POLITICS
02/28/2012 06:18 pm ET Updated Apr 29, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - Snowe More Snowe Puns, Please

Republican voters in Michigan will head to the polls tonight to decide how much we should care about Super Tuesday. Now that Olympia Snowe isn't running for reelection, depressed strategists at the DSCC might stop sleeping all day and wearing sweatpants when they go outside. And Kid Rock's endorsement of Mitt Romney is his weirdest collaboration since the one with Sheryl Crow, but this time, we hope, Mitt and Kid won't be singing about missing each other. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 28th, 2012:

OLYMPIA SNOWE INSPIRES IRRITATING TWITTER PUNS ABOUT HER NAME, ALSO ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT - "U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will not run to keep her seat this November,according to local station WGME. 'After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a 'candidate for re-election to the United States Senate,' Snowe said in a statement issued on Tuesday. 'It has been an indescribable honor and immeasurable privilege to serve the people of Maine, first in both houses of Maine's legislature and later in both houses of Congress.'... The moderate Republican's decision not to seek another term gives Democrats an opportunity to capture another post in the upper congressional chamber. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil addressed the news in a statement." [HuffPost]

University of Maine mascot --> RT @BananasTBear: @HuffPostHill I cannot confirm or deny my senate bid.

PINGREE CONSIDERING A BID - Statement from Chellie Pingree, Maine's local version of Elizabeth Warren: "This upcoming election is critical to the future of our working families around the country, and in the coming days I will carefully consider how I can best serve the people of Maine." Pingree's level of popularity among Democrats may only be eclipsed by her daughter, Hannah Pingree, speaker of the Maine House. The Mother Pingree told HuffPost Hill that she -- the mama, that is -- is "seriously considering" a bid. We don't know Hannah, so didn't ask her.

DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE DROPS PROGRESSIVE GROUPS... ALSO THIRD WAY - If we didn't scoop this, what would we be worth? HuffPost: "The Democracy Alliance, a private network of major progressive and Democratic donors, has dropped a number of prominent organizations, according to people familiar with the group's decision...The groups dropped by the Democracy Alliance tend to be those that work outside the party's structure. Groups with closer ties to the party, such as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters, retained their status with the Democracy Alliance as favored organizations. The decision to drop certain groups was delivered to those affected last week. Among the ones axed are Robert Greenwald's Brave New Foundation, James Rucker's Citizen Engagement Lab, Melanie Sloan's Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Third Way, the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Advancement Project, Democracia, Free Press and Simon Rosenberg's NDN, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Groups working on issues relating directly to people of color appear to be the most dramatically affected. America Votes, which works on electing Democrats, was retained, as were the Center for Community Change, Progressive Majority and the New Organizing Institute." [HuffPost]

RICK OR MITT? Mark Blumenthal: "The final round of polls in Michigan has yielded one of the closest forecasts yet for the 2012 Republican primaries. Collectively, they give Mitt Romney a laser-thin margin over Rick Santorum, one that falls well within the real-world margin of error for a primary election. Either candidate could come out on top of Michigan's popular vote tonight." [HuffPost]

HuffPost Haircuts: Howard Fineman, Ryan Grim, (belated) Eliot Nelson (h/t Patrick Gavin).

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Tom Magnone, who is 60 and lives in the Cincinnati area, said he lost his IT job in 2009 and has been out of work ever since. He's kept a precise record of his work search: "I have applied for 914 jobs," he said. "You can't prove this, but there's so much age discrimination it's unbelievable....Unless there's some incentive other than just hiring an experienced person, there's really no incentive to hire these kind of people. " Now Magnone is applying for Social Security disability benefits. He said he is unable to do physical labor because of a circulatory condition that severely restricts his stamina. Here's how he summed up his situation in an email: "The bottom line is that my 30 plus years in the Information Technology world, my PMP certification, my attending job enhancement training has been to no avail. My thinking is that landing a job might be a pipe dream. Something really needs to be done to help the long term, OLDER unemployed."

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

K STREET IN CAHOOTS WITH ETHICALLY QUESTIONABLE MIDDLE EASTERN GOVERNMENT - We know, we know. Is the Pope Catholic? Pro Publica: "Last year, in the early weeks of Bahrain's violent crackdown on the largely Shia opposition protests, the minister of foreign affairs inked a contract with Qorvis to provide public-relations services for $40,000 per month, plus expenses. One of the largest PR and lobbying firms in Washington, Qorvis employs a number of former top Capitol Hill staffers and also works for Bahrain's close ally, Saudi Arabia. The firm's work for Bahrain came under scrutiny last year when it defended the government's raid last year on a Doctors Without Borders office in Bahrain. Also in 2011, a Qorvis official wrote pro-regime columns in The Huffington Post [Editor's note: Heh?] without revealing his affiliation with Qorvis. Bahrain is an important American ally in the gulf, and its capital Manama is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. An independent commission found late last year that the government had systematically tortured detainees and used excessive force to put down the protests." How do these people find the time to represent for-profit colleges with all the despotic regimes they're taking on? Such hard workers! [ProPublica]

The Virginia legislature is contemplating a bunch of bills that aren't very considerate of women. There isn't much to celebrate about this situation except, as Laura Bassett pointed out to us, "jelly on the belly" is tremendously fun to say (despite the weird Smucker's connotations).

POTUS RIPS OFF CLINT EASTWOOD FOR UPLIFTING AUTO SPEECH - In a speech that might as well have begun, "It's the period between the second and third quarters in America!" given how blatantly it referenced Clint Eastwood's now iconic Super Bowl commercial, President Obama made his pitch to a bunch of UAWers today. "President Barack Obama delivered a rousing speech Tuesday to UAW members, reminding them -- and perhaps Michigan voters -- of the $80 billion rescue of General Motors and Chrysler that may have saved the industry...He spoke at length about the turnaround he has seen in the auto industry and how it has instilled workers with pride. Early on in the speech, he sounded a lot like Clint Eastwood in the now famous Chrysler ad from the Super Bowl, saying, 'No matter how many punches we take, we don't give up. We get up, we fight back.'" [Detroit Free Press]

Ha: @AWMooneyCNN: UAW crowd chants 'four more years,' promptly told 'this is not a political event'

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN *KID ROCK'S REC ROOM* - Musically speaking, we never thought it could get any stranger than the time Mitt Romney wrapped his arms around a group young African-American women and awkwardly sung yipped Who let the dogs out hoot hoot hoot!!. Kid Rock has something to say about that. "Mitt Romney was adamant: he wanted Kid Rock, the country rock singer and songwriter, to perform at his closing campaign rally in Michigan, which will hold its primary on Tuesday. Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, was noncommittal. He had given the candidate his blessing to use his hit song, the patriotic anthem 'Born Free,' at all of his campaign events, but before agreeing to show up at a Romney rally, he needed to speak with the man in person. Aides to Mr. Romney agreed. So on Thursday, Mr. Romney, accompanied by a senior adviser and a security guard, piled into an S.U.V. and drove to Kid Rock's home in Clarkston, Mich., according to a campaign aide." This isn't more awkward... it's just different awkward. [NYT]

Romney, dressed in a blazer and white buttondown, introduced Kid Rock as "a fella that lives in this area."

Find me the most litigious tablet-only news outlet! Romenesko: "Earlier this month, Luke Kummer tweeted this objection to the handling of his reporting, then resigned from The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's iPad publication: "@lukekummer: @daily story on Iranian ninjas has nothing to do with my reporting. I object to it in every way. I wrote straight w/o absurd sensationalism" He then received this warning from the HR manager for The Daily and New York Post: "Luke, I understand you submitted your resignation to The Daily earlier today, effectively immediately...It goes without saying that you are currently in breach of your contractual obligations to the Company. Should you engage in any further misconduct, you will leave The Daily no choice but to sue you for injunctive relief." [Romenesko]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dolphins had a meetup?

TOOT TOOT RAY LAHOOD! - On HuffPost DC: "Another reason to not drive around D.C. while talking on your cellphone: Ray LaHood might honk at you!"

CONCLAVE OF POWERLESSNESS - Also on HuffPost DC: District of Columbia Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss talks about Puerto Rico's status vote and D.C. statehood.

IGNORE THE STRANGE TAPESTRIES! One last one from HuffPost DC: Frank Gehry would like you to look his design for Dwight D. Eisenhower's "heroic" stones and not the tapestries everyone hates.

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Thieving doggy can't baguette away. [http://bit.ly/wMAdKb]

- Ping pong can get pretty intense. [http://bit.ly/z7u1WO]

- Very cool stop-motion music video for "Easy Way Out" by Gotye, playing the 9:30 club March 22. [http://bit.ly/wMR8ry]

- How to shove pictures through a wire, 1937-style. http://bit.ly/yhWJZv]

- Your sushi obsession is destroying the world. [http://bit.ly/yog4bZ]

- If you hear Adele and think, "needs more banjo," then we've got the Adele cover for you. [http://bit.ly/xFxo3n]

- Here's a real political ad from the Putin campaign. Subtitles would ruin the aesthetic. [http://bit.ly/zm6VkT]

- The problem with disco balls is that they're not amorphous enough. [http://bit.ly/xDzIab]

TWITTERAMA

@dceiver: Everytime someone talks about a "brokered convention" the word "Pataki" gets a millimeter closer to the word "-mentum."

@danielshea: Release from MSNBC: "MSNBC TOPS CNN IN PRIMETIME" // Release from CNN: "CNN TOPS MSNBC IN PRIMETIME FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE MONTHS"

@MMFlint: BREAKING: Angry, height-challenged trees showing up at polls all over Michigan. "We stump for Santorum!"

ON TAP
By @christinawilkie

TONIGHT

6:00pm - 8:00pm: Attractive rich people JoAnn and John Mason host a book party for The Darlings, a novel about attractive rich people by attractive rich person Cristina Alger. [78 Kalorama Circle, NW]

6:30pm - 8:30pm: The entire radical left-wing conspiracy, including but not limited to Harry Reid, Al Franken, John Podesta and David Brock toasts Brock's new Fox-bashing book, The Fox Effect. Come dressed to party. [455 Massachusetts Ave., NW]

6:30pm - 8:30pm: Drag bingo and charity dog adoptions collide at Nellie's Sports Bar. Naturally. [U Street on the Green Line]

TOMORROW
6:00pm - 8:00pm: The auto parts industry hosts a congressional reception in the suitably charmless Rayburn Cafeteria. Grab your free beer ticket and get outta there. [RHOB]

6:00pm - 8:00pm: The Idaho State Society's Welcome Back Congress reception is three months late, but seriously, no one's counting. Enjoy the spuds. Beware the "oysters." [Capitol Hill Club, 300 1st St. SE]

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com), Ryan Grim (ryan@huffingtonpost.com) or Arthur Delaney (arthur@huffingtonpost.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e

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