POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Obama's Waterloo Upgraded To A Munich

04/02/2015 05:53 pm ET

Thanks to the Iran nuclear framework, Republicans can finally use the comparisons to Nazi Germany they’ve been holding back for years. Today we learned that President Obama does a terrible impression of a terrible impression of a Southern accent. And Tom Cotton said gays and lesbians should count themselves lucky that the U.S. doesn’t execute them. To be fair, that would make gays and lesbians the only Americans not under the constant threat of capital punishment. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, April 2nd, 2015:

PS5 +1 AND IRAN AGREE ON NUCLEAR FRAMEWORK -
Charlotte Alfred and Eline Gordts: "Iran and six world powers agreed to a framework for a final deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program, officials announced Thursday. The understanding paves the way for the start of a final phase of talks that aims to reach a comprehensive agreement by the end of June. The agreement concludes weeks of intense negotiations and comes two days beyond the initial March 31 deadline for an outline deal. 'We have reached solutions on key parameters on a joint comprehensive plan of action,' EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said at a joint press conference with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Lausanne, Switzerland. Reading a statement on behalf of negotiators, Mogherini specified that Iran has accepted limitations on its enrichment capacity that include retaining only one enrichment facility, Natanz. The Fordo fortified site will be converted into a scientific center, according to the statement. Europe and the United States will end nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions on Iran under the future deal after the United Nations' nuclear agency confirms Tehran's compliance with the deal." [HuffPost]

Get your Munich comparisons while they're… not hot.

All eyes on Ben Cardin… for once: "With the recently indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) stepping down as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is set to take his place. The leadership turnover comes just as international negotiators prepare to announce a framework for a nuclear deal with Iran, and could have major implications as a restive Congress seeks to make sure it has a say in determining a final agreement. The Department of Justice on Wednesday hit Menendez with a 14-count indictment, including charges of conspiracy and bribery. Although he maintains his innocence, Menendez volunteered on Wednesday evening to step down as ranking member until the conclusion of the investigation, which was made official on Thursday afternoon. While Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is the next-most senior member of the committee, she has opted to maintain her position as head of the Committee on Environment and Public Works instead." [HuffPost's Jessica Schulberg]

Haircut: Drew Atkins (h/t Drew Atkins)

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Great Aaron Wiener story demonstrating how rent subsidies run out before participants in D.C.'s rapid rehousing program have stable employment. This lady Jeneil Lean is about to be homeless again. Where's she gonna go? "'Where the wind takes you,' she says whimsically, and laughs. 'You live like a fairy, you know? You just kind of dance from petal to petal.' She pauses. 'There isn’t anywhere. You just make a way; you have faith in God. You can’t die, you know what I mean? You can’t just stop breathing. So day to day, you figure it out. You figure out how to eat, you figure out how to get your kids to school, you figure out how to still maintain being a parent and make them feel like they’re not completely homeless.'" [Washington City Paper]

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CHANGES TO INDIANA'S 'RELIGIOUS FREEDOM' LAW INTRODUCED - Attendees of pizza-catered weddings in the Hoosier state can rest easy. Amanda Terkel: "Indiana lawmakers are set to introduce new language for the state's 'religious freedom' law Thursday, to clarify that the law does not allow business to deny goods or services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed last week by Gov. Mike Pence (R), would allow any individual or corporation to cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party. But for many people, what was most concerning was that the measure could open the door to widespread discrimination against the LGBT community...The new language unveiled by GOP leaders Thursday goes further than many observers thought it would, specifically including protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity." [HuffPost]

Enjoy HuffPost's Weedvent Calendar. "Weedvent is exactly like Advent, but without any of the meaning."

MENENDEZ FUNDRAISER FIRED Paul Blumenthal: "The super PAC caught in the middle of the corruption scandal involving Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has severed ties to an unnamed fundraiser who features prominently in the Department of Justice's indictment of the senator. Senate Majority PAC released a statement Thursday from executive director Stephanie Potter, saying, '...The fundraiser referenced in the indictment as 'fundraiser 2' and Dr. [Salomon] Melgen are personal friends, and we were not aware of the full extent of their communication until the indictment came out last night. While we are confident that this was an isolated incident, the fundraiser in question is no longer with Senate Majority PAC.' Menendez was indicted Wednesday for allegedly using his office to do favors for Melgen, a top donor to his campaign and to a host of committees that worked to re-elect the senator in 2012, in exchange for gifts including those contributions. The largest contribution were two $300,000 donations by Melgen's Vitreo-Retinal Consultants company to Senate Majority PAC specifically earmarked to back Menendez's campaign." [HuffPost]

The NYT editorial board would like Menendez to step down.

TOM COTTON COTTONSPLAINS TO AMERICA'S GAYS AND LESBIANS - And in some countries, they arrest gays, like we did a few years ago. Igor Bobic: "Instead of being potentially denied services at your local restaurant, you could be living in Iran, where they execute gays. That warm comparison comes from freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the defense hawk who set off a firestorm of criticism last month when he authored a letter to the leaders of Iran warning them that any deal struck over its nuclear program could be revoked by future U.S. presidents or members of Congress. Appearing on CNN Wednesday evening, Cotton was asked to respond to controversial 'religious freedom' measures in Arkansas and Indiana that critics are calling discriminatory toward gay Americans. 'The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed by former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton in his first year in office. These laws are modeled on that and a lot of the concerns of discrimination haven't been borne to bear over the last 20 years. But I also think it’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities,' Cotton said." [HuffPost]

@MileyCyrus: Let's stir some shit up! Senator Cotton (202) 224-2353 !!!! Happy Hippies call & express why freedom is important to us & our country!

She has 19 million followers. God be with you, Tom Cotton's staff assistants.

KLOBUCHAR TO RELEASE MEMOIR - We're still holding out hope that Barbara Mikulski is using her Senate retirement to plan a presidential run (suggested slogan: "Vote for Babs, shitbird"). Star-Tribune: "U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has penned a memoir that talks about her suburban upbringing, her father’s alcoholism and recovery, Washington gridlock and her rise on Capitol Hill. The book, called “The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland,” will be released Aug. 25. Klobuchar, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, joins a crowded group of ambitious politicians who have penned memoirs about their upbringing and life in the Senate chamber. She worked with the same editor as Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Henry Holt and Company in New York. Last year, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand talked about weight struggles and overt sexism in the U.S. Senate in a memoir. Klobuchar declined to be interviewed for this story, but on Thursday issued a statement saying she has been writing the book for years...The senator writes extensively, according to her publisher’s release, about how she became a moderate Democrat and why she favors setting aside 'partisan flame-throwing' to working with the other side." [Star Tribune]

Stick to Al Green: "To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the White House web series West Wing Week, President Barack Obama treated viewers to an impersonation of Frank Underwood, the conniving President on the hit Netflix show House of Cards played by actor Kevin Spacey. In the 12-second impression, he starts to attempt the character’s southern accent, but then reverts to his normal speaking voice." [Time]

LYNCH'S CONFIRMATION VIRTUALLY GUARANTEED - Mark Kirk should be tried for war crimes for preventing America from watching Joe Biden cast a tie-breaking vote. Politico: "Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch won’t need Vice President Joe Biden’s vote after all. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who was complimentary of Lynch after meeting with her last month, said at a Thursday event in Chicago that he would vote to confirm her. He becomes the fifth Republican to publicly support Lynch, and with all 46 Senate Democrats expected to back her nomination, Lynch now has the votes to be confirmed without Biden coming to the Capitol to break a tie." [Politico]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's an old man telling a dirty joke.

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TWITTERAMA

@evanchill: Why would we ever trust the Iranians, ask politicos in country that overthrew Iranian government 62 years ago.

@pourmecoffee: Get a load of this Obama guy acting like he ran twice on explicit promise of negotiated international solutions over another war in ME smh.

BassoonJokes: i hope obama goes through all of the options. "or, option 71, we could have asked Iran to go head to head in Boy Meets World trivia"

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