HUFFPOST HILL - Brazil Outperforms Tracking Poll

07/08/2014 05:56 pm ET

Sad Brazilians everywhere are counting down the weeks to NFL preseason. Intelligence officials say Cuban agents tried to smear Robert Menendez, probably a response to that time we attempted to get Fidel Castro high on LSD. And the GOP's next convention will be held in a city in an economically depressed swing state over one where George W. Bush resides and that has a decades-long love affair with the John Birch Society. Shocking. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 8th, 2014:

@nypost: Brazilian tears German beers; Brazil's Neymar; Germany scores a Brazilian times; Brazilians waxed (take your pick) nyp.st/1mG6JNa

OBAMA REQUESTS FUNDS FOR BORDER CRISIS - We've really come a long way since Elian Gonzalez. Elise Foley: "The Obama administration is seeking nearly double the expected figure to help deal with a crisis of unaccompanied minors at the border, in an effort to hasten removal proceedings that either allow children to stay in the country or send them back to Central America. The significant sum -- $3.7 billion in total -- will go to multiple government agencies to apprehend, care for and remove unaccompanied minors, the administration announced on Tuesday. The money, which must be approved by Congress, underscores the political world's alarm over the humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands of children crossing the border without their parents. The funds, should they be approved, will be combined with a future push for legislation that chips away at a 2008 law meant to protect minors. The largest funding request is for the Department of Health and Human Services, which is seeking an additional $1.8 billion to care for unaccompanied minors who come into its custody. The Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for apprehending and removing undocumented immigrants, would receive $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and $433 million for Customs and Border Protection. The request includes $64 million for the Department of Justice to hire additional immigration judges and provide legal representation to children going through removal proceedings. Another $300 million was requested for the Department of State, most of which would go to repatriating people deported to Central American countries. Obama had been expected to request closer to $2 billion total." [HuffPost]

GOP PICKS CONVENTION SITE: CLEVELAND - And just like 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, we're sure this will help them win the state. AP: "The Republican National Committee has decided to hold its 2016 convention in Cleveland, Ohio, chairman Reince Priebus announced Tuesday. Speaking on Fox News, Priebus said the convention would begin on either June 28 or July 18 in 2016. A RNC panel had narrowed down possible host cities to Cleveland and Dallas, Texas. The decision is pending a ratification vote by the full committee in August...In proposals and presentations to the party, Cleveland pledged to raise the tens of millions of dollars required to pay for the weeklong rally for the party faithful. A successful convention is a boon not just to the political party, but also to the local economy. In a post-convention report, organizers of Tampa, Florida's 2012 GOP convention said its $58 million in fundraising resulted in a $214 million direct economic impact. Some 50,000 activists, officials and reporters descended on the Tampa area for the convention, officials said. More journalists visited Tampa for the GOP convention in 2012 than visited in 2009 when Tampa hosted the Super Bowl." [AP]

@WesleyLowery: Sen. Sherrod Brown passes Mitch McConnell in the Capitol Building hallway and shouts: "Cleveland, Yeah!" McConnell smiles, keeps walking.

DEMS FAST TRACKING HOBBY LOBBY OVERRIDE BILL - Laura Bassett: "Senate Democrats are expediting legislation that would override the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case and compel for-profit employers to cover the full range of contraception for their employees, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The bill, which is co-authored by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), would ban for-profit companies from refusing to cover any federally guaranteed health benefits for religious reasons, including all 20 forms of contraception detailed in the Affordable Care Act. It would preserve the contraception mandate's current exemption for churches and accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, such as certain hospitals and schools. A Senate aide told HuffPost that the bill will be introduced as soon as Tuesday night and go directly to the Senate floor as early as next week, without being considered in committee...Murray and Udall's bill would override the Supreme Court's decision and state that no federal law, including RFRA, permits for-profit employers to refuse to comply with federal health coverage requirements. The senators worked with the Obama administration, other Democratic lawmakers and reproductive rights advocates to draft the legislation...Even if the bill passes the Senate, it is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-controlled House. But Democrats hope it will at least force senators to go on record supporting or opposing universal birth control coverage." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - When members of Congress suggest unemployed Americans aren't trying hard enough to get jobs, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez gets mad. "When I hear people on Capitol Hill say the long-term unemployed are unemployed by choice, I wanna punch 'em," Perez said Tuesday during a meeting with reporters. Perez paused and smiled. The reporters laughed. Perez said he felt strongly about the hardship of unemployment because as a youngster in Buffalo, New York, he'd witnessed his surrogate father struggle after a layoff -- and because of his conversations with unemployed people today. "The thing they say that angers them as much as anything is when politicians suggest they're unemployed by choice, they're just sitting at home eating bonbons," Perez said. (He didn't cite a specific example of a politician alleging bonbon consumption by unemployed people.) [HuffPost]

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MENENDEZ IMPLICATES CUBANS IN SMEAR PLOT - "Abort Operation Just for Men. Repeat, Operation Just for Men is a no go. The hair has been undyed. I say again, the hair has been undyed." WaPo: "Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions. In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the ­political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to a former U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of government intelligence, the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, linking Cuban agents to the prostitution claims and to efforts to plant the story in U.S. and Latin American media. The alleged Cuba connection was laid out in an intelligence report provided last year to U.S. government officials and sent by secure cable to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, according to the former official and a second person with close ties to Menendez who had been briefed on the matter." [WaPo]

God willing, the film adaptation of "This Town" will recreate Cuban intelligence officials feeding the Daily Caller bad information.

PALIN FORCES UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION ABOUT IMPEACHMENT - Sarah Palin is the Maya Angelou of mixed metaphors. WaPo: "Sarah Palin on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of Republicans calling for the impeachment of President Obama, writing in a Breitbart op-ed that the influx of young illegal immigrants over the southern border 'is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas.'' Mixed/careless metaphors aside, this is nothing but bad news for Republicans -- especially four months until the 2014 election...If a significant pro-impeachment portion of the conservative base does materialize -- and that's a big 'if' -- it will put Republican lawmakers in the unenviable position of responding to questions about whether they, too, agree with the idea of impeachment. From there, there are three options: 1) Oppose impeachment and risk making yourself a target in the 2016 primary 2) Try to offer a non-response that doesn't really support or oppose impeachment 3) Support impeachment and, while likely saving your own hide from becoming a target, exacerbate the problem with the larger Republican Party." [WaPo]

Awwwwwkward: "The Senate Conservatives Fund on Tuesday wired $70,000 to Chris McDaniel’s legal fund to investigate alleged voter fraud in last month’s election between McDaniel and Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, Yahoo News has learned...The SCF, a group that supports conservative congressional candidates, launched a fundraising drive over the weekend to help his legal challenge and wired a majority of the funds Tuesday, SCF’s new president, Ken Cuccinnelli, told Yahoo News. The group, which originally said it had no plans to participate in a challenge, has raised more than $90,000 in the past few days and plans to send the rest of the money early next week. During the campaign, the group spent $1.3 million in support of McDaniel, fueling a heated battle between the tea party and official party groups aligned with Cochran." [Yahoo News]

CORY BOOKER AND RAND PAUL INTRODUCING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM - The two senators most likely to have a weekly game of Settlers of Catan (runner up: Ron Wyden) are teaming up to reform the criminal justice system. Amanda Terkel: "Among [the REDEEM Act's] main provisions, the bill would: Encourage states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18-years-old, directing children away from adult criminal courts. Currently, some states still try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults by default. Automatically expunge or seal records for juveniles who commit nonviolent crimes. Individuals would have their records of nonviolent juvenile offenses automatically expunged if they commit those crimes before they turn 15 and automatically sealed if they commit the crimes between the ages of 15 and 18. Restrict the use of solitary confinement for children. Offer the first broad-based federal path to sealing nonviolent criminal records for adults. Nonviolent offenders would be able to petition to have their records sealed, making it easier for them to reenter society. It would also improve the accuracy of FBI backgrounds when employers ask for such information, providing increased protection to job applicants. Restore access to government benefits for certain low-level drug offenders. Paul's endorsement of the last provision is significant, as a member of a party that has focused on ways to cut down the use of such benefits." [HuffPost]

You can register any .GOP domain you'd like. The internet is having a grand ol' time with this.

U.S. URGING EUROPE TO COPY TERROR STING TACTICS - Can you even infiltrate a mosque and befriend alienated Maghreb millennials, bro? Ryan Reilly: "Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday encouraged U.S. allies to follow the lead of the FBI with undercover stings that target extremists and use informants to entice suspects into developing terrorist attacks. Holder, in a speech to Norwegian officials at the U.S. ambassador to Norway's residence in Oslo, laid out suggestions for dealing with the threat of radicalized people traveling to and from Syria. The speech came just over a month after an American man who grew up in Florida killed himself in a suicide bomb attack in Syria. Calling the Syrian conflict a 'global crisis in need of a global solution,' Holder implored U.S. allies to adopt a pre-emptive counterterrorism strategy that can stop homegrown extremists before they travel to Syria. 'If we wait for our nations’ citizens to travel to Syria, to become radicalized, and to return home, it may be too late to adequately protect our national security,' Holder said. Holder called on nations to pass laws that criminalize "preparatory acts," similar to a U.S. material support statute used to prosecute people before they complete their plans. He said the FBI has successfully used undercover operations to prevent self-radicalized people from executing their plans." [HuffPost]

Melanie Sloan welcomes Ben Tribbett to the Society of Semi-Sold Out Lefties: "The Virginia political blogger who was hired to help defend Washington's football team against accusations of racism resigned Monday night, claiming that his hiring had become an unwelcome distraction for the team. Ben Tribbett, a Democratic activist who rose to fame in 2006 by helping to take down Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) with the infamous “macaca” video, accepted the job last month after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the team's name on the grounds it was 'disparaging to Native Americans.' Tribbett initially dismissed concerns over the team's name, which have grown with the recent endorsement of 50 U.S. senators, as a 'PC campaign.' But on Monday night, Tribbett fired off a series of tweets announcing his resignation only two weeks after accepting the position. '[Obviously] this issue with Redskins is one where I don’t see eye to eye with some friends. I just don't agree with the attacks on the team name,' he wrote." [HuffPost]

Noted: "Kentucky GOP lawmaker defends coal: ‘We all agree’ Mars is the same temperature as Earth" [Raw Story]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a cat and dog having an awkward moment.

OSLO MAYOR NOT PLEASED WITH INCOMING U.S. AMBASSADOR - George Tsunis should troll the Norwegians by delivering his opening remarks in the voice of the Swedish Chef. "President Barack Obama's nomination of Long Island, New York, businessman George Tsunis as U.S. ambassador to Norway took another hit Sunday after the mayor of Oslo spoke critically about Tsunis' credentials. 'The comments made by the man chosen to come to Oslo makes us ask whether the U.S. is sending a professional ambassador,' Mayor Fabian Stang told Norwegian Broadcasting in a translated interview regarding Tsunis' Senate confirmation hearing. 'I think it will be very sad for Norwegian-American relations if the Norwegian people are made to feel like second-class citizens by getting an unprofessional ambassador,' Stang continued. 'So I'm evaluating whether to politely ask whether we don't deserve a professional ambassador.' Tsunis, the CEO of Chartwell Hotels, had a disastrous January confirmation hearing in which, among other incidents, he incorrectly claimed that Norway has a president -- it has a king and prime minister -- and referred to one of Norway's large political parties as part of a collection of 'fringe elements' that 'spew their hatred.'" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- A map of Washington, D.C., from 1887. [http://bit.ly/VEYsO6]

- Trippy time-lapse of ice cream melting. Not to be confused with Clickhole's mind boggling video of room temp butter. [http://bit.ly/1mbZpYm]

- Jimmy Fallon did a cover of Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" as Neil Young. [http://bit.ly/1n3ZuJ7]

- Nescafe has a new print ad that transforms into two cups of coffee. [http://bit.ly/U19Mmo]

- Apple has patented all-glass smartphones. [http://bit.ly/1pXde0e]

- Kitten has a fearsome battle cry. [http://huff.to/1jbHLnQ]

- Another installment of "how to make a hit pop song." [http://bit.ly/1mvBeDJ]

- Eight landmark rock concerts that are available to stream on YouTube. [http://bit.ly/1xMp0L8]

TWITTERAMA

@emilynussbaum: The true egotist Googles the typos of her name.

@ryanbeckwith: If Twitter wasn't called Twitter, it could have been called Hedberg.

@brianbeutler: "Y-OH-L-OH, get it?!" -my twitter stream

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