Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Double Entendre Causes Washington To Regress

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GOP lawmakers will take a break from hosting events with Greenpeace to consider a bill proposed by Dennis Kucinich. Jim DeMint demonstrated that there isn't a "no backsies" rule in the Republican Party. In the wake of Weinergate, Washington is starting to sound like Quentin Tarantino's "Like A Virgin" monologue from Reservoir Dogs. And if this latest photo controversy ends with the CIA showing pictures of Congressman Weiner's crotch to members of the Senate's military and intelligence committees, we quit. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 1st, 2011:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS HUDDLING ON LIBYA TOMORROW, MIGHT SUPPORT KUCINICH BILL - You read that right. The House Republican conference will meet tomorrow to discuss its Libya policy. One topic of discussion will be whether to support Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution calling for an end to U.S. involvement in that country. John Stanton: "Although GOP support for the Ohio Democrat's resolution is far from certain, an aide said the fact that it is even being discussed is a sign of how unhappy Republicans are. 'Members are really angry with the way the administration has handled this,' a GOP aide said. According to a GOP leadership aide, Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and other leaders decided to hold the special caucus meeting to discuss widespread 'frustration with the administration's failure to communicate a strategy on Libya and the proper way to move forward,' not only to the public but also to lawmakers.'" [Roll Call]

The law firm that negotiated the odious deal that privatized Chicago parking meters has now, of course, put the former mayor, Richard Daley, on its payroll. Howard Zinn wouldn't even believe this shit. [Chicago Magazine]

WEINER DISCUSSES THE MYSTERY PHALLUS - Washington is abuzz over whether Anthony Weiner photographed and/or tweeted a picture of what may be his crotch. In an interview with Luke Russert, the New York congressman tried to portray the incident as a hoax. "This was a circumstance where someone committed a prank on the Internet," he said. "I didn't send [that] picture out." Asked if he had taken the photograph, Weiner replied that he "can't say with certitude." If you think about it, that is more or less an admission that he HAS taken photographs of his crotch (think of it like this: Would you ever say "I can't say with certitude that I didn't impregnate that prostitute" or "I can't say with certitude whether I stabbed that man to death" or "I can't say with certitude whether I was the kingpin of an international drug and weapons cartel"???). Not that there's anything wrong with that. [HuffPost]

Can New York's congressional delegation go 24 hours without someone getting embroiled in an alleged sex scandal? All eyes are on you, Gary Ackerman.

Kathy Hochul was sworn into Congress today, providing New York's congressional delegation a much-needed increase in media coverage.

Yesterday was Kristie Greco's last day as Jim Clyburn's communications director. She is heading to Charlotte where she will head up the comm shop for the 2012 Democratic Convention. Kristie and her former coworkers are huddling in the assistant minority leader's Capitol offices right now to celebrate. Here's hoping her new office has a window.

ROMNEY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TOMORROW - Tomorrow, Mitt Romney will officially launch the presidential campaign that he's been running since he quit the '08 race. Howard Fineman was lucky enough to be there: "EXETER, N.H. - Locals claim the Republican Party was founded here, and of course New Hampshire is home to the first presidential primary. So it makes sense that Mitt Romney -- who does everything by the book, God bless him -- chose a farm near here for the launch of his 2012 campaign on Thursday. Given the local history (the GOP supposedly held its first meeting here in secret on October 12, 1853) it's incumbent upon Romney, or someone, to explain convincingly what his party stands for besides the word 'NO!' shouted at the rising tide of change."

Indiana broke the law in going after Planned Parenthood, Donald Berwick, CMS head and right-wing bogeyman, said today.

ISSA DEMANDS CHANCE TO EMBARRASS SELF - Oversight honcho Darrell Issa sent Elizabeth Warren an unusually obnoxious-sounding invitation to appear before his full committee, just a week after a subcommittee chairman publicly called her a liar in a hearing exchange that went viral online. The diss came after Warren repeatedly corrected factual misstatements made by Republicans on the panel. Now Issa tells Warren: "According to your publicly available calendar, your schedule looks completely free during the month of June. I stand ready and willing to work with you to accommodate your schedule and find a mutually agreeable date for you to testify. However, I expect you to remain before the committee until all members of the committee have had all of their questions answered and thus ask that you clear your schedule for the full day of the hearing." Warren told Issa she'd think about it. "She looks forward to her next appearance before the Committee," her spokeswoman Jen Howard said in a statement.

The WeSupportWarren.org campaign is up over 225,000 petitioners calling on Obama to go around Senate Republicans and just name her to the bureau she created already.

@aterkel: For LGBT history month, the White House launches its "first ever LGBT specific constituency webpage." http://1.usa.gov/jzomjG

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Twenty-five states have passed laws to keep the federal Extended Benefits program for people who've been out of work 79 weeks or longer. North Carolina is not one of them, though they are trying their very hardest. Chapel Hill resident Ali Braswell, who said she is facing eviction, doesn't get why it's been such a struggle for her state. "I at least thought I was gonna get the 99 weeks that everybody else did," Braswell, 40, told HuffPost. She said she lost her job as a payroll coordinator in July of 2009 and that the only work she's had since then was as a desk attendant in a University of North Carolina residence hall. From October to May, she worked 12 hours a week, earning $7.50 an hour. Braswell said she had a job interview on Wednesday that went well. "I have $213 to my name and my rent is due as of today," Braswell said. "I have a cutoff notice from my electric. I'm really hoping this job will come through. I really don't know what I'm going to do." [HuffPost]

INSPIRING VIDEO FOR UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE - Courtesy unemployed Las Vegas bartender Bud Meyers, an uplifting video for unemployed people. [Bud's blog]

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

OBAMA MEETS WITH HOUSE REPUBLICANS, DEBT CEILING ISSUE REMAINS UNRESOLVED - In what surely must've been one of the most unproductive meetings in history, President Obama met with the House Republican conference today in a futile attempt to resolve the ongoing debate over how to raise the nation's debt limit ("Heyyyyyyy Republicans, any chance you won't bankrupt the government?" "Nope." "Okayyyyyy."). John Boehner seemed to be no less open to compromise in his remarks after the meeting. "If we're going to raise the debt limit, the spending cuts should exceed the increase in the debt limit, otherwise it will serve to cost us jobs in our country," he said. "It's not what the American people want." [WaPo]

Things apparently got heated between Paul Ryan and the president, with the Wisconsin rep accusing Obama of engaging in "demagoguery."

A Democratic poll suggests a majority of voters are opposed to the GOP's Medicare plan. Fifty-four percent of respondents to survey conducted by Anzalone-Liszt say they oppose "transformational" reforms to the program. Fifty-eight percent of seniors and 60 percent of independents oppose such changes. An unpublished survey of the cataracts obstructing your grandmother's line-of-sight suggests they are strongly in favor of the Republican plan. [MSNBC]

OH FOR CHRISSAKE: JIM DEMINT NOW MULLING WHITE HOUSE BID - The "conservative darling heeds call to service and begrudgingly considers running for most powerful job in the world" template is getting really old. Today, it's Jim DeMint, the South Carolina lawmaker and unofficial Senate figurehead of the Tea Party movement, who is answering questions about his ambitions for higher office. DeMint has previously said he has ruled out a run but ... wouldn't ya know it. "It's humbling and out of respect, my wife and I have talked about it," DeMint told Alexander Bolton. "Out of respect for the people who have asked us to think about this, that's what we're going to do. I don't want to imply that I'm changing in mind, but I want to consider what all these folks are doing." Hey, remember Newt Gingrich? [The Hill]

Michele Bachmann's chief of staff is leaving for an "exciting new position," fueling speculation that she is staffing up for a presidential run. "I wanted to let you know that after an enormous amount of prayer I have decided to take an exciting new position with Congresswoman Bachmann," Andy Parrish wrote in an email to Bachmann's staffers. "I will be able to tell you more about what I am doing in the near future." [ABC News]

"Ready for some real summer reading? Mother Jones, msnbc.com, and ProPublica will be unveiling a searchable database containing 24,000-plus pages of [Sarah Palin's] correspondence." [MoJo]

Mike Huckabee isn't opposed to being the number-two on the Republican ticket: "I haven't closed doors because I found out long ago that that's not a smart thing to do. Then you try to figure out how to open them when they come knocking. I'm not looking for anything, I'm content with what I'm doing. That's what I plan to do." [Democrat Gazette]

CHAFFETZ WILL REPORTEDLY CHALLENGE HATCH - Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz -- whose curly hair and squeaky-clean, corn-fed appearance make him look more like one of those blue polo shirt-wearing Disneyland stage performers than a member of Congress -- has told his advisers that he plans on challenging Orrin Hatch for the Republican nomination. "I have an increasing clarity," Chaffetz told Robert Gehrke. "Until I walk up to the microphone to make an announcement, it's not official. But it's no secret I've been thinking about this and I've been gravitating in that direction." [Salt Lake Tribune]

Wisconsin Senate Dems held a money bomb today and it didn't do half bad, almost at their $60,000 goal.

GOP lawmakers in Texas released a proposed congressional map today and it couldn't be more gerrymantastic if it drove a line between you and your black housemate's bedroom. David Nir summarizes: "It's a devilish gerrymander that makes the Illinois map look like a goo-goo wet dream -- and very likely runs afoul of the VRA. I suspect the GOP knows this, but wanted to start with as extreme a 'negotiating' position as possible when this heads to court." [Kos]

In case you missed it, Chris Christie rode a helicopter to his son's baseball game. "Governor Christie landed in Bergen County in a state police helicopter late Tuesday afternoon to attend his son's baseball game against St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale. Christie arrived shortly before 4 p.m. to watch his son Andrew play baseball for Delbarton School. He was driven from the helicopter about 100 yards to the field in a black car with tinted windows." Forget grace under fire or issue fluency, nothing is more presidential than taking aggressive forms of transpiration to traverse short distances. Christie/Rubio 2012. [Patch]

HORRIBLE JOBS NEWS - The ADP payroll survey, the traditional pre-game before the government announces the latest unemployment rate on the first Friday of the month, is absolutely dreadful this week. "The ADP Employer Services report showed private employers added a scant 38,000 jobs last month....Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a gain of 175,000 jobs for May." [Reuters]

JOHN EDWARDS PROSECUTORS FOCUSING ON POSSIBLE CAMPAIGN VIOLATION - Hey, remember John Edwards? You remember him, right? Y'know, the patron saint of sociopathic, power-hungry men whose hairdos resemble an upturned teak bowl? Well he's still under investigation. CNN: "The John Edwards case as we know it may hinge on a single question: when and whether a gift to a candidate for federal office can be considered a political contribution. A source with knowledge of the behind the scenes legal maneuvering in the case of former U.S. Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards has told CNN that the government is basing its investigation of alleged campaign finance law violations on an 11 year-old advisory opinion issued by the Federal Election Commission, which asserted that a gift to a candidate for federal office would be considered a campaign contribution." [CNN]

Demigod Bono's group ONE has launched an iPhone app that allows users to contact lawmakers with a touch of a button, Ambreen Ali reports in Roll Call tomorrow.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Remember "Guilty Dog"? This dog takes culpability to a whole new level. [http://bit.ly/lNPsEV]

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight : Severe thunderstorm watch in the area, as a cold front comes through. We're going to see some potentially-dangerous thunderstorms pop up. So yes, there's a chance that you may see really bad weather, while at the same time, a chance that it'll still be really hot. Tomorrow: The front brings a bit of relief. Highs down to the sweater-inducing 80s. By the way: Happy first day of summer! Meteorologically speaking, of course. Today is also the first day of the hurricane season, and right on cue, a low pressure system, which may turn into the first tropical system, is hanging out right off the coast of Florida. Yeah, and you thought we had to worry about tornadoes. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- The 100 greatest threats in movie history, a montage. [http://bit.ly/kbNfFR]

- Stop-motion animation of Mr. Bean taking on Michael Jackson. Random, but charming. [http://bit.ly/m8kcxv]

- Balloon Boy's dad is selling the infamous boy-less balloon for $1 million. [http://bit.ly/kcRcO5]

- A five-second film explaining what planking is. [http://bit.ly/jEnTW7]

- Like the Mayan calendar, DC comics have apparently reached their end. All of the publisher's comics are restarting at edition number-one. [http://avc.lu/mzTIwW]

- Seven sites you should be wasting time on right now, courtesy of the HuffPost Comedy folks. [http://huff.to/jIkQpm]

- A soccer match between 14-year-olds was turned into a a professional spectacle. Just watch. [http://bit.ly/mn0Dqg]

- Behold the most talented merchandice bagger in history. [http://bit.ly/mN4SLr]

TWITTERAMA

@GlennThrush: Obama's car guy Ron Bloom sounding like a car dealer: "The Chevy Cruze is selling off the lot!"

@vgmac: Kurt Bardella just sent me a press release: "Darrell Issa to Elizabeth Warren: Clear your calendar" Feel like I fell through a worm hole.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: As a native New Yorker, HuffPost Hill cringes when encountering pizza that costs more than $2.50 a slice. The suggested minimum donation for Earl Blumenauer's fundraiser at We, the Pizza is $1,000. So ... *CRINGE* [We, the Pizza, 305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE].

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: The things lawmakers have to do to appease their constituents. Louise Slaughter will be on hand for a "Finger Lakes Wine Tasting Reception. That is just gross [Credit Union House, 403 C Street NE].

TOMORROW

12:00 pm: Whenever we hear of a fundraiser at the Strategic Healthcare Townhouse, we conjure images of men in Napoleon-style naval uniforms huddled around a giant HMO contract. That is not actually the case. Linda Sanchez attends a fundraiser there [Strategic Healthcare Townhouse, 230 Second Street SE].

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray takes a break from paying half-crazy transients six-figure salaries to sit down with Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff for a "Conversation with the Mayor" marking the first week of D.C.'s LGBT PRIDE celebrations [John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW].

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Steny Hoyer marks his three-fifths golden jubilee with a "30 Years of Service" reception. Hopefully your tax dollars won't be getting him a gold watch (but that's for retirement, right? What do people get for thirty years?) [101 Constitution Ave NW 10th Floor].

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com), Ryan Grim (ryan@huffingtonpost.com) or Arthur Delaney (arthur@huffingtonpost.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e

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Filed by Eliot Nelson
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