Scott DesJarlais once again proved you don’t have to be from Louisiana to have robust careers in politics AND philandering. Burger King might relocate to Canada, though it could set up some political tensions as that country already has a sovereign. And speaking of royal subjects, the British Embassy observed the 200th anniversary of the burning of the White House, or, as it's better known today, the first time White House tours were canceled. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, August 25th, 2014:
PRIMARY ROUNDUP - An amazing collection of crazy. Samantha Lachman: "The Republican primary to succeed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) will indicate whether voters wish to nominate a candidate that Brewer herself supports, or one that would take the state in a more conservative direction. In the third-to-last primary day of the year, Arizona voters also will decide between a state representative who is concerned about undocumented immigrants bringing Ebola to the United States across the southern border, a state representative who mistook YMCA campers for undocumented minors and a rancher who said Democrats are behind the majority of the nation's mass shootings. And in Florida, former Gov. Charlie Crist and former Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) will see if voters are willing to give them a second shot." [HuffPost]
SCOTT BROWN, BRO - Sabrina Siddiqui: "New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown added his name to the list of Republicans who have denied the science behind climate change, despite previously stating it is real. During a GOP primary debate on Saturday, Brown was asked if he believed that 'the theory of man-made climate change has been scientifically proven.' The former Massachusetts senator, who is seeking to challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), responded, 'Uh, no.'" [HuffPost]
HOUSE SPENDING $350K ON OBAMA LAWSUIT - Which, depending on how you look at it, is either a gross misuse of taxpayer money or an insignificant amount of cash that's only a fraction of members' combined Ginger Ale budget. Jake Sherman: "The House of Representatives will spend no more than $350,000 to sue President Barack Obama, according to a contract released Monday by a congressional committee. BakerHostetler’s David Rivkin will represent the House as it seeks to show that Obama has misused executive authority. The contract expires in January 2015 and the law firm’s rate is $500 per hour. The House voted along party lines to sue Obama, principally for delaying Obamacare’s mandate that companies provide health care for their employees. Republicans say Obama delayed the provision — and essentially changed the law — without consulting Congress." [Politico]
FOLEY KILLER STARS IN GOP CAMPAIGN AD - Peter Hamby: "The masked man appears briefly, for only a frame or two, but it’s startling nonetheless. The not-yet-identified killer of kidnapped American photographer James Foley is featured in an ominous and risky campaign ad released Monday by New Mexico’s Republican nominee for Senate, Allen Weh, the underdog challenger to first-term Democratic Senator Tom Udall." [CNN]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Has it gotten harder for Americans from poor backgrounds to become famous? In a new book, Unlikely Fame: Poor People Who Made History, historian David Wagner suggests fewer famous people come from poverty today than did in the past. Wagner culled subjects from the American National Biography Online, along with websites such as Biography.com and Wikipedia. He found 19 famous people born into poverty from 1936 to 1945. After 1945, however, it takes three decades to come up with another 19 notable Americans from truly poor backgrounds. Wagner writes that his finding is "a hint that if anything, fewer people are emerging from poverty." [HuffPost]
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MICHAEL BROWN'S FUNERAL HELD - Matt Sledge, Paige Lavender and Ryan Reilly: " A massive crowd gathered at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on this brilliantly sunny day to grieve an 18-year-old they called "Mike Mike," whose death at the hands of a police officer has sparked huge protests in the small city of Ferguson over the past two weeks. Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was shot by Police Officer Darren Wilson, 28, on Aug. 9. Brown's death and the protests that followed have put a spotlight on police violence, militarization of local law enforcement and racial profiling. The calls for justice for Brown have been folded into a broader movement in the greater Saint Louis area -- and around the country -- for improved relationships between police and the communities they are supposed to protect. Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., asked protesters to pause demonstrations Monday, requesting instead a 'day of silence' as his family laid the teenager to rest. Rev. Al Sharpton, who has been assisting Brown's family, also requested a day of peace...Inside the church on Monday, the pulpit was flanked by floral displays and photographs of Brown. Nearly all of the mourners at the service were African-American, and at least 600 members of Brown's extended family were reportedly in attendance. So too were Sharpton, filmmaker Spike Lee, officials from the White House and a plethora of local politicians." [HuffPost]
BLEEDING HEART ROVE STRIKES AGAIN - Greg Sargent reports Karl Rove's super pac is "hitting Senator Kay Hagan in North Carolina over Social Security’s retirement age. The spot, which is backed by more than $1 million, says Hagan is a 'big believer' in a 'controversial plan' that 'raises the retirement age,' while the words 'raises Social Security retirement age' flash on the screen. It also claims the plan Hagan supports 'increases out-of-pocket Medicare costs.' Yes, it appears Rove’s Crossroads is attacking Hagan for saying nice things about the Simpson Bowles debt reduction plan, which squeezes seniors by cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits…. it is remarkable to watch Rove’s group try to position multiple Democratic Senators as the real threat to social insurance for the elderly, for the third straight cycle — and even more intriguingly, to use Simpson Bowles to do so. After all, Simpson Bowles is still widely treated as a paragon of unimpeachable fiscally responsible centrism, and Dems have long been pilloried by Beltway fiscal scold types for refusing to embrace its sanctified prescriptions for deficit reduction." [WashPost]
POT CALLS MARY LANDRIEU BLACK, TAX DODGER - Laura Bassett: "The National Republican Senatorial Committee went after Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) last year for being late to pay taxes on her home in Washington, D.C. But Landrieu's NRSC-backed Senate opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), made the same mistake this year. According to public documents from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, Cassidy had to pay penalties in 2011 and 2014 for twice failing to pay property taxes on time for his D.C. condominium. When Landrieu paid a penalty last year for being late on her 2012 taxes, conservative media outlets pointed it out and NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring slammed her for it. 'Mary Landrieu’s campaign slogan must be, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,'' Dayspring said in a statement at the time. 'Senator Landrieu wants hard working Louisianans to send more money to Washington for President Obama to spend, but got caught failing to pay her fair share of taxes on her DC mansion. Senator Mary Landrieu’s mansion tax avoidance is the latest case of powerful Democrats in Washington trying to force the people to do one thing as they do another. Cassidy's tax delinquency does not seem to bother the NRSC as much. Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for the group pointed out that Landrieu had to pay $1,154 in penalties and interest on her D.C home, more than the $96 Cassidy had to pay in 2011 and the $259 he had to pay this year. And Cassidy's first delinquent payment, the spokeswoman noted, may have been the fault of the previous owner of his D.C. condo, which the congressman purchased in the middle of 2010." [HuffPost]
DESJARLAIS LIVES! - Noted abortion enthusiast and infidelity aficionado Scott DesJarlais (R- Every Woman's Nightmare) will once again represent the Grand Ole Party in November's elections. Roll Call: "Rep. Scott DesJarlais has officially won his primary, barely squeaking past state Sen. Jim Tracy, who conceded Monday after more than two tense weeks following Tennessee’s Republican primary in the 4th District. 'A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican party and the conservative cause in Tennessee,' Tracy said in a statement detailing why he decided not to contest the results. 'I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him,' Tracy continued. Tracy trailed DesJarlais by 38 votes after all of the votes from the Aug. 7 primary were certified. DesJarlais’ 38-vote victory is one of the slimmest congressional primary victories anywhere in the country in recent memory. DesJarlais was among the most vulnerable House incumbents this cycle, thanks to personal scandal that dried up his fundraising ability and made him a pariah among some of his peers in the Tennessee delegation. Proceedings from a 2001 divorce arose in October of 2012, revealing that the anti-abortion lawmaker had encouraged an ex-wife and former mistress to have multiple abortions." [Roll Call]
BURGER KING RELOCATING TO CANADA TO DODGE TAXES - Damn socialist Canada with its... lower taxes. AP: "Burger King is in talks to buy doughnut chain Tim Hortons and create a new holding company headquartered in Canada, a move that could shave its tax bill. Such an overseas shift, called a tax inversion, has become increasingly popular among U.S. companies and a hot political issue. Burger King was founded in 1954 with a single restaurant in Miami, where it is currently based. Shares of Burger King and Tim Hortons both jumped 17 percent before the opening bell, heading toward all-time highs. In a tax inversion, a U.S. company reorganizes in a country with a lower tax rate by acquiring or merging with a company there. Inversions also allow companies to transfer money earned overseas to the parent company without paying additional U.S. taxes. Companies like AbbVie, a pharmaceutical with its headquarters just outside Chicago, have tied up with companies overseas to achieve that type of tax cut. More recently, Walgreen backed away from such a plan under intense pressure and criticism at home." [AP]
Lawmakers are already calling for boycotts of Burger King and its freedom fries (or should we say freedom POUTINE?!?) : "Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) was the first lawmaker to call for a boycott of Burger King Worldwide Inc., telling customers to shop elsewhere given the company’s pursuit of an acquisition that could allow it to avoid or curtail U.S. taxes. Burger King is in talks to buy Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Horton’s Inc., and the new company would be based in Canada, if the deal if finalized. The deal would be structured through a so-called inversion, which would reduce the taxable income paid by the new parent company. Democrats and the White House are trying to design ways to deter these transactions, which have become more popular in recent months, but they have been unable to reach a bipartisan agreement. Mr. Brown, in a press statement on Monday, called on Americans to protest the possible deal with their wallets. Or, in this case, their stomachs." [WSJ]
PAUL RYAN P90IGNORES DREAMERS - We're guessing Paul Ryan mostly follows this script when accosted by homeless people, including the "read the position in the book" part. Mollie Reilly: "During a book signing in Florida on Saturday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was confronted by a group of Dreamers over his vote against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. Earlier this month, House Republicans voted to end the Obama administration program that has helped more than 550,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents to remain and work in the U.S. for a renewable two-year period. Many Republicans have blamed the policy for the recent surge of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, despite there being little evidence to support the talking point. 'A couple weeks ago you voted for defunding DACA,' one Dreamer asked Ryan, who was signing copies of his new book, The Way Forward. 'It would put me and my sister up for deportation. We just had a question -- do you want to deport me and my sister?' Ryan largely ignored the question, pressing the activists to 'read the position in the book.' The activists were escorted away from the congressman." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a dog blowing water bubbles.
BRITISH EMBASSY JOKES ABOUT BURNING DOWN WHITE HOUSE - Awwww, it seems like America's first pointless war was just yesterday! Business Insider: "Two hundred years ago Sunday, the British army burned parts of Washington D.C., including the White House, to the ground. The attack came two years after war reignited between the young country and its former master over the impressment of American sailors, among other issues. To mark the occasion, the British Embassy Tweeted an unusual reminder Sunday: 'Commemorating the 200th anniversary of burning the White House. Only sparklers this time!' We weren't exactly sure this was something worth commemorating. So did many others. So two hours later they Tweeted this: 'Apologies for earlier Tweet. We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today'" Thanks, mother country! [Business Insider]
- An interactive history of headphones.
- One of the scariest, most vertigo-inducing selfies we've seen to date.
- Robot has a better day than you by riding a hovercycle -- and it doesn't even have a soul.
- Photos of the Aleutian island of Kiska, which is home to tons of World War II relics from when it was temporarily occupied by the Japanese.
- You scratch cat's back, cat'll scratch your back.
- A rundown of "Dr. Who" for those of us too intimidated to pick up a show that's been around for 50 years.
- Someone isolated Taylor Swift's vocals from her VMA performance.
@nickbaumann: Area Man Literally No Angel
@shaneferro: Fave/fav is the new gif/jif debate
@JPFreire: Vox but for Facebook settings.
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