A third of Americans want President Obama impeached, even though White House tours have resumed. Cory Booker is on a quest to take selfies with all his colleagues, though it pales in comparison to John McCain's oft-forgotten "99 Days, 99 Daguerreotypes" project. And we've come so far since the days of Don't Ask, Don't Tell that the President of the United States literally goes around asking people if they're gay. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, July 14th, 2014:
WHITE HOUSE CLARIFIES POSITION ON CHILD DEPORTATIONS - Rare victory for the "United States should not be party to children's deaths" lobby. Sam Stein: "Attempting to assuage liberal critics, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday that unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the nation’s southern border won’t be deported if it is determined that doing so would lead to their death. The press secretary was responding to remarks made by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), one of the highest-ranking Democrats to publicly condemn calls to send back the tens of thousands of minors to their home countries in Central America. The Maryland Democrat, who is openly considering a run for the White House in 2016, said sending the minors back would be immoral considering the high rates of violence and crime in their countries of origin. 'We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death,' O’Malley said Friday at a National Governors Association meeting. Earnest was asked about the point during Monday’s briefing...The response represented a softening of the White House's rhetoric. Last week, Earnest emphasized that he expected most of the minors captured along the border would end up being deported back to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras." [HuffPost]
@burgessev: Solid three-hour, 45-minute Senate session today. No votes, about 10 senators around
ADMINISTRATION MULLING EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION - The Hill: "White House attorneys are examining whether the president can use executive action to 'level the playing field' on immigration for business owners, press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. Earnest provided few details about what kind of action the president might take, but the comments offered the first insight into what type of authorities the administration was reviewing following the president's announcement he would look to act unilaterally after comprehensive immigration reform legislation died in the House. 'The question is whether or not there are additional steps that you can take to level the playing field for businesses,' Earnest told reporters. 'There are a lot of businesses right now who are very rigorous about observing immigration law, and that creates an opening for some unscrupulous businesses to undercut them and to bypass that system and essentially hire undocumented labor for cheaper. That, obviously, is not playing on a level playing field.'...Some technology companies have suggested that the president might be able to use executive action to reduce the backlog of H-1B visas, which allow high-skilled foreign workers to come to the U.S. That would be a major coup for tech firms, which have dumped millions of dollars in lobbying cash behind immigration reform in a bid to loosen restrictions on workers." [The Hill]
@karentravers: Awesome pic of lightning right behind the US Capitol at 5:08pm during that nasty storm - from an @ABC News DC camera http://t.co/DMPnoWmNdp
Haircuts: Jeff Young (h/t Jeff Young), David McCabe (h/t David McCabe)
WARREN CAMPAIGNS FOR W.VA DEM, COMES OUT AGAINST BIG BANKS - Samantha Lachman in Shepherdstown, Va. -- "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) went to bat for a fellow Democrat's underdog Senate campaign here Monday, railing against Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's (R-W.Va.) financial industry connections. The historic Shepherdstown, chartered in 1762, played host to Warren's upbeat rally in support of West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. Tennant and Capito are vying to succeed the retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) in a race that will produce the Mountain State's first-ever female senator. Warren, who has campaigned this cycle for Senate candidates across the Democratic political spectrum, gave a scathing criticism of Capito's record on financial issues. 'When [Wall Street] needs her, [Capito's] been there,' Warren said in a packed hotel ballroom. 'She's out there for Wall Street, she's leading the charge. ... We need some more people who are willing to work on the side of America's families.'" [HuffPost]
REMINDER THAT DICK CHENEY LOVES BOMBING STUFF - Jen Bendery: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that President Barack Obama is 'devastating' the U.S. military and needs to divert more resources away from domestic priorities such as rebuilding roads and making sure low-income people can get food. During an event sponsored by Politico, Cheney said the next president needs to 'turn around the whole trend' of cutting defense dollars. 'That ought to be our top priority for spending. Not food stamps, not highways or anything else,' Cheney said. 'Your No. 1 responsibility as president is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. [Obama] is the commander-in-chief and he's absolutely devastating the United States military today.'" [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - "Slightly less than half of all Americans (45%) report spending more than they did a year ago, while 18% report spending less. A closer look at these numbers reveals Americans' increased spending is on household essentials, such as groceries, gasoline, utilities, and healthcare, rather than on discretionary purchases." [Gallup]
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TWO-THIRDS OF REPUBLICANS SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT - Emily Swanson: "Sarah Palin raised eyebrows last week when she called on Congress to impeach President Barack Obama, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that the former Alaska governor is not alone. A third of Americans, and two-thirds of Republicans, think Obama should be impeached. Among all Americans, those saying Congress would not be justified in beginning impeachment proceedings against Obama outnumber those who think it would be justified, 44 percent to 35 percent, while 21 percent said they weren't sure. The question drew a huge partisan divide. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said beginning the impeachment process would be justified, while only 8 percent of Democrats said the same. Independents were divided, 37 percent to 37 percent, while 26 percent said they weren't sure. Overall, 26 percent of non-Republicans said impeachment would be justified." [HuffPost]
But can vaccine cause Phil Gingrey in children? "Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a dire warning: Some of the child refugees streaming across the southern border into the United States might carry deadly diseases. 'Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,' Gingrey wrote. 'Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.' Gingrey's analysis carried an aura of credibility among conservatives, because, as Judicial Watch noted, the congressman is 'also [a] medical doctor.' But his two-page letter is filled with false charges—there's no evidence that migrants carry Ebola or that they're less likely to be vaccinated—from an inconvenient messenger: The congressman has himself pushed legislation to discourage some kinds of mandatory vaccinations in the United States." [Mother Jones]
REP BLOCKING D.C. WEED IS A TOTAL BUZZKILL - Andy Harris is such a square he probably doesn't even hand out pennies on Halloween, lest children become dependent on handouts. WaPo" "The Maryland congressman challenging the District’s new marijuana-decriminalization law is no stranger to unpopular stances, having survived a contentious 12 years as a Republican lawmaker in the state’s Democratic-dominated General Assembly. During last fall’s budget standoff, Rep. Andy Harris was one of the last true believers, continuing to vote against the federal budget even at the risk of prolonging a government shutdown. He equates mandated insurance coverage of contraception with the burning of churches and medical use of marijuana with telling patients to chew on mold instead of taking penicillin. As a state senator in 2008, Harris tried to withhold funding to the University of Maryland because students planned to screen an X-rated film. He said he considers pornography 'poison.' ...His style is acerbic, his critics are many. But Harris’s friends and allies describe him as a dedicated father and Catholic with a fierce sense of moral obligation who is often unfairly typecast as an unreasonable tea partyer...Elected to Congress in 2010, he made it onto the powerful Appropriations Committee last year. Now he wants to chair the conservative Republican Study Committee, which could be a launching pad to higher leadership positions." [WaPo]
Someone publication FOIA'd internal CIA complaints about its cafeteria. There are some compliments, too ("The carrots on the hot bar today... were amazingly good").
MICHAEL GRIMM'S WEIRD PARTYING - Looks like the "alright alright alright" Caucus has a new member. Business Insider: "Congressman Michael Grimm (R-New York) made a very special visit to a constituent's sweet 16 birthday party last weekend, where one of the girls declared him her 'bae.' Based on a series of since-deleted tweets, Grimm, who was once labeled one of the 'sexiest bachelors in Congress' and one of the 'most beautiful people' in Washington, made quite the impression among the teenage crowd. 'F***ing Michael Grimm is going,' one teen wrote on Twitter in a series of posts. 'I'm gonna dance with him all night and make him fall in love with me.' Grimm reportedly promised her that wouldn't be their last encounter. Another teen quoted the excited conversations about Grimm that she overheard among her friends. 'Michael Grimm is coming.' 'Oh shit now I have to wear nice underwear,' she wrote. Reached for comment, a Grimm rep described the family who hosted the party as personal friends of the congressman. 'The Congressman knows the family personally, and was invited by the parents to attend and wish their daughter a happy birthday,' the spokesman said." [Business Insider]
"Are you gay?" - Obama's question to a person taking his food order. [HuffPost]
POLITICIAN DOES INCREDIBLY VAIN THING - Maybe someone should tell him his credibility is in a burning building. MSNBC: "Sen. Cory Booker’s got 99 problems: scoring selfies with all of his fellow U.S. senators. The New Jersey Democrat is on a mission to take photos with all the other senators, according to the Washington Post, in an attempt to bring his trademark social savvy to a Senate floor that is rife with partisan rancor. Booker announced the project a month ago, when he photographed himself with Maine’s Sen. Angus King. 'A true gentlemen and a valued source of wisdom for me in the Senate,' he wrote under the photo when he posted it on social media. Since that inaugural picture, Booker’s been on a bipartisan quest to get photos with the other 98 senators. So far, he’s snagged ten selfies...Booker has made a point of emphasizing the bipartisan nature of his quest. In comments alongside selfies of Republican Senators John Boozman of Arkansas, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, Booker noted the unlikely common ground they share." [MSNBC]
Mike Huckabee is a limousine liberal...but conservative: "As a presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee made a name for himself as the regular Joe on the debate stage, a threadbare underdog who couldn’t afford his opponents’ Madison Avenue-style commercials, plush hotels and chartered planes. In his campaign memoir, Huckabee proclaimed that he 'kept in touch' with ordinary people while eating food-court fare and waiting for long-delayed commercial flights as 'other candidates were stepping onto their Gulfstream jets.' These days, the former Arkansas governor is living — and flying — far more comfortably. Now a Fox News commentator and highly paid public speaker, Huckabee has in just a few years racked up at least $253,000 in private air travel bills on the way to political events, according to a POLITICO review of federal and state campaign finance records." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a collection of dogs imitating sirens.
THE LIVE FREE OR DIE STATE WON'T LET YOU GET DRUNK - Yes, you. DCist: "A D.C. resident originally from New Hampshire was visiting his folks with a few friends over 4th of July weekend when a liquor store wouldn't accept his license because it wasn't from one of the 50 states or a province in Canada.The Monitor reports that, according to New Hampshire state law, 'businesses that sell alcohol can accept four types of legal proof of age: a passport, a military card, or a driver's license or photo identification from any of the 50 states, as well as provinces of Canada.' 'Any of the 50 states.' 50 states being the key word there, as D.C., you well know, is not one of the 50 states, yet is more than a city for its 600,000-plus residents. Travis Mitchell, a New Hampshire native and journalist for U.S. News and World Report whose D.C. license was rejected by the liquor store clerk, says that he was 'dumbfounded' about the law. 'I don't fault the guy for enforcing the law,' he told the Monitor. 'It just seemed bizarre at the time—and it still does.'" [DCist]
- Weird Al's new music video makes us smile. [http://bit.ly/1yhODDQ]
- A history of houses built out of spite. [http://bit.ly/1mOMDP9]
- The world's biggest yo-yo is the Colossus of Rhodes of our time. [http://bit.ly/1rbx4EF]
- Japan has a cat pub. [http://bit.ly/WcYRba]
- Nineteen perfectly looped animal GIFs to get your week started right. [http://huff.to/U4MpYR]
- A kid snapped a selfie with Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney. Throw Lil' Jon in there and you have the largest possible cross section of famous inhabitants of Western Civilization. [http://on.mash.to/1sTPW90]
- A medley of popular music's greatest bass licks. [http://bit.ly/1tJcU6X]
@SenileDonDraper: Speaking for all Americans, I want a taco salad made of guns, bacon, banjos, and trucks. Delivered to my house. By a drone. Made of cheese.
@Milbank: Almost 1 hour into White House press briefing. If illegal immigrants were forced to watch, many would self-deport.
@SimonMaloy: OBAMA: I would like a specific quantity of money, please.
GOP: No! We're not giving you a blank check!
OBAMA: I... okay. Uh.
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