Michele Bachmann spent the day in the Bay Area and was pleasantly surprised to learn that she didn't need her passport. David Weprin might have won the special election if he had shaved the mustache that made him look like an overweight Alex Trebek (circa-1990). News that "The Jersey Shore" received government funds has Democrats torn between their support of arts funding and their opposition to oil subsidies. And Joe Lieberman knows that the arc of history is long, but it bends toward personal Social Security savings accounts. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 15th, 2011:
ARE REPUBLICANS TURNING AGAINST THE E-VERIFY BILL? - A GOP bill that would have employers nationwide snitch on their employees is coming under increasing criticism from Republicans and GOP allies. "I just can't abide with what we're doing to my state in terms of the temporary need for temporary workers," Rep. Dan Lungren said during a committee markup. "It would devastate agriculture... If we do not recognize the demonstrated need for foreign workers, and I'm talking about temporary foreign workers in the agriculture field, we're kidding ourselves." Translation: It's all fine and good when you're demonizing brown people and threatening to build a giant fence on the border but a college buddy of mine who does PE is WAY SCARED about the diminishing economies of scale in the agribusiness sector. [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
SUPER COMMITTEE WON'T 'GO BIG,' DESPITE BRAVE JOE LIEBERMAN - The deficit panel tasked with cutting $1.5 trillion in federal spending won't "go big." No, it's not like Jim Clyburn, Patty Murray and Jeb Hensarling were thinking about renting a stretch Hummer, hightailing it to Mexico where they would disappear for five days as they binged on cheap prescription medicine and Sol in the back room of a Mexicali veterinarian office/agrarian supply store ... so far as we know. No, a bipartisan group of 36 senators urged the panel to "go big" today and propose cuts upwards of $4 trillion. Later, Joe Lieberman, who was one of the 36 senators, tweeted "Maybe we 36 began a 'Washington Spring' today." Of course, there is a BIG difference between young people staring down the security forces of a ruthlessly dictatorial regime clinging to power and a bunch of old white farts who want to limit the medicine your grandmother has accessibility to. But maybe there isn't, and maybe children will one day sing songs of the brave Mr. Lieberman who dared to stand in front of the tank of social welfare. Yesterday, a member of the panel, who asked not to be named, told Alexander Bolton that it is unlikely that the 12-member panel will be able to forge a consensus that contains more than the bare minimum of $1.5 trillion, much less $3 or $4 trillion. [The Hill]
The panel met in private for the first time this morning. "We like to eat breakfast without having cameras in our face," Republican Co-Chair Jeb Hensarling told reporters.
VIRGINIA TRYING TO PRICE OUT ABORTION PROVIDERS - Because you can't apply a grandfather clause to a women's health clinic or require it to take a literacy test, Virginia Republicans have found a new way to put legal abortion providers out of business. The Virginia Board of Health has passed new regulations that would require abortion clinics to adhere to the same regulations as hospitals do. This would require the clinics to make upgrades that would be prohibitively expensive, probably because the clinics have to spend all their resources on bullet-proof glass and lunch for the people that escort patients away from those poorly dressed, poster-holding, spittle-producing protesters. Laura Bassett: "For instance, a clinic must have 5-foot-wide hallways, 8-foot-wide areas outside of procedure rooms, specific numbers of toilets and types of sinks and all of the latest requirements for air circulation flow and electrical wiring. Each clinic must also have a parking spot for every bed, despite the fact that first-trimester abortions don't require an overnight stay. Further, Department of Health employees will be allowed to enter an abortion facility at any time without notice or identification." America! [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Shannon Parish of Broomfield, Col. said she'd been trying to rebuild her life after a divorce, foreclosure, and a bankruptcy when her mother fell ill in 2009 and needed a series of surgeries. Parish, then 55, said she moved so she could take care of her mom, but that her dog would attempt to escape from her new yard by digging out of it. "After many attempts to restrain her, repair the fence, chasing her, she was picked up and impounded," Parish wrote in an email. "Mother became deathly ill and my entire focus was attending to her -- certainly not anything to do with the dog. My business had collapsed and there was no income coming in. Mother died ... and one week later, a police officer appeared at my door and arrested me for an unpaid court fine for the dog at-large ticket and I was put in jail."
DOUBLE DOWNER - Weekly unemployment claims have risen again, distressing the economists greatly. Claims rose to 428,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week, and way higher than the all-important 400,000 mark. Today's report reminds us that more than 7 million jobless currently rely on federal and state benefits, which kept more than 3 million people out of poverty in 2010. Don't count on the federal half of those bennies next hear, unemployed people! [Labor Department]
Atlantic CTRL-Vs the emails of the unemployed.
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HAIRCUTS: Dave Jamieson, Amanda Terkel (h/t Amanda Terkel), COLOR CHANGE: Laura Bassett
RICK PERRY'S SECRETIVE HABITS UNDER SCRUTINY BACK HOME - Rick Perry is spending tons of taxpayer money on flowers and party hats and folding chairs and chips and spinach dip and pigs in a blanket supplies and noisemakers and Baja Bob's Original Margarita Mix and other stuff and PEOPLE JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT THIS ALL COSTS, OK? Ken Vogel and Ben Smith report that pressure on the Texas governor is mounting over his apparent reluctance to make his activities transparent. "He faces pending lawsuits over his office's refusal to release travel records and a clemency review for a since-executed inmate. He's under pressure from open government advocates to release his full schedule. And in response to a once-lonely quest by a Wisconsin blogger, Perry's office has temporarily stopped its practice of deleting emails after a week. And late last week, his team quietly finalized the settlement of an ethics complaint that accused his campaign of hiding how hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions were spent at his taxpayer-funded mansion on flowers, food, drinks and party supplies." [Politico]
NEW HAMPSHIRE GOV TO RETIRE, HURTING DEMS - New Hampshire is so much more than the primary state that cleans up whatever mess Iowa has made (Don't get us wrong, the Southern Baptist preacher/for-profit college magnate seems like a swell guy, but we're going to go with that governor fellow, instead). It's also a place that elects its own lawmakers. Who knew? Popular Democratic Governor John Lynch announced today that he will not seek a fifth term (!), giving Republicans the opportunity to take over the governor's mansion.
Dashing pirate Conservative lawyer Ovide Lamontagne has already announced his plan to run for governor. Other possible candidates include Republicans John Stephen (the GOP nominee last time), Kevin Smith (head of conservative group Cornerstone Action NH, not the actor/director) and Democrats Maggie Hassan (former Senate majority leader), Steve Marchand (former Portsmouth mayor) and Jackie Cilley (former state senator). [Nashua Telegraph]
Rep. Ron Kind won't run for the Senate seat being vacated by Herb Kohl, removing an obstacle for Tammy Baldwin, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. "I have been urged by many across Wisconsin to run for Senate," Kind said in a statement. "But [his work in the House] has lead me to this conclusion: Now is not my time to run for the U.S. Senate." [Politico]
@ezraklein: Hunch.com is happy to confirm all your stereotypes about the food choices of liberals and conservatives: http://bit.ly/irdHXJ
Remember how your demented grandfather would go occasionally into the office, shuffle about the halls, ramble on about his secretary who had been dead for 15 years ... and everyone thought it was really bittersweet? That's like the media and James Carville.
GEORGE ALLEN BLASTS TIM KAINE FOR OUT OF STATE FUNDRAISING, THEN RAISES FUNDS OUT OF STATE - That's the gist of it. Evan McMorris-Santoro reports that the former and would-be future Virginia senator recently took aim at his campaign rival Tim Kaine for raising funds in Illinois. "While I'm here in Charlottesville, at Staples Barber Shop, he's up in Chicago with President Obama's big money bundlers, in Chicago," Allen said last week at, uh, Staples Barber Shop in Charlottesville, "and I'd rather be here at Staples Barber Shop ... and in touch with the folks here." One day later, the Post reported that Allen would head to Newport Beach for a campaign event where he would promote his book, "What Washington Can Learn From the Wold of Sports.". Wait, Allen is promoting a book called "What Washington Can Learn From the Wold of Sports"??? UGH. Why doesn't he just straight up call it," Second and Goal, Bottom of the Ninth: What Washington Can Learn From This Torrent of Trite Sports Metaphors"??? A real home run of a book! A hole-in-one! Are people really that stupid? Actually, don't answer that. [TPM]
Bob Turner and Mark Amodei, the winners of Tuesday's special elections in New York and Nevada, respectively, were sworn in today. "This is not something that we are used to doing in New York, but it's a great moment, a great moment for New York," Rep. Peter King said while introducing Turner (he's right: New York's mayors dress up in drag WAY more often than New Yorkers elect staunchly conservative Republicans). However, Turner was conciliatory. "I pledge not to forget how I got here," he said. "It was an important bipartisan election. It's the only way it can be done in New York City." [AP]
"New York -- Assemblyman David Weprin is blaming President Obama for his stunning 54-46 percent loss to former television executive Bob Turner on Tuesday, claiming that he would have won the southern Brooklyn district if the Commander in Chief was doing a better job -- yet many say the Democrat sunk his own ship with several campaign missteps, as well as his refusal to shave off his 1970s-style mustache."
HOUSE MEMBER WHINES ABOUT DARK HALL IN CANNON, TRIGGERING METAPHOR - We wish we could make this stuff up: A member of Congress complained that the hallways in Cannon were dirty, and blamed the matter on dim, energy-efficient light bulbs, demanding a return to the coal-hungry kind, our sources familiar with the ridiculous situation tell us. So on Tuesday the Architect of the Capitol -- the office that oversees buildings cracked by an earthquake, soaked by a hurricane, and otherwise facing a backlog of $76 million worth of repairs -- sent workers to replace those dimly offensive symbols of environmentalism. Now they're getting unscrewed as quickly as they got screwed in. Those lights, Eva Malecki, a spokeswoman for the architect, told us, are being replaced again any day now with new energy-efficient ones. The old, still-working ones will be recycled. "With regard to the Cannon Building, the lighting levels were identified as inadequate in the hallways. (The recommended industry levels for corridors and other public spaces is between 10 foot candles and 20 foot candles.) As an interim measure, the light bulbs were swapped out temporarily. They will be replaced by LED light bulbs, which are even more energy efficient than CFLs." We snapped video so future generations will know what happened to this once proud civilization.
ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH: MICHELE BACHMANN VISITS BAY AREA - The Minnesota congresswoman and presidential candidate today visited a hive of sin and premarital sex where promiscuous young women are just counting down the hours until they perish from sex cancer or HPV vaccine (re: slut serum)-related brain rot. She was there to attend a private fundraiser in San Rafael. Anyway, we just thought you'd like to know [NBC Bay Area]
Wow, NATO and the Taliban got into a Twitter spat. This is the end of history
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Kitten on a piano.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight Showers popping up in the region, but even if you don't get wet, it'll look rather gloomy. At 52 degrees tonight, I think it'd be fair to say it'll be cold. Tomorrow: Cold front coming through, bringing temperatures in the 60s. 60s! That's 3/4 of what the temperatures we were having not three weeks ago! Blame the arctic for this one. Thanks, JB!
- Hands down the best commercial for Ojai Valley taxidermy we've seen yet. [youtu.be/LJP1DphOWPs]
- Where's Waldo?: The Movie. [http://huff.to/qOXvPL]
- The speediest bottle opener in history: This is a man who is satisfied with his job ... we hope. [http://huff.to/nTzNpI]
- A supercut of people saying "shut up" in film. [http://huff.to/n0Qxxu]
- How does the ratings system work? Allow these puppets to explain. [http://huff.to/naPNY9]
- No matter what you did today, you probably used your time more productively than "Guy who makes Super Mario art with salt." [http://huff.to/nHlJMG]
- Nicolas Cage: "I opened my eyes and there was a naked man wearing my leather jacket eating a Fudgesicle in front of my bed." [http://huff.to/qwKFMd]
- For the golf enthusiast who doesn't like the history of Jim Crow undertones in America's golfer-caddy dynamics: the robot caddy. [http://huff.to/o6Gz0R]
@pwgavin: Everytime I read Solyndra, I keep waiting for a narrator to say, "You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Solyndra..."
@delrayser: Boehner calls Obama jobs bill a "poor substitute." Hey, let's knock off the class warfare, Mr. Speaker!
@7im: U forgot to "Muah-ha-ha-ha" RT @KarlRove Obama in a downward spiral: flat-lined #economy, poll #s plummeting, & Dem leaders turning on him.
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]
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Scientific American holds a party celebrating the publication of its September issue. Much like Vogue, this edition of SA will be jam-packed with 250 pages of ads, mostly for Ann Taylor. [Rayburn B-357].
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]
8:00 am: More Jim Clyburn fundraisers! The House Democratic number three and deficit panel co-chair has ANOTHER fundraiser that, despite what he implied, ISN'T FOR POOR KIDS OR SOMEONE ELSE. Womp womp. [The J.C. Watts Companies, 600 13th Street NW Suite 790].
9:00 am - 10:00 am: Sheila Jackson Lee is the guest of honor at a "Women's Tea" event. If you are brave enough to be near Sheila Jackson Lee and a scalding hot beverage, you're a much braver person than we are [Credit Union House, 403 C Street NE].
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