POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Missouri: The Show-Me (Where To Cast My Meaningless Vote) State

02/07/2012 05:14 pm ET | Updated Apr 08, 2012


President Obama's stance on gay marriage is "evolving" at about the same rate that sulphur-eating bacteria evolved the ability to recite poetry. Donald Trump might not get to be president, but a D.C. panel is letting him plaster his name on one of Washington's tallest buildings. And if PR professionals spent less time going to hotel bars and telling people that they're "doing enterprising stuff with social media," people might take them more seriously. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 7th, 2012:

MISSOURI VOTING IN 'MEANINGLESS' PRIMARY, COLORADO AND MINNESOTA MIGHT AS WELL BE, TOO - First in the West!... that isn't Nevada! First in the North!... that isn't New Hampshire! First in the Midwest!... that isn't Iowa!... or Missouri! Mark Blumenthal: "The Democratic Party-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) has released final data on surveys conducted in three states holding Republican caucuses or primaries on Tuesday, and they show Rick Santorum leading in Minnesota and Missouri and running second to Mitt Romney in Colorado. PPP conducted surveys from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6 in the two caucus states, Colorado and Minnesota. In Colorado, a state where Mitt Romney won 60 percent of the caucus vote four years ago, they give Romney a 10 percentage point lead (37 percent to Santorum's 27 percent), followed by Newt Gingrich at 21 percent and Ron Paul with 13 percent. In Minnesota, PPP shows Santorum with a nine-point lead (33 percent to Romney's 24 percent), followed by Gingrich (22 percent) and Paul (20 percent). In Missouri, which will hold a non-binding primary election on Tuesday with no effect at all on the allocation of delegates, PPP fielded a one-night poll on Feb. 6 that gives Santorum a 13-point lead over Romney (45 percent to 32 percent), followed by Ron Paul (19 percent)." [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE ACTUALLY MAKING A LIBERAL INTEREST GROUP HAPPY - In tomorrow's Roll Call from Ambreen Ali: "The mandate announced last month would require Catholic universities and hospitals that employ a majority of non-Catholics to cover birth control in employee health plans. Churches are exempt...The fierce opposition is galvanizing another base to the policy's defense, a bloc that could provide Obama with more votes and dollars for his re-election: women's rights groups and their backers. In recent days, organizations including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the EMILY's List have rallied around the administration to counter the campaign led by the bishops."

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST DISCOVERS POLITICAL WAR METAPHORS - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who stopped making "Draft Donohue" stickers and playing with his Wooly Willy: Tony Podesta Edition to send us this note, is giddy/disgusted with the president. Obama surrogates are talking like Tom Delay surrogates to justify Obama's embrace of Super PACs. Jim Messina: "With so much at stake, we can't allow for two sets of rules in this election whereby the Republican nominee is the beneficiary of unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm." Tony Rudy, Tom DeLay's press guy in 1996, said almost the same thing defending big-money donors: "The fact is we're going to change this country and it takes money to do it...We're not going to unilaterally disarm ourselves." Of course, the War Metaphors in Politics Act of 1890 requires people in Washington to talk this way, but still. Writes PSLGOPL: "If you had pulled Obama off the stage after the One America speech, and told him his top aide as sitting President would be using lines that Tom DeLay used a decade earlier about raising corporate cash, what would he say?" Thanks, PSLGOPL!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Salon.com has posted the third episode of filmmaker Immy Humes' series on the long-term unemployed. A handful of jobless activists help organize a candlelight vigil for joblessness at New York's city hall in December. Very, very few attend. "We were supposed to have a candlelight vigil here, and we were hoping that other 99ers in New York would show up," one activist says. "But I think a lot of people who are 99ers have given up. I think that they feel there's no more fight. There's no reason to fight because no one hears us." [YouTube]

WRETCHED EXCESS IN THE PR SECTOR - In 2010 a global drug company hired goons to dig up dirt on Danielle Ivory, then a reporter for the Huffington Post Investigative Fund. In a memo unveiled thanks to a lawsuit, here's what PR firm Maverick Strategies came up with: "To judge by Twitter followers, she has increased her popularity in recent weeks." A slow clap for Maverick Strategies, ladies and gentlemen. [PRWatch]

Maverick's website says this: "Targets of our work can call names or try hiding, but they cannot question the facts." You know it, bro.

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN GIVEN CONTROL OF A D.C. LANDMARK - Sadly, it's not the Scottish Rite Supreme Council temple on 16th and S Streets. That would be a sick condo. City Paper: "Looks like this Thursday's hearing might've lit a fire under the General Services Administration's butt, and they went ahead and awarded the Old Post Office to the Trump Organization...It's a loss for the Jews, who might've gotten a museum in the Annex along with a hotel, as well as the media, which might've gotten a newer, glitzier National Press Club. Along with a handful of other prospective hotel developers, like JBG." [WCP]

FORMER NEW SCHOOL PRESIDENT WON'T RUN FOR SENATE IN NEBRASKA, DEMOCRATS DISAPPOINTED FOR SOME REASON - A pity, he could have drafted some fashion studies majors to canvas for him. AP: "Former Sen. Bob Kerrey said Tuesday he will not run for the Nebraska Senate seat he gave up more than a decade ago, shutting down hopes for a bid both parties called Democrats' best chance to hold the seat. The 1992 presidential candidate and former Nebraska governor considered seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Sen. Ben Nelson, but also had called his chances of winning in November a longshot. Nelson's decision not to run for a third term this year came as a boon to Republicans, who must net four seats to retake the Senate and have made capturing the lone remaining Democratic seat in Nebraska's congressional delegation a priority." [AP]

"Newt or Schrute?" is surprisingly difficult

THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER - "This image says it all. A Dogs Against Romney Pack Member was stopped by the Littleton, Colorado police yesterday for having a dog crate on the roof of his car. The Pack Member , identified only as 'Oredigger,' was on his way to protest at a Mitt Romney event yesterday when the police officer, believing he was actually transporting a dog on the roof of his car, stopped him." [Dogs Against Romney]

The car is called "The Seamus Express."

APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN PROP 8, GIVING ANTONIN SCALIA THE CHANCE TO SAY MEAN THINGS ABOUT GAY PEOPLE - Unfortunately for Utah, you can't send checks to the Supreme Court ... yet. Mike Sacks: "Same-sex marriage continued its march to the Supreme Court on Tuesday as a federal appeals court in San Francisco struck down California's gay marriage ban as a violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit found that California voters were motivated by disapproval of gays and lesbians when they voted in favor of Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure that stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry. And not approving of a group of people is not, constitutionally speaking, a good enough reason to pass a law against them."

ON GAY MARRIAGE, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS FIRMLY 'UH... GIVE ME A SECOND TERM AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT' - That's the gist of it, anyway. Sure, he might not need years to decide whether he can order the assassination of American citizens, but if the question is if whether two dudes can go to city hall and sign some papers ... give the commander-in-chief some time. Sam Stein: "President Barack Obama continues to 'evolve' on the topic of same-sex marriage, his top spokesman said Tuesday, just hours after a federal appellate court ruled that a state's ban on such unions is unconstitutional. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the president's personal stance on same-sex marriage hadn't changed, but he added 'that divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights to same-sex couples is something this president has long opposed.' Since he first ran for the White House, the president has responded to questions about his stance on LGBT rights by saying that his position on gay marriage is 'evolving.' Carney's remarks provided a slight twist on that vague statement. They also raised the question of how Obama can be proactively opposed to discrimination against same-sex couples but not proactively in favor of marriage equality." [HuffPost]

@mcalderone: My 2012 news/noise cycle piece now updated with slideshow of REPORTERS SWARMING CANDIDATES!!! huff.to/ztZzno

FORMER AIDE TO RUN FOR GIFFORDS' OLD SEAT - And, in classic Democratic fashion, this totally electable gentleman won't run again in November. John Celock: "This week, a top aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is expected to enter the special election to succeed her. Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, was wounded in the January 2011 shooting at the Tucson supermarket that wounded Giffords and 10 others, and killed six. Now, Barber will announce this week his bid to fill the remaining months of her term representing parts of southern Arizona, according to Tucson Weekly. 'I would be shocked if we didn't hear an announcement soon that Barber is running for the interim position and that Team Giffords doesn't endorse him in that run,' Jeff Rogers, chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party, told Tucson Weekly. But Barber, 66, is not likely to run for the new Congressional District 2 later this year, the paper reported." [HuffPost]

INDOOR TANNING INDUSTRY DECIDEDLY PRO-BOEHNER - Excuse, us, we need to blow all the dust off of this four-gigabyte USB stick labeled "Boehner orange jokes." ThinkProgress: "The Indoor Tanning Industry's political action committee has contributed $5,000 House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) campaign account and another $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Campaign's Boehner for Speaker Committee." [ThinkProgress]

SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE ***BRAZEN LYING*** - Heh. Get it?! Laura Bassett: "Karen Handel, the politically embattled former vice president of public affairs for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has broken her silence about her role in the breast cancer charity's decision to defund Planned Parenthood and her decision to step down from her post. 'First of all, I clearly acknowledge that I was involved in the process,' she said. 'But to suggest that I had the sole authority is just absurd. The process was vetted. The policies were vetted at all the appropriate levels in the organization.' Handel's statement directly contradicts what Komen executives have been telling the public since the decision was announced last week. 'Karen did not have anything to do with this decision,' Komen founder Nancy Brinker told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Thursday. 'This was decided at the board level and also by our mission.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - 13 Puppy Stampedes. (cc: FluffingtonPost)

It's halftime in America: "[O]n Super Bowl Sunday former Weather Underground leaders and Obama friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn feted [The Daily Caller] to an elaborate gourmet meal at the home of a very rich friend to fulfill the obligations of a charity auction won by Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson. When the Daily Caller posse arrived -- a group that included Carlson and his brother Buckley, Daily Caller columnist and Weekly Standard senior writer Matt Labash, online media mogul Andrew Breitbart, a Daily Caller contest winner and this reporter -- it soon became clear that there were many more in attendance than expected. Ayers and Dohrn had enlisted friends such as University of Chicago history professor Adam Green and apartment owner Lisa Yun Lee, among others, to serve dinner, while the two principal hosts sporadically joined the table for conversation... Though guarded and seeking to avoid controversial topics, the two former terrorists revealed interesting tidbits about their lives, political philosophy and relationship with President Obama." [The Daily Caller]

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Here are some Aussie cops chasing a goat. [http://bit.ly/zOVSDU]

- A dramatic reading of some middle schoolers' Facebook conversation. [http://bit.ly/xm3NLJ]

- A documentary on Germany's invasion of rock & roll. (60m) [http://bit.ly/yntGms]

- Trailer for "The Amazing Spiderman," which appears to take place in a separate timeline from the Tobey Macguire ones. [http://bit.ly/yHIotR]

- Jimmy Kimmel asked his viewers to unplug the TV during the Super Bowl and film the results. [http://bit.ly/yjDaEF]

- Master Class: How to Make a Great Commercial [http://bit.ly/wmoLU9]

- Talking voting booth cartoon perfectly mocks Libertarians. (Sorry, Libertarians) [http://bit.ly/yHnNZw]

- His music is okay, but the fans are so immature. [http://bit.ly/wfgzRK]

TWITTERAMA

@BuzzFeedBen: It must be Tuesday: A call from a Daily Caller reporter with a hot story on how I'm a tool of ...Media Matters! Also, I think, Soros.

@pourmecoffee: We are debating Clint Eastwood, Madonna, and contraception. This doesn't feel like progress.

@mattklewis: Someone said Rush mentioned me today. (Positive or negative?)

TONIGHT

5:00pm - ?!?: Looking for trouble? Consider a big joint birthday party for the sketchiest guys in Congress: Allen West, Doc Hastings, Michael Grimm and Steve Fincher. Whatever happens, don't say we didn't warn you. [300 First Street SE]

7:00pm: A-list celebrities and models go clothes shopping and sip cocktails in the Meatpacking District. Only this time, it's for Obama! [Theory, 40 Gansevoort St, NYC]

TOMORROW

12:00pm - 1:00pm: The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (who knew?) hosts a lunch on hearing loss in the military. It'll be down in the basement, so they can make as much noise as they want. [Rayburn B-340]

6:00pm - 7:30pm: Bud Light, Tabasco and a bunch of oyster companies host a oyster tasting reception and you won't notice how gross Bud Light and Tabasco are with oysters. [Acadiana, 901 New York Ave. NW]

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