Members of Washington’s political and media elite spent the day obsessing over "Star Wars." It’s also "Star Wars" day. Mitt Romney said “we don’t have mass incarcerations in America” because “individuals are brought before tribunals,” but didn’t elaborate on the roles of constables or turnkeys. And Harry Reid wants the Senate to slow down consideration of the Trade Promotion Authority. "Give the Senate more time to consider this" is the blue ribbon commission of the 21st Century. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, May 4th, 2015:
HARRY REID UNWILLING TO PLAY DEAD ON TPP - Ryan Grim: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is putting the brakes on a Senate effort to push through a controversial trade deal, saying that Democrats will block the measure until the Senate deals first with a stalled infrastructure bill and a package of reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. 'We have two very complicated issues that I think should have strong consideration before we even deal with trade,' Reid said in an interview with The Huffington Post, referencing the two measures that are set to expire without Senate action. Reid said he has spoken with his leadership team and is confident the party will stick together to demand the two bills be dealt with before moving to approval for trade promotion authority or the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). 'I'm not willing to lay over and play dead on trade until we have some commitment from them on surface transportation.'" [HuffPost]
FIORINA LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN - We'll be sorely disappointed if American Bridge doesn't have a website up by week's end featuring a dot matrix printer you can click that slowly, and loudly, spits out oppo. Molly Reilly: "Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and onetime U.S. Senate candidate, announced Monday she will seek the Republican nomination for president in the 2016 election...'Our founders never intended us to have a professional political class, they believed that citizens and leaders needed to step forward,' she said in a video posted to her website. 'We know the only way to reimagine our government is to reimagine who is leading it.' Fiorina served as HP's chief executive from 1999 to 2005, making history as the first woman to run a Fortune 50 company. She was a polarizing figure at the Palo Alto-based firm: While revenues doubled under Fiorina's leadership, her tenure was also marked by thousands of layoffs, internal clashes and missed earning targets. Fiorina was eventually ousted by HP's board after a controversial merger with Compaq that pitted her against the Hewlett family. Despite her mixed legacy, Fiorina has made her time at HP the focus of her nascent campaign. 'HP requires executive decision-making and the presidency is all about executive decision-making,' Fiorina told CNN earlier this year." [HuffPost]
CarlyFiorina.org redirects to a site blasting the former CEO for the layoffs she oversaw at HP.
WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE (IF WE SAW SOMEONE GET SHOT) - Stick to reports about surfers misusing food stamps and The five. Stephanie Slade: "Fox News briefly reported that Baltimore police had shot a young black man multiple times near the place where last week riots broke out over the death of Freddie Gray. But the Baltimore Police, through its Twitter account, says the reports are mistaken. The network has since changed a headline on its website from 'Man shot by Baltimore police' to 'Conflicting reports on gun incident in Baltimore.' The article initially said that 'a Fox News crew witnessed a young black male running from police before he was shot.' That sentence has been deleted from the updated article... Fox News' Shepard Smith has issued an on-air retraction. 'Sounds like what happened is we screwed up,' he said. "Our people on scene were wrong. Theirs was an error that was honest and straightforward and our duty as journalists is not to make mistakes, and when we make mistakes we are duty-bound to correct them immediately and as clearly as possible. So I’m now in correction mode and we apparently were wrong. ... And on behalf of Mike Tobin and the rest of our crew there and he rest of us at Fox News, I am very sorry for the error and glad we were able to correct it quickly.'" [Reason]
Haircuts: Jen Bendery (h/t Amanda Terkel), Sam Stein (h/t Eliot Nelson), Jason Linkins (h/t Arthur Delaney)
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FIORINA WAS FOR MANY THINGS BEFORE SHE WAS AGAINST THEM - We'll give you a few moments to collect yourself -- learning that California tech executives aren't typically gun-toting, Phyllis Schlafly-quoting Southern Baptists can be a shock to the system. Igor Bobic: "The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who announced her campaign for president on Monday, has in the past held a series of liberal-to-moderate positions that could threaten to derail her bid for the White House before she even makes it out of the GOP primary...Addressing the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis [in 2008], Fiorina touted McCain's cap-and-trade plan, a toxic proposal in today's Republican Party...As McCain's adviser, Fiorina also defended the $700 billion TARP bailout for Wall Street banks in the midst of the 2008 recession...She also later came out in support of the DREAM Act, a legislative proposal offering college-age undocumented immigrants legal status, because, she explained, "I do not believe that we can punish children who through no fault of their own are here trying to live the American dream." Another bone of contention for conservatives could be Fiorina's remarks on liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As a Senate candidate in 2009, Fiorina told a group of conservative journalists that she probably would have voted to confirm Sotomayor to the court." [HuffPost]
The presidential contenders we've got so far all have TARP issues, Sam Stein reports.
SUPREME COURT WILL WEIGH ENERGY REGULATION APPEAL - "Your honor, the defence calls Crying Native American picking up trash on side of highway." Sam Hananel: "The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a dispute over a regulation that offers financial incentives to factories, retailers and other large electricity users to reduce their power consumption. The justices agreed to review a lower court ruling that struck down a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rule that requires utilities to pay energy consumers for lowering electricity use during times of peak demand. The approach, known as demand response, has won praise from environmental advocacy groups that call it an effective tool for saving energy, lowering the cost of electricity and reducing air pollution. But utilities have opposed the regulation on grounds that it is too generous. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 last year that the rule encroaches on state authority to regulate the retail power market. The appeals court said the approach is part of the retail market because it involves retail customers and their decision whether to purchase at retail." [AP]
BEN CARSON DELIVERS CAMPAIGN KICKOFF ADDRESS - Teeny tiny wireless headsets are the new bunting. Ryan Teague Beckwith: "Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson launched a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, promising to run a different kind of campaign and proving the point with one of the most unusual campaign launches in recent memory. The Detroit event featured the candidate’s wife playing violin on 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' a gospel choir covering Eminem’s 'Lose Yourself' and a men’s vocal group singing 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' from the musical 'Carousel,' among other things. Wearing a headset microphone and speaking with a doctor’s never-varying bedside manner, Carson recounted his troubled childhood, told a few corny jokes, lambasted liberal utopianism, discussed his Christian faith and promised to return the U.S. Constitution 'to the top shelf.'" [Time]
Carson/That Flag-Waving Kid In Every Political Ad 2016
OH, MITT - "You know, if we're going to keep these young fellows out of black-and-white stripes and shielded from the harsh noonday sun beating down on their chain gang, we must loosen our child labor regulations and teach them about responsibility early in life." Buuuuuuuuut really. Amber Ferguson: "Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor, said 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's remarks last week about ending mass incarcerations was a way for her to 'try to get more support in the African-American community.' In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Romney said, 'I was concerned that her comments really smacked of the politicization of the terrible tragedies that are going on there.' 'We don't have mass incarcerations in America. Individuals are brought before tribunals, and they have counsel, they're given certain rights. Are we not going to lock people up who commit crimes, is that what she's suggesting'" Romney said. He went on to characterize Clinton's comments as 'very inappropriate' and 'political in nature.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dog with an imaginary friend.
Breaking: "EXCLUSIVE: Womanizer Willie Nelson confesses his 16-year-old wife tied him up in bed and beat him with a broom for cheating and he sneaked out of the Lincoln bedroom to smoke a joint on the roof of Jimmy Carter's White House in new memoir" [Daily Mail]
- May the Fourth be with you: here's a Jedi soccer goalie.
- Man has prolific ability to throw things into other things.
- Color footage from Berlin in July 1945.
@davidaxelrod: I suspect Dr. Ben Carson is about to learn that running for President of the United States is not brain surgery.
@daveweigel: Tune in tomorrow, when Huckabee announces for president with a gospel choir rendition of “Ass Like That"
@MarkLeibovich: "Bernie, Carly and Huck" could be a good name for a parody folk band....
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