Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - But Tan He Lead?

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A Republican study finds the GOP's in trouble with female voters, so we expect future campaigns to focus on deporting women. Hillary Clinton spoke out on Ferguson, wisely waiting until there was no risk of sniper fire. And Mitch McConnell tried to tamp down fears of another government shutdown, saying, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-shutdown president." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, August 28th, 2014:

OBAMA SPEAKS ON RUSSIA, ISIS - Paige Lavender: "President Barack Obama made a statement Thursday on the situation in Ukraine, saying he spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and that the two agree 'Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine.' 'The new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see,' Obama said. Obama said he would meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko next month at the White House. Obama is meeting with his national security team Thursday afternoon to discuss the threat of the Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, in Syria and Iraq. During the press conference, Obama announced he has asked Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to the region. He also said it was too early to go to Congress over the matter, but said he will eventually 'consult with Congress and make sure their voices will be heard.' 'I don't want to put the cart before the horse,' Obama said. 'We don't have a strategy yet.' Obama added that action would be taken 'as soon as we are able to fit together the military, political and economic components of that strategy.' Obama said targeted airstrikes are continuing in Iraq and said the Islamic State is 'losing arms and equipment' because of the airstrikes." [HuffPost]

Political Twitter fixated on Obama's tan suit (see below), eliciting an administration response: @SusanPage: Message from senior White House official: 'He loves that suit.'

MARY LANDRIEU HAS NO HOME IN LOUISIANA - This revelation was devastating for Pat Roberts earlier this year. Philip Rucker: "In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill. Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records." [WashPost]

ISLAMIC STATE TORTURED SOME FOLKS - Of course it did. Adam Goldman and Julie Tate: "At least four hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including an American journalist who was recently executed by the group, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, according to people familiar with the treatment of the kidnapped Westerners. James Foley was among the four who were waterboarded several times by Islamic State militants who appeared to model the technique on the CIA’s use of waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [WashPost]

WOMEN HAVE ACCURATE VIEW OF REPUBLICAN PARTY - Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer: "A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as 'intolerant,' 'lacking in compassion' and 'stuck in the past.' Women are 'barely receptive' to Republicans’ policies, and the party does 'especially poorly' with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources." [Politico]

HILLARY CLINTON SAYS STUFF - Shhh Hillary's talking. Mollie Reilly: "Hillary Clinton has broken her silence on Ferguson. Speaking at a technology conference in San Francisco Thursday morning, Clinton addressed the death of Michael Brown, nearly three weeks after the unarmed teenager was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson in the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb. 'This summer, the eyes of our country and indeed of the world have been focused on one community in the middle of the American heartland: Ferguson, Missouri,' Clinton said. 'Watching the recent funeral for Michael Brown, as a mother, as a human being, my heart just broke for his family because losing a child is every parent's greatest fear and an unimaginable loss.'... Clinton also spoke out on the increased militarization of local police forces, calling on cops to 'serve and protect their communities with courage and professionalism.' 'Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone, not in America,' Clinton said. 'We are better than that.'" [HuffPost]

@marclamonthill: The only problem with Hillary Clinton's comments is that they were cynically timed. She waited until the political stakes were much lower.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Seven out of 10 Americans say the U.S. economy has been permanently damaged by the Great Recession that started at the end of 2007, according to a new poll. When the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University asked people about the recession in 2009, only 49 percent said the economy had settled into a crappy new normal. The percentage has increased each year since then, hitting 71 percent this summer. "Looking at the aftermath of the recession, it is clear that the American landscape has been significantly rearranged," Rutgers professor Cliff Zukin said in a press release. [HuffPost]

DOUBLE DOWNER - Tom Haydon: "Maria Fernandes worked four jobs, including shifts at two different Dunkin Donuts. Often she drove from job to job, stopping along the road to catch a couple hours sleep, police said. She kept a container of gasoline in her 2001 Kia Sportage because occasionally she ran out of gas, authorities said. Early Monday, the 32-year-old Newark woman pulled into a lot off Route 1 & 9 in Elizabeth for a nap. She apparently left the car running and was overcome by carbon monoxide mixed with fumes from the gas can that had overturned, police said. Fernandes was found dead in the car about eight hours later." []

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MITCH MCCONNELL WAS FOR SHUTDOWNS BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST THEM - CNN: "In his strongest words to date, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, tried to quash talk that he would allow another government shutdown if he becomes Senate majority leader next year. 'Of course not. Remember me? I am the guy that gets us out of shutdowns,' McConnell told CNN in an exclusive interview Wednesday. 'It's a failed policy,' he said of shutdowns. Earlier this month, Politico reported that, if selected majority leader, McConnell plans to tell the president to accept bills reining in the administration's policies or veto them and risk a government shutdown." [CNN]

You just keep being you, Washington: "A longtime former aide and political consultant for Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has pleaded guilty to a number of federal charges in campaign finance fraud schemes. Gregory Naylor, 66, pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple counts for his 'participation in two campaign finance-related schemes initiated by a long-time friend and former employer' identified as 'Elected Official A.' But court documents posted online by Joel Mathis of describe in detail Naylor’s work on a failed 2007 Philadelphia mayoral campaign — when he was working on Fattah’s failed bid. Documents also describe a $500,000 contribution to a higher education conference named for an elected official that was then diverted to to pay off part of an illegal $1 million loan to the elected official’s failed mayoral campaign from an unnamed benefactor. Fattah has annually held the 'Fattah Conference on Higher Education' and a press release from the time touts a $500,000 contribution from Sallie Mae to the conference. According to the Department of Justice release, Naylor helped conceal the theft of federal grants and private charitable funds to repay an illegal campaign debt from a 2007 campaign." [Roll Call]

PELOSI: IRAQ AUTHORIZATION VOTE NOT NEEDED YET - Lukewarm support for military action with poorly defined goals...typical San Francisco values. The Hill: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday called on GOP leaders to launch a floor debate on the Obama administration's use of force against Islamic militants in Iraq. But the House minority leader stopped short of insisting that lawmakers vote on the issue, as some of her liberal troops are urging. 'We shouldn't be silent about what our views might be, one way or another,' she said during a press call. 'Whether that takes the form of a vote … depends on what the president is doing, what he has informed us of, and whether we believe that there is a need for a vote. But the discussion of a need for a vote is an appropriate question for us to have,'... The comments arrive a day after a pair of liberal Democrats, Reps. James McGovern (Mass.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.), joined forces with GOP Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.) in urging Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to stage both a debate and a vote on the use-of-force question when Congress returns to Washington next month. " [The Hill]

AMERICA'S FIRST PEOPLES: GAME CHANGERS - Samantha Lachman: "Though Native American and Alaska Native communities are often overlooked in electoral politics, their votes could decide the outcome of three close congressional contests this November. In Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich (D), who's running against former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R), is contrasting his record on issues relevant to Alaska Natives with Sullivan's past challenge of subsistence rights. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) has run ads narrated in Navajo to engage with voters living on some of the country's largest reservations. And in the race to represent Montana's sole House district, Democrat John Lewis is frequenting pow wows and reservation events in an attempt to show that he'd be more responsive to Native Americans' concerns than his opponent, former state Sen. Ryan Zinke (R). Begich, Kirkpatrick and Lewis may be taking a page out of the playbook of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), who beat then-Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) by just 524 votes in 2002. In a cycle when Republicans took control of the Senate and increased their House majority, Johnson won with the help of unusually high Native American voter turnout. The National Congress of Native Indians, which leads Native Vote, a national effort to mobilize Native voters, sees 2014 as an opportunity to engage in voter registration and voter protection, build databases to track voter patterns and encourage more Natives to run for office. 'In these key races where we have a substantial population of Native Americans, in tight races we clearly make differences, it's been tested time and time again,' NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata told The Huffington Post. 'In Alaska, where 20 percent of the population is Native, that could be a significant difference in the outcome of that election.'" [HuffPost]

UTAH'S POLYGAMY BAN STRUCK DOWN... SORTA - Now if only Dog the Bounty Hunter can get that citizens arrest case in front of the Supreme Court... Salt Lake Tribune: "A federal judge on Wednesday finalized the order striking part of Utah’s bigamy law and gave one more victory to the family from the television show 'Sister Wives.' The long legal battle over polygamy in Utah now appears headed to the appeals courts. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has said he would appeal the federal court ruling when it became final. Kody Brown and his four wives, too, have been prepared for more rounds in the courts. Jonathan Turley, the attorney for the Brown family, encouraged Reyes to reconsider his plan to appeal. 'Attorney General Reyes takes an oath to protect the Constitution and that is exactly what this decision does,' Turley said in an interview Wednesday. 'For the state of Utah to appeal this case, it will have to go to [the appeals court in] Denver and argue against the freedom of religion.' A statement from Reyes’ office on Wednesday said attorneys are reviewing the decision. Federal Judge Clark Waddoups in December struck the section of Utah’s bigamy statute that can be applied when someone "cohabits with another person" to whom they are not legally married. Utah law made such a union a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Waddoups said the ban violated the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution." [Salt Lake Tribune]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is as dog delivering groceries.

PAUL LEPAGE REALLY NOT A FAN OF NEWSPAPERS - "Detroit is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead and the Portland Free Press is alive and some trees are dead." Amanda Terkel: "At a time when many people are lamenting the cutbacks to state and local newspapers, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is cheering. In fact, he'd be happier if the publications weren't around at all. 'The best part of my life is I've been hired to work for the people of the state of Maine and I'm very humble and very proud,' LePage said at an event with Republican activists in Auburn, Maine, on Wednesday. 'The worst part of my life is newspapers are still alive -- sorry, I had to say it.' LePage hasn't been shy about his dislike of newspapers. In February 2013, he said newspapers were his 'greatest fear.' He has also stated he wants to 'blow ... up' the headquarters of the Portland Press Herald and has boycotted sharing comments with at least three papers in the state." [HuffPost]


- Thanks, Burger King: Tim Horton's has a "Buffalo Crunch Doughnut"

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- There's an app that searches your app. Meta.

- People in the 19th century had one very cruel way of stopping bicycle-chasing dogs.

- How beansbecome farts.

- The 50 best celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges.

- LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy is making music out of tennis.


@ryanbeckwith: YES WE TAN

@damianpaletta: I'm sorry but you can't declare war in a suit like that.

@LEBassett: Obama's suit gets more attention than his words? WELCOME TO EVERY DAY IN @FLOTUS' LIFE.

@philipaklein: This is what happens when Obama bypasses Congress to purchase a suit.

@lizzieohreally: Really good #suit tweets, everyone. Keep it up.

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