POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Detroit Is Alive And Osama Bin Laden Is Dead And Death Panels Are Alive And Greece Is Dead

President Obama couldn’t distance himself further from Greece if he drove Greece out to a remote backroad, pushed it out of the back seat, tossed pebbles at it and told it to "go on, git." Yet another court ruled against Washington's football team and its prejudiced name, meaning it’s only matter of time until Antonin Scalia issues a deeply angry and personal decision about it. And officials insist that malfunctions at United Airlines, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Stock Exchange are unrelated and not part of a cyber attack, while Michael Lewis’ agent insists it’s part of a complex macro trend that needs to be explained in crisp, easily digestible prose. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, July 8th, 2015:

OBAMA GREXITS, STAGE LEFT - Zach Carter and Daniel Marans: "The Obama administration is effectively sitting out the contentious talks over the festering economic crisis in Greece, despite increasingly extreme demands from the German government in the wake of last week's Greek referendum. The cautious American position marks a dramatic reversal in tone from President Barack Obama's February call for Germany to relent on its aggressive demands for additional austerity...Yet Germany has done just that... But after Greek voters resoundingly rejected those plans in a nationwide referendum last week, Germany upped the ante, signaling it would require even further 'reforms' from the Greek government as a condition of any emergency aid, with German officials warning ominously that Greek banks are now at the brink of total collapse…While [Treasury Secretary Jack] Lew and Obama continue to formally insist on debt relief, their current conciliatory posture reflects a desire to avoid confrontation with Germany and maintain an ally against Russia." [HuffPost]

IRAN DEAL: OBAMA BRACING FOR DIPLOMATIC WOMP WOMP - Sam Stein and Jessica Schulberg: "As international talks with Iran over its nuclear program enter the eleventh -- and twelfth and thirteenth -- hour, the Obama administration is refusing to heed calls to leave the negotiating table, for two reasons. One is substantive: The administration believes a nuclear deal remains possible. The other is political: the White House is wary that if negotiations falter and it ends up with the blame, there could be serious diplomatic and geopolitical consequences. 'We have managed the Iranian nuclear issue over the last several years by finding ways to try and put constraints on the Iranians while mobilizing public opinion internationally to our side,' one White House official explained to reporters last Thursday. 'I think we would be in a stronger position if, and only if, the perception is that the Iranians are the reason why there is no deal,' the official continued…During a working cocktail party at the White House with Senate Democrats on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama estimated the odds of reaching such an agreement at 'less than 50/50.'" [HuffPost]

DEATH PANELS: COMING SOON TO A CLIFF NEAR YOU - Jeff Young: "Physicians would be paid to discuss end-of-life options with Medicare patients who want their wishes spelled out in advance under a regulation proposed by the federal government Wednesday. Medical societies and seniors' groups like the AARP have long supported so-called advance care planning as a way for patients to consider whether they want intensive medical care in the event of a life-threatening illness near the close of their lives, and to make their preferences known to their loved ones in writing. But Medicare has never had a mechanism with which to pay doctors for this counseling, except during a physical exam when beneficiaries first enroll in the program. 'Today’s proposal supports individuals and families who wish to have the opportunity to discuss advance care planning with their physician and care team, as part of coordinated, patient- and family-centered care," Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway said in a statement. [HuffPost]

MARK SANFORD'S FORMER SPEECHWRITER HAS A BOOK - From Carlos Lozada's writeup: "At the urging of his wife, [Barton] Swaim gave in and started writing poorly. He assembled a list of Sanford-friendly lines (such as 'given the fact that,' 'speaks volumes,' 'very considerable,' 'the way you live your life'). They were awkward and lazy, but the boss liked them." [WashPost]

Haircuts: Akbar Ahmed (h/t Eliot Nelson), Matt Kravitz (h/t Dante Atkins: "It roughly resembles a tennis ball cut"), Jason Linkins (beard trim)

REDSKINS LOSE EVEN DURING OFFSEASON - LOL Dan Snyder. Travis Waldron: "Washington's professional football team has lost another fight over its name. A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the team cannot legally trademark its 'Redskins' nickname, as The Washington Post first reported. The decision upholds a previous ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, which voted 2-1 last year to cancel the team's trademarks. The board ruled in June 2014 that the name was 'disparaging to Native Americans' and thus violated federal laws that prohibit trademark protections for demeaning or offensive language." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Matt Bruenig has some fun information about disabled people, whose insufficient work effort will be the subject of a Ways and Means hearing tomorrow: "Overall, the adult disability poverty rate increased from 19.9% in 2000 to 30.5% in 2013, an increase of 53%. This is quite massive both in terms of percentage and percentage points. Note that the poverty metric being used in the above graph is the official poverty metric, which includes incomes from the two main disability benefit programs (SSI and SSDI) in its poverty calculations." [Demos.org]

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ADMINISTRATION ISSUES NEW DESEGREGATING HOUSING REGULATIONS - The Ellington on U Street is still legal, sadly. Tim Devaney: "The Obama administration issued contentious new housing regulations on Wednesday that are intended to diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods and gentrify poorer neighborhoods. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) long-awaited rule aims to end decades of deep-rooted segregation across the country. HUD Secretary Julián Castro called for a 'balanced approach' that brings affordable housing to more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of the gentrification of those communities...The regulations have attracted criticism from Republicans who accuse the Obama administration of unwarranted social engineering. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) argued earlier this year that the administration 'shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.'" [The Hill]

All the computers collapsed today, but don't worry, the government says it's not a thing.

WALKER'S OFFICE TRIED TO GUT TRANSPARENCY LAW - Ceci n'est pas une email about right to work laws. Igor Bobic: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) office was involved in an effort to quietly gut his state's open records law, a move that was put on hold by GOP legislative leaders on Saturday after public outcry from transparency advocates, liberals, conservatives and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial page. A Walker spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday -- after evading inquiries from reporters -- that the governor's office was involved in drafting the proposal. The scheme would have restricted public access to information regarding the deliberative process used by state and legislative leaders -- an impediment to open and accountable government. Other proposed changes went even further by allowing officials to withhold from the public nearly all documents they maintain...Walker's office already operated as if the proposed changes to the open records law were made, according to the Journal Sentinel. Two months ago, Walker declined to release records related to his proposal to change the University of Wisconsin mission statement because, his office claimed, it was part of his office's internal deliberations. " [HuffPost]

JOHN KASICH: SURE, WHY NOT - The glut of conservative white guys in the GOP contest makes the Kang and Kodos contest look like Lincoln/Douglas. Maggie Haberman: "A political group representing Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has started buying air time in New Hampshire for a five-day period ahead of the official announcement of his presidential campaign later this month. The details of the purchase, for ads to run from Thursday through Monday, was confirmed by two media buyers. A spokesman for Mr. Kasich confirmed the ad buy, which was made by New Day for America, although he declined to discuss its size. But an independent media buyer said the political group is paying more than $500,000 for the ads to be shown. The spending is heavy for a midsummer ad purchase, and seems intended to introduce Mr. Kasich, a Republican, to voters in a state in which he is expected to try to gain traction — and potentially improve his national polling numbers to give him a place on the debate stage next month. He is expected to announce his candidacy on July 21." [NYT]

Sure, why not, part two: "If you were worried the GOP presidential field was going to top out at a measly 17 candidates, never fear: Jim Gilmore is going to be the next Republican to maybe run for the White House. This news comes to us by way of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to whom Gilmore evidently spilled the beans in 'an exclusive telephone interview.'" [HuffPost]

TED CRUZ'S ALLIES EVEN MORE INTENSE THAN TED CRUZ - It's like Ted Cruz is the Frank Zappa that ultimately led you to his state chairmen, who are are Captain Beefheart. Katie Glueck: "One state co-chair said the victims of the Charleston shooting 'waited their turn to be shot.' Another has emerged as the voice of the opposition to removing the rebel flag from the statehouse, likening that effort to a 'Stalinist purge.' Separately, in Tennessee, his state chairman had once accused a Muslim state appointee of being a 'Shariah compliant finance expert,' a comment that sparked outrage in some corners when he was tapped for the position with Cruz in early June. When asked about his surrogates’ inflammatory comments, the Cruz campaign had their backs. 'They are respected in their states, they are terrific organizers, they are working hard to help win the nomination and we have every confidence they have the ability to do that,' said Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler." [Politico]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cat terrified by a cucumber.

DAVE WEIGEL RETURNS TO THE WASHINGTON POST FOR THE 500th TIME - This is going to do wonders for the great liberal journalist cabal, to say nothing of Jade Helm 15. Erik Wemple: "In notable media-personnel news, the Washington Post announced this morning that it is hiring Bloomberg Politics reporter Dave Weigel. Again. In June 2010, Weigel resigned after a three-month tenure blogging about conservatives. His departure came amid revelations that he had posted controversial messages on an e-mail community known as 'Journolist.' … A memo from The Post says, “Dave will bring his one-of-a-kind perspective and voice to our campaign team, where he will focus on the people and movements that are galvanizing so much of modern politics.” He’ll continue covering the presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul and will anchor a new podcast on politics, says the memo." [WaPo]

COMFORT FOOD

- Machine shreds engine blocks, is somehow profoundly cathardic.

- Movies edited down to lines spokenby people of color.

- Making a record out of a tortilla.

TWITTERAMA

@SamSteinHP Gay marriage becomes law of the land —> Greece goes bust —> True Detective Episode 3 —> United can’t fly planes —> stock exchange on fritz

@jbarro: I'm so mad at CNN for not giving us a "TRUMP: RETWEETS NOT ENDORSEMENTS" chyron there.

@HayesBrown: "Glitch better have my money" - all NYSE traders rn

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