POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Ron Burgundy Now San Diego's Second-Creepiest Public Figure

07/26/2013 05:25 pm ET | Updated Sep 25, 2013

Somebody splattered paint all over the Lincoln Memorial yet Rand Paul refuses to divulge the Southern Avenger's whereabouts. A White House website promising to protect "patriotic" whistleblowers was removed because [REDACTED]. And San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced that he is addicted to sexual harassment, the root cause of which is the notorious gateway drug, "being an asshole." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 26th, 2013:

OBAMA RETHINKING THAT WHOLE SUMMERS-TO-THE-FED THING - AP/HuffPost: "Amid intense progressive pushback against the possibility that Larry Summers could be named chairman of the Federal Reserve, the White House says President Barack Obama is not expected to name a new chairman until the fall, lowering expectations for an imminent announcement. A senior official told The Associated Press the president has not made a decision on who will replace current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. His term expires early next year. "The President has not made his decision, an announcement is not imminent and is not likely until the fall," a senior White House official confirmed to HuffPost. The president's pick is highly anticipated, given the Fed chairman's impact on economic policy. Among the leading candidates for the job are former Obama economic adviser Summers and Janet Yellen, the Fed's current vice chairwoman. Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Fed." [HuffPost]

WSJ SCOOP: SUMMERS STILL CONSULTING FOR CITI, NASDAQ - Damian Paletta and Jon Hilsenrath: "Lawrence Summers, one of the leading contenders to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, has been a paid consultant to Citigroup Inc. and other financial institutions, roles that are likely to draw the focus of opponents of his nomination. Mr. Summers, who remains on the Harvard University faculty after a tumultuous tenure as the school's president, also advises or consults for a number of other financial firms, including stock-exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., hedge fund D.E. Shaw, venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and asset-management and advisory firm Alliance Partners. His consulting for Citigroup and Nasdaq hasn't previously been disclosed." [WSJ]

FILNER WEINERS - This guy: "San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) said he won't resign because of sexual harassment allegations made against him, but he does plan to attend a rehab center for 2 weeks. Filner announced his plans in a press conference on Friday, apologizing for his actions. 'Beginning on August 5, I will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo 2 weeks of intensive therapy,' Filner said. 'The behavior I have engaged in over many years is wrong,' Filner said during the press conference. 'I apologize to my staff, I apologize to the citizens and staff members who have supported me over the years, I apologize to the people of San Diego, and most of all, I apologize to the women I have offended.'" [HuffPost]

Bob Filner's Carlos Danger name: Narciso Distress.

CHUCK GRASSLEY DEMANDING BENGHAZI HUMA ABEDIN ANSWERS - The Iowa lawmaker, apparently having collected himself after last night's "Ring Around The Redneck" on the History Channel, is calling for further investigation of Anthony Weiner's wife for alleged misconduct while working as a top aide to Hillary Clinton. Nick Wing: "Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded more answers from Huma Abedin on Friday, after the wife of scandal-plagued New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner provided what the senator is calling insufficient information about her consulting work for both the State Department and outside employers. In June, Politico reported that Abedin, a former aide and close personal friend to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, worked the larger part of her last year at the State Department as a part-time consultant who at the same time was allowed to represent clients in the private sector. She left the department in February 2013, but in the eight months between stepping down as Clinton's deputy chief of staff and her departure, Abedin reportedly worked for clients including the State Department, Hillary Clinton, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and Teneo, the firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band...This week, Abedin and the State Department gave their answer to Grassley's inquiry. The senator posted their response online. It stated that Abedin was aware of the ethics concerns and that her status had not constituted a conflict of interest." [HuffPost]

You'll probably be hearing more about Teneo come 2016. Here's our helpful primer.

MORE GUANTANAMO TRANSFERS UNDERWAY - We doubt they'll be back to redeem their Guest Reward Points anytime soon. Ryan Reilly: "Two Guantanamo Bay detainees will soon be headed home to Algeria. Following what one military official called an 'intensive review,' Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel notified Congress he has signed off on transferring the detainees to the North African country. After the transfers, Guantanamo will still be holding 84 detainees who have been cleared for transfer. The transfers will bring Guantanamo's population down to 164. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. "remains determined to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay." He added that the administration continues "to call on Congress to join us in supporting these efforts by lifting the current restrictions that significantly limit our ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo, even those who have been approved for transfer." The Pentagon did not release the names of the detainees who were being transferred, but said the transfers were only approved after an extensive review." [HuffPost]

Hashtag history: "On this day 24 years ago, a spirited congressman from Illinois named Richard J. Durbin, now the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, delivered what is unquestionably the greatest diatribe to ever grace the House floor -- in defense of the wooden bat." [Roll Call]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Food stamp cuts are happening this fall whether Congress passes a farm bill or not thanks to the expiration of a benefit boost from the 2009 stimulus bill. (The expiration wouldn't be happening this year but for Democrats raiding the funds and not replacing them despite promises to do so.) Food banks in Texas is dramatizing the cuts with a 100 day countdown. [myhighplains.com]

WHAT'S SASHA READING? The best longform journalism on the web, courtesy HuffPost editor Sasha Belenky.

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KEN CUCCINELLI PRETTY IMPRESSED WITH THAT STEVE KING GUY - If Terry McAuliffe doesn't win this thing his place in the zeitgeist will be downgraded from "Clinton guy on way too much Adderall" to "Martha Coakley of the mid-Atlantic." Nick Wing: "Virginia attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli told Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in 2012 that he was a huge fan, and now it turns out that the two share a knack for drawing controversial comparisons when it comes to immigration policy. Cuccinelli made his strange remark during a radio interview in 2012. Speaking on the conservative radio show 'The Morning Majority,' the attorney general launched into a critique of Washington, D.C.'s pest control policies, which he claimed protected rats from being killed. 'They have to relocate the rats. And, not only that, that's actually not the worst part, they cannot break up the families of the rats!' Cuccinelli said, incorrectly suggesting that the District's 2010 Wildlife Protection Act forced pest control specialists to dump them across the river in Virginia. Cuccinelli then made his comparison. 'So, anyway, it is worse than our immigration policy,' he said. 'You can't break up rat families. Or raccoons, and all the rest, and you can't even kill 'em. It's unbelievable.'" [HuffPost]

The New Republic fact checks: "Lost in all the jokes about cantaloupes, though, was the real absurdity in King's quote: that anyone could conceivably carry 75 pounds of pot. True, the weight itself is not necessarily prohibitive, though it would take a very fit, hydrated person to carry that much through the desert. But dried marijuana, no matter how 'dank' its buds are, is not a heavy product by volume. Which is to say, it takes a lot of pot to get to 75 pounds. How much, exactly? [A] picture, from a 2011 post in Kansas City alt-weekly The Pitch about a highway bust, shows exactly that weight in marijuana. No backpack is large enough to fit this much bud. You'd need at least four or five immigrants, and mango-sized calves would do just fine." [New Republic]

.GOV WEBSITE FULL OF OBAMA'S PROMISES DISAPPEARS - Obama lied, hours of the transition tech team's work died. Sunlight Foundation: "Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month. While the front splash page for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration...Why the change? Here's one possibility, from the administration's ethics agenda: 'Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled...'... It wouldn't be the first time administration positions disappear from the internet when they become inconvenient descriptions of their assurances. Obama's vision for lobbying transparency has similarly been discarded along the way, but the timing here suggests that the heat on Obama's whistleblower prosecutions has led the administration to unceremoniously remove their previous positions." [Sunlight Foundation]

ADMINISTRATION FINALIZES IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES - LGBT Americans will soon enjoy one of the most fundamental protections that straight Americans do: The right to set up a marriage-for-green card racket (and the right to, you know, just get plain married). Sam Stein and Elise Foley: "The Obama administration on Friday finalized new guidelines to allow same-sex couples the same immigration rights as their traditionally married counterparts. The guidelines, which were issued by the Department of Homeland Security, were crafted in response to the Supreme Court's overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act. Under the guidelines, non-Americans who are married to a U.S. citizen would get the same consideration when applying for legal status, regardless of whether they are in a gay or straight relationship. In addition, DHS announced that those same-sex spouses who had previously petitioned immigration service officials for such status would have their files reopened, as opposed to having to re-file those petitions. DHS will also give consideration to same-sex couples who are engaged to be married but not married yet. The change in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy is another in a series of executive actions that have been taken to accommodate the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling. It is also further evidence of how significant that ruling has been in the lives of gay couples." [HuffPost]

AMERICANS WANT OUT OF AFGHANISTAN: POLL - And in about a year, so will Hamid Karzai. ABC News: "Public criticisms of the war in Afghanistan have reached new highs in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with two-thirds of Americans saying the war hasn't been worth fighting and half saying it's failed to contribute to the country's long-term security. Nonetheless, with the bulk of U.S. combat troops set to leave by the end of 2014, the poll finds that most Americans would rather have some remain in place for training and counter-insurgency purposes than to remove all U.S. forces. Overall, considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, 67 percent now say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a new high (albeit by a single percentage point) in 21 ABC/Post polls to ask the question since early 2007. For the first time that numerically exceeds the most who said the same about the war in Iraq, 66 percent in April 2007. Just 43 percent say the war has contributed to the long-term security of the country, down by 8 points since March, to the fewest in five polls since mid-2010. It's the first time more people have said the war has not contributed to U.S. security than say it has." [ABC News]

PRO TIP: MAKE SURE YOU LIVE IN YOUR DISTRICT - Even though Republicans are still not quite convinced our president is from America, they are content for the time being to attack after Rep. Joe Garcia for not being from his district. Miami Herald: "It has been almost a year since Joe Garcia told The Miami Herald's editorial board that he'd move into the new Key West-to-Miami-Dade Congressional District 26 if he won. Garcia won. But he hasn't yet moved. His office said the freshman Democrat is in the process of getting a place. But it's too late as far as the National Republican Congressional Committee is concerned. The NRCC issued the following statement today rapping Garcia for not yet moving and for an absentee-ballot fraud scandal that rocked his office: 'With the on-going voter fraud investigation, Joe Garcia proved he lacks sound judgment to be a Congressman. But now, how could voters really trust Joe Garcia to represent them if he doesn't even bother to live or vote in the district?'" [Miami Herald]

Butter sculptures are no longer the weirdest things at our state fairs: "An anti-abortion group in North Dakota attempted to spread its message to children at the North Dakota State Fair earlier this month by handing them squishy rubber fetus dolls, reportedly without consent from their parents. According to Jezebel, members of Minot Right to Life, a local branch of North Dakota Right to Life, slipped the anti-abortion toys in candy bags, leaving some parents surprised to see their kids running around and playing with the detailed fetuses." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a dog puking up a shark.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL VANDALIZED - And to think that all the victim did to provoke the attack was sit calmly and stare out onto the National Mall. Monsters. AP: "The U.S. Park Police in Washington say the Lincoln Memorial is temporarily closed after someone splattered green paint on the statue and the floor area. Police say the apparent vandalism was discovered early Friday morning. No words, letters or symbols were visible in the paint. Police say the memorial on the National Mall will be closed until a maintenance crew from the National Park Service can finish cleaning up the paint. That's expected to happen Friday morning." NEVER FORGET. [AP]

COMFORT FOOD

- Photos depicting the evolution of Facebook pages since 2004. [onforb.es/1aIVlqJ]

- Rejoice, stoners! The peanut butter jar has been perfected. [bit.ly/15QjBE8]

- Dramatic dog plays dead. [bit.ly/17IG4Eh]

- Miley Cyrus parodies are proliferating at an alarming rate. Here is a selection. [bit.ly/139S9CE]

- Just like people and half smokes, nature looks better at night. Here are some photos demonstrating that fact. [bit.ly/1c7YUrW]

Kitten pesters cat. [bit.ly/18HkKns]

- Gorgeous video of Saturn compiled from photographs taken by the Cassini spacecraft. [bit.ly/174VXTi]

TWITTERAMA

@timothypmurphy: The new "nondescript office parks" RT @j_fuller: Let's retire the words "bucolic" and "small-town America." Thanks! http://t.co/oH3p9olaIU

@MikeElk: My therapist says she is unfamilar with Mt. Pleasant Street - having doubts if she can truly understand my pysche

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