The U.S. Olympic team's uniforms were manufactured in China, much like the U.S.'s manufacturing policy. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren share an anniversary date, yet another thing Brown has copied from Warren. And a former Treasury official is heading to Goldman Sachs. No word on whether his farewell cake is shaped like the wing he'll add to his house. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 12th, 2012:
ROMNEY CLAIMED EXTENSIVE POST-1999 INVOLVEMENT IN BAIN - A report in the Boston Globe alleges that Mitt Romney was so heavily involved with Bain after 1999 that he was practically organizing office field days and fetching carvel ice cream cakes for employees' birthdays. The Romney campaign, along with several fact check organizations, claim he was only titularly involved with the company. HuffPost's Jason Cherkis has found evidence that would lead us to call Romney's assertion, if we were less polite people, a lie: "Mitt Romney's claim that he played no part in executive decision-making related to Bain after 1999 is false, according to Romney's own testimony that he gave in June 2002. In the testimony, which was provided to The Huffington Post, Romney notes that 'there were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.' Romney went on to state that he 'remained on the board of the Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the Life Like Corporation.'" Bain owned a stake in Life Like during that time, meaning that Romney was, in fact, involved with Bain business.
FAILURE HAT TRICK IN SENATE - The upper chamber got a taste of failure today and liked it so much it went back for seconds... and then thirds. Mike McAuliff: "The first to go down on a strong bipartisan vote was a $46 billion measure already passed in the House and authored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). It would have granted businesses with fewer than 500 employees a one-year 20 percent tax break, and an analysis cited by Cantor said it would have created 194,000 jobs. It failed in the Senate 73 to 24. Democrats, who made up the bulk of the opposition, argued that the measure was a gift to the wealthy, including celebrities and sports teams... The most modest of the bills -- a $4 billion measure from Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would have encouraged start-ups -- went down 57 to 41, failing to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to break a GOP filibuster. The final measure, a Democratic bill that would have cost about $28 billion, aimed to give businesses a 10 percent tax break worth up to $500,000 for any new payroll added this year. It also would have extended a 100 percent bonus depreciation, allowing companies to write off investments in expansions and new machinery. A nonpartisan analysis estimated that even though it was cheaper than Cantor's version, this bill would have created five times as many jobs, or nearly 1 million." [HuffPost]
OLIVER TWIST CAUCUS SAYS NO MORE - As many as three million Americans would be cut off from food assistance in the next year under a Republican proposal that cleared a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives early on Thursday. The cuts, which are part of a broader farm bill, would reduce spending in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, by $16 billion over 10 years. The reduction is deeper than proposed SNAP cuts in a version of the farm bill that passed the Senate last month with bipartisan support. [HuffPost]
Wisconsin Republican Rep. Reid Ribble: "I want poor people to have food. I want children to eat well."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Watching politicians fight over SNAP can be aggravating for people who rely on the program. Tanya Wells, 32, said her family of four receives the maximum monthly allotment of $668. "We would love to not have to rely on the government for something as important as food, but we simply can not," she said. "We do hope to be off of the system soon, because it causes a lot of extra stress to see your only food source constantly on the line because of political battles." Wells said she and her husband both lost their jobs near the end of 2007. She had worked as a logistics coordinator for an oil company while he had been a sheet metal mechanic -- and they made a decent living. "We were comfortable middle class and all of the sudden the rug got pulled out from under us," Wells said. Seeing few decent job prospects -- aside from a string of retail and temp office jobs -- they started pursuing bachelor's degrees in biology and neuroscience. Wells said her husband's college awarded him a grant that covers their rent and transportation. [HuffPost]
UPSIDE DOWNER - A surprisingly positive unemployment claims report from the Labor Department: "In the week ending July 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 350,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 376,000. The 4-week moving average was 376,500, a decrease of 9,750 from the previous week's revised average of 386,250." [DOL]
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OBAMA AND ROMNEY'S LIBOR MONEY - Sorry, but every time we hear "LIBOR" we can't help but think it's some kind of erectile dysfunction medicine (which would make the title of this blurb significantly more intriguing). Paul Blumenthal: "Six of the banks under investigation -- JPMorgan, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, UBS, Bank of America and Barclays -- rank among Romney's top 20 donors. Through the end of May, employees of those companies and their family members have contributed more than $2 million to the Romney campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...None of the banks under investigation currently rank as top donors to Obama, although JPMorgan, Citigroup and UBS all ranked among Obama's top donors in 2008. Employees of the six banks that are top Romney donors have given $420,553 to the Obama campaign so far. In addition, eight Obama bundlers hail from banks under investigation for their role in the rigging of the Libor rate. Executives from Barclays, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS have raised at least $2 million for the reelection campaign." [HuffPost]
FORMER TREASURY OFFICIAL TO SOON HAVE ACCESS TO BOAT - (DOUBLE!) Sellout alert! FT: "Goldman Sachs has recruited a second former member of the Obama administration’s Treasury department to join its communications team. Andrew Williams, presently the director of media relations at General Electric, will join the US investment bank at the end of this month, people familiar with the move said. The hiring could be controversial: Goldman has previously been dubbed “Government Sachs” for its close ties with successive administrations. Earlier this year, the bank recruited Jake Siewert, a former senior adviser to Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary. Mr Williams was also a Treasury spokesman under Mr Geithner... Mr Williams, 39, joined the Treasury in 2009. There he helped run public affairs for almost two years before joining GE." [FT]
The White House communications staff, after groping the article Gollum-with-ring-style, went on the attack. "These kinds of statements are not lightly made,” Obama campaign attorney Bob Bauer said during a call with reporters. "If in fact, as he now claims, he was in fact not active with the company... that means that these statements are false and there are very very serious legal consequences that follow." [WaPo]
Team Romney, meanwhile, seizes on doubts about the validity of the Bain claims and drops a LIE BOMB in its latest attack ad. The production values have a distinctly "Dateline" feel ("Mary Beth thought she had found love on her online dating site, but what she actually found what was far more sinister. This Tuesday." -- that sort of thing). [HuffPost's Dave Jamieson]
T-PAW'S STOCK RISING - Fans of seltzer/rice cracker soup and the color taupe rejoice! It's becoming increasingly likely that you'll get a Republican presidential ticket that will excite you just the right amount (which is to say not at all!). AP: "Almost a year after he abandoned his White House bid, Pawlenty's reputation as being suitable but not a standout is actually fueling the speculation that the former Minnesota governor is a serious contender in Republican Mitt Romney's search for a running mate... To hear these insiders tell it, the earnest Pawlenty might end up satisfying many Republicans without risking the unwelcome distractions that could result from a running mate who is flashier than the nominee, who has close ties to an unpopular past administration or whose background has largely avoided scrutiny." [AP]
Jurisprudence is juris-difficult: "The disclosure that President Obama made a fundraising call from Air Force One while returning from a recent trip to Colorado focused attention again on the legal tightrope any president has to walk while running for reelection and still wielding the many White House perks at his disposal. His aides were quick to point out that a special phone had been installed on the presidential aircraft for such political uses. But the call came as Republicans were already howling at what they see as a blurring of the line." [National Journal]
PAY DISCREPANCY ON THE HILL - Atlantic: "What does $10,000 mean to you? Well, if you made something around the median in the U.S. last year, it could mean more than a fifth of your household income. But what's $10,000 to you if you're a female Republican congressional staffer? It's about how much less you'd make than the men in your office, according to salary data from LegiStorm. As Catherine Hollander notes in this week's National Journal magazine cover story, the salary divergence can be largely explained by the gender disparity in high-level congressional jobs -- especially among Republicans. Women working in Congress tend to have lower-ranking jobs and thus lower salaries. But the salary contrasts are striking when matched to congressional salary data on the whole." [Atlantic]
CONYERS AT RISK OF PRIMARY DEFEAT - Slow and steady might win the race, but complacent and unattentiveness will land your ass in an eponymous foundation much sooner than you had hoped (we expect the John Conyers Foundation will have something to do with finely-trimmed mustaches). Politico: "Black leaders and organized labor are increasingly worried that Michigan Rep. John Conyers is in danger of losing the seat he’s held for nearly five decades. The concern: that Conyers -- the second-longest-serving member of the House and a civil rights icon -- is about to be caught napping in his Aug. 7 Democratic primary.On June 29, Detroit labor brass convened an emergency meeting to plot a strategy to push the longtime congressman over the finish line. The meeting was described by three Democrats familiar with it who declined to speak publicly because the get-together was supposed to be confidential...with less than a month until the primary, the 24-term Conyers has kept a surprisingly low profile for a politician facing his toughest reelection fight since 1994. He has yet to air a single TV or radio commercial, and Detroit Democrats say Conyers has held few recent campaign events." John Conyers Sr. held that seat for decades before his son, btw. [Politico]
The U.S. Olympic team's uniforms were made in China, ABC News reports. Naturally, lawmakers are jumping at the opportunity to denounce something that everyone hates but has no serious consequences whatsoever. "I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again," Harry Reid said when asked by the news outlet. "If they have to wear nothing but a symbol that says USA on it, painted by hand, that is what they should wear." If you ask us, the new uniforms should be designed by whomever inhales all the fumes put out by all incinerated nylon. Those threads would be mindblowing. [ABC News]
Democra-fail: "A record number of Americans with criminal records cannot vote in what is expected to be a tight presidential election, a new study says. More than 5.85 million adults who've been convicted of a felony aren't welcome at polling places, according to data through 2010 compiled by The Sentencing Project. That's 600,000 more than in 2004, the last time the nonprofit group crunched the numbers." [HuffPost's Michael McLAughlin]
GINGRICH SURPRISINGLY COMPOSED ABOUT HEALTH CARE DECISION - Maybe he had recently seen a pleasant-looking lemur or especially zenned panda bear -- therapy animals can really help with stress and agitation. Jon Ward: "Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that while he was surprised by the Supreme Court's decision last month to uphold President Barack Obama's health care law as constitutional, he is not as upset with Chief Justice John Roberts as many conservatives now are. 'I've been curious as to why Roberts took this particular route,' Gingrich told The Huffington Post. 'But in a way, because I really do believe we want a less interventionist court, placing the political decision back on the American people I think's probably good.' Gingrich said he is releasing a small ebook next week that will explore how the decision is 'probably Obama's worst nightmare.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - How To Catch A Kangaroo. We're stuck on step 1.
Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are both celebrating their anniversaries today. That would definitely be the MOST AWKWARD double date imaginable ("So Scott, I hear you don't wanna see my wife naked?"). ABC News: "Brown, 52, is celebrating his 26th anniversary with wife Gail Huff, a reporter for ABC News’ Washington, D.C., affiliate WJLA-TV, The Boston Globe reported. Warren, 63, is celebrating her 32nd anniversary with husband Bruce Mann, a fellow Harvard law professor." [ABC News]
- MC Frontalot (?) rapping us through a toilet paper factory. Internet says the video was made for Sesame Street, but we have our doubts. [http://bit.ly/Se2vKj]
- Wanna know what Kanye West would call you? Try the KANYE NICKNAME GENERATOR. [http://bit.ly/PN8VRN]
- Famous works of art, recreated with balloons. Mona Lisa is creepy. [http://bit.ly/Se2TIy]
- The irreverent promo for Jerry Seinfeld's next project, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." [http://youtu.be/526iGwVdp6o]
- A while ago, we gave you a video of a guy named Matt dancing all over the world. Here are the "outtakes," which are at least as fun as the original. [http://bit.ly/Se3dad]
- The Batman movie we deserve, but not the one we need right now. [http://bit.ly/Se3Uk2]
- Shark Week starts August 12. Prep the chain mail and steel cages. And find some sharks. [http://bit.ly/Se3Ron]
@DCjourno: Look, @andreamsaul told me Bain isn't a story, so it isn't a story. Hope she gets me back with an exclusive first look at a Romney web video
@jackshafer: If I unfollowed you it's probably because you told me you were about to appear on cable TV.
@pourmecoffee: A thousand philosophers meditating 24 hours a day could not fully appreciate the irony of the Tea Party revolution leading to Mitt Romney.
6:30 pm: Mitch McConnell gets his fundraising in for his 2014 reelection because all of Comrade Obama's second term diktats will no doubt limit his ability to raise money. [R.B. Murphy and Associates, 220 E Street NE]
12:00 pm: Marco Rubio tries to impress Mitt Romney's hometown pals at a fundraising luncheon benefiting the former Massachusetts governor's campaign. For a mere $2,500 you can hear Rubio make some contrived jokes about chowder. ROI! [Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston]
1:00 pm: Two of history's most reliably underperforming teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Democratic Party, come together when Mike Quigley and various congressional aspirants from the Land of Lincoln -- including Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster and Brad Schneider take in a ballgame at Wrigley. [Wrigley Field]
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