HUFFPOST HILL - People Who Punch Me In The Face Are People, My Friend

05/15/2015 04:50 pm ET

Mitt Romney says his son will procure him a red silk robe for his upcoming boxing match with Evander Holyfield; we don't get why Romney needs his son to fetch things from the robe closet. The House approved billions of dollars for a war it hasn't authorized, which we're calling the "Why Don't You Go Out And Bomb Yourself Something Nice" Authorization Act. And in the wake of the Washington Capitals' loss to the New York Rangers, we're surprised no Financial Services Committee members have held a "New York Always Wins!" fundraiser and invited a bunch of Goldman Sachs lobbyists. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 15th, 2015:

DEATH SENTENCE FOR TSARNAEV - Katharine Seelye: "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a failed college student, sat stone-faced in a federal court here on Friday as a jury sentenced him , to death for setting off bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured hundreds more in the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. The jury of seven women and five men, which last month convicted Mr. Tsarnaev, 21, of all 30 charges against him, 17 of which carry the death penalty, took more than 14 hours to reach its decision…. The Tsarnaev verdict goes against the grain in Massachusetts, which has no death penalty for state crimes and where polls showed that residents overwhelmingly favored life in prison for Mr. Tsarnaev…. But the jurors in his case had to be 'death qualified' — that is, they all had to be willing to impose the death penalty to serve on the jury. So in that sense, the jury was not representative of the state." [NYT]

Where we're at on the list of countries with capital punishment.

LORETTA LYNCH: "We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack. But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families."

NOBODY HAPPY WITH JEB THIS WEEK - McKay Coppins: "Jeb Bush has drawn derision from all quarters of the political world this week for his bumbling response to questions about the 2003 invasion of Iraq — but some of the sharpest criticism is now coming from his own brother’s orbit. In interviews with more than half a dozen Republican foreign policy hands and veterans of the George W. Bush administration, the reaction to Jeb’s dithering on Iraq ranged from disappointment to disbelief. 'No, it was not handled well by Gov. Bush… I don’t know why he said what he did,' said Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary for Bush 43 at the beginning of the war." [BuzzFeed]

HOUSE PASSES FRANKENSTEIN NDAA - Hey, at least it didn't defund ACORN. Jen Bendery: "The House passed legislation Friday that clears the path for spending tens of billions of dollars on overseas wars, including the one against Islamic State militants that Congress still hasn't authorized. Lawmakers voted 269-151 to pass the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which would, among other things, permit Congress to spend $89.2 billion on war funding. Republicans allowed 135 amendments to the bill, which covered topics ranging from immigration to remotely piloted aircraft to fire hoses being exempt from certain purchasing requirements. But they shut out any debate on the need for an Authorization for Use of Military Force to put limits on the months-long war against the Islamic State. At the same time, the defense bill authorizes spending billions more fighting the group also known as ISIS. A handful of lawmakers tried to attach AUMF amendments to the legislation, but were denied." [HuffPost]

WARREN, SANDERS PRESSURE OBAMA ON MIN WAGE - Dave Jamieson: "The Fight for $15 labor movement has found some high-profile allies in the U.S. Senate, and now they're asking President Barack Obama to get onboard. In a letter to the White House led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday, 18 senators, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), asked Obama to issue a 'model employer' executive order, which would give contracting preference to firms that pay a living wage, offer health care and sick leave, and guarantee union rights for workers. 'Mr. President, the stroke of your pen can have transformative impact for millions of workers,' the letter states. 'As low-wage fast food, retail and federal contract workers continue to strike in growing numbers to 'Fight for $15 and a Union,' we urge you to harness the power of the presidency to help these workers achieve the American Dream.'" [HuffPost]

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RICHARD PERLE THINKS HYPOTHETICAL IRAQ QUESTIONS ARE DUMB - Because obviously the outcome of the war has been terrible. Sam Stein: "The former Defense Department adviser, who was one of the key figures crafting the policy for invasion in 2003, isn't interested in what what politicians today would do if they could go back in time and vote on the authorization. Far more important, he says, is what they would have done in that specific moment, with that specific intelligence, in that political climate. 'I would not attach a lot of weight to anybody’s answer to this question, particularly to a candidate's answer,' Perle told The Huffington Post in an interview. 'You give the answer that you think is going to offend the fewest number of people whose votes you want and please the largest number of people whose votes you want, and you’ve got to do it in a sentence or two. I think the conventional wisdom is that Iraq was a mistake. So the easiest answer is going to be: I wouldn’t have done it.'" [HuffPost]

BOEHNER DELIVERS TURD ENGULFED IN FLAMES TO MITCH MCCONNELL'S DOORSTEP - The majority leader has pointed to his charred, feces-smeared loafers as evidence that the Senate is working again. Julian Hattem: "Mitch McConnell is in a bind. The Senate majority leader opposes changes to the National Security Agency, but his proposal to reauthorize surveillance powers under the Patriot Act 'cleanly' is unlikely to pass the upper chamber. After the House increased the pressure Wednesday with an overwhelming vote in favor of an NSA reform bill, McConnell (R-Ky.) began to look for an escape hatch, filing legislation Thursday evening that would push the June 1 deadline back by two months. But it's unclear whether a short-term extension could pass the Senate, let alone the House, where reform supporters are vowing to oppose any stopgap legislation. With the deadline looming, McConnell has little time left to find a way out and save the spy powers he has called critical for national security. 'He’s really in a box,' Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Wednesday before the House vote. 'With all due respect, he’s in a box that the courts have made for him, so to speak, by correctly interpreting the law.' McConnell insists he has no intention of following the lead of the House, which voted 338-88 to end the NSA’s bulk collection of records on Americans’ telephone calls." [The Hill]

MOLOTOV! - Rosie Gray: "There was no [politically adventurous] moment on [Scott Walker's] trip to Israel. He played it safe — very safe. The trip was everything you’d expect and little more: Walker visited with Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog; he visited with other members of the Knesset; he visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, and the Western Wall; he flew around the country in a helicopter. It’s arguably the safest plan a politician’s aides could dream up — mostly politically correct, uncontroversial, boring enough to keep press from even wanting to cover it, and all designed to keep him out of trouble. Other trips to Israel by lower-tier candidates this cycle have been more adventurous: Ben Carson visited settlements in the West Bank during his Israel trip in December, according to Dayan, and Mike Huckabee visits often. Visiting settlements in the West Bank— or Judea and Samaria, the biblical terms used by Dayan and other settlers for the area — is a Rubicon not yet crossed by the major presidential candidates this cycle, though." [BuzzFeed]

E PRIEBUS UNUM - The campaign to get James O'Keefe to host every GOP debate starts here (after opening statements the candidates will be asked to respond to Charles C. Johnson tweets). Michael Calderone: "Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Thursday night that ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos "was never going to moderate a Republican debate anyway," suggesting the party has the power to prevent a network from assigning the journalist of its choice...In Thursday's interview on Fox News' 'Hannity,' Priebus said his concerns about Stephanopoulos moderating stemmed not from the donations, but rather the anchor's previous role as Bill Clinton's communications director during the 1992 election and his first term in the White House. 'How can I, as chairman of the national party, have the former employee of the Clintons, who's running on the other side, be the person on the stage deposing our candidate?' Preibus said." [HuffPost]

PERRY WILL ANNOUNCE WHITE HOUSE PLANS ON JUNE 4 - "His health is much better this time" is about as toxic a phrase electorally as "ethanol blows." Jonathan Topaz and Katie Glueck: "Rick Perry will announce whether or not he is running for president on June 4, according to a spokesman...his team believes he would be far better-prepared this time around. They also note that he’s in much better health than during his last run, when severe back pain interfered with his performance. He has spent the last year-and-a-half studying up on policy issues, and advocating for a hawkish foreign policy had become a central piece of his stump speech." [Politico]

MITT ROMNEY PREPARES FOR SPORT - On his forthcoming charity boxing match with Evander Holyfield, as told to Mark Leibovich: 'I will get in Evander’s face with compliments and good humor. I want to keep him very happy and very friendly...And between rounds, there will be young women holding up round numbers walking in the ring… We will come in tuxedos. Then I will change. My son has procured a red silk robe complete with hood. And I’ll have red silk shorts...I did not ask Harry [Reid] for advice, but if I’m successful in the bout with Evander, then my next bout is going to be with Harry." [NYT]

HuffPost asked Reid's office if such a showdown could come to pass. "To quote Frozen, let it go," said Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson.

They're both the right height.



- Cat suffers brain freeze.

- The power of editing lets man perform every instrument in an orchestra.

- Recycled Disney animation.


@elisefoley All “everything you need to know” lists are lies. The only things you NEED to know are how to breathe and eat and stuff.

@joshgreenman: My tweet will convince you to change your deeply held moral belief.

@jbendery: Eric Schultz cannot confirm if Obama plans to watch Evander Holyfield punch out Mitt Romney in their boxing match.

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