POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - America's 'Bad Guy' Problem Rears Its Ugly Head

Some Democrats responded to news of today's horrible murders with empty calls for gun control, which doesn't have a prayer in Congress because all the prayers are being used for people who got shot to death. Donald Trump's telling top Republicans he won't mount a third-party presidential bid if he can't have the GOP nomination, an assurance we're sure he'll honor until someone hurts his feelings. And Joe Biden said arguments against the Iran deal are "poppycock," and the people making the arguments are mid-19th-century tramps and ragamuffins. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 26th, 2015:

WHITE HOUSE PUSHES GUN CONTROL IN WAKE OF LATEST HORRIBLE SHOOTING - Sam Levine: "White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest renewed the Obama administration's call for Congress to take action on gun control after a gunman shot and killed a reporter and cameraman during a live television broadcast on Wednesday. 'This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States,' Earnest said. 'And while there is no piece of legislation that will end all violence in this country, there are some common sense things that only Congress can do that we know would have a tangible impact in reducing gun violence in this country.'" [HuffPost]

@HillaryClinton: Heartbroken and angry. We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer. Praying for the victims' families in Virginia. -H

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) probably had the strongest response among members of Congress. @ChrisMurphyCT: More mass shootings in 2015 than days in the year. Total utter sickening silence from Congress now equals complicity.

TERRY MCAULIFFE, TOO - Kim Bellware: "McAuliffe re-upped his support for background checks on firearms purchasers and blamed the state legislature for failing to pass tighter gun control measures. 'I've proposed this now twice to the General Assembly. I ran on the topic. It was part of my platform that we need tougher gun laws in the Commonwealth,' McAuliffe said during a Wednesday morning appearance on WTOP's monthly 'Ask the Governor' program, in which listeners and live blog readers can pose questions." [HuffPost]

OBAMA HEADED TO NEW ORLEANS FOR GRIM COMMEMORATION - A decade has passed since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Big Easy, so the president is on his way to mark the progress, and lack thereof, since. Gardiner Harris: "On Thursday, Mr. Obama will return to New Orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and face the kind of reckoning presidents must confront near the end of their tenure: How did reality stack up against his campaign promises?" [NYT]

DONALD TRUMP CONTINUING TO PRETEND TO WANT TO BE PRESIDENT - At least until someone finally hurts his feelings. Sam Stein and Ryan Grim: "Businessman Donald Trump has told several top Republicans that he will swear off the possibility of an independent bid and commit to run his presidential campaign under the party's banner, according to several sources. Such a move could endear Trump further to Republican voters who have remained skeptical about his commitment to a political party he joined relatively recently. Trump had drawn sharp criticism from leaders of the GOP, concerned that a third-party bid would effectively guarantee a Democratic win in the general election…. Michael Cohen, a top Trump aide, did not go so far as to confirm that the businessman would make the step of forsaking a run as an independent. But he did tell the Huffington Post that Trump never had 'any intent' of running as anything other than a Republican. 'He just wanted to ensure that the establishment would treat him as fair as they would treat any of the other candidates,' Cohen said. 'And I believe right now they are treating him fairly. It is my personal belief that the RNC is treating Mr. Trump the same as the other candidates and he will live up to his agreement not to run as an independent.'" [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - @NationalZoo We are sad to report that the smaller of the two panda cubs has died. We will continue to provide updates on social media w/ #Pandastory.

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BIDEN RALLIES DEMS TO IRAN DEAL - Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel: "Vice President Joe Biden gave an impassioned pitch in support of the Iran nuclear deal during a conference call with top Democratic Party officials Wednesday, the latest in the administration's aggressive public relations campaign around the accord. 'The idea that there's a better deal out there is absolutely poppycock,' said Biden, asking his fellow Democrats to rally around the nuclear accord negotiated by the United States, Iran and five world powers. The Democratic National Committee hosted the call for its members nationwide, and attendees were told they would be allowed to ask questions of the vice president. The organizers, however, booted The Huffington Post from the call before the question-and-answer session because the call was meant to be off the record and not open to the press. (The Huffington Post had never agreed to the call's off-the-record terms.)" Boo-yah. [HuffPost]

DONALD TRUMP'S SUPPORTERS ARE DELIGHTFUL PEOPLE - Make America hate again! Amanda Terkel: "A Donald Trump supporter put his ignorance on full display Tuesday, telling Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, a U.S. citizen, to 'get out of my country.' Trump threw Ramos out of his press conference Tuesday afternoon after Ramos attempted to ask a question without being called on. Ramos, a popular and respected Spanish-language anchor, was trying to ask the reality TV host and GOP presidential candidate about his plan to deport all undocumented immigrants. Trump told Ramos to 'go back to Univision.'.... Univision later posted video of what happened after Ramos was escorted into the hall by security: A Trump supporter confronted him and said, 'You were very rude. It's not about you. Get out of my country.' Ramos noted that he's a U.S. citizen and the man responded, 'Well, whatever. No, Univision, no. It's not about you.'" It's unclear if this guy is affiliated with any of the white supremacist organizations that love Trump. [HuffPost]

TERRIBLE OLD MEN REMEMBER HOW MUCH THEY NEED EACH OTHER - Two rich jerks have agreed to disagree over whether one of them is allowed to disgustingly insult the other one's employee. Hadas Gold: "Another truce seems to have been struck between Fox News chief Roger Ailes and Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Trump told radio host Laura Ingraham that he and Ailes spoke that morning, one day after releasing dueling statements about Fox News host Megyn Kelly." [Politico]

No reason to believe these Fox News employees didn't all spontaneously decide it was OK to defend Megyn Kelly at the same time! No reason whatsoever.

HILLARY SCHMILLARY, BERNIE SAYS - Bernie Sanders is pointing at the scoreboard, because the powers that be in the Democratic Party don't seem to notice he's in the lead. "Upstart presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is about to make a direct pitch to the Democratic Party establishment: After losing badly in 2014, the party should embrace a candidate who can attract new voters and energy, just as President Obama did eight years ago." [WashPost]

WALL STREET MUST BE QUAKING IN FEAR - Some liberal groups sure wish Hillary Clinton would promise not to hire the kinds of people presidents always hire. Maggie Haberman: "The progressive groups have become more vocal as the presidential nominating contest has gone on, and they are seeking to push Mrs. Clinton to the left to combat what they call Wall Street’s excesses, in this case financial executives who take government jobs, where they can use their power to benefit the private sector." [NYT]

It's just impossible to choose a side to root for here. Just impossible.

CARLY FIORINA WON'T BE SILENCED! UNLESS SHE IS - The layoffs enthusiast, who evidently is running for president as a Republican, has a bone to pick with CNN. Ben Kamisar and Bradford Richardson: "Carly Fiorina is urging the Republican National Committee (RNC) to intervene in the second Republican presidential debate so that she wins a spot on the stage." [The Hill]

NOT VERY SUBTLE, BUSH BROS - When the nation's leading expert in scaring Americans about terrorism just happens to be your big brother, you'd be crazy not to do a fundraiser with major Sept. 11 undertones. Matea Gold: "Former President George W. Bush is set to headline a luncheon fundraiser for the Jeb Bush presidential campaign in New York on Sept. 10, according to several people familiar with the event, part of an expanding role he is playing to help raise money for his younger brother's White House bid." [WashPost]

Here is a list of horny public figures the Washington Post made for you.

HEY, REMEMBER SOLYNDRA? - The Benghazi of domestic politics is back, courtesy of the unflattering findings of a federal investigation. Jim Snyder: "Solyndra LLC executives may have intentionally misled the Energy Department as they sought $535 million in federal loan guarantees, the agency’s inspector general concluded after a four-year investigation." [Bloomberg News]

TODAY IN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN - Chris Van Hollen on the Ed Show: "This is a real danger right now. I remember two years ago, when Speaker Boehner -- at just this time of year – said that he was going to stop the Tea Party Republicans from shutting down the government. He wasn’t able to do it. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party crew said that they wanted to shut down the government in order to shut down the Affordable Care Act – and they did it for 16 days, at great cost to the country."

RAMPANT BIDEN SPECULATION JUST WHAT BORED JOURNOS NEEDED - Perennially slow news month enlivened by analysis of the Veep's nonexistent presidential campaign. Stephen Collinson: "But though he's beloved by Democrats, radiates a love for campaigning that Clinton can't match and has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his boss during the most sweeping progressive presidency in decades, Biden still faces unpromising political math." [CNN]

IS RICK PERRY HEADED BACK TO THE FAMILY RANCH? - The ex-governor of Texas and fan of signs painted on big rocks isn't exactly running away with the GOP presidential nomination. Alex Isenstadt and Katie Glueck: "It’s a crushing comedown for Perry, who has already lived through one imploding campaign: In 2011, he entered the Republican contest as the presumptive front-runner, but his campaign quickly fell apart amid disastrous debate appearances, culminating in his 'oops' moment in a primary debate." [Politico]

ELDERLY MAN COMPLAINS THE MAIL IS TOO SLOW NOWADAYS - The Postal Service -- which, for our younger readers, delivers physical items to homes and businesses in exchange for money -- is getting crappier, and Bernie Sanders is upset. Lisa Rein: "Sanders, who has opposed proposals by postal officials to close rural post offices and eliminate Saturday delivery, was responding to an urgent alert to the Postal Service this month from the agency’s inspector general that the number of letters arriving late has jumped by almost 50 percent since the start of the year." [WashPost]

FUTURE BOONDOGGLE SEEKS HOT ARCHITECT - The gross spectacle of another presidential library under development is upon us already. David Nakamura: "The competition is underway to select an architect to build the Barack Obama post-presidential library." [WashPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Listen to former Rep. Trey Radel's "Muddy Waters Remix." We're not sure what it is.

SCOTT WALKER'S LOVE FOR RED CHINA - Betsy Woodruff: "Just before the 2012 presidential election, a prominent Republican governor appeared on Chinese state television wearing a lapel pin on his dark blazer that depicted that country’s hammer-and-sickle flag. In an interview, he brushed off his party’s concerns about trade with China, downplayed citizens' worries about outsourcing, and called the country’s trade practices 'good and fair.' That governor was Scott Walker -- the same governor who, on Tuesday, confused just about everyone by saying Obama should make the Chinese president cancel his upcoming state visit. Same guy." What a guy! [The Daily Beast]

COMFORT FOOD

- How a magician proposes to his girlfriend.

- The door that sounds like Miles Davis.

- This baby really likes the family cat.

- Looking at the science behindsix degrees of separation.

TWITTERAMA

@meganamram: I hate how guys with tiny penises try to overcompensate with big cars. You're not fooling anyone, hearse drivers!!

@jimgeraghty: BREAKING: The Dow Jones Industrial Average is being treated for bipolar disorder.

@morningmoneyben: The period between camp and vacations ending and school starting is total and abject parenting hell.

@marvinprime: Yes, bubble wrap is going to be entertaining, always relevant.

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