There was a noticeable dearth of Nazi comparisons and tragedy exploiting this week... Thankfully today changed all that. In California, Jerry Brown likened Meg Whitman to Hitler's top flak. Back in Washington, the GOP accidentally told us that they HEART ecological disasters (not to worry, Darrell Issa says our Earth Mother will fix it). Despite today's ridiculousness, we found ourselves laughing WITH Roger Simon, who marked his return to Politico with a great big steaming load of grace and humor. Try to stay cool this weekend, everybody. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 11th, 2010:
EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE OBAMA'S MEETING WITH FAMILIES OF BP VICTIMS - After a short tour of the White House, the families of offshore-rig workers who were killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion were escorted to a dining room in the East Wing. Obama had been scheduled to meet the families for 15 minutes but stayed much longer. "He went to each table and stayed there and spoke to everybody and answered any questions anybody had and didn't leave that table until everybody was done talking with him," Keith Jones, whose son died on the rig, told HuffPost Hill. "When he came to our table, it was not like the president of the United States was there. This was not the leader of the free world at our table. This was Barack Obama at our table, who truly felt so bad for us and well expressed that and said he was there for us, not today or tomorrow, but for weeks and years to come. He said he still talks to 9-11 families from time to time." Jones raised reforming the Death on the High Seas Act with Obama. "I'm very confident he'll sign it if it gets through Congress," said Jones. Under current law, victims killed offshore are treated differently than those who die onshore. Oil companies, cruise line operators and other businesses with offshore activity strongly oppose reforming the law, but Pelosi and Reid have both said they back it and Pelosi told Jones on Thursday she wants to see it enacted before August.
THE PERILS OF AUTO-FILL: GOP ABSOLUTELY LOVING OIL SPILL COVERAGE - Republican communication strategists in Washington and Louisiana are thrilled at the press coverage of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, according to e-mails from GOP officials accidentally sent to the Huffington Post. The specific news report that had party operatives celebrating was a local Fox Channel 8 report on an event held by Gov. Bobby Jindal, calling on President Obama to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. "watch the video - you can't beg for a better package than that," writes a top Louisiana GOP spokesman to a communications staffer at the Republican National Committee. "good perspective on moratorium from the gov and locals." http://huff.to/dqpNLL
WALL STREET REFORM FIGHT CARRIES ON - Pro-reform advocates are fighting a rearguard effort by Wall Street lobbyists to weaken Wall Street reform. "Virtually in every title of the bill the industry is out for weakening or undermining the bill," Heather Booth, head of Americans for Financial Reform, told HuffPost Hill after huddling with key players this afternoon. Booth said she's hearing that there is a strong push underway to make the House title on derivatives the base from which to work, jettisoning Blanche Lincoln's tough restrictions. If that fails, there is also deep concern, she said, about an effort to insert a tougher Volcker Rule into the bill - modeled after Merkley-Levin - and swap out Lincoln's derivatives section. "While we believe that they are complimentary and good additions, they are not the same," she said. Meanwhile, autodealers are working hard for their carveout in the consumer agency, and a broader effort is underway to prevent it from having an independent director -- presumptively Elizabeth Warren? -- and instead have a commission lead it. If these efforts are successful and the bill is weakened from its current position, said Booth, it may become unsupportable. The conference committee reconvenes Tuesday, but negotiations will continue through the weekend.
FED CHIEFS BACK LINCOLN DERIVATIVES PLAN - Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher sent a letter to Blanche Lincoln expressing his support for her swaps spin-off provision. Fisher joins KC Fed chief Tom Hoenig, who sent an identical letter to Lincoln yesterday. Lincoln's measure, which would force banks to spin off their lucrative and risk-laden swaps desks into affiliates, is vehemently opposed by Treasury, the Fed's Board of Governors, and the nation's largest banks. The Fed president support undermines a leading argument against Lincoln's provision, namely that economists and regulators aren't behind it. Well, they are. http://huff.to/bTynTy
TOP OIL OVERSIGHT REPS. HEADING TO GULF - Sam Stein: "The chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are heading down to the Gulf Coast late this weekend to assess the government's response to the oil spill.The trek by Rep. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.) and Darrell Issa (R-Cali) is primarily of the fact-finding variety. But aides on the Hill don't dispute the idea that this trip could compel the two lawmakers (respectively the sheriffs on the government watchdog beat) to pursue more critical investigations and hearings into the oil spill response going forward." http://huff.to/cmmTND
HuffPost Hill hears that during Obama's meeting with bipartisan congressional leadership yesterday, Leader Boehner cited reports saying health care could cost more than originally estimated and recommended the debate over health care be reopened. Obama's reaction? Laughter.
OBAMA OVERLOOKED KEY POINTS IN DRILLING REPORT - Late afternoon slugger from McClatchy: "An in-depth review by McClatchy reveals how Obama reached that initial decision to expand offshore drilling and why he failed to get information that might have led him instead to delay or oppose it and perhaps even raise questions about the deepwater drilling that was already under way. Obama did roll back some of the offshore drilling that the George W. Bush administration had approved on Bush's last day in office. However, Obama never challenged the Bush era's fundamental faith in the oil industry or its ability to clean up a massive spill. Instead, he embraced expanded offshore drilling, in part to win Republican support for broader legislation to curb climate change." http://bit.ly/9E2EN8
CLINTON LIBRARY WITHHOLDING KAGAN DOCS ON BILL'S SEX SCANDALS - AP: "Bill Clinton's presidential library won't publicly release memos and notes Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote about the sexual harassment lawsuit that triggered Clinton's impeachment. Kagan was involved in defending Clinton in the lawsuit brought by ex-Arkansas state worker Paula Jones, according to documents released Friday. Clinton's testimony for the Jones lawsuit, denying a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, led to his impeachment." http://bit.ly/929wWI
SCHUMER ON GAZANS: "THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN THE TORAH, IN DAVID" - In a speech to a Washington D.C. Orthodox Union: "Palestinian people still don't believe in the Jewish state, in a two-state solution," and "they don't believe in the Torah, in David...you have to force them to say Israel is here to stay... [W]hile certainly there should be humanitarian aid and people not starving to death, to strangle them economically until they see that's not the way to go, makes sense." One imagines Schumer did not know he was being filmed. Yarmulke tip: Think Progress http://bit.ly/a9xPQl
Speaking of the Land of Milk and Honey, Chuck is really harping on the Honey part: An e-mail blast from the senator's office: "TWO DAYS AFTER SCHUMER EXPOSES CHINESE HONEY LAUNDERING, FDA ANNOUNCES SEIZURE OF 64 DRUMS OF ILLEGAL, CONTAMINATED CHINESE HONEY--SCHUMER SAYS CASE IS ONLY TIP OF ICEBERG, CALLS FOR LARGER SWEEP OF HONEY SHIPMENTS." A real sting. The Schumwich is safe for now...
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GROUP IDENTIFIES $1 TRILLION IN DEFENSE CUTS - Dan Froomkin: "But in April, a bipartisan group of iconoclasts in Congress led by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) formed their own task force to examine the latter possibility. The group of defense experts released their report on Friday, identifying nearly $1 trillion in defense budget cuts over the next 10 years that could contribute to deficit reduction 'while not compromising the essential security of the United States.'" Details of what could be cut: http://huff.to/dtE90w
Can texting save Afghanistan? Spencer Ackerman: "Seriously, that's the gist of a panel next week at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The peace-building think tank wants to explore the lessons of SMS-based relief campaigns for victims of the Haiti earthquake and Pakistani military push against Taliban insurgents for the Afghanistan conflict. Both were heavily promoted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and both appeared to have some ameliorative impact, though precisely how much is unclear." http://bit.ly/ckW095
THAD ALLEN STILL TRUSTS TONY HAYWARD - Dan Froomkin: "Asked at a Friday news conference if he still trusts Hayward, Allen responded: 'The fact of the matter is, we have to have a cooperative, productive relationship for this thing to work moving forward. When I talk to him and ask for answers, I get them. You could characterize that as trust, partnership, cooperation, collaboration, whatever. But this has to be a unified effort moving forward if we are to get this thing solved.' So does that mean yes? 'If you call that trust, yes,' Allen said." http://huff.to/cMpPzM
BP BRAGGED ABOUT FLOW MEASURING TECH - Mother Jones: "The August 2008 issue of Frontiers, BP's technology and innovation magazine, includes a lengthy feature, titled 'Listening to the Flow.' The article boasts of the company's 'expertise [in] flow measurement.'" http://bit.ly/9TkeJk
Don't worry about the spill! Gaia will do the legwork, according to Darrell Issa. Appearing on Imus this morning, the California congressman (and wealthiest member of the House) said these things tend to correct themselves. The video, from Think Progress: http://bit.ly/d87YBV
FDA TO TACKLE 'WEEK-AFTER PILL' - "A French drug company is hoping to offer American women something their European counterparts already have:a pill that works long after 'the morning after,' WaPo reports. "The drug, dubbed ella, would be sold as a contraceptive -- one that could prevent pregnancy for as many as five days following unprotected sex. But the new drug is a close chemical relative of the abortion pill RU-486, raising the possibility that it could theoretically be used to induce abortion by making the womb inhospitable for an embryo." The FDA begin examining the drug next week. http://bit.ly/bLoQtT
THE DEMOCRATIC SCOTT BROWN? - Sam Stein on Rodney Glassman, the Democratic candidate for John McCain's Senate seat: "'I want to be our party's Scott Brown,' he said, in a sit-down with the Huffington Post, one of several media interviews he did during his recent Washington swing...'There are two credibility gaps,' he says. 'The first is, I'm 32-years-old. I've been vice mayor of the state's second largest city and I have private business experience. But I'm also a young man beginning his family while trying to make it to the U.S. Senate.' 'The second credibility gap,' Glassman adds, deals with the state with Arizona itself. 'We have had only two viable candidates in the past two decades against either U.S. Senator, McCain or Jon Kyl.'" http://huff.to/czsRXc
SHARRON ANGLE: NO, YOU'RE THE WHACK JOB - Elyse Siegel: "Fresh off her victory in Nevada's Republican Senate primary, Sharron Angle took aim at her opponent, Senate Majority Harry Reid. In Angle's first post-primary interview with KXNT's Alan Stock, the Tea Party-backed candidate blasted Reid as a 'whack job candidate,' before going on to explain, 'That's why we've got to fire him.'" http://huff.to/9sXcIl
Jerry Brown compared Meg Whitman to Joseph Goebbels. On Whitman's deep pockets: "It's like Goebbels," Brown Said"Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That's her ambition, the first woman president. That's what this is all about." http://huff.to/coV7G5
Barbara Boxer is leading Carly Fiorina 48-43 according to a new poll out from Rasmussen. http://bit.ly/cNdvmm
LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS TO TEABAG PALIN, PELOSI - At an event hosted by the gay Republican group, attendees will have the chance to throw tea bags into the mouths of cardboard cutouts of Jerry Brown, Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi. TPM: http://bit.ly/9dBuTG
Speaking of California politics, Happy 3rd Birthday to the LA Times' The Ticket blog! Check out their political coverage with a West Coast perspective. http://bit.ly/AL2Q0
SOUTH CAROLINA INVESTIGATING ALVIN GREENE VICTORY - Democratic Party officials in the state say the authorities are investigating the circumstances of Alvin Greene's (D-Lost Hatch) victory. http://bit.ly/cEcRLR
Alvin Greene won't withdraw - Mysterious South Carolina Senate candidate Alvin Greene (D-Taratus) says he won't withdraw his candidacy. Greene made the announcement to Keith Olbermann last night. http://politi.co/aCprBA
Mitt Romney tops a poll of Iowa Republicans. A Des Moines Register poll has the former Massachusetts governor leading the pack with 62% favorability. Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich trail closely behind. http://bit.ly/9iDlHa
YEE-HAWKWARD - Former gubernatorial rivals Rick Perry (R-Go on, git!) and Kay Bailey Hutchison appeared together publicly for the first time since their rancorous primary battle at a Texas Federation of Women gathering. Hutchison, alluding to her remarks at the previous year's recpetion, said she "wanted to be governor in the worst way, and I delivered - a campaign in the worst way." http://bit.ly/d03I2e
Joe Biden, who's in South Africa attending the World Cup, on the U.S. team: "In the spirit of a genuine Irishman, we are going to beat England," he said.
GOP "YOUNG GUNS" ARE ANYTHING BUT - Daily Beast, via Think Progress: "The National Republican Congressional Committee often touts its 'Young Guns' program, an initiative 'dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and mobilizing a new generation of conservative leaders.' But as the Daily Beast points out, this fresh-faced group really isn't that young: 'In fact, the current crop of the 22 Young Guns looks very much like the old generation of conservative leaders. These upstarts together average an age of 49.6 years old -- two months shy of the average age of new members who joined Congress in 2008.'" http://bit.ly/aYjsuT
ROGER SIMON IS BACK AND WINS THE DAY - Seriously. The Politico columnist had to take eight months off due to a blood infection that led to his right leg (below the knee) and left foot being amputated. He's back today with a hilarious Q&A about his ordeal. We're glad he's doing better. You stay classy, Roger Simon. http://politi.co/azdYSq
***Attention Carl Hulse*** Scroll down to ON TAP for some burger joint potty humor.
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Cooling down to the high 60s tonight. Don't worry, skies will remain clear, so do some stargazing. Tomorrow: It's going to be pretty miserable - hot, sticky, and if it doesn't hit the 90s, it'll sure feel like it. A general rule of thumb: if it's going to be hot and sticky, expect thunderstorms. That will certainly be the case tomorrow, with late afternoon storms popping up. Sunday: Everyone's going to get hit sooner or later. There's a strong chance of scattered all day storms, yet remain hot and sticky at the same time. It's an A/C-and-a-movie type of day. Thanks, JB!
Hey JB, feel like doing a pollen report? Not really. Looks like "medium" all weekend, but that seems pretty arbitrary to me. In any case, overall, it should be better than today Thanks JB!
Send Jeremy your weather queries firstname.lastname@example.org
- Seven movie mentors who failed miserably. http://bit.ly/dkrNQY
- 11 people who have been unfairly compared to Hitler (#12: everyone who has ever been compared to Hitler). http://huff.to/cqVWeT
- In honor of Pride Week, the 10 gayest album covers of all time. http://bit.ly/d92Olp
- Internal documents from American Apparel reveal they refuse to hire ugly people...so much for the DC branches. http://bit.ly/c7fmDf
- Soccer players who look like monsters. http://huff.to/9b1KKF
@ronhuebel: Gym, tan, laundry, huff spraypaint, carjack old dude, hide in woods, wait til dark, ancient blood ritual, bitten by bat, rabies, help, 911 http://bit.ly/cm9sE3
@Wonkette: OH LOOK SOMEONE FROM CODE PINK DID SOMETHING THEATRICAL AND IRRITATING http://bit.ly/933hJy
@jaketapper: I dont care what youve done on @foursquare. It's annoying, cut it out. http://bit.ly/ar5rSX
@JudahWorldChamp: USA national team just signed me. I'm going to score against England tomorrow and then make love to John Terry's wife in the penalty box. http://bit.ly/9nt5Lf
@badbanana: This humidity sure brings out the curls in my ear hair. http://bit.ly/97LMNd
@brianbeutler: Think we're in that phase where Alvin Greene is confused about what Dems mean when they tell him to "pull out." http://bit.ly/9PlaVW
@pourmecoffee: So far, World Cup games remind me of Max Baucus health care committee -- hours of back and forth with no real outcome. http://bit.ly/bHfGST
@deceiver: Let's not start news segments with the phrase, "Just when you thought the oil spill couldn't get any worse..." BECAUSE NO ONE THINKS THAT. http://bit.ly/aEC8FP
Lindsey Graham appears on Political Capital with Al Hunt. Steve Scalise and Sam Stein's favorite Daniel Ellsberg were on Ratigan. Steve Scalise returned for Hardball, joining Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Thad Allen and Charlie Crist are on the Situation Room.
Meet the Press: David Axelrod, Carly Fiorina, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
This Week: Steny Hoyer, John Boehner
Face the Nation: Charlie Crist, Haley Barbour, Bob Riley.
Fox News Sunday: Carly Fiorina
State of the Nation: Bob Riley
Arianna is on Morning Joe. George Lemieux is on Bloomberg's In Business with Margaret Brennan, live from the Gulf.
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Jazz in the Sculpture Garden. Deanna Bogart performs [National Sculpture Garden, 700 Constitution Ave NW].
7:00 pm: The Rosslyn 90s Film Festival rolls on with "Cry-Baby" [Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Hwy, Arlington].
8:00 pm - 3:00 am: Capital Pride Women's Concert & Party at 9:30 Club [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
All day: Enjoy some World Cup action with your fellow Washingtonians in Dupont at Soccer in the Circle. South Korea vs. Greece (7:30 a.m.), Argentina vs. Nigeria (10 a.m.) and the U.S.A. vs. England (2:30 p.m.) [Dupont Circle].
9:00 am - 3:30 pm: Capital Trans Pride featuring comedian Ian Harvie and senior Barney Frank advisor Diego Sanchez. Discussion groups, workshops and, yes, drag performers [The Madison Hotel, 1177 15th Street NW].
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm: The Japanese Embassy hosts a BBQ [4000 Nebraska Ave NW].
1:00 pm: Swim meet at the Embassy Hilton pool. Free admission and lunch from 1-2. $10 gets you admission and a towel otherwise [Embassy Hilton, 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW].
4:00 pm: The Dyke March meanders its way up Pennsylvania Ave from the White House.
6:30 pm: The Capital Pride Parade brings together more politicians and gays than the GOP convention.
11:00 am - 3:00 pm: The Takoma Park Jazz Festival. D.C.'s dirty hippie enclave gets down with some jazz [Carroll Ave, Takoma Park].
11:00 am - 6:00 pm: The Capital Pride Festival features performances, drinks, food, family activities and a lot of parents trying their best to be cool with it [Along Pennsylvania Ave].
This weekend's fundraising receptions and getaways
Today: Saturday: Grease some palms (and your bowels) at Good Stuff Eatery for Ed Whitfield's (R-Ky.) luncheon fundraiser [Good Stuff Eatery, 303 Pennsylvania Ave SE].
Saturday: Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) will be on hand for his second annual golf tournament [Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa - 2138 Business Route 220, Bedford, PA].
Saturday 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: This is all we know: It's for John Loughlin (R-R.I.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Gov. Donald Carcieri (R- R.I.) will be there and it's being called a "special event."
Monday: Charles Boustany (R-La.) and his PAC "The Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism" (yes, that exists) is hosting a golf tournament [Country Club at Woodmore, 12320 Pleasant Prospect, Mitchellville].
Friday - Sunday: In case you ever wanted to see John Larson (D-Conn.) get a cucumber facial, now's your chance. The Dem caucus chair hosts a New England golf, spa and concert retreat [Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT].
Friday - Sunday: Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.) holds her annual golf weekend [Inn at Perry Cabin, 308 Watkins Lane, St. Michaels, MD].
Friday - Sunday: A $2,400 donations gets you a place in Joseph Crowley's (D-N.Y.) "I Love New York" weekend. Given how much a room at the Standard costs, you might actually be breaking even [The Standard Hotel, 848 Washington Street & W 13th Street, New York].
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