HUFFPOST HILL - Something Terrific!

A small child failed to catch a football thrown by Marco Rubio, proving once again that children are not the future. Republican candidates are questioning birthright citizenship, because nothing says "Party of Lincoln" quite like the Dred Scott decision. And Scott Walker proposed a healthcare plan that's making Donald Trump's idea to replace Obamacare with "something terrific" look pretty smart. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 18, 2015:

YOU SAY "XENOPHOBIA" LIKE IT'S A BAD THING -- HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reports the U.S. approaching a new low-point in its treatment of furriners: "Prominent figures in the Republican Party in recent days have expressed renewed interest in repealing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which would take away the automatic right of those born in the United States to become citizens of the country… But rescinding birthright citizenship privileges would return the U.S. to some of its darkest chapters, when politicians tried to deny citizenship rights to black people and when the country was overtaken by anti-Chinese xenophobia. Walter Dellinger has been trying to push back against the anti-birthright citizenship movement since the mid-1990s, when he served as a top legal official in President Bill Clinton's administration and testified against such an effort before a House committee. He told The Huffington Post Tuesday that the country is at a 'critical moment' in this debate, when a major political party may nominate as its presidential candidate someone who embraces the end of birthright citizenship. 'It would fundamentally change the identity of America,' Dellinger said, 'to create a permanent caste that was excluded from citizenship generation after generation.'" [HuffPost]

Candidates who are wobbly on the 14th Amendment: Donald Trump, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie, Scott Walker. [HuffPost]

IRAN, IRAN SO FAR AWAY -- The Associated Press: "President Barack Obama has 'a great likelihood of success' in his showdown with congressional Republicans on the Iran nuclear deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell grudgingly acknowledged on Monday. The GOP-led Senate and House are expected to turn down the deal next month, with the Kentucky Republican calling it flawed and House Speaker John Boehner criticizing the accord… Obama has pledged to veto a congressional resolution of disapproval. The question then becomes whether opponents of the accord can muster the votes to override the president." Spoiler alert: Probably not. [AP]

WHAT ABOUT BOB? Jessica Schulberg reports that New Jersey's senior Democratic senator plans to vote against the Iran deal: "Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Tuesday formally announced his opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran, claiming that the Obama administration could renegotiate a better deal and wrest more concessions from Iran if Congress rejects the current accord. 'I have looked into my own soul and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,' Menendez told an audience of approximately 400 students, faculty, and constituents at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. 'It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto.' An ideal agreement, the senator said, would be one that required Iran to completely surrender its nuclear program, rather than simply downsizing it and opening it up to inspections. Secretary of State John Kerry has called this an unrealistic goal." [HuffPost]

Here's our whip count.

BLM-GHAZI -- Marina Fang: "Newly released video of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private meeting with Black Lives Matter activists in New Hampshire last week shows a testy exchange between Clinton and the activists. In one of two clips of the meeting posted by Good Magazine on Monday, Clinton suggests that the activists need to have strong policy goals if they want to create real change, using the women's and gay rights movements as a comparison. One of the activists takes issue with her comments. 'This is and has always been a white problem of violence. There's not much that we [black people] can do to stop the violence against us,' Julius Jones of Black Lives Matter tells Clinton. Clinton pushes back: 'Respectfully, if that is your position, then I will only talk to white people about the very real problems.' [HuffPost]

HAIRCUTS: Igor Bobic, Eliot Nelson.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - This piece by Jon Hilsenrath and Nick Timiraos made the rounds today: "As the U.S. economic expansion ages and clouds gather overseas, policy makers worry about recession. Their concern isn’t that a downturn is imminent but whether they will have firepower to fight back when one does arrive…. The U.S. generally injects cash into the economy through interest-rate cuts, tax cuts or ramped-up federal spending. Those tools could be hard to employ when the next dip comes: Interest rates are near zero, and fiscal stimulus plans could be hampered by high levels of government debt and the prospect of growing budget deficits to cover entitlement spending on retired baby boomers." [WSJ]

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THE GAS WE PASS -- Obama wants to cut down on methane leaks … in the oil and gas sector: "The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed new standards limiting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling operations, a significant contributor to climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency released four separate proposals that aim to reduce emissions that escape from oil wells, as well as natural gas processing and storage facilities. The methane proposal would cut releases from drill sites and infrastructure 20 to 30 percent nationally in the next 10 years, the agency said. The agency described the standards as a 'flexible approach' to reducing a major contributor to climate change." [HuffPost]

The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold chronicles 20 times Donald Trump has changed his mind since June.

THE TROUBLE WITH OBAMACARE REPLACEMENTS - Obamacare currently exists, you know? It's like, there. Jeffrey Young and Jonathan Cohn: "Very near the beginning of Scott Walker's new proposal to 'repeal and replace' the Affordable Care Act, he bemoans that Obamacare forced so many people to give up the insurance they once had. Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin and one of many GOP presidential hopefuls, then goes on to outline an alternative plan that would do the exact same thing. By scrapping President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul, Walker's plan -- which the governor announced this week -- would take away health coverage from some unknowable share of the millions of people who have gained it under Obamacare. It promotes benefits like less regulation and less federal spending on health insurance, as well as cheaper coverage for some young and healthy people. But like all the other Republican 'repeal and replace' plans that have appeared in the last few years, Walker's proposal never acknowledges the trade-offs and consequences of these changes." [HuffPost]

BOBBY JINDAL MANFULLY PANS WALKERCARE - Igor Bobic: "In a sharply worded statement following Walker's remarks, Jindal accused the Wisconsin governor of endorsing the 'fundamental underpinning of Obamacare.' 'In Governor Walker’s plan, a new entitlement is created for every single American human being from the time they are born right up until they grow old and become eligible for Medicare,' Jindal said. 'It is frankly shocking that a Republican candidate for President would author a cradle to grave plan like this.'" [HuffPost]


WHITE HOUSE HIRES FIRST OPENLY TRANSGENDER STAFFER - Dayana Morales Gomez: "President Barack Obama's administration has appointed the first-ever transgender White House staffer. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a transgender woman, is the outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. She started her new job Tuesday.Previously, Freedman-Gurspan was a staff member at the National Center for Transgender Equality, where she served as policy adviser for the organization's Racial and Economic Justice Initiative." [HuffPost]


BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Tiny baby befriends giant pitbull

LINDSEY GRAHAM SICKENED BY INSUFFICIENT DEATH - Andrew Kaczynski: "South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says the Connecticut Supreme Court decision that the death penalty violates the state’s constitution -- sparing the perpetrators of a horrific 2007 home invasion and murder from execution -- makes him physically ill. Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were both sentenced to death for killing and setting on fire Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. 'Makes me want to throw up. Makes me want to throw up when I hear that putting these two guys to death for what they did to that family is somehow outside of the standards of decency,' Graham stated Monday to radio host Michael Medved." [BuzzFeed]

COMFORT FOOD by @dmoralesgomez & @yujia_pan


@jondaly: When your dog farts you should be happy. They're relaxed because you're a good friend.

@JRLbako: @FauxJohnMadden Marco Rubio hit kid in face with football; Jets offer him starting QB job.

@mattytalks: In life most people are afraid to ask the tough questions, but not me. Is a pancake just a fat crepe? Find out tonight at 10pm on MSNBC

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