HUFFPOST HILL - APRIL 30 2010
Messes everywhere, most tragically on the Gulf coast. Arizona cops have started rounding people up, with demonstrations planned from coast to coast. Some d-bag penned a hyper-obnoxious pump up screed for Wall Street. Andrew Young and his wife are, well, Andrew Young and his wife. All this and the White House Correspondents' Dinner HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET. Get your tux from the cleaners, this is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday April 30th, 2010:
BULLETIN -- ANOTHER OIL RIG OVERTURNS OFF GULF COAST - Reuters: "The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it was responding to another oil drilling rig accident near Morgan City, Louisiana."
Coast Guard statement: "The MIDU has a 20,000-gallon diesel fuel capacity, and while there is no current estimate on how much fuel was on board at the time of the incident, on-scene Coast Guard pollution investigators have determined that the rig is not leaking fuel at this time. As a precaution, 500 feet of containment boom has been deployed around the rig, with an additional 500 feet arriving to provide a secondary string within the canal." http://huff.to/a1Kf22
AP lede on Gulf oil spill: "Heavy winds and high tides complicated efforts to hold back oil that threatened to coat birds and other marine life as it oozed ashore from the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. The White House responded to the massive spill by halting any new offshore oil projects until safeguards are in place to prevent rig explosions like the one that caused it. The National Weather Service predicted winds, high tides and waves through Sunday that could push oil deep into the inlets, ponds and lakes of southeastern Louisiana."
Wire photos showing first oil-coated bird all over cable http://huff.to/d3q5RN ... "Up to 5,000 dolphins in the Gulf area, many giving birth right now"... "Pungent fuel smell is wafting over much of the New Orleans area" http://huff.to/cfyj1g ... 2 Air Force planes will spray chemicals over Gulf coast http://bit.ly/cHRd5S
Sarah Palin on Facebook: "Domestic Drilling: Why We Can Still Believe" http://bit.ly/9BD6lJ ... HuffPost's Jason Linkins examines another meme on the right: "Obama's Katrina" http://huff.to/cuV20N
TIVO ALERT - GOLDMAN CEO LLOYD BLANKFEIN on Charlie Rose tonight. Goldman Sachs' shares plunged Friday on news of inquiries and downgrades. http://huff.to/brcNcg
LARRY SUMMERS: EXPECT UNEMPLOYMENT TO LINGER - The White House economic advisor told attendees at a CAP summit that current unemployment levels won't subside until well after the recession ends. http://bit.ly/a2UrpL
SUMMERS SPEECHLESS From the Journal: "Larry Summers, the president's economic adviser, and Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, shared a stage in Washington Friday. Although they agreed on most things, Summers was quick to swat down Bloomberg's suggestions that disclosure -- as opposed to more muscular regulation, particularly of financial offerings to consumers -- could cure much of what is wrong with the financial sector. Whenever something happens, Summers said, Plan A is form a committee. Plan B is to encourage industry to voluntarily devise better practices. Plan C is to call for more transparency. And then, eventually, Plan D is 'do something.' The audience, convened by the Hamilton Project and Center for American Progress, laughed. Then moderator Charlie Rose, the TV talk show host, intervened: Is that how you'd describe the president's commission to ponder the federal budget deficit? Summers was, uncharacteristically, speechless." http://bit.ly/9XhWB7
A BOB RUBIN SEX SCANDAL! Remember Iris Mack, the Harvard employee who was fired after warning Larry Summers the school's assets were invested in all sorts of super-risky financial products? He's not the only Treasury Secretary with whom she's crossed paths. She writes this afternoon in HuffPost about an affair with Bob Rubin while Citigroup was collapsing: "Things were much more relaxed by the time I walked him back to the Ritz -- which was along the way to my South Beach condo. When we passed a homeless man along the way he made a bit of a show of opening up his fat leather billfold and producing a dollar -- 'There but for the grace of God...' he remarked melodramatically -- and I gave him a lot of heat for that, because who exactly did he think he was kidding? I said give the man a job. Heck, you're the head of a bank! But when we reached the hotel entrance, the tension returned. He got this funny look on his face, and asked: 'Do you want to go upstairs and...cuddle?'" http://huff.to/aTjjgX
Florida Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite announced this PM that she will not seek reelection, citing medical reasons. It's still a safely red seat. http://bit.ly/d06nCY
IMMIGRATION BACKLASH CONTINUES -The Major League Baseball Players Association ain't hip to Arizona's new law that says a big chunk of its players can be stopped and asked for papers. The All Star game is planned for Phoenix this year and spring training brings in millions to the state each year. The players put out a statement today threatening "additional steps" against Arizona if the law isn't changed. Is a boycott in the works? "We'll remain optimistic that changes are made and it's modified or repealed," spokesman Greg Bouris told HuffPost Hill. "And if it's not, we'll cross those bridges when we get to them." http://huff.to/dBtkcv
Texas Governor RICK PERRY pans the bill (confirmed: the GOP primary is over): http://bit.ly/b1MnM5
University of Arizona president: students are withdrawing http://huff.to/bEFMme
LA Times predicts 100,000 to turn out for Saturday immigration rally in Los Angeles http://huff.to/cGXFLG AND protesters heading to Lafayette Square in DC on Saturday at 2:00, organized by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition. Rep. Luis Gutierrez says he'll likely get arrested: "Acts of civil disobedience were critical in drawing attention to the injustice on the Island of Vieques and in stopping the U.S. military from using the island for target practice."
Get your 'DO I LOOK ILLEGAL?' t-shirt: http://bit.ly/dcJpAO
MORE TO COME - WSJ: "The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English." http://bit.ly/bFNxf5
OBAMA ALL OUT AGAINST SANDERS' FED AUDIT AMENDMENT - From WSJ: "Obama administration officials have declined to weigh in on any specific amendments, with one exception: a move by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) to give the government more power to audit certain operations at the Federal Reserve. Fed and administration officials have signaled they would fight to stop it at all costs. Mr. Sanders has more than a dozen co-sponsors. 'I can't predict, but I think we've got a good chance to pass it,' Mr. Sanders said." http://bit.ly/atfmRr
HuffPost Hill hears that a vote is possible on Tuesday. Along with Wall Street lobbyists and the Fed, the Treasury Department fought the same measure in the House and lost spectacularly. http://huff.to/avF16
Outgoing SEIU head Andy Stern got behind the Fed audit, Firedoglake said late this afternoon. He's joined on a letter also signed by S&L regulator Bill Black, and economists James Galbraith and Dean Baker. http://bit.ly/a6HA4D
The AFL-CIO is also sending a letter to the Senate supporting the amendment. A Fed spokeswoman, meanwhile, declined to comment on reports -- http://bit.ly/bLiVTJ -- that the Fed is foreclosing on a batch of Red Roof Inn loans that it took over from a failing Bear Stearns.
SUPER DOUCHEY E-MAIL CIRCULATING ON WALL STREET - Not since Aleksey Vayner [http://dai.ly/22dT2Y] has something so self-indulgent bounced around financial circles. An excerpt: "We aren't dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply...will he? and will they?" http://bit.ly/aG4E2x
IN ROLL CALL - Anna Palmer: "Ney a 'Recovering Republican' After Jail Time": Former Rep. Bob Ney and his one-time top aide Neil Volz, back in Washington temporarily to discuss a new documentary, are chastened and changed following the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal that destroyed their political careers. http://bit.ly/dpFqgW
WaPo yesterday quoted former high-rolling Abramoff lobbyist Volz saying he's now "mopping floors and cleaning toilets in an effort to try and do good." http://bit.ly/bwJiiI
***CAPTION CONTEST*** - Win the weekend and our hearts by providing a Ha Ha-laden caption to this pic of Ted Poe on the House floor talking about a lawbreaking grasshopper: http://bit.ly/b271Gp. Send submissions to email@example.com
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FBI PROBING U.S. MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION, MASSEY - NPR broke this today: "...the Mine Safety and Health Administration is one subject of a federal criminal investigation surrounding the explosion of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia three weeks ago -- a disaster that killed 29 miners. The probe also looks at Massey Energy, the owner of the mine. Sources familiar with the investigation say the FBI is looking into possible bribery of employees of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that inspects and regulates mining. The sources say FBI agents are also exploring potential criminal negligence on the part of Massey Energy, the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine. " http://n.pr/bmce8s
BILL NELSON SAYS OFFSHORE DRILLING IS A NO-NO - A day after the Florida Senator disclosed his plans for an amendment prohibiting the expansion of offshore drilling, he ratcheted things up again, saying any bill that attempts to do so is "dead on arrival." Sam Stein: "'As the White House looks down the line, it wants a climate change bill later this year,' Nelson told MSNBC. '[Sen.] Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was insisting that there's going to be offshore drilling. I think that's dead on arrival.' Aides in the Florida Democrat's office are even more skeptical about the prospects for an already-too-difficult-to-pass bill. Negotiators have basically incorporated the president's proposal to expand offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast (and in portions of the Gulf) at the behest of Graham -- who said it would be needed for him to help draw out Republican votes, these aides explained. Now, however, coastal senators (and not just Nelson) are prepared to walk away from the compromise if that provision remains in the final version." http://huff.to/cDlTif
This as Ax told GMA there will be no expansion until an investigation into the oil leak is finished: "All [President Obama] has said is that he's not going to continue the moratorium on drilling but... no additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here." http://bit.ly/c0cX9e
NEW VOTEVETS.ORG AD CONNECTS OIL TO ENEMIES, HAS SCARY VOICE Behold: http://bit.ly/bzqpPP
ANDREW YOUNG: RIELLE HUNTER LIED TO OPRAH - This story has legs...seriously, like Kenyan marathoner legs. This morning the Lennie to John Edwards' George told GMA that "[Hunter] is deflecting the blame and wants to make everybody the villain." Video and deets: http://huff.to/dnfkBu
FALLOUT FROM CRIST ANNOUNCEMENT - When he's not kissing women, or dating women, or marrying women, or letting you know that he kisses, dates and marries women, Charlie Crist likes to run as an independent Senate candidate. Fallout continued today as the Governor, appearing on Morning Joe, said he would return any contributions from Republican donors, "if asked." Jason Linkins as this one inside-and-out: http://huff.to/afdVhw
THE BETRAYAL OF CRIST - Looks like George LeMieux is biting the hand that elevated him from relative obscurity. The Florida Senator, who served as confidant to Crist during the governor's rise to power, is now refusing to endorse his old boss. http://huff.to/9oNkFk
Jonathan Capehart believes all this is good for Crist: "...then there was this nugget from the Rasmussen Reports poll released on April 22. 'Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters now approve of the way Crist is handling his job, up 11 points from a month ago.' With a job approval rating like that, no wonder Crist wants to listen to the people. Yes, he'll have to build his independent campaign plane as he flies it toward the general election. But he'll do so with this comforting thought (comforting at this moment in time, of course): The activist wing of the GOP that will dole out the party's nomination might not like Crist, but a sizable majority of Floridians who will actually send someone to Washington love the guy." http://bit.ly/dD7Lrd
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a horrible clay rendering of Ronald Reagan wearing a yarmulke and making bad jokes. http://bit.ly/aUB836
BAUCUS V. DEMS ON UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION - From Arthur Delaney: "Max Baucus has no stomach for extending unemployment benefits beyond 99 weeks, which he calls 'sufficient.' But Chuck Schumer and other Dems are telling constituents they plan to battle for extra weeks soon as current programs are locked in for the rest of the year. 'More than 25,000 New Yorkers have exhausted the full 99 weeks of benefits and I am committed to providing them further relief,' says Chuck in a letter to New Yorkers. Harry Reid has no comment. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of long-term unemployed will lose that $300-a-week lifeline." http://huff.to/b0Tu5t
ALTERCATION - Finding all the cliches and mixed metaphors in this Eric Alterman paragraph is like cutting fish in a barrel with a butter knife. A shout-out in Monday's HuffPost Hill to the citizen copy editor who can identify all of them, with a bonus point for spotting the factual error:
"And yet even with all its proverbial ducks lined up--a populist crusade is just what the doctor ordered for a divided and dispirited party going into perilous midterm elections--the administration and its lieutenants in Congress are still shooting as many blanks as real bullets at the bad guys. It's not that their bills are all bullshit, as the Republicans' clearly are. They contain many worthy measures that would, as almost any fair-minded economist will tell you, provide a proverbial 'step [or two] in the right direction.' But somewhere along the line, whether in Obama's White House, Tim Geithner's Treasury Department, Barney Frank's House Banking Committee or Christopher Dodd's Senate side, a decision was made to let the big fish get away." http://bit.ly/cq0f1t
- Thanks to Louisa at NDI for the heads up: Werner Herzog reads "Where's Waldo?" http://bit.ly/d0okaG
- Taking a cue from Carl Levin no doubt, Meredith Vieira dropped the s-bomb on the Today Show. http://huff.to/bNOhw1
- A sad day for New Yorkers and people everywhere: Leslie Buck, the man who designed the ubiquitous "WE ARE HAPPY TO SERVE YOU" disposable coffee cup, has died. http://nyti.ms/bjvF07
- Halle Berry broke up with whoever that dude she was seeing with the nice jawline was. They have a kid. They're working that out. http://huff.to/aiAXb4
- "Seinfield" reconstituted as a tragic tale of love and redemption. http://huff.to/9ne6pR
- For your iPad, a t-shirt with A GIANT pocket. http://bit.ly/ar5vyB
@RepJimMcDermott: Got to act in a play based on Shakespeare w/ other Reps. $$ went to arts education. http://www.twitpic.com/1jnlee
@brianbeutler: What do we want? OIL! When do we want it? NOW! What if it spills? HIPPIE! http://bit.ly/bMbCGO
@ mattyglesias: @ezraklein Seems to me biometric national ID gives both sides what they actually don't want. http://bit.ly/dqjtFQ
TONIGHT: Maria Cantwell and Steve Scalise were on Ratigan. Lloyd Blankfein is on Charlie Rose.
WEEKEND ON TAP - WHCD EDITION
Tonight through Sunday: Instead of hobnobbing with beautiful actors, why not spend the next 48 hours adrift with Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)? The congressman is hosting his annual Longboat Key Trip this weekend. It's doubtful you can get on board at this point, but take comfort that you won't be spending your weekend on a nautical vessel with the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Tonight through Sunday: The NRSC is hosting its Spring retreat this weekend. If scoping out Atlatnic Needlefish with Congressman Issa doesn't float your boat, catch the next flight to Austin and enjoy some R & R at the Barton Creek Resort.
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: People and Time host their cocktail reception at the St. Regis. Last year's event made the Kevin Bacon game exponentially more interesting by drawing both the actor and Ludacris [St.Regis Hotel, 923 16th Street NW] .
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm: If you're looking for something less WHCD - focused, the Heritage Center screens "The Indie Life: A motion Picture Album" which features music videos from SmCity's upcoming album "Indie Life." $10 gets you BBQ and some righteous music [Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW].
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Get cosmopolitan at the New Yorker's WHCD party at the W. Editor David Remnick hosts the shindig where New Yorker staff writers Steve Coll, Seymour Hersh, Hendrik Hertzberg, Ryan Lizza, Jane Mayer, George Packer, Margaret Talbot, and Jeffrey Toobin will mix with whichever B-listers or D.C. scenesters deign to show up [W Hotel, 515 15th Street NW].
B-T-DUBS: CNBC's Maria Bartiromo is throwing a book party at the same spot. Haley Barbour and Terry McAuliffe hosting, with featured speaker Andrea Mitchell.
10:00 pm - 2:00 am: How's this for a trio of hosts: The Washington Post, Funny or Die and Impact Arts + Film Fund welcome you to the second annual First Amendment Party held in an empty retail space above Cady's Alley in Georgetown. Politicos from the White House will small talk with Adrian Grenier, Cheryl Hines, Terrence Howard, Jeffrey Wright, Chace Crawford and Tony Romo. Thievery Corporation DJs. [3318 M Street NW].
12:00 pm: What better way to mark D.C.'s most anticipated weekend than with D.C.'s most delicious weekend pastime? The White House Correspondents' Garden Brunch, now a WHCD week staple, will bring together some of the country's biggest egos for some fun and frittatas. The dress code is "Garden Chic"...so mesh shorts and wife-beaters? Tammy Haddad, Hilary Rosen, and Ted Greenberg host the midday hangover cure in their Foxhall home.
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Those of you too cool or too uninvited for WHCD stuff should mosey on up to Mount Pleasant for the neighborhood's annual Music Fest. The free event will have food, drinks, and kickass aural offerings [Lamont Park, 3258 Mt Pleasant St NW].
10:00 pm: Capitol File has their after party at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel. Some actual A-listers might show up: Jeremy Renner, John Cusack, Bradley Cooper, James Badge Dale, and Scarlett Johansson. Plus Wolf Blitzer, Bobby Flay and Jason Binn, CEO of Niche Media [1127 Connecticut Avenue NW].
11:00 pm: MSNBC's post-dinner soiree lets the brightest stars converse with the loudest mouths. Expect David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, Kathryn Bigelow, Gwen Ifill, Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Zucker, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Ed Schultz [Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, 1301 Constitution Avenue Northwest].
11:00 pm: Vanity Fair and Bloomberg's cocktail party at the French Ambassador's residence assembles some of the boldiest names around. Michael Bloomberg, Graydon Carter, Rahm Emanuel, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley and Michael Douglas are scheduled to appear [Residence of the Ambassador, Embassy of France, 2221 Kalorama Road, NW].
11:00 am - 2:00 pm: While we're not sure if conversing with reporters is the best way to manage a hangover, at least some folks will be at the hill rag's brunch. Tory Burch, the Jonas Brothers, Lyor Cohen, Katie Couric, Tim Daly, Eric Schmidt, Rahm Emanuel,David Axelrod, Lally Weymouth, British Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald, Gwen Ifill, Charlie Rose, Richard Holbrooke, Sheila Johnson, Chris Matthews, Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell, Mort Zuckerman and Susan Sher.
11:00 am - 2:00 pm: If the Politico brunch is too glitzy for your taste, retreat to The McLaughlin Group and Thomas Reuters' wonkier (and much MUCH pastier) brunch. Expect a bouquet of congresspeople and familiar D.C. media types. The invite suggests "classic Washington brunch wear" which to us means a hoodie, sneakers and jeans but that's probably not what the hosts are going for. Actually, try our way and tell us how it's received email@example.com [The Hay-Adams Hotel, 800 16th Street NW].
2:00 pm: The sixth annual Sundress Fest Fundraiser at Wonderland Ballroom. Anyone wearing a sundress, male or female, gets happy hour all night. $5 to enter. All proceeds go to Neighbors Consejo [Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St NW].
10:30 am - 1:00 pm: Georgetown Law profs Albert Laubert and Craig Hoffman host a fundraiser for Howard Dean's Democracy for America. For $500 you can sit in on a "Strategy Session" hosted by Dean [Home of Craig Hoffman and Albert Lauber, 1502 Vermont Ave. NW].
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ryan Grim (email@example.com) or Nico Pitney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e