Activists from Code Pink crashed Tim Pawlenty's book signing while rabble-rousers from Code Fuggetaboutit ruined Anthony Weiner's Brooklyn press conference. Dirty peaceniks Eric Cantor and John Boehner better keep an eye out for Photoshopped pictures with Jane Fonda if they continue their heated anti-war rhetoric. And Mitt Romney is likely patronizing unemployed people so we all forget about that time he related to black youths by singing "Who Let The Dogs Out." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 16th, 2011:
WEINER TUCKS HIMSELF AWAY - And all it took was a picture of his penis, volumes of explicit sex talk, a public tsk-tsk-tsking from the president of the United States, Gloria Allred and a retired porn star named Ginger Lee. Besieged congressman Anthony Weiner today announced that he is resigning from Congress, capping off a weeks-long scandal that served as the catalyst for everyone in the country to tell the dick jokes they never got around to scribbling on a bathroom stall in middle school. "I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made, and the embarrassment I have caused," Weiner said during his announcement, which was interrupted on several occasions by hecklers. "I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do... Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created made that impossible. So today I am announcing my resignation from Congress." New York City politics will never be the same. Loud, self-obsessed Democrats aren't easy to come by there. [HuffPost's Mike McAuliff and Jen Bendery]
Nancy Pelosi's statement: "Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations...Today, he made the right judgment in resigning." Earlier, the press walked out on Pelosi's press conference like an alcoholic at a Mormon wedding when she said she wouldn't comment on Weiner until after his press conference. [The Hill]
You can't make this up: Authorities rushed to Weiner's office after someone reportedly saw a suspicious package. We'll do our part and scour his resignation speech for dangling modifiers. [WaPo]
All eyes now turn to Andrew Cuomo, who can either call a special election or leave the seat empty until the November elections. In the first situation, an off-year special election would likely have very low turnout, whereas the second situation could beget a crowded primary field. Sam Stein: "[P]rospective candidates would have to make a mad dash to get on the ballot. 'People should be out passing petitions in his district today or tomorrow,' said [New York elections official John] Conklin, 'because the petition process closes on July 14.' Candidates from one of the six parties in the state -- Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence and Green -- would then have to collect 1,250 signatures to qualify. Those attempting to run as an independent or third party candidate would need 3,000. A primary would be held in September for that election on the first Tuesday in November. " Or, if the field gets too crowded that no clear frontrunner emerges, Cuomo could THEN call a special election. With that said, we're filing papers for "fixed-gear bike" and "Coney Island Icee Guy" right now. Folks there love that stuff. [HuffPost]
@1PatriciaMurphy: As a former member of Congress, #Weiner will have lifetime access to the #HouseGym.
CARNEY DEFENDS LIBYA PRICE TAG AS HOUSE REPUBLICANS THREATEN TO PULL FUNDING - A day after the White House publicly defended the legality of the U.S.'s involvement Libya by essentially claiming that we're not at at war, we're just firing or weapons in their general direction, Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the cost of the ongoing campaign, which is running upwards of $1 billion. "It is also important to note that the money that you mention is coming from existing funds," Carney said. "There is no request for a supplemental. And it is money that would have been spent on other things like training missions that are being fulfilled by the actual missions being performed. So this is not new money." Earlier in the day, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suggested that his conference might vote on a measure to defund that mission, describing "potential legislation related to the ongoing military conflict in Libya" that could be brought to the floor as early as next week. Cantor's statement came on the heels of Speaker John Boehner raising the possibility that such legislation will see the light of day. [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
Tim Pawlenty was glitterbombed today.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Pennsylvania lawmakers have struck a deal that would prevent 45,000 jobless Pennsylvanians from abruptly losing their unemployment benefits next week. The agreement ends the latest in a series of ideological skirmishes across the country over how much government should help people who lose their jobs because of economic factors beyond their control. While the new compromise bill would forestall a sudden loss of benefits, it would also make Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation program a bit stingier in the future. Though the unemployment rate is barely lower than at the peak of the recession, it's gotten easier since then for opponents of generous jobless aid to make their case. [HuffPost]
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BOOZE FLOWING AT NETROOTS - The marketplace of open bars is bustling in Minneapolis tonight, with unions and various liberal groups vying to ply conference gatherers with booze. Your guide (all times central): 5:00 - Right Meets Left Happy Hour, at a bar called Seven on 700 Hennepin Ave. 5:30 - Russ Feingold Reception at 203AB. 7:00 DFA/Sierra Club Party, The News Room at 990 Nicollet Mall. 7:30 Al Franken Party, Millennium Hotel. 9:00: AFT Happy Hour, The Irish Pub at 931 Nicollet Mall. 9:30: SEIU's Second Annual Karaoke Party, Dakota Jazz Club at 1010 Nicollet Mall. Then wake up for breakfast with MoveOn and Van Jones.
[Future Senator?] Russ Feingold gives tonight's keynote.
WHAT INDIANA AND SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA HAVE IN COMMON - Dave Jamieson was on Dylan Ratigan's show today as part of a HuffPost/MSNBC collaboration for a series of stories on the American firesale that's underway. "In its most recent annual report, investment bank Goldman Sachs noted that "recent market conditions may lead to an increase in opportunities to acquire distressed assets," such as toll roads, airports and shipping ports. Such deals, the report went on, "expose us to new and enhanced risks," including "greater regulatory scrutiny" and "reputational concerns with the manner in which these assets are being operated or held." The public wouldn't want to get gouged at the tollbooth -- and certainly not by Goldman Sachs." [MSNBC] [HuffPost]
SENATE VOTES TO LOSE ETHANOL SUBSIDIES - Take that presidential politics! The upper chamber today approved an amendment sponsored by Dianne Feinstein and Tom Coburn 73-27 that ends the government's controversial backing of the ethanol industry. The subsidies, which add up to $5 billion annually, were set to expire at the end of this year. The measure is part of a larger economic development package that still might not clear the chamber. At the very least, this might drive the price of corn so low that our fat American asses will have no choice but to eat vegetables. Somewhere, Michelle Obama is tapping her fingertips together and laughing maniacally. [AP]
Nancy Pelosi said today that her caucus will try to force a vote on a Chinese trade bill that passed last year but failed to advance in the Senate. The bill attempts to offset that country's export-encouraging currency policies, which are kind of the Game Genie of macroeconomic policy (remember Game Genie???). Reuters has a better explanation: "The bill would clear the way for the U.S. government to consider currency undervaluation as a subsidy that can be offset with U.S. countervailing duties on Chinese goods. While only a small portion of Chinese exports to the United States would likely be affected, the legislation would encourage U.S. companies to file more trade cases against Chinese competitors, analysts have said." [Reuters]
CHRISTINA WILKIE: TAX DOLLARS SUBSIDIZE GOP DONOR GATHERING - The American Spectator is funded with tax deductible contributions from folks like David Koch and the lobbyists at Pfizer. In early April the magazine brought together Koch, Pfizer people and a ton of GOP donors for what was billed as some type of high-minded salon with journalists and opinion leaders. Nice little racket. In the middle of Mike Pence's effort to defund Planned Parenthood, he was the guest of honor at the dinner, seated next to Koch. Our new society reporter Christina Wilkie blew the lid on it with her first dispatch for HuffPost. [HuffPost]
Flacks, members, lobbyists and other discontented villagers: Send Christina tips about weird fundraisers, faux-charitable dinners, and other fun events that subvert our democracy with a buzzed-up half-smile (Christina.Wilkie@huffingtonpost.com). She's writing a new kind of gossip column.
BACHMANN INKS MEMOIR DEAL - A day after The Daily Beast published a scathing primer on the Minnesota congresswoman, a profile that basically painted Bachmann as a Bible-thumping zealot who might take more interest in preserving Medicare if she didn't think the Rapture was coming in a few weeks, news broke today that the newly-minted presidential candidate will publish a memoir. Penguin USA will publish the title and Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund will assist Bachmann in drafting it. The book, described as an autobiography, is expected to be released this fall. The Times reports that Bachmann has been in talks with a number of New York publishing houses over the last few weeks. It's unclear whether she met with the Big Apple publishing types over the phone or in person, but if the talks were held over the phone, we're guessing she ran a sani wipe over the receiver after the calls were over. [NYT]
The latest Rasmussen poll finds that Bachmann has surged to second place in the Republican field. She trails Mitt Romney 33 percent to 19 percent. Herman Cain is in third with 10 percent and Tim Pawlenty is curled up on a couch in a New Hampshire Days Inn somewhere softly weeping to himself. [Rasmussen]
$200 millionaire Mitt Romney, a finely tuned robot whose overly calculated social misfires would make C-3P0 blush, joked to a group of unemployed people that he, too, is unemployed. Short of imploring a gathering of disabled Americans to "stand up for our country" or telling an audience that his children are serving America by working to get him elected president rather than signing up for the army (oh wait), it doesn't get much worse than that. "I should tell my story," Romney told a group of jobless Americans in Florida. "I'm also unemployed." [TPM]
No doubt Romney is courting donations fromBig Unemployment.
MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, DEMOCRATS ARE FROM D.C., REPUBLICANS ARE FROM NOVA - We highly recommend you check out this National Journal infographic that breaks down the demographics of Capitol HIll employees. It might not surprise you that most Hill staffers are white, come from elite colleges and are very young, but there are a number of interesting factoids, nevertheless. [National Journal]
ORRIN HATCH DRAWS FREEDOMWORKS SHORT STRAW - The Tea Party activist group has launched its first major campaign of the 2012 cycle, setting Utah senator and folksy frontier pastor Orrin Hatch in its sights. The organization will launch its "Retire Orrin Hatch" initiative in the Beehive State this Saturday at the state Republican convention. "The bottom line is Hatch doesn't represent the state of Utah," said Russ Walker, the group's head of grassroots campaigning. "The state of Utah is far more fiscally conservative than Orrin Hatch is. It's an opportunity to pick up a seat, it's an opportunity to find somebody who is better." [Daily Caller]
Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden talking about Afghanistan today: "We will be in a stronger political position for a political outcome for this if we sustain relatively constant force levels through this fighting season and for at least the 2012 fighting season...Give war a chance." [HuffPost's Andrea Stone]
Forensic investigators can't provide any new information about the Nixon tapes after their investigation into those famed 18-and-a-half-minutes of silence ended. The National Archives had commissioned the group of scientific sleuths to carefully examine two-pages of notes from the meeting in which the recording occurred. Why this crack team wasn't tasked with something WAY MORE SUBSTANTIVE like the Sarah Palin emails or whether that was Anthony Weiner's semi-engorged member in those boxer briefs or who that shirtless man who looked like Newt Gingrich is the biggest mystery of them all. [AP]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - When cats and hamster balls collide.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Thunderstorms popping up around the area. Tomorrow: We get close to 90... and with a high humidity, it's going to feel a bit sticky. Expect afternoon thunderstorms, so don't put away your umbrella just yet. Thanks, JB!
- Werner Herzog reads Go the Fuck to Sleep. [http://bit.ly/kio3FH]
- Happy Bloomsday, here's some cartoon characters reading Ulysses. [http://bit.ly/kZonB8]
- Speaking of Bloomsday, here's Samuel Beckett discussing James Joyce. [http://bit.ly/g06uGY]
- Lion cuddles with dude, dude pays no mind, even though there is a fully grown lion sprawled out on top of him. [http://bit.ly/jWJrfn]
- If Mark Wahlberg were a Wall Street Journal columnist, he might be presented thusly... [http://bit.ly/mlBlfK]
- Modern history's most awesomely bad ventriloquist dummies. [http://on.vh1.com/m9bREI]
- A cat in a jar, famine and war still plague the Earth. [http://bit.ly/jPEQsz]
- The middle, and kickass, way: Monks in Myanmar skateboarding. [http://bit.ly/m9uNFd]
@matthewstoller: Why did Weiner have to resign while Clinton didn't? Simple. 9/11 changed everything.
@pourmecoffee: Weiner has resigned, but the struggle to gratify one's self consequence-free goes on. The dream shall never die.
@Philip_Elliott: Gary Johnson ends his speech to Republican Leadership Conference to silence. His closer: comparing pot to booze. #ouch
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Donna Edwards celebrates her birthday with a fundraiser, so a happy birthday it will be ... unless she has a shellfish allergy [Johnny's Half Shell, 400 North Capitol Street NW #175].
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Heather Wilson opts for a less traditional fundraising venue: The Army Navy Golf Club. How Eisenhower-y [Army Navy Golf Club, 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington].
6:30 pm: The DSCC, holding on to the majority for dear life, is the beneficiary of a fundraiser at the St. Regis. Suggested donation is $10,000. Yowza [St. Regis Hotel, 923 16th Street NW].
9:00 pm: Australian indie-pop mainstays Architecture in Helsinki perform at Black Cat. It's sold out but well worth the Craigslist/scalping attempt [Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW].
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