07/29/2014 05:54 pm ET

HUFFPOST HILL - Naked Grover Norquist In The Desert

C-SPAN will adopt a paywall, which may drive users to the Canadian Public Affairs Channel. Grover Norquist calls Burning Man a "refutation of the argument that the state has a place in nature," echoing Tom Donohue's belief that the Gathering of the Juggalos is a "refutation of the argument that man can't get drunk off lighter fluid and vomit on a small woodland creature." And two former D.C. councilmen will serve jail sentences in the same prison, though it won't be a real Washington hotspot until there's a small plates restaurant and an upscale condo appropriating the name of a prominent African American. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 29th, 2014:

GOP SCALES BACK BORDER CRISIS FUNDING - Elise Foley: "House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on a bill that would provide less than a fifth of the funding the president requested to address the ongoing border crisis. After more than 57,500 unaccompanied minors crossed the border illegally since October, President Barack Obama requested $3.7 billion to care for them, speed up deportation proceedings and attempt to deter illegal immigration. Senate Democrats proposed a $2.7 billion package. But the House GOP plan went from an expected $1.5 billion as of a week ago to less than $1 billion on Friday. On Tuesday, House Republicans announced the funding had been pared down even further to a $659 million package that was introduced on Tuesday. 'I think we should do something before we go home, and we're working to get there,' House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters after meeting with Republican members. Two-thirds of the bill's funding would go toward border security, such as dispatching National Guard troops to the border, while one-third of the money is meant to provide humanitarian assistance. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told reporters he was 'optimistic' that the bill would get strong support from Republicans, and said the lower price tag would help attract fiscal conservatives." [HuffPost]

Annnnnnnnd they're off! "House Democratic leaders will urge their troops to oppose the Republican bill addressing the migrant crisis at the southern border, according to the office of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). The move will heighten pressure on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to rally his conference behind the $659 million package, which aims to relieve pressure at the border amid the recent influx of child migrants from Central America. Without Democratic support, GOP leaders can afford to lose 17 Republicans and still pass the bill. But with a number of conservatives opposed to the measure, it remains unclear if Boehner will need Democratic votes to get the package to the Senate." [The Hill]

Also against the House bill: Ted Cruz.

PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA - NYT "President Obama announced expanded sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, just hours after the European Union imposed its most sweeping measures yet penalizing Moscow for its role in supporting separatists in neighboring Ukraine. The latest American actions took aim at more Russian banks and a large defense firm, but they also went further than past moves by blocking future technology sales to Russia’s lucrative oil industry in an effort to inhibit its ability to develop future resources. The measures were meant to largely match those unveiled earlier in the day in Europe...'Today is a reminder that the United States means what it says and we will rally the international community in standing up for the rights and freedom.'" [NYT]

GIFFORDS FAVORED MERCY FOR SHOOTER - Sam Stein: "More than a year and a half after she was shot in the head while hosting a constituent services event in her district, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was asked for her opinion about prosecuting the shooter. The lawyers making the case against Jared Lee Loughner said they had the option of pursuing the death penalty. He had killed six that day in January 2011, including an aide to Giffords, and left many others, including Giffords herself, with horrific physical wounds. The death penalty was hardly a far-fetched sentence. Or, the lawyers said, they instead could cut a deal that took the death penalty off the table and pursue consecutive life sentences in exchange for a guilty plea. Giffords wanted the latter. 'No death penalty,' she said." [HuffPost]

Mi$ter Akaka: "C-SPAN will soon require online viewers of its original programming to verify that they are paid cable or satellite TV subscribers. Since C-SPAN is a non-profit network that does not accept funding from the government or advertisers, it relies solely on cable and satellite companies' carriage fees. While live, original content from C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 will soon require a sign-in, all governmental meetings, hearings and conferences will continue to be streamed online without required authentication." [USA Today]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - "More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bills. Their mortgages, auto loans or student debt pile up, unpaid. Even past-due gym membership fees or cellphone contracts can end up with a collection agency, potentially hurting credit scores and job prospects, said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank." [AP]

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BOEHNER DISMISSES IMPEACHMENT - The paperwork alone would really eat away at his free time, which we suspect involves pleated khaki shorts, a good reclining chair and a coffee table book of early 20th century football players. Mike McAuliff: "Sarah Palin may have demanded that President Barack Obama be impeached, and tea party Republicans may have flirted with that idea as well, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declared Tuesday that such talk was all a 'scam' dreamed up by the White House. 'This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff, and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill,' Boehner told reporters at a news conference. 'Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and show up in this year's elections. We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,' Boehner added emphatically. 'Listen. It’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.' Boehner appeared to be referring to comments last week by senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer, who was asked about impeachment talk circulating in Washington, and said the administration expects that ultimately Boehner won't be able to resist appeals from his base to go after Obama." [HuffPost]

TPM has an interactive map showing attitudes toward the tea party by county.

NRCC CHAIR SEEKING SECOND TERM - The job primarily consists of phoning charismatic and/or powerful local officials and telling them not to talk about rape. Roll Call: "National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden announced Tuesday he will seek a second term running the House GOP’s campaign arm. 'I fully intend to seek re-election as NRCC chairman,' Walden told reporters at an afternoon briefing at the committee’s headquarters. 'I think it’s important work,' he continued. 'And it’s especially important going forward into a presidential cycle to build on what [former NRCC Chairman] Pete Sessions and I started, carry that forward during what will obviously be a different makeup of the electorate in a presidential year.' ...the Oregon Republican ran unopposed for the job after the 2012 elections. In April, several Capitol Hill sources said Walden would coast to a second term if he wanted it. His re-election would provide some continuity to GOP leadership. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s June primary loss in Virginia prompted changes in the lineup. " [Roll Call]

AMERICAN ATTITUDES TOWARD MUSLIMS AND ARABS SOURING - And here you thought it couldn't get worse than during the Ground Zero mosque brouhaha. Sabrina Siddiqui: "Americans were outraged to learn they were being spied on by the National Security Agency, but many support law enforcement profiling of Muslims, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Arab American Institute. The survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics for the advocacy group, found that 42 percent of Americans believe law enforcement is justified in using profiling tactics against Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans. The survey also shows American attitudes toward Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans have turned for the worse since the Arab American Institute first began polling on the subject in 2010. The new poll found favorability toward Arab-Americans at 36 percent, down from 43 percent in 2010. For Muslim-Americans, favorability was just 27 percent, compared with 36 percent in 2010...Results differed by political party, with the majority of Republicans holding negative views of both Arab-Americans and Muslims. Democrats gave Arab-Americans a 30 percent unfavorable rating and Muslim-Americans a 33 percent unfavorable rating, while Republicans gave Arab-Americans a 54 percent unfavorable rating and Muslim-Americans a 63 percent unfavorable rating." [HuffPost]

The best kind of handout: "Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback relied on a loan from his lieutenant governor to raise slightly more money this year than his Democratic challenger, campaign records show. Brownback reported taking in $1.2 million for the reporting period ending July 24. That included a $500,000 loan from Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a plastic surgeon. Subtract the loan, and Democratic challenger Paul Davis of Lawrence would have raised about $378,000 more than Brownback between Jan. 1 and July 24, records show. The governor finished the reporting period with $2.3 million in the bank compared to $1.3 million for Davis. The Colyer loan is the second that Brownback has received from his running mate. He received a $500,000 loan from Colyer just before the end of last year’s reporting period and repaid it Jan. 2." [Kansas City Star]

HAHAHAHA WASHINGTON IS NOT A REAL PLACE - WCP: "[T]wo disgraced former D.C. councilmembers will share a prison. In a letter Sunday to his one-time backers, Michael Brown said he's turning himself in today to serve his 39-month prison sentence at a minimum-security facility in Montgomery, Ala. That's the same place where former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. passes his own 38-month sentence for stealing grant money meant for children. Most of Brown's letter, first reported by NBC4's Mark Segraves, explains how Brown's supporters can send letters or visit him. Brown, who earned his sentence after taking bribes from undercover agents, then lying to investigators about illicit help he received from shadow campaign maestro Jeff Thompson, thanks the letters' recipients for their "continued prayers and support." [City Paper]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby fox.

GROVER NORQUIST: BURNER - National Journal: "Grover Norquist—the president of Americans for Tax Reform, which was founded in 1985 with a mission to fight income-tax increases—has wanted to go to Burning Man since 2012. Burning Man is an annual festival of debauchery that takes place in the middle of the Nevada desert. Attendees, called 'burners,' often dress up in crazy costumes, waltz around naked, take copious amounts of illicit substances, and generally do whatever they want. So, how did a conservative activist like Norquist get interested in Burning Man? He tells the story like this: A couple of years ago, Larry Harvey—the founder of Burning Man—was in Washington to negotiate with the National Park Service about land use for the festival, which takes place on federal land. Harvey later stopped by Americans for Tax Reform's weekly Wednesday meeting, and ending up going to dinner with Norquist and his wife, Samah Alrayyes Norquist. 'You've got to come out!' Harvey told them...'There's no government that organizes this,' Norquist said. 'That's what happens when nobody tells you what to do. You just figure it out. So Burning Man is a refutation of the argument that the state has a place in nature.'" [National Journal]


- Debunking the myth that humans only use 10 percent of their brains. [http://bit.ly/1rN6d25]

- Two dogs, one of whom knows how to go down a slide correctly. [http://some.ly/1uEfY4N]

- A brief history of "Whoa, if true." [http://bit.ly/1nNLlpC]

- Catching up with a face transplant recipient. [http://gqm.ag/1nObzIG]

- A trip to Taiwan's first sex-themed restaurant. [http://bit.ly/1pk3xTi]

- Automatically opening trash cans talking to each other. [http://bit.ly/1tWPYNS]

- Three-year-old is a very good drummer. [http://chzb.gr/1nRGy6I]


@HowLateWasObama: 49 minutes.

@gilbertjasono: Twitter was profitable this quarter, which means that, for the first time ever, your tweets were not completely worthless

@HayesBrown: Leaked transcript:

Obama: I hate Israel


Obama: Lol go Hamas

Bibi: Nooo why G*d why

Obama: [evil laugh]

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