HUFFPOST HILL - OCTOBER 14TH, 2010
Today was one wild ride along the Kubler-Ross model. Banks are sending foreclosed clients into a deep depression. Steve Driehaus is bargaining with the DCCC to restore its funding of his campaign. The NRSC is accepting that it as behind the "hickey" casting call. And HuffPost Hill's own Paranoid, Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist is working through some serious denial, depression, AND anger all at once after we didn't publish his list of endangered House Democrats. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 14th, 2010:
HARRY REID: 'HAVE WE DONE ENOUGH? OF COURSE NOT' - In an interview with ABC News, the Senate majority leader conceded that his caucus's efforts to lift the country out of its current economic state haven't been sufficient. "We have worked really, really hard," Reid said. "But it was such a deep hole. And I wish we could've done more, and I look back, I realize how much more we have to do...Have we done enough? Of course not." http://bit.ly/crF9c2
ADVOCATES FOR JOBLESS PREPARING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT FIGHT - When it reconvenes in mid-November, Congress will have just two weeks to reauthorize extended unemployment benefits, a fight that took nearly two months earlier this summer. The National Employment Law Project, foremost advocate of keeping the benefits, has already begun its lobbying effort with a new site (www.unemployedworkers.org) and a petition. The site launches tomorrow. "This time, we're not waiting for Congress to reconvene," emailed NELP's Mitchell Hirsch. "We're not waiting until after the elections. And this time there must be no lapse, no cuts." (There have been three lapses and several cuts already this year.)
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Bank tells man to make reduced payments as part of Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program. Man makes reduced payments. Bank refers man to foreclosure because reduced payments put him in default. Bank stops accepting payments altogether because of foreclosure status. From HAMP HELL, Arthur Delaney's 3,000-word story about Troy Taliancich's attempt to modify his mortgage: "'You will continue to make those trial payments because they are monitoring them,' the woman said. A few minutes later, after Taliancich asked if he could go ahead and make his trial payment, she said, 'There's a code on here that we cannot accept the payment.'" http://huff.to/dwsUQD
TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - Amanda Terkel: "The American Future Fund (AFF) is a prime example of why this non-disclosure is problematic. Classified as a 501(c)(4) by the Internal Revenue Service, AFF is a non-profit that can run political advertising in the run-up to the election as long as it's not devoted primarily to politics. It can also raise and spend unlimited amounts of money without ever disclosing its donors...In an article on Tuesday, The New York Times managed to track down one of the group's major contributors: Bruce Rastetter, 'a co-founder and the chief executive of one of the nation's larger ethanol companies, Hawkeye Energy Holdings, and a rising force in state Republican politics.'...But, as the Times reported, its advocacy work has often lined up with Rastetter's business interests in more subtle ways." http://huff.to/cRb7zh
GOP HOUSE CANDIDATE UNDER ETHICS MICROSCOPE - Sam Stein: "On Thursday morning, the Nashua Telegraph published a story about former Congressman Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) who is running for his old seat, currently held by Senate candidate Paul Holds (D-N.H.). According to the paper, Bass had helped set up a business meeting benefiting a New Hampshire wood pellet company at the same time that he held $500,000 worth of privately held stock in that company. Days after Bass left office in January 2007 he took a position on that company's board." Said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: "If he wins the election then certainly given the personal financial disclosure forms, which indicate he did hold the stock, the ethics committee would have reasons to investigate the matter." http://huff.to/9kPgTb
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST FREAKS OUT AFTER HUFFPOST HILL OMITS LIST - HuffPost Hiccup - In yesterday's item about our Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist salivating over a "death list" of 24 endangered Democrats losing DCCC support, we forgot to include the actual list. "You forgot to link the list!" wrote PSLGOPL, after spending the night powering through twelve bags of Combos in his panic room. "Didn't Nixon say you can be paranoid and right that people are out to get you at the same time?" To calm him down, and to make sure he doesn't write any more entries in his "What I don't deserve" journal, here's the list: Causey, Kirkpatrick, Mitchell, Giffords, Markey, Kosmas, Halvorson, Foster, Van Haaften, Hill, Moore, Pomeroy, Teague, Titus, Driehaus, Kilroy, Space, Schrader, Dahlkemper, Carney, Kanjorski, Herron, Edwards, Kagen. (It was Joseph Heller who wrote, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.")
LUIS GUTIERREZ OPTS OUT OF CHICAGO MAYORAL BID - "After weeks of again flirting with the idea of running for mayor, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) said Thursday afternoon he would not be a candidate to replace retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley in the election in February. 'It was a difficult decision,' Gutierrez told students and supporters who gathered at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He said he had called other potential candidates and informed them of his plans. Gutierrez said he is not running because he has an obligation to immigration reform, referring to the cause as his 'vocation.'" Chicago News Coop: http://bit.ly/cvyCex
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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ASKS FOR STAY IN DADT RULING - Seriously, are our fighting men and women suddenly afraid to get in the shower or something? AP: "The Obama administration will ask a federal judge to allow the 'don't ask, don't tell' law on gays in the military to continue in force pending an appeal of her order to end it, a lawyer in the case and a person in the government familiar with the discussions said Thursday. Lawyer Dan Woods said his client, Log Cabin Republicans, which won the ruling on Tuesday, has been notified that the Justice Department 'will appeal and seek a stay later today.' That word was confirmed by the person in the government knowledgeable about the administration's discussions." http://usat.ly/cPpwHw
FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS HEALTH CARE CHALLENGE TO PROCEED - Further evidence that some sort of litigious "Pay It Backwards" system is in effect, a group seeking to overturn the president's signature domestic policy won a major victory today. "A federal judge ruled Thursday that parts of a lawsuit by 20 states seeking to void the Obama administration's health care overhaul can go to trial, saying he wants hear additional arguments from both sides over whether the law is unconstitutional. In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it needs to be decided whether the plan violates the Constitution by requiring individuals to have health insurance or be penalized through taxes and by overburdening the states by expanding their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week. Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court." http://huff.to/d4MCD2
ELLISON SEEKING PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS CHAIRMANSHIP - For a caucus to wield any real power -- like the Blue Dogs and the Congressional Black Caucus -- it is essential that its members speak in one voice. Good luck to any dude thinking he can get dozens of lefties to even agree on whether to order Chinese or pizza for the caucus meeting. Roll Call: "With Rep. Lynn Woolsey stepping aside from leadership in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, another Representative is stepping forward for the spot. Sophomore Rep. Keith Ellison is circulating a letter asking fellow members of the CPC to support his bid to serve as the group's chairman in the 112th Congress. In a 'Dear Colleague' letter released Wednesday and obtained by Roll Call, the Minnesota Democrat pledged to 'work to strengthen [the CPC's] internal cohesion and discipline as a voting bloc within the Congress.'" http://bit.ly/9cNAbd
The current co-chair of Progressive Caucus, Raul Grijalva, is taking heat for his... mustache. Evan McMorris-Santoro in TPM: "Progressive firebrand Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is taking hits from Republicans for his choice of facial hair. The state GOP is running a mailer on behalf of Grijalva's opponent, Ruth McClung, that parodies Grijalva's trademark facial hair and, perhaps, raises a few eyebrows regarding what it might imply about Grijalva's ethnic background. McClung's campaign says any concern about the mailer is much ado about nothing. 'It's certainly not about the fact that he's Hispanic,' McClung spokesperson Sam Stone told me yesterday. 'His campaign signs feature that exact same mustache.' 'He's made his mustache an issue,' Stone added." http://bit.ly/9HuuDw
DEMOCRATIC OHIO REP TO DCCC: COME BACK, BABY GIRL - Ohio Rep. Steve Driehaus is alleging that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has yanked TV funding for his reelection bid. In response, he has launched a "Don't Walk Away" campaign with Act Blue asking for campaign contributions. "I've had the guts to stand up for you," Driehaus says in a video in support of the effort. " When it comes to the tough votes on health care, changing our economy, turning things around, and standing up to Wall Street, I've taken those tough votes because it was the right thing to do for the American people. Now the DCCC is walking away." Cincinnati.com: http://bit.ly/cvTxkw
GOP CANDIDATE CALLS FOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AUDIT - ThinkProgress on Bob Gibbs, who is running against Zack Space in the Ohio 18th: "Last night, the topic of anonymous donors to outside groups came up in a debate between Gibbs and Space. ThinkProgress caught up with Gibbs afterward to get his thoughts. He noted that organizations are required by law to segregate their foreign and domestic money and said the Chamber "absolutely" has a firewall in place. We pressed him on whether he just trusts them to enforce their own secret system. Gibbs conceded that he 'wouldn't have a problem with the Federal Election Commission having the ability...to go in and audit them and make sure that they had the firewall.' However, he stopped short of calling for groups like the Chamber to disclose their donors to the public." http://bit.ly/ciN35y
NRSC OWNS UP TO "HICKY" CASTING CALL - From the party that has somehow managed to turn the Chamber of Commerce into some sort of beleaguered, right-wing Solidarnosc, we're not sure if this is really going to change things that much. Sam Stein: "The National Republican Senatorial Committee fired one of its ad vendors on Thursday after reports emerged linking the firm to a controversial casting call, in which they asked for "hicky" actors to portray West Virginians upset with Gov. Joe Manchin's Senate run. Originally, the committee had denied any connection to the casting call, saying that their vendor, Jamestown Associates, had sent a benign email to a separate agency looking for actors...On Thursday morning, however, the defense unraveled. Politico's Mike Allen, who had the original story, reported that it was, in fact, Jamestown Associates that had written the casting call. Minutes later, the NRSC put out a statement proclaiming that it had been lied to by the firm and announcing that they were severing ties." http://huff.to/cx0TgO
@galifianakisz: Hi NC. Virginia Foxx is not cool. And no relation to Redd Foxx. Vote Bill Kennedy. Here is a reminder http://t.co/sGhuoBy via @youtube
JOE MILLER NEARLY OUSTED FROM OLD JOB FOR ALLEGED ETHICS BREACH - Is it just us, or is it now a prerequisite for Alaska office seekers (or their families) to be embroiled in a personal vendetta? Nick Wing: "Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller was almost dismissed from his job as a Fairbanks borough attorney in 2008, after breaching the township's ethics policies by engaging in a politically motivated operation to unseat the Alaska GOP Chairman, former Fairbanks mayor Jim Whitaker said Wednesday. Whitaker, who served as mayor from 2003 to 2009, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that Miller had undertaken a campaign to oust Alaska GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich using borough computers, a fireable offense, but that he wasn't terminated because he was needed for the work he was doing on a lawsuit to decide the tax-rate of a trans-Alaska pipeline system." http://huff.to/aCP1Zl
Tonight: Time Magazine celebrates its "40 under 40" Rising Stars in U.S. Politics at Zentan. Drinks include Blue State Fizz, Red State Ruby and Iced "Tea Party." Part of HuffPost Hill might show up. The other parts will be celebrating their own special selves with progressive PBRs, conservative chips ahoy and will then take the party to the Republican Raven.
O'DONNELL PREPPED FOR DEBATE BY PALIN AIDES - Greg Sargent on Randy Scheunemann and Michael Goldfarb, the two former Sarah Palin advisors who helped make Christine O'Donnell seem so much like you when she couldn't name a single Supreme Court case she disagreed with. "Palin, in a conversation with O'Donnell, recommended the two men to her, and the O'Donnell campaign reached out to them to enlist their help, Goldfarb says. They spent the day with her yesterday in Wilmington getting her ready. Goldfarb insists he was happy with her performance, claiming that Coons and the moderators had ganged up on her. 'She came off as the far more likeable candidate,' Goldfarb said. 'Coons just kept his head down to the extent he could. My view was that it was three on one, and she held her own.'" http://wapo.st/aWVIzb
Last night's debate between Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, who is defending his Idaho House seat, and his Republican challenger Raul Labrador, veered dangerously close to debating the merits of flying machines and self-propelled horse carriages. "Labrador defended his view that ordinary voters should lose a right they gained when the Constitution was amended in 1913. 'I have a consistent philosophy about government and the importance of states' rights,' he said. 'The 17th Amendment actually took away the rights of states to control what happens in the Senate. Ever since we've had the 17th Amendment, we've had more spending, more government.' Said Minnick: 'It is crazy and indicative of the fringe positions of my opponent that he would want to take away the right to vote for a U.S. senator from an Idaho voter and give it to the Legislature, when the state Legislature is not even capable of properly funding education (and) keeping our roads repaired.''' Idaho Statesman: http://bit.ly/bJlacU
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - A kid. A ukulele. "Wonderful World." http://bit.ly/bnP4nO
OBAMA MTV TOWNHALL ORGANIZERS WANT 'LIGHT' QUESTIONS - Even as the unemployment rate for people in their teens and early-20s hovers at about 15 percent and the Obama administration continues to send countless young Americans to Afghanistan and Iraq and readies a lawsuit in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, participants in a youth-oriented townhall with President Obama are being urged to ask "light" questions. AmericaBlog: "After asking what topics I was personally interested in, they asked what question I'd want to ask President Obama if I were in a room with him. I gave a sample question to give them a sense of where I'd go, but not anything specific (something about the role that federal policy plays in preventing bullying in light of the recent attention to suicide). The next question was: What lighter question would I ask the President -- something related to pop culture perhaps. I hadn't given any thought to this because, really, what moron blows this opportunity by asking the President 'Mac or PC?'" http://bit.ly/bnQlTx
TODAY IN REALLY HILARIOUS TYPOS - "The last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is misspelled as "Whitey" on electronic-voting machines in nearly two dozen wards -- about half in predominantly African-American areas -- and election officials said Wednesday the problem cannot be corrected by Election Day." Chicago Sun Times: http://bit.ly/aCnE6D
ANNNDDDDD... - From Mark Kirk's op-ed in AOL News (censoring ours): "Due to the one-time, court-ordered special election in Illinois, we have a unique opportunity to seat our next senator before the 'lame f*ck' session. Should I have the honor of serving our state in this session, I will oppose massive spending bills and tax increases to protect our economy and our workforce -- and push for extension of current tax relief." http://bit.ly/doMaRk
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Can you say washout? Expect lots of rain, at times heavy. But, to quote little orphan Annie, "the sun will come out Tomorrow." Thanks, JB!
Weather Trivia!: The first ever recorded tornado in Washington, D.C. coincided with what history-changing event? You have until Monday morning to give an answer. Winners will be featured in Monday's column. We won't be able to sleep, JB!
- Carmen Sandiego has been found thanks to Google. http://bit.ly/772go
- A bunch of Germans got together and raced Pumpkins. http://bit.ly/a7j1dY
- 16 facts about sleep. http://bit.ly/cOhRyJ
- Super Mario can really relate to those Chilean miners. http://bit.ly/9KHd8r
- Cat really doesn't want the lights to be turned off. http://bit.ly/a5hyHg
- Most of the animal videos we post here usually have some catch. This one doesn't. It's a cute dog eating an apple. That's it. http://bit.ly/bKJvDw
- The world's largest omelet. http://bit.ly/cYL8Et
@adamcarolla: I have a theory that Ed Hardy T- shirts are part of a secret government plan to monitor the migration of the north american douche bag.
@pourmecoffee: Ladies and gentlemen, the Internet: http://bit.ly/azZurt
@kombiz huff post banner right now is really cracking me up... http://huff.to/brs1dK
@irisgrim: Propers to the Chilean miners, but, I was trapped in a dark space for 9 mos. until my rescue. Miners get CNN, I get @huffposthill #fml
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm: For all of you K Street-ers who don't feast on human innards, the White House Farmers Market features food stands from regional producers [Layfayette Square]
5:00 pm: Jacob Hacker, author of "Winner-Take-All Politics," discusses his new book at the AFL-CIO. Union chief Richard Trumka and Roger Hickey, Co-Director of the Campaign for America's Future, will be on hand [AFL-CIO Samuel Gompers Conference Room, Ground floor, 815 16th Street NW].
9:45 pm: Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse screens Salt, the one with Angelina Jolie where she runs around in tight clothing and kicks things [Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington].
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