HUFFPOST HILL - OCTOBER 7TH, 2010
A day after that Krystal Ball story made us blush, folks continued to raunch it up a bit. Sharron Angle's new ad against Harry Reid claims he's getting sex offenders hot and bothered and Washington Post staffers are starting to sound a bit like Law and Order: Criminal Intent antagonists. We were hoping that Carl Paladino's "MAJOR" announcement would be equally sensational but it bombed worse than the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 7th, 2010:
OBAMA VETOES FORECLOSURE BILL - The White House announced Thursday afternoon that President Obama would not sign a bill that some consumer advocates worried would make it more difficult for homeowners to fight fraudulent foreclosures. Nobody outside of a few foreclosure defense attorneys and the Ohio Secretary of State seemed to know anything about the bill, titled the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, which squeaked through the Senate by unanimous consent last week. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who made it happen, said of Obama's veto: "When Congress passed the legislation, no concerns or objections had been expressed. Now that concerns have been raised, Congress should reexamine whether this bill might have an unintended impact on foreclosures in the future."
How did a bill that could make it more difficult -- or that even appears to make it more difficult -- for borrowers to fight foreclosure win unanimous approval from the world's greatest deliberative body without debate when a notarization scandal has already halted the biggest banks' foreclosures in 23 states? This bill had died in the Senate Judiciary Committee after passing the House for the past few years. Judiciary Committee aides explained what happened this this time: "In September, after hearing from the National Notary Association (which recently co-hosted, with the Library of Congress, the launch and completion of a compilation of essays about President Calvin Coolidge, the only American President to hail from Vermont...President Coolidge himself was a Notary Public), Senator Leahy, in consultation with the Committee's Ranking Member, Senator Jeff Sessions, examined the legislation." Also at the LOC event, according to the aides: the Vermont-based Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. Leahy, not hearing any objections from his colleagues, saw the bill discharged from the Judiciary Committee and passed. So there you have it: The bill passed because Calvin Coolidge was a notary public from Vermont.
CARL PALADINO MAKES A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...NOT - Moments ago, after hours of anticipation, the New York gubernatorial candidate declared: *
"Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed ... I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am"* ---- that he is fed up with the New York Post and wants Andrew Cuomo to debate. LAME. http://bit.ly/cuz4QD
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From Arthur Delaney: "News from the Bureau of Labor Statistics! For every 10 job openings, there are 46 unemployed workers."
ANDY STERN SWITCHES SIDES - Andy Stern, in a matter of months, has traveled as far as is possible from the labor movement, now toiling for a corporate raider who stands for everything labor fights against, HuffPost Hill reported today. He sits on the board or SIGA Technologies, a biowarfare company largely owned by corporate raider Ron Perelman, and was on the happy end of 25,000 stock options in June. If the HHS approves a huge contract SIGA is applying for, those options will be worth an awful lot of money. (They already are, by HuffPost Hill's standards. But if SIGA gets the contract, they'll be worth real money.) But it gets worse! While Stern was head of SEIU, the union surprised the labor/capital world by endorsing the buyout of a Perelman company by the Blackstone Group. The cofounder of Blackstone is Pete Peterson, the guy waging a deficit jihad. Stern now sits on the deficit commission as one of the progressive voices. Ugh. http://huff.to/duHfhZ
TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - Amanda Terkel, balancing out our coverage of unions. "The two major teachers unions are piling on Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) for his comments that single, pregnant women and openly gay individuals should be barred from teaching public school. 'On a personal level, as a gay woman, I am very disappointed that a senator would place more emphasis on who we are as human beings than on what we do as professionals,' said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Kim Anderson, government relations director for the National Education Association, added, 'We thought these battles had already been fought and won decades ago.' The unions join a growing number of LGBT and women's rights organizations who have spoken out." http://huff.to/bZiUnd
AFGHANISTAN, YEAR TEN - Mark Thompson in Time: "Well, as they say, no war plan survives contact with the enemy. The war enters its 10th year today. Two thousand, one hundred and thirty-one allied troops -- including 1,321 Americans -- have perished, as have untold numbers of Afghans. U.S. taxpayers have spent $350 billion on the war to date, and continue to spend about $6 billion a month there -- nearly $10 million an hour. Debate over the wisdom of the conflict -- and how to fight it -- persist. Remember: the war's initial goal was to topple the Taliban, which the U.S. and its allies achieved by the end of 2001. The early sense of quagmire was replaced by victory, only to be followed by another quagmire, in which we are currently about chest-high." http://bit.ly/9maSJA
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ALABAMA REP NOT SUPPORTING PELOSI AS SPEAKER - Bobby Bright, a Democrat from Alabama, became the first House Democrat to definitively say that he will not vote to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the 112th House of Representatives, telling the local WSFA that he would vote for "a centrist." "I am not going to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Neither the leader of the minority party, John Boehner, nor the present Speaker, will get my vote. I will vote for someone, a centrist, who is much more like me," said Bright in an interview with a local station. http://huff.to/d8N1e9
Well, Pete Sessions said this: "[The DCCC is spending money on] African Americans like Sanford Bishop. And when you have to retreat back to ... your hard base you're having to make tough decisions." Roll Call: http://bit.ly/9XXXUm
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: I DIDN'T GO TO YALE - In case anyone thought otherwise: In her second campaign spot the Delaware Senate candidate takes off her witch hat and puts on her populist hat, telling the camera, "I didn't go to Yale. I didn't inherit millions like my opponent. I'm you. I know how tough it is to make, and keep, a dollar." The video is filmed in the same dark, velvety room as the first "I'm You" spot. Seriously, there wasn't a corn field or something to film these things in? It looks, and sounds like, an ad for a funeral home. http://bit.ly/aSNPVf
HOORAY! GEORGE ALLEN IS BACK! - Because the Senate has been really lacking guys who are so white that their sweatpants are pleated, former Virginia Senator George Allen is considering running for his old seat in 2012. Politico: "Politico has learned that Allen, the Republican who was ousted from his seat in 2006 by Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, recently huddled with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn to discuss a prospective bid. He is also burnishing his profile through a series of public events, spreading cash through his political action committee and has even launched a Facebook page. According to one source familiar with Allen's efforts, he sent a strong signal to other ambitious state pols by informing GOP members of the Virginia congressional delegation in early 2010 that he was thinking of running for Senate." http://politi.co/a251Hr
"Sarah Palin billboard in the heart of SF's Castro district: How long will this sign last?" http://bit.ly/dzYSSs
TIM CAHILL FILES SUIT AGAINST FORMER STAFFERS - Exhibiting a "wave of the future, wave of the future, wave of the future"-type paranoia, Independent Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahil is suing some of his former aides. Boston Globe: "In a new, politically explosive lawsuit, independent gubernatorial candidate Timothy P. Cahill accuses his former top strategists and aides of conspiring to sabotage his candidacy, saying they orchestrated the desertion of his running mate and plotted to give damaging information and internal campaign tactics to the team of GOP rival Charles D. Baker and the Republican Governors Association." http://bit.ly/axWRtk
GOP SENDS OUT ARTICLE PRAISING DEM TAX PLAN - Always remember, take care to stand back from the e-mail blast radius: "This morning the Republican National Committee blasted out a story from The Hill about a new nonpartisan study finding that the poor will be hit hardest if all the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. An RNC spokesman, taking a shot at the Dems' failure to extend the tax cuts, rhetorically asked: 'What excuse will the Democrats use now?' Here's the funny thing, though. While that study does indeed find that letting all the tax cuts expire does disproportionately hurt the poor, it also finds that the plan Dems have actually proposed on the Bush tax cuts is better for the poor than the Republican one." Greg Sargent: http://wapo.st/ak83OL
@ralstonflash: New Angle ad has it all: Viagra, stimulus and illegals. Sounds titillating but not uplifting at all. http://bit.ly/ahs4KS
Elsewhere in Republican campaign schemes gone awry: "On the heels of news a Senate Republican ad hired Philadelphia-based actors to portray "hicky, blue collar" West Virginians, Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich is facing increasing heat for a recent spot that uses a fake, disgruntled steelworker...The 30-second spot called '400,000' debuted last weekend and features what appears to be an Ohio steelworker who declares that Strickland, the incumbent Democratic governor, 'destroyed Ohio jobs' and now 'wants us to keep him in his job.' The only problem: the man in the commercial is no steelworker at all, but rather Chip Redden, an actor represent by Heyman Talent Agency in Cincinnati. Democrats have gleefully highlighted Redden's other acting gigs, which include independent films 'Nobody Nothing Nobody' and 'Roaming,' commercials for SafeAuto and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, and as an extra on the ABC show 'Lost.'" http://bit.ly/a4D3GE
DID THE NRSC CALL WEST VIRGINIANS HICKS? - After Politico ran a story this morning claiming that representatives of the National Republican Senatorial Committee asked that a "hicky"-looking people be cast in a commercial for John Raese, NRSC officials reached out to Sam Stein with an e-mail they claim repudiate that claim. "Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the NRSC, noted in a comment on Thursday morning that no one associated with the committee 'had anything to do with the language used in this casting call.' A GOP official who helped get the ad together, meanwhile, sends over a copy of the email that the consulting firm Jamestown Associates sent to the outside casting agency in Philadelphia that supports Walsh's claim. Absent from the email is the word 'hicky' or any hackneyed suggestion of how the actors should dress. While those offending aspects may have been included in other communiqués, the official stressed that it was the outside talent agency -- not the NRSC or even Jamestown Associates -- which adopted the derogatory descriptions for the cast members it wanted." http://huff.to/b5xb0q
Um, what's derogatory about hicky?
Today in "being a real trooper": "Sen. Arlen Specter, whose 30-year run as a fixture in the U.S. Senate is coming to an end, will raise money for the Pennsylvania congressman who ousted him. Specter will headline a fundraiser Monday evening in downtown Philadelphia for Joe Sestak." http://bit.ly/bzgMvi
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are bunnies in costumes. http://bzfd.it/9vb2kN
WASHINGTON POST EMPLOYEE COULDN'T BE HAPPIER THAT HOBOS ARE DYING...OR SOMETHING - WaPo today published a touching piece on Carlos Guardado, a burrito vendor in downtown D.C. who passed away recently. Writing in its "Story Lab" blog, WaPo staffer Ian Shapira recalled his own 2004 article about a beloved NoVa homeless man who died. Shortly after the article was published, Shapira was asked to verify the transient's demise. Upon learning that the homeless man was actually dead, Shapira and his colleagues were, to say the least, pleased as punch: "I threw my arms up in the air, elated; the other reporters in the bureau shook my hand, congratulating me on the discovery. I gave the hospital official the number for Reed's relative/friend, so she would learn the news through more official channels. Then, I called my boss back. He didn't seem thrilled or relieved. He just wanted me to get back to work." We're guessing that Ian Shapira -- who exhibits the total lack of self-awareness (but outsized sense of self) that makes Washington's social environment one of the most toxic around -- was one of those kids in high school hoping that his dog would kick the bucket so he could write a bitchingly introspective college essay. Seriously, take a vacation, Washington. http://bit.ly/bIg3kV
EXCLUSIVE: HuffPost Hill has obtained footage from Ian Shapira's video resume: http://bit.ly/5UVZtv
A BUSH READS TO SCHOOLCHILDREN IN FLORIDA, AMERICA SAFE - America's threat level advisory was temporarily raised today from "Orange" to "My Pet Goat." Orlando Sentinel: "Former Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida's self-proclaimed 'education governor,' is slated to read to students at Tangelo Park Elementary later this morning. He is to read to kindergarten classes as part of the Read for the Record campaign, which aims to have adults read to more than two million children the book The Snowy Day today... Two or three kindergarten classes at the Orange County school will get to hear Bush read the book from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., organizers said." http://bit.ly/bXEi4Z
IT BEGINS - "John Davis plans to visit all 3,200 counties in the United States as part of his march to become the 45th president of the United States. Davis is the head of Blue Star Industries in Grand Junction, which sells building materials and supplies, but probably is best known to many in Grand Junction as the place with the 160-foot flagpole at 2350 G Road. The father of six, grandfather of four and husband of 30 years said he decided to seek the presidency because 'we need a change.'" http://bit.ly/ddzD77
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT -Tonight: Are you enjoying the beautiful weather? Would you like it to continue? Good news: it will! Expect clear skies -- great for stargazing. Tomorrow: More of the same. Mid-to-upper 70s, with bright blue skies. Thanks, JB!
Weather Trivia : There are roughly 21 names for Hurricanes, but what happens when the number of named storms exceeds 21? It happened recently, and thy came up with an odd solution. What was the name of the last hurricane in the longest season on record? Winners get a shout-out. Submit by Monday morning to see your name right here in HuffPost Hill. Beats us, JB!
- A fox having a really difficult time on a slide. He also rubs his butt on things http://bit.ly/bDpPMC
- Apparently we need to be on the lookout for roving gangs of Jay-Z. http://bit.ly/bJRi66
- The world's largest yo-yo that kind of, sort of, but not really works. http://bit.ly/bbVhrd
- Chicks dig guys who can play guitar. Cows dig guys who can play accordion. http://bit.ly/aUk0jQ
- Star Wars (yes, another Star Wars video...deal with it) re-imagined as a 50s instructional video on going steady with girls. http://bit.ly/duDMyc
- Smiling cigar guy is EVERYWHERE. http://bit.ly/9XpRuo
- An elderly woman who just had cataract surgery put eye drops in her eyes. Except she didn't use eye drops...she used super glue. http://bit.ly/96LkmA
- An LOLcano: http://bit.ly/9sRWbm
- Move aside, Hot Chip. This might be the coolest music video we've seen in a while. http://bit.ly/cgizve
@daveweigel: So how long til CNN gives us "Hevesi/Malkin"?
@JasonBWhitman: @DarrellIssa I love the new avatar, and I like it even more since the @HuffPostHill DOESN'T like it. #tcot #demfail
@peeweeherman: I couldn't find David Sedaris at The Apollo - but I looked! http://yfrog.com/2dz5bj
@ShitMyDadSays "You don't have to be good to succeed. You just gotta be the least shitty option. Example: We're eating at The Olive Garden."
TONIGHT: Our own Sam Stein and Howard Fineman were on Hardball. Bernie Sanders and Joe Sestakstopped by The Ed Show. Tom Periello speaks with Keith Olbermann. On Rachel Maddow,Art Robinson weighs in on his House race in the Oregon 4th.Lou Dobbs and Isabel McDonald duke it out on The Last Word.
7:30 pm: The DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival gets underway with a screening of Au Revoir Taipei [E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW].
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Help benefit The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis support and suicide prevention resources to LGBTQ youth. $10 admission and you get discounted rail drinks all night [18th and U Duplex Diner, 2004 18th Street NW].
8:00 pm: Bob Saget, the wholesome Full House Danny Tanner/ America's Funniest Home Videos host-turned-profane comedian, performs [Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW].
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