HUFFPOST HILL - SEPTEMBER 27TH, 2010
Congress hits the campaign trail next week to convince Americans that it's actually getting work done. Accentuating that point, Democrats boldly forced Republican senators to march to the floor and declare, once and for all ... "present." White House officials, meanwhile, managed to offend both liberals AND conservatives. David Axelrod thinks Republicans don't have the stones to vote against a renewal of the Bush tax cuts without breaks for the hyper-wealthy and Joe Biden chastised lefties for being little more than a bunch of do-nothing whiners. We'll be scanning the wires all night to see if the judicial branch has done anything to alienate the populace. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, September 27th, 2010:
AXELROD: GOP WILL 'BLINK' ON BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRATION - After speaking at a joint Politico/Google forum on the midterms during which he mostly berated Politico, senior POTUS advisor David Axelrod kindly took a moment to discuss GOP machinations to renew ALL of the Bush tax cuts: "Yeah. I think they will blink when their constituents tell them enough is enough, let's move on a tax cut for 98 percent of the American people, in fact 100 percent, everyone will get it up to $250,000 dollars," Axe said. "They just want to give a special premium to millionaires and billionaires and we can't afford the $700 billion to do that." Sam Stein, dressed to the nines in his Jos. A Bank menswear, filed this report: http://huff.to/dnSqwf
The House has been focusing on industrial policy the past few weeks in a last-minute bid to win back voters sick about the state of manufacturing, who connect the budget deficit and the national debt to the foreign trade imbalance with China and worry America's best days are behind it. Whether anybody noticed the House votes, the Senate apparently did, and is now pushing forward with its own industrial agenda. "I wish this election would be a simple referendum on this issue," Dick Durbin said on the floor today about a bill to punish companies who outsource jobs, no doubt speaking from the heart. "I'd like to take that question to the American voters...Who in the world believes that we should be rewarding corporations in our country for shipping jobs overseas?" The bill, on the floor late tomorrow morning, includes a payroll tax holiday for companies that bring jobs back from overseas, ends tax breaks for plants that shut down to go elsewhere, and blocks companies from deferring their tax bill year to year by keeping money out of the U.S. The Senate's holding a live quorum call tonight, starting around seven and possibly going until eleven tonight. Don't worry, the Nats game is getting rained out (JB guesses.)
An exclusive excerpt from Steny Hoyer's speech tomorrow at the Conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing hosted by the National Press Club: "[T]his week the House will vote on three additional bills. One will make sure that the government buys American-made American flags. Another helps ensure that American workers are given every opportunity to earn certifications, degrees, and qualifications for the jobs American industry needs to fill. And the third addresses China's unfair currency policy and its harms to American workers. By deliberately keeping the value of its currency low, China is able to sell its goods in the United States at an artificially low price--which helps put American manufacturers out of business. The bill we vote on this week will help level the playing field for American businesses and workers."
HuffPost Hill sat down for an exit interview with Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman. We asked him why monkeys don't turn into humans in front of our eyes. "I'll say two things about Christine," Kaufman said. "One is, she's a very interesting person. And two is, I've never seen her quoted out of context."
BIDEN TO LEFT: QUIT 'WHINING' - Whaaaa! Using slightly sharper language than his standard Mayberry English (see "malarkey!, That's" and "ya, Lemme tell"), the vice president told a crowd at a New Hampshire fundraiser today that Democrats need to "remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This President has done an incredible job. He's kept his promises." That rumbling you hear is the sound of a thousand WordPress accounts being created in frustration. http://bit.ly/a37q74
Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee: "The 'professional left' is busting our butt to mobilize progressive voters in 2010, picking up the ball that this White House dropped when they refused to fight for the overwhelmingly popular public option, refused to break up the big banks, and demobilized Obama voters who expected this President to at least fight for big change. When Vice President Biden tells Joe Lieberman to 'stop whining' about the public option, and tells Ben Nelson to 'stop whining' about voting on a middle-class tax cut that benefits 98% of Americans, he'll have some credibility on the whining front."
Ed Gillespe, taking a break from transcribing the CIA cables he intercepts through his fillings: "[I]f you look at the history of donors on the right giving to a certain causes or organizations, they have been subject to some pretty vicious attacks from the organized left...And there is fear of retribution. There is a fear that well, if I give to this organization, those who are in control and power and who seek to further government control might give my sector or my company or my own personal lives, they might come after me." Sam Stein: http://huff.to/dCpmSF
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From Arthur Delaney: "The gender gap for women in management has barely narrowed over the past decade, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office to be released Tuesday morning. Lowlights: In 2007, women filled 40 percent of management positions -- up from 39 percent in 2000. On pay, "female managers earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by male managers in 2007, compared to 79 cents in 2000."
DAILY DELANEY DOUBLE DOWNER - Arthur Delaney, with some artery-clogging, chicken cutlet-flanked sadness. "Jaquayla Burton's job will end this week unless the Senate does an about-face and decides to preserve a welfare-to-work program that created more than 240,000 jobs as part of the stimulus bill. 'I wish they would because on Friday I'll have to sign up for unemployment. I don't feel good about that,' said Burton, 20, in an interview with HuffPost. 'It's hard because I have two kids to take care of. I've been working here nine months and it's kind of stable at home, and then on Friday I'll be unemployed.' Says her boss, Karl Kramer, who will be letting go of Burton and five other moms from the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition: 'I haven't been getting a lot of sleep lately. It's really demoralizing.'" So instead of public money being used to subsidize job creation, roughly the same amount of money will be sent directly to her in the form of an unemployment check. http://huff.to/bhFuNE :(
GOP CALLS FOR FEDERAL HIRING FREEZE IN YOUCUT PROGRAM - In an effort to virtually assure Ed O'Keefe his first Pulitzer, congressional Republicans are calling for a freeze in government hiring. In a video posted on Eric Cantor's YouTube page, which hosts the YouCut program's videos, Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis advocates for the passage of the Federal Workforce Reduction Act that she claims would save $35 billion over ten years by replacing one position for every two vacated. We're not clear how the economy would be boosted by all those non-existent federal employees NOT spending their hard-earned gub'ment dollars at fro-yo joints and Ann Taylor Lofts in Ballston but, hey, whatever. http://bit.ly/bKcOXL
OBAMA: RAHM NEEDS TO MAKE UP HIS MIND ASAP ON MAYORAL BID - In an interview with Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" this morning, President Obama expressed his desire for Emanuel to make a decision on whether to seek the Windy City mayoralty because, y'know, applications need to be filed with temp agencies, interns need to be trained to temporarily fill in as Chief of Staff and closing out someone's benefits package is a real pain in the arse. "Well, I think that Rahm will have to make a decision quickly, because running for mayor of Chicago is a serious enterprise. And I know this is something he's thinking about." Obama added that Emanuel would make "an excellent mayor. But until he makes a decision, I'm not going to be making decisions about how I'm going to approach it." Lynn Sweet: http://bit.ly/9mh5r9
FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL LETS SLIP THAT HOLDER HATES RAHM - Washington-area seafood that prefer their corpses not be used as tools of intimidation aren't the only things thankful that Rahm might be leaving. Former White House Counsel Gregory Craig said near a hot mic that Eric Holder would be pleased at Rahm's departure . Legal Times: "As Craig suggests, Emanuel's departure would mean Holder will have outlasted an internal rival with whom, according to news reports, Holder has repeatedly clashed on subjects like the venue for trying terrorism suspects. And it would mean Emanuel wouldn't be around to attempt to force Holder out if tensions flared again." http://bit.ly/dgYkr2
Pat Leahy Getting Hit By Progressives - Leahy aides say they're listening closely to sharp criticism that a bill he's sponsoring would restrict Internet freedom and threaten sites, such as YouTube, that rely on material that infringes copyrights. The bill would create a process to blacklist sites where such activity is central to the mission of the page. http://huff.to/aOlcAv
TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - Trying to accentuate his new centrist -- progressive? -- image, Senate candidate and Florida Governor Charlie Crist told Amanda Terkel that creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants could help keep Social Security above water. "Studies show that 11-14 million people are in the country as non-citizens, and if we are willing to have a thoughtful, reasonable pathway to citizenship -- earning citizenship -- then those 11-14 million people can become productive, participating members of the American economy, paying the payroll taxes, helping Social Security going forward, and making America stronger financially," Crist Told Terkel. However, Terkel notes, "What would actually most benefit the system is the status quo, in fact. Social Security actuaries estimate that in 2007, two-thirds of undocumented workers, or 5.6 million people, were paying into the system, while very few were receiving any benefits." Indeed, taking money from people and keeping it is, generally, a successful business model. Ask Wall Street. http://huff.to/9xPqAo
TOMORROW'S PAPERS TODAY- The Hill: Alex Bolton on how Democratic leaders have pushed off many bills to the lame-duck session, increasing doubts of whether they will be able to tackle all the pending issues, including mine safety, food safety, China currency and immigration. Roll Call: Headcount, a nonpartisan voter registration group, analyzed Senate candidates' Facebook and Twitter pages and found that Republicans outnumber Democrats 5-to-1 in fans and followers, writes Roll Call's Daniel Newhauser. Observers say this points to an enthusiasm gap that bodes well for Republicans this year.
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NET NEUTRALITY BILL LACKS SUBSTANTIVE FCC REGULATION - National Journal: "The FCC will not have rulemaking authority under a network neutrality bill that key House Democrats plan to introduce soon, according to a recent draft obtained by Tech Daily Dose. Instead, the commission will deal with enforcement on a case-by-case basis. Broadband providers who violate the law will face a maximum penalty of $2 million by the FCC, under the bill. The absence of the rulemaking authority, along with other provisions of the bill, is consistent with information reported by Tech Daily Dose last week. The bill is a last-minute effort by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman to shepherd net neutrality legislation through the lower chamber before recess. Waxman hopes to advance the measure through the Senate during the lame-duck session after the November elections, according to an industry source." http://bit.ly/ahWYS8
CLYBURN: GOP MAJORITY WOULD INCESSANTLY INVESTIGATE OBAMA'S BIRTHPLACE - A chicken in every pot. A car in every garage. An Orly Taitz in every subcommittee. In an interview with The Grio, the House majority whip forecasted a Republican-controlled Congress preoccupied with investigating President Obama and the validity of his citizenship. "You've got people like [Republican Rep. Darrell] Issa from California who is a ranking member on the government oversight committee. He has already said publicly that if he gets the gavel he will be issuing subpoenas everywhere. That will define the next two years of the president's administration. The White House will be full-time responding to subpoenas about where the president may or may not have been born, whether his mother and father were ever married, and whether his wife's family is from Georgetown or Sampit." http://bit.ly/9JdoEM
Speaking of, check out Darrell Issa's high-budget, level-seven dungeon master Microsoft Paint Twitter photo: http://bit.ly/cYvCYv
JOHN THUNE DEFINITELY CONSIDERING A 2012 BID - In a Weekly Standard profile, the South Dakota senator was frank about his thought process towards running for president. "I'm getting a very full look at it. I suppose you try to think what it would look like. One, is it something you want to do. Two, do you think there's a pathway to get there. And that's obviously a thought process that involves a lot of other people--your family and whatnot," he told TWS. "It strikes me that there's a couple of practical considerations that anybody from a state like South Dakota--if one were interested in doing this--would have to think about. And one is--how do you raise the entry fee? I mean people tell me it's $30 million minimum to compete in those early states. And we're not accustomed, I'm not a big--this is not a state where you have a lot of people who can write the big checks or bundlers, like they have in other parts of the country. As you saw, I don't have family money, so that's not an option. And that's a real consideration, because you don't want to get out there just with a wish and a prayer. You want to have some idea about how you want to do that." Straight Talk Express, baby! http://bit.ly/a8nIBS
STUDY PREDICTS CENSUS REDISTRICTING - It would appear that Fake America's loss is Real America's gain: "Using population estimates released this summer by Esri, a demographic research company, the report finds that Missouri now appears likely to lose one of its nine seats and Minnesota will stay at eight seats instead of losing one. New York is now expected to lose two seats instead of one, with Florida gaining two instead of one. If these predictions hold, both New York and Florida would end up with 27 Congressional districts after 2012...In all, eight states are estimated to gain at least one seat. They include Texas, which would pick up four seats, Florida's two seats, and six states with one each: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington." CQ: http://bit.ly/9gkpLV
MIKE CASTLE POLLS TERRIBLY AS WRITE-IN CANDIDATE - It looks like that write-in bid Mike Castle was floating is as dead as trout washed ashore on a Sussex County pond (we're really trying to make Delaware sayings happen here at HuffPost Hill...it's hard). A new Rasmussen survey of likely Delaware voters has Chris Coons receiving the support of 49 percent of respondents, Christine O'Donnell places second with 40 percent and Castle comes in a distant third at five percent. http://bit.ly/biHycD
Jack Conway has narrowed Rand Paul's lead in the Kentucky Senate race. A SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by the Courier-Journal and WHAS11, finds the race to be a statistical dead heat with Paul leading Conway 49 percent to 47 percent. The last Courier-Journal and WHAS11 survey had Paul with a sizable 55 percent to 40 percent lead. The Upshot: http://yhoo.it/bpvyAN
LAZIO ENDS THIRD-PARTY GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN - Perennial "y'know, the guy that isn't ____" in New York elections Rick Lazio has announced that he will not run as the Conservative Party's nominee, likely providing upstart candidate and GOP nominee Carl Paladino an infusion of right-leaning votes. "I ran for office to combat the Albany establishment, to govern, and to turn this state around," Lazio said in a statement. "And although I'd like to think I could do what Jim Buckley did 40 years ago in running on the Conservative line, and while my heart beckons me forward, my head tells me that my continued presence on the Conservative Party line would simply lead to the election of Andrew Cuomo and the continuation of an entrenched political machine. I do not want to be responsible for that and that will not be acceptable." NY1: http://bit.ly/co9PH5
Reports indicate that Lazio will be nominated as a Supreme Court judge by the state GOP to get him off the ballot. Daily News' Celeste Katz: "Bronx County Republican Chairman Jay Savino confirms to me that Rick Lazio will be nominated for Supreme Court judge at the party's nominating convention tonight, judgeship being one of three ways (other than moving out of New York or dying) that Lazio can get off the ballot for governor." http://bit.ly/c7bDTl
Stu Rothenberg in Roll Call notes: "Most campaigns have only another week or two to change the likely outcome of their contests. Sure, the midterm elections are still five weeks away, but the combination of early voting in many states and the difficulty of cutting through the coming advertising clutter means that the best opportunity for campaigns to change voter attitudes is quickly coming to an end." http://bit.ly/9fSAXj
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a bunny sleeping. http://bit.ly/bCpAFC
If House Democrats' tails were any further between their legs, they'd have goatees..and really long tails...err...or something. Earl Pomeroy's new ad touts his votes with Republicans during the Bush administration and more or less calls his opponent a pedophile. "When George Bush proposed a Medicare prescription drug plan, Earl Pomeroy voted 'yes,' the narrator -- fresh off of doing some voice-over work for Zoloft -- states." The ad continues: "[Rick] Berg actually voted against background checks for daycare providers, helping criminals hide their past." The Note: http://bit.ly/cAgESb
With his mysterious Appalachian-Trail-by-way-of-Buenos-Aires hike fading into the recesses of the public's memory, Mark Sanford's approval numbers have rebounded. Rasmussen finds South Carolina voters view Sanford favorably by a 55 percent to 43 percent margin. Sanford/Christie '12. http://bit.ly/9a6LZS
Not exactly playing to his state's increasingly "purple" electorate but appeasing his base, third-party Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo will host a fundraiser featuring Dog the Bounty Hunter and Sheriff Joe. Fox News: "Duane 'Dog' Chapman, star of the A&E Television reality show 'Dog The Bounty Hunter,' and Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., are raising money for Tancredo Sunday at a Western dance hall called The Grizzly Rose...Tickets to the Tancredo fundraiser cost $35." http://fxn.ws/9aupvp
MSNBC's new 10-spot show, "Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell" premieres tonight. O'Donnell will interview Vice President Joe Biden. Malarkey will no doubt ensue.
In today's edition of "if you're in Westbrook, Maine and have nothing to do right now": "City officials in Westbrook will hold a public meeting tonight to discuss an ordinance that would regulate nude dancing. The Committee of the Whole, made up of all seven city councilors, will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Westbrook High School. The public can speak on the issue. The proposal is the city's response to the opening of a fully nude dance club, Dreamers Cabaret, that opened on Warren Avenue on Sept. 17." http://bit.ly/9OQwXZ
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: It's an odd-moving storm, that's for sure. Bands of rain (some heavy) have been moving in directly from the south. Blame it on the jet stream. The area is going to be hit with some heavy rain and thunderstorms this evening, as the heavy stuff looks like it's a few hours away. Expect it to stay this way through Tomorrow morning. It will clear by the afternoon, but it won't warm up too much. It won't get much cooler either. Thanks, JB!
- A stop-motion video of a guy growing a beard in one minute. http://bit.ly/bAD0NA
- More stop-motion, this one chronicling one person's procrastination. http://bit.ly/d8MooB
- Han Solo rap. http://bit.ly/9b2Qgn
- A revamped version of Cursebird, which tracks every single tweet containing a swear word. http://bit.ly/cRaItR
- 25 awesome things made out of beer cans (isn't anything made out of beer cans automatically awesome?). http://bit.ly/8XlzFV
- A collection of some of history's greatest city council moments. http://bit.ly/bKxpBr
- Logan's Run...MADE OF LEGOS!!!! http://bit.ly/aPmEi2
@denisleary: Christine O'Donnell: Evolution is a myth. Maybe in your case it is.
@AriMelber: Who chose this "profile pic"?! New comic book actually devoted to Mark Zuckerberg. Cover art image: http://flic.kr/p/8ExNj9
@pourmecoffee: GOP should have used Gordon Gekko's catchier "Greed is Good" version of its Pledge.
@LizMair The problem is, the Pledge strikes a lot of conservatives as the policy prescription version of slapping the Professional Left.
TONIGHT: Arne Duncan was on the Dylan Ratigan show. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Michael McCaul appeared on Hardball. Ed Schultz speaks with Jim McDermott and Bernie Sanders. Richard Holbrooke speaks to Rachel Maddow. Joe Biden is on the debut of Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell. TOMORROW: Jennifer Granholm, George Miller and Colin Powell are on Morning Joe. George Miller and Arne Duncan are on Daily Rundown.
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Will a Mariachi band sing you "Happy Birthday" at the National Republican Senatorial Committee? Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) celebrates his birthday surrounded by...friends? [National Republican Senatorial Committee, 425 2nd Street NE].
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: John Larson (D-Conn.), much to the dismay of Arthur Delaney, is NOT hosting his fundraiser at the Tune Inn. Instead he's hosting one of his vaunted Wine Pairing and Risotto Cooking Lesson [505 9th Street NW].
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) who proved his boring dude bona fides this weekend by railing against Stephen Colbert's Congressional testimony, appears at a fundraiser for John Conyers (D-Mich.) [Reception, Recording Industry Association of America].
8:30 am: Richard Burr (R-N.C.) passes the hat with the help of some Republican emeriti including Tommy Thompson, Lauch Faircloth, Bill Paxon and John Sununu [The Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW].
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Ken Buck (R-Colo.) is in town for some lucrative glad-handing. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz),
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Tim Burns (R-Pa.) lost round one against Mark Critz but is undeterred, apparently. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) will be on hand [Capitol Hill Club, 300 First Street SE].
7:00 pm: Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) invites you to chow down with him for a measly $2,400. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) makes an appearance [The Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW].
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