HUFFPOST HILL - Eric Cantor Hates Future Olds
Marco Rubio refuses to take sides on a major issue, indicating he might eventually want to run for president as a Democrat. A bunch of hipsters were disappointed by the cultural offerings of Northwest D.C. Eric Cantor hates death panels but doesn't care if young people are choked to death by the invisible hand of the market. And we have the true story of 435 strangers, picked to live in a House, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being POLITE and start getting REAL (In Rep. Sean Duffy's case, he complains about his six-figure salary). This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, March 29th, 2011:
ERIC CANTOR: SORRY FUTURE OLD PEOPLE, YOU'RE TOAST - The House majority leader thinks it's important we let our current crop of seniors ride out their sunset years knowing the Social Security safety net will be intact. Nuts for the rest of us. "So we've got to protect today's seniors," Cantor told an audience at, appropriately, the Hoover Institution. "But for the rest of us? For -- you know, listen. We're going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be." [NPR]
Actually, we already know what that America would look like. [The Poorhouse]
Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring says that Cantor intends to save the village. "His point is that the status quo for these programs ensures their collapse," said Dayspring. "We must strengthen these entitlement programs to guarantee their existence for future generations, while ensuring that the benefits promised to those 55 and older are guaranteed."
$300 MILLION FOR A HANDFUL OF KIDS? - Speaker Boehner is pushing hard to bring vouchers back to the District of Columbia and the bill is in the Rules Committee tonight. The CBO estimates it'd cost $300 million over the next five years. That funding will benefit only a few thousand kids, if that, over that time period (1,700 were enrolled in 2008). Michael Steel, spokesman for Boehner, sounding like the pinko commie we've always suspected he is: "The Democrats who run Washington are going to need more than bogus math if they want to defend the indefensible - denying the neediest kids in our nation's capital a chance at a quality education and a better life."
And then there's this: "According to the Catholic Standard, 879 of the 1,700 D.C. students enrolled in the voucher program in 2008 went to Catholic schools. The U.S. Department of Education reported that 80 percent of the voucher students attended religious schools in 2009, including Muhammad University of Islam. [Washington Examiner]
The White House came out against the Boehner bill, HR 471, this afternoon.
BANKS SAVED $20 BILLION DOING A BAD JOB FOR HOMEOWNERS - A timely scoop from Shahien Nasiripour: "The nation's five largest mortgage firms have saved more than $20 billion since the housing crisis began in 2007 by taking shortcuts in processing troubled borrowers' home loans, according to a confidential presentation prepared for state attorneys general by the nascent consumer bureau inside the Treasury Department." [HuffPost]
OBAMA REELECTION ANNOUNCEMENT IMMINENT - Marc Ambinder is reporting that in less than three weeks, President Obama will officially kick off what will likely be the most deflated follow-up to a major cultural phenomenon since CBS tried to turn My Big Fat Greek Wedding into a TV show. With the economy still suffering from the crash, the military involved in a third conflict in the Muslim world and the U.S. STILL not transformed into a post-racial utopia where petty political grievances are put aside for the good of the country, the committee to reelect will try desperately to recreate the magic of the 2008 campaign. This will likely involve a bland single from will.i.am and a significant amount of Vimeo web videos featuring excited college students. Ambinder reports that the president's team is keeping the exact launch date a secret so they can inform supporters first via text message and email. Yes We Can!....Vigorously Defend The Affordable Care Act, Which Might Not Include A Public Optioin But Look Kids We Had To Ditch That To Get The Hospitals To Sign Off On A Deal Like The Drugmakers Did, Okay? [Atlantic]
Boy oh boy, all those lawmakers who spent the last campaign bashing Washington sure aren't in a hurry to leave town. Former Rep. Bart Gordon is heading to K Street. He has taken a job at K&L Gates, where he will handle a portfolio of technology, renewable energy and nuclear energy. Lots of billable hours on that last one!!!
Running tomorrow morning at ThinkProgress: "ThinkProgress has undertaken an investigation and uncovered official actions taken by Rep. Issa that potentially directly benefit his personal business empire."
HOUSE DEMS MULLING ALTERNATE BUDGET PROPOSAL - Running tonight in Roll Call from Anna Palmer: "While most of Capitol Hill is focused on the partisan showdown over federal spending, House Democrats are embroiled in a separate battle: whether to produce an alternative to the GOP budget. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has been holding talks for the last six weeks about the party's budget priorities, and the Maryland Democrat said Tuesday that it is important for his Caucus to have a unified message against a forthcoming Republican budget. However, Democrats have yet to coalesce around a plan of their own."
QUARTER-ENDING FUNDRAISING BLITZ - With three days before the end of the quarter, Capitol Hill's row houses are jammed with dialing members, but a few are taking time out of their phone-fundraising schedule to raise money in person. Today, Democrats held at least three breakfasts, four lunches and 12 evening receptions. Tomorrow will see at least eight breakfasts, four lunches and 23 receptions, with tons more Thursday. That's just House Democrats and those are only the ones we know about. Attention K Streeters: We want advance word on every fundraiser in town. So send us your lists of events. It's the least you can do. More details in On Tap below.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The House is all set to vote this evening on a bill to terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program, the Obama administration's signature anti-foreclosure effort. Doing away with HAMP would save a whopping $1.4 billion, according to CBO, money Republicans did not suggest investing in a more effective anti-foreclosure program. The bill generated the spectacle of Republicans reading their constituents' HAMP horror stories on the House floor as Democrats struggled to defend a program that's fallen far short of expectations. More homeowners have been kicked out of HAMP than have received permanent modifications. "The intent was to help homeowners, but two years after the fact we're left with the cold hard fact that this program has hurt more people than it's helped," said bill sponsor Patrick McHenry, who also called HAMP an "epic failure." :(
Jamie Tarabay is joining National Journal as managing editor for national security. She was most recently at NPR where she worked as both a domestic and foreign correspondent. She's replacing Rick Sia, which NJ didn't mention in its press release, which is partly how they make it look like they're getting so colossal.
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
VICE PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL MARCO RUBIO WON'T ENDORSE A 2012 PRIMARY CANDIDATE - The Florida senator told reporters in the Capitol today that he will not endorse a Republican presidential candidate until the rest of his party settles on one. Naturally, this inability to take a stand or exhibit leadership skills has reporters buzzing that he might one day take a stand and lead the country. "I'm going to stay neutral," Rubio said. Of course having the youthful and vibrant (and not to mention Hispanic) Rubio on the ticket would spare any number of leading Republican contenders from having to lose weight, get botox, or learn how to properly pronounce words for a Spanish-language ad intended to downplay their desire to send undocumented immigrants back to where they came from. [Politico]
(Shhhhhhhhh. Don't tell national Republicans, but running a Cuban-American is actually not gonna automatically win them the rest of the Latino vote. There's kind of a history there. Don't worry about it, fellas.)
In his first national television interview since becoming a senator, Rubio told ABC News that he has no intention of running for president. "I am not running for president in 2012," Rubio told Jonathan Karl. Rubio added that running for the White House would interfere with his ability to be a senator. "How I can be a full-time U.S. senator if my eye's already on something else?" Rubio said. Now, when candidate Romney or whoever asks Rubio to be his running mate, Rubio gets to pull out the time-tested "asked to serve" line. [ABC News]
Michele Bachmann's former chief-of-staff on why he's supporting Tim Pawlenty: "I don't want to have an emotionally filled endeavor only to get 35 percent [of the vote] in November ."
Tim Pawlenty is sorry (again) for that time when he was a stool pigeon of Big Science. The former Minnesota governor, who recently announced his presidential exploratory committee, went on Laura Ingraham's radio show yesterday to atone for his past support of cap-and-trade initiatives and his efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses. "Everybody in the race, at least the big names in the race, embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another, every one of us, so there's no one who has been in executive position whose name is being bantered in a first or second-tier way who hasn't embraced it in some way," he said. [Politico]
SENATE PANEL HOLDS HEARINGS ON MUSLIM CIVIL RIGHTS...APPARENTLY - Dick Durbin's Judiciary subcommittee on civil rights and the Constitution convened a hearing today on the status of civil rights in the Muslim-American community. Of course, as American Muslims are well-treated by local and federal authorities and face no discrimination whatsoever from their fellow citizens, the hearing didn't receive as much attention as Pete King's Homeland Security Committee hearings on Muslim-American radicalization. In a surprising moment of post-"Oh-shoot-I-need-to-be-renominated" lucidity, Lindsay Graham emphasized the urgency of the the hearings. "This is a hearing that we need to have, quite frankly," he said, adding that discrimination against Muslims is a "difficult issue - what does it mean to practice religion in America?" (That'll cost him some votes) Jon Kyl, meanwhile, was kind of being a tool. The Arizona senator said he was "a bit perplexed by the focus of today's hearing," claiming that crimes against Jews and Christians outnumber those against American Muslims. "Political correctness cannot stand in the way of stopping those who would do us harm," he claimed. [WaPo]
IN EMBARRASSING SLIP-UP, CHUCK SCHUMER CAUGHT DOING HIS JOB - During a conference call this morning with reporters, Chuck Schumer, the Democrat tasked with spearheading his caucus' policy and messaging platforms, was overheard instructing his fellow caucus members on how to... well, we don't know how to say this without shocking you ... instructing them how to message about policy. After introducing his fellow presenters, Sens. Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper and Richard Blumenthal, Schumer was overheard instructing them on how to best portray the Republican agenda. "I always use the word extreme," Schumer barked/said, "That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week." Now if Schumer had been caught demanding Tom Carper retrieve him extra relish for his Schumwich, that would've been a story. [NYT]
@brianfallon: We have no problem with reporters overhearing Senator Schumer calling the House Republicans' budget extreme because that's what it is.
In an REAL embarrassing slip-up, Rep. Sean Duffy complained to participants at a town hall in his district that he is barely getting by on his $174,000-a-year salary. An attendee, who said he was a builder who took a second job as a bus driver to offset lower construction demand, asked Duffy how much members of Congress make. HE got this response: "I resigned as the Ashland County DA because I didn't want to campaign on your tax dollars and so I didn't and I resigned. I have 6 children and I've gone for roughly 7 months with 6 kids and no paycheck. It was worth it for me to do that because I believe in what I was doing. I get the Congressional salary is 174 thousand dollars. I didn't vote on that. I got there on January 5th. I came into it without a play in it...because..um if you look at the benefits I have right now, they are consistent with the proposal I think that has been made by uh the Governor. ...let's take a pay decrease..let's go across the board and all join hands together let's all take a pay decrease and I'll join with you. Absolutely." To be fair, have you seen how decked-out the Real World confessional room is? Dude is accustomed to a way of living, y'know? [WaPo]
FEDS MULLING CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR BP MANAGERS - Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to file involuntary manslaughter charges against managers at BP over their actions in the lead-up to the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and led to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. The Bloomberg headline, "BP Is Said to Face U.S. Review for Manslaughter Charges," had us hoping that the company itself would be charged, convicted, and then have its headquarters encased in bars and its executives forced to deliver shareholder presentations in one of those bullet-proof glass phone booths they have for jail visits....but this works, too.The U.S. officials, reports Justin Blum and Alison Fitzgerald, are combing through statements made by top BP officials at last year's congressional hearings on the spill to see if their testimony was inconsistent with what they actually knew. [Blooomberg]
A free-market think tank in Michigan is requesting email records of labor academics at several public universities in the Wolverine State, reports Evan McMorris-Santoro. The group, the Mackinac Center For Public Policy, wants to find out how labor faculty at those institutions are teaching and discussing the collective bargaining standoff in Wisconsin. According to the state information request, the think tank is requesting all emails that mention the phrases "Scott Walker," "Wisconsin," "Madison," or "Maddow," along with any other correspondence that deal with the showdown in Wisconsin. Try not to think of it so much as a intimidating ideological witch hunt but as a friendly "hello" to your private thoughts. [TPM]
Tom Coburn and Grover Norquist are fighting over ethanol subsidies. Norquist
is okay with them, for now. Clarification: Norquist also opposes them, but thinks their demise should create tax cuts instead of more government revenue. Elise Foley will have more at HuffPost tonight.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - No dogs were harmed in the filming of "Dogboarding." With that said, "Dogboarding" is AWESOME. [http://bit.ly/eewb2K]
Radiohead told D.C. fans that they could pick up its newspaper, The Universal Sigh today at 784 Jefferson NW, in Brightwood. The thing was, that address doesn't exist and there weren't any Radiohead papers to be had. "Fuck them for not giving us something for free!" Benjamin Freed reports some hipster yelling. [WCP]
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Okay, someone is playing with the weather machine. After a beautiful spring-esque week last week, it's gotten cold, it's gotten cloudy, and every time it gets nice, bad weather is lurking around the corner. Tonight: Temperatures fall into the mid-30s, while snow, yes snow again, will threaten us in the overnight hours. While it won't stick anywhere, it will be sad to look at. Tomorrow: Snow turns over to rain in the morning, but will stay gloomy through most of the day. Thanks, JB!
- Yoga dogs exist, and here's the photographic evidence to prove it. [http://bit.ly/eZgv5x]
- Baby does some sort of dance -- kind of a variation of "The Bernie" -- while listening to Kid Cudi. [http://bit.ly/fc1uOS]
- Begging cat is cute. And humble. [http://bit.ly/hGalUb]
- The most accurate weather forecast in history. Take note, Jeremy. [http://bit.ly/etxK4F]
- Video demonstration of a kitchen island that is raised and lowered by an iPhone app. The kitchen in the video looks like a real Pacific Northwest love shack. [http://bit.ly/gO6Uio]
- Startling video from Kuwait of a sand storm engulfing a neighborhood. [http://bit.ly/fJPqDV]
- Some recent hit songs but with the lyrics re-imagined in a much more literal way. [http://bit.ly/gneQ9D]
- This piano version of Daft Punk's "Around the World" isn't new, but it's trippy and awesome os here it is. [http://bit.ly/ee82R8]
@aburnspolitico: now that's a segue: cnn goes from in-depth interview with charlie sheen intern applicant, to situation in syria
@BronxZookeeper: Oh, like you've never lost anything.
@FakeJimVandeHei: #use #hashtags #on #every #proper #noun #we'll #get #tons #of #hits
@DCJourno: I always have hardcover books scattered haphazardly across my table, whether there's a photog in the room or not.
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].
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Cut Copy play the 9:30 Club. Holy Ghost! opens. HuffPost Hill has its Craigslist tickets and is very excited [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
10:00 am: Jared Polis attends a National Cannabis Industry Association event outlining its federal legislative munchies...er...needs [National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW].
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Steny Hoyer tries to placate Blue Dog Democrat and Terrible Quarterback Heath Shuler by attending a fundraiser luncheon for the North Carolina lawmaker [National Democratic Club, 30 Ivy Street SE].
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Joseph Crowley and Mike Doyle attend a panel hosted by Equally Blessed, a coalition of LGBT-friendly Catholics [The Gold Room, 2168 Rayburn House Office Building].
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Top Democratic lawmakers hold another fundraiser for a number of House Dems, including Gabrielle Giffords. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Jim Clyburn, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Steve Israel will be on hand [Democratic National Headquarters, 430 South Capitol Street SE].
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: We don't know if the $1,000 includes the chance to touch his friendly dad mustache, but the only way to find out is to attend George Miller's fundraiser [Phoenix Park Hotel, 520 North Capitol Street NW].
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Rep. Ted Deutch -- and we would love nothing more than if his staffers called themselves "Deutchbags" -- treats his donors the Wizards v. Heat game. It must be nice to represent a district that roots for a team that can actually win [Verizon Center, 601 F Street NW].
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm: California's own Xavier Becerra, we're guessing, has no skin in a Wizards-Heat game. He'll be there nonetheless. Lucky [Verizon Center, 601 F Street NW].
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm: So will Jim Clyburn. Lucky [Verizon Center, 601 F Street NW].
6:30 pm - 10:00pm: Annndddddd Debbie Wasserman Schultz. LUCKY [Verizon Center, 601 F Street NW].
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