Chris Christie, currently in ninth place in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, launched his campaign for a Fox News talk show. Lindsey Graham’s childhood nickname was “Stinkball,” which, along with being a lousy sobriquet, would also be history’s worst intelligence cryptonym. And Ted Cruz once watched pornography alongside Sandra Day O’Connor, which heretofore had only been known by a few of Cruz’s colleagues and also featured in a particularly weird “West Wing” spec script we wrote while suffering a fever. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, June 30th, 2015:
MERKEL POSTPONES GREEK DEBT NEGOTIATIONS UNTIL AFTER REFERENDUM - Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas: "German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out new negotiations with Greece until after it votes on a proposal from creditors, leaving virtually no hope left to avert a midnight default despite a plea from Athens for a last-minute bailout extension. As the clock ticked down on Tuesday towards midnight, when billions of euros in locked-up bailout funds are due to expire, euro zone finance ministers called a conference call (1700 GMT) to discuss the Greek request. Merkel said there could be no new negotiations until after a July 5 referendum that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called on an offer made last week by creditors, which Tsipras has told Greek voters to reject. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appealed to Athens to accept the deal, while holding out hopes that some extra tweaks could still be possible. Tsipras, who says the creditors' proposals for pension cuts and tax hikes would ruin Greece, responded with a counter-proposal requesting a two-year deal covering funding support and debt restructuring, an issue the lenders have so far been reluctant to tackle." [Reuters]
Opa! "The Greek economy has been battered by years of recession. The country's gross domestic product dropped nearly 30 percent, from $354 billion in 2008 to $242 billion in 2013, according to the World Bank data...The economic downturn caused a huge retraction in employment. Entrepreneurship group Endeavor Greece estimates that Greece lost 1 million jobs in six years, primarily in construction, manufacturing and retail. As CNBC points out, this is a staggering number in a country whose entire population is just 11 million." [HuffPost's Charlotte Alfred]
The sort-of inaugural story from our new long-form unit, HuffPost Highline, launches tomorrow. It's a harrowing look at the way Michigan treats children in its adult prisons. Highline will publish once a week. To get their stories in your inbox, sign up here.
EX-IM X'D-OUT - The next time you see a Boeing Dreamliner languishing in a hangar, give it a big hug. Kevin Cirilli: "The Export-Import Bank will expire just after midnight Tuesday, and backers of reauthorizing the embattled federal institution have no clear path forward in Congress. Business leaders and supporters on both sides of the aisle in Congress are hopeful that the Senate will attach a reauthorization amendment to an infrastructure spending bill in July. But it remains unclear whether Tea Party critics and conservatives in Congress might block any such amendment.Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg has said that there will not be any immediate lay-offs at the bank, noting it is fully funded through Sept. 30. " [The Hill]
Goddammit: "The first same-sex divorce in Louisiana was granted about two hours before the first legally sanctioned same-sex wedding took place. Two New Orleans women, Anna Wellman and Stephanie Baus, who married in Massachusetts in 2009, made bittersweet history by filing for divorce in Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Friday (June 26) -- something they couldn't have done before the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week because Louisiana law did not recognize same-sex weddings performed out of state." [Times-Picayune]
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CHRISTIE LAUNCHES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN - It's so nice when one's tendency to talk about oneself ad nauseum and a situation calling for someone to talk about themselves ad nauseum are one. Paige Lavender: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced he's running for president in 2016. Christie told supporters of his plans in a phone call Tuesday morning, according to NBC and the AP. Christie made a public announcement Tuesday afternoon at Livingston High School, his alma mater, in Livingston, New Jersey...He praised his home state during his speech, sharing how working as governor inspired him to run for president. Christie also took hits at lawmakers in Washington, including President Barack Obama, claiming a lack of productivity from Congress is giving Americans anxiety. 'Both parties have failed our country... both parties have led us to believe that America, a country that was built on compromise -- that compromise is somehow a dirty word,' Christie said." [HuffPost]
According to HuffPost Pollster's survey aggregate, Christie is in ninth place, averaging 3.3% support from GOP primary voters. Clearly not yelling loud enough.
CRUZ BOOS, MAKES NEWS - Sorry. Manu Raju: "Cruz, lodged in the middle of the 2016 GOP presidential pack, is taking his criticism of fellow Republican senators to a new level — rhetorically and in his new book out Tuesday, 'A Time for Truth.' Cruz accuses McConnell and GOP leadership of maneuvering to dry up his fundraising and plant hit pieces in the press aimed at hurting him politically. He says GOP leaders cowered from joining him in big fights over the debt ceiling, Obamacare and gun control, accusing his colleagues of “mendacity” and capitulating to Democrats to avoid bad headlines. He contends that McConnell misled him in vowing to stay out of primaries when Cruz accepted a senior-level position at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. And he accuses a GOP rival, Rand Paul of Kentucky, of parroting McConnell’s talking points by seeking to 'undermine' his efforts to defund Obamacare during the 2013 fight that led to the government shutdown." [Politico]
Another excerpt: "I remember standing behind the computer, watching the librarian go to a search engine, turn off the filters, and type in the word cantaloupe, though misspelling it slightly. After she pressed 'return,' a slew of hard-core, explicit images showed up on screen. Here I was as a twenty-six-year-old man looking at explicit porn with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who was standing alongside the colleague she had once dated in law school. As we watched these graphic pictures fill our screens, wide-eyed, no one said a word. Except for Justice O’Connor, who lowered her head, squinted slightly, and muttered, 'Oh, my.'" [HuffPost]
We'll gladly exchange the Iowa Caucuses for the BuzzFeed meme-offs.
It's like none of them actually believe they can win the general election: "Rand Paul met privately with Cliven Bundy on Monday, the Nevada rancher and anti-government activist told POLITICO. The encounter came after Bundy attended an event for the Kentucky senator’s presidential campaign at the Eureka Casino in Mesquite, Nevada. When the larger group dispersed, Bundy said, he was escorted by Paul’s aides to a back room where he and the Republican 2016 contender spoke for approximately 45 minutes. The Nevada rancher said that he had expected only to have an opportunity to shake hands with Paul and make small-talk. He was surprised when campaign aides found a private room and allowed Bundy, his wife and son to speak with the candidate for the better part of an hour." [Politico's Adam Lerner]
U.S., BRAZIL AGREE TO CLIMATE GOALS - Neither party could agree to methane production cuts, as Brazil believed a 40% decrease in meat-on-stick levels was too steep. Kate Sheppard: "President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced on Tuesday new joint efforts to confront climate change, committing the two nations to more aggressive targets for growing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions...As part of the commitment, both countries pledged to increase their targets for renewable energy drawn from sources other than hydropower. The United States agreed to increase its share of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030 -- which is about triple the percentage of energy currently produced from non-hydro renewables." [HuffPost]
PAT LEAHY IS A DIRTY HIPPIE - A fact that will undoubtedly help him when Vermont's dirty hippies have their fly-in next week. Warren Rojas: "Per the story he shared with LIFE Magazine for a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary and final performances of [The Grateful Dead], the late Jerry Garcia and friends opened the Vermont Democrat’s eyes to an entirely different world…'A Grateful Dead concert is much more than the music, it’s an experience, almost like being in a family of thousands of people,' Leahy said of the sense of community fostered by the iconic rockers. The seven-term lawmaker estimates he’s attended around a half-dozen Grateful Dead shows, often with a camera in tow." [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a hamster barbecue.
'ISIS dildo man: I'm the ISIS dildo man and there's nothing funny about ISIS dildos' - Sometimes, we have to straight up lift someone else's headline because that's the only way we know how to honor it. Zack Beauchamp: "At London's gay pride parade on Sunday, a man showed up with a parody ISIS flag -- with dildos and butt plugs instead of Arabic script. CNN, bless their hearts, mistook it for an actual ISIS flag, breathlessly reporting fears that ISIS was in the midst of the London rally, making both the flag and the mystery man somewhat famous. It turns out that the man carrying the flag was an artist named Paul Coombs. And Coombs, in a new Guardian op-ed, gives the story of what really happened, along with his thoughts on it. First, he says, it's important that we know the flag is a serious attempt to profane ISIS's most recognizable symbol. Coombs wanted to show 'as little respect to this flag as ISIS shows to the religion and people they claim to represent' so that 'when people saw it they would think, 'dildos.''" [Vox]
- Kittens, man. Kittens.
- What the night sky would look like if we could see every known asteroid.
- Do we have to grow old?
@JeffYoung: MSNBC today is basically a YouTube search for "chris christie yelling."
@kkondik: So - is it just me or are Christie and Kasich odd messengers for a message of conciliation?
@JGreenDC: We have too much good content out there. Bring Back The Newsroom.
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