Congressmen apparently take more shirtless photos of themselves than lonely MySpace members do. Anthony Weiner single-handedly boosted Twitter's IPO by a few billion dollars and provided Maureen Dowd fodder for her next 50 columns. Rick Santorum thinks WWII vets fought to prevent Obamacare, meaning Tom Hanks' "Earn it" line from Saving Private Ryan probably had something to do with the individual mandate. And Sarah Palin's supporters are adding historically-inaccurate facts to Wikipedia, tarnishing the site's hard-earned integrity. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, June 6th, 2011:
WEINER WON'T RESIGN (YET) IN WAKE OF PENIS JOKEGATE - At a press conference this afternoon, Long Dong Silverstein confessed to taking lewd pictures of himself and sending them to a number of women. He added that he will not resign. The press conference was announced after a shirtless photograph of the congressman was published by Andrew Breitbart's Big Government this morning. "I am not resigning," Weiner said. "It was a very dumb thing to do, but it was not part of any plan to be deceitful." We're telling you about this. We're paid to tell you about this. We went to college so we could be paid to tell you about this. Our parents worked tirelessly to send us to college so we could be paid to tell you this. Our ancestors fled war and famine-ravaged European backwaters and traversed dangerous seas so our parents could work tirelessly to send us to college so we could be paid to tell you this. Oh ... GOD ... [HuffPost]
For whatever reason Andrew Brietbart bum rushed the podium before Weiner spoke. He said a lot of things. We won't reprint them all here, mainly because his statement that, "I'm doing this to save his family" summarizes his appearance nicely.
"Pausing only to pity the poor penis, so shabbily half-disowned (does Weiner think it has no feelings at all; that it must conclude that its owner's right hand does not know what his left hand is doing?)" - Christopher Hitchens
Remember when Weiner was pushing a bill to increase the number of visas allocated to fashion models? Heh. [Memory Lane]
RICK SANTORUM BEGINS CAMPAIGN TO BE MORE THAN A GAY SEX NOUN, ANNOUNCEMENT BURIED BY GUY WHO TOOK A PICTURE OF HIS CROTCH - Former Pennsylvania senator and Google casualty Rick Santorum this morning launched his campaign to be the next president of Focus on the Family. While it is ostensibly a campaign to be the next president of the United States, no one actually thinks that this man, whose greatest claims to fame are a much-publicized comparison of homosexuality to bestiality and the resulting successful campaign to turn his family name into a graphic description of a byproduct of anal sex, can be elected president. Then again, who is "no one" fooling? Anyone can be elected to anything in this godforsaken land. "People have understood that something is wrong," Santorum said during his announcement event in his hometown of Somerset, Pennsylvania. He added that President Obama is "devaluing our dollar and he's devaluing our other currency, our moral currency." THE DEVALUATION OF OUR "MORAL CURRENCY" IS EXACTLY WHY WE NEED A "MORAL STIMULUS"!!!!11 [Bloomberg]
Also, devaluing our moral currency allows us to increase exports of our values.
Santorum on WWII vets: "Those Americans risked everything so they could make that decision on their health care plan."
FRESHMAN GOP SKEPTICAL ABOUT DEBT CEILING NEGOTIATIONS - After the deal that averted a government showdown didn't cut enough federal programs to plunge America into a lawless dystopia, disappointed GOP freshmen are vowing to take a more cautious approach to the debt ceiling talks. This time, if the deal doesn't lead to an America where each county contains at least five Mad Max-style militia checkpoints, they'll make sure that the deal is renegotiated. "It's reaffirmed my belief that we weren't bold enough in that fight and we have to double and triple our efforts to be bold in this one, because we can't let that happen again," Rep. Joe Walsh said. "We will publicly let our leadership know where we stand." Added an aide to a freshman lawmaker, "It's still trust, but definitely verify now, as well." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
@mikemadden Sulaimon Brown to Marion Barry: "You got locked up by the same FBI I'm talking to." Barry to Brown: "You out of your goddamn mind."
Tonight in Roll Call: "Congressional delegations, or CODELs, are known for providing Members and staffers with an opportunity for learning and team building, but they are also criticized for being expensive and opaque, and Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) has proposed legislation to pare back non-Member travel such as the December trip."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - What did millionaires do with their Bush tax cuts? "I probably traveled a little bit more than I otherwise would have," said Frank Patitucci, CEO of NuCompass Mobility Services, a company that offers relocation management services. "I got a bigger boat than I used to have," said Dennis Mehiel, the founder and chairman of cardboard box manufacturer U.S. Corrugated, Inc. He lamented that the construction of his 150-foot sloop didn't create any jobs for American workers. "The problem is, it was built in Italy." Dal LaMagna, founder of Tweezerman, said he used his extra money to help the local economy by adding stuff to his house in the Pacific Northwest. "I just started creating jobs myself. I built a dance floor in my house -- which I really didn't need," LaMagna said, adding that he also put in a parking lot. "I just became a Dal LaMagna economic stimulus package in Poulsbo, Washington." [HuffPost]
HuffPost asked LaMagna for more info on his one-man stimulus project: "Dal LaMagna's Poulsbo Washington economic stimulus projects engaged an out of work carpenter for four months on my project to renovate my attic into a dance yoga exercise space," LaMagna wrote. "Two out of work painters worked for a week. Then I had a local Excravating haulin guy spend a month building unpacking lot. I had a barn falling down on property in town I had three out of work carpenters working on that."
WORST OF TIMES - CBS says long-term unemployment is now worse than it was during the Great Depression. "About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months -- a higher percentage than during the Great Depression." Hmm. Data on unemployment duration from the Bureau of Labor Statistics only goes back to 1948. It's worse than it's ever been since then for sure. But where's CBS getting this Great Depression factoid? It seems true and all, but they just don't say where get it, which is a shame, because the story went viral today. [CBS]
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RICK PERRY TO PROVE HIS PRESIDENTIAL-NESS BY PRAYING WITH A LUNATIC - Rick Perry is reportedly looking into a presidential run, and is planning a non-denominational Christian prayer summit to beseech Almighty God to stop Obamacare ... or something like that. "The Response," scheduled for August in Houston, will be a platform for Perry to highlight his conservative credentials in advance of a possible 2012 bid. Perry has invited his fellow 49 governors to the event. "As a nation, we must come together, call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles," the event's website reads. "A historic crisis facing our nation and threatening our future demands a historic response from the church." As Tim Murphy points out, the issues director for the American Family Association, which is funding the event, is just a normal, God-fearing American like you and me. "The AFA's issues director, Bryan Fischer, has alleged that gays caused the Holocaust -- and are planning on doing it again; that gays should be banned from holding public office; that homosexuality should be criminalized; that foreign Muslims should either be exterminated or forced to convert to Christianity; that American Muslims should be deported; that there should be a permanent ban on mosque construction in the United States; and that Muslims should be prohibited from serving in the armed forces ... it's worth noting that Rick Perry believes some of that stuff too." [MoJo]
Michele Bachmann is staffing up. She's hired Ed Rollins, formerly Huckabee '08. Yeah, she's running for president.
Supporters of Sarah Palin have taken to Wikipedia to edit the entry on Paul Revere. This odd bit of campaign activity comes on the heels of Palin's statement last week that Paul Revere "warned the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms." Of course, this flies in the face of the whole "one if by land, two if by sea" thing, as any 3rd grader's social study collage will tell you. Also, if he were warning the British, who is the "they"? Here's the Revere passage in question, with the edit italicized: "Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him ('The British are coming!'), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols; also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects." The accompanying note on the addition's deletion said that, "content not backed by a reliable sources [sic] (it was sarah palin interview videos)." Ouch. A website that has claimed "Entropy is a thermodynamic property that can be used to determine the energy available for useful work in JEREMY LIEKS BALLS a thermodynamic process" thinks Sarah Palin is not "reliable." Zing. [HuffPost]
ISSA INTRODUCES ECONOMY-BOOSTING JOB DESTRUCTION BILL - The chairman of the House Oversight Committee last Friday unveiled a bill that would require the president to slash government positions by ten percent by 2015. The proposed measure would also mandate that only one federal position be filled for every three that are vacated. Soldiers, but not DoD civilian workers, are immune from the bill's provisions. Issa introduced the bill along with co-sponsors Dennis Ross and Jason Chaffetz. We eagerly await the United States Department of Transportation, brought to you by the all new Ford F-350. [The Hill]
ACTUAL SCANDAL: NOBEL ECONOMIST WITHDRAWS FED NOMINATION DUE TO GOP OBSTRUCTION AND ADMINISTRATION FECKLESSNESS - Fed nominee Peter Diamond, writing in the New York Times: "Last October, I won the Nobel Prize in economics for my work on unemployment and the labor market. But I am unqualified to serve on the board of the Federal Reserve -- at least according to the Republican senators who have blocked my nomination. How can this be? [NYT]
FLACK ALERT: WE'RE NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S HUFFPOST ANYMORE - Well, actually, we are your grandmother's HuffPost. At this weekend's Faith And Freedom conference, Sam Stein unearthed a gem of an interview with a middle-aged Tea Partier. Do you read The Huffington Post? "I get it on my computer all the time," she said. Do you like it? "Yeah, I do. I just started getting it. I don't know why, but I really enjoy getting it. It's blunt. It's to the point. And I've gotten a lot of information from it and put it in our newsletter." For those slow on the uptake, this conservative activist likely refers to her AOL homepage as "my computer." Opponents of Medicare and Social Security, take note. [HuffPost]
MORE SWIPE FEE ADS - As the Senate floor vote on swipe fee reform draws closer, the merchants are up with ads in Maine, North Carolina, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., targeting Snowe, Collins, Hagan, Burr, Manchin and Rockefeller in those states, while blanketing Washington cable to let everyone else know they have money.
ISSUE KILLING JON TESTER - The banks' champion in the Senate on swipe fee reform, Jon Tester, is getting burned at home. The merchants tell HuffPost Hill a new poll by the Mellman Group and the Tarrance Group found that 75 percent of voters support reform, 54 percent would actively fight to protect it and 38 percent say being against the pending swipe fee rule is enough to make them vote against Tester. He's up in 2012.
WISCONSIN DEMS TO MAKE RYAN AN ISSUE DURING WALKER RECALL - Wisconsin Democratic party Chairman Mike Tate told Dave Cantanese that his party will make Paul Ryan's proposed overhaul of Medicare a central issue in its attempted recall of Governor Scott Walker. "We've got them on camera with Paul Ryan. We've got them on the record saying they support the Ryan agenda. And I think it's something that voters are going to weigh in on," he said. "I think the list of Republicans who are going to lose their seat because of Paul Ryan's Medicare plan is not just going to be starting at the federal level." [Politico]
WHEREIN SCOTT WALKER DOES THE MOST RON SWANSON THING IMAGINABLE - "Artist David Lenz has seen his work displayed prominently in the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery and the Milwaukee Art Museum. But Lenz couldn't make the cut with Gov. Scott Walker and the Executive Residence. Earlier this year, the governor and first lady Tonette Walker took down Lenz's painting "Wishes in the Wind," a realistic portrait of three children -- one black, one Hispanic and one white -- playing with bubble wands on a Milwaukee street. Commissioned by the foundation that runs the governor's Maple Bluff residence, the painting was completed and placed prominently above the fireplace mantel in the drawing room in November. The governor and first lady have replaced it with a century-old painting of Old Abe, a Civil War-era bald eagle from Wisconsin." [Journal Sentinel]
The government shouldn't be in the business of telling us what to do with our government handouts: "WIN for Children and Families Act, S. 943, Sponsored by: Orrin G. Hatch - To amend title IV of the Social Security Act to require States to implement policies to prevent assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program from being used in strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores." Is the Treasury going to start printing dollars that can't be spent at strip clubs? What if the TANF recipient is buying Tostitos at the liquor store? This bill clearly needs a hearing. [Orrin Hatch's Website]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Squirrel eats Cheez-Its. How can the same civilization that produces videos like this also produce ... war???
"The website of the Enrichment Center asks, 'Are you a Tranquil Turtle who is becoming exceedingly frustrated with a Much Loved Monkey?' Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) was apparently curious -- last fall, his office paid the Enrichment Center $20,000 for 'training.'" [Roll Call]
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT -Tonight: Cool, with temps in the high 60s. Tomorrow: We almost reach 90. A chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, but only after Andrew Breitbart takes the stage first. Thanks, JB!
- Technology is already putting our actors, newsmen and typewriter machine repairmen out of business. Now, thanks to this beer robot, it's putting our barkeeps out work, as well. [http://bit.ly/mKXX8w]
- Sometimes dogs get it. Sometimes, as this video demonstrates, they don't. [http://bit.ly/irEVhx]
- A series of photographs of 19th and early 20th century children with pit bulls, which were popular pets for children at the time. [http://bit.ly/l7OEsQ]
- Last week we linked to "What song are you listening to," which asked New Yorkers what they were listening to on their iPods. Someone made a British one. [http://bit.ly/j1J86x]
- You can now purchase Anthony Weiner-named wieners in Brooklyn. [http://bit.ly/j8Ql4d]
- As this "What do you want to be when you grow up?" snippet from a yearbook demonstrates, some people need to aim a bit higher. [http://bit.ly/lO2tIg]
- Baby beavers are adorable. [http://bit.ly/j0rZAP]
- You can use your iPhone to play pong on a giant billboard in Sweden. [http://gizmo.do/jL3AYm]
@daveweigel: Worried that Santorum's announcement might cut into Buddy Roemer's support. #roemermania
@vgmac: Politico has apparently hired Yoda as a headline writer: Report: Shirtless Weiner photo sent
@pourmecoffee: Apple presenting iCloud today. Finally, a one-click place to store all your shirtless photos.
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Upon learning that John Conyers is hosting a fundraiser at a George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic concert, we immediately imagined the Michigan lawmaker dressed in one of the funk star's trademarked gypsy-on-acid outfits...and laughed [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].
8:30 am: Landlocked though Indiana may (mostly) be, Dan Coates attends a fundraiser at Johnny's Half Shell, the restaurant that never seems to be the appropriate choice of venue, in our opinion [Johnny's Half Shell, 400 North Capitol Street NW #175].
5:30 pm: Kelly Ayotte hosts a "Ladies Night Reception" fundraiser. There's a yuk-yuk, "Women, right?" joke we could make here ... but there's also a knife that our girlfriends/wives could plunge into our chests (the joke involved Sandra Bullock movies and sangria) [Cava Restaurant - 527 8th Street SE].
6:30 pm: Chew and digest food for Pat Toomey. The Pennsylvania lawmaker attneds a "Dinner for Pat Toomey." [Cava Restaurant, 527 8th Street SE].
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