Friday, June 22, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Scott Brown: Game of Bros

HuffPost Hill
By Eliot Nelson & Arthur Delaney
A Republican congressman's wife received unemployment benefits, bravely keeping it out of the hands of an indigent who'd undoubtedly use it for drugs. A recently-founded super PAC seeks to advance the interests of cats, a mostly inoffensive organization save for its disturbing support for Mitt Romney's dog transportation techniques. And though "Obama/Biden 2012: I'm Just Sayin'" would be a crummy campaign slogan, it'd certainly win the drunken 3 AM debater vote. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 22nd, 2012:

RINOS VANQUISHED, TEA PARTY SEEKS NEW PREY - Jon Ward: "After years of insurgency, national Tea Party groups joined with the Republican establishment in Wisconsin to defeat the Democrats' attempt to recall GOP Gov. Scott Walker. It was a taste of things to come, one of the group's leaders told The Huffington Post. 'What Wisconsin showed is when the Tea Party and Republican Party line up on the same side we're a powerful force, and we play our own roles,' said Brendan Steinhauser, the campaigns director at FreedomWorks, a Washington-based grassroots organizing group aligned with the Tea Party. 'Phase 1 is beating the Republicans. Phase 2 is beating the Democrats,' Steinhauser said. 'It's remarkably moving in the direction of unity toward November.'" [HuffPost]

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DISCOVERED AT GOP CONGRESSMAN'S HOUSE - Fast Break Jake FTW: "House Republicans have been railing on unemployment benefits for two years, arguing that it's part of the nation's broken welfare system. But one of their own -- Nevada Rep. Joe Heck -- has been benefiting from it. His wife, Lisa, collected unemployment benefits in 2011, according to financial disclosure forms filed with the House in May." Turns out Mrs. Heck worked for her husband's company and started drawing bennies after Heck folded up his company to be a member of Congress (salary: $174,000). Stay classy. [Politico]

GAYS FLIP BIRD AT PAINTING, OUTRAGE ENSURES - Conservatives will blame the debauched ethos of the gay community. We blame Rahm Emanuel. Dave Boyer: "The White House was mum Friday about photographs posted online showing gay-rights activists, guests of President Obama, making obscene gestures at the portrait of President Reagan during a gay-pride reception at the White House last week. Matthew 'Matty' Hart and Zoe Strauss, both from the Philadelphia area, posted photographs of themselves on Facebook giving the middle finger to Mr. Reagan's official portrait hanging in the White House as they attended the party. The White House didn't respond Friday to a request for comment on the photographs." [Washington Times]

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST - Our PSLGOPL is unimpressed that watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is fine with Obama asserting executive privilege to keep documents private. His take: "Shittiest. Watchdog. Ever." Thanks, PSLGOPL!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A senior in Seattle supplies the text for DDD to highlight > CTRL-C > CTRL-V into our 15-part series PASTED: The Emails of the Jobless: "I've sent out thousands of resumes and had a few interviews, which basically ended as soon as the interviewers saw me. Yes I did dress 'for success' with business clothing for these interviews. I've even applied at small offices and stores with no luck. I can't do waitress or janitorial work anymore because I have a bad back that won't allow hard physical labor. I started selling Avon 2 years ago, hoping to make a little extra money, but that hasn't panned out, since customers are also out of work and aren't buying much. I'm not old enough for Medicare or Social Security. If my husband didn't have his job, we would lose our home and have to live with our kids. We also wouldn't have any medical insurance. I'm willing and able to work, but the longer I go without a job, the less likely it is I will find one. Congress needs to end age discrimination now!"

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ROMNEY CO-CHAIR SAYS CANDIDATE WOULD RESCIND IMMIGRATION DIRECTIVE - Luke Johnson: "Thursday, Ray Walser, a co-chairman of the presumptive Republican candidate's Latin American Working Group, told The Daily Telegraph that Romney would likely end it. 'My anticipation is that he would probably rescind this directive were he to be elected in November,' he said. The British paper followed up with Walser, who then said, 'I've now had a little conversation with people from the campaign and they are concerned that I was not speaking in an authoritative voice.' He continued, 'They would really prefer that if you're going to quote the Romney position, you get it from someone other than me.'" Did somebody say "Republican strategist"? [HuffPost]

Considering that the president is leading Mitt Romney among Latino voters by, oh, a trabillion percent, this is just mean: "A day after Mitt Romney pitched a softer, gentler message on immigration reform, President Barack Obama said that Latino voters shouldn't believe it. 'Your speaker from yesterday has a different view. In his speech he said when he makes a promise to you, he'll keep it. Well, he has promised to veto the Dream Act,' Obama said Friday at the National Association for Elected and Appointed Officials conference. 'And we should take him at his word,' he continued with a shrug, to laughter and cheers from the crowd. 'I'm just saying.'" [HuffPost's Elise Foley]

...BECAUSE WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO PARTY IN UTAH WITH A FAMOUSLY WOODEN POLITICIAN DURING A HEATWAVE? - ABC News: "While most Americans will be enjoying the first weekend of summer outside and away from work, Mitt Romney will host his richest campaign donors at a retreat in Utah where they'll have access to high-profile Republicans who would likely be in the candidate's administration if he wins the race. Usually, party bigwigs and donors have to wait until the conventions to hear leaders speak and rub elbows with the GOP elite, but not this summer, as many will be descending on the tony Deer Valley resort area of Park City beginning today. The guest list is impressive -- James Baker, Mike Leavitt, Bobby Jindal, Meg Whitman, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Condoleezza Rice, Rob Portman, Bob McDonnell, Tim Pawlenty, and many more recognizable GOP figures." [ABC News]

SCOTT BROWN HAS BEEN BOASTING ABOUT MEETING KINGS AND QUEENS FOR A WHILE - And, no, not the proprietor of Speedy Muffler King in Lowell. The real kind. Boston Globe: "Remember Scott Brown's gaffe on Thursday? The one about meeting with kings and queens? His staff was quick to say the comment was a flub, acknowledging that the senator has not actually met with royalty...But the Massachusetts Democratic Party today released a video showing four prior examples when Brown used the same phrasing about meeting with 'kings and queens' while speaking to audiences as part of his reelection bid. Set to the Abba tune 'Dancing Queen,' the video was blasted out in an e-mail release emphasizing that the tape 'shows Brown making the claim in Wakefield, on Martha's Vineyard, the Berkshires, and in Sandwich on the campaign trail.'" [Globe]

Scott Brown loves royalty and hopes all the young girls of USA can see what true beauty and elegance is.

PRESIDENT HOARDING CABINET MEMBERS: REPORT - "Barack, we're just concerned. You've had that Homeland Security secretary hidden under that mountain of coupon circulars for years now..." Smart Politics: "John Bryson's resignation as Commerce Secretary Thursday is the third departure from Barack Obama's cabinet during the first 41 months of his administration. Presuming, for the moment, that Bryson is the last cabinet member to exit during the remaining seven months of Obama's first term, the 44th President will rank on the low end of cabinet department head exits in the era of the modern presidency... The average department head exit rate for presidents in their second term (and beyond, with FDR) is much higher (0.74) than in the first term (0.47) during this span. Obama is tied with Lyndon Johnson's first term for the fourth lowest rate of departure of 0.20 cabinet department heads per administration post." [Smart Politics]

HuffPost Hiccup: Yesterday we wrote that Richard Mourdock is the Republican candidate for Senate in Nebraska. He is, in fact, the Republican Senate candidate from that other bastion of corn and flatness, Indiana. Our apologies. It probably won't happen again.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's lion cub chillin' with a bunny and a dog. Weirdest love triangle ever.

CAT SUPER PAC TO ADVANCE FELINE AGENDA - Though if it really takes off, what's to say it can't promote the interest of cat owners (not really sure what that would be but it would definitely involve book clubs and soup). National Journal: "Enter the My Cat Xavier for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow super PAC. Anna Hornberger, a 27-year-old clinical psychologist Ph.D candidate at George Washington University, filed the group as a super PAC with the Federal Election Commission last week. She says the mission is to promote her cat Xavier and all cat-related causes. Oh, and as she puts it, 'to point out the ridiculousness of unlimited donations given to politicians, their movements and campaigns' and see a reversal of the Supreme Court's ruling in theCitizens United case." [National Journal]

By @bradjshannon!

- Sticking your head out the car window is so cliche. []

- Party rockin' in the cantina tonight. []

- Pup shakes with cookie anticipation. []

- Foto Friday: The Mississippi delta. []

- Foto Friday: The Telegraph's pics of the day. []

- Foto Friday: What's up with China these days? []

- Hungry, hungry hedgehog. []

- Foto Friday: It's summer time! []

- Foto Friday: Puppy portraits. []


@MarkLeibovich: Keep losing track: Are we in a new era, at the end of an era or returning to a bygone era?

@dceiver: Welp, the Washington Wizards are now tied for first!

@elisefoley: Obama says "don't worry, I won't sing," which is a big misunderstanding of the fact everyone LOVES when he sings.


Today - Tomorrow: It might be worth spending $2,500 to see who would sincerely spend $2,500 to spend a weekend on Staten Island with Michael Grimm. [Staten Island, NY]

Today - Sunday: For some reason, we can pretty easily picture Lamar Alexander in a cowboy hat crooning some Conway Twitty. Maybe that explains (?) why the senator's campaign is hosting a "Music City Weekend" getaway. [Nashville]

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