POLITICS
07/22/2015 05:05 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2015

HUFFPOST HILL - Rick Perry's Thesaurus Has Some Words For Donald Trump

Rick Perry called Donald Trump a "sower of discord," said he "foments agitation," and lamented his "toxic mix of demagoguery" -- we get it, Rick, you wear glasses now. The Social Security Administration announced that you still have until the mid-2030s before your parents move in. And after Trump gave out his number Lindsey Graham publicly destroyed his flip phone, but the video was selectively edited to omit Graham also deleting his MySpace page and selling his shares in Pets.com. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015:

A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ARTHUR BRANCH - Amanda Terkel: "Reality TV star Donald Trump can't stop boasting about how he's currently leading in the polls among GOP presidential candidates -- and how he has no place to go but up. 'All of a sudden I get these really big poll numbers, and they're really good,' Trump told CNN recently. 'Although I think they're gonna go higher.' Or not. Take it from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who won the GOP nomination in 2008. On Tuesday, a reporter asked McCain what he thought it meant that Trump was at the top of the pack right now. 'It doesn't tell me anything,' he replied. McCain should know. At this point in his presidential election cycle, in July 2007, he was lagging in the polls behind former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) . There was even significantly more buzz around former senator -- and 'Law and Order' actor -- Fred Thompson." Fred. Thompson. People. [HuffPost]

The White House is in the final stages of drafting a plan to close Gitmo, Reuters reports.

RICK PERRY STANDS UP TO 'THE CANCER OF TRUMP-ISM' - Man, you made fun of his glasses and he straight up called you cancer. You suck, Donald. "In times of trouble, there are two types of leaders: repairers of the breach and sowers of discord," Perry said today. "The sower of discord foments agitation, thrives on division, scapegoats certain elements of society, and offers empty platitudes and promises. He is without substance when one scratches below the surface. He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded. It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world – the cause of conservatism." You had us until that last part but okay. [RickPerry.org]

'I'M REALLY RICH' - Dan Hirschhorn breaks down Trump's personal financial disclosure form: "It shows Trump is worth at least $1.35 billion (it doesn’t prove or disprove his claim to be worth about $10 billion, since his assets are only listed in very broad ranges, with the top range being over $50 million). It details real estate assets, golf clubs, resorts and licensing deals across the globe. And it lists $70 million in stocks, along with at least $240 million in debt." Pfft, that's what bankruptcy is for. [Time]

CONGRESS CAN'T WRITE A HIGHWAY BILL WITHOUT PUNCHING POOR PEOPLE IN THE FACE - With Laura Barron-Lopez: "The Senate may have just unveiled a multiyear highway bill 10 days before construction on the nation’s transportation infrastructure is set to grind to a halt, but a congressional traffic jam is building over the bill's Social Security cut. The bill may be a product of rare bipartisanship between between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), but it’s not winning over many Democrats in the Senate, let alone the House, where it will need to find support as well… 'Most people are willing to pay a user fee to use our highways,' said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), referring to a higher gas tax. 'Let’s be honest with the American people, it’s not free.' Instead of a gas tax, senators went looking for loose change in the couch cushions and came up with the money by cobbling together 16 separate provisions, most of which are unrelated to transportation. One provision raises $2.3 billion by requiring the federal government to use private debt collectors to help collect taxes owed to the government. Another would retrieve $1.7 billion in unspent funds from a Treasury Department program that was supposed to help homeowners, but mostly didn't. Yet another program offsets $16.3 billion by reducing a Federal Reserve bank subsidy. One proposal causing a stir among Senate and House Democrats, in particular, targets Social Security. The provision saves billion by eliminating retirement or disability benefits for certain recipients with outstanding felony warrants. According to a summary, the measure cuts off benefits to people who are 'subjects of a felony arrest warrant and for whom the state has given notice that they intend to pursue the warrant.'" [HuffPost]

Haircuts: Nick Baumann, Martin Matishak, Ari Natter

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - No news in the annual Social Security trustees reports released today, except a reminder that disability will be in serious trouble next year. Stephen Ohlemacher and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: "The 11 million people who receive Social Security disability face steep benefit cuts next year -- unless Congress acts, the government said Wednesday. The trustees that oversee Social Security said the disability trust fund will run out of money in late 2016, right in the middle of a presidential campaign. That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits. The average monthly benefit is $1,017. The report said the fund faces 'an urgent threat' that requires prompt action by Congress. There is an easy fix available: Congress could shift tax revenue from Social Security's much larger retirement fund, as it has done in the past. President Barack Obama supports the move. But Republicans say they want changes in the program to reduce fraud and to encourage disabled workers to re-enter the work force." Republicans will probably agree to the revenue shift after they and Democrats agree to some "reform" that saves face more than money. [Associated Press]

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OF COURSE - This fits so perfectly with the banality that is JEB!'s entire appeal. Andrew Perez and David Sirota: "In his speech in Tallahassee, Florida, on Monday denouncing the influence of lobbyists, Jeb Bush neglected to mention one critical detail: The event was organized by a powerful corporate lobbying group that has helped financially support his White House bid." [IBTimes.com]

Lindsey Graham shows you how to destroy your cell phone.

DEMS CALL FOR INVESTIGATION INTO PLANNED PARENTHOOD STING VIDEOS - Laura Bassett: "As House Republicans launch an investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of undercover footage that shows a doctor discussing the donation of fetal parts after an abortion, House Democrats are calling for an investigation into the group behind the 'sting' videos. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) asked U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Tuesday to review whether the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress broke state and federal laws when it created a fake human tissue procurement company in order to gain access to and secretly film Planned Parenthood staffers. The Huffington Post reported on Friday that the CMP may have also illegally deceived the IRS and its donors by posing as a biomedicine charity in 2013." [HuffPost]

BERNIE HEADLINES MINIMUM WAGE PUSH - But if only there were some sort of way to increase the wages of working people... Samantha Lachman: "A group of progressive members of Congress introduced a $15 an hour national minimum wage bill on Wednesday as hundreds of federal contract workers went on strike to protest their job conditions. Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and in the House by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the bill would go far beyond the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and make it easier for federal workers to join a union. The proposed legislation follows another bill introduced by congressional Democrats in April that would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour. Republicans have so far resisted raising the minimum wage." [HuffPost]

MEANWHILE, IN NEW YORK… Not only can you still buy a huge soda, but the person who hands it to you could soon have supersized wages, Dave Jamieson reports: "A panel convened by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recommended Wednesday that the state set a minimum wage of $15 expressly for New York's fast-food workers, a novel regulatory maneuver that would impact many of the lowest earners in the state. The proposal approved by the state wage board would raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York City from its current level of $8.75 to $15 by 2018. For fast-food workers in the rest of the state, the minimum wage would rise to $15 by 2021. The wage mandate would only apply to workers at fast-food chains that have at least 30 locations around the country. If the plan is approved by the state's labor commissioner -- and if it isn't blocked in court by the fast-food industry -- it stands to be one the biggest political victories to date of the union-backed Fight for $15 movement." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - This Onion headline -- "U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles" -- turned out to be true.

BERNIE SANDERS HAS HAD ENOUGH OF THIS INTERVIEW ALREADY - Daily news cheat sheet The Skimm talked to Bernie Sanders, who admitted that he’s "not as sociable” as he could be, before demonstrating as much. "The Skimm: How do you take your coffee? Sanders: Do you have many of these questions?" [The Skimm]

COMFORT FOOD by @DhyanaTaylor

- Here's a cat stuck in a sandal

- A deer comin' out its neck

- A slap battle of epic proportions

- Man and water balloon become one

TWITTERAMA

@EvanMcSan: 2016, The Election When We Made Them Publicly Destroy Things

@maxjrosenthal: Uber but for being competent at your job

@jjsahadi: I love that Trump is entitled to a pension from the Screen Actor's Guild. At least we don't need to worry about his retirement now.

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