Wednesday in favor of installing DeFazio, who had more seniority than Grijalva on the panel. Grijalva said he would force a vote by the full caucus if he won support from at least 14 steering committee members. Grijalva's allies on and off Capitol Hill argued that the Arizonan was the right choice to advance more progressive policies from the panel's dais and that the presence of another ranking member of color at the leadership table would be significant..." [Roll Call]

HOW AN NLRB NOM GOT HIS GROOVE BACK - Dave Jamieson and Ryan Grim: "After losing his nomination to the National Labor Relations Board this week as part of the Senate filibuster deal, Richard Griffin is expected to be offered the high-profile position of general counsel to the labor board, according to sources familiar with the matter. On Tuesday, it appeared that Griffin and his fellow nominee Sharon Block had been thrown overboard in the negotiations meant to avoid a 'nuclear option' showdown between Democrats and Republicans.... The position requires the kind of Senate confirmation that previously eluded Griffin, but his new nomination is not expected to be as controversial." [HuffPost]

That Fox News contributor gig can't come soon enough for Michele Bachmann: "Legal expenses for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) soared in the month after congressional ethics and criminal investigations were opened into allegations that the four-term congresswoman had misused funds from her 2012 presidential campaign. Since the beginning of 2013, Bachmann has spent more than $200,000 on legal expenses, using money from her congressional campaign, presidential campaign and leadership PAC. This is far above the average for legal costs incurred by a House campaign at this point in the election cycle. The vast majority of that money -- $190,054 -- was spent after it was announced in May that the Department of Justice had opened an investigation into her failed presidential bid." [HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal]

EX-CONGRESSMAN USED CAMPAIGN CASH FOR CLUB DUES - Fried cheese... with club sauce... Popcorn shrimp... with club sauce... Political corruption... with spicy cluuub sauuuce. WaPo: "[Former GOP Rep. David] Rivera's most recent campaign finance filings (he's not a candidate anymore but his old campaign still carries debt, and so he must submit reports to the Federal Election Commission) show that he used $400 in campaign money to pay for membership at the Capitol Hill Club, the private GOP enclave on Capitol Hill that functions kind of like a country club for the Republican set. The facility, just steps away from House office buildings, has a bar and some meeting rooms, and we hear the prime rib specials are darn tasty. But dropping campaign cash there is a no-no, notes Brett Kappel, a campaign-finance attorney at Arent Fox. By law, candidates can't spend campaign money on 'country club memberships' or 'health clubs and recreational facilities.'" [WaPo]

Deval Patrick won't run for the White House in 2016 but eagerly awaits your VP speculation: "Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John E. Walsh's decision to leave his post to lead Governor's Deval Patrick's political action committee fanned the flames of speculation that the Commonwealth's chief executive might be taking a look at higher office. But Patrick on Tuesday was clear: he is not running to succeed President Obama. 'I am not running for president in 2016,' Patrick told reporters at UMass Boston, according to a transcript of his comments provided by his office." [Boston Globe]

WWW.KENCUCCINELLIHATESGAYSEX.USA - Luke Johnson: "Virginia Attorney General and 2013 gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli upped his defense of the state's anti-sodomy law Wednesday, launching a new website that casts the law as a valuable tool to protect children. The site, www.vachildpredators.com, calls the state's law an 'Anti-Child Predators Law' and claims that 90 'sexual predators' could be let off the state's sex offender registry if the Supreme Court does not overturn a decision striking down the law. The site attacks Cuccinelli's opponent, Terry McAuliffe, accusing him of 'playing politics' instead of 'protecting our children.'...While Cuccinelli is aiming to tout the law as evidence of his tough approach toward criminals who victimize children, the move also has the potential to remind voters of Cuccinelli's social conservatism and opposition to LGBT rights. Cuccinelli voted against a bill removing private consensual acts from the law. In 2009, he told the Virginian-Pilot that 'homosexual acts' are 'intrinsically wrong.'" [HuffPost]

If there's one thing that Liz Cheney has learned in her many years months in Wyoming, it's that she really wants to be a senator. Jen Bendery: "When Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) got the news Tuesday that Liz Cheney is planning to run against him in 2014, he sounded like a forlorn teenager. 'I thought we were friends,' Enzi sadly told reporters on Capitol Hill...It turns out that Cheney thought they were friends too. Last year, at least. 'Sen. Enzi is a terrific senator and an old friend,' Cheney told a Wyoming newspaper in an August 2012 interview that highlighted her recent move to Wyoming from Virginia. 'I'm sure he'll let folks know when he's ready to let folks know about his decision in 2014.'" [HuffPost]

NRA WANTS THE WHITE HOUSE TO STOP EXPLOITING TRAYVON MARTIN - Wait, are they saying Trayvon Martin should've had a gun? The Hill: "The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Wednesday accused Attorney General Eric Holder of exploiting the death of Trayvon Martin to push the Obama administration's gun control agenda. NRA Executive Director Chris Cox blasted Holder's calls for states to review 'stand your ground' laws, which allow the use of deadly force for self-defense. Those statutes received scrutiny during the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who was acquitted Saturday on charges of murder and manslaughter in the shooting of Martin, an unarmed black teenager. 'The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it's a fundamental human right,' Cox said in a statement. 'To send a message that legitimate self-defense is to blame is unconscionable and demonstrates once again that this administration will exploit tragedies to push their political agenda.'" [The Hill]

Hilarious "This Town" anecdote spotted by National Review's Jim Geraghty: "Reid, a man of thoroughgoing cynicism, is nonetheless capable of a boyish hullabaloo at times like this. So what did Harry Reid do to mark this key step in his ascent to Senate majority leader? He rose from the couch and he kissed the TV - tenderly, caressing the screen. And then he sat back down to receive from [Sen. Chuck] Schumer something between a pat on the head and a noogie."

People are very upset that the alleged Boston bomber, Jahar Tsarnev, is on the cover of Rolling Stone.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a dog attacking its own shadow.

HILL INTERN LOVES AMERICA, NETWORKING - An enterprising Hill intern sent what may have been history's greatest email blast to staffers in virtually every Senate office, an email that was forwarded to us: "Good morning My name is [name redacted] and I'm from the extremely beautiful state of South Carolina. I intern for Republican Senator Tim Scott. I've had the pleasure of coming into different offices to meet the staff and interns from different states... Now I've only been here for 8 days but I can tell that something is wrong, (in my opinion). We have American flags in front of every room, but I've never seen anyone take the time to proudly say the Pledge of Allegiance. Truly ask yourself, when was the last time you put your hand on your heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance... I say it every morning before I walk in because America's always on my mind... Now, I would love to say the pledge with the different offices before 9am (because that's when I start work). All I want is for our generation to show that we're united and that we're going to stand together....I just truly care about this country and I want to work with everybody. Overwhelm People with Kindness and May God Bless the United States of America P.S. Please share my message to your staff and interns or other offices that I didn't reach, if you would like. Also if any events are happening, please let me know I would love to come. [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- This Korean movie about a gorilla that plays baseball is the next "Sharkando." [http://bit.ly/1asAYhb]

- A compilation of the most overblown, and poorly shot, death scenes in movie history. [http://bit.ly/12tTf8B]

- So PayPal credited a user with $92,000,000,000,000,000 -- that's 92 quadrillion dollars -- but quickly reversed its mistake. The real mistake would've been if PayPal didn't label the transfer a gift. Those fees will get ya. [http://bit.ly/12uNW92]

- HD video, shot from a quadcopter, of Niagara Falls. [http://bit.ly/13wco8Y]

- This 1980s intro to a local news broadcast makes "Anchorman" seem tame. [http://bit.ly/1boRRMP]

- PBS made a trailer for a fake television show to demonstrate how intelligent its programming is. [http://bit.ly/13vpT91]

- Sometimes Civil War reenactments run up against modernity in hilarious ways. [http://huff.to/15MRF5Q]

TWITTERAMA

@leighmunsil: #unfollow your dreams

@delrayser: BREAKING: a sweat

ON TAP

TONIGHT

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]

7:00 pm: A bunch of journalist members of "The Club" host a book party for Mark Leibovich, whose new book, "This Town," is being released this week. [Adams Morgan]

TOMORROW

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Do you like borscht? Do you like Congressman Adam Schiff? Then head on over to the California lawmaker's "Taste of Ukraine" fundraiser. [Home of Igor Pasternak]

7:00 pm: Cory Booker, scourge of the ghost of Frank Lautenberg, attends a fundraiser in his likely future home of Washington, D.C. [The Park at 14th, 920 14th Street NW]

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