Jeb Bush sat down with some Koch brothers types and argued we should "phase out this program" -- Medicare -- because nothing says "great politics" like a Bush proposing to radically change a major entitlement program. Rick Santorum said he regrets saying homoseuality could lead to bestiality, a remark that has dogged him for years. And Ron Johnson finally answered the rarely asked question, Is our children learning? Turns out they is not. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, July 23rd, 2015:
WHAT IS JIM WEBB DOING? Jason Linkins on how different things are for Webb since he got his start in 2005: "Now, nearly 10 years after Webb was drafted to embark on his political career, the former senator has set his sights on a larger prize -- the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. But some of the people who helped pave the way for Webb's electoral career won't be joining up for his presidential campaign. 'I don't support it in any way, shape, or form,' says Lowell Feld, a Democratic political activist who maintains a kinetic presence on Blue Virginia, one of the state's most popular blogs for progressive politics. As recently as 2013, Feld was describing his work with the 'Draft Webb' movement as the thing that made 2006 the best year of his career. As he put it, it was 'undoubtedly the most wild, crazy, exhilarating, fun year I've ever had in politics.' A year and a half on, whatever exhilaration he once felt working with Webb has fully diminished." [HuffPost]
SORRY, ANTI-GMO PEOPLE - The House is not with you and your quest for purebred corn. Mike McAuliff: "Do you want to know whether your food has genetically modified organisms in it? The House of Representatives voted to make that harder on Thursday by banning states from passing their own laws requiring GMO labels. Instead, the House passed a bill called the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act that would set up a voluntary program for companies that want to disclose genetically modified ingredients. Firms that want to claim their food is GMO-free would have to submit to a certification process overseen by the Department of Agriculture. But the measure would ban states such as Vermont, Maine and Connecticut, which have passed GMO-labeling laws, from putting them into practice. It would also allow the Food and Drug Administration to define the label 'natural' to include genetically engineered material." [HuffPost]
Big shakeup at MSNBC, Michael Calderone reports.
RON JOHNSON CAUGHT MALIGNING CHILDREN - "It's unbelievable to me that liberals, that President Obama, of course he sends his children to private school, as did Al Gore, and Bill Clinton and every other celebrated liberal," Johnson said Monday on 1310 WIBA-Milwaukee, according to the Washington Post's Colby Itkowitz. "They just don’t want to let those idiot inner city kids that they purport to be so supportive of…they don’t want to give them the same opportunity their own kids have. It’s disgraceful." [WashPost]
Ron Johnson is a guy who doesn't understand children's movies, BTW.
SOCIAL SECURITY CUT KICKED OUT OF HIGHWAY BILL - The "fugitive felons" provision will now rejoin "disability double-dip" legislation in the congressional couch cushions, at least until the next big piece of legislation needs some last-minute payfors. With Laura Barron-Lopez: "After mounting pressure from Democrats, Senate Republicans removed a controversial Social Security provision from an unrelated bill to fund construction of the nation's highways. Right before a key procedural vote on Wednesday night, proponents of the bill agreed to cut the Social Security offset in an effort to garner support from more Democrats. The provision would have saved an estimated $2.3 billion over 10 years by disallowing Social Security retirement, disability or supplemental income benefits to anyone with an outstanding felony warrant being actively pursued by law enforcement….Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cut the measure as part of broader negotiations, spokesman Don Stewart confirmed. Cutting the provision was a big factor in how the highway bill’s supporters were able to secure votes for cloture, jump-starting debate on the bill after the first try failed." [HuffPost] '
The highway bill still has a shady payfor that "would require the federal government to use private debt collection agencies to help facilitate the collection of taxes owed the government," according to a PDF summary.
JEB BUSH FORGOT HIS MEDICARE TALKING POINTS - You’d think an ex-governor of Florida -- home to more Brooklyn Dodgers and rotary telephone fans than any other state -- would know better than to talk about getting rid of Medicare. "Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that we ought to phase out Medicare, the federal program that provides health insurance to Americans once they're 65. 'We need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits,' Bush said.'But we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they're not going to have anything.' Bush praised Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for proposing to change Medicare to a system that gives seniors insurance vouchers instead of paying their bills directly. He also lamented that 'the left' reacted with an ad showing a Paul lookalike pushing an old lady's wheelchair off a cliff." [HuffPost]
SCOTT WALKER FALLS IN LOVE WITH WELFARE, REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH But only the corporate type of welfare and only the kind of tax increases that benefit hugely rich sports bros. Travis Waldron: “Party activists have criticized the governor for months over his support for a plan to devote hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to a new arena for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, echoing sports economists who have said it amounts to ‘sports extortion’ -- the type of handout to special interests Walker decries on the stump.” [HuffPost]
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WHAT ACTUAL, VOTING REPUBLICANS THINK OF THE CANDIDATES - Paul Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy would like to remind you that the survey respondents driving most poll news have no idea what's going on or who's in the race: "Half say they are 'still making up' their minds about whom they will support, with no clear frontrunner emerging in their first choices. In this sense, the findings among activists match both the current state of endorsements by senior Republican officials and the preferences expressed on polls of Republican voters: The GOP is still very much in the early stages of deciding." [HuffPost]
Ana Marie Cox and Ted Cruz are really into that Star Trek shit.
OBAMA GIVES DRAKE AND MEEK MILL SOMETHING THEY CAN AGREE ON Obama admits thing you probably already knew, in your heart: “‘My rapping skills are terrible,’ he said at the East Room event. ‘That’s one thing I can’t do, is rap. I like rap, but I cannot rap.’” [The Hill]
LINKEDIN HARD AT WORK TO BECOME MORE TERRIBLE The businessy social network you joined for some reason wants politicians to provide them with free, crappy content, Elise Viebeck at the Washington Post writes. "The company no longer wants to just house your Rolodex. It wants to become -- what else these days? -- a destination for leaders to share their economic policy ideas before an engaged and professionally-minded audience." [WashPost]
DONALD TRUMP ALMOST BLOWING HIS COVER AS A HILLARY CLINTON PLANT - Kevin Cirilli and Bob Cusack: "Donald Trump says the chances that he will launch a third-party White House run will 'absolutely' increase if the Republican National Committee is unfair to him during the 2016 primary season. 'The RNC has not been supportive. They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy,' the business mogul told The Hill in a 40-minute interview from his Manhattan office at Trump Tower on Wednesday. 'The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.'" Well, you've gotten this far, so that can't be totally wrong. [The Hill]
What Reince Priebus needs to do: because Trump is Biff from Back to the Future, Priebus needs to think like a McFly. He must escape Trump's penthouse and access the roof via stairwell. Then he'll stand on the edge of the roof and stall for a minute while Trump prepares to shoot him. Priebus jumps, stunning Trump, who will then approach the edge of the building only to be struck in the head by the gull-wing door of the flying Delorean that broke Priebus' fall. That's how the RNC will achieve the Trump turning point it needs. Thanks, Biff!
SANTORUM REGRETS TRUTHFULLY CONVEYING HIS ACTUAL THOUGHTS - Sorry if anyone was offended by his rightness. Igor Bobic: "Rick Santorum, known for his stringent opposition to same-sex marriage, is softening his rhetoric about gay people. In a Wednesday interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, a rare sit down for a Republican, Santorum said he 'absolutely' regrets comparing homosexuality with bestiality. 'I wish I had never said that ... It was a flippant comment that should not have come out of my mouth. But the substance of what I said -- which is what I referred to -- I stand by that.'" Thanks, Rick! [HuffPost]
MAYBE HE SHOULD SAY MORE DUMB STUFF? If a Santorum falls in Midtown and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? Scott Conroy: "[D]uring a half-hour interview at a crowded Midtown Manhattan Starbucks on Wednesday afternoon, not one patron appeared to recognize the runner-up for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. No one asked to shake his hand, nor did they want to take a selfie or challenge the arch-social conservative on his policy views." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Enjoy the tale of a beltway PR executive caught stealing bottles of alcohol from Cafe Milano. Be sad that it isn't a more famous person though.
COMFORT FOOD by @DhyanaTaylor
Lame super-heroing vastly improved by awesome song.
Little kids aren’t smart enough for food.
Mission Impossible reimagined by ESPN and Chris Paul
@robotics: [walks into Chipotle] "Hi, I'd like one chipotle, please."
@MattMackowiak: 69 year old Border security expert Donald Trump to see border for first time.
@AdamSerwer: Trollmates: Two people who are just meant to troll each other forever
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