POLITICS
05/23/2012 06:24 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Earth Mother Wonders Why Obama Never Calls

The Daily Caller is auctioning off guns engraved with the Bill of Rights -- so now you know what to get if someone outbids you for Ronald Reagan's blood. Alan Simpson called some old people "a wretched group of seniors" -- a phrase we typically reserve for the Senate. And proud Mexican-American Mitt Romney will address a conference of Latino voters where we suspect he'll fondly recall watching bullfighters has a child, laugh awkwardly and then bite into a tamale's corn husk, Gerald Ford-style. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012:

PRESIDENT HATES TREES - Or at least he doesn't want to be seen around one. Dropping in tomorrow's Roll Call from Steven T. Dennis: "President Barack Obama's first Earth Day proclamation in 2009 was an urgent call to address global warming. This year? The word 'climate' didn't even get a mention. Four years ago, Obama and his opponent, John McCain, both ran on implementing a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions. Obama still mentions climate change in speeches, but the White House has soft-pedaled the way they talk about it heading into a tough election where the economy trumps all.Gone are the urgent statements warning of melting glaciers and rising sea levels from 2009. Indeed, the energy and climate change page at Whitehouse.gov now shows a photo of the president walking and smiling in front of oil pipeline sections, and the White House never neglects an opportunity to tout its support for domestic oil and drilling and what it calls an 'all of the above' energy strategy."

Jeff Flake is softening (or hardening, depending how you look at it) his position on Iran sanctions. Mike McAuliff: "The Arizona Republican had been a staunch opponent of sanctions against Iran for years, repeatedly voting against sanctions on Ron Paul-like grounds that the United States should mind its own business. Several times he, like Paul, was among a dozen or two members of Congress to oppose such action. In 2010, Flake figured among eight members of Congress to vote against tighter sanctions. He cast many similar votes before, including in 2007 and 2006. Then in February of last year Flake declared his candidacy for a Senate seat; in May he signed onto an Iran sanctions bill, voting for it in December." [HuffPost]

MITT ROMNEY: WHAT DREAM ACT? - Elise Foley: "Mitt Romney has said he supports finding a solution for undocumented students. But you wouldn't know it from his Wednesday speech on education to Latino business leaders, where the issue went untouched, leaving some audience members concerned that he simply doesn't have a plan. Romney's 20-minute speech mentioned higher education, District of Columbia schools and teachers' unions. Even though the address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was specifically for members of the Latino Coalition, he barely discussed Hispanic-specific education issues -- other than a quick mention of former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush's efforts to raise reading scores of Hispanic students -- and entirely skipped undocumented students, whom a majority of Latino voters believe should get U.S. help in gaining legal status." [HuffPost]

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST OVERCOME WITH EXISTENTIAL DREAD - Word got to HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist that President Obama received nearly $100,000 in donations from Bain employees during his last two elections. He initially just forwarded us the news without comment, busy as he was preparing his patented trail mix of M&Ms, dried cranberries, Zoloft, peanuts and Flintstones-brand chewable vitamins. "I guess it means Romney should start accepting contributions from Rev. Wright's church," PSLGOPL wrote when we pressed. "I don't know what to think anymore..." Hang in there, PSLGOPL!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Bloomberg: "Hewlett-Packard Co. forecast fiscal third-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates on slumping demand for printers, data-center equipment and services, and said it will cut 27,000 jobs, or about 8 percent of its staff." Womp womp. Also: It is raining. [Bloomberg]

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ROMNEY PROMISES TO ELIMINATE UNEMPLOYMENT REDUNDANCIES - The putative GOP presidential nominee vowed to have unemployment at or below 6 percent by the end of his first term, perhaps forgetting that you can't downsize unemployed people. Sam Stein: "Mitt Romney, in a sit-down interview withTime's Mark Halperin, said that by the end of his first term as president he would get the unemployment rate down to or below 6 percent from its current rate of just over 8 percent. 'I can't possibly predict precisely what the unemployment rate would be at the end of one year. I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we put in place, we get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent, or perhaps a little lower,' he said. 'It depends in part upon the rate of growth for the globe, as well as what we are seeing here in the United States. But we get the rate down quite substantially. And frankly, the key is, we are going to show such job growth that there is going to be competition for employees again and wages will see the end of this decline.'" [HuffPost]

A former Mitt Romney staffer doesn't want you to vote against President Obama because of gay marriage... he wants you to vote against him because of all the unemployed gay people. Or something. Sam Stein: "Mitt Romney's ousted foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell has penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal making the case that same-sex marriage will not and should not be the determining issue for voters this fall. Grenell is openly gay. And when he abruptly left the Romney campaign before really ever getting started, the prevailing theory was that he had been pushed out by social conservative pressure. He doesn't address his departure in the op-ed, instead arguing that there are plenty of reasons for pro-gay rights Republicans to back Romney." [HuffPost]

ALAN SIMPSON TRIGGERS SPAM FILTERS - Former Sen. Alan Simpson is not happy with the California Alliance for Retired Americans. In an April letter full of bad language, the pugnacious Wyoming Republican criticized the seniors group for a flyer that protested a deficit reduction plan from the task force he co-chaired with Clinton administration honcho Erskine Bowles. "Your little flyer entitled 'Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!' is one of the phoniest excuses for a 'flyer' I have ever seen," Simpson wrote on his official Senate stationery. "What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very young people that we are trying to save, while the 'greedy geezers' like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap," Simpson continued. "You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling this bullshit." [HuffPost]

DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE CRITICIZES OBAMA - Ah, yes, the rough and tumble world of North Dakota politics. AP: "Heidi Heitkamp, a former state attorney general with ties to the energy industry and a one-time candidate for governor, is perhaps the state's only Democrat who can prevent the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad from flipping to the GOP in November... She keeps a healthy distance from her party's standard-bearer, criticizing President Barack Obama over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and complaining that he 'hasn't done enough' to support the energy industry... In an interview, Heitkamp made it clear she intends to keep her distance from Obama. 'I think he's failed in the one test America had for him, which was to unite the country,' she told The Associated Press. 'I think he needed to be more hands-on. ... I don't think he's done enough to think broadly and come up with solutions that would engage both sides in a reasonable dialogue.'" [AP]

Romney responded to the Obama administration's ongoing Bain attacks in the Time interview: "Having been in the private sector for twenty five years gives me a perspective on how jobs are created -- that someone who's never spent a day in the private sector, like President Obama, simply doesn't understand... I'd like to also focus on his record. What is it that he's done as the President of the United States over the last four years? ... This is a President who spends his time blaming other people for the fact that he has been unsuccessful in turning around this economy. And I think the reason you're seeing across the country, people saying they'd like to try someone new, is because they believe this President, while he may be a nice guy, is simply not up to the task of helping guide an economy" [Time]

AT LONG LAST, MITT ROMNEY MIGHT SPEAK SPANISH FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME - iO-lah, ah-mee-gos! This will be interesting, and might just result in Romney discussing, ad nauseam, a non-pertinent backpacking trip he took in Basque country as a youth. Elise Foley: "In a mounting campaign battle to reach out to Latino voters, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will each appear in June at a political conference for a major Hispanic organization. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials announced the rivals' appearance on Wednesday, the same day a poll delivered bad news for both candidates -- Romney especially -- on their appeal to Hispanic voters...Latino voters will make up a larger-than-ever portion of the electorate in 2012,according to projections by NALEO. Most continue to favor Obama, confirmed by a poll from NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and Telemundo released on Wednesday. That poll found that Romney lags behind Obama among Latino voters by 34 percent -- a big margin, especially considering Latino support is considered crucial to winning the White House. Strategists say any candidate needs about 40 percent of the Latino vote to win a presidential election; Obama won 67 percent in 2008." [HuffPost]

JAY CARNEY SAID A SWEAR!!!... KINDA - Jen Bendery: "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had some advice for reporters on Wednesday when it comes to covering President Barack Obama's record on spending: 'Don't buy into the B.S.' During a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, Carney read aloud from a MarketWatch story that says 'the biggest whopper' being told about Obama is that he has been on a reckless spending spree since taking office... Carney, a former reporter and later the Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, then suggested that reporters who don't push back on GOP attacks on Obama's spending record aren't very good at their jobs. 'Do not buy into the B.S. that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration,' he said. 'I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness.'" [HuffPost]

COLIN POWELL MORE OR LESS ENDORSES NOT-MITT ROMNEY - Jen Bendery: "Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday questioned Mitt Romney's choice in foreign policy advisers, saying that some are so right-wing that the advice they give deserves 'second thought.' 'I don't know who all of his advisers are, but I've seen some of the names and some of them are quite far to the right. And sometimes they might be in a position to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second thought,' Powell said during an appearance on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe.'... Powell hasn't signaled yet whom he plans to endorse in this election cycle. He broke with his party to support President Barack Obama in 2008, but he stayed mum when asked this week if he planned to do the same this time around. " [HuffPost]

Also: "Gen. Colin Powell said Wednesday on CNN's 'The Situation Room' that he supports legal same-sex marriage, either at the state or federal level. 'I have no problem with it,' he said in the interview, which will air at 5 p.m. ET. 'In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that's called marriage, and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country. And so I support the president's decision.'" [CNN]

@TheDCVince: The @DailyCaller is giving away one gun per week until November 6, 2012. Every one engraved with Bill of Rights thedc.com/JqJ0cB

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog really wants its toy.

VINCENT GRAY'S BAD WEEK, CONTINUED: - HuffPost DC: "Another person from the mayor's 2010 campaign has been charged by the feds." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Like Vietnamese coffee? Want to make Vietnamese coffee? Have a YouTube-enabled web browser? [http://bit.ly/Lp4GrR]

- 8-bit versions of ENTIRE RADIOHEAD ALBUMS. [http://on.vh1.com/JI45TN]

- These dudes really enjoy "Game of Thrones." [http://bit.ly/KySUqL]

- Guitarist somehow finds a way to air guitar.... with a guitar. [http://bit.ly/JD4oK6]

- Gizmodo figures out how to break the internet. Apparently you have to do more than just "open Internet Explorer." Ba-dum-itsh [http://gizmo.do/JRUF8U]

- Forgive our sexist-ish callousness, but "The 16 Most Compelling Alien-Seizes-Hot-Human-Female Sci-Fi Covers" is worth a look. [http://bit.ly/KyTswR]

Human flying squirrel jumps out of a plane sans parachute. [http://bit.ly/KTE7cn]

TWITTERAMA

@theharryshearer: BREAKING: Colin Powell endorses marriage equality. // Only because he has unimpeachable evidence of mobile gay-marriage vans.

@mollyesque: Chamber of Commerce & AFL-CIO HQs are on same DC block. @BenjySarlin & I are drafting slapstick pilot about imagined softball rivalry

@indecision: Democrats want to raise the TSA pat-down fee. They don't want Republicans to be the only bodily invasive party.

ON TAP
By @christinawilkie

TONIGHT

5:30pm - 6:30pm: While Obama's lieutenants go hunting for rich liberals in Boston this week, Boston's own senator, Scott Brown, hits up conservatives in their natural habitat at a New England Clam Bake in a DC corporate lobbyist townhouse. Ahh, symmetry. [421 New Jersey Ave SE]

6:00pm: Obama's in sunny California, where he's emceeing Mark Zuckerberg's wedding reception a big ticket fundraiser in Silicon Valley, then a Ben Harper concert where tickets are $1,000 apiece but the melodic pathos is free. [Atherton, Calif., and Redwood City, Calif.]

TOMORROW

6:30pm: Proving that even smug entitlement needs to cut loose once in a while, the young conservatives' social club America's Future Foundation hosts its annual black-tie gala. Swing dancing! Aggressive cocktails! [2017 I St., NW]

8:30pm: Something tells us the crowd at Obama's Dublin fundraiser for expats is gonna be a little rowdier than the chardonnay-sipping, organic baby-food folks in Silicon Valley last night. Just a hunch. [13 Dame Court, Dublin]

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