John Boehner is really looking forward to when Congress returns from its August recess, he told reporters while thinking about what a bunch of idiots we all are. Mitch McConnell came out strongly in favor of women's health, which is apparently something that benefits from reduced federal spending. And The Hill newspaper published its annual list of the 50 most beautiful people in Washington, unaccountably omitting Senate sex symbol Chris Coons. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, July 29th, 2015:
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, BRO - Sam Stein: "Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) shotgunned a beer the night then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) won the 2012 Republican Senate primary and became her general election opponent in the race, she reveals in her new book 'Plenty Ladylike.' Unfortunately, she didn't reveal what the beer was, making it all but impossible to truly judge her drinking capacity…. "Beer gushes into your mouth and you have to swallow quickly to avoid a big mess. I did it. And we laughed until we cried." [HuffPost]
THIS COULD UNFAIRLY TARNISH THE REPUTATIONS OF CITY MACHINE POLITICIANS EVERYWHERE - Chris Brennan and Jeremy Roebuck: "U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and four associates were indicted Wednesday on racketeering conspiracy charges stemming from several alleged schemes to misuse campaign funds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to further their political and financial interests." [Philadelphia Inquirer]
BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE CRUZ? - Igor Bobic: "Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz grew visibly annoyed on Wednesday when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) began to grill them at a Senate hearing on the nuclear agreement with Iran. The Texas conservative, who is running for president, first drew Kerry's ire by attempting to trick the secretary of state into apologizing to the people killed by Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani. The commander became a focal point for opposition to the Iran deal after critics mistakenly alleged that the agreement would require the U.S. to lift sanctions against Suleimani. 'Senator, I never said the word 'apology,'' Kerry said to Cruz. 'Please, don't distort my words.' But the rebuke landed perfectly in Cruz's trap. The senator turned the tables on Kerry and, with a heavy dose of sarcasm, said it had been 'duly noted you don't apologize to the family members of the servicemembers murdered by Suleimani.'" [HuffPost]
FOX RELAXES GOP DEBATE CRITERIA - The losers still have to debate at the kids' table. Gabriel Arana: "Fox News, which is hosting the first Republican presidential primary debate on Aug. 6, has been criticized for limiting the stage to the 10 candidates leading in the polls. In response, the network announced last month that it would host another debate earlier that day for second-tier candidates with at least 1 percent support in the polls. But now, Fox News is relaxing the criteria even further, doing away with the 1 percent polling requirement and allowing the full slate of 16 candidates the opportunity to appear in either the main debate at 9 p.m. EST or another event at 5 p.m. EST. In effect, the change will allow candidates like Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) access to a stage…. [But] the criteria for inclusion in the prime-time debate remain the same -- namely, candidates must place among the top 10 in an average of the five most recent presidential polls." [HuffPost]
Watch Brian Schatz, age 42, call Tom Cotton "a young 30-something." Burrrrrn. Sources say Cotton was last seen sulking in the basement at Cap Lounge.
BEN CARSON GOOD AT CHILDREN'S GAME - IJReview has a great video of Ben Carson playing the game Operation, in which the player removes the internal organs of Cavity Sam. "I suspect that his diet has been inappropriate," says the famed neurosurgeon and vegetarian. [IJReview.com]
That jerk from Minnesota who killed a majestic, beloved lion in a failed attempt to feel something -- anything! -- has been forced to close his dental office because everyone hates him.
KOCHS FREEZE OUT TRUMP - It's almost as if they want to win the election. Unfortunately, Trump seems to have his own money. Ken Vogel and Cate Martel: "The Koch brothers are freezing out Donald Trump from their influential political operation -- denying him access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings of grass-roots activists or major donors. Despite a long and cordial relationship between the real estate showman and David Koch, as well as a raft of former Koch operatives who are now running Trump’s presidential campaign, the Koch political operation appears to have concluded that Trump is the wrong standard-bearer for the GOP. And the network of Koch-backed policy and political outfits is using behind-the-scenes influence to challenge Trump more forcefully than the Republican Party establishment -- by limiting his access to the support and data that would help him translate his lead in the polls into a sustainable White House campaign." [Politico]
RICK PERRY CHALLENGED DONALD TRUMP TO A PULL-UPS CONTEST TODAY - No, really. That's the whole story. "Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is getting stomped by real estate mogul Donald Trump in the polls, so he’s found a new way to challenge his GOP archrival -- a pull-up contest." [Chicago Sun-Times]
FACEBOOK POKES POLITICIANS, HOPING FOR MORE LIKES ETC. ETC. - America's angry uncles rejoice! More political crap on everyone's News Feeds! Marine Todd was unavailable to comment (because he's fake). Ashley Parker: "Facebook -- which has 189 million monthly users in the United States -- has pitched its tools and services to every presidential campaign in the 2016 race, not to mention down-ballot races, to showcase new features as candidates seek to reach and recruit new supporters and potential donors." [New York Times]
JOHN BOEHNER'S THESAURUS IS BROKEN - Synonyms for "horrible" include "appalling," "alarming" and "abhorrent, according to Merriam-Webster, Mr. Speaker. Michael McAuliff: "With a potential government shutdown, a contentious Iran deal, a debt-ceiling crisis and other problems looming in the fall, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) assured reporters Wednesday that it will be 'smooth sailing' when Congress returns in September from its five-week vacation. … 'It's going to be exciting,' Boehner told reporters." [HuffPost]
Haircuts: Ryan Sims, Ashley Alman, Akbar Shahid Ahmed
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Christopher Rugaber reports on a possible reason why we don't hear enough about people getting haircuts these days: "Apartment rents are up. So are prices for restaurant meals, haircuts, gym memberships and a cup of coffee. For American consumers who have become used to flat or even falling prices for several years, an unfamiliar sight has emerged in many corners of the economy: Inflation is ticking up." [AP]
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BEHOLD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON - Truly, no 50 people easier on the eyes have ever been found this year. [The Hill]
Except you forgot one person:
Here's our list of the 50 most beautiful people on a hill.
HILLARY CLINTON WEIGHS IN ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD - Dan Tuohy: "Calling them 'disturbing,' Hillary Clinton said undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue raise questions about the process nationwide….Clinton, long a supporter of abortion rights, was asked whether she is concerned the videos will jeopardize funding for abortion services and women’s health care. Funding today is at no more risk than it has been for years, she said." [UnionLeader.com]
HEY, REMEMBER THE 'WAR ON WOMEN'? Seems like Mitch McConnell does. Laura Bassett: "When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a statement announcing he is fast-tracking legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, he used the term 'women's health' no fewer than five times, seizing on language Democrats have used for years to attack their colleagues across the aisle. The defunding legislation, McConnell said, 'reaffirm[s] the Senate’s commitment to genuine compassion and to women’s health.' 'We introduced legislation last night that would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are spent on women’s health, not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant,' McConnell said Wednesday in a statement. 'It’s a simple choice. Senators can either vote to protect women’s health, or they can vote to protect subsidies for a political group mired in scandal.' 'Let’s not filibuster women’s health in order to protect special subsidies for one scandal-plagued political organization,' he added." [HuffPost]
WHY DONALD TRUMP IS SURROUNDED BY ASSHOLES - Only McKay Coppins can explain: "Trump’s key lieutenants tend to fit the same consumer profile as his discount luxury-brand targets: They are men with middle- and working-class roots; lacking in elite credentials; mesmerized by made-for-TV displays of lavish wealth. They are impressed with brashness and bored by subtlety. They are amused by dirty jokes and averse to irony. They are likely to buy a Trump-branded necktie sometime this year, and if they feel like splurging they’ll get the matching cufflinks, too." [BuzzFeed]
LAME JAY LENO MONOLOGUE JOKE COMES TO LIFE - The nation's capital literally is sinking into a swampy oblivion, which is great news for lazy politicians who love to diss "Washington," and bad news for the hundreds of thousands of normal human beings who live here. Kate Sheppard: "Meanwhile, Congress has thus far failed to do anything to address climate change, instead spending its time trying to undo the actions the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency has taken to address planet-warming emissions. And the majority of candidates for the 2016 Republican nomination maintain that human activity isn't causing climate change and that people who say it is are 'alarmists.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR Dog and best friend are reunited (and it feels so good)
DEAD? WE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HE WAS SICK! - In lieu of flowers, the Taliban asks mourners for contributions to Eyes On The Prize, his scholarship fund. "After months of speculation, Afghan officials announced Wednesday that they were now certain that the Taliban’s reclusive leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, died in Pakistan in 2013." [New York Times]
COMFORT FOOD by @dmoralesgomez
@fmanjoo: I have a lot of trouble telling Cecil apart from other lions.
@msdanifernandez: squad goals: stop referring to coworkers as my squad
@robdelaney: Noticing men wearing blazers with t-shirts again. "Look at me! I'm 8 and I'm CEO of my macaroni & cheese!" Fuck off all of you.
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