HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Reshuffling Voter Database
Frustrated by the GOP's continued radio science on the budget, Democrats fought back by vowing to cut $20 billion from their own proposal. Haley Barbour is against slavery. And HuffPost Hill didn't make TIME's list of the best Twitter accounts. Guess all our TIME-ish tweets about "the mysteries of sleep" and "Angelina's latest challenge" were for naught. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, March 28th, 2011:
GOP OPERATIVES VYING FOR RNC VOTER FILES - From Stuart Rothenberg, running tonight in Roll Call: "Multiple Republican sources say that a number of prominent GOP strategists and operatives are trying to convince the RNC's leadership to end the party's monopoly of the list, which has been built at the cost of many millions of dollars over many years by state Republican parties and by the national committee. The GOP strategists want to create an arrangement whereby a new, non-party group could have access to the list in exchange for improving it. Among those Republicans said to be pushing for the move are former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan, former White House Political Director Karl Rove and Barry Jackson, a top aide to Speaker John Boehner (Ohio)."
Also in Roll Call tonight, from Jennifer Yachnin, a look at the $15,000 -- yes $15,000 -- in outstanding parking tickets owed by members of Congress.
Tomorrow 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: How much does Rep. Terri Sewell just not give a damn? Her fundraiser tomorrow is in the office of the insurance lobby. Not at a restaurant. Not at the Democratic Club. Not at Tortilla Coast. Not even at the Tune Inn. Come by for a "meet and greet" at AHIP's offices and bring a big check. [AHIP's office, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 500].
DEMS OFFER $20 BILLION MORE IN BUDGET CUTS TO AVOID SHUTDOWN - At this point, if the entire Republican congressional delegation went on vacation for the next week, we're guessing they'd come back to find the Democrats offering to de-fund Massachusetts. Erik Wasson is reporting that the White House, working with congressional leaders, is preparing another $20 billion in cuts in addition to the $10 billion already passed in the last two continuing resolutions. White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is orchestrating the effort and is apparently working with lawmakers to figure out which programs to cut. Complained Harry Reid in a statement from this weekend: "I am extremely disappointed that after weeks of productive negotiations with Speaker Boehner, Tea Party Republicans are scrapping all the progress we have made and threatening to shut down the government if they do not get all of their extreme demands." [The Hill]
A vacationing Sam Stein on the state of the negotiations: "BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The spirit of the discussions has grown so foul that no formal talks have occurred in nearly a week and what once seemed like a possible path for compromise has been replaced with a growing wariness that a government shutdown may, in fact, take place...According to multiple Democratic sources, 'quietly productive' talks over a continuing resolution to keep the government funding through the end of September were progressing as recently as last Tuesday. Weeks prior, the Senate held two ceremonial votes, one on the Republicans' preferred package - HR1 - which contains roughly $60 billion in cuts compared to the current spending levels, the other on the Democrat's preferred approach, which keeps spending levels at their current pace. Both failed." [HuffPost]
As President Obama prepares to deliver his national address on Libya tonight, a poll from Pew finds that Americans support the mission 47 percent to 36 percent but by a 50 percent to 39 percent margin, respondents don't believe there is a clear mission -- apparently not a prerequisite for Americans to support bombing stuff. [HuffPost's Emily Swanson]
How did Michelle Rhee's signature school boost scores in DC? Erasing wrong answers and bubbling in right ones. If Michelle Rhee actually cared about judging people by performance, she would have left the stage long ago. [USA Today]
Politics and Prose, the D.C. bookstore that has served Washingtonians for decades, will soon have new owners. Former Washington Post reporters Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine will purchase the iconic store, according to its current proprietors, Barbara Meade and David Cohen. [WaPo]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Gov. Rick Snyder signed controversial legislation on Monday making Michigan the first state in the country to reduce unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Starting in January, laid-off Michiganders will be eligible for 20 weeks of jobless aid, instead of the standard 26 weeks. Congressional Democrats from Michigan pleaded with Snyder to veto the bill, warning there is "absolutely no guarantee" federal extended benefits will be reauthorized for next year. That means laid-off Michiganders could be left with just 20 weeks of benefits, a steep drop from the 99 currently available. [HuffPost]
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INDIANA DEMOCRATS RETURN FROM EXILE, WIN CONCESSIONS - After spending a month camped-out in Illinois, state House Democrats have returned homed after receiving word that Republicans will scale back right-to-work and school voucher initiatives. "The principled stand by House Democrats forced concessions by the House Republicans that reflected the concerns expressed by so many people who came to the Statehouse in recent weeks," House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer said in a statement obtained by TPM. [TPM]
The ACLU of Florida has filed a challenge to Florida Governor Rick Scott's mandate that all government employees be drug tested.
WHAT THE %@$ IS DICK DURBIN'S JOB, ANYWAY? - With Chuck Schumer's appointment as the de facto COO of Senate Democrats, some are starting to view Majority Whip Dick Durbin as the Senate's Rudy: a great guy with real heart but no discernible role. Notes David Drucker: "Durbin might not be tasked with developing the Democratic message -- although he does have a hand in that effort. But many of his fellow Democratic Senators said there is no one better at carrying it, either on the floor, where the Majority Whip is a ubiquitous presence, or in public. In the 14 weeks since Thanksgiving, Durbin has appeared on a Sunday morning news show 10 times, including a handful of guest spots on "Fox News Sunday." Additionally, he used the Presidents Day recess period to travel Illinois and test market a counter message to the House Republican budget plan for the remainder of fiscal 2011 that would have cut $61 billion if fully implemented. Durbin pushed that message in Republican House districts." [Roll Call]
Dick Durbin's back seat ride may end up looking like a smart play if Democrats lose the Senate in 2012, dealing Schumer's leadership ambitions a fatal blow.
Senate Democrats today held a "Tell Republicans to Back off Social Security" event (catchy?) at the Capitol. During his remarks at the event -- which was hosted by Harry Reid -- Tom Harkin got feisty (as reported by Elise Foley). "I'll give you one suggestion, one modest suggestion. Why is it that someone who makes $50,000 a year pays on every last dollar they make to pay into Social Security, someone who makes $500,000 a year only pays in on 20 cents on every dollar? Raise the cap." Awkwardly condense some of those words and you've got yourself quite the tweet, senator.
From the Congressional Research Service: "If all earnings were subject to the payroll tax, but the base was retained for benefit calculations, the Social Security Trust Funds would remain solvent for the next 75 years."
Robert Gibbs is in talks with Facebook to join the social networking giant, reports Andrew Ross Sorkin. Gibbs would theoretically join the company as a communications executive. The talks are in the preliminary stages and sources indicate they could easily fall apart. P.J. Crowley, meanwhile, is finalizing his cover letter to Friendster. [NYT]
HALEY BARBOUR OPPOSES SLAVERY, HAPPY THE WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION ENDED THE WAY IT DID - Mississippi Governor and supposedly recovering Good Ol' Boy Haley Barbour made clear this weekend that he strongly opposes the enslavement of other human beings and is happy the side in favor of said enslavement lost the Civil War. "Slavery was the primary, central cause of secession," Barbour said to Robert McElvaine. "The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery," he added. "Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it's regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did." Somewhere, at some point, an aide to Barbour had to type up a memo entitled "Charting A Q2 Anti-Slavery Platform" and somewhere, shortly after that point, an aide to Barbour got blackout drunk. [Politico]
TEN COMMANDMENTS JUDGE ENTERING 2012 RACE - Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court justice who was forced out of office in 2003 after he placed a giant statute of the Ten Commandments on the Supreme Court grounds, wants to be president. The former judge is preparing to launch a presidential exploratory committee and will heavily campaign in Iowa. As the Journal's Neil King Jr. observes, "Judge Moore could bring the field to six, causing some analysts here to predict that the social conservative bloc could be splintered, opening the way for a more middle-of-the-road GOP contender, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich." Just wondering: If you were to ask the announced and prospective Republican candidates how old the Earth is (in years) and add up the responses, would you get a number larger than the world's population? A shout out to whoever has the answer. [WSJ]
A Pew survey finds that evangelical voters are still wary about supporting Mitt Romney, who is doomed to eternal damnation. "Pew finds Huckabee and Romney leading the field among Republicans nationwide, each with around one-fifth of Republicans naming them as their top choice. But there is a religious split among GOP voters, with 29 percent of white evangelicals favoring Huckabee and only 15 percent picking Romney." [Christianity Today, via Politico]
Tim Pawlenty has hired a finance team. Brian Haley will serve as national finance director and Katie McBreen will be his deputy. Ann Herberger, formerly with Team Romney, will be a senior finance consultant. It is unclear who will budget the pyrotechnics for his next campaign web video. [National Journal]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog discovers that jumping can greatly improve its ability to hassle the neighbors. [http://bit.ly/fG6Iuc]
@elise_foley: Emily Ruiz, the 4-year-old citizen who immigration officials sent to Guatemala (http://huff.to/gtzMgF), is coming back to the U.S. tomorrow.
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is challenging the Census Bureau's finding that Gotham grew a paltry 2.1 percent in the last decade. In particular, the mayor is especially incredulous over findings that Brooklyn's population only grew 1.6 percent in that period while Queens added a meager .1 percent, or 1,300 residents. "Everything we know about these neighborhoods tells a different story," he said. "They are vibrant, vital communities. People who have tried to find apartments in these neighborhoods can confirm there just isn't an abundance of vacancies." To be fair, Mayor Mike, most of the new residents in those areas are hipsters, and they aren't technically people. [CNN]
The New York Times paywall is live today. Now you'll have to fork over a few bucks a month for the latest Brian Beutler-George Plimpton analogies. That is if you've already wasted your free clicks on the in-depth looks at sexting.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Although we've been unfortunate to have cold air moving in recently, sun breaks have warmed up the area a bit. It'll still be cold at night, but in the late afternoon, it should be a bit pleasant. Tomorrow: Highs in the 50s (back to the 50s, baby!) with sunny skies. Thanks, JB!
- A compilation of old-school video game deaths. An 8-bit journey into the great beyond. [http://bit.ly/icT5gt]
- Horse does a weird thing with its mouth. Aren't you glad you subscribe to HuffPost Hill? [http://bit.ly/eH1UNF]
- Evidence suggests that the oldest human settlers in North America might have lived in Texas. The discovery of stone tools (and stone Ford F-150 pickup trucks) indicate advanced settlements.[http://bit.ly/gvOy2K]
- Air New Zealand's in-flight safety video features a cameo from Richard Simmons. [http://bit.ly/gJ9x1g]
- Beautiful photograph and article on trees in Pakistan cocooned in spiderwebs or, as arachnophobics call it, the seventh circle of Hell. [http://bit.ly/fiNbmb]
- A trailer for the fictional "Angry Birds: The Movie." [http://bit.ly/gJTUsg]
- Guy ground juggles on a over-sized piano. This is impressive. [http://bit.ly/ieP2Lt]
- Little dog struggles to get up a step. Yes, you could be reading Harper's right now but you're watching "Little dog struggles to get up a step." [http://bit.ly/gDKutL]
@delrayser: Only 15 mins 'til NYT paywall goes up. Not much time left to make sure your hard drive's archive of MoDo columns is current.
@FakeJimVandeHei: TOMORROW ON POLITICO: "Locked In The Closet -- How Biden's press snafu is symbolic of the administration's struggle on gay rights"
@TheOnion: NYTimes.com's Plan To Charge People Money For Consuming Goods, Services Called Bold Business Move
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Cut Copy play the 9:30 Club. Holy Ghost! opens. HuffPost Hill got its Craigslist tickets and is very excited [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
8:30 am - 9:30 am: Sen. Roy Blunt needs sustenance as much as the next guy. He just likes his breakfast eggs over easy and with $1,000 donations to his campaign [The Monocle Restaurant, 107 D Street NE].
8:30 am - 9:30 am: John Lewis likes his eggs just as much, but wants $500 more than Roy. [Hotel George, 15 E Street NW].
8:30 am - 9:30 am: Ben Ray Lujan wants $1,000 for a "breakfast discussion" at Tortilla Coast. There oughta be a law. [Tortilla Coast, 400 First Street SE].
8:30 am - 9:30 am: Paul Tonko'll share breakfast with you for a lot of money. [Art & Soul, 415 New Jersey Avenue NW].
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: How much does Rep. Terri Sewell just not give a damn? Her fundraiser tomorrow is in the office of the insurance lobby. Not at a restaurant. Not at the Democratic Club. Not at Tortilla Coast. Not even at the Tune Inn. Come by for a "meet and greet" at AHIP's offices and bring a big check. [AHIP's office, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 500].
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: What had been a breakfast at Johnny's Half Shell was upgraded (?) to a DCCC Labor Council Lunch at The Palm. with Steve Israel, John Lewis, George Miller and Betty Sutton
12:00 pm - 1:30pm: What had been a Blue Dog Democrat and terrible quarterback Heath Shuler passes the hat at a D.C. fundraiser. He'll be joined by Reps. Dan Boren, Mike Ross and Jim Matheson. Good thing, this is a guy who literally got ONES of votes for minority leader. Gotta kiss the ring. [Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) Townhouse, 330 Maryland Ave NE].
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Sometimes, being a congressman means having to hold your nose. Steve Israel attends a ... *gulp* ... Long Island Wine Tasting. We hear the Hempstead Sauvignon has undertones of chocolate, lemon and hairspray [Credit Union House, 403 C Street NE].
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