Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Bomb Me Maybe?

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Peter King wants to run for president, though he should know that "Are you in Al Qaeda? TELL ME NOW!!!" is a terrible campaign slogan. The son of a prominent New Hampshire Republican committed voter fraud, showing just how deep the New Black Panther conspiracy runs. And ads for drones are running in the D.C. Metro. Don't expect any groundbreaking marketing posters featuring the word "Lemon" atop a photo of an MQ-9 Reaper. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, September 6th, 2013:

CAN-KICKING UPDATE David Rogers and John Bresnahan: "Final details have not yet been released, but Republicans have stepped up their activity in anticipation of bringing a bill to the floor next week to keep the government funded into mid-December. The GOP leadership is still debating how to handle the pressure from conservatives for a vote on the CR to cut off all funding for health care reform." [Politico]

TUESDAY: OBAMA TO UPDATE RELATIONSHIP STATUS WITH SYRIA - He's hoping for 216 likes. AP: "President Barack Obama says he will address the nation about Syria on Tuesday as he seeks public and congressional authority for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Obama wants to strike against the Syrian regime in response to a chemical attack on civilians last month that the Obama administration says was carried out by Assad's military. Obama says failing to chemical weapons use would , quote, 'send a signal to rogue nations.' Obama spoke at a news conference at the conclusion of a Group of 20 summit in Russia where Syria dominated much of the discussion. Amid tepid support for a strike, lawmakers have called on Obama to build support with the public by making such an address." [HuffPost]

John McCain wants to bomb everywhere.

One official suggested that the president won't launch a strike if Congress opposes such action. Jen Bendery: "President Barack Obama isn't likely to launch a military strike on Syria if Congress votes against doing so, a top national security official said Friday. During an interview on NPR's 'Morning Edition,' Tony Blinken, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said 'the president of course has the authority' to take limited military action in Syria with or without the approval of lawmakers, but 'it's neither his desire nor intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him.' While some White House officials have previously, and anonymously, suggested it would be "unthinkable" for Obama to strike Syria without the support of Congress, Blinken's comments are the most direct confirmation to date that how Congress votes on Syria is more than just political posturing. Thus far, the overriding message coming out of the White House is that Obama doesn't need Congress to proceed, but he'd sure appreciate their support." [HuffPost]

Asked at the G20 summit today whether public opposition to the strikes will alter his opinion, the President pulled a Dick Cheney: "It’s conceivable that at the end of the day, I don’t persuade a majority of the American people that it’s the right thing to do...There are a whole bunch of decisions that I make that are unpopular, as you well know. But I do so because I think they're the right thing to do, and I trust my constituents want me to offer my best judgment, that’s why they elected me. That’s why they re-elected me, even after there were some decisions I made that they disagreed with. And I would hope that members of Congress would end up feeling the same way." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

It's going to be a beautiful weekend! Check out HuffPost Senior Editor Sasha Belenky's list of what longreads you should be reading in the park.

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON - The Washington Department of Football is a pretty sweet name for a football team, and it has the added benefit of not being racist. Go Doffs! "An American Indian tribe in upstate New York said Thursday it will launch a radio ad campaign pressing for the Washington Redskins to shed a name often criticized as offensive. The Oneida Indian Nation said the first ad will run on radio stations in Washington before the team hosts the Philadelphia Eagles in its season opener Monday night. In the ad, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should 'stand up to bigotry' by denouncing 'the racial slur' in the team’s name. 'We do not deserve to be called redskins,' the Oneida leader says in the ad. 'We deserve to be treated as what we are -- Americans.'" Associated Press]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The USDA sends millions in overpayments to farmers and yet you only hear about "waste fraud and abuse" when it's nutrition assistance for poor people. Josh Hicks: "The Department of Agriculture doled out more than $20 million in excess financial assistance last year, with the largest overpayments coming in the form of farm subsidies for crop insurance. In a report released this week, the USDA inspector general said the agency spent nearly $15 million on undue payouts through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation while issuing no major overpayments for nutrition assistance, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- formerly known as food stamps." [WashPost]

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SENATE CANDIDATES SHYING AWAY FROM SYRIA DEBATE - Apparently no one has found a way to tie surgical strikes aimed at neutralizing Syria's chemical weapon capabilities to JOB CREATION. Sam Stein and Luke Johnson: " The Huffington Post looked at 50 candidates in competitive races to get a sense of where they stood on Syria, the logic being that those running for office were most likely to be sensitive to public opinion. The results reveal that most of the candidates don't have much of an appetite for military involvement in Syria. Of the 50 candidates -- which included incumbents, members of the House of Representatives seeking higher office, top challengers and long-shots -- 42 either returned a request for comment or have already announced their position. Of those 42 candidates, 20 fully oppose the president's plan for limited engagement, 10 are skeptical of the idea and seven are undecided. Just five support the proposed air strikes. The numbers underscore the tough sell facing Obama. With elected officials and candidates running for office convinced that the public is sour on intervention, he may have to change popular opinion before he's able to get an Authorization for Use of Military Force through Congress." [HuffPost]

AMERICA'S SEEMINGLY BOTTOMLESS APPETITE FOR WAR APPARENTLY SATED - Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Americans are far less likely to support military action in Syria than they have been in the past 20 years to endorse other interventions, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Gallup poll released Friday finds. Asked whether they favored or opposed the United States taking military action against Syria in order to reduce that country's ability to use chemical weapons, just 36 percent said they favored doing so, while 51 percent were in opposition. In comparison, a majority of the public supported action during the run-up to engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf in 1991. Views on military intervention in Kosovo and the Balkans were about evenly split. In many of those cases, support rose once military action had started, according to Gallup, something known as a rally effect. 'Historically, Americans often rally around military actions once engagement begins, and should Congress authorize U.S. action in Syria, this may also heighten support for it -- if it occurs,' Gallup's Andrew Dugan writes. 'Currently, though, much of the nation would rather sit this one out.'" [HuffPost]

EPA WITHDRAWS CHEMICAL SAFETY RULES BECAUSE THIS IS AMERICA AND YOU CAN INGEST WHATEVER DANGEROUS CHEMICALS YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE - Huge victory for Big Poland Spring. Kate Sheppard: "The Environmental Protection Agency this week quietly withdrew two draft rules dealing with the regulation of chemicals. The potential rules were in limbo at the Office of Management for several years. One of the rules was a proposal to add Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical included in many water bottles and other plastic products that has been linked to a number of potential health concerns, to the list of 'chemicals of concern' that would be subject to more scrutiny. The EPA also proposed listing eight different types of phthalates, another group of chemicals often used in plastic products, and several types of flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)...A second rule that EPA withdrew would have forced companies to disclose to the public the chemicals used in products and the health and safety studies the companies have conducted on those chemicals -- much of which companies have been allowed to protect as 'confidential business information.' That rule had been at OMB since 2011." [HuffPost]

ABU GHRAIB TORTURE VICTIMS HAVE TO PAY CONTRACTOR'S LEGAL FEES - Listen, Xe's breakfast spread in the Green Zone didn't pay for itself people. Christina Wilkie: "A federal judge on Wednesday ordered four Iraqis who were imprisoned at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison to pay nearly $14,000 in legal fees to defense contractor CACI, an Arlington, Va.-based company that supplied interrogators to the U.S. government during the Iraq War. The decision in favor of CACI stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the former prisoners in 2008, alleging that CACI employees directed the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The suit was dismissed in June, when U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled that because the alleged acts took place on foreign soil, CACI was "immune from suit" in U.S. court. Lee did not, however, directly address the question of whether CACI employees took part in the mistreatment of prisoners. The treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib exploded into an international scandal in 2004, when shocking photos emerged of prisoners being stacked on top of each other, threatened with dogs, and sexually abused. A little over a month after winning the dismissal this summer, CACI requested that the former prisoners be ordered to pay $15,580 to cover the company's legal expenses." [HuffPost]

PETER KING WANTS TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT - Someone needs to speak out against all the Muslim cultural centers. Jason Linkins: "It's starting to look like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is definitely going to jump into what looks to be like a very crowded field for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. King, who has been periodically visiting the early primary state of New Hampshire over the past few weeks, has long made it clear that he's interested in a presidential bid. But a tweet from WMUR's Josh McElveen suggests that he is doing more than mere mulling: 'Rep. Peter King (R)-NY tells @WMUR9 he is in #NH because "right now I'm running for president" #2016 #fitn #NHPolitics'...As Time's Alex Rogers reported back in July, King's considerations apparently began at a dinner 'at an Italian restaurant called Campagnola on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with Chris Ruddy, editor-in-chief of Newsmax, and Vito Fossella, a former Republican congressman from New York.'" [HuffPost]

WHITE GUY COMMITS VOTER FRAUD IN WHITE PLACE - ::Drops to knees, shakes fist at sky:: ACOOORRRRNNNNNN!!!! Union Leader: "Five years ago, when his father was running for the U.S. House, the son of current state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley's voted in the 2008 general election in both New Hampshire and Colorado, according to voting officials and records in each state.Sebastian Bradley, who is now in his late 20s, voted in person in Larimer County, Colorado, in the November 2008 general election, county election officials said, citing records. Bradley was student at Colorado State University at the time. Separately, Wolfeboro town clerk Patricia Waterman confirmed the younger Bradley voted there by absentee ballot in the same election. Republican Jeb Bradley was a candidate for the U.S. House in the 2008 election, losing for the second time to current Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. He had served in Congress from 2003 through 2006. The elder Bradley said in an interview Thursday he did not know for sure whether his son actually voted twice." [Union Leader]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a very generous monkey.

REALISTIC DOWN PAYMENTS! EXTRAORDINARY SAVINGS! ADS FOR DRONES RUNNING IN METRO - Amanda Terkel: "Washington Post writer Chris Richards noticed on Friday morning that defense contractor Northrop Grumman is advertising 'unmanned power' technology -- more commonly known as drones -- on the Washington, D.C. metro. It isn't entirely unusual for defense contractors to advertise on the metro, especially on the lines frequented by Pentagon and other government employees. But the Global Hawk being promoted in the ad is the largest drone in the U.S. arsenal. Air Force officials, facing a tighter budget, wanted to get rid of it, but through an expensive, high-powered lobbying campaign, Northrop Grumman defeated the proposal. The "Block 30" version of the drones, according to a Center for Public Integrity report, had numerous flaws and maintenance troubles; grounding them would have saved taxpayers $2.5 billion." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Jason Alexander teaches Larry David how to play George Costanza, the character David modeled after himself. [http://bit.ly/1dMCP4z]

- When twerking goes horribly, horribly, wrong. [http://bit.ly/18HIPV3]

- Student pretends to be professor on the first day of class, succeeds. [http://bit.ly/13mbAYW]

- The age-old question, "How does this coin sorter sort coins?" answered. [http://bit.ly/17EqzyV]

- One of the solar system's largest volcanoes has been discovered... on Earth! Nice job, team! USA! USA! USA! [http://bit.ly/15CPCnZ]

- Compilation of skateboarding animals. Thanks, internet. [http://huff.to/15ByF7A]

- "Breaking Bad"'s intro refashioned in the style of "Dukes of Hazzard." [http://bit.ly/1dZ8uAM]

TWITTERAMA

@mollyesque: I thought it was impressive when Obama turned Republicans against golf. But now he's even turned them against war.

@delrayser: Slight delay in start of NFL season, as it turns out we aren't quiiiiite ready for some football.

@markos: Obama should probably mail that peace prize back to Sweden.

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