POLITICS
07/30/2015 03:39 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2015

HUFFPOST HILL - Congress Gives Highway Trust Fund A Starbucks Gift Card

Scott Walker's beloved motorcycle is union-made, which would be problematic if anyone could hear about it over this really loud and masculine revving noise. Medicare turned 50 today, at least according to the many "hbd" and "lets strengthen u" notes politicians wrote on Medicare's Facebook wall. And a New Hampshire man explained his presidential preference by saying "Donald Trump is strong." The man also confirmed that fat guys are usually strong. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 30th, 2015:

HIGHWAY BILL DONE! Just kidding, see you in October. Laura Barron-Lopez: "The Senate on Thursday passed legislation funding the nation's highways, bridges, and roads for another three months -- one day before construction across the U.S. would have come screeching to a halt. The bill, which passed 91 to 4, provides an extension to the Highway Trust Fund until Oct. 29. It is the 34th short-term patch passed by Congress since 2009. Short patches to the fund make it harder for states to plan ahead on major transportation projects, and prolong maintenance to damaged roads and bridges. The Senate passed a long-term fix to the fund on Thursday, but it attracted little love from the House, where GOP leaders said they would not take it up and wanted time to work through their own plan for larger legislation. 'We all want the House to have the space it needs to develop its own bill, because we all want to work out the best possible legislation for the American people in conference,' McConnell said. 'So we’ll take up a measure this afternoon to give them that space, while also delivering important relief to veterans.' The three-month funding measure -- passed by the House on Wednesday -- includes a provision that allows the troubled Veterans Affairs Department to shift $3 billion to deal with a budget shortfall." [HuffPost]

SCOTT WALKER'S HARLEY MADE WITH UNION LOVE - Fortunately for Walker, shrugging at contradictions is an American tradition. Emily Flitter: "For Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, there's something awkward about the Harley-Davidson motorcycles that he has been posing on at presidential campaign stops: each one bears a sticker on its frame that reads 'Union made in the USA.' Walker has made the iconic American brand a centerpiece of his campaign kick-off tour this month, visiting four dealerships and sometimes showing off his own 2003 Harley Road King as he seeks to harness its appeal to older white male voters. But there is another side to Harley that the Republican candidate has been less vocal about -- it is a leading example of a successful company that has a strong relationship with labor unions." [Reuters]

EARN BURN: @jbendery: "The international man of mystery." -- Earnest on Sen. Tom Cotton

HARD TO BELIEVE IT'S BEEN 50 YEARS SINCE LBJ MURDERED FREEDOM - Commies across Washington are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid this week. Yes, Karl Marx has had his ghostly boot on America's throat for a half century since Ronald Reagan's sadly ignored warning that providing health care to the old and poor would trigger the socialist apocalypse. "We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free," said the Gipper, who wasn't being hyperbolic at all. Hot piece of Cohnbread from Jonathan Cohn: "It was 50 years ago Thursday that President Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation that created Medicare, dramatically altering life for America's seniors. But as debate over the program rages on, its conservative critics have learned to be more crafty about what alternatives they propose -- and how to justify them." [HuffPost]

May you continue to phase out gracefully, Medicare.

YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT BERNIE SANDERS THINKS OF SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE - He's for it! Robert King: "The self-proclaimed socialist said the U.S. should end the embarrassment of being the 'only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right.'" [Washington Examiner]

ROMNEY TO CRUZ: YOU'RE NOT BEING VERY TERRIFIC - Mitt Romney thinks Ted Cruz shouldn't say Obama promotes terrorism, which is weird since that was a major subtext of Romney's 2012 campaign. Igor Bobic: "On Thursday morning, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee called out presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for saying that the nuclear deal with Iran made President Barack Obama the 'world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.'" [HuffPost]

@MittRomney: I am opposed to the Iran deal, but @SenTedCruz is way over the line on the Obama terrorism charge. Hurts the cause.

Haircuts: Jessica Schulberg

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore (R) is running for president and Virginia Democrats almost seem embarrassed by how prepared they are. [SoYouGoogledJimGilmore.com]

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WHO ARE THESE TRUMP LOVERS? They're embarrassing. "A Bloomberg Politics focus group of 12 Republican and independent voters who are supportive of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy shed light Wednesday night on the billionaire's swift rise to the top of the GOP field, and confirmed that his brash, 'You're fired!' style and lack of experience in politics is more of an asset than a liability. 'He says it like it is,' said Jessica, a data analyst, during the focus group in the first-in-the-nation primary state, conducted by Purple Strategies at St. Anselm College in Manchester. 'He speaks the truth.' … 'Business, we need business and I like his roughness,' said Danielle, a financial-planning consultant, adding, 'He's just tough, we need someone tough.' 'Donald Trump is strong,' Nick, a home inspector, said." [Bloomberg]

Of course Donald Trump's large adult sons™ love to slaughter nature's most majestic creatures. Mother Jones has pics, including one of Donald Jr. holding an elephant's tail, which someone cut off after he and/or his companions shot it to death because they didn't like the big, stupid nose thing hanging off its face.

NOW LET'S ALL PAT JEB BUSH ON THE BACK FOR SAYING AN OBVIOUSLY TRUE THING - "The climate is changing; I don’t think anybody can argue it’s not. Human activity has contributed to it. I think we have a responsibility to adapt to what the possibilities are without destroying our economy, without hollowing out our industrial core." [Bloomberg BNA]

MARCO RUBIO IS THE SUBJECT OF MORE WEIRD ARTICLES THAN HE HAS VOTERS - The Washington Post is homing in on the New York Times' previously exclusive overly-scrutinize-Marco-Rubio's-boring-life-story beat. "Long before Marco Rubio emerged as a national Republican star and a top-tier White House contender, he began his political career with a brief, frustrating tenure in the smallest of small-time jobs. From April 1998 until his February 2000 debut in the Florida legislature, Rubio endured hours of monotonous debates about car wash regulations, inadequate bus stop benches, the relative merits of oak vs. black olive trees, and what snacks should be allowed in city park vending machines." [WaPo]

Republican's sick own ruined by staffer's terrible spelling.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG: DON'T CALL ME LIBERAL - Samantha Lachman and Ashley Alman: "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflected on a polarizing term that featured major decisions on marriage equality, health care and housing discrimination on Wednesday evening in a conversation with Duke Law professor Neil Siegel. Though the court’s term, which wrapped up exactly one month ago, has been widely described as a liberal one, she said she wouldn’t characterize the term (or herself) as 'liberal.' To Ginsburg, consecutive terms that produce record dissatisfaction with the court have become par for the course, because she and her fellow justices tend to take up cases that have divided those below them. 'Every year I keep waiting for the year when we will be out of the headlines, but it hasn’t happened yet,' she told Siegel before a standing-room-only crowd of Duke Law alumni and summer students." [HuffPost]

Conservatives have successfully bullied the College Board into making "America is the awesomest!" part of its AP History curriculum.

WELL HELLO THERE, SEXY GEORGE MCGOVERN - The uber-liberal former senator, who played the Washington Generals to Richard Nixon's Harlem Globetrotters in the 1972 presidential election, carried a secret to his grave when he died three years ago. Until now. Justin Wm. Moyer: "McGovern, as an 18-year-old freshman at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., lost his virginity to the girlfriend of a friend during a trip to Lake Mitchell in December of 1940 or January of 1941, and immediately got her pregnant." [WaPo]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - The Onion's Vice parody looks pretty sweet.

'YEAR OF THE WOMAN' - This feminist documentary had disappeared until HuffPost found it, Rebecca Traister reports: "For only five nights in the fall of 1973, a documentary called 'Year of the Woman' played at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in Greenwich Village. Crowds lined up around the block. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., described it as 'the greatest combination of sex and politics ever seen in a film.' And then 'Year of the Woman' all but vanished for 42 years, robbing us of a movie that captures–in its raucous, weird, unmistakably ’70s style–one of the most pivotal moments in feminist history. The setting is the Democratic convention in Miami Beach. The time is July 1972. New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm has just completed a groundbreaking campaign for the presidency ('I ran because someone had to do it first,' she would later write), and the National Women’s Political Caucus, founded by icons including Betty Friedan, Dorothy Height and Gloria Steinem, is trying to leverage women’s power at a political convention for the first time. The feminist activists want Democratic candidate George McGovern to make the legalization of abortion a part of his platform. And it all goes terribly wrong." [HuffPost]

Add Snapchat to the list of things politicians are hard at working spoiling for everyone.

COMFORT FOOD by @dmoralesgomez

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TWITTERAMA

@OhNoSheTwitnt: Sarah Palin on Cecil the lion: I can see lions from my backyard.

@DanKCharnley: sentence structure possibly, or syntax is one of my many of my problems, the biggest, maybe, of them

@DanMentos: my local christian rock radio station just switched over to an atheist country format

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