Herman Cain referred to an advertisement as "the commercial with the little girl in it" but unfortunately wasn't referring to a Toys "R" Us spot. We all know that Chryslers are "Imported From Detroit" but we didn't know until today that Cadillacs are "Exported To The Romneys' Various Upscale Residences." And Virginia is for Lovers... that is until Virginians start refusing sex because of transvaginal ultrasound legislation. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, February 24th, 2012:
RICK SANTORUM PLAYS MIND GAMES WITH POLITICO'S CORRECTIONS DESK - "Rick Santorum on Thursday afternoon slipped away from the campaign trail to speak to a fundraiser for a supportive super PAC, despite denying previous reports that he planned to do so. The fundraiser drew between 20 and 25 donors to a gated country club in Dallas where Santorum spoke for about half-an-hour about the previous evening's debate and the upcoming primaries, then chatted briefly with supporters, according to a source familiar with the event. It's unclear how much money the event raised for the super PAC, which is called the Red, White and Blue Fund. But Santorum's presence could help significantly with its fundraising going forward because it marks the first time that the candidate has bestowed something of a blessing on the super PAC...But Santorum's campaign initially demanded a correction to a Politico report last week revealing his plans to speak at Thursday's super PAC fundraiser. And Santorum himself after Wednesday's debate appeared to deny he would be appearing at an event for the Red, White and Blue Fund, telling a Yahoo News reporter 'I'm doing some fundraising. I'm not doing a Super PAC event.'" [Politico]
Ha ha, lying.
THIS IS THE BEST THING WE'VE READ ALL DAY - John Celock: "Virginia's controversial transvaginal ultrasound bill hit one Republican lawmaker close to home. In the bedroom, to be precise. He said a fellow lawmaker's television discussion of the bill cost him sex with his wife. State Del. David Albo (R-Fairfax Station) was addressing the House of Delegates Friday when he described his failed seduction of his wife Tuesday night... Albo's remarks -- which he delivered with laughter -- were aimed in particular at that TV-talking colleague, Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria), a leading opponent of the bill. 'Boy's in bed, wife's here, TV, poured some red wine,' Albo said of how he began the night. Albo then attempted to play some 'mood music' for his fellow lawmakers to help explain how he tried to entice his wife. House members were laughing as Albo received assistance from another lawmaker in putting on the music. The next step in his seduction plan: He went to turn on the Redskins Channel to help put his wife in the mood for love. Apparently, his wife loves the Washington football team. On the way to his Redskins seduction, Albo found a news channel that mentioned his name in the context of the ultrasound bill. On Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC, Englin was discussing the ultrasound bill. Unfortunately for Albo, he and his wife stopped to watch the show -- and his warm bed turned into a cold shower." [HuffPost]
President Obama will speak at the United Auto Workers' Community Action Program Conference -- a gathering of major UAW figures -- next week. Singing BB King and/or Al Green is not advised.
SAFELITE-ING THE GLASS CEILING, PT. 783,592 - Amanda Terkel: "In 2009, the Wisconsin legislature made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court. That law is now on the verge of repeal. The Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating by giving workers more avenues to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court. In November, the state Senate approved (SB 202) rolling back this provision. On Wednesday, the Assembly did the same. Both were party-line votes. The legislation is now in the hands of Gov. Scott Walker (R). His office did not return a request for comment on whether the governor would sign it." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series, PASTED: The Emails of the Jobless: "I have been unemployed since June of last year. I have been actively looking for work that I am qualified for, and some that I am overqualified for in order to avoid the stigma of being unemployed. Most of the jobs that I have applied for have had in excess of 2,000 applicants. At the beginning, I did not apply for jobs that paid less than what I was making on unemployment. However, after 6 months of being told that I was 'over qualified,' or 'being considered' but never hearing from them again, I began to look for jobs at any rate of pay, just to have a job and avoid being unemployed for a long period of time so as to avoid that stigma....The biggest obstacle that I am encountering is getting into the door for an interview."
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UPDATE: K STREET IS DOING JUST FINE (WHEW) - Rest easy, Equinox restaurant (our favorite, if you haven't noticed): You will continue to attract legions of sellout patrons who whine about Sidwell's admissions office between slurps of the roasted sweet potato soup! CPI: "A new study finds that nearly 400 House staffers have moved from Capitol Hill to K Street in recent years, suggesting that recent efforts to curb the revolving door between lawmaking and lobbying are having limited effect. At least 378 of the 5,710 staffers working on the House side of the Hill at the end of 2009 have since left to become registered lobbyists, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation, a government accountability group. Corporate America was the biggest beneficiary of this exodus, Sunlight found. Fully 80 percent of the 378 House staffers-turned-lobbyists are working for corporations, industry groups, or Washington lobbying firms with mostly business clients. On the other hand, nonprofits advocacy groups are only represented by 37 of these recent ex-staffers, the report noted. Only one works directly for a union group, although on K Street some lobbyists have labor clients." [iWatch]
ROMNEY DELIVERS METAPHORICALLY CONFUSING SPEECH ABOUT AMERICA'S RESURGENCE IN EMPTY STADIUM - We supposed he could've asked some of his small-dollar donors to fill the place up a bit but there are only enough of them to fill a quarter of the tier reserve seats. The Hill: "Mitt Romney spoke to several empty seats Friday in Detroit, in a speech that offered Democrats more fodder for their attacks and failed to deliver the major economic address his campaign promised. Television cameras showed rows of empty chairs as Romney rehashed many of the policies and quips he'd used in previous speeches, made a few jokes that appeared to fall flat with the audience and said that his wife, Ann, drives 'a couple of Cadillacs,' which will likely give Democrats more ammunition for their depiction of him as rich and out of touch. The former Massachusetts governor also repeated a line that has been the butt of jokes by late-night comedians -- that Michigan has good-sized trees." [The Hill]
Video of Romney talking about his wife's multiple Cadillacs (imported from Detroit, baby!)
@mollyesque: So, you ask, what is Romney campaign doing to clean up "Cadillac" mess? A: Sending out supportive statements from CEOs!
SANTORUM TO ROMNEY: SO'S YOUR FACE - More or less. Anyway, Rick Santorum appeared on Laura Ingraham's radio show today -- and the venue's one seat was filled... by Laura Ingraham (well played, Santorum campaign!). Jon Ward: "Santorum is unloading on Romney, focusing his energy Friday on delivering blistering attacks in appearances on conservative media outlets. Before noon, he had already gone on Laura Ingraham's radio program to launch his broadsides. Santorum is counterattacking on the 'team' theme that has dominated the news cycle since Wednesday night's debate. Santorum got banged up when he said that it was 'a mistake' to have supported President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind federal education law, but that 'when you're part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team.'" [HuffPost]
Being circulated by team Santorum, via Jon Ward: " While Mitt Romney was fighting against the 2nd Amendment and saying exactly 'he didn't line up with the NRA' I was working with NRA and getting a A+ rating...While Mitt Romney was signing 189 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, I was traveling the country fighting for traditional marriage between one man and one woman. While Mitt Romney was allowing $50 dollar abortions and hanging out at Planned Parenthood events, I was standing on the floor of the US Senate fighting to end partial birth abortions. While Mitt Romney was listening to the radical environmentalists about global warming and pushing taxpayer dollars to green energy companies -- I was fighting to open up drilling in Alaska and expand natural gas exploration."
POLLS! - Mark Blumenthal: "Despite trailing Rick Santorum in most recent national polls, Mitt Romney appears to have momentum on his side in Michigan and a big lead in Arizona, just four days before both states hold Republican presidential primaries...The Rasmussen Reports poll gives Romney a six-point lead over Santorum (40 to 34 percent), a reversal from the four-point Romney deficit the firm found just three days earlier. The Mitchell Research poll shows Romney three points ahead of Santorum (36 to 33 percent), a big shift from the nine-point Santorum lead the firm reported one week earlier...Meanwhile, in Arizona, five new surveys conducted this week find Romney ahead of Santorum, with the three most recent giving Romney double-digit leads. The HuffPost Pollster's Arizona chart shows that although Santorum gained significantly following his victories in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri earlier in February, his gains have not been sufficient to overtake Romney in Arizona. The trend lines, which may not yet capture a late break to Romney, give him a lead of 38.3 to 30.9 percent over Santorum, followed by Gingrich (14.7 percent) and Paul (8.8 percent)." [HuffPost]
BRINGIN' HOME THE (DAVIS) BACON - Dave Jamieson: "GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been knocking [Rick Santorum] for a stance he took on an 81-year-old federal statute that many Americans have probably never heard of: the Davis-Bacon Act. During Wednesday night's debate on CNN, Romney said Santorum voted in support of Davis-Bacon and that the law was costing American taxpayers '$100 billion over 10 years.'...If Davis-Bacon isn't the most effective talking point at campaign rallies, that's probably because the law requires a bit of explanation. Passed during the Great Depression, the Davis-Bacon Act established "prevailing wages" for publicly funded construction projects. If taxpayer dollars are involved, then companies bidding on a project are required to pay certain minimum wages for certain jobs performed, to be determined by the Labor Department. Although the underlying motivations for the law are disputed, Davis-Bacon basically guarantees that contractors won't take public money, then pay workers below-market rates for their labor." [HuffPost]
SORRY ABOUT THAT TRAUMATIZING INVASIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURE! MY BAD! - You can't spell OBGYN without PTSD. Wait... yes you can. You absolutely can. Anyway, here's a huge Bob McDonald fail, via Laura Bassett: "Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said on Friday that he changed the terms his support for a controversial GOP-sponsored mandatory ultrasound bill at the last minute this week because he didn't realize until that point that the law would require an invasive, transvaginal procedure. Instead, he and a few Republican delegates rewrote the bill to mandate regular abdominal ultrasounds before an abortion, even though they are ineffective during the earliest weeks of pregnancy." Whoops! [HuffPost]
HERMAN CAIN LIKED THE PART WHEN THEY MADE FUN OF ASIAN PEOPLE - Presented without the comment it doesn't need: "Herman Cain says he 'loved' Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra's racially charged ad that featured an Asian woman speaking in broken English, so much so that the one-time presidential hopeful -- calling the spot the 'the commercial with the little girl in it' -- thinks there should be more just like it. 'I loved it,' Cain said Thursday of the much-criticized ad during a campaign stop in Kalamazoo, Mich., according to the Kalamazoo Gazette. “I thought it cut through the clutter. You know, mamby-pamby commercials aren't going to make it in the media or the political world. I don't think it was insulting at all. I don't think it was racist at all." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - The internet tells us that this is a hummingbird snoring. Requesting ornithological confirmation.
- Cat uses paw signals to communicate, kind of. [http://bit.ly/xbtVVK]
- A glimpse into the world of slacklining/highlining. [http://bit.ly/yks9DE]
- Pretty time-lapse skyscape. [http://bit.ly/wtjrhE]
- Foto Friday: The Atlantic's lens returns to Japan for this set of tsunami after/after-er shots. [http://bit.ly/yqJSQs]
- Foto Friday: Young people and their stuff. [http://bit.ly/ydNyBl]
- Foto Friday: The Telegraph's photos of the day. (#24 is whoa) [http://tgr.ph/xO8xl5]
@samsteinhp: Mitt Romney is totally missing Calvin Johnson, wide open, in the end zone. THROW IT ALREADY
@SanhoTree: That's why Gingrich wants to use an EXISTING moon. #fiscalconservative
@Taylor_West: Terminal A at DCA on Friday evening kinda feels like happy hour at some big, nerdy trade association conference.
Friday 5:30pm: The National Governors' Association kicks off their annual scmhooze-fest weekend with a corporate reception! How fitting. [J.W. Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW]
Saturday 6:00pm: President Obama hosts a black tie dinner for visiting governors, which means a brand new set of tuxedo-and-gown photos to go along with "lavish spending" stories. [The White House]
All Weekend: Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling's (Both R-Texas) annual Park City ski trip. If you spot two guys skiing in jeans and bomber jackets, that's them. [Park City, Utah]
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