Senate Republicans convened in the Strom Thurmond meeting room to complain about Rand Paul’s antics and not, for what it’s worth, that there’s a Strom Thurmond meeting room. John McCain, for one, lambasted Paul’s moves as a “fundraising exercise,” one that was probably keeping John McCain from some fundraising exercises back home. And across First Street NE, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim Abercrombie and Fitch employee who claimed she was discriminated against because her head is not as hot as a ripped white guy’s torso ... or something. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, June 1st, 2015:
JEB NOT WINNING OVER GEORGE'S TEAM - Maybe if Jeb were better at nicknames he wouldn't find himself in this situation. Peter Baker: "While George W. Bush himself and many in his circle, especially those closest to the family, are enthusiastic about the prospect of a third Bush presidency, many of the Republican foot soldiers who worked for the former president in his campaigns and his administration have not rushed to back his brother's emerging operation. A sampling conducted largely by email of about 120 people who worked for George W. Bush -- from cabinet secretaries to foreign policy advisers to advance aides -- found about 25 who said they were supporting his younger brother. Fifty others said they were neutral or supporting another candidate, while the rest did not respond, passing up a chance to declare allegiance to the next Bush candidacy. Some harbor the same reservations that other Republicans do about the notion of a dynastic presidency passed from one member of a family to another. Some simply want a fresh start, concluding that the party would make a stronger case against Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate, by nominating a new figure like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida or Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Some nurse doubts about Jeb Bush specifically, even on policies he shares with his brother." [NYT]
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) is good at card tricks.
HILLARY TO HOLD FIRST LARGE EVENT IN NYC - Don't expect a southern accent. Samantha Lachman: "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to officially launch her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in New York City midday Saturday, followed that evening by an organizing meeting with activists in the early caucus state of Iowa. Clinton is scheduled to speak at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, named after the famous themes the former president laid out in his 1941 State of the Union address: that everyone around the world ought to be able to enjoy the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear...The symbolism of Roosevelt's themes lines up with the four main issuesClinton's campaign has emphasized: building an "economy of tomorrow," strengthening families and communities, reforming campaign finance and defending national security. Clinton announced her long-expected presidential bid in an April video, so the New York City event represents more of an in-person kickoff." [HuffPost]
We need a commander-in-chief who leads on Twitter: "[T]the world met Caitlyn Jenner today (formerly Bruce), as introduced on the glossy cover of Vanity Fair. "Call me Caitlyn," invited the cover, and Twitter quickly did, thanks to the hashtag #callmecaitlyn, which quickly began trending worldwide. Jenner's official new Twitter handle, @Caitlyn_Jenner, collected over 1 million followers in just over four hours. She's managed to beat out President Obama's Guinness World Record – he amassed 1 million followers in 4.5 hours this past May. Before that, the record-in-chief was Robert Downey Jr., who took a comparatively snoozy path to the million dollar mark in April 2014 (23 hours and 22 minutes)." [USA Today's Andrea Mandell]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Missouri Republicans want to pull a Rick Scott on the state's unemployment claimants, David Lieb reports: "Missouri's governor says they can't do it. So does a former chief justice. Nonetheless, Republican senators are making plans to enact one of the nation's most restrictive unemployment laws later this year. State senators ended their annual regular session in May without taking the final vote needed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that could cut the duration of unemployment benefits to as few as 13 weeks -- a measure that was part of a Republican push to make Missouri more appealing to businesses, whose taxes finance the unemployment system." Florida did the 13 week thing and also for a while made unemployment claimants take an absurd math and reading test. [Associated Press]
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MCCONNELL RENEWS NSA PUSH - The only question now is who will play Rand Paul in "Purge 3: Terrorist for a Day" (our vote is Bill Paxton in a bad wig). Jordain Carney: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pressed his colleagues Monday to support changes to the USA Freedom Act that he said would ensure that the new surveillance system works as intended. The Republican leader said his amendments to the bill are 'common sense steps to make sure the system envisioned by that legislation ... will in fact actually work.' McConnell moved to end debate on the House-backed reform bill after it overcame a key procedural hurdle on Sunday evening. The legislation would effectively end the National Security Agency's (NSA) bulk collection of phone metadata, instead requiring that records be held by private companies. The Kentucky Republican said his amendments would require private companies to notify Congress if they change their data retention policies, mandate that the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper certify that the new system is working, and provide additional time for switching over to the new arrangement. McConnell wants to extend the transition time from six months to one year, saying that it would 'ensure there is adequate time to build and test a system that does not yet exist.'" [The Hill]
ICYMI: Some Republican senators still don't think everything is pointless: "Behind closed doors in the Senate's Strom Thurmond Room, Republican senators lashed out at the junior Kentucky Republican's defiant stance to force the expiration of key sections of the PATRIOT Act, a law virtually all of them support. Indiana Sen. Dan Coats' criticism was perhaps the most biting: He accused the senator of “lying” about the matter in order to raise money for his presidential campaign, according to three people who attended the meeting...The message may have gotten through to Paul except for one thing: The libertarian-minded senator skipped the hour-long meeting. That only infuriated his colleagues more. 'Anything that goes against anything he believes, he never comes,' Coats said in an interview. “It's always helpful if you're in there working to have your position understood, and we all learn a lot and we all try to come to a much better understanding of what we're trying to do.' 'He needed to be there,' said Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). 'He really needed to be there.'" [Politico's Manu Raju and Burgess Everett]
Edward Snowden is totally winning the day (see you at Tammy's brunch next year!): "So what changed between 2010 and 2015? 'Because of Edward Snowden, there's a perception -- which is not true -- but there's a perception that we're invading people's privacy,' Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), explained last month... Nelson isn't the only Washington lawmaker who has struggled to articulate Snowden's influence on the debate that has kept senators up late and away from home for two weekends now. It's hard to give credit to someone you want imprisoned. But on Sunday night, as tempers frayed, vote-counters strategized, and Rand Paul talked, senators could no longer avoid talking about the ex-NSA contractor's disclosures. 'It's why we're here,' Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee and a fierce NSA defender, said of the Snowden disclosures. 'People began creating a myth around it. That did occur. The public discourse around it created a myth about what this program is and what it isn't.'" [HuffPost's Jessica Schulberg]
GRAHAM LAUNCHES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN - This is going to provide his good friend John McCain a great conduit to channel his complaining. Julia Craven: "On Monday morning, the longtime hopeful officially announced his 2016 presidential run in his hometown of Central, South Carolina, in front of his family's restaurant and pool hall. 'I'm Lindsey Graham and I'm running for president of the United States,' he said during the campaign launch -- and, as he added later in the announcement, he is 'ready to be commander in chief on day one.' … South Carolina's senior senator has been critical of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, attacking him for being more involved with Ebola than combating the Islamic State group. Graham also warned about possible terrorist attacks from Syria and Iraq. Graham has said he wouldn't have a problem ordering airstrikes against Americans looking to join terrorist groups abroad." [HuffPost]
SUPREME COURT RULES THAT ABERCROMBIE & FITCH STILL EXISTS - Of course the first time we've heard about the company in years involves it telling a woman her hijab wasn't sexy. Dave Jamieson: "The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on Monday that retailer Abercrombie & Fitch may have violated workplace discrimination law when it turned down a Muslim job applicant because she wore a hijab, even though her religious beliefs never came up in the interview. Samantha Elauf, the job seeker at the center of the case, applied for a sales position at an Abercrombie children's store in Oklahoma in 2008. Despite her high marks in the interview, Elauf didn't land the job because her headscarf ran afoul of Abercrombie's employee 'look policy,' which bars hats and promotes the retailer's preppy brand. Elauf sued with the help of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." [HuffPost]
THINK ABOUT THE REAL VICTIMS: THE LOBBYISTS - Is there some sort of "in case of emergency, break glass for Ken Duberstein" that lobbyists can hit in times of financial uncertainty? "Ex-Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's sudden resignation from his K Street firm is the latest and most public setback for Dickstein Shapiro, a shop already scrambling to rebuild amid a client exodus, tumbling lobbying revenue and high-profile employee departures...Hastert's publicly disclosed domestic clients paid Dickstein Shapiro $70,000 in the first quarter of the year, according to 2015 Lobbying Disclosure Act reports. That money came mostly from Fuels America, which paid $60,000, to monitor legislation and administrative actions on renewable fuel standards, public documents said. Pritikin ICR, a medical and rehabilitation center and spa, paid $10,000 to the firm in the first three months of the year to follow legislation related to Medicare coverage for chronic cardiac patients, LDA records show. Hastert's foreign government client, Turkey, paid Dickstein $241,000 between August 2014 and December 2014, through the firm of former Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., according to the documents filed with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The Gephardt Group did not return a request seeking comment about whether the firm would hire a new shop to work on the Turkey account." [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some black-footed cat kittens.
SWEET BABY JESUS STOP BRINGING GUNS INTO THE CAPITOL - Also, the scariest part of this story might actually be "25-year-old intern." #obamasamerica. Lauren French: "Capitol Police arrested a 25-year-old congressional intern on Monday after he allegedly attempted to bring an unloaded handgun into the Longworth House office building. Officers arrested Joshua Wheeler at around 9 a.m. at the New Jersey & C Street entrance, according to Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider, the spokesperson for the Capitol Police. Wheeler submitted to the standard search required to enter all office buildings on the Hill. Schneider said police found an unloaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun during the search. The Kansas-native was an intern for Rep. Lynn Jenkins, the vice chair of the House Republican Conference. He's worked for the Kansas lawmaker since May 18." [Politico]
- Neil Young released an anti-Starbucks anthem.
- Owl wants to be petted.
- If men had periods.
@jmhattem: 5 percent of the US Senate is now running for president
@hunterw: I dunno WaPo, I think the real lesson politicians should take from Hastert is DON'T MOLEST CHILDREN http://t.co/NhjfRbhyXS
@harrisj: If you’ve ever dreamed of living inside a dog’s mouth, then June in DC has got you covered
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