Between raking in millions selling horrible pizza and raising hundreds of thousands off of accusations of sexual harassment, Herman Cain's sense of right and wrong must be completely screwed up. Rand Paul is frustrated with all those angry feminists who prevent him from telling dumb blonde jokes in the office. And humorless Rick Perry wants to spread the word about a guy named Prince Albert who is currently stuck in a small container and needs to be rescued ASAP. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
RAND PAUL: WHY WON'T SEXUALLY HARASSED PEOPLE JUST SHUT UP? - If it were up to Rand Paul, victims of grossly inappropriate workplace behavior would have two options: 1. Out yourself publicly and subject yourself to retaliation, or 2. Shut up and keep it to yourself whenever Herb from accounting sends you those super NSFW HuffPost slideshows. "In my election, I had an anonymous girl from college -- who I still don't know -- make accusations against me," the Kentucky senator told National Review. "I don't think you should print stuff like that. To libel someone's character and not put your name on it, I think is inappropriate and shouldn't be printed." Don't worry. Rand's unwavering respect for womyn doesn't stop there. "There are people now who hesitate to tell a joke to a woman in the workplace, any kind of joke, because it could be interpreted incorrectly," he added. "I don't. I'm very cautious." Quite cautious, indeed! Never change, Rand! [National Review]
BANKS BACK OFF DEBIT FEES - Occupy Wall Street may be fatally bereft of footnoted policy papers, but it's somehow getting results. Bank of America became the last bank today to announce that it was backing off proposed debit card fees. It's victory lap time. In September, when they announced the fee, we wrote: "HuffPost Hill will eat its overdraft notices if these fees are still around a year from now." Dick Durbin, the man the banks blamed for the fees, however, is much more modest than us. "I'm not taking a victory lap, because there's a lot more to be done, but it's a clean sweep," he said today.
NOW THE MERCHANTS WANT A CREDIT CARD SWIPE FEE WAR - And bank lobbyists would be all for it. (Well, for the retainer fees.) Let's get the band back together! "Thanks to swipe fee reform, we're seeing limits on hidden fees and competition among big banks and debit card networks," said Lyle Beckwith, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the National Association of Convenience Stores, in a statement put out by the merchant coalition. "More competition and fewer hidden fees are huge wins for consumers. With similar reforms to credit card swipe fees, we will see these consumer benefits multiply."
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST'S PRISON FANTASY - HuffPost Hill's own Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist took a break today from writing Andrew Breitbart fan fiction to weigh in on Jon Corzine's recent troubles. "Who do you think is the bigger dirtbag? Bernie Maddoff or Chairman Corzine," PSLGOPL wrote. "Maybe they'll be cellmates." PSLGOPL later added that he is "monitoring the situation." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
@elise_foley: Just got my copy of Jan Brewer's book. What a back cover. yfrog.com/nw56dnrj
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Sharron Tetrault of Mount Vernon, N.Y., lost her job as an event planner in January of 2010. "I moved into a small studio apartment the next week in my same building to downsize expenses, and started networking like crazy," she wrote in a blog post for the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group. "For the first 7-8 months I felt pretty upbeat. I sent out so many great resumes to some great jobs and then… nothing." Her unemployment benefits ran out three weeks ago. She went through the crushing anxiety of not getting responses, even reaching a point of "suicidal despair," but things are better now: She found a job! All she had to do was leave America. "One of my brothers lives on Isle de Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro off the Caribbean coast of Panama -- a tropical island. He needs help running his bar and restaurant. Friends and family have been generous in helping my 25 year old son and I get passports and tickets and to buy necessities in the meantime." Despite her happiness, she wrote, "I still can't quite believe that in order to find a means to support myself, I'm moving to another country." [UnemployedWorkers.org]
TUNE INN REOPENING FRIDAY - Thank god. [City Paper]
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SUPER COMMITTEE COULD GIVE ITSELF MORE TIME TO... UH, SUPER COMMITTEE - We're pretty sure this is the legislative equivalent of getting three wishes and using one to ask for a million more wishes. The Super Committee is just so tantalizingly close to a deal, all it needs is a few more months. Or decades. Sam Stein points out that if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction doesn't come to an agreement on how to get $1.5 trillion in cuts, it could "pass a resolution that would move the November 23 deadline back a few weeks (or more, if necessary). That resolution, provided that seven of the 12 members agree to it, would be sent to Congress. Once there, it would be granted the same parliamentary benefits enjoyed by the recommendations the committee is supposed to produce -- meaning it can neither be amended nor filibustered. There is a catch. Since even a bill extending time would be considered the 'final product of the Joint Select Committee,' it would have to include language that basically sets up a new committee. But that would be a minor hurdle to overcome, as the committee members could literally copy and paste their current charter into the text, changing only the deadline dates." The Super Panel met today and heard from Alan Simpson, so, yeah, this thing's just inches from a deal. [HuffPost]
SENATE PASSES MINIBUS - Politico: "An estimated $182 billion spending bill cleared the Senate Tuesday after bipartisan votes rejecting conservative demands for still deeper appropriations cuts that threatened to fall heavily on rural areas. The Rural Development Agency and essential air service subsidies for small isolated airports both survived challenges. And on a 60-39 roll call vote, seven Republicans joined Democrats in blocking a motion by tea party forces that threatened to pit food stamp benefits against discretionary spending for agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. An amalgam of seven Cabinet departments and major science agencies, the measure -- approved 69-30 -- is the first in a series of appropriations packages which the leadership hopes to finalize over the next month while keeping faith with the spending limits set under the August debt limit accords." [Politico]
Senate Democrats today released the 2012 Senate legislative calendar. "The Senate calendar is starkly different from the House calendar, which will again have House members working in session roughly on a two weeks on, one week off schedule. Only in February and July will the House be working three weeks in a row. In contrast, the Senate next year will have five stretches of work in session that last three weeks or more, and in February-March plans five straight weeks of session work. June and July will each see the Senate in for four consecutive weeks." [The Hill]
SOME CLASSIC ROCKY - HuffPost's Hayley Miller got a dose of Jay Rockefeller today, the rare senator who doesn't have a spot opinion about everything. On a transaction tax: "Lot of things that are up right now and we've sort of just got back," he said, "so I'd rather say I can't answer you than try to answer you and realize I made a huge mistake 'cause I was trying to save my pride."
CAIN RAISES A TON OF CASH AFTER VOTERS LEARNED HE MIGHT BE A SLEAZE - After reports broke that Herman Cain had been accused of sexual harassment on several different occasions during his tenure as head of the American Restaurant Association in the 1990s, the Cain campaign received nearly $250,000 in web donations -- that's one of the campaign's biggest single-day hauls to date. "I'll give you this little bit of information -- and this is breaking news: yesterday with the firestorm was one of our best fundraising days online ever -- since the campaign started," Cain said on Laura Ingraham's radio show. "One of the best ones ever, Laura." So, that time when Mitt Romney walked up to that couple ans asked if they were together, he got, what, 50 bucks in extra donations? [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
For only $50, you can be the most ironically refined hipster at your Williamsburg house party thanks to your bangin' new Mitt Romney hoodie.
RICK PERRY HAS AN ODD SENSE OF HUMOR - What with Rick Perry's bizarre, silly Friday speech in New Hampshire where he appeared to have just ingested a Quaalude-tequila smoothie, you'd think the guy would be able to take a joke. Apparently not. The same day that Perry delivered his now famous "Ask Not What You're Country Can Do For You, Ask Why There Is a Magenta Dragon Doing The Charleston In Front Of Me" speech, he cited a spoof article about Occupy Wall Street as fact. In an attempt to defend the work of bankers, Perry cited a story about a Toronto protester who expressed their amazement at bankers' work ethic. The thing is, that anecdote was fictional. It was originally dreamed up as part of a satirical article about the protests in the Globe and Mail. [WSJ]
DEFYING MILLENIA OF PRECEDENT, MEN TELLING WOMEN WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR BODIES - Laura Bassett: "A group of men with no real background in law or medicine, but blessed with a strong personal interest in women’s bodies, have quietly influenced all of the major anti-abortion legislation over the past several years. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops may be one of the quietest, yet most powerful lobbies on Capitol Hill, with political allies that have enabled them to roll back decades of law and precedent...The Conference of Catholic Bishops is not technically a lobbying organization -- churches are tax-exempt, and they don't have to disclose publicly how much money they put toward lobbying. According to the IRS, a 501(c)(3) organization like the bishops can speak out on moral issues as much as it wants, but 'may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities.' But the bishops were not only influential in swaying votes during health care reform debate; they actually helped Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) write the controversial anti-abortion amendment, which the House approved by a vote of 290 to 194." [HuffPost]
Probably the most applicable instance of "no blood for oil" EVER: "Some security guards charged with protecting the country's emergency oil stockpiles mistakenly believe they can use deadly force if the reserves are threatened, the Energy Department's internal watchdog said Tuesday. A quarter of the security police officers (SPOs) interviewed by the Energy Department's Office of the Inspector General said they would use deadly force to protect the 727-million barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)." [The Hill]
LAWMAKERS RICHER THAN YOU,
EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE REPORT FINDS - A study from Roll Call finds that the wealth discrepancy between members of Congress and an average American has ballooned over the last few years. This is shocking news, especially since this is a group of people who are basically paid to attend fundraisers at steakhouses and who are all but guaranteed cushy job placement if/when they are fired (what's a COBRA?). "Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members' financial disclosure forms. Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress." [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Corgi will only play fetch with its security blanket.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Some clouds put a damper on tonight, but warm weather will make up for it. Tomorrow Temperatures in the 60s, with sunny skies. Thanks, JB!
- NPR explains how we got to seven billion people so fast. [http://bit.ly/w0zSUw]
- A specially-designed toaster will turn your basic, run-of-the-mill toast into divine bread bearing the visage of Jesus Christ. [http://bit.ly/s6iYid]
- Why do fingernails on a chalkboard sound so grating? Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with Satan. [http://bit.ly/uSJOo6]
- MUTANT PARAKEET. [http://bit.ly/vkqtiD]
- Eight-month-old twins were dressed up as Goose and Maverick from Top Gun. Once these kids are old enough to appreciate the costume, Top Gun will probably be in the Criterion Collection. [http://chzb.gr/tccu3y]
- For whatever reason, Beaker from the Muppets appeared on "WWE Raw." American culture, man. [http://bit.ly/sUGrOO]
- A very helpful flowchart that should help you determine whether you are a hipster. [http://bit.ly/usCcj2]
- Thanks to Everything Is Terrible!, you can now watch this supercut of idiotic instructional videos and.. uh, other stuff. [http://bit.ly/tj0QmW]
@BenjySarlin: Dammit, Laura Ingraham interview with Herman Cain ended before she could get to discussing G20 and Eurozone issues.
@allisonkilkenny: Shorter Bank of America: Thanks for the $20 billion. Here's five dollars. #OWS
@TPM_dk: Jon Huntsman digging through own past looking for any dirt to release just to get a little attention #desperatetimes
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Bobby Scott welcomes his contributors to a campaign event. You can get in the door for a measly $100. What a cheap date. [Erickson & Co. Townhouse, 38 Ivy Street SE]
5:30 pm: So the invite for Richard Lugar's fundraising reception featuring Saxby Chambliss says it's slated to begin at 5:30 am. As old as Lugar may be, we really don't think it's scheduled for 5:30 in the morning. If it is, the Law of Early Morning Meetings applies and it must begin with him saying "Thank you for joining me here." [Brookfield Office Properties, 650 Massachusetts Ave NE]
8:30 am - 9:30 am: Joe Crowley, Richard Neal, Jim Himes and John Carney do a turn for the DCCC with a "Business Council Breakfast." Occupy the DNC! [DNC, 430 South Capitol Street SE]
12:30 pm: Olympia Snowe is not the person we immediately think of when we think of steak (she strikes us as more of a house salad type of lady) but, hey, ain't that America. [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW]
6:00 pm: George Miller invites members of the labor advocacy community to bathe in the pleasures of the one percent at Jerry McNerney's Bistro Bis fundraiser. We'd expect labor dinners to be held at Denny's. [Bistro Bis, 15 E Street NW]
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