To quote vanquished Stark County treasurer candidate Phil Davidson, drastic times require...DRASTIC MEASURES YES! THANK YOU! However some proposed measures aimed at abating our societal woes might be a bit too drastic-y. Illinois gubernatorial contender Bill Brady is being accused of formulating puppy genocide. North Carolina congressional candidate Ilario Pantano is sounding the alarm about 1,000 Chinese surprise attacks on American soil. And John Raese, perhaps anxious about the impending Sino-American conflict, thinks we need 1,000 space lasers to stay safe. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, October 13th, 2010:
PELOSI TO LIBERALS: HEY, LOOK OVER THERE! - Sam Stein on the speaker trying to deflect some of the electorate's frustration with the ruling party to the upper chamber: "In a conference call with online reporters and bloggers, Pelosi made the case that had her chamber been given full control over the legislative process, both the party and country would be in a better place. But the Senate is a co-equal branch, and its procedural rules have forced either moderation or complete non-consideration of important reforms. The end product was, naturally, frustration among Democratic voters and progressive-leaning thinkers. But as the party has been urged by economists like the New York Times' Paul Krugman to do more on the job creation front, the Speaker stressed the need to draw distinctions. 'I appreciate what Paul Krugman says,' said Pelosi. 'It would be helpful though if some of those people who are saying these things [noted] that the House did more. Remember, we did more. We passed jobs bill after jobs bill after jobs bill that were not picked up in the Senate because of the need for the 60th vote... we know what we need to do and that's what binds our caucus.'" http://huff.to/cIdIt1
MASSIVE FORECLOSURE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY - Because life, liberty and the pursuit of a fleabag motel to spend the night in wasn't quite what Tommy J had in mind, regulators from all 50 states have launched a sweeping investigation into whether duplicitous foreclosure practices unfairly evicted people from their homes. Shahien Nasiripour: "A bipartisan group of state attorneys general from 49 states and financial regulators from 39 states will work together to comb through foreclosure filings and documents from mortgage servicers to see if any state laws have been broken in the rush by services to kick borrowers out of their homes without following various state and local laws. Homeowners, homeowner advocates and various state officials have complained that mortgage servicers have failed to follow basic procedures, like reviewing documents, properly signing them and other tasks long followed prior to the mortgage securitization boom that took off this decade." http://huff.to/cH47o8
THINKPROGRESS: CHAMBER RECEIVED NEARLY $900K IN FOREIGN DONATIONS - It's high time that the left got a George Soros-style foreign election meddler bogeyman. TP: "In addition to multinational members of the Chamber headquartered abroad (like BP, Shell Oil, and Siemens), a new ThinkProgress investigation has identified at least 84 other foreign companies that actively donate to the Chamber's 501(c)(6)."...[All] of these annual dues are collected in the same 501(c)(6) the Chamber is using to run partisan attack ads. The data above reflects information from public sources, and the Chamber likely has many more foreign corporations as dues-paying members -- but refuses to divulge any of the funders for their ad campaign. Unfortunately, many reporters in the traditional press covered the Chamber story, but missed the entire point of our reporting." http://bit.ly/dahKab
Chamber of Commerce Responds: "Having been roundly repudiated in the mainstream media over their allegation that the U.S. Chamber is using money from American Chambers of Commerce abroad (AmChams) to fund political ads, John Podesta and his folks at ThinkProgress have shifted to a new target in their increasingly pitiful attempt to silence the voice of business in the upcoming election--our bilateral business councils. This allegation is equally false and baseless, not to mention tiresome and desperate." http://bit.ly/cbhEt3
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST GIDDY ABOUT DEM "DEATH LIST" - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, taking a break from pacing back-and-forth in his apartment for five hours straight, says he's giddy about a list of 24 House Democrats in Republican-leaning districts from whom the DCCC is pulling some of its support. "Apparently this research was used to justify Van Hollen pulling the plug!" said PSLGOPL when he emailed the list to HuffPost. News stories linked in the list reflect Dems pulling or shrinking ad buys in each of the members' districts. PSLGOPL is giddy, sure, but that doesn't mean he's not paranoid: "24 is not enough."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From Arthur Delaney: "The Department of Health and Human Services refused to offer an update about the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan during a reporter conference call on Wednesday. The PCIP launched in July, but HHS has not provided any information about enrollment since the beginning of August. Some states, such as California, have not even fully launched their programs. "We don't have any updates at this time," said Jay Angoff, HHS's Director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance. The program was a Republican proposal, but Democrats touted it as one of the best 'early deliverables' of health care reform. Now nobody wants to talk about it." :(
TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - Amanda Terkel on the pot calling the kettle an aider and abetter of enemies of the state: "West Virginia Republican congressional candidate Spike Maynard has a new ad attacking his opponent for accepting money from a 'terrorist.' The problem with the ad? Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall gave the money away years ago, although the same man gave money to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which has endorsed Maynard as one of its 'Young Guns.'" http://huff.to/a5PcTL
Annie Lowrey is leaving The Washington Independent to sign on with Slate as an economics reporter. We'll let you know when 75 percent of the Red Derby's clientele is employed by the Washington Post company.
Today is Adam Kushner's last day at Newsweek. He'll soon be joining National Journal -- whose insatiable appetite for journalists will surely be the end of us all -- as a deputy editor
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
MIKE CASTLE STILL NOT SUPPORTING CHRISTINE O'DONNELL - In an interview to be aired on John King USA tonight, the Delaware Rep. and vanquished GOP Senate candidate explained that his widdle feelings were too boo boo-ed by his loss to mean ol' O'Donnell to endorse his party's nominee. "I'm not going to endorse anybody in that particular race, not because of the competence of any of the candidates, but because the primary I went through was very nasty in a variety of ways, both politically and personally, and I've just declined to get involved in that," he said. "I will give credit to the Tea Party Express people who backed Christine O'Donnell. They're good politicians. Anyone who says they're not politicians doesn't know what they're talking about as far as I'm concerned. They did an effective job of winning the race for her and, you know, they're probably going to be very effective in setting up the last few weeks of the general election as well, if I had to guess."
@IrisGrim: Rocking a pink bow - assuming it's some sort of cultural signifier or some such. The bow doesn't go AT ALL with my hat, but whatever.
HOUSE CANDIDATE FEARS "1,000 PEARL HARBORS" - And no, that's not a terrible thrash metal band. In a Wired interview with Ilario Pantano, who is vying to unseat North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre, the GOP candidate discussed the possibility of China using Cuba as a staging ground to launch "1,000 Pearl Harbors." "It's certainly a dark case scenario or a worst-case scenario, but it's the kind of scenario that national security thinkers need to be thinking about," Pantano said. "Because the technologies that we're talking about are all feasible and possible... And the political will has been demonstrated. This is a society that has cleansed itself to the tune of 60 million people. So are we really sure that we know what they are and aren't willing to do?" http://bit.ly/aMVEUk
JOHN RAESE WANTS 1,000 LASERS TO PROTECT AMERICA - At long last, a thousand points of light that the crew of the Death Star can endorse. NBC News: "West Virginia Republican candidate John Raese on Tuesday outlined his focus on national defense by calling for an extensive laser-based missile defense system. A very extensive one. 'If there is a rogue missile aimed at our country, we have 33 minutes to figure out what we're going to do,' Raese said at an event sponsored by the League of American Voters. 'We are sitting with the only technology in the world that works and it's laser technology. We need 1000 laser systems put in the sky and we need it right now. That is [of] paramount importance.' Raese said the system would cost $20 billion." http://bit.ly/a67rOo
Today is Whitney Snyder's first day as our politics editor. Huzzah!
Alan Grayson: "In fact, right-wingers are so angry that they seem to have trouble getting to sleep at night. What do you think would help them to get a good night's rest? A little chamomile tea, perhaps? No; strangely, the teabaggers don't like tea. Maybe dozing off in front of the TV, with Fox News turned on? Perhaps; virtually everything on Fox News is a bedtime story that only children could believe. Actually, what really helps right-wingers to sleep well at night is vicious attack ads on TV. Specifically, attack ads attacking me." http://huff.to/bb1Gaz
CARL PALADINO AIDES LICKING GAY AGENDA...LITERALLY - Days after video emerged of New York gubernatorial candidate and walking Ed Wood character Carl Paladino condemning homosexuality, a photo has (re)emerged of Paladino advisor and famed Republican trickster Roger Stone at a gay pride parade, shirtless, and being licked by a practically nude female reveler. Although Stone views himself as a supporter of gay marriage, his aggressive embrace of gay rights doesn't exactly sync well with Paladino. The irony is compounded that, during his remarks to a group of Hasidic Jews, Paladino called the parade "disgusting." Great job, team. Times Union: http://bit.ly/dvd3vd
Paladino also rented property to several gay clubs: "State liquor license records show that New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino had once collected rent from two gay clubs located in buildings he owned in downtown Buffalo, according to a published report....The newspaper reported that a club named Cobalt operated as a gay bar in 2004 and most of 2005 and was run by Paladino's son, William. It was housed in a building owned by one of Paladino's many companies, Huron Group LLC, the newspaper said. The club was run under another corporate name." http://huff.to/cXfZ24
....annnnnddd Paladino's gay nephew has condemned his uncle's inflammatory remarks about homosexuality: "Carl Paladino's openly gay nephew -- whom the candidate points to as proof he's no homophobe -- said yesterday he was 'very offended' by his uncle's anti-gay rants. Jeff Hannon, 23, a staffer for the Paladino campaign, also hasn't shown up at work since the bomb-throwing GOP gubernatorial hopeful made his caustic comments about homosexuality, one of Hannon's co-workers told The Post." http://bit.ly/cSD33F
"Ashley Dupré: 'Cuomo Is the Right Choice for New York'" http://bit.ly/blMDzF
PAT QUINN UNVEILS WHAT MAY WELL BE THE MOST DEPRESSING AD EVER-R-R - Take Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" ad, mix with Bush Sr.'s Willie Horton spot, top with 15 of those "adopt this child for $1-a-day" commercials and add a sprinkling of vermouth (vermouth distilled in tears) ... and you still wouldn't realize the sadness of Illinois governor Pat Quinn's new campaign video. It quite literally accuses his Republican challenger Bill Brady of being Dog Hitler. "Just two days after Bill Brady won the primary for governor," the narrator says as images of dogs being shoved into a small, metal box are splashed on the screen, "Sen. Bill Brady's first priority was to sponsor a bill that would mass-euthanize sheltered dogs and cats in gas chambers." It continues: "Shame on Bill Brady!" says a woman holding small dog that probably spends most of its day on a fainting couch. "I'm a Republican, but I don't support him for the mass euthanization of animals." Ben Smith, with a link to PoliFact saying the ad is more or less accurate: http://politi.co/bP7rhg
CONDOLEEZZA RICE REGRETS NOTHING....NOTHING!!! - In an interview with Reuters Rice says that the Bush Administration "made our mistakes undoubtedly," but added that "For an administration, for which every day after September 11 was September 12, and every day you thought it was going to happen again. I am very grateful that we were able to do what we were able to do." But, exhibiting an aloofness that has positively endeared her to the American public for decades, the former secretary of state's forthcoming memoir "Extraordinary, Ordinary People," (Really? Was "Big Hearts, Small Towns" taken?) contains no real discussion of her involvement with the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead it focuses on her childhood in the segregation-era south. Rice also discusses how the education afforded to her led to her appointment as national security advisor. Shock and AWWWWWW. Reuters: http://reut.rs/bqfxot
So much for Robert Siegel's "Free Mumia" extra-curricular work. NPR has reminded its employees that they are not allowed to participate in the upcoming rallies led by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. "NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them," Senior Vice President for News, Ellen Weiss, wrote in a memo Wednesday morning. 'This restriction applies to the upcoming John [sic] Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies.'" http://huff.to/9DkzhG
MICHELE RHEE RESIGNS AS DC SCHOOL CHANCELLOR - Residents of Wards two and three will feign concern for a while (save those select honkeys with kids enrolled at Woodrow Wilson High School) before going back to worrying about their endangered bike paths. Everyone else will breath a sigh of relief. Welcome to our nation's capital. "We have agreed that the best way to keep the reform going is for this reformer to step aside," Rhee said at a press conference this morning. She said that she and likely mayor-elect Vincent Gray had come to a "mutual" agreement about her decision. Said Gray in response to the news: "The job of chancellor is not an easy one. This was not an easy decision for either of us. I think this decision is a testament of our chancellor's commitment to school reform. We cannot and will not revert to the days of incrementalism in our schools." As for Rhee, we look forward to her chairing the Presidential Commission on Educational Whatever and Blah Blah Advancement. TBD: http://tbd.ly/am1UFt
I mean, we're all really touched by the Chilean miners' plight but...seriously? "Tim Eaton of the Austin American-Statesman reports that for years the county, south of San Antonio, has been sending out information about early voting that includes an insert depicting what's supposed to be the flag of Texas. Problem is, it ain't. It's the flag of Chile. Eaton says the gaffe was brought to the county's attention by a doctoral student 'who is studying in Japan and registered to vote in Atascosa County.' The elections administrator in Atascosa County, Janice Ruple, blamed her predecessor in office -- even though Ruple has been on the job for three years and never noticed the mistake." Dallas Morning News: http://bit.ly/aVSzb6
@brianbeutler: Whelp, that didn't take long: http://www.michellerhee.org/
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: How nice is it today? Seriously. Huff Post Hill loves this weather. And it will continue through tonight. Might need a jacket if you're going out later; it's going to get chillier. Tomorrow: With up to three fronts potentially converging, it may become a washout. Rain, potentially heavy at times, will start to come through in the afternoon. Although I'd hesitate to use the word "storm," Huff Post's Nick Wing seems to think that it is debatable. I'll go with the layman's term and say we could see storms. Happy, Nick? Thanks, JB!
And just when you thought Hurricane Season was over: Hurricane Paula is still strengthening (go Paula!) after hitting the Yucatan Peninsula. It's the third tropical system to hit the area this year. Paula is now veering towards Cuba. Seek cover, JB!
- A retired Air Force officer predicts that we will be visited by aliens today. We'd live-blog that. http://yhoo.it/ctX8Mz
- We don't often feel like we're living in the future. Watching this video makes us reconsider. http://bit.ly/c7x4zN
- "A 3,000 gallon surge of raw sewage sucked a Missouri construction worker one mile through a 27-inch wide sewer pipe before he was finally rescued at the 15th hole of a golf course yesterday." http://gizmo.do/aARNZc
- Finally a post-it note for these wild, 1994 times. http://bit.ly/ckrGLI
- A lion tries to eat a kid at the zoo. Don't worry, it's actually pretty adorable. http://bit.ly/ajbc36
- Oh good, a new "Between Two Ferns." This one with Bruce Willis. http://bit.ly/afyYti
- We're not sure if the "Hangover Owls" Tumblr was what Al Gore had in mind when he invented the internet. http://bit.ly/coj6eD
@dceiver: All this coverage has really made the Chilean Mineshaft story into a Chilean Ourshaft story, hasn't it?
@BorowitzReport: Post-traumatic experts say it could be days before the Chilean miners appear on Dancing with the Stars.
@badbanana: The moral of the Chilean mine story is don't get trapped 2,040 feet below ground. I hope young people take it to heart.
@delrayser: Idea for new, zeitgeisty talk show: "Miner/Bieber." Call me, CNN!
10:00 pm: GET YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOL DANCE ON. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony performs at 9:30 Club [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm: For all of you K Street-ers who don't feast on human innards, The White House Farmer's Market features food stands from regional producers [Layfayette Square]
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