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HUFFPOST HILL - Gingrich Staffers Break Free

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Newt Gingrich joined the ranks of abusive relationships, unsafe work environments and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights in the pantheon of things people walk out on. Negative views of the Republican presidential candidates in their home states are reaching Martha Coakley-like levels. And FreedomWorks is forming a super PAC, because T-shirts featuring prints of eagles stabbing Chairman Mao with an American flag-themed saber don't pay for themselves. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Aggrieved Liberal Christmas is tomorrow. The state of Alaska will release 24,000 of Sarah Palin's emails..

Journalism: @Reuters: FLASH: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeking World Bank presidency, sources say ... @jaketapper: Clinton source on story saying she's seeking World Bank presidency: "Total crappola." ... @LukeRussert: NBC WIRE: From Philippe Reines, a Clinton spokeman: "It's 100% untrue, Reuters is wrong. That's on the record."

NEWT GINGRICH'S SENIOR STAFF QUITS IN MASS EXODUS - Any energetic, hard-working poli-sci majors want to run a presidential campaign? There's course credit in it for you. Email Newt@EarthLink.net News broke this afternoon that the senior staff of Newt Gingrich's campaign had quit "en masse." Rob Johnson, the campaign manager, advisers Sam Dawson and Dave Carney, spokesman Rick Tyler and local consultants Katon Dawson and Craig Schoenfeld UP AND LEFT. That's gotta hurt. Despite the fact that the Gingrich campaign is being treated like a middle school after the fire alarm has been pulled, the former House speaker says he's going to stay in the race. This comes on the heels of Gingrich's return from a two-week vacation that Gingrich and his wife, Callista, took shortly after Gingrich jumped in the race. At one point, the two were spotted aboard a cruise ship, the Seabourn Odyssey, that was embarked on a week-long Mediterranean trip. This apparently pissed off a number of members of Camp Gingrich, who already took issue with his campaign strategy. Also, Johnson and Carney's departure has people wondering whether the two are looking to hop on board Rick Perry 2012, given their previous work for the Texas governor. [HuffPost]

Sonny Perdue, his national campaign co-chair, is out. No word from Zell Miller, the other co-chair, or Gay Gaines, his national finance chair.

But, hey, Joe DeSantis is still there: "I am absolutely still on this campaign and looking forward to a fresh start," he wrote in an email to Jon Ward. G'luck, Joe!

His entire paid Iowa staff also quit: "You have to be able to raise money to run a campaign and you have to invest time in fundraising and to campaign here in the state," Craig Schoenfeld, director of Newt 2012 in Iowa, told the Des Moines Register, "and I did not have the confidence that was going to be happening." So no one is with him. It's OK. Newt can rehabilitate his career by landing Cuba Gooding Jr. a sick NFL contract and dating Renee Zellweger. There's a way out of this, Newt. [Register]

Gingrich on Facebook: "I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles." So, yeah, um, who's left? Besides Joe...

"Listen, Zach, I know you're the mail intern, but I need you to do Greta's show for me. We need to nip this in the bud."

LOBBYIST EVAN BAYH: I AM NOT A LOBBYIST - Evan Bayh is whining that people keep calling him a lobbyist after it came out this week he'd rented his good name to yet another special interest group that seeks to influence policy, namely the Chamber of Commerce. "I'm not lobbying for anybody," he says. Sure, what he's doing doesn't meet the strict legal definition of lobbying -- the law requires a person to register as a lobbyist only if he spends more than 20 percent of his time for a client on lobbying activity and makes more than one "lobbying contact" of a covered government official with the purpose of influencing legislation, rulemaking, grant-awarding, or a nomination on behalf of the client. What Bayh is doing is just putting his name and face on the front of an organization that exists for the sole purpose of doing that stuff, because having Bayh out there improves the organization's chances of success in its lobbying mission. But Bayh's not doing the lobbying himself, see. He's just smiling and waving at you. Lobbying? Not Evan Bayh. Lobbying is beneath Evan Bayh.

TREASURY GIVES BANKS WUSSY PENALTY FOR RUINING PEOPLE'S LIVES - Shahien Nasiripour: The Treasury Department will temporarily withhold payments to the nation's three largest mortgage companies for failing to comply with the Obama administration's signature foreclosure-prevention effort, perhaps finally making good on a 19-month-old threat, officials announced Thursday. The threat, though, may be short-lived: Treasury will return the money they promised the companies once the firms make the needed improvements. "If they fix the problem, they will get the money," Tim Massad, acting Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, told reporters during a conference call. He added that Treasury had conducted 400 compliance reviews. Massad declined to answer questions over why the administration waited 19 months to make good on its threat. "It further reaffirms Treasury's long-running toothless response to the servicers' disregard of their contract with Treasury, and by extension, the American taxpayer," former TARP watchdog Neil M. Barofsky told HuffPost. More homeowners have been kicked out of the program than are receiving assistance, Treasury data show. Nearly half of them either face foreclosure proceedings, are in foreclosure, or have lost their homes. The initiative will fail to keep President Barack Obama's promise of helping three to four million homeowners avoid foreclosure, auditors have concluded.

HuffPost has overtaken the New York Times in web traffic. It's not easy single-handedly destroying journalism and we couldn't have done it without you.

FOREIGN REGULATORS MOCK GEITHNER - FT: "Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, was talking "nonsense" when he warned that the world must follow America's lead on financial regulation, said a senior European regulator and departing head of Hong Kong's market watchdog. Martin Wheatley, who has a reputation as one of the world's most influential regulators, said in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday that US officials were wrong to worry that Asian financial centres would seek to attract business through soft regulation."

Joe Biden's deficit negotiations reconvened today. With time running out on the clock, the group will will meet three times next week, Jen Bendery reports.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Crappy numbers of the week in review: Unemployment claims came in above 400,000 for the ninth straight week. The ratio of jobseekers to jobs deteriorated from 4.3-to-1 in April from 4.6-to-1 in March. Annual wage growth has slowed to 1.8 percent from 3.8 this time in 2007. And in that same time period, the time it took for the average laid-off worker to find a new job doubled. :(

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FREEDOMWORKS TO FORM SUPER PAC - The Tea Party activist group headed by Dick Armey will form a political action committee, tentatively called Freedom Works Action. It's a historically significant move considering that a group which purports to harness a loose coalition of homegrown organizations is now taking advantage of the Citizens United ruling -- which essentially opened the door for Lockheed Martin to paper your windshield with flyers about how the F-35 alternate engine will protect the institution of marriage -- to promote its issues. In an interview with Roll Call's staff, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe seemed to suggest that the group is giving up on protests and is focusing on creating an OFA-style ground operation. "It doesn't make strategic sense to do big protests," he said. "We did that; we made our point. The likelihood of making any real positive reform here is limited." [Roll Call]

Katherine Archuleta, Hilda Solis' chief of staff, has signed onto Obama for America as its new political director. According to campaign officals, Archuleta will focus on Latino outreach and "outreach to elected officials and groups." [Denver Post]

NEARLY EVERY GOP 2012 CANDIDATE NOT POPULAR IN THEIR HOME STATE - Public Policy Polling has been surveying residents in the home states of the major declared and potential GOP White House candidates and it turns out they couldn't be less popular with their neighbors if they held keggers until 2 am every night. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain both have a -8 favorability in Georgia, Rick Santorum is -10 in Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney is -12 in Massachusetts, Tim Pawlenty is down 13 in Minnesota, Sarah Palin registers a - 25 and Michele Bachmann is at a dismal -26. [PPP]

Rep. Joe Wilson has endorsed Tim Pawlenty for president and will co-chair the Minnesota governor's South Carolina campaign. Wilson is the first national politician outside of Minnesota to endorse Pawlenty for president. "As South Carolinians get to know Governor Pawlenty, as I have, they will see someone with a remarkable record of conservative accomplishments in a politically tough state for Republicans," Wilson said in a statement that apparently didn't interrupt some important person's speech, "and someone who has the kind of bold vision for America's future that we need to defeat Barack Obama." [HuffPost]

GANG OF SIX FIVE OPENS ITS DOORS IN ATTEMPT TO BE GANG OF NOT SUCK - Eighteen senators met in Dick Durbin's office today in an attempt to revive the the deficit-reduction work of the Gang of Six, which was downgraded to the Gang of Five when Tom Coburn bolted from the group, causing Republican members Saxby Chambliss and Mike Crapo to refuse to cut a deal. Whether they sat Indian-style on the floor or if Durbin locked his iPod so no one would mess with his carefully-crafted playlist remains unclear. [The Hill]

RICK SCOTT TO HOST HIS OWN DAY OF PRAYER - On the heels of Texas Governor Rick Perry's announcement that he invited the nation's governors to a summit to pray-away Obamacare, news broke that Florida Governor Rick Scott will follow suit. Governors Niki Haley of South Carolina and Christine Gregorie of Washington are also hosting their own prayer events. We all know that crucifixes can ward off vampires, but can they ward off federal matching funds for high-speed rail projects?!? [Florida Independent]

Jon Huntsman's four-day workweek he instituted while governor of Utah is drawing to a close. Utahans are upset about this, Dave Jamieson reports. The bill reshuffled the 40-hour workweek by requiring state employees to work four, 10-hour days, affording them a a three-day weekend every week. "There was a lot of concern about how it would impact young families," Todd Sutton, a worker representative for the Utah Public Employees Association, said. "But after it was instituted, and workers committed to a pretty big schedule change, it had an 85 percent approval rating." Flex Friday on HGH. Nice. [HuffPost]

ALABAMA ADOPTS SB 1070-STYLE LAW - The state known far and wide for its history of treating people who don't look like Pat Boone with the utmost respect continued to honor that tradition today when its governor signed a bill that will basically create an environment where white people won't want to be seen near anyone with a tilde in their name. The law, signed by Alabama governor Robert Bently, makes it illegal to provide an undocumented immigrant a ride and requires schools to run background checks on all its students. All that is on top of the 1070 signature provision that allows authorities to pull over anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. Short of prohibiting Alabamans from sharing a malt with their favorite Mexican-American friend, this couldn't be more throwback nasty. "It is clearly unconstitutional. It's mean-spirited, racist and we think a court will enjoin it," said Mary Bauer, the legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The bill takes effect on September 1st. Nice work, 'Bama. [AP]

Civil rights groups are already suing.

JAN BREWER: STICKING UP FOR THE JOBLESS - Really! [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Annoying cyclist guy demonstrates how it's difficult to stay in bike lanes by repeatedly running into bike lane obstructions.

NSA DECLASSIFIES DOCUMENT WRITTEN IN 1809 - "The National Security Agency announced yesterday that it has declassified a report that is over two hundred years old. The newly declassified report, entitled 'Cryptology: Instruction Book on the Art of Secret Writing,' dates from 1809. It is part of a collection of 50,000 pages of historic records that have just been declassified by NSA and transferred to the National Archives." [Secrecy News]

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT -Tonight: It's getting really hot. Exceeding 100 degrees in some areas. So, naturally, there's a severe thunderstorm watch for the area. It's not a cold front coming through, so you can't really expect it to get better Tomorrow. 90 degrees, with thunderstorms quite likely. To get cooler, drink lots of water, wear a hat, but shed some extra layers. Layers of clothes, not staff, Newt. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- Richard Dreyfuss does a dramatic reading of the Apple end user licence agreement. [http://cnet.co/j1vuXg]

- Google changed its front image to a playable guitar in honor of Les Paul's birthday. [http://www.google.com/]

- The Tron guy went on "America's Got Talent" and described his life's story. People booed. "America's Got Talent" is a terrible show and its audience members don't know what they're talking about. [PUBLICATION]

- Feel like you see the same actors on every HBO show? Let this graphic confirm your suspicions [http://bit.ly/kWZJy3]

- eHarmony personal: "I really love cats. And I just want to hug all of them, but I can't, 'cause it's crazy. I can't hug every cat." [http://chzb.gr/moeBhH]

- These two videos answer what it's like to have an Argentine fighter jet fly into a group of people -- from the people's and pilot's perspectives (no one was hurt). [http://bit.ly/lCaCH6]

- Florida bear chills out in a hot tub, leaves. Hope you had fun, bear. [http://aol.it/keRc83]

- Tortoises racing at the Indianapolis Zoo. Imagine how insulting it would be to be the pace tortoise. [http://bit.ly/irsEY9]

TWITTERAMA

@MajoratNJ: Gotta hand it to #Gingrich - where us but Greece do you go when you fear debt load, can't raise money and are beset by labor unrest

@AlecBaldwin: A lot, a real lot, of sanctimonious d-bags on HuffPo. [Editor's note: Right?]

@andreastonez: Last @newtgingrich tweet before mass campaign staff exodus said unemployment claims up to 427K. He'll have to adjust that number now

ON TAP

Tomorrow, 7:30 pm: What's could possibly be worse than the intersection of "Glee!" and the underbelly of American politics? Mark Critz, Gwen Moore and Amy Klobuchar treat their benefactors to the "Glee! Live in Concert!" performance [Verizon Center, 601 F Street NW].

Tomorrow, 7:00 pm: Renown D.C.-based chef Jose Andreas, who's nine types of crazy (in a good way), delivers a talk about Spanish cooking. He will also discuss the new exhibition, "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam" which he is advising [National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave NW].

Tomorrow - Sunday: Much like Anthony Weiner, Joseph Crowley spends the weekend in New York wooing his constituents and donors. Joe's coming at it from a slightly different bargaining position, however [The London Hotel, 151 West 54th Street , New York].

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Filed by Eliot Nelson
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