Michele Bachmann's proposed ultrasound mandate might not cause mental retardation like the *dreaded* HPV vaccine, but she hopes it will mess with minds in a much different, much creepier way. If people assigned colors to monthly job reports, September's report would probably be "mauve-ish." And Eric Cantor taught us that if overweight congressmen throw pieces of paper at a gathering of heat-packing people holding signs that read "WHERE IS THE BURTH CERTIFECAT," it's a "protest." But if it's a collection of job-hungry 20-somethings in Wilco t-shirts, it's a "mob." Got it! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, October 7th, 2011:
CBO SCORES AMERICAN JOBS ACT WITH SURTAX - It's roughly 60/40 in favor of tax cuts and reduces the deficit by $6 billion over ten years. The millionaire surtax raises $435 billion. Total tax cuts are $272 billion and the spending is $175 billion. Or, to put it more eloquently, ***TEH SON OF STIMULUS!!!11***
CANTOR CALLS #OCCUPY FOLKS A 'MOB' - The House majority leader today got feisty at the Values Voters Summit, which is held annually to advance the cause of righteousness and combat the opposing Democratic conference, the Let's Distribute Pornography To Children, Form Roving Gangs Of Late-Term Abortion Providers/Hydroponic Weed Distributors And Generally Tear Down The Social Girders That Keep This Country From Imploding Voters Summit. "This administration's failed policies have resulted in an assault on many of our nation's bedrock principles," Cantor said. "If you read the newspapers today, I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans. But you sent us here to fight for you and all Americans." Let's get this straight: A fully grown man dons pantaloons and a tricorne hat and he's a "concerned American" but cameras spot ONE scraggly-looking dude with dreads and suddenly #OWS is a mob? The Daily Show will dine out on this for months. [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
bloodthirsty class warrior Democratic flack: "A real estate lawyer, Cantor earned the nickname 'champion of the overdog' in the General Assembly for legislation such as a bill to give fuel tax refunds for pleasure boats."
We usually give Him hoots and Arsenio-style fish twirls: @KellyO: God gets sustained applause at Values Voters Summit
Mayor Mike: "The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city aren't productive."
@ElBLoombito: Feliz Yom Kippurvidad Jewbadoros! No lunchmiento! Que Repento!
In observance of Indigenous Genocide Day, we won't be publishing on Monday. Instead, we'll be dressed up in stereotypical native garb, walking onto highway emergency lanes, watching thoughtless commuters throw piles of trash at our feet, and looking off into the distance while shedding a tear at the thought of a once flourishing civilization that is now covered with the excesses of European expansionism. Wait, that's Earth Day.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - In September, 2.03 million people had been out of work for 99 weeks or longer, a small increase from the previous month.
DOUBLE DOWNER Today a front page NYT story purported to show that "Some Unemployed Find Fault in Extension of Jobless Benefits." The guy in the story's opening anecdote nobly opposes Obama's jobs bill even though he would "probably benefit" from more unemployment insurance -- except that since he was laid off in 2009, he would probably NOT benefit, because benefits don't last longer than two years. If brief gigs interrupted and therefore prolonged his benefits, the story doesn't explain. [NYT]
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ANOTHER 'MEH' JOBS REPORT: 103K ADDED IN SEPTEMBER - In the immortal words of Stringer Bell, America's economy is having way too many 40-degree days. Things haven't gotten so cold that we're huddled around oil drum fires and eating braised rat but it's not like things are so warm that America is, well, damn near barbecuing on that motherfucker. The unemployment rate, despite the uptick in hiring, is stuck at 9.1 percent. The six-figure job increase becomes more underwhelming if you consider the 45,000 Verizon employees who returned to work following a month-long strike. The private sector added 137,000 positions but local governments continued to contract, shedding a total of 34,000 jobs, leading us to question whether there are towns out there with a single government employee who delivers the mail, serves as mayor, operates the local K-12 school and maintains correspondence with their sister cities in Croatia or wherever. God bless that person. [HuffPost's Lila Shapiro]
HEH - huffnos.tumblr.com
BACHMANN PROPOSES MANDATING ULTRASOUNDS BEFORE ABORTIONS - Person Who Occupies Your Attention Sometimes Michele Bachmann yesterday introduced a bill (her first House action since right about the time Rebecca Black jokes were still fresh) that would require pregnant women to receive transvaginal ultrasounds before terminating their pregnancies. You see, this isn't the government telling people how to live their lives. It's the federal government mandating an unnecessary medical procedure that is the definition of invasive. "'The 'Heartbeat Informed Consent Act' requires doctors to make the fetal heartbeat visible and audible to the woman prior to the abortion procedure and to describe the ultrasound image to her in detail, even if she prefers not to hear about it," writes Laura Bassett. "If the woman is between four and five weeks pregnant, the doctor has to perform a 'transvaginal ultrasound' in order to hear the heartbeat, which involves a probe and can be physically uncomfortable for the woman." No, it's totally different from the HPV thing, really! You can either opt-in to getting the mandatory sonogram or opt-out of NOT getting it. Small government! We're pretty sure Bachmann won't break out the "little girls" rhetorical trick for this one. [HuffPost]
MITT ROMNEY UNVEILS FOREIGN POLICY PLATFORM - Mitt Romney today promised to steadfastly pursue a foreign policy platform that emphasizes American strength abroad, unless of course you aren't crazy about that, in which case forget he said ANYTHING. But, yeah, steadfastly! "God did not create this country to be a nation of followers," Romney said of U.S. deference to NATO and the UN during his speech at the Citadel in Charleston. God, of course, is one of the most famous signatories of the Declaration of Independence (His name can be found right below John Witherspoon's. You can't miss it: It's the one with a smiley face inside the 'o'). Romney insisted that austerity cuts to defense spending should be rolled back and suggested we beef up our Navy, probably so we can visit something HARSH on some pirates. Can you even begin to fathom the trans-epochal craziness of a Predator drone reigning hellfire on some pirates??? Kick. Ass. [HuffPost's Josh Hersh]
Yes, God is from New Jersey.
When we believe that Herman Cain is the GOP 2012 frontrunner, we'll tell you. However, we're not going bonkers over that Zogby poll showing Herman Cain up 20 points over Romney. Why, you ask? Well, for one, we overheard this today: "To paraphrase Billy Beane's line in Moneyball: 'There are good polls and there are bad polls, then there's fifty feet of crap and then there's Zogby Internet.' But seriously, folks." To clarify, we asked Mark Blumenthal: "Key issue: Zogby's internet polls are drawn from an opt-in panel of online volunteers. Traditional random sample telephone polls show Cain's supporters are among those paying the most attention to the campaign. So it's likely that Zogby's non-random panel is skewing to the sort of politically engaged Republicans who are most likely to support Cain."
RICK PERRY ATTACKS ROMNEY, ACCEPTS ENDORSEMENT FROM GUY WHO THINKS MORMONISM IS A 'CULT' - During his address to the Values Voters Summit today, Rick Perry lashed out at Mitt Romney for, generally speaking, being Mitt Romney. "For some candidates pro-life is an election year slogan, to follow the prevailing political winds. For me it's about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life," Perry said, implicitly referring to Romney's days as a pro-choice governor of Massachusetts. More interesting than Perry's attack, however, was the man who introduced Perry. Pastor Robert Jeffress has previously denounced Mormonism as a "cult" and made a not-so-veiled reference to Mitt Romney's Mormonism during his opening remarks. "In a few months, when the smoke has cleared, those of us who are evangelical Christians are going to have a choice to make," he said. "Do we want a candidate who is a good moral person, or do we want a candidate who is a born again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?" That's right, Republicans: Do you want a candidate who believes that some guy in Upstate New York who tripped balls and saw an angel who told him things about a zombie carpenter from Nazareth? Or do you want the much better candidate who only believes in the zombie carpenter part? The choice is yours. Oh, and they both believe human beings once chilled out with pterodactyls, so there's that. [HuffPost's Jon Ward]
In case there was any doubt about Jeffress' views on Mormonism, here's what he told MSNBC after his address: "Well, Rick Perry's a Christian. He's an evangelical Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Mitt Romney's a good moral person but he's not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity. So it's the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian." Not so veiled. [NBC News]
HOUSE BILL WOULD BASICALLY MAKE WATCHING HAROLD AND KUMAR ILLEGAL - The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a crime for Americans to discuss violating the Controlled Substances Act while on U.S. territory. Radley Balko reports that the bill, introduced by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, would allow "prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication." So just think about that for a second: Your friend comes over one day, and you're talking about your forthcoming trip to the Netherlands. You're all "Yo, broheem, I can't wait to hotbox our Amsterdam hotel room and then watch Een Koninkrijk voor een Huis. I hear it's trippy as fuck!" And then, all of a sudden, *BAM*. An armoured SWAT team and gaggle of FBI agents in windbreakers storm your $1,200-a-month efficiency. Yeah, just think about that. [HuffPost's Radley Balko]
OBAMA LAUNCHES ASSAULT ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA - The Department of Justice is attacking medical pot dispensaries across the country, vowing to shut down establishments that are licensed and regulated by state and local governments, a reversal of an earlier policy that promised to leave the pot shops alone as long as they followed state law. A DoJ spokesperson said that the new policy is really the same as the old policy, but pot shop owners don't quite see it that way. At the same time, the IRS is telling pot sellers they can't deduct salaries, rent, the cost of bud, etc., on their returns, meaning they owe an obscene amount of money to the Treasury and will be forced out of business. If they can't get them that way, they're trying to get them evicted. U.S Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., who apparently has nothing better to do with his time, announced the new strategy at a press conference today: "The huge illicit profits being reaped by illegal commercial marijuana operations are why much of the enforcement action we are announcing today involves civil forfeiture. We have filed civil forfeiture actions, seized money from at least one bank account, and sent out dozens of warning letters. The letters advise landlords who lease space to commercial marijuana operations that -- unless they take steps to remedy the illegal activities occurring in their buildings -- those buildings may be subject to forfeiture. Federal law allows the government to take property and money directly related to illegal drug trafficking. The law is that simple, and it gives us the tools we need. Illegal profits fuel the illegal commercial marijuana industry, so we will use the law to seize those illegal profits."
Iowa Republican officials aren't crazy about a 2011 Iowa Caucuses date, either - "I think that's where the majority or the consensus of a lot of our members aligned. I feel strongly that we need to go in January and not December," Iowa Republican Committeeman Steve Scheffler told NBC News. [NBC News]
STEVE KING GOT IN ON THE #OCCUPY FUN, TOO - "The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they're doing out there. They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically." King made the comments
while getting a mani-pedi at his favorite D.C. nail salon which you may have read about in a recent edition of HuffPost Hill on the Laura Ingraham show. [HuffPost's Hayley Miller]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Prairie dogs riding a Roomba
WOW, OK - "Until recently, almost all criminologists could agree on one factor: the good economy... The higher are employment and wages, the thinking goes, the less crime people commit -- and vice versa. But then, unexpectedly, the crime decline of the last two decades did not end with the economic collapse of 2008...One unlikely explanation that is gaining credence among experts, including some of the biggest names in the field, is a phenomenon tentatively dubbed 'the Obama Effect.' Simply put, it holds that the election of the first black president has provided such collective inspiration that it has changed the thinking or behavior of a would-be or one-time criminal. [Political Wire]
TYLER KINGKADE'S 'NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED' - "The #OccupyWallStreet movement has spread to some unlikely locations. Namely, there's now Occupy Waikiki, Occupy Puerto Rico, and Occupy Nova Scotia to name a few. College students are gathering together in locations not traditionally known as hotbeds of protest, like Iowa City and Lexington. There have been dueling protests occurring in Washington, D.C., where some protesters have been seeking D.C. statehood. Oregon lawmakers are trying to figure out if a Democratic state house representative grabbed a woman's boob at an AFL-CIO convention. Florida Republican lawmaker says 'No more big government! Let's allow people to toss dwarves to create jobs!' This coming from the state that wants to have more influence in nominating the next Republican presidential nominee, and has pushed Iowa to move its caucus date up to Jan. 3, 2012." Thanks, Tyler!
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - What we're looking at this weekend is warm temperature during the day, with cool, clear skies at night. It's great weather to go out and do things -- or, perhaps forget about food -- while the crisp nights remind you that yes, a new year is beginning. Thanks, JB!
- Watch as these children watch Empire Strikes Back for the first time and discover who Luke Skywalker's dad is. [http://huff.to/qhYkVv]
- More Star Wars (sorry) but you need to check out this 80s French TV show featuring multiple C3P0s and Darth Vaders dancing to disco. Actually, no you don't. [http://bit.ly/pyvXEi]
- "My Unfinished Novels" contains a collection of synopses of peoples' unfinished novels. It's like the hive mind's wastebasket. [http://myunfinishednovels.com/]
- A restaurant in San Francisco is crow-sourcing its ownership, allowing average patrons to partake in the business decisions. This magical establishment will only serve burgers, have only booth seating and will eventually be called TGI Fridays. [http://huff.to/oCMxT1]
- CGI video imagining Paris if it were completely inundated, a la Venice. [http://huff.to/pnu63i]
- Famous works of art re-imagined with superheroes. Spiderman Jesus is, uh, very profound? [http://huff.to/pkxwVI]
- A pair of artists are recreating the photo-layering animation techniques of Bambi to make a short film. [http://huff.to/qNw5wN]
@jbarro: BREAKING: Scott Brown apologizes, says he'd actually very much like to see Elizabeth Warren naked, if she will oblige.
@politicoroger: Herman Cain to crowd: "Did I hear 'Yes, we Cain!'? Was I hearing things?"
@owillis: reached for comment, bin laden said GLUGGLUGGLUG mt @BenjySarlin Obama campaign spox notes Romney never mentioned Al Qaeda in his speech
Today - Sunday: John Barrasso, Richard Burr and Richard Shelby drew the short straw and now are FORCED to do a fundraising weekend for the NRSC. UGH. And where is it at? A FREAKING GOLF COURSE.....Life is hard. [Pebble Beach, CA]
Sunday, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm: It's an Old Line State fundraising bonanza! Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski take a break from the arduous task of spending time with their families or God or their bookie or whatever it is senators do on Sundays and attend a fundraiser for the DSCC. [Home of Lynn & Ted Ventoulis]
Monday: Members of Congress never have their fundraiser at miniature golf courses, have you noticed that? Just real ones. We'd find it UBER HILARIOUS if a congressman decided to hold a fundraiser at Put Put Palace. But, alas, Tom Rooney is not. [Laurell Valley Golf Club, 175 Palmer Dr, Ligionier, PA]
Monday, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Jim Clyburn is the guest of honor at a "reception" fundraiser. The "reception" fundraisers always sound so stale compared next to the themed evets...[1230 Main Street, Columbia, SC]
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