Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Steve King For President: iSi Se Puede!

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Steve King and George Zimmerman were both subject to 2016 speculation today, leading us to question whether we are actually real or simply projections in Ann Coulter's fever dream. Rand Paul is tired of answering questions about that neo-Confederate he hired, though reporters vowed that the question will rise again. And conservative pundit Erick Erickson caused a stir when he called Texas state senator and reproductive rights activist Wendy Davis "Abortion Barbie." If only Misogynist Retrograde Ken hadn't flopped in the '90s. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 6th, 2013:

HERE'S SOME STEVE KING 2016 SPECULATION TO GET YOU THROUGH RECESS - "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Gimme a break!" CNN: "Iowa Rep. Steve King, whose hard line immigration rhetoric has angered some of his fellow Republicans and delighted Democrats eager to keep Hispanic voters in their fold, is quietly planning meetings with political activists in the early presidential primary state of South Carolina, CNN has learned. King will travel to the state in late August to attend the Charleston Meeting, a closed-door gathering of right-leaning politicians and business leaders organized by author and activist Mallory Factor, two Republican sources said. The Charleston Meeting and its sibling, the New York Meeting, are semi-regular events hosted by Factor that bring together influential conservative figures from around the country -- not necessarily the local activists who will be key players in the state's primary, the first southern contest in the 2016 presidential nomination fight." [CNN]

GUY WHO QUESTIONED CIVIL RIGHTS ACT WOULD LIKE YOU TO STOP ASKING ABOUT HIS NEO CONFEDERATE FORMER AIDE - Chris Moody: "Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul lambasted a radio reporter Tuesday after he was asked repeated questions about his connection to an aide who resigned last month after it was revealed he had a history of neo-confederate sympathies. During an interview on National Public Radio's On Point, reporter John Harwood asked Paul about Jack Hunter, a former social media director in Paul's Senate office whose past pro-secessionist views were detailed in a June report in the Washington Free Beacon. Paul initially answered the questions, but he interrupted the reporter when he was asked to respond to an editorial in The Economist that aimed to tie libertarian figures to 'racist and nativist movements.' 'Don't you have anything better -- don't you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don't like me? That won't make for much of an interview if I have to sit through ... recitation of people calling me a racist,' Paul said, clearly agitated about the line of questions." [Yahoo]

Paul in 2010: "I think it's a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant -- but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership."

PERRY PRESSURED BY RETAILERS TO VETO EQUAL PAY BILL - Take one part "invisible hand of the market" and two-parts "unfeeling patriarchy" and you've got yourself everyday low prices. Houston Chronicle: "Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have let victims of wage discrimination sue in state court after receiving letters against the measure from the Texas Retailers Association and five of its members, mostly grocery stores, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle. Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, who authored HB 950 mirroring the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, said she unaware that the group and the businesses opposed her bill, or that they sought a gubernatorial veto. Among the businesses advocating for a veto was Kroger Food Stores. "I shop at Kroger's for my groceries," Thompson said. 'I shopped there just last week. I'm going to have to go to HEB now. I am really shocked.'" [Houston Chronicle]

Speaking of the patriarchy and Texas: "Conservative commentator Erick Erickson referred to Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (D) as an 'Abortion Barbie' in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, sparking outrage over the sexist implications of linking the female lawmaker with the famous Mattel product." [ThinkProgress]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Today President Obama launched his second-term housing policy agenda in the same city where he made one of the biggest broken promises of his first term -- the one where he said his mortgage modification program would save 4 million Americans from foreclosure. [HuffPost]

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PRIEBUS DOUBLES DOWN ON NETWORK CRITICISM - If the RNC chairman insists on holding CNN hostage, can he at least up his demands, like maybe insisting that Anderson Cooper giggle uncontrollably more often? Sabrina Siddiqui: "Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, took to the airwaves over the last 24 hours to defend his threat to shut CNN and NBC out of the 2016 GOP debates if the two networks continue with plans to air programming on Hillary Clinton. He also offered a glimpse into what the crusade has at stake: a packed Republican primary season covered through the lens of the "liberal media." In a slate of TV and radio interviews, Priebus discussed letters he had sent to the heads of CNN and NBC Monday, in which he outlined concerns over each network's decision to air a documentary and miniseries, respectively, centered around Clinton, who is widely regarded as a frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president. The RNC chairman accused the two networks of giving the former secretary of state 'special treatment' 'that could influence public opinion and damage their credibility as impartial news organizations." [PUBLICATION]

Congratulations, Pentagon employees, you're slightly un-furloughed! The Hill: "The Pentagon is cutting the number of days more than 650,000 civilian workers will be furloughed this year from 11 to six. The Defense Department was able to reduce the mandatory furloughs due to a large reprogramming request and savings found elsewhere in the budget. The reduction means civilian workers will only be required to take six furlough days in the final 11 weeks of the fiscal year, which ends in September, rather than one day per week. Civilian Pentagon employees are now in their fifth week of furloughs, which began in July." [The Hill]

DETROIT IS BANKRUPT BUT RAND PAUL IS ON IT - Ryan Rainey: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he has begun talks with his legislative staff about drafting a conservative alternative to a possible federal bailout of Detroit if the White House and congressional Democrats push to rescue the city from financial ruin. During a phone interview on Glenn Beck's radio show, Paul said he might push a Republican plan to assist Detroit that would emphasize conservative pet policies to stimulate economic growth and bring the troubled municipality back to fiscal well-being. 'I think there is a way, in an economically depressed zone, to have some tax forbearance, reduce some taxes, encourage people to come in and take abandoned property,' he said. 'I will not be for borrowing any money from China to try to bail out Detroit, particularly if they continue the same policies.' Paul also said he hopes the proposal could generate support for Republicans in the overwhelmingly Democratic city. [HuffPost]

When a Democrat starts polling well in Georgia, it might be time for the Alabama Republican Party and the national committee to merge. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "According to a survey released Monday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, [Democrat Michelle] Nunn and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) were tied with 41 percent of the vote, while Nunn also tied with businessman David Perdue, both with 40 percent. Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, (D-Ga.), who is on leave from her job as CEO of volunteer organization Points of Light, led both former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), 40 percent to 38 percent for each. She had wider margins in matchups with Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), 41 to 36 percent; minister Derrick Grayson, 42 to 36 percent; and businessman Eugene Yu, 42 percent to 35 percent." [HuffPost]

REPUBLICAN SENATORS (AND MARY LANDRIEU) GO TO COURT FOR JESUS - Your Honor, every one of these senators' letters is addressed to Jesus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes this man Jesus Christ to be the one and only Son of God. Roll Call: "An upcoming Supreme Court case has caught the attention of lawmakers concerned with curbs on public prayer, including their own. The case, originating out of the Rochester, N.Y., suburb of Greece, asks if opening sessions of the town board with a prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In filing an amicus brief, 34 senators (33 of them Republicans) ponder the question of whether such a prohibition would apply broadly to legislative bodies including their own... The group of senators, led by Florida Republican Marco Rubio and including the chamber's GOP leaders, as well as Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, criticize the decision out of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down the legality of the prayers in the town of Greece, saying that it effectively constituted an endorsement of Christianity over other religions, even though other faith groups offered prayers." [Roll Call]

Nevermind what Jesus said about prayin' on street corners. [Matthew 6:5]

BILL CLINTON QUITE LITERALLY DISTANCING HIMSELF FROM ANTHONY WEINER - We doubt the New York mayoral candidate will be comforted by that consolation card from the commenters at World Net Daily. "At least you weren't Vince Foster'd" does not a reassuring message make. Luke Johnson: "Former President Bill Clinton declined to weigh in on the campaign for mayor of New York City -- and the sexting scandal engulfing mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner -- telling CNN on Tuesday, 'We are a hundred miles from that race.' 'Everyone understands that we are not going to be involved, as long as our personal friends and people who we feel obligations [to] are involved,' said Clinton, speaking from Rwanda, where he was doing work through his foundation. 'Neither Hillary or I was ever involved in the political campaign, and they understood that from the beginning,' he said of Weiner's bid. 'There are too many people running for mayor who have been my supporters, who supported her for senator, her for president.' 'The feelings I have are all personal and since they are, I shouldn't talk about them,' he added." [HuffPost]

Ted Yoho (R - Florida Man) doesn't just take meetings with constituents who scribble permanent marker on their face to avoid detection by security cameras, he's also a birther!. Salon: "Rep. Ted Yoho, a Republican from Florida, told constituents at a town hall meeting that though he thinks questions about President Obama's birth certificate are mostly a 'distraction,' he is supporting legislation to investigate further because if it is true, 'we can get rid of everything he's done.' Yoho said that he had told Rep. Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, that he would support Stockman's bill to again look into Obama's birth certificate. Though he asked the audience 'is that really how we should be spending our time?' he continued that 'I'm going to check into that, because in order to have freedom, you have to have economic freedom...'" [Salon]

Elsewhere in FloridaMandia: "Florida Governor Rick Scott is planning a new effort to purge non-U.S. citizens from the state's voter rolls, a move that last year prompted a series of legal challenges and claims from critics his administration was trying to intimidate minority voters. Voter protection groups identified a number of errors in the state's attempt to identify people who are not American citizens on Florida's voter lists months ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November 2012. The search also sparked several lawsuits, including one by the U.S. Justice Department, which claimed the effort violated federal law since it was conducted less than 90 days before the election." [Reuters]

TIMES REPORTER DEFENDS STORY ON WAPO'S PUBLISHER - Barring the unearthing of a "Bezos determined to strike Washington Post" memo, we're in Stolberg's corner. Politico: "The New York Times's Sheryl Gay Stolberg on Monday defended her lengthy profile of Katharine Weymouth and said the publisher did not give "any hint that the company was about to be sold" when she was interviewed for the story that appeared in print just one day before the bombshell announcement of the Post's sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Stolberg's profile piece on Weymouth -- headlined 'The Next Edition,' with the subhead 'Katharine Weymouth Takes Charge at the Washington Post' -- was published online on Aug. 2 and appeared in print on Aug. 4. The news broke on Monday that Bezos, in a personal capacity, had agreed to buy the Post for $250 million. Stolberg told POLITICO in an email The New York Times Styles editor assigned her the story 'several months ago,' but she was too busy to get to it until last month. Stolberg said she then contacted the Post with her proposal, and the profile 'was reported in July, with interviews that month.'" [Politico]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some stoned dogs.

NOT MANY PEOPLE WANT GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TO BE PRESIDENT - Go home, Public Policy Polling, you're drunk. Katie Burkhart: "Recently, Public Policy Polling included George Zimmerman -- the man acquitted of charges surrounding the 2012 killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin -- on a poll to see who Alaskans would favor as a GOP presidential contender in 2016...Zimmerman did not fare well against his hypothetical Republican opponents, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Only 2 percent of Alaska respondents voiced their support for Zimmerman. Paul led the pack with 18 percent. The poll had a 4.4 percent margin of error." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- "Breaking Bad," the middle school musical version. [http://huff.to/19LmkEd]

- A slew of comedians, including Seth Rogen, Bob Odenkirk and John Cho, trying out for "The Office." [http://bit.ly/1epV2B8]

- The latest trailer for "Jobs," the Steve Jobs biopic, is entertaining but also features Ashton Kutcher trying too hard. [http://bit.ly/197rLOy]

- The Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh is live-streaming the pop artist's grave to commemorate what would have been his 85th birthday. [http://n.pr/197MoKg]

- Ten reasons to love science featuring the mayor of science, Neil deGrasse Tyson. [http://bit.ly/197vawJ]

- Yet another animated rendition of Patton Oswalt's epic "Star Wars" filibuster from "Parks And Recreation." [http://bit.ly/155MgCE]

- We can't stop watching this Vine of America's whitest kid dancing. [http://bit.ly/1b5PjUJ]

TWITTERAMA

@delrayser: I seriously cannot even IMAGINE all the pearl-clutching that Sally Quinn is doing right now.

@wise_kaplan: Banging my shoe on my desk yelling "Jeff Bezos just bought the Washington Post why the fuck aren't you all on a bus to DC?"

@elisefoley: #neverforget RT @smkeyes: I miss hearing about Rafalca. #dressage

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