The Romney campaign distorted President Obama in its latest attack ad about as aggressively as the person who made the President sing 'Call Me Maybe'. Louie Gohmert says he hugs Muslims all around the world, probably to teach them an alternative to terrorist fist jabbing. And John Boehner disparaged a reporter's decision to wear loafers without socks. This surprised us: given Boehner's love of pastel ties, we figured he'd be down with the Vineyard Vines look. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 19th, 2012:
ROMNEY RETROACTIVELY OPPOSES THING HE ONCE SUPPORTED - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called the Obama administration's announcement that states could apply for waivers from some welfare rules "completely misdirected," even though Romney and other Republican governors supported a similar policy in 2005. [HuffPost]
Hey, nevermind what we once supported. Everything is different now 'cause OBAMA.
REID GIVES $10K TO FORMER NRC CHAIRMAN - Harry Reid has cut a $10,000 check from his nonprofit Searchlight Foundation to help former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, people who know such things tell HuffPost Hill. The funds are intended to help pay down legal bills Jaczko amassed fending off an industry assault that culminated with his resignation this summer. Former top Reid staffers, led by Karen Wayland and Susan McCue, are organizing a fundraising effort for Jaczko. Reid's check is a public statement that he stands by Jaczko, despite the furor over his tenure. [HuffPost]
THE GUY WHO REPRESENTS THE MOMENT WE GAVE UP ON EACH OTHER AS A NATION IS 90 - Luminaries from the left and right (of the establishment) are convening at the Newseum tonight to celebrate George McGovern's 90th birthday. Crash it and you'll get to see Nancy Pelosi, Bob Dole, Steny Hoyer, Jim McGovern, John Thune, Dick Durbin, Andrea Mitchell, Vicky Kennedy, Bob Woodward, okay you get the point. The whole thing has something to do with world hunger, and being against it. [Newseum, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Thursday jobless claims report NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! "In the week ending July 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 386,000, an increase of 34,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 352,000. The 4-week moving average was 375,500, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 377,000." [Labor Department]
NEW POLITICAL TV SHOW IS ABOUT A CAMPAIGN, HITS US UP RELENTLESSLY FOR PR, WE CAVE - You win, "Chasing the Hill." The show is set around a congressional campaign in Los Angeles and features appearances from a variety of "West Wing" alumni including Josh Malina. Download the first episode here.
Don't be bashful (unless you're pitching a fourth politics-related drama!): Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
DEMOCRATS GETTING GAYER - Amanda Terkel: "In the wake of President Barack Obama's announcement that he personally backs marriage equality, a group of California Democratic lawmakers are restarting the push to include support for same-sex marriage in the official party platform. And it's an effort that Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) also backs." [HuffPost]
ROMNEY AD REDUCES PRESIDENT TO ONLINE COMMENTER TROLL - A new ad attack from the Romney campaign so distorts President Obama's "you didn't build that" quote/gaffe, it's like word cubism. Seriously, it's disfigured, and not just Mr.-Potatohead-with-a-mustache-for-an-eye disfigured, we're talking Mr.-Potatohad-with-Mrs.-Potatohead's-purse-stuffed-into-his-nose-socket disfigured. It's mangled, ok?
Here's the original quote: "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."
...and here's the altered quote used in the Romney ad: "If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be 'cause I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." [TPM]
If he had named Elizabeth Warren to lead the CFPB, this never would've happened. Heh.
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS WON'T DISCLOSE TAXES, EITHER - So if you had any hope of uncovering John Boehner's catacomb-sized wine cellar of nothing but Merlot, you'll be sorely disappointed. Both he and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters today that the status of their finances should stay private. "I've never released my tax returns. That's my private business just like it's your own private business," Boehner told reporters during his weekly briefing today. "It's a sideshow. That's all it is...the American people are asking questions, 'Where are the jobs?' They're not asking, 'Where are the tax returns?" Pelosi, meanwhile, made a distinction. "It's a relationship between the person running for president and the American people," she said. "If you release them, you tell a story. If you don't release them, you leave it up to the imagination of anybody who wants to talk about it." OK, then! [HuffPost]
Here's Rand Paul on the Senate floor being harassed by a fly
A new poll from USA Today and Gallup finds a majority of Americans want Romney to disclose his returns. USA Today: " While 42% predict the release of additional returns would not reveal anything politically harmful, 44% believe it would include damaging information... [Voters agree] by a substantial margin of 17 percentage points that Romney in particular should release more than two years of returns. By 54%-37%, they say Romney should release tax returns from additional years. Those calling for more disclosure include 75% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 30% of Republicans." [USA Today]
REPUBLICANS DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM BACHMANN'S ABEDIN CLAIMS - Maybe it's just us, but is Michele Bachmann engaged in some kind of The Aristocrats-style game of shock one-upmanship ("There's something undermining America and it's...")? Amanda Terkel and Jen Bendery: "Boehner warned that lawmakers shouldn't make such serious allegations without anything to back them up. 'From everything that I do know of [Abedin], she has a sterling character and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous,' he said. Asked if he would consider removing Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee over the recklessness of her comments, Boehner demurred. 'I don't know that that's related at all,' he said.... Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) weighed in on Twitter, writing, 'Rep. Bachmann's accusations about Sec. Clinton aide Huma Abedin are out-of-line. This kind of rhetoric has no place in our public discourse.' And on Thursday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he didn't 'share the feelings' expressed in the lawmakers' letters." [HuffPost]
Louie Gohmert, one of the five Republicans claiming Abedin is trying to establish a worldwide caliphate or whatever, kindly clarified his views: "You follow me around the world, you see me hugging Muslims around the world, because the ones I hug are our friends," he said to Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano during a Judiciary Committee hearing today. [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
@jbendery: Boehner picking on @LukeRussert in briefing: "Really simple rule: If you have a tie on, you should be wearing socks." #loafers
SO BEGINS THE 'HUMA FOR CONGRESS' BUZZ - She's intelligent, she's successful, she's poised, she's beautiful -- naturally she has no place being in the U.S. House of Representatives, but one cannot control the buzz. That's a job for unnamed operatives. "Some Democrats are whispering that it might be Abedin, not Weiner, who has a future in elective politics," Politico reports. The paper doesn't really say who these Democrats are -- they include a vague supportive quote from Anthony Weiner and a bemused response from one of Abedin's State Department colleagues, but that's about it. Try turning the key again, Politico! [Politico]
ELIZABETH WARREN BEING CONSIDERED FOR TOP CONVENTION SPOT - Man, we could've sworn the prized spot would go to Chris Coons (or as we affectionately call him, "Flash McSizzle"). Boston Globe: "An Obama campaign official confirmed to the Globe Wednesday that US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is being considered as a possible keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C...The Obama campaign official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal campaign deliberations, emphasized that no formal invitations have been extended to any potential convention speakers. Rather, the official said, some preliminary queries have been made to gauge interest and availability." [Globe]
REPORT: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS BEING RECKLESS WITH A FEW OF YOUR PENNIES - The Library of Congress -- that giant building known to a significant number of people as the place they got lost in while trying to find Cannon -- has been irresponsibly spending its money, a scathing new report finds. Roll Call: "The report concluded that the Office of Contracts and Grants Management has not been responsible in its management of funds in awarding contracts to outside organizations providing services at the LOC. Contracting funds account for about a third, or more than $200 million, of the LOC's overall annual budget. The report found 'numerous technical deficiencies at critical steps in the acquisition process, such as the lack of adequate planning; failure to conduct market research; [and] a gross lack of competition (of the 129 randomly selected contracts valued at $52 million, more than half were awarded noncompetitively).'" [Roll Call]
DNC NIXING DRESSAGE-THEMED ATTACK ADS - As tempting as it is to link Mitt Romney to the daintiest of equestrian sports -- and it doesn't really get more precious unless you delve into the world of competitive doyley placing -- it's actually Ann Romney's thing and an integral part of her M.S. treatment... so... not so much. The Hill: "In a series of Web ads, the DNC used the horse to knock Romney for refusing to release his tax records -- joking he was 'dancing around the issue.' Dressage, a highly technical -- and expensive -- equestrian sport, is sometimes referred to as 'horse ballet.' But on Wednesday, the DNC apologized for offending Ann Romney, who has cited horse riding as a crucial part of her MS treatment." [The Hill]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a happy prancing doggy!
- 5-year-old makes up a story, weird/funny adults animate it. Thanks, internet! [http://bit.ly/NDFIUY]
- Rich Kids Of Instagram... [dot tumblr dot com]
- Via Nick Wing, some kid playing along with The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," on a kazoo, poorly. [http://bit.ly/LAOk1y]
- There's a convention thing for fans of Insane Clown Posse. If you know anything about it, there's probably something wrong with you. [http://bit.ly/NDGwcl]
- BuzzFeed once again takes a bite out of global productivity with their collection of celebrity + cat portraits. [http://bit.ly/NDHiGp]
- Music video produces the sensation of "bungee jumping horizontally" through San Francisco. [http://bit.ly/LAQdeN]
- Here is a small kangaroo wearing a diaper doing a somersault into a fuzzy bag. [http://chzb.gr/LAQRcd]
@brianbeutler: Democrats back off dressage attacks. Not worth beating a dea...dancing horse, I guess.
@prwerdel I hope you're happy, person who coined the term "veepstakes"
@mpoindc: is.gd/7WLiHi RT @cbrangel: I'd like to change my profile picture. Tweet me your favorite picture of me and I'll pick the best one!
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Eight aspiring Republican members of Congress from California are trucked in from their districts for a fundraiser with John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. Democrats are putting a lot of their hopes in California so expect the leaders to really put their backs into this one. [Capitol Hill Club 300 First Street SE]
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Wanna get sloshed at Rehoboth with a member of the U.S. Senate? Now that Joe is out of the picture, you'll have to settle for Tom Carper, the man of the hour at a happy hour fundraiser. [Stingray, Rehoboth, DE]
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm: For those of you not escaping D.C. for the beach, take in some rockabillly when Ruthie and The Wranglers perform at Jazz in the Garden. [
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