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HUFFPOST HILL - Noseholders For Mitch!

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A government agency turned its thermostat to 80 degrees to save money under sequestration, making their employees smell 5.1 percent worse. Redskins owner Dan Snyder stopped stealing candy from young children just long enough to change the team's name in response to a press boycott (haha please don't sue us!). And a top campaign operative said he's holding his nose working for Mitch McConnell but we all know whoever smelt it dealt it. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, August 8th:

JESSE BENTON THINKS HIS BOSS, MITCH MCCONNELL, TOTALLY STINKS - The Economic Policy Journal obtained a recording of McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton saying he's using Mitch to boost Rand. "Between you and me, I'm sort of holding my nose for two years because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16, so, that's my long vision." [Economic Policy Journal]

BENTON PINCHES NOSTRILS TIGHTER, EMITS STATEMENT: "It is truly sick that someone would record a private phone conversation I had out of kindness and use it to try to hurt me. I believe in Senator McConnell and am 100 percent committed to his re-election. Being selected to lead his campaign is one of the great honors of my life and I look forward to victory in November of 2014." [HuffPost]

Here's a really sad picture about all this.

PAUL RYAN PROUDLY MAINTAINS NON-WACKO BIRD STATUS - Jon Ward: "The GOP's many internal battles have fixated the political class recently. Through it all, however, Ryan -- an eight-term Wisconsin congressman and the party's former vice presidential nominee -- has largely avoided the circular firing squad and quietly gone about his business. ... On the other hand, Ryan is a good distance removed from where the grassroots seems to be moving, if the popularity of Cruz, a freshman senator from Texas, is any indication. Ryan is measured, deliberative, a man of process. Cruz is a human blowtorch, leaving little but scorched earth behind him. While Cruz has quickly made a name for himself by defying virtually every convention in Washington, Ryan still pursues change within the system. Increasingly, this is anathema to many conservatives. ... One Ryan ally said that Ryan does not worry about getting out of step with the party's rank and file and how that might affect his potential presidential fortunes. 'He doesn't, but I do,' said the Ryan confidant, who like several others requested anonymity to speak freely. 'I worry more about the Ted Cruz-Rand Paul part of it. But if the party wants one of those guys, there's nothing he can do.'" [HuffPost]

Sanjay Gupta apologized to the American people for vilifying a harmless plant.

David Rogers on the Republican quest to slash food stamps in a time of elevated poverty and unemployment: "'Boehner vs. Barack' will surely remain the political headline going into the showdown this fall over government funding and the debt. But it's also Republicans vs. an economy that brings out contradictions in the GOP's policies -- as well as among its younger leaders." In other words, beef between Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor. [Politico]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Several North Carolinians attended a town hall held by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) in Swannanoa to confront McHenry about Obamacare on Wednesday, including a mother grieving the death of her son. During a live interview with WLOS-TV reporter Kimberly King before the event, Leslie Boyd, of Asheville, said her son might still be alive had the health care law's protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions been in place sooner. "My son had a pre-existing condition, a birth defect," Boyd said, holding a framed photo of her dead son. "And without that birth defect he probably would have been able to get insurance. But that birth defect prevented him from getting insurance and without it he could not get the care he needed. And so he got colon cancer and they caught it after it had already spread, so he died." [HuffPost]

DOUBLE DOWNER - Stanley Jones failed to disclose on his application for food stamps that he had a drug felony in his past. Too bad he lives in Mississippi, one of only 13 states that still bans former felons from food stamps, because he's going to prison for six months. "U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves sentenced Jones to the prison term, three years on supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $8,282." [Associated Press]

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IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERRE - Amanda Terkel: "Beyond the table-thumping, the congressional hearings and the big political speeches, government employees are quietly dealing with the reality of sequestration and working to adjust their agencies to the drastic budget cuts. For some, it has meant forgoing maintenance or training the next generation of leaders, while others are cutting corners in whatever way possible -- including turning up the workplace thermostat to an uncomfortable 80 degrees. But no matter how they're coping, many of the government's top employees feel they've been put in an impossible situation, according to remarks from an April 24 meeting of senior government employees released Wednesday. '[W]e'll be damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we avoid any big problems, then it looks like, 'oh, five percent cut, no big deal,' but if the problems do occur, there will be the casting of blame,' said one senior executive, according to the account of the conversation, first published by GovExec."
[HuffPost]

STEVE STOCKMAN: BIG WHEELCHAIR UNSTOPPABLE - Reminding people about the vicissitudes of life benefits the party trying to make life less vicissitudinous, apparently. Sabrina Siddiqui: "Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) says he knows why Democrats are winning the argument on health care reform: They get help from sad-looking people in wheelchairs. 'Democrats will bring out somebody in a wheelchair, and we lose the argument on visuals,' Stockman said Wednesday in an interview with Newsmax TV, which was flagged by Right Wing Watch." [HuffPost]

LATEST ROMNEY SIGHTING! This time the former presidential candidate's at an airport, doing stuff just like people do. [Twitter]

REMINDER: THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT IS FILTHY - Erin Banco: "As part of the climate change agenda he unveiled this year, President Obama made a commitment to significantly reduce the federal government's dependence on fossil fuels. The government, he said in a speech in June at Georgetown University, 'must lead by example.' But just two miles from the White House stands the Capitol Power Plant, the largest single source of carbon emissions in the nation's capital and a concrete example of the government's inability to green its own turf. The plant, which provides heating and cooling to the sprawling Capitol campus -- 23 buildings that include the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and Congressional office buildings, in addition to the Capitol building itself -- is operated by Congress, and its transition to cleaner energy sources has been mired in national politics for years." [NYT]

MORE GOVERNMENT FAIL - Danielle Ivory: "About 17 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, and 13 percent is black. In federal small-business contracting, award ratios for those groups are in the single digits. Small businesses, called the 'drivers and engines of growth' by President Barack Obama, attracted about $98.2 billion in government awards last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Hispanic-owned companies won about 8.4 percent of that total, or $8.21 billion, while black-operated small businesses won about 7.2 percent, or $7.1 billion." [Bloomberg]

Eternal Summers - Zach Carter: "How much do Janet Yellen's Senate supporters hate Larry Summers? More than they like National Journal, apparently. A detail in a nine-day-old Major Garrett piece on the Fed chair fracas stirred up Senate Democrats today, prompting three staffers to reject a claim Garrett included form a senior White House official that 'all the Democrats who signed the pro-Yellen letter have assured the White House they will back Summers.' 'That is definitely untrue,' said one Democratic staffer, while another concurred. Garrett's story, of course, preceded Obama's HuffPost-glorifying defense of Summers in last Thursday's a meeting with House Democrats, which was followed hours later by a letter from 38 women in the House Democratic caucus endorsing Yellen. At this point, Obama should probably just nominate Krugman and save himself the headache." Thanks, Zach!

SORRY, FUTURE GENERATIONS, STEVE KING WAS COLD - Mike Glover: "King [ridiculed] worries about global warming issued by many scientists and environmental experts. 'There's bad and there's good and we need to look at the bad and the good and be objective about it,' King said. 'We'd probably raise a little more corn.' ... King saw only positive things from global warming. "There'd be better corn crops in places we're not raising today," said King. 'That might not be the greatest thing for our markets, but you see there's nothing on the other side of the ledger.' King made a personal note. 'I spent a lot of my life cold, it felt pretty good to get warmed up,' said King. [Iowa Horserace]

REPUBLICAN GETS AMNESTY AMNESIA - Greg Sargent: "In an interview with a conservative radio host on KVI AM 570, GOP Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington State came out for a path to citizenship. ... As one Dem observed to me today, it suggests a template for how House Republicans can get from blanket opposition to 'amnesty' to supporting comprehensive immigration reform -- if they want to, of course. The key quotes from the interview are this one: 'We have got to secure the border; once that's done we've got to also, and you set a date certain, coming over to this country after a certain date you will be held accountable and responsible to the laws of this country. Then we've gotta find a way to build a solution around the 12 million people that are here.'" [WaPo]

UNIONS NEVER EVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER - Dave Jamieson: "The United Food and Commercial Workers, one of the largest private-sector unions in the country, re-affiliated with the AFL-CIO labor federation on Thursday, ending the union's eight-year absence from the group and boosting the AFL-CIO's ranks by 1.3 million workers. ... 'We join the AFL-CIO because it is the right thing to do for UFCW members, giving them more power and influence,' Hansen said in a statement Thursday. 'This is not about which building in Washington D.C. we call home -- it is about fostering more opportunities for workers to have a true voice on the job.' The UFCW's reuniting with the AFL-CIO effectively ends the union's membership in the Change to Win labor federation, which includes the Service Employees International Union, the United Farm Workers and the Teamsters. That federation was launched in 2005 after a group of unions broke off from the AFL-CIO, in part due to philosophical differences. ... While Hansen said in his statement that the affiliation with Change to Win has been a 'rewarding one,' union leadership apparently believes it will have more clout on Capitol Hill and at the White House as a part of the more robust AFL-CIO." [HuffPost]

IN LESS-THAN-IDEAL HEADLINES - Schatz should bond with Rand "Aqua Buddha" Paul about how annoying it is to have your weird stories from college dredged up years later. Charles Johnson: "U.S. Senator Brian Schatz once led a fraternity that got into trouble with the law and animal welfare groups for threatening to sodomize a sheep. The Hawaii Democrat, pictured here in the Class of 1994 yearbook, was a senior member of Phi Delta while studying at Pomona College, a small liberal arts school in eastern Los Angeles County. ... The pledges were later told that the trial was only a joke and that their refusal to sodomize the sheep did not bar their entry into the fraternity. [Phi Delta member David] Agay denied that they did anything wrong but the college's judicial body disciplined the fraternity and ultimately shut down fraternities entirely. Schatz has never publicly discussed the incident, nor does he mention his involvement with the fraternity." Indeed. [Daily Caller]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - This cat breakup photo is pretty funny.

NEWS ORGS DROP 'REDSKINS' -Slate and TNR announced they won't write "Redskins" anymore, prompting the latest round of suggested names. Poynter's Andrew Beaujon has a great idea: "My favorite idea, though, comes from Huffington Post reporter Arthur Delaney, who notes he grew up near RFK Stadium, the Redskins' former home. 'This team should be called the Washington Department of Football,' he writes Poynter in an Instant Message. 'At least two former Skins players were known as secretaries of defense, including Dexter Manley and David Deacon Jones. So clearly, this is a name that would honor local tradition much better than 'Redskins' does.' Go Doffs!" [Poynter]

The Doffs have their first preseason game tonight.

COMFORT FOOD

- "Astronaut poop water"

- Back to the Future then & now

- How to make dishwasher lasagna, courtesy the Epic Meal Time brohams

- 17 dog vines

TWITTERAMA

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@mmcauliff: #slatepitches MT @RepAdamSmith confident US participation in #Olympics will expose #Russia outrageous anti-#LGBT laws 1.usa.gov/196plfC

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