A new poll finds Mitt Romney leading 2016 contenders among Iowa Republicans; a deep dive into the crosstabs finds the news cycle is really, really slow. An older senator once told Kirsten Gillibrand, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby," and then presumably told her to "be a doll" and vote for his appropriations measure. And during a trip to New Hampshire, Rick Perry said he's "not a lawyer" so he doesn't "really understand the details" of his indictment. He then went back to campaigning to be the most powerful lawmaker in the world. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 27th, 2014:
RICK PERRY HAS NICE GLASSES - But they don't give him magical powers of reading comprehension. Sahil Kapur: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) erred when trying to name the criminal charges he's facing during his recent visit to New Hampshire ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid. 'I’ve been indicted by that same body now for I think two counts, one of bribery, which I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t really understand the details here,' he said, as quoted by ABC News on Friday. In actuality, Perry was indicted on two counts: one count of 'abuse of official capacity' and one count of 'coercion of a public servant.' Not bribery. The word bribery is not mentioned in the language of either of the two statutes." [TPM]
WILE E. ISSA UNBOXES LATEST ACME DEVICE - "Meep meep," said an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Lauren French: "Darrell Issa’s campaign against the White House’s political affairs is escalating. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman invited former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former Secretary of the Labor Department Hilda Solis to testify before the panel on the Hatch Act — a law that bars executive branch employees from engaging in political affairs. 'As the Obama administration increasingly embraces a go-it-alone approach to public policy, the importance of oversight only increases,' Issa said." [Politico]
GOP SENATE ASPIRANTS KISS KOCH BUTT - Sam Stein scoop: "Three top Republican Senate candidates heaped praise on the political network built by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch during a secretive conference held by the brothers this past summer, according to audio of the event. Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton directly credited donors present at the June 16 retreat in Dana Point, California, for propelling them forward. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner told attendees that his race would likely be decided by the presence of 'third party' money -- an obvious pitch for generosity from the well-heeled crowd.… 'A little-known state senator from a very rural part of Iowa, known through my National Guard service and some circles in Iowa. But the exposure to this group and to this network and the opportunity to meet so many of you, that really started my trajectory,' Ernst said. 'We are going to paint some very clear differences in this general election,' she said earlier in her talk. 'And this is the thing that we are going to take back -- that it started right here with all of your folks, this wonderful network.' Cotton went further, crediting Koch-funded groups for helping change the political landscape of Arkansas. 'Americans for Prosperity in Arkansas has played a critical role in turning our state from a one-party Democratic state [inaudible] building the kind of constant engagement to get people in the state involved in their communities,' he said." [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE TRYING TO CIRCUMVENT CONGRESS ON CLIMATE, JUST LIKE ALWAYS - Some unnamed White House officials should plant some quotes in the press about Agenda 21, just to really freak out the right. Kate Sheppard: "The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Obama administration is planning to make an end run around the Senate in order to get an international climate agreement. According to the Times, U.S. negotiators are seeking something other than an official treaty, which by the U.S. Constitution requires approval from two-thirds of the Senate. Instead, they hope to negotiate a 'politically binding' agreement, and to have it finished before the conclusion of the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris next December. The State Department, The Hill reports, pushed back on the Times story Wednesday... But it's no secret that the Obama administration has long sought an alternative to the normal treaty process. Given the partisan gridlock of Congress and the significant party split on climate change, the odds of the Senate approving such a treaty are vanishingly small. And the administration has made it clear that it does not want a retread of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which the Clinton administration signed but which the Senate wouldn't ratify. Since their first appearance at a climate summit in 2009, the Obama administration's negotiating team has played a major role in steering the process away from a legally binding treaty and toward something that is 'politically binding' instead." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Loss of trust in government and institutions means fewer people answer surveys, meaning it's harder to figure out what's going on out there. David Leonhardt: "The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report has been the subject of some wacky conspiracy theories. None was wackier than the suggestion from Jack Welch, the former General Electric chief executive, that government statisticians were exaggerating job growth during President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Both Republican and Democratic economists dismissed those charges as silly. But to call the people who compile the jobs report honest, nonpartisan civil servants is not to say that the jobs report is perfect. The report tries to estimate employment in a big country – and to do so quickly, to give policy makers, business executives and everyone else a sense of how the economy is performing. It’s a tough task. And it has become tougher, because Americans are less willing to respond to surveys than they used to be." [NYT]
DOUBLE DOWNER - Hey, remember the farm bill? When a Republican plot to kill food stamps blew up in the GOP's face? They didn't get the cuts they wanted, but they did get the USDA to have states run pilot programs to see if they can make food stamp beneficiaries work more. As Governing.com reports, the results of these pilots will draw the battlelines for the next farm bill, four years from now. The USDA requested pilot proposals this week.
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HOUSE GOP TRYING TO MAKE MONEY LAUNDERING EASIER - Huge win for Big Bulletproof Suitcase Filled With Unmarked Bills. Zach Carter: "House Republicans are agitating to dramatically curb federal bank regulators' ability to combat money laundering, calling for changes in decades-old financial fraud standards in an effort to aid payday lenders. Moving illegal cash through the financial system has long been barred by money laundering laws. But under a bill introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), federal regulators would be forbidden from doing anything to 'restrict or discourage' a bank from doing business with any company that has both a license to do business and a 'reasoned legal opinion' from a lawyer claiming that the business doesn't break the law. That's not a high hurdle to clear. Obtaining a business license and hiring a lawyer is a routine money laundering tactic for everyone from the mafia to terrorists to, more commonly, petty fraud scammers. 'It's completely whitewashing fraud,' said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. 'There are licensed companies that commit fraud all the time, and everybody's got lawyers who will try to justify what they're doing.'" [HuffPost]
OBAMA AND CLINTON TO SMILE AND WAVE IN SAME LOCATION AT SAME TIME - Time to take off your speculation pants and put on your scrutiny shorts. The Hill: "Hillary Clinton and President Obama plan to both address a women's forum hosted by the Democratic National Committee next month in Washington, in an event certain to fuel speculation that the former secretary of State is readying a presidential bid. Both Clinton and Obama are scheduled to speak on Sept. 19, according to a schedule obtained by CNN. First lady Michelle Obama is slated to address the welcome reception for the event the prior day. The forum is expected to be the first public appearance between the president and the former first lady since a flap over critical comments Clinton made about Obama’s foreign policy in Syria earlier this month. Clinton said Obama’s restrained approach to the civil war in Syria had created a vacuum that enabled the rise of Sunni extremists now targeting minorities in Iraq. Clinton also knocked Obama’s “don’t do stupid stuff” foreign policy mantra, saying, “great nations need organizing principles.” A spokesman for Clinton subsequently said the remarks were not intended as an attack on Obama and that she and Obama would "hug it out" at a private birthday party they attended during the president's vacation on Martha's Vineyard." [The Hill]
ROMNEY ON TOP IN IOWA: POLL - Yes, but what will happen when voters are reminded of his run in with LMFAO? These numbers are soft. CNN: "A USA Today/Suffolk University survey of Iowa voters released Wednesday... if Romney was added to the list of potential 2016 GOP White House contenders, 35% of Iowa Republicans say he'd be their first choice in the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses and is considering another bid in 2016, is a distant second, at 9%. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who narrowly won the 2012 caucuses, are each at 6%. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are each at 5%, with the remaining potential candidates tested were all in the lower single digits. Take Romney out of the equation, and the poll indicates Huckabee – at 13% is on top of the crowded list of potential candidates. He's followed by Christie at 11%, Perry at 9% Paul at 7%, Santorum and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, each at 6% and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 5%. The remaining potential candidates tested were all in the lower single digits." [CNN]
Wisconsin's gubernatorial race is surprisingly close: "A new poll from Marquette Law School finds Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) narrowly trailing his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke. Forty-nine percent of individuals considered likely to vote in November said they would support Burke, compared to 47 percent who plan to vote for Walker. These results are virtually unchanged from the results of Marquette Law School's July poll, when Burke led Walker among likely voters by a margin of 47 percent to 46 percent. Burke's name recognition has gone up markedly since July, when 49 percent of respondents said they had no opinion of her. In the new poll, only 35 percent said they have no opinion of Burke. Another 33 percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of her, while 32 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion." [HuffPost]
John McCain really doesn't want to be disinvited from "Meet the Press": "In a surprise appearance on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Sen. John McCain told Chuck Todd that 'Meet the Press' should not try to expand too far and should stick to focusing on the political dynamics facing the country. McCain's comments come just a few days after NBC News President Deborah Turness said the show needed more 'edge' and should do away with the one-on-one conversation in favor of a 'coffeehouse conversation.'" [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a fat prairie dog.
GODDAMN CONGRESS IS SO SEXIST - Unclear who exactly the chairman of the "Hey, toots" Caucus is, but we have a number of guesses. Laura Bassett: "According to excerpts from the interview obtained in advance by the New York Post, [Senator Kirsten Gillibrand] recalled multiple male colleagues making disparaging comments toward her as she struggled with her weight after having a child. 'You know, Kirsten, you're even pretty when you're fat,' an unidentified southern congressman told her in the House chamber. 'Good thing you're working out, because you wouldn't want to get porky!' another male colleague her in the House gym, to which Gillibrand responded, 'Thanks, asshole.' Acknowledging that she was too heavy for her health, Gillibrand lost 50 pounds while she served in the House in 2009. But the comments followed her into the Senate the following year. Gillibrand said an older senator once grabbed her waist from behind and said, 'Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.' It seems that Gillibrand's male colleagues could not make up their mind about her appearance. In 2010, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) referred to her as 'the hottest member' of Congress at a fundraiser." [HuffPost]
Speaking of body image issues, Scott Brown publishes quite a number of photos of himself working out.
- Classiest thing we've seen all day: Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" with fart sounds.
- Food That Looks Like Iggy Azalea is a blog that features, well food that looks like Iggy Azalea.
- Guy Ice Bucket Challenges himself by doing . a barrel roll in his airplane.
- Don't do the ice bucket challenge on a horse. The horse does not care about your great uncle with ALS.
- History's classiest burns.
- Kiss someone you love is essentially a roving kiss cam.
- Apple will likely release its first smartwatch in September.
@thisisjendoll: I Just Forgot What I Was About to Do: A Daily Occurrence (Should I Get This Checked Out?)
@ProfJeffJarvis: Attacking people for saying BuzzFeed is cat GIFs is the new saying BuzzFeed is cat GIFs.
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