POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Bernie Sanders Sets His Agenda... And The Mood

05/27/2015 05:40 pm ET | Updated May 27, 2015

Bobby Jindal denounced Rand Paul’s governing abilities on official Louisiana letterhead, but given that his state is basically one giant Burning Man festival with guns, gumbo and women named Minerva, it didn’t ring very true. Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for president, hoping to capitalize on his last two campaigns that ended in crushing defeats. And during the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton declared that, "Ahhh’ve come too faaahhh from where ahhhh stahhted frommm," but we're glad she's still occasionally talking in a Southern accent. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday. May 27th, 2015:

WORKING CLASS HERO RICK SANTORUM ENTERS PRESIDENTIAL CIRCUS - ABCNews: "'I’m ready to do this again,' he said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. 'It's an exciting opportunity,' he told Stephanopoulos. 'To come back home, to be at a manufacturing facility, to really reconnect to what I grew up with and understood to be an America that worked, that worked for middle-income families, that created stable neighborhoods and strong families -- when you see all these reports coming out, one after another, from the far left and the far right talking about how the middle of America is hollowing out and the jobs just aren't there for the 74 percent of Americans who don't have a college degree, families are breaking down.' Santorum, 57, will formally announce his intentions at an event today in Cabot, Pennsylvania, near his childhood home." [ABCNews]

Santorum, who may or may not be a politician, at his announcement just now: "What about those politicians, who for all those years, what did they do? … They had no plan, they provided no hope, and to that I say no longer!"

PIPING HOT PLATE OF BENGHAZI ANSWERS PLACED ON WINDOWSILL - [GOP lawmakers begin to levitate and float toward smell origin, a blissful smile on their faces]. Billy House: "The State Department has turned over 1,200 pages of additional e-mails to a House panel investigating the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, reflecting communications of Hillary Clinton’s top aides when she was secretary of state. The e-mails were delivered Friday to the Select Committee on Benghazi, State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach said on Wednesday. The documents are separate from the 30,000 work-related messages that Clinton, now a Democratic candidate for president, handed to the department from the private e-mail server she used while she was the nation’s top diplomat. 'These documents were produced in response to a March subpoena from the Select Committee,' Gerlach said in an e-mail...The 1,200 emails were delivered in response to a March 4 subpoena from the panel requesting all the State Department e-mails and documents related to Benghazi of 10 former Clinton aides at the State Department. They include: Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, and Philippe Reines as well as Susan Rice, Patrick Kennedy, Jeffrey Feltman, William Burns, Thomas Nides and Wendy Sherman." [Bloomberg]

Clinton's southern accent is back and she hates inheriting a mess o' problems almost as her pappy loves himself a mess o' flapjacks.: "Hillary Clinton, who grew up in Chicago, spoke with a Southern accent during a swing through South Carolina on Wednesday. At several points in her talk with minority women small-business owners, Clinton slowed her speech and lowered the timbre of her voice for a Southern drawl." [The Hill]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Sarah Varney: "While the U.S. economy adds jobs and the financial markets steadily improve, a growing number of seniors are having trouble keeping food on the table. In 2013, 9.6 million Americans over the age of 60 -- or one of every six older men and women -- could not reliably buy or access food at least part of the year, according to an analysis from researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of Illinois, using the most recent data available." [Kaiser Health News]

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ADMINISTRATION GOES AFTER FIFA - But why won't Obama go after the real enemy: sanctimonious and irritating soccer fans? Matt Apuzzo, Stephanie Clifford and Willia, Rashbaum: "United States law enforcement officials declared in forceful terms on Wednesday that their broad investigation of FIFA had only begun and pledged to rid the international soccer organization of systemic corruption. The Justice Department, F.B.I. and I.R.S. described soccer’s governing body in terms normally reserved for Mafia families and drug cartels, saying that top officials treated FIFA business decisions as chits to be traded for personal wealth. One soccer official took in more than $10 million in bribes, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said. The schemes involving the fraud included the selection of South Africa as the host of the 2010 World Cup; the 2011 FIFA presidential elections; and several sports-marketing deals...The Department of Justice indictment names 14 people on charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. In addition to senior soccer officials, the indictment also named sports-marketing executives from the United States and South America who are accused of paying more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for media deals associated with major soccer tournaments." [NYT]



Say it ain't so.

RAND PAUL MUST GEAUX - Look, it could be worse than Louisiana. This letter could be from FIFA. Igor Bobic: "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) was so incensed by Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) comments on the Islamic State and Iraq that he issued a statement on official state letterhead calling the presidential candidate 'unsuited to be Commander-in-Chief.' During an interview on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Wednesday, Paul blamed hawkish elements of the Republican Party for contributing to the situation in Iraq and Syria. 'ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most these arms were snatched up by ISIS,' he said. That prompted Jindal, who has formed an exploratory committee for president that allows him to hire staff and raise funds, to issue a sharply worded rebuke. 'We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,' Jindal said in the statement." [HuffPost]

Reminder that Jindal's trying to gain weight so that he looks stronger.

OH, MAN, YOUNG BERNIE SANDERS - 1. He looked like the most handsome member of your college's Hillel House. 2. His ruminations on sexuality remind us of Will Ferrel's Love-ahs in the Hot Tub sketch. Tim Murphy: "What Sanders did share with the young radicals and hippies flocking to Vermont was a smoldering idealism forged during his college years as a civil rights activist -- he coordinated a sit-in against segregated housing and attended the 1963 March on Washington -- but only a fuzzy sense of how to act on it. Sanders bounced back and forth between Vermont and New York City, where he worked at a psychiatric hospital. After his marriage broke up in the late 1960s, he moved to an A-frame farmhouse outside the Vermont town of Stannard, a tiny hamlet with no paved roads in the buckle of the commune belt. He dabbled in carpentry and tried to get by as a freelance journalist for alternative newspapers and regional publications, contributing interviews, political screeds, and, one time, a stream-of-consciousness essay on the nature of male-female sexual dynamics." [MoJo]



Bernie chicka-bow-wow

Bernie missed some major Democratic sweet spots during his campaign launch: "The sweeping manifesto, which also includes strengthening campaign finance laws and combating climate change, is a populist -- and popular -- wish list near and dear to the heart of many Democratic voters. But as MSNBC host Chris Hayes noted on Twitter, the 35-minute speech had several glaring omissions. Sanders didn't address the ongoing debate over race and policing in the wake of protests in Baltimore, New York and Ferguson, Missouri. Nor did he address comprehensive immigration reform and President Barack Obama's executive actions to shield young undocumented immigrants from deportation, which just yesterday saw another legal challenge." [HuffPost's Igor Bobic]

UNION THUGGERY ALERT! - "Congressman, I'd like you to meet our lobbyist, this 300-pound longshoreman named knuckles." Edward-Isaac Dovere: "The real fight over the trade agenda has always been in the House, and that’s where organized labor has been focusing for months. The aggressive effort has left even members who’ll be voting labor’s way bruised, and others who’ll be supporting President Barack Obama anxious enough that many won’t discuss their experiences publicly, instead dispatching staffers to speak on their behalf. 'They were very heavy-handed. And it was not appreciated. And it will not be forgotten,' said one Democratic staffer for a member who will be voting no on trade, as the unions want. This staffer and other Democratic members and staffers who spoke under the condition of anonymity related a range of threats from local and national labor groups to pressure Democrats into opposing Obama. Permanently cut off campaign donations. Pour money into opponents’ coffers instead. Run television ads. Launch protests of the type that have already stepped up this week, which include showing up in Sacramento, California, with giant prop Q-tips to urge Rep. Ami Bera, the latest announced supporter of Trade Promotion Authority, to 'clean out his ears.' Take a pass at providing the organizing help Democrats rely on unions for in tight races." [Politico]

DC GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY SCORES A WIN - Though it will make its denunciation of Rand Paul on official letterhead that much less potent. Bridget Bowman: "District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council scored a victory Wednesday in the ongoing court case surrounding a law granting D.C. more control over its local budget. On the same day the D.C. Council debated the District’s budget, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted Bowser’s motion to dismiss the case’s appeal, which centered around a dispute between the D.C. Council and Bowser’s predecessor, Vincent Gray. Gray believed that the Budget Autonomy Act was illegal, pitting him against the D.C. Council in court. But since Bowser believes it is legal, the court ruled that the case is moot. For some activists and D.C. officials, the decision means the act could take effect this year. Bowser lauded the decision as the 'biggest victory for District autonomy' since the end of the congressionally established financial control board that governed the District in the late 1990s." [Roll Call]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cat singing "If You're Happy and You Know It."

IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN'T MY CONSTITUENCY, GAY MARRIAGE EDITION - "Your Honor, every one of these letters is addressed to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes that children hate gay people." Paige Lavender: "Roy Moore, the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, said he thinks U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan should be impeached because they've officiated same-sex marriages. In an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Moore suggested Congress should do something about Ginsburg and Kagan. 'We have justices on the Supreme Court right now who have actually performed same-sex marriages, Ginsburg and Kagan,' Moore said, according to audio posted by Right Wing Watch. Moore pointed out that Ginsburg just officiated a same-sex marriage earlier this month, and during the ceremony, placed an added emphasis on the word 'Constitution.' 'Congress should do something about this,' Moore added, arguing Ginsburg is 'violating federal rules' set for justices." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Dog does trick.

- The "Game of Thrones" cast sings "I'm So Excited."

- Why sidewalk cafe chalkboards got so cheeky.

TWITTERAMA

@timothypmurphy: FIFA needs a leader who can put this mess behind them. Smart. Respected. Business-savvy. Tan? FIFA needs a turnaround.

Mitt.

@nickconfessore: First they came for Charles Johnson, and I said nothing, because not everything is a slippery slope and the guy's just awful.

@Yair_Rosenberg: From what I understand from the news, Americans are no longer content to simply mock soccer and are now arresting everyone responsible.

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