Proud man of faith Rick Perry started the day by suggesting our government be more Christian and will finish the day by prepping his talking points about that improperly sentenced guy his state will execute. Dick Cheney literally demonstrated that America's vice presidents literally say "literally" a lot. And Florida Republicans are all for free speech, unless that speech is your doctor telling you that firearms can puncture holes in your body. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, September 14th, 2011:
DEMS WIN IN NEW YORK! - On this no good, rotten day for Democrats, we searched the hills for some good news to bring our despondent liberal readers. And we found it! From the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the state-based version of the DCCC: "Democrats claimed victory in all six of the New York Assembly special elections held yesterday. Two of those victories came in districts overlapping the 9th CD. Four of the six districts won are in New York City; the remaining two are upstate." Huzzah! New York, will you pass gay marriage again? Cuz that was really great!
RICK PERRY CAMPAIGNS IN ONLY STATE WITH HPV VACCINE MANDATE - OPTICS OWN GOAAAAAAAAAL. Days after Rick Perry apologized again for shirking his sworn duty to execute everything that breathes when he tried to keep some young women alive, the Texas governor appeared in the one state where the government mandates that it ravage each and every female citizen with a life-saving vaccine, Virginia. Perry spoke at Liberty University (see below) and attended a fundraiser with Governor Bob McDonnell. Sam Stein and Laura Bassett: "On the one hand, Virginia Republicans have sought to repeal their own mandate, casting it (as Perry's critics have) as a government intrusion in individual medical decisions. But repeal legislation has always fallen short in the state Senate. On the other hand, Virginia's experiment with the HPV vaccine has proven that qualified mandates, like the one Perry envisioned, are rarely as draconian as some try to suggest. (Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), for example, alarmingly referred to the vaccine as a 'government injection' in Monday night's presidential debate.) Even some Virginia conservatives agree that mandating a lifesaving vaccine isn't necessarily incongruous with Republican principles." [HuffPost]
But why aren't we immunizing our girls against fearsome sea creatures???
Tonight from Roll Call's John Stanton: "House Republican leaders' decision to ignore a key vote threat by Heritage Action for America and pass a short-term transportation bill this week demonstrates the sometimes uphill battle that upstart groups face as they try to build influence in Washington."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled a new TV advertisement for its anti-foreclosure programs. It's Downer gold: The spot shows stone-faced homeowners immobilized by trouble with their mortgage payments. A woman stands motionless on her lawn, morning newspaper in hand as the sprinklers spray her bathrobe. A man stares blankly while pouring coffee all over his kitchen counter. An assembly-line worker lets a conveyor belt send bottles of cranberry juice shattering on the floor. "When some people struggle with their mortgage payments, they become frozen, petrified," the announcer says. [HuffPost]
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CLYBURN GOES ON FUNDRAISING BINGE, DESPITE EARLIER CLAIM - Back in August, during an MSNBC appearance, Super Committee Co-Chair Jim Clyburn defended the right of panel members to hold fundraisers while they consider what areas of government funding should be trimmed. At the time, Clyburn said, with a chuckle, that, "quite frankly all the fundraising I've got planned over the next few weeks is for somebody else, not for myself and I don't plan to do anything for myself until later in the year." Despite Clyburn's claims, just weeks later, he IS fundraising for himself. According to the Sunlight Foundation, there are three fundraisers for "Friends of Clyburn" -- the South Carolina lawmaker's campaign organization -- this week. Yesterday, there was a "Healthcare Breakfast" fundraiser at the Caucus Room on 9th Street NW. This evening, there is a fundraising dinner at an unspecified Washington location. And tomorrow morning there is a fundraising breakfast at the lobbying offices of former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts. So rest easy, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, all the deficit co-chair is doing is hanging out in Republican lobbying shops. [W/ Mike McAuliff ]
PENNSYLVANIA GOP PUSHES ELECTORAL COLLEGE REFORM TO UNDERMINE OBAMA 2012 - As Chris Matthews reminds his viewers every seven seconds, Pennsylvania is a land of rough and tumble politics where machine political lackeys named Ed and Mookie cut the bullshit and throw elbows and go after their opponents with the unrelenting force and consistency of a thousand Cheez Whiz cans. Well Democrats might soon have a lot of dairy substitute on their face if a Republican plan to award electoral college votes by congressional district (and two votes for the statewide winner) is enacted. Nick Baumann: "This could cost Obama dearly. The GOP controls both houses of the state legislature plus the governor's mansion -- the so-called "redistricting trifecta" -- in Pennsylvania. Congressional district maps are adjusted after every census, and the last one just finished up. That means Pennsylvania Republicans get to draw the boundaries of the state's congressional districts without any input from Democrats. Some of the early maps have leaked to the press, and Democrats expect that the Pennsylvania congressional map for the 2012 elections will have 12 safe GOP seats compared to just 6 safe Democratic seats...Under the Republican plan, if the GOP presidential nominee carries the GOP-leaning districts but Obama carries the state, the GOP nominee would get 12 electoral votes out of Pennsylvania, but Obama would only get eight." Hey PAGOP? Why not go for the two in the bush? Y'all might win the state as clean as clean coal the way things are going. [MoJo]
DEMS AND REPUBLICANS SPIN NY-9 - Yesterday Republican Bob Turner upset Democrat David Weprin in the special election to fill the House seat vacated by Anthony Weiner. Today, Republicans and Democrats are performing quadriceps-tearing rhetorical contortions to portray Turner's win as either relevant or irrelevant . "The bottom line is it's not a bellwether district. Anyone who tries to extrapolate ... is making a big mistake," Chuck Schumer, who used to represent the district when he was in the House, said on a DNC conference call. Never mind that the district has been in the Democrats' hands since an era when some people still called it "Jass music" and that President Obama carried it with a comfortable margin three years ago. Republicans, meanwhile, say the win is representative of national dissatisfaction with President Obama and the Democrats. "This clear rebuke of President Obama's policies delivers a blow to Democrats' goal of making Nancy Pelosi the Speaker again," RNCC Chairman Pete Sessions said in a statement. "An unpopular President Obama is now a liability for Democrats nationwide in a 2012 election that is a referendum on his economic policies." Never mind that most of the country is NOT filled with orthodox Jews, throngs of non-Mexican immigrants and, well, New Yorkers. Takeaway: DON'T TRUST ANYONE. [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
SCOTT BROWN'S FINANCE TEAM HINTS AT WARREN STRATEGY - Now that Elizabeth Warren has entered the Massachusetts Senate race and has in her corner every single liberal American who has ever carried around a PBS tote bag or hummed a Pete Seeger song or been tickled by a Garrison Keillor joke about Lutheran sexual mores, Scott Brown's campaign will try to highlight her outside (re: not Massachusetts) liberal backers. "Needless to say, [Warren's candidacy] elevates the profile of this race and ensures that it will be one of the most expensive and nationally covered elections in the country," wrote Brown's fundraising chief John Cook in a memo circulated by the Brown campaign. "It's critical that we keep the fundraising momentum strong in the coming months because -- while we have a good head start -- the Democrats (via outside fundraising entities like Unions and DC groups like EMILY's List) have the resources to catch up in a matter of months." [National Journal]
REPUBLICANS PRODUCE DOCS THEY CLAIM PROVE SOLYNDRA SCHEMING - Andrew Restuccia: "Republicans blasted top Obama administration officials Wednesday for green-lighting a $535 million loan guarantee to a now-bankrupt California solar company, alleging that the White House rushed approval of the taxpayer-backed loan without adequate oversight...Republicans on the panel unveiled portions of emails Wednesday that they say show that the White House tried to rush a final decision on Solyndra's financing so that Vice President Biden could announce approval at the September 2009 groundbreaking for the company's new factory. But Jonathan Silver, the executive director of the Energy Department's Loan Programs Office, insisted that Obama administration staff did not feel pressure to quickly finalize financing for the project." [The Hill]
The Aerospace Industries Association has released a web video intended to convince people that proposed defense cuts will make America less American. It's really intense, in a "What would a Ken Burns documentary look like if he had a synthesizer and had recently had part of his temporal lobe caved out with an ice cream scoop?" kind of way. [AOL Defense]
TODAY IN 'IMAGES YOU'D NEVER THOUGHT YOU'D HAVE TO MENTALLY CONJURE' - Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a slide! "@AP: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 78, had to slide down an emergency chute to evacuate a flight: apne.ws/oZaGRr." She's OK!
RICK PERRY: CHRISTIANITY SHOULD GUIDE GOV'T MORE THAN OTHER RELIGIONS - The execution-happy Texas governor today briefly took off his "Vengeance is mine" hat and put on his Spanish Inquisition Conquistador metal hat today when he stressed the primacy of Christian values during a speech at Liberty University. "America is going to be guided by some set of values. The question is gonna be, whose values?" he said. "It's those Christian values that this country was based upon." He added that these Christian values should inform how the government acts more than the principles of other religions. On a totally unrelated note, Texas will execute Duane Edward Buck tomorrow in the most Christian manner possible. Maybe they'll inject him with an HPV vaccine before the potassium solution? [HuffPost's Jon Ward]
WHAT IS IT WITH VICE PRESIDENTS AND THE WORD 'LITERALLY'??? - Dick Cheney: "Now, these last few months have been pretty messy. I think like a lot of people I was embarrassed when they lowered our credit rating from AAA to AA. I literally felt embarrassed for my country." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
CHRIS HAYES WILL WHISPER SWEET NOTHINGS TO YOU AS YOU LIE IN BED ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY MORNING - The website for his new weekend morning MSNBC show, "Lemme Make You Breakfast, Girl, With Chris Hayes" is live. [MSNBC]
TODAY IN 'DUMB LAWS YOU DIDN'T REALIZE WERE ON THE BOOKS' - Florida residents can rest easier tonight with the knoweledge that their doctor is now legally allowed to tell them that sticking a gun in their face and pulling the trigger isn't salubrious. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke ruled that a first-in-the-nation law that prohibits doctors from saying certain things to their patients about guns violates free speech protections. America! However, if your doctor says "Guns don't kill people. I do," you should probably seek out another physician. [PUBLICATION]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Duck perches itself atop dog.
HUFFPOST HICCUP - Yesterday, right before printing its 600 Water Street SW address, we somehow referred to Cantina Marina as an expensive Georgetown waterfront establishment with the Best. Fish. Tacos. Ever. Only in a Southwest condo-realtors fever dream could that neighborhood be called Georgetown. And reader Michael Steel argues that, in fact, Tackle Box has the best Georgetown fish tacos and that they're half-priced on Wednesdays. We wouldn't know.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Clear and pleasant, with thunderstorms popping up in the middle of the night. Tomorrow: Thunderstorms in the morning, followed by some in the mid-afternoon to evening. The mid-day hours should be rather nice, with mid-70s temperatures. It'll be one of the last days you can have lunch outside comfortably for a while. Thanks, JB!
- Americans were asked to grade their states based on a series of cultural and physical criteria. Takeaway: Iowans have WAAAYYY inflated view of their state. [http://huff.to/ph2pqT]
- A photo gallery of all the craziest, most intense stuff Vladamir Putin has done. [http://huff.to/reO4td]
- In case your innocence hasn't been corrupted already, here's surveillance footage of a guy dressed as Gumby trying to rob a convenience store. [http://huff.to/pG6kde]
- World's biggest omelet is also the world's biggest hangover cure. [http://huff.to/qA5Lk0]
- Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan claims his given name is the inspiration for the beer compnay in "The Simpsons." [http://huff.to/ojSX9S]
- Tiger and dog have play time. This is the world's most badass dog. [http://bit.ly/rs5JKi]
- " In February of 1986, an inter-office memo was sent out to Disney employees announcing the renaming of the studio's most beloved classics." [http://huff.to/ql34om]
- Seagulls are stupid [http://huff.to/nGiNzO]
@jeremyscahill: Weird. I received invitations to dinners with Obama and Ahmadinejad within minutes of each other. #Caliphate
@meredithshiner: There is more conversation in my Twitter feed right now about Jews than there is in the average convo with my grandma about bfs. #MakeItStop
@benpershing: Actual current Politico hed: "Dems schvitzing over NY-9 results." Okay, we get it.
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Virginia Foxx, who was the toast of the crazies until Michele Bachmann asked that members of Congress be investigated for anti-American behavior, tries to rekindle some of her old insanity for her benefactors. [Associated General Contractors of America Townhouse, 53 D Street SE]
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Cantina. Marina. Has. The. Best. Fish. Tacos. Ever. Ben Quayle hosts a fundraiser at the hyper expensive Georgetown waterfront establishment [Cantina Marina, 600 Water Street SW]
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm: If we had more time, we'd run the numbers to see which DCCC/NRCC spent the greatest percentage of their times campaigning for themselves. But we don't. Anyway, Steve Israel asks for money...and gets it. [Art and Soul, 415 New Jersey Ave NW]
6:30 pm: Brad Miller, who has basically been redistricted into the most "Git off mah land" district imaginable, does what he can with a fundraiser [Johnny's Half Shell, 400 North Capitol Street NW #175]
6:30 pm: Ron Johnson attends a completely theme-less (awwww) fundraising dinner. Jon Kyl, everyone's second-favorite angry Arizona senator, will make an appearance. [Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW]
8:30 am: It ain't easy counting votes and being a Young Gun, whatever that means. Help
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: What's the point in marking your entry into this earthly realm if you can't exploit it for political means? Scott Brown is the guest of honor at a (belated) birthday fundraiser. [116 Club, 234 3rd St Ne]
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Nothing quite like booze and sausage to get people to open their wallets. The DSCC gets all Teutonic at its annual Oktoberfest celebration. [The Mott House, 122 Maryland Ave NE]
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Ed Pastor, like a 30-something with a baby who can't go far or stay out too late, holds a Eastern Market evening party. [The Eastern Market, 225 7th Street SE]
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Last month Jim Clyburn said he was mostly raising money for kids who can't afford college and won't be attending fundraiseres until later in the year....IT'S LATER IN THE YEAR NOW. [TBD, Washington]
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