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HUFFPOST HILL - Senate GOP Forces HCR Repeal Vote

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Chuck Schumer's GTL dreams were unceremoniously squashed by Snooki. You'd be hard pressed to find a Senate Democrat who didn't fail Harry Reid this week. Hosni Mubarak said he won't run for reelection, though it's unclear just how many post-presidency Habitat for Humanity builds he'll undertake with Jimmy Carter. And millions of Americans in the middle of the country are bracing for a dangerous amount of sno--Hey! The rain is kind of icy in D.C.! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 1st, 2011:

SENATE REPUBLICANS FORCING VOTE ON HCR REPEAL - Elise Foley: "Republicans will attempt an assault on the health care law during debate over a bill to overhaul aviation laws by introducing repeal as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday. A vote on the amendment, which Democratic leaders said they plan to table immediately, is likely tomorrow. 'We're going to get rid of their efforts to repeal the health care bill, and then hopefully we can move on,' Majority Leader Harry Reid said. Democrats can make a motion to table the amendment; that motion would need only majority support to succeed, meaning the GOP's symbolic effort will fail. The FAA reauthorization bill was an early test of new Senate rule agreements designed to allow more amendments to come to the floor. After Democratic leaders introduce the first amendment to the bill, McConnell will be given the chance to introduce an amendment repealing the health care law. He has backing from his caucus: All 47 GOP senators signed on in support for repeal." [HuffPost]

David Axelrod in his exit interview with Sam Stein: "[T]he mistake we make in this town is often to sit on the back of the truck and look at what just happened and extrapolate from it and assume that the next election is going to be just like the last one...2012 is not going to be 2010. The president is going to be on the ballot. The electorate is going to be a much larger electorate. And if you look at the polling from around the country...t's very clear that in virtually all the states where we were competitive last time, we're competitive again." [HuffPost]

EGYPT: MUBARAK WON'T "RUN" AGAIN - Egypt and Hosni Mubarak have an expiration date. In an address to the nation today, the Egyptian leader announced that he will not seek reelection this year. "The Hosni Mubarak who speaks to you today is proud of his achievements over the years in serving Egypt and its people," he said. "This is my country. This is where I lived, I fought and defended its land, sovereignty and interests, and I will die on its soil." Egypt will now spend the next few months cultivating a relationship with a rebound autocrat. [HuffPost]

Mubarak's pronouncement didn't stop the unrest. Protests continue unabated, with unsatisfied demonstrators reportedly chanting "Leave! Leave!" Earlier in the day, Mohamed ElBaradei called for his resignation by Friday and the Muslim Brotherhood refuses to negotiate with Mubarak or his government. At a demonstration in Alexandria, Al Jazeera cameras captured the sound of warning shots being fired around a demonstration. Also, Fox News still hasn't exhausted the ways it can attribute all of this to America's hawkish foreign policy.

@StewSays Fourth Estaters: Just in case you were waiting around, there won't be any roll call votes this evening in the Senate.

HARVARD WELCOMES BACK LARRY SUMMERS - If Larry Summers wondered if folks had forgotten his assertion that women lacked the "availability of aptitude" when it comes to science and math, his curiosity was sated today when he returned to campus to see the women (and sensitive men) of the Kennedy school's Progressive Caucus hosting a "bake-off for girls and math." The women had hoped to find aprons, but failed. Thanks to Harvard's Rachel O'Leary for the photo. [Bake Off]

We still hate people from Harvard, btw.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From the mailbag of sadness: "I worked my ass off for years risking my life in the construction field and have nothing to show for it except letters from the IRS, letters from Macomb County Sheriff, lawyers and assorted collection agencies. When I see our Gov't completely devalue the working man and give Big Business Billions I know exactly where I stand in the order of things." Hang in there.

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE BANS EARMARKS, DEFYING REID - Harry Reid can't catch a break this week. First Richard Blumenthal shows up late to the chamber yesterday, forcing the majority leader to assume the duties of Senate president while the Connecticut Senator took his sweet time. Then Mitch McConnell used the new Senate gentlemen's agreement to tack on a HCR-repeal amendment to the FAA authorization bill. Now Appropriations Committee Chair Daniel Inouye is saying that his panel will institute a ban on legislative earmarks, a direct challenge to Reid who said that an earmark moratorium would pass over his dead body. "[T]he handwriting is clearly on the wall," Inouye wrote in a statement. "The President has stated unequivocally that he will veto any legislation containing earmarks, and the House will not pass any bills that contain them. Given the reality before us, it makes no sense to accept earmark requests that have no chance of being enacted into law." Oops.

Um, how are K Street shops that specialize in securing congressional earmarks going to spin this to their clients? "Become really angry baristas at caribou coffee," e-mails our Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist. Thanks, PSLGOPL!

CHARLOTTE CHOSEN AS 2012 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION SITE - The Democratic National Committee today announced that Charlotte, North Carolina will host the 2012 convention. Michelle Obama made the announcement in an e-mail to DNC members: "I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news," she wrote. "Charlotte, North Carolina will host the 46th Democratic National Convention in 2012." The city beat out finalists St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Cleveland. It also beat out our pipe dream that the convention would be integrated with the Bonnaroo music festival. [WSJ]

As if losing the Hornets weren't bad enough, Jason Linkins notes that Charlotte has been hit hard by the housing crisis.

And it's as labor-hostile a town as you can find.

DENNY REHBERG ANNOUNCES BID FOR TESTER'S SENATE SEAT - The Republican at-large representative will make his announcement this Saturday, Roll Call first reported. "It's happening Saturday," a Montana GOP insider told the publication. "He's running. There is a lot of support and enthusiasm back home, and Denny knows he can win." Steve Daines, a businessman who announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination, will reportedly run for Rehberg's seat, instead. A January 5th Opinion Diagnostics survey has Rehberg, who has been in the House since 2001, leading Jon Tester 49 percent to 43 percent. An internal HuffPost poll has Tester's meat-and-potatoes buzz cut leading Rehberg's circa-1982 Billings car dealer mustache seven to five. [Roll Call]

Norm Coleman will not challenge Amy Klobuchar in 2012, the former senator tells ABC News.

ETHICS COMMITTEE PUSHING FORWARD WITH ENSIGN PROBE - The Senate Ethics Committee has hired Carol Elder Bruce, a prominent D.C. trial lawyer, to lead the investigation of Ensign's behavior during and after his affair with a staff member's wife. Although the news does not bode well for Nevada's junior senator, Ensign has already been cleared of wrongdoing by both the FEC and the Justice Department (the former dismissed a complaint and the latter said it would not pursue criminal charges). In a release, the committee said that the "purpose of a preliminary inquiry is to determine whether there is substantial credible evidence that a violation within the committee's jurisdiction has occurred." [LA Times]

AFGHANISTAN CIVILIAN DEATHS REACH RECORD LEVEL - Amanda Terkel: "At least 2,421 civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year, a record high since the U.S. invasion in 2001. According to a report released Tuesday by the Kabul-based Afghan Rights Monitor (ARM), more than 3,270 civilians were also injured in conflict-related security incidents. That works out to roughly 6-7 noncombatants killed and 8-9 wounded in the war each day. ARM blamed armed opposition groups (AOGs) for 63 percent of the civilian deaths and U.S./NATO forces for 21 percent. The group criticized "AOGs for their deliberate killing and harassing of civilian communities and the US/NATO for their labeling of almost every war casualty as being 'suspected insurgent.'' Improvised explosive devices continue to be the most lethal weapons, killing more than 690 civilians and wounding more than 1,800 others. Approximately 237 civilians lost their lives in suicide attacks." [HuffPost]

Reporters are now allowed to use their laptops in the House press gallery during major events, Daniel Newhauser reports. After Superintendent Jerry Gallegos allowed journalists to fire up their computers during the State of the Union, gallery officials decided it isn't the end of the world if the press be allowed to use their primary word processor while observing the legislative process. Plus the handwriting of anyone born after 1980 is atrocious so transcribing his difficult. Said Gallegos: "[I]t didn't make sense for Members to be able to tweet and not be able to have reporters get the tweets." Indeed. No word yet from Hearst Newspapers on whether our lower chamber LAN party is still on. [Roll Call]

The Iowa House passed an amendment to the state constitution outlawing gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. Three Democrats joined the chamber's 59 Republicans in approving the measure. The bill now goes to the Democratic-controlled Senate where Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has said his caucus will oppose it. If it does pass the Senate, it has to be voted on again in 2013 and then placed on the ballot. [Iowa Independent]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - It's Kitty Midnight Madness at the Winnipeg Humane Society.

IMMIGRATION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR: ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS?....OR SNUFF FILM PEDDLERS?!?!?! - Suzy Khimm has dug up a 2009 op-ed by the newly-minted Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee Chair Elton Gallegly in which the California Republican links an increase in undocumented workers to the dissemination of snuff films. "[G]ang activity, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and acts of human violence all go hand in hand with animal cruelty," wrote Gallegly. In the congressman's own words, snuff films are adult videos "where small--and sometimes large--animals were crushed to death under the stiletto heels or bare feet of scantily clad women for the sexual excitement of the viewer." Although the piece has been taken down, Kihmm describes Gallegly's bizarre line of reasoning and goes on to highlight other instances of him linking tired and poor huddled masses yearning to be free with killing gerbils with Jimmy Choos. A reminder, this guy leapfrogged into the chairmanship because Steve King was deemed too insane. OK! [MoJo]

CHUCK SCHUMER GETS ICED BY SNOOKI - A curvy, self-involved and outspoken caricature of outer-borough types is in the news again. Snooki is, too. The Jersey Shore star is in the capital this week for the D.C. auto show (HuffPost Hill went this weekend: not enough concept cars). While being swarmed by fans and paparazzi after arriving at Washington National, a cameraman caught Chuck Schumer walking behind the reality show star, who was posing for photographs with fans. "There goes your senator from New York," someone in the crowd yelled (Snooki is actually a Marlboro, New York native). Schumer then stopped in his tracks and began waving at the crowd. Snooki didn't move. Upon realizing the futility of his efforts, Schumer then walked away. "Snooki, did you know your senator just passed by?" someone asked. "Oh, really?" a completely nonplussed Snooki replied. Asked by a paparazzo for his thoughts about the upcoming Italy-based Jersey Shore, said Schumer: "I'd rather they film it in New York." Snooki really is a John McCain gal, huh? [WaPo]

BRAD THE INTERN HAIKUS THE NEWS

Hope, not a sliver.
Hosni, oh Hosni! Denial
ain't just a river.

Thanks, Brad!

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - What to expect and when: The good news is that the rain/snow line should remain to the north and west, meaning that we will be getting the warmer weather -- rain -- and will be spared the onslaught pounding the midwest and New England areas. So, it will be wet, but not so slippery. However, if the storm tracks south, we can see a sleet-y mixture of ice and rain... still, it's not too likely. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- A stop-motion magazine cover. Maybe the most Vimeoiest Vimeo video ever. [http://bit.ly/gK7nbF]

- Who doesn't want a machine that ties and unties ties? [http://bit.ly/hGvT2T]

- A Brazilian cab driver does a phenomenal Michael Jackson impression. Someone incarcerate that man in a Philippine jail. [http://bit.ly/esYGTe]

- Comedian Mike Birbiglia spent a week living in a Macy's store window. Hard times, man.[http://bit.ly/hPUk0S]

- Arrested Development Clue happened. [http://bit.ly/gwjn7q]

- Tyler Perry's Madea character as the Black Swan might be the only redeemable thing Tyler Perry has ever done. [http://bit.ly/eBd5Gf]

- The New York City Subway map as a musical instrument...somehow. [http://www.mta.me/]

- As Reddit poitns out, Merriam-Webster's auto pronunciation of "Son of a bitch" is hilarious. [http://bit.ly/EUKg]

TWITTERAMA

@dcjourno: Bookers: DM me if you need a guest to talk Egypt. I've been following this stuff pretty closely for almost a week

@DukeStJournal: Huh? RT @RahmEmanuel: .@CoryBooker I'll show you who's 'shovel-ready'

@friedmajon: I'd rather let bygones be cookies.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: The always politically vulnerable John Kerry starts to refill his campaign coffers for what will no doubt be a hotly contested reelec...anyway: he's having a fundraiser [Johnny's Half Shell, 400 North Capitol Street NW].

TOMORROW

6:30 pm: Ben Cardin's LEG PAC tries to raise some dough for 2012 Dems. Also, take this time to think about Ben Cardin's leg. Yum [The Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW].

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