Hill flacks and reporters had a big ol' revolving door tear-fest at Jim Manley's farewell shindig today. Through the haze of light beer and shrimp, HuffPost Hill managed to haphazardly summarize the day's news (sort of). Evan Bayh will be able to buy Ezra Klein a really nice thank you card thanks to his new private equity job. God, taking time off from helping professional athletes win things, safely saw Gabrielle Giffords to a Houston rehabilitation center. And the president of the United States took a break from finalizing his economic team to let Twitter know about a friggin' awesome empanada truck. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 21st, 2011:
EVAN BAYH TO PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM - Former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who spent his final months in Congress impressing Ezra Klein by registering his distaste for the way things are done in Washington, has signed on with private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Attaboy!!! "The politicos give the private-equity firms a presence in Washington at a time when financial-services firms are increasingly coming under regulatory scrutiny," notes Dealbook's Peter Lattman. "Private-equity firms" -- best known for funding Edward Lewis' introduction to Vivian in Pretty Woman -- "also own an array of businesses, including energy and health care companies, whose operations are greatly affected by government policy. In recent years, the private-equity industry has sharply increased its lobbying expenditures. For a lifelong public servant like Mr. Bayh, a private-equity shop holds great appeal. U.S. senators earn a salary of $174,000 per year. Private-equity deal makers are among the most highly compensated executives on Wall Street." To be fair, it was that renown businessman Samuel Adams who famously observed that"Wisdom, though seemingly lost, ever lies benethe hard-earned specie...Actually he didn't. No one did. We made that up. Bayh is just selling out. [NYT]
A lobbyist source spotted Bayh having dinner with Carlyle Group honcho David Rubenstein at The Capital Grille in May, right in the middle of the fight over taxing corporate raiders like regular people. (The corporate raiders won.)
HuffPost Hill sees this as progress: At least Evan Bayh signed on with a university first instead of going straight to private equity. That means he felt a twinge of shame. Baby steps.
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST LEAVES ISOLATION BUNKER FOR AN 'I TOLD YA SO,' HAS BELLY LAUGH - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who refuses to eat meat products because of the disturbing messages about progressive taxation in the entrails, is getting a kick out of this Bayh stuff. "Limousine Liberals laughed at the gullible professional left groups while they demonized Republicans on carried interest," wrote PSLGOPL. "It would be nice if the Professional Left would take a moment to acknowledge that it was Limousine Liberal senators in the 60-vote Filibuster Proof Senate that killed carried interest." Hereby acknowledged, PSLGOPL!
How did Ezra Klein lede his homage to Bayh when he retired in February? "Evan Bayh might have been an ordinary politician, but he's proving an extraordinary retiree. His essay on the dysfunctions of the modern Senate is an urgent and important political document, as much for who wrote it as for the precision of its analysis. And its author should remain in the Senate. [Memory Lane]
Journopalooza is tonight at the National Press Club. Doors at 6:30; music at 7:30. Seven reporter bands. Ooof.
MANLEY SAYS PEACE TO PRESS CORPS - Harry Reid's longtime spokesman Jim Manley, who announced late last year that he would be leaving the majority leader's office, was the guest of honor at a farewell party in the Senate daily press gallery this afternoon. In his remarks to reporters, Manley recalled his late father, who always sign off emails with "peace," but was forced to employ the two-finger hand gesture when his deteriorating health prevented him from speaking. In classic Manley fashion, he bid the crowd "peace" and urged it to start drinking.
A photo of Jim saying goodbye.
Final words to HuffPost Hill: "Get a job yet?...Oh, you're the other guy!"
Paul Kane helped carry Manley's effects out of the Capitol. Atop several framed photos of him with Reid were two copies of the 2001 Senate schedule, a copy of The Fiscal Times and "Roses by the Road," an Orrin Hatch album featuring his tribute to Ted Kennedy.
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HUFFPOST HICCUP: Yesterday's edition referred to Jeb Hensarling as RSC chair. He was RSC chair, like, five years ago. A lot has happened since then. He now heads the conference. HuffPost Hill promises to start paying better attention.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Email from a man who said he'd been unemployed 11 months: "I've applied anywhere and everywhere but employers have the luxury of being very selective of who they hire," he wrote. "Why hire a [white-collar] worker for your factory floor when you can choose someone else or just make the people already under your employ work twice as long? My self-worth is gone. The business world has been telling me they hate me. Who am I to argue with them?"
DOUBLE DOWNER - Union membership declined to 11.9 percent in 2010 from 12.3 percent the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Union membership stood at 20.1 percent in 1983. There was a middle class then. It's disappearing now. Just saying. [BLS]
The economy has been ruined since way before the recession and everything is terrible for the foreseeable future. [National Journal]
PRESIDENT OBAMA NAMES GE'S IMMELT TO HEAD JOBS PANEL - Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, has been tapped by President Obama to lead the forthcoming reconfiguration of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, currently headed by Paul Volcker, who is stepping down. Believe it or not, labor has some issues with this. "I think the challenge with Immelt, and I'm just wondering about the politics of this too, because you have the industrial heartland which is still a battleground, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin. They have all been devastated by manufacturing job loss, and in Jeff Immelt you have a CEO who has supported all of the policies that have led to that devastation," Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said. [Primetime Sam Stein]
Brian Beutler haz a sad :-(
PAUL RYAN TO DELIVER STATE OF THE UNION REBUTTAL - Budget Committee Chair and 1950s Soda Fountain Clerk Paul Ryan will give the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday. "We're broke, and decisive action is needed to help our economy get back to creating jobs and end the spending binge in Washington that threatens our children's future. I'm pleased that Paul will be outlining a common-sense vision for moving our country forward," Speaker Boehner said in a joint statement with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Minus Bobby Jindal's disastrous
nationally televised show-and-tell presentation response to President Obama's joint address to Congress after taking office, Republican responders have historically been verified up-and-comers or established party leaders. [HuffPost]
MICHELE BACHMANN PLANS TEA PARTY SOTU RESPONSE - The Tea Party Express announced that Michele Bachmann -- fresh off having her name misspelled in The New Yorker (standards-slipping!!!) -- will deliver a pre-taped response to the State of the Union address intended to outline the Tea Party movement's opposition to President Obama's agenda. "She will be doing it," a Bachmann spokesman confirmed to Sam Stein. "We don't know all the details. But it is something that the Tea Party Express will record." Ten points for demonstrating that its media relation strategy doesn't just consist of all-caps comment board posts, incoherent cable news hits, irate e-mails to HuffPost Hill in which "lap dog" is spelled with an ampersand and their other aggressively alternative forms of communication. Bravo, you're growing up. [HuffPost]
MURKOWSKI: HEALTH CARE REPEAL A WASTE OF TIME - Continuing to behave the way we do when we're alone in a subway car, Lisa Murkowski is
pounding her chest, screaming at the top of her lungs, saying all the things she's too afraid to tell her mother, somersaulting until she vomits and generally doing whatever she wants. "I don't believe there are votes sufficient in the Senate to repeal healthcare reform," she said in an interview with KTVA-TV. "And if there were, you're still dealing with a president whose signature domestic legislative accomplishment was the healthcare. So he's not going to allow for the repeal...The real question is, how much time do we as a Congress spend on this messaging?" [The Hill]
Somewhere on the cultural taste continuum, falling roughly between Joe Camel and pancaked-wrapped sausages, lies "Steampunk Palin."
HOW MUCH DO PEOPLE REALLY WANT HEALTH CARE REFORM REPEALED? - Sing it slow and sing it pretty, Greg Sargent: "The internals of today's New York Times/CBS poll dramatize this in perhaps the clearest terms yet. The poll first asked people a straight-up question -- should we do away with the law completely, or let it stand -- and found that 40 percent favor repeal, versus 48 percent who want to leave it as is. That near-split mirrors virtually all other polls that asked the question this way -- they all find solid support for repeal. But here's where it gets interesting. The NYT/CBS poll then asked the pro-repeal camp whether they want to 'repeal all of the health care law, or only certain parts of it.' Suddenly the number who favor full repeal drops to 20 percent -- one-fifth -- while 18 percent peel off and say they want to repeal 'certain parts.'" [WaPo]
@mikememoli: WV's acting gov has set 10/4/11 as date for a special election to finish final year of Manchin's term. Now 4 gov races in '11
GIFFORDS TRANSFERRED TO REHABILITATION FACILITY - After every deity in existence apparently joined that nine-year-old boy and pooled their resources so that Gabrielle Giffords would recover from a wound that no one typically comes back from, the congresswoman was carefully transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Houston today. Wow.
GUY WHO LOST TO GABRIELLE GIFFORDS FINDS HIMSELF IN AN AWWWWWWKWARD SPOT - Even as Gabrielle Giffords makes a near 180-degree recovery typically reserved for wayward carpenters from Nazareth and techno-prophets simply trying to do right by Morpheus, the guy who made a play for her seat last year is still out there, trying to keep a very low profile while planning another congressional campaign. Jesse Kelly, who lost to Giffords in November, was criticized during the campaign for holding a "Shoot a Fully Automatic M16" event so folks could "Remove Gabrielle Giffords." That, of course, was before Giffords won the endorsement of her district's voters and, later, God. The Arizona Republic is reporting that "Attorney Lee Miller, who serves as legal counsel for the Arizona Republican Party, told our reporter Kelly's campaign contacted him earlier this week to find out how the seat would be filled if Giffords couldn't serve.... Likewise, Dem sources say a handful of people in the minority party began looking at their options in the immediate wake of the shooting...." Except now a Kelly campaign spokesperson says everything is on hold. "Everything's been cancelled. Everything's on hold. We just don't want to discuss politics at a time like this," John Ellinwood, a campaign representative said. [Arizona Republic, via Politico]
George Allen will announce soon that he will run for his old Virginia Senate seat, WaPo reports
GIULIANI 'ABSOLUTELY' CONSIDERING 2012 WHITE HOUSE BID - "I will take a look at 2012. It's really a question of, can I play a useful role? Would I have a chance of getting the nomination? Those are things that I'll have to evaluate as the year goes along," America's foremost anti-squeegee crusader said on CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" today. Of course, with Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and others actually making moves to set up a campaign operation, Giuliani might just be stoking the fire a bit. [HuffPost]
@piersmorgan: BREAKING NEWS: Rudy Giuliani says he's 'more likely' to run for Presidency if Sarah Palin does....Giuliani slams Palin for using phrase 'blood libel' about website crosshair furor: mf..."I mean it's a bad word to use, a bad connotation, going back to the whole history of anti-Semitism. This wasn't at that level."...Full Giuliani i/v incl remarkably candid and moving account of events on 9/11 to be aired on @PiersTonight on CNN, Monday night 9pm ET
14 PEOPLE SERIOUSLY MULLING RUN FOR KENT CONRAD'S SEAT - So, you know, pretty much everyone in North Dakota. Hotline On Call has a brief outline of who is considering making a play for the remaining person's vote: "The list of potential Republicans is extensive, but already some tiers are forming. At the top of the GOP wish list are Gov. Jack Dalrymple, former Gov. Ed Schafer newly elected Rep. Rick Berg...After those three, the list gets long very quickly. Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk has already jumped into the race and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is also eyeing it. So is Public Commissioners Chair Tony Clark, Tax Commissioner Cory Fong and state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, who told Hotline On Call: 'I definitely have not ruled it out.'... Former Attorney General and 2000 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heidi Heitkamp is considered a top potential candidate for Democrats, and her brother, Joel Heitkamp -- a former state senator who has a talk show -- has also been mentioned. Former state Sen. Tracy Potter, who ran and lost to Hoeven last year, could also run again. USDA Rural Development Director Jasper Schneider is another name people are talking about, as is state Sen. Mac Schneider and U.S Attorney Tim Purdon." [National Journal]
When will Huckabee make an announcement? "Probably in the summer."
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - And because you haven't gotten your fill of people intensely playing "Smooth Criminal" on cellos today.
YOUR PRESIDENT IS ASKING YOU TO SERVE: OBAMA RETWEETS EMPANADA TRUCK - This happened today: @BarackObama: RT @DCEmpanadas: Cap South we are on D at New Jersey open at 12 noon! What a great country this is. [FamousDC]
JIM MANLEY'S WEATHER REPORT - What's the weather looking like tonight, Jim Manley? "I have no idea." Thanks, Jim!
- Move over, Tatooine, Earth might get two suns for a brief period. Seriously. [http://huff.to/i3brYm]
- Lady eats couch cushions. She's consumed over 200 pounds worth in her lifetime. For what it's worth, free range couch cushions are more flavorful and sustainable. [http://bit.ly/fszp04]
- This guy paints self-portraits after doing various legal and illegal drugs. Thanks, Internet? [http://bit.ly/eApzXg]
- Why didn't any of you tell us about this Hall & Oats/Keyboard Cat mashup sooner? C'mon, people! [http://bit.ly/FMsYS]
- The greatest prosthetic hands in film, an artistic retrospective. [http://bit.ly/dPZge9]
- Infographics are kind of the Pogs of the 21st century. This one depicts the effects of obesity on America. [http://bit.ly/gLXtad]
- Once a year fisherman are allowed to fish in this lake in Mali. Really, they bum rush the lake. [http://bit.ly/hBO46I]
@pourmecoffee: Michelle Bachmann has announced she will be doing her own State of the Union response. No word yet from Snooki.
@jordanfabian: The gentleman is correct in sitting!! MT @politico: King, Weiner will sit together at the State of the Union:
@JakeSherman: Biden: Steny, you're not much but I love you
Meet The Press: Eric Cantor, James Clyburn, Karen Hughes, John Podesta.
This Week: Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Face The Nation: John McCain and Chuck Schumer.
State Of The Union: Colin Powell.
Fox News Sunday: Mitch McConnell,Dick Durbin.
8:00 pm: Indie rock legends Yo La Tengo perform in D.C. Not only are they one of HuffPost Hill's favorite bands, but they also wrote one of HuffPost Hill's favorite workout songs [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
All Weekend: Here's your chance to shoot ducks out of the sky without having to go to your local bar and shell out a dollar or excavating that eight-bit Nintendo and add-on shotgun controller from your basement. Mike Ross hosts a weekend duck hunt getaway [Wildlife Farms, 178 Wildlife Farms Ln, Casscoe, Arkansas].
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