Barney Frank will LOVE life in a retirement home, where, like Congress, it's totally OK to make audible fart noises and shout down anyone who interrupts you. If Newt Gingrich has his way, the price of admission for unemployment eligibility will be job loss... oh, and a warm cup of urine. And Herman Cain *TOTALLY* dominated the Herman Cain beat today by breaking news about himself. Any newsrooms looking for a smart hire? We've got just the guy for you. This is HUFFPOST HILL for November 28th, 2011, and we're done with the gross bodily function jokes for today. Promise:
HERMAN CAIN: THE PERSON ACCUSING ME OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IS WRONG...OH YEAH, SOMEONE ELSE IS ACCUSING ME OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT - "Ginger White says she and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had an affair that lasted more than a decade in a report released by Atlanta-based station Fox 5 on Monday. The Georgia businesswoman said what occurred between herself and Cain was 'pretty simple.' She explained, 'I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.' White opened up about the alleged affair, which she said went on for thirteen years, over the holiday weekend. Even before White's accusations came to light, Cain sought to do damage control. During an interview on CNN on Monday, the presidential candidate preemptively said he was expecting to face allegations of 'an affair for an extended period of time' and denied any wrongdoing." [HuffPost]
DEMOCRATS REALLY REACHING IN ARIZONA - Mike McAullif: "Politics is different in Arizona. To win the open Senate seat there, Democrats turned to the former Republican Surgeon General Richard Carmona. And now Carmona is touting his first major endorsement -- from a senator who retired after the Keating Five scandal. For those who don't remember the Keating Five, the 1980s savings and loan crisis, or Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, suffice it to say that was the last time the taxpayers bailout failed banks that played too much with real estate money. DeConcini may have gotten blamed for helping the bad guys, and Arizona may have the third worst foreclosure crisis in the nation, but, hey, DeConcini is popular. He's even got a border crossing named after him."
DEMS PROPOSE MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT - Mike McAullif: "Democrats are offering a bill that would cut taxes for most families next year by about $1,500, paying for the cut by taxing income above $1 million. The idea is to extend and expand a tax cut passed for this year that has let workers off the hook for 2 percent of their Social Security payroll taxes. The new version offered Monday by Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would boost that figure to 3.1 percent, or half the 6.2 percent payroll tax, for 2012. The measure would give employers the same break on the first $5 million of their payrolls, as well as waiving the tax entirely of the first $12.5 million in payroll for new workers -- in the hopes of creating an incentive to spur hiring. They estimate it would benefit 98 percent of small businesses...Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has already suggested he'd oppose such a plan. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted Monday that Republicans and some Democrats would oppose the idea as a temporary stimulus backed by a permanent tax hike." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has a new tactic for the drug war: Make everybody pee in a cup. "It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid," Gingrich told Yahoo's Chris Moody in an interview on Saturday. "Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it." Newt's suggestion is a popular one lately. Republicans in several states this year proposed drug testing the poor and jobless as a way for the government to save money on programs like welfare and unemployment insurance. Only Florida actually followed through and enacted a new requirement, which has been blocked by a federal court. You know, because it's not very constitutional. [HuffPost]
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BARNEY FRANK TO RETIRE - The House Financial Services Committee's ranking member announced today that he will retire from Congress after his term ends. The "people who fling spittle at your face while talking" lobby is losing a major ally. For real. "Two factors lead me to this view," Frank said in a statement. "The newly configured district contains approximately 325,000 new constituents...a significant number of others are in the area along our east-west border with Rhode Island which I have not represented for 20 years...Our politics has evolved in a way that makes it harder to get anything done at the federal level... But I now believe that there is more to be done trying to change things from outside than by working within." Frank, a civil rights trailblazer and world record-holder for lowest center of gravity (we guess), was the first openly gay Weeble to hold public office in this country. One of our proudest moments came in July when a floor staffer passed Frank his BlackBerry so Frank could read an item in HuffPost Hill about some stupid shit Sean Duffy had said about the CFPB. Frank held on to the device and scrolled through the whole thing, chuckling along with it, a witness told us. [HuffPost]
Don't worry, assignment editors who will mourn Frank's departure, mom and dad already got you a replacement: "Wall Street executives already are bracing for the possibility that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) will take over as the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee from Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Waters is in line for Frank's spot and could become chairwoman of the panel if Democrats retake the House. The California liberal is seen as to the left of Frank, the architect of 2010's Wall Street reform bill, on financial issues...'She's not a good face of the issues,' one financial executive said. "She's too much of a bomb thrower.'...Waters is wrestling with a long-running ethics investigation over whether she helped secure federal funding for a bank in which her husband owned stock and previously served as a board member. Waters has maintained her innocence, and two attorneys on the House ethics committee were placed on leave for mishandling the case. An outside attorney is now investigating the matter." If/when Democrats retake the House, the fight between her and New York's Carolyn Maloney will be epic. [The Hill]
Anthony Weiner fulfills his destiny... and grows a mustache
JAY CARNEY: NO WIGGLE ROOM ON SUPER COMMITTEE TRIGGER - The White House wants Congress to eat its vegetables but Congress says too many foods are touching. Things are going to get real...and whiny. Carney: "To suggest that they should undo what they did just a few months ago, to declare to the world as they did when they held this vote on the Budget Control Act -- 'We are going to hold ourselves responsible' -- and then a few months later say 'never mind,' that's not acceptable." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
TEAM ROMNEY WANTS A WIN IN IOWA - Amanda Terkel: "Mitt Romney's presidential campaign gave its clearest indication yet that it plans on competing more aggressively in Iowa than originally expected, telling reporters that it is working to win the 2012 caucuses there. 'We're going to be in Iowa enough to show that Mitt Romney is the best candidate to take on President Obama, and to present a plan that's thoughtful and detailed to turn our economy around and put people back to work,' Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said during a press call with reporters on Monday. 'As for a strategy, our strategy is to win there. Our strategy is to -- we're going to get people out to the caucuses,' she added. The Romney campaign has long worked to lower expectations for his performance in the Iowa caucuses, recognizing that the large bloc of religious conservatives in the state is not the former Massachusetts governor's strongest base of support. He recently predicted he will lose the state. In 2008, Romney invested $10 million in Iowa but finished in second place in the caucuses." [HuffPost]
HuffPost Hill reader Andrew sent along this 1994 video of then-Senate candidate Mitt Romney breaking the ice at a campaign event with a super long and super terrible joke about Eskimos.
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: BOB CASEY BORN IN KENYA, POSSIBLY GAY - A new web video from Pennsylvania Senate candidate Steve Welch is your latest demon sheep. The fake "Nightline"-style news segment highlights similarities between Bob Casey and President Obama's politics by postulating that the Pennsylvania senator and the commander-in-chief are actually twins and/or the same person (it's a little muddled in that respect). A slew of fake "experts" testify to Casey and Obama's alleged familial connection. It's a cute concept, and the production values are truly top notch. However, instead of leaving the viewer with the impression that Obama and Casey are related, the basic takeaway is that the two men are really gay for each other. The video features a torrent of photos of the men wearing the same clothing (including one with matching argyle sweaters!). The announcer asks, "Is it possible Casey has some unconscious desire to become one person with Obama and somehow morph together?" He goes on to ask Dr. Melinda Farraday, "body language expert," whether she "see[s] two colleagues who just think and act the same, or is there something deeper?" Dr. Farraday is unequivocal: "The touching and the hugging, much more than you would ever see by just two colleagues." Take it to Vermont, you two! [YouTube]
Ron Perelman's firm threatened to sue us. Get in line, Ron!
@HuffPostPol: Former Rep. Alan Grayson: The real two-party system in America is the Meanies and the Weenies. huff.to/tJjYBR
MORE LIKE CAMPAIGNER-IN-CHIEF, EH? "When President Barack Obama jets to Scranton, Pa., Wednesday to promote his jobs package, he'll log his 56th event in a presidential battleground state this year, putting him well ahead of President George W. Bush's record-breaking swing-state travel in 2003." [WSJ]
GARY ANDRES DUTKO LIFE INTERSECTED WITH SOLYNDRA, OF COURSE - The Energy and Commerce Committee's Staff Czar Gary Andres left Dutko Worldwide (where he represented GM) to become Fred Upton's top guy on the panel. His dogged pursuit of Solyndra is all the more chuckle-worthy now that we know Dutko, while Andres was there, wrote the solar company's loan application. Classic. Also, what the hell is a spitting cobra, and why would you bathe one? [HuffPost]
U.S. LENDERS ILLEGALLY FORECLOSING ON MILITARY PERSONNEL - Shahien Nasiripour: "Ten leading US lenders may have unlawfully foreclosed on the mortgages of nearly 5,000 active-duty members of the US military in recent years, according to data released by a federal regulator. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America this year reached legal settlements in which they agreed to pay damages to nearly 200 service members who claimed that their homes had been improperly seized. Data released last week by the Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, shows that 10 lenders -- including BofA, but not JPMorgan, which was not part of the study -- are reviewing nearly 5,000 foreclosures of homes belonging to service members and their families to see if they complied with the law. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003, mortgage servicers have to follow special procedures when foreclosing on homes belonging to active-duty members of the armed forces and their families. For instance, there are restrictions on so-called default judgments, in which homes are seized after the borrower fails to appear in court." [FT]
"Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to get up in arms over a teenager's disparaging tweet."
GOD IS A ONE PERCENTER - "Three asset managers from Bell Asset Management in Greenwich, Connecticut have won the $254 million Powerball Jackpot. The lucky winners are Gregg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson from Putnam Avenue Family Trust, which they formed after Davidson purchased the winning ticket, the Associated Press reported. The winning ticket was purchased for just $1, the report said. The winning numbers were 12-14-34-39-46, Powerball 36." [Business Insider]
Jason Linkins on the non-existent-as-always "War on Christmas": "No holiday is as well accommodated in America as Christmas. It is perhaps one of the best celebrated religious holidays in the history of mankind. You have to go back to antiquity to find more lavish celebrations -- like, say, the inaugural games of the Roman Colosseum, which lasted 100 days because the Romans wanted to pull out all the stops to appease the gods they literally believed wanted to kill them all with plagues and volcanoes." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog dance serves a cat.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: It's a quiet night on the eastern seaboard, but there is a low pushing in from the south and west. The warm front is slowly being pushed out by a cold front. What does that mean? Well, tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar on rain, but with it getting very very cold once the sun falls. .................Thanks, JB?
- Two parts skiing, one parkour. GET IT?!? [http://bit.ly/uhciBD]
- "Slow-mo Cocktail Explosion" would make a great band name, but is actually the content of this video. [http://bit.ly/vU7M2K]
- Porcupines are jerks, but not in a stab-with-quills sort of way. [http://bit.ly/vVjRj7]
- If you play these video games, you're pissing your life away. [http://bit.ly/v4O2rB]
- There's a joke about "eating high on the hog" to be made here. [http://bit.ly/sk5YYB]
- Father returns from Afghanistan, surprises daughter in classroom. [http://huff.to/s5UVh7]
- Painting is more dangerous than you realize. [http://bit.ly/vAtV0v]
- Somebody find us a leafblower, STAT! [http://bit.ly/sTMYx8]
@BenjySarlin: It's not Herman Cain's fault that he emits a pheromone that makes any woman within 10 feet hallucinate sexual contact
@NYTFriedman: We're at th start of a nonlinear move in innovation whch is moving innovation into more people,enabling them to innovate a Great Inflection
6:00pm - 10:00pm: Rep. Joe Baca hits up the National Orange Show to talk about how Naked Juice is better than Tropicana. [National Orange Show Events Center, 689 S. E Street, San Bernadino, CA]
8:30am - 9:30am: Chair of the Joint Economic Committee Sen. Bob Casey has breakfast with Alston & Bird, LLP, a law firm which has represented Toyota during its class recall conundrum and dun, dun, dun Koch Forest Products, Inc., a subsidiary of Koch Industries. [950 F Street, NW]
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