POLITICS
02/25/2011 06:41 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

HUFFPOST HILL - House Republicans Rehash Budget CR

Congressional Republicans have no problem cutting off unemployment assistance to working stiffs but denying out-of-work lawyers ten large a month would be unconscionable. Kathleen Parker is leaving CNN to focus on her print work and, we hope, open for Larry King's stand-up comedy tour. Like Chinese takeout, Republican budget CRs are better after a few days. And Charlie Sheen blew our minds yesterday when he said that "The only thing I'm addicted to is winning." Sadly, not a single White House reporter asked Jay Carney today whether the White House is addicted to winning the future. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, February 25th, 2011:

Jason Linkins spoke with Donald Trump just now. Trump says he won't bring on Roger Stone as an adviser to his possible presidential campaign. There you have it

HOUSE GOP UNVEILS SHORT TERM BUDGET CR - House Republicans released the language of a two-week CR this afternoon, cutting $4 billion over that period. "We are encouraged to hear that Republicans are abandoning their demands for extreme measures like cuts to border security, cancer research and food safety inspectors and instead moving closer to Democrats' position," a spokesman for Harry Reid said in a statement. "The plan Republicans are floating today sounds like a modified version of what Democrats were talking about." Here's where it gets weird: Compare what Roll Call said Republicans would unveil with what they did unveil. Not much daylight. Yet here's what the Reid spokesman said Wednesday about essentially the same plan: "The Republicans' so-called compromise is nothing more than the same extreme package the House already handed the Senate, just with a different bow. This isn't a compromise, it's a hardening of their original position. This bill would simply be a two-week version of the reckless measure the House passed last weekend. It would impose the same spending levels in the short term as their initial proposal does in the long term, and it isn't going to fool anyone. Both proposals are non-starters in the Senate." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]

U.S. GOVERNMENT INSTITUTES LIBYA SANCTIONS, SUSPENDS EMBASSY ACTIVITIES - Muammar al-Gaddafi has been put in the geopolitical corner, so to speak. The White House announced today that the U.S. government will impose unilateral sanctions on Libya and has suspended diplomatic ties with the country and, accordingly, the embassy in Tripoli has reportedly been indefinitely shuttered. "We're also, as I mentioned, pursuing actions that will ensure that the perpetrators of violations of human rights are held accountable and there is certainly a history of those kinds of perpetrators being held accountable in the international community," Jay Carney said at his press briefing today. "And, again, we will take these substantial actions and leave other potential actions on the table and evaluate as we go." [HuffPost's Liveblog]

Wait, we didn't have sanctions against Libya already?

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - HuffPost interviewed several unionized public workers in Madison about the notion that they have it too good. They felt they had it good, but not too good. Recently retired firefighter Pete Silva said he now has a $30,000 pension after a 26-year career and is now earning an additional $55,000 per year. His total income is significantly higher than what he earned as a firefighter, but he makes no apologies, arguing that a nice pension was part of the deal he made in exchange for his decades in a dangerous job. He said he sustained two neck injuries from lifting "very, very heavy patients" and has had to replace herniated discs. "We had the promise of stable retirement," Silva said, after a career spent in what he described as frequent contact with human blood, puke and poop. "You'd be amazed how much poop is out there." [HuffPost]

ABOUT THOSE PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEOS - HuffPost Hill watched all of those James O'Keefe-inspired Planned Parenthood videos Glenn Beck likes to talk about so you don't have to -- both the full-length and edited versions. Turns out, in many cases, the edited version is a complete distortion of reality, and sometimes a reversal of it. For instance, in one edited video, a Planned Parenthood volunteer says: "Um, we don't ask anything about the boyfriend." In the spliced video, the next words out of the volunteer's mouth are: "We don't really care about who, what the age of the boyfriend is." In the unedited clip, the volunteer says she isn't concerned about the boyfriend because the decision belongs to the woman. "Um, we don't ask anything about the boyfriend. We ask about you. We ask if you're married, if you have other children, and so on and so forth." Lila Rose promoted the edited video as proof that Planned Parenthood knew that a 13-year-old child was impregnated by a 31-year-old man but continued to counsel the patient. But in the full-length video, it becomes clear that Rose, who is pretending to be pregnant, tells a volunteer that she is 13 and later tells a nurse that her boyfriend is 31. Each person has only one piece of the information, though in the edited tape it appears as though Rose is talking to the same person the entire time. Rose was in fact over 18 at the time of the video, so the nurse would have little reason to suspect statutory rape. [HuffPost]

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LATE-NIGHT ANTI-UNION VOTE REVERSES SCOTT WALKER'S POSITION - Republican Wisconsin lawmakers' decision to force a vote late last night on the budget bill containing Walker's anti-collective bargaining bill was the latest episode in a long series of Walker flip-flops on legislative late nights. As MoJo's Andy Kroll notes, Walker has previously opposed attempts to burn the midnight legislative oil but has also previously supported them. While on the campaign trail in 2010, Walker released a statement opposing the legislature's late night haggling over the budget. "I have two teenagers and I tell them that nothing good happens after midnight. That's even more true in politics," the statement read. "The people of Wisconsin deserve to know what their elected leaders are voting on." A decade earlier, while a state legislator himself, he voted to nix an 8 p.m. curfew on legislative activity and opposed an amendment that would have restored it. One more flip flop and he will have enough card stamps to get one free late night session. [MoJo]

RGA WON'T ENDORSE WALKER'S BUDGET - A strong indicator of just how politically radioactive Scott Walker's anti-collective bargaining proposal has become Republican Governors Association Chair Rick Perry is refusing to throw his organization's weight behind it. At a Politico-hosted panel this morning alongside DGA Chair Martin O'Malley, the Texas governor -- a guy who has had no problem supporting creationism, anti-sodomy laws and his state's possible secession from the union -- sidestepped the issue. "The key for us, we've got 50 laboratories of innovation out there. Frankly, for me to tell Martin how to run his state or for him to tell me how to run my state is a bit over the line," he said. [Politico]

"Early Returns will now move to a daily Rick Santorum presidential race post, rather than multiple ones through the day -- the guy puts himself in the news so much that he's causing us carpal tunnel." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

SUSPENDED ETHICS LAWYERS STILL ON HOUSE PAYROLL - File alongside "Nutritionist still numbing the pain through candy-filled shoebox hidden behind heating vent in basement." Susan Crabtree reports that the House Ethics Committee lawyers suspended after bungling their committee's case against Maxine Waters were still receiving paychecks three months later, making them, in essence, a better paid version of suspended New York City public school teachers. Morgan Kim, the chief deputy counsel for the committee, is receiving $13,997 monthly while Stacy Sovereign is still banking $12,292 from the panel in the same period. In an unrelated development, HuffPost Hill is regretting its decision not to go to law school. [TPM]

Team Jon Huntsman is denying that they are preparing the former Utah Governor for a presidential bid even as he finishes out his term as President Obama's ambassador to China. Huntsman backer and political consultant John Weaver told Roll Call that the unveiling of Huntsman's Horizon PAC is simply a "coincidence and a misunderstanding." Speculation about Huntsman's intentions was renewed this week when the PAC unveiled its new website. Aside from borrowing its design philosophy from a Danish furniture store's website, the page features a series of short messages discussing the need for fresh conservative leadership. Of course, the implication being that Huntsman is that leadership. [Roll Call]

JOE DONNELLY MULLING SENATE BID - The Indiana rep is reportedly considering taking a shot at the Senate seat currently held by Richard Lugar. Much of Donnelly's decision hangs on the results of his state's congressional redistricting resulting from last year's Census. While the likelihood of a Democrat winning an Indiana Senate seat in this political environment isn't great, if the Republican-controlled legislature gerrymander Donnelly's South Bend-centered district into Democratic oblivion, Donnelly might not have a difficult decision to make. Also being considered as a top contender for Lugar's job is former assembly speaker John Gregg. [National Journal]

"Bachmann headed to Jupiter for tea party meeting"

SCOTT BROWN TAKES A SWIPE AT NRSC - There's got to be some sort of drinking game rule for when a Republican blasts his party's campaign apparatus for his own political benefit. In his new memoir, Against All Odds, the Massachusetts senator can barely contain his frustration at the treatment he received from the National Republican Senatorial Committee during his campaign against Martha Coakley. "We had already learned that the Massachusetts special election wasn't even up on the senatorial committee's web site, so we were prepared for the meeting to be a waste," Brown writes about a meeting with Republican campaign officials. Brown was even less pleased after the meeting. "He might have saved himself two minutes if he had just said 'Don't let the door hit you on the way out,'" he wrote. [The Hill]

"The White House is set to make news and history this afternoon when it announces the new social secretary. Jeremy Bernard, currently the chief of staff to the U.S. ambassador to France, will become the third person to hold the job in the Obama administration. But he will be the first man and the first openly gay person to be the first family's and the executive mansion's chief event planner and host." [WaPo]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cat licking a lollipop...for a minute and a half.

POLL: MISSISSIPPI THE MOST CONSERVATIVE STATE, D.C. THE MOST LIBERAL STATE...OR WHATEVER D.C. IS - A Gallup survey of Americans' political beliefs finds the greatest concentration of conservatives can be found in Mississippi. Of those queried, 50.5 percent of Magnolia State residents identified themselves as "conservative," making Mississippi the only state where over half of its residents self-identified as right-leaning. Conversely, Washington, D.C. has the highest rate of liberals, with 41 percent of respondents there putting themselves in the left column. Vermont is the only state where more than 30 percent of its residents claim to be liberal. To all the bros in Georgetown and Burlington with their lobster-print pants and to that one man or woman keeping it real in Hattiesburg in their activist bookstore/community theatre, we salute you. [HuffPost]

Obligatory reminder: Comparing DC to the rest of the states makes no sense because it is all urban. Plus it has Jumbo Slice.

KATHLEEN PARKER OUT AT CNN - Parker Spitzer is no more. After only six months on the air -- most of which were spent deflecting rumors that she was leaving CNN -- Kathleen Parker is officially departing the network. "I have decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings," she said in a statement. This being CNN, the candidate most likely to replace Parker is a 42-inch flat screen TV displaying the feed of network's Twitter friends. [CNN]

HuffPost's Carley Schwartz: "Because trying to find a good dispensary can be quite taxing on medical marijuana enthusiasts these days, a retail store billing itself as "the Wal-Mart of weed" will open its doors in Sacramento tomorrow. The 10,000-square-foot weGrow outlet, advertised as a one-stop shop for legal growers seeking supplies and training, claims the honor of being the industry's first-ever national franchise. Look for outposts of the self-proclaimed 'first honest hydro store,' which started as a solo warehouse operation in Oakland last year, to sprout up in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and even New Jersey in the coming months. Oh, and the Ganja Galleria doesn't sell any actual pot--just grow supplies, classes, and an on-site doctor to help you choose your favorite strain--so only the most enterprising of stoners need apply." [SacBee]

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Hang onto your hats as the wind -- we've been seeing quite a bit of high-wind days this winter -- continues to blow dry air in. On the bright side, it won't be arctic air. Tomorrow: It will be a bit gray, but with temps in the 50s, it's really hard to complain, right? Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- Your day was going great until you read this. Because right now you're reading about a sound file that contains five seconds of every number one song ever. Say goodbye to your day. [http://bit.ly/fPsiJh]

- According to industry numbers, the top three songs played at sporting events last year were Queen's "We Will Rock You," Kevin Rudolf and Lil Wayne's "Let It Rock," and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition of "Angles We Have Heard On High." Totally kidding, it was Nickelback's "Burn It To The Ground." [http://bit.ly/g9IQNw]

- The only thing greater than an iPhone game that lets you fight off space invaders in whatever environment you're pointing your phone camera at is the ridiculous promo video for it. [http://bit.ly/ifyRXK]

- Muppets performing LCD Soundsystem on a rooftop. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, MILLENNIALS??? [http://bit.ly/gl2DIv]

- Two old farmers lightsaber duel. Wonder how they thrash wheat. [http://bit.ly/fBpkdv]

- Next time, when you find yourself lost in a quiet moment of introspection, take a moment to give thanks for the guy who started a Tumblr dedicated entirely to proving that Dr. Dre came up with the idea for Burning Man [http://bit.ly/evDoUJ]

- "The Internet Wishlist" allows participants to suggest things they'd like to see on the Internet and have those ideas posted on the site. "Hitlers That Look Like Cat" and "Stock Photos Of People Compiling Stock Photo Tumblrs" aren't included, sadly. [http://bit.ly/g03rvv]

- Behold a preview for the most ambiguously Boston-themed movie ever. [http://bit.ly/eZo3mL]

TWITTERAMA

@SuzKhimm: Army psyops now targeting TV bookers. RT @jamisonfoser: Oh, good: CNN is hosting McCain AND Lieberman!

@kdrum: BREAKING: House Republicans demand that Union Station be renamed Management Station. "Elections have consequences," says Boehner.

@delrayser: Now it can be told: Spitzer was never able to get over Parker's pet name for him, "Client Number Asinine."

@RepWeiner: Friday is the day to drop news you dont want anyone to see. So stay tuned for my promised bar mitzvah pic. #sonotworththehype ... Do I have to pay 1977 Weiner royalties to use this? http://yfrog.com/h8p971j

ON TAP

Tonight, 8:00 pm: Fred Armisen, SNL-alum and current star and lead writer of Portlandia, takes his shtick to the Black Cat. We're guessing "Put A Bird On It" has very quickly become his "Free Bird" [Black Cat, 1811 14th St NW].

Tonight-Sunday: John Barrasso is hosting a fundraising retreat that his shop is calling a "Winter Snow Fling." See, to us, that title conjures images of a romantic, snowed-in evening with Barrasso wearing beige turtlenecks, sitting on a sheepskin rug and seductively sipping brandy. What, you don't think about that? [Jackson Hole, WY].

Tonight-Sunday: Rep. Ron Kind has as a ski retreat fundraiser of his own, albeit a less romantically-themed one. Contributions benefit his Badger PAC [The Canyons, Park City, UT].

Saturday, 12:00 pm: For a paltry $1,000, you can join Rep. Patrick Meehan and watch teams of unpaid student athletes play against each other (Villanova vs. St John's, in fact) [Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA].

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