The House Democratic leadership treated America to a walking, breathing demonstration of game theory today (we swore off musical chairs metaphors). Nancy Pelosi announced that she will run for House minority leader, sending her aides-de-camp into a reality show-like frenzy of back room alliance-building and strained showings of unity. Jim Clyburn, ready for a promotion, is making a play for minority whip and the CBC already has his back. That means Steny Hoyer can either challenge his colleague for the number-two spot or make a play for MSNBC's 8 pm show. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, November 5th, 2010:
@LisaDCNN: CONNOLLY HOSPITALIZED: WaPo reports Gerry Connolly in hsptal for undisclosed condition. To be released this wknd.His race still not called.
PELOSI ANNOUNCES MINORITY LEADER BID - Liberals everywhere did a spit-take with their fro-yo today [Editor's Note: Gross] when outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced via Twitter that she would run for House minority leader in the 112th Congress. "Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader," she tweeted. Despite sabre rattling from the Failed Quarterback Caucus and the There-But-For-The-Grace-Of-A-Dysfunctional-Opponent Blue Dog Caucus, we're pretty sure Pelosi is a shoe-in. Her tweet came a day after she told HuffPost Hill that she would begin calling colleagues and canvassing for support on Thursday evening. Top Democrats took from that that she'd make a decision after the weekend. Wrong.
CLYBURN JUMPS INTO RACE FOR HOYER'S SPOT - The Democratic caucus is in for some serious bloodsport over the weekend, as two well-liked members of the leadership bid for the number two spot. All involved assumed that Pelosi was stepping down, meaning a likely transition to Hoyer as minority leader and Clyburn as minority whip. Clyburn had already been gathering support for a whip bid when it started to become clear last night that Pelosi was staying. Once she made her announcement, Clyburn, who had already made the decision to run for whip, was faced with the question of going forward with the bid against Hoyer or going for the number three spot, the caucus chair, which Rep. John Larson of Conn. is running for. (Larson's the current caucus chair.) Hoyer showed in 2006 that he can beat an opponent with Pelosi's support, John Murtha, and won majority support from every caucus, including the progressives. Members who promised Clyburn their support under the assumption that Pelosi would step aside could be vulnerable to persuasion from Hoyer. If this were an ideological contest, Clyburn would win running away, but leadership races are largely about personal relationships and Hoyer hopes he can cash his chips in. He contributed to or raised money for 218 Democratic incumbents and candidates and gave the the maximum allowable contribution to 66 incumbents and challengers through his leadership PAC and Hoyer for Congress, giving more than $1.57 million, more than any other Democrat. Clyburn has given to at least 80 candidates the past two years and gave $1.4 million to candidates and incumbents, campaiging in 46 districts. Hoyer hasn't officially announced a bid but he's working the phones hard to gauge support. he chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) told The Hill that she will back Clyburn; he'll have the backing of much of the CBC. Rep. Jared Polis, a returning progressive freshman, jumped out this evening and is backing Hoyer, a strong signal the race won't be solely about ideology.
VAN HOLLEN TO CAUCUS: AHEM! - Chris Van Hollen was talked out of running for a rare open Senate seat in Maryland in 2006 with an offer of a leadership post if he stayed in the House. The chair of the DCCC and an assistant to the speaker, he had Doug Thornell send out a statement today reminding folks he exists: "Congressman Van Hollen is focused on providing support and resources to our candidates in still undecided races. As he has done for the last four years, Van Hollen is going to fight to the very end for every single House Democrat. Over the last couple of days he has been getting lots of inquiries about his future from his colleagues who are encouraging him to stay in the Democratic leadership and appreciate his hard work under historically difficult political circumstances." http://huff.to/aoKJBs
Stephanie Taylor, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee: "Speaker Pelosi's decision to run for leader is the first bold move we've seen from Democrats since the election, America is better off as a result, and we hope there's more bold Democratic leadership to come. Democrats lost on Tuesday because of Blue Dogs and others who urged Democrats to not fight for popular progressive change -- and the way to re-inspire former Obama voters is to have progressives like Nancy Pelosi boldly fighting the fight." America is already better off? Nice work, Pelosi.
NRCC spokesman Ken Spain: "If House Democrats are willing to sacrifice more of their members in 2012 for the glory of Nancy Pelosi, we are happy to oblige them."
Roll Call reports that Pelosi privately encouraged John Larson to run again for caucus chair. "Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her close ally John Larson the green light to launch a behind-the-scenes campaign for a second term as Caucus chairman. 'She gave him her blessing to round up votes a few days ago,' a source close to the Connecticut Democrat said Friday." http://bit.ly/bhY9g6
Scott Wong and Manu Raju in Politico: "The incoming House speaker, Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner, has long opposed lawmakers' tendency to include earmarks for parochial projects in annual spending bills, and wants to end the practice. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, the party purist who helped elect a handful of conservative tea party-backed candidates Tuesday, has vowed to offer an earmark moratorium during the next Senate Republican Conference meeting on Nov. 16." http://politi.co/bPDRTk
DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL APPEALED TO SUPREME COURT - This will really appeal to LGBT Americans, twice as many of whom voted for the GOP this go-around. Ed O'Keefe in WaPo: "A Republican group suing the Obama administration to end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" law asked the Supreme Court Friday to overrule this week's decision by a federal appeals court to keep the policy in place while it considers the matter. On Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the Pentagon can keep enforcing the ban on gay men and lesbians openly serving in uniform. The appeals court is set to hear arguments on the matter at a later date. The Obama administration has argued that a court order to suddenly end the gay ban without first properly training military personnel could wreak havoc on the force and disrupt the ranks. But in court papers filed Friday with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Log Cabin Republicans argued that the only harm the government would suffer by lifting the ban is "entirely bureaucratic, procedural and transitory in nature," and "sharply outweighed by the substantial constitutional injury that service members will sustain" by keeping the policy in place." http://wapo.st/cUxq70
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The health care reform program designed as a stopgap to insure the uninsurable until the new law's major provisions take effect in 2014 has reached just 8,011 people since its launch this summer. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is for people who have been uninsured for at least six months due to pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. There are millions of such people, but officials with the Department of Health and Human Services initially said they expected the program to reach 350,000 over the next three years. On Friday, HHS said that after just a few months, it's too difficult to predict how many people will be covered, and that estimates of the eligible population are sketchy. "It's challenging to get precise data on these types of individuals because not everyone knows they have a pre-existing condition because a pre-existing condition can mean you're overweight or you have severe cancer," said Richard Popper of HHS. "It's not a well-known number." http://huff.to/aaoarP
Today is HuffPost Green editor Katherine Goldstein's last day :(
TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - Amanda Terkel: "Tuesday's election results showed a possible path for gun control advocates to take on the NRA -- pushing measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. With this strategy, the nonpartisan advocacy group backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Americans United for Safe Streets (AUSS), took on NRA candidates in a handful of races -- and won. The scope of AUSS is relatively narrow, targeting specific areas that may even divide NRA members from the national leadership. One major issue AUSS targets is closing the gun show loophole, a gap in the law that allows some vendors at gun shows to sell weapons without conducting a background check of the purchaser. Another area targeted by AUSS is the "terror gap," which allows persons on the federal watch list to legally buy guns and explosives in the United States."
A new video from People for the American Way entitled "Meet the Freshman Class" criticizes the newest batch of Republican senators for an array of far-right positions. The video is presented in the same fashion as a 1950s "So you're starting to grow hair under your arms, Timmy," PSA. http://bit.ly/dio1FT
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KEITH OLBERMANN SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY FOR LEANING A BIT TOO FORWARD - After Politico reported that MSNBC host had donated to three Democratic candidates -- Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords and former Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway -- MSNBC chief Phil Griffin suspended Olbermann without pay. "I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay," Griffin said in a statement. All Olbermann needs to do, in our humble opinion, is donate money to hte Republican Govenror's Association (like Rupert Murdoch) and Michele Bachmann (like Sean Hannity) and be done with it. http://huff.to/cxhJWj
Bernie Sanders, because "Countdown With Chris Jansing" wouldn't be as accommodating: "It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend Keith Olbermann."
JOE MCGINNISS DIDN'T REALIZE YOU WERE SPY-TAPING HIM, SARAH PALIN! - Joe McGinniss, the reporter who moved next door to the Palins -- a move Palin said was "an intrusion, an invasion of our privacy" -- is unhappy that Palin invaded his privacy by putting him in the first episode of her weirdo show. "Mr. McGinniss was not asked if any production crew could videotape him as he read a book on the secluded deck of the house he was living in at that time," says a nastygram from his lawyer. "He was not aware that any camera crew was in fact videotaping him." http://slate.me/d9xKhC
NRSC FUNDRAISING FOR JOE MILLER RECOUNT BATTLE - We would say that Joe Miller is exhibiting some sour grapes but grapes make wine and the French make wine so by employing said sour grapes Miller is actually helping his party. So lets just say he's being a turd. Amanda Terkel: "Lisa Murkowski (R) has already declared victory in her re-election for Alaska's U.S. Senate seat, but Republican Joe Miller is refusing to throw in the towel, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee is standing behind him...On Tuesday, the NRSC sent out a fundraising solicitation on Miller's behalf, saying he needs the money to help counting the remaining ballots: 'Joe Miller in Alaska is dedicated to the conservative principles we need in Washington DC. But he faces the potential of a lengthy recount. And in Alaska, they are still counting votes from election day. We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count. Because we need Joe to join our fight against Barack Obama.'" http://huff.to/a0Msre
WHITE HOUSE CALLING AN AUDIBLE ON CLIMATE POLITICS
KEVIN MCCARTHY CLAIMS TO HAVE VOTES FOR MAJORITY WHIP - Jackie Kucinich in Roll Call: "The skills that Rep. Kevin McCarthy learned during his years as the GOP chief deputy whip are paying off. With the help of a team of more than a dozen fellow Members, the California Republican has tallied 'north of 160' votes for the House Majority Whip position in the 112th Congress as of Thursday evening." http://bit.ly/aphF4N
PAUL RYAN SNUBS BACHMANN, BACKS HENSARLING FOR CONFERENCE CHAIR - Paul Ryan, one of the GOP establishment's rising stars in the House, has pitted himself against the Tea Party's own chosen one of the lower chamber, Michele Bachmann. "Jeb's economic expertise and strong ability to communicate are what we need in our conference chairman to articulate our unified commitment to get our country back on track," Ryan wrote in a letter backing Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling over Bachmann for the number-four position in the GOP leadership. "This position requires someone who has a command of these issues and has a history of successfully debating them." http://politi.co/9PeoRx
BIG CHANGES IN HOUSE COMMITTEES - Stephen Ellis, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense, sends this overview: "Senate Approps is facing big changes, mostly due to retirement. Even if Sen. Murkowski hangs on five of the 13 Republicans will be gone and two of the 17 Democrats. But the biggest changes (not surprisingly) are in the House. Out of the 37 Democrats on the House Approps committee, 8 lost this cycle and another 3 are retiring, leaving them with 26 which means they may not have to pare too many when the new apportionments come out. (This Congress the Republicans had 23). More than third of the Transportation and Infrastructure Democrats are gone, including the long-serving Chairman Oberstar. Fifteen Committee Democrats lost and one retired out of the 45 on the committee. But the biggest blowout was on the Agriculture Committee, where half of the Democrats are gone. Out of the 28 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee 13 lost and 1 (Ellsworth) ran for higher office (and lost)." http://bit.ly/dm4HjJ
LGBT SUPPORT FOR GOP DOUBLED ON TUESDAY - Amanda Terkel: "Republicans made significant inroads among gay and lesbian voters in the midterm elections, with national exit polls for the House races showing that the GOP captured 31 percent of the vote of this group this year, compared to 19 percent in 2008. The change from the last midterm elections in 2006 was not quite as large but an increase nevertheless. In 2006, 24 percent supported Republicans. Democrats' share of the gay vote rose from 75 percent in 2006 to 80 percent in 2008 and then dropped to 68 percent in 2010. Each year, approximately 3 percent of voters identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual." http://huff.to/9lxTuw
UNEMPLOYMENT HOLDS AT 9.6 PERCENT BUT JOB CREATION GROWS - Along with the pleasure of watching Nancy Pelosi handing over the gavel to John Boehner-- the Compiegne surrender of American politics -- Republicans also get partial responsibility for millions of emotionally bruised and frustrated people. While the economy did add a net total of 151,000 jobs last month -- the first such gain in five months - it failed to put a dent in the nation's unseemly 9.6 percent unemployment rate. http://huff.to/d2A9kH
Dan Rather: "Here is where President Obama does have to be accountable in this. In sports, in basketball, you don't sit on a lead. You get up on them and you try to pour it on. In military terms, even non-commissioned officers are told to exploit success. And I agree that there was some awe on inauguration day, not just in Washington D.C. but around the country.... And the president got into office having run a bold, audacious, campaign and he began to play, in the public perception, he began to play it safe. He got a reputation for playing a little soft.... You say what happened? What happened is that the perception got out that President Obama was not wiling to really stand up in Harry Truman fashion." Sam Stein: http://huff.to/clzmNN
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - A parrot at the supermarket. http://bit.ly/bP3Lre
BUSH: KATRINA FLYOVER WAS 'HUGE MISTAKE' - In what may be the biggest aeronautical mea culpa since the producer of "Soul Plane" committed Seppuku, the former president said he made a "huge mistake" by not touching down in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. "I should have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor and walked out and said, 'I hear you. We understand," The former president says in an interview with Matt Lauer set to air on NBC Monday night. "And we're going to help the state and help the local governments with as much resources as needed." Bloomberg: http://bit.ly/bXoTk7
The football team at the Obama's kids' school is "Losing even worse than Dad's political party," according to the Washington City Paper's Dave McKenna. "The Fighting Quakers from Sidwell Friends aren't putting up much of a fight lately. If the school's had a worse football season at any time in its 127-year history, nobody remembers it. The team is winless and has been outscored 373-43. Without the slaughter rule, intended to limit the humiliation suffered by somebody on the business end of a beating by directing the timekeeper to keep the game clock running once a team goes down by 35 points, the margins would have been a lot worse. It's been invoked in every Sidwell game this year--not counting the one forfeit." WHEN WILL OUR NATIONAL MALAISE END??? http://bit.ly/a147Ib
Rejoinder from apparent Sidwell kid in the comments: "dude, dave mckenna, u have no life, u probably jack off in ur parents basement while writing this article. dude, get a life, or better yet go back 2 college, o wait u never went 2 college becuz ur school sucked ass compared to sidwell..."
NO CHARGES IN DC9 CASE The U.S. Attorney has dropped charges against the five DC9 employees who allegedly killed a guy after he threw a brick through the bar's window. The charges could come back, though. http://tbd.ly/aYIaPx
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Will stay in the 40s tonight with clear skies. And no, I won't use words like "cold." That's your prerogative. Tomorrow: Mid-50s and sunny, but falling quickly at night. Similar can be said for Sunday. Make sure to set your clocks back an hour for daylight savings time! (Consider this my Public Service Announcement and civic duty. We even now?)
- DANCE LIKE BERNIE http://youtu.be/TRBLmogRL4c
- "Radioactive rabbit trapped near Richland" http://bit.ly/dA8Dza
- What would happen if Santa and Arlo Guthrie had a child...and that child made goat noises. http://bit.ly/dy2fnv
- Elderly London man befriends a pelican. http://bit.ly/dBB6nZ
- The MTA in New York posted this time-lapse video of one of its subway yards. http://bit.ly/diaSb8
- Who knew baby sloths were so adorable? Thanks to @suzykhimm for the heads up http://bit.ly/bhY9g6
- A road flooded. Salmon started to traverse it. A dog went fishing. It's weird. http://bit.ly/cxgAZm
- We're all obsessed with Angry Birds here at HuffPost. Here's a lo-fi version. http://gizmo.do/cDRqSo
- "Preservationists say it would be a Whopper of a mistake for a Haverhill congregation to sell its 163-year-old church to a developer who wants to tear it down and build a Burger King." http://bit.ly/a5iqR5
- Sucks to be a rookie firefighter: bears in trees. http://bit.ly/cZ96ju
- A video tour of the Six Flags that was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. http://bit.ly/9vpgRM
@dceiver: Now MSNBC is telling us to "FALL BACK." Daylight savings time related brand messaging FAIL!
@emynameisemma: hey, @huffposthill - Boehner is releasing 5 speeches in "Pillars of a New Majority"... Islam has 5 Pillars of Faith... Boehner is a Muslim?
@pwgavin: Sorta see some similarities between Michael Jackson's new CD cover art http://is.gd/gKUkw and Woodward's http://is.gd/gKV55
@abettel: Pelosi in. Olbermann out. McRib back. Hitting a Twitter Vesuvius
@borowitzreport: BREAKING: Obama Travels to India to Visit Former American Jobs
Meet the Press: Chris Christie, Jim Demint, Anita Dunn, Karen Hughes, Marc Morial, Mike Murphy.
Face the Nation: Mitch McConnell, James E. Clyburn.
This Week: Rand Paul, Mike Pence, David Stockman, Evan Bayh, John Podesta, Matthew Dowd, Amy Walter, George Will.
State of the Union: Rick Perry, Pat Toomey, Karen Tumulty, Michael Duffy.
5:30 pm: Segue into the weekend with some indie chamber rock. Ra Ra Riot performs at 9:30 Club [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
7:30 pm: If you enjoy reading the lower sections of HuffPost Hill, then you'd probably enjoy Daniel Tosh and his Internet video show on Comedy Central, "Tosh.0." Tosh takes his corrupted view of the information superhighway to the Warner Theatre [Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW].
All Day: The Kennedy Center's Hall of Nations exhibits "Of All the People in All the World," a giant art installation piece featuring millions of grains of rice assembled to represent various demographic statistics about the United States. Get 'er done! [Kennedy Center Hall of Nations].
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