Rick Perry's declaration that the commander-in-chief is waging an atheistic holy war on behalf of gay people apparently made some people who work for Rick Perry uncomfortable. Occupy protesters will gather outside the Chamber of Commerce's Christmas party and meditate on all the things the business group could have spent their money on instead of that Clydesdale and accordion player (we're trying to confirm the presence of a chocolate fountain). And three Hill staffers were fired for bro-ing out in their office. Puh-lease, everyone knows that smart broheems pack up their BBs, Oakleys, Croakies, and yellow-green IDs and take that shit to Tortilla Coast. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, December 8th, 2011:
MURRAY PUSHING WHITE HOUSE ON PLAN B - Pro-choice groups slammed the president today for Kathleen Sebelius' decision to overrule the FDA on Plan B, and Patty Murray wants "more information," but he's otherwise skating by. Laura Bassett and Amanda Terkel: "Obama said today that he had nothing to do with it. But he fully stood behind the decision, and pro-choice lawmakers, for the most part, are holding their fire, breaking with the national organizations, at least for now. 'I actually think the administration is playing triage,' said one pro-choice Democrat in Congress, who didn't want to be named while discussing the politics of the reproductive rights battle...Aides to pro-choice women in the Senate who are typically responsive were mostly silent throughout the day. The Huffington Post contacted 13 such offices and received only two responses, statements from Sens. Patty Murray (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Two Democratic aides said Murray's office was taking the lead on responding, and her office confirmed that the senator would be writing a letter asking the administration for more information on the decision."
STAFFERS FIRED FOR 'DRINKING PROWESSS' - Pro tip: If you want to drink excessively while on the job in a congressman's office, try to avoid assigning the activity a hashtag. #fail. Three staffers for Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) were fired today for insulting the congressman on Twitter, drinking at work, and being very, very stupid. Some key tweets, from The Hill: "[Fired staffer Seth] Burroughs, in tweets that spanned multiple months, referred to Larsen as an 'idiot' and a 'selfish a------.' [Editor's note: "selfish asshole"] He also described sneaking shots of Jack Daniels in his coffee and destroying his work Blackberry. 'Dear taxpayers --- I hope you don't mind that I'm watching YouTube clips of Nirvana at my government job. Thanks, you're the best,' he writes in one tweet." If Larsen were a really cool boss, he'd namedrop the Pixies while firing Burroughs. [The Hill]
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DECKS THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF UNDUE INFLUENCE The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a fancy party at its downtown D.C. headquarters tonight. Not a Chamber type? Not to worry! Occupy protesters will be having their own ... um ... party, also. Not sure which party to attend? Let us help. On the one hand, the Chamber party will have a Clydesdale and Bruce Hornsby. On the other hand, the Occupy party will have signs and calls to end unbridled greed in corporations and politics. Solution: Drink alone ... like you usually do.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Kim Bullock of Las Vegas, Nev., said she lost her job with a telecom company almost exactly one year ago after her employer went bankrupt. Now she's worried her unemployment insurance will run out before she finds a new job. Bullock said her yearlong search for work has resulted in several interviews, but no offers. "It's just crazy because it seems like you have to put in 50 or 60 resumes just to get one callback, and then you're competing with hundreds of other applicants," Bullock said. She's one of 6 million whose federal unemployment compensation would be cut short next year if Congress doesn't reauthorize the benefits. Unfortunately, instead of an agreement, on Thursday it seemed Congress was headed for a holiday showdown. While Democrats want a renewal of the benefits without strings attached, House Republicans are crafting a proposal that will reauthorize federal benefits programs and simultaneously slash benefits. [HuffPost]
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SENATE GOP KILLS BILL TO EXTEND PAYROLL TAX CUTS - Hey Hill staffers, consider yourself Grinched. Mike McAuliff: "The Senate blocked the Democrats' latest proposal Thursday afternoon, killing it 50 to 48 in a procedural vote that had a 60-vote threshold. ... Democratic leaders said they intend to stay in session until the payroll tax is extended. Action on the House version is not expected until next week, leaving little time to get the measure passed, not to mention to finish efforts to extend unemployment insurance, fund the government, and prevent the alternative minimum tax from skyrocketing." [HuffPost]
OBAMA: HEY, DON'T BLAME ME FOR PLAN B DECISION - President Obama said today he supports Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' decision not to make emergency contraception available over the counter. But he said he had nothing to do with it. "With respect to Plan B, I did not get involved in the process. This was a decision that was made by Kathleen Sebelius." [HuffPost]
WITH ALL IMPORTANT WORK TAKEN CARE OF, HOUSE MOVES ON TO IMAGINARY ISSUES - Hey, why stop at restricting what the EPA is actually doing? Mike McAuliff: "A bill to ban a farm dust regulation that the federal government has never proposed passed the House Thursday, sailing through easily on a party-line vote of 268 to 150. The measure, dubbed the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011, was purported by its lead sponsor, Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from writing a rule that would require farmers to take onerous steps to control dust from their land. But EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has said repeatedly that no such rule is in the works. What the EPA does do is review ambient air pollution standards every five years, as required by law, and make recommendations on whether or not to tighten standards." [HuffPost]
ROVE GROUP: ELIZABETH WARREN LOVES OCCUPY WALL STREET AND ALSO WALL STREET - Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS released an ad today saying Elizabeth Warren is too cozy with big banks, even though they ran ads a few weeks ago saying she is too cozy with Occupy Wall Street. In the forthcoming romantic comedy about this DELIGHTFUL love triangle, we want Meryl Streep to play Warren and John Cusack and Josh Brolin will be cast as her suitors (guess which one is which). [WaPo]
NOT EVERYONE IN PERRY'S CAMPAIGN WAS SOLD ON THE WHOLE 'LET'S MAKE OUR CANDIDATE LOOK LIKE AN UNAPOLOGETIC BIGOT' AD - But cooler heads, of course, prevailed, and the phrase "openly celebrate Christmas" was
immaculately conceived. Sam Stein: "When the ad was being crafted several weeks ago, Perry's top pollster, Tony Fabrizio, called it 'nuts,' according to an email sent from Fabrizio to the ad's main creator, longtime GOP operative Nelson Warfield. In a separate email to The Huffington Post, Warfield confirmed that the ad was made over Fabrizio's objections.'Tony was against it from the get-go,' Warfield wrote. 'It was the source of some extended conversation in the campaign. To be very clear: That spot was mine from writing the poll question to test[ing] it to drafting the script to overseeing production.'" [HuffPost]
And if you thought Perry looked like your favorite or perhaps second favorite gay cowboy in that ad, here's why
PERRY: WAIT, I HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE TO SKIP? - Rick Perry will not be participating in The Donald's GOP debate later this month. His camp says he's too focused on campaigning in Iowa. [CBS News]
...BUT WHEN IT COMES TO KILLING BAD GUYS, THAT'S ALL ME - President Obama had a "drop the mic" moment at a news conference today in response to a question about GOP candidates accusing him of "appeasement" in the foreign policy arena: "Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaida leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there, ask them about that." Boom goes the dynamite. [AP]
RICK SANTORUM TAKES 'ILLEGALS' TERM SERIOUSLY, DESPITE FACTS - At a campaign stop yesterday, Santorum criticized Newt Gingrich for his "humane" plan to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. "You can't be here for 20 years and commit only one illegal act ... because everything you're doing while you're here is against the law. I understand Congressman Gingrich saying, 'Well, you know, people have been here and they've been good citizens and paying taxes.' Yeah, under somebody else's Social Security number because you stole it." Actually, using another person's Social Security number, unless a prosecutor can prove you knew it belonged to an actual person, does not count as criminal identity theft, according to the Supreme Court. But what do they know? [HuffPost]
OBAMA LOSES FREAK ON A LEASH VOTE - KoRn (sorry, the backwards "R" is not html-friendly) frontman Jonathan Davis on the president: "I feel like Obama's an Illuminati puppet. He's basically dragged this country down into the worst it's ever been. Like I say about the White House, 'You've built this house of shame.' Everybody looked up at the White House and America and now I think it's like a house of shame. I miss the old days when people were proud to be American." [Politico]
Funny or Die parodied MoveOn.org: "The way to create change is by annoying people. ... Much like the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been told to leave, we have been asked to stop sending so many emails. We've refused."
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Yodeling cat yodels, can speak.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - While some were predicting doom and gloom (read: Snow) last night, I wasn't convinced we'd see more than rain. Most of us didn't. We're clear tonight and tomorrow, with temperatures cold at night and bearable in the day. Thanks, JB!
- This might be down by the time you read this, but someone recut Pulp Fiction to be chronological (it starts with Christopher Walken's "Hanoi pit of Hell" monologue). [http://huff.to/vqkQa8]
- Awww, look at the little baby penguins! They were harmed in the BP oil spill, but were released back into the ocean this week. [ http://youtu.be/XkGxnoSm0GI]
- The 90 best Tumblrs. [http://bit.ly/siCSMY]
- Architecture's new direction makes us uncomfortable. [http://huff.to/rCnfne]
- Watch The Cradle: Photos of babies with Kayne and Jay-Z lyrics. [http://watchthecradle.tumblr.com]
- "Why is Denver International Airport a hub of conspiracy theories and 2012 doomsday predictions?" [http://huff.to/rNLm2S]
- Real life whack-a-mole (sans the whacking, thankfully). [http://huff.to/sBDXy6]
- An abbreviated -- and twee-ified -- history of fossil fuels. [http://bit.ly/udQvUX]
@jbendery: cc @kathleensebelius RT @Jesus_M_Christ: Abstinence doesn't work, just ask my mom. So why not go out and have some fun?
@TheInDecider: The only thing that should have stayed in the closet is the jacket in Rick Perry's ad.
@daveweigel: I meant to clean up, but I got distracted. MT @BuddyRoemer: I was in Washington yesterday. It was disgusting.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hangs with some Democratic Senators such as Amy Klobuchar, Ron Wyden, Patty Murray, Mark Begich and Jack Reed at the Winter Majority Trust Dinner [Washington, D.C.]
6:00pm - 7:30pm: Mike Crapo of Idaho has the "1st Annual Idaho Potato Fund" at Diego Townhouse. Dummy, everyone knows there's no such thing as a "1st Annual" event! [310 Sixth Street, SE]
6:30pm - 8:00pm: Tim Kaine will be dining at Bistro Bis with Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hi.). [15 E Street NW]
12:00pm: Maria Cantwell and Elizabeth Warren will out west collecting cash. [701 5th Ave, Seattle, Wash.]
The weekend: Frank Lucas heads to Vegas for the National Final Rodeo in Las Vegas, sponsored by Wrangler. John Barrasso will also be there for the "Take The Bulls By The Horns" event. No liberals allowed. [Las Vegas, Nev.]
The weekend: What better place for the John Thune and his Heartland Values PAC to have their kickoff to the Holiday season than New York City? [New York, NY]
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