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HUFFPOST HILL - Romney To Sit Back, Relax And Let The Jeff Foxworthy Bump Do The Rest

First Posted: 03/13/2012 5:41 pm Updated: 03/13/2012 5:51 pm

Dick Cheney is afraid of what Canadians might do to him if he enters their country, probably because of that time he supported Mario Lemieux's extraordinary rendition. Chuck Grassley took to Twitter to complain about the History Channel's programming, but sadly didn't tweet that he "cnnot wt 4 more episdes of Swmp Ppl." And the class-conscious Obama administration would rather not disclose the price tag of the wine it serves foreign dignitaries. Better that than starting an international incident by serving David Cameron Two Buck Chuck, we suppose. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, March 13th, 2012:

WILL SOUTHERN VOTERS REWARD ROMNEY FOR TALKIN' FOLKSY AND PROCLAIMING HIS LOVE OF GRITS? - Let's not kid ourselves, Mitt's southern strategy left a lot to be desired, but at least he didn't confuse "Roll Tide" with some kind of instruction on how best to launder his clothes (...yet). Jon Ward: "There are several possible outcomes once the results of primaries in Mississippi and Alabama start to roll in on Tuesday night...Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who actually has a shot at winning one or both primaries but is especially competitive in Mississippi, is not having a rally at all. That's a first for Romney on a big primary day, and is in keeping with his efforts to set himself up as the underdog in the Southern states. If he wins either state, it seems likely he would make some sort of public statement to TV cameras. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is holding a rally, but not in either of the primary states. He'll be in Lafayette, La. It's something of an odd choice, since Louisiana doesn't hold its primary until March 24. Between now and then, Missouri will hold a caucus on Saturday, March 17, and Illinois will have its primary on Tuesday, March 20...Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is holding a rally, but not in either of the primary states. He'll be in Lafayette, La. It's something of an odd choice, since Louisiana doesn't hold its primary until March 24. Between now and then, Missouri will hold a caucus on Saturday, March 17, and Illinois will have its primary on Tuesday, March 20." [HuffPost]

HuffPost Hill interviewed Alabama resident Scott Crider, founder of Dogs Against Romney, about today's primary: "Dogs Against Romney is anxiously watching for the results in Alabama and we're disappointed to see Romney has closed the gap on Santorum and Gingrich." More as the situation develops.

@SusanPage: Things I didn't know: American Samoa (which votes today and has 9 delegates) is 25% Mormon. #goodnewsforromney

NATURAL GAS HAS A BIG REPUBLICAN PROBLEM - The Pickens Plan failed 51 to 47 today, falling nine votes short of the threshold needed for Senate passage. T. Boone Pickens, whose backing of Swift Boat Vets for Truth gave W. Bush a second term, has a real what-have-you-done-for-me-lately problem with the GOP. Only six Republicans were willing to sign on to the amendment, while eight Democrats broke with their leaders to vote no. Pickens has mostly sworn off giving to federal candidates, but we poked around a bit and, guess what? Pickens' wife and a Pickens company gave Harry Reid and PACs aligned with him hundreds of thousands of dollars when he faced a tight reelection contest in 2010. (The corporation's giving was made possible by the Citizens United ruling.) During the 2010 cycle, Madeleine Pickens gave $16,800 to the Reid Victory Fund and another $12,000 to the Nevada state Democratic Party. The Madeleine N Pickens Trust gave $50,000 to Patriot Majority, a super PAC targeting Reid's Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, and Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a natural gas company partially owned by T. Boone and Madeleine, gave another $175,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (T. Boone owns roughly $360 million worth of that company, while Madeleine owns about $35 million.) Andrew Littlefair, the company's CEO and usually a GOP donor, gave $20,000 to Patriot Majority and another $4,400 directly to Reid that cycle. Other than those to Reid, Madeleine Pickens' electoral donations are solidly Republican. [HuffPost]

LOBBYISTS FOR LOBBYISTS LOBBY PRESIDENT ON LOBBYING - But who will lobby the lobbyist lobbyists on how to lobby the president on lobbying? Ariel Edwards-Levy: "The American League of Lobbyists is calling on President Barack Obama to tone down his criticism of lobbyists. In a letter addressed to 'The Honorable Barak H. Obama' [sic], the group's president, Howard Marlowe, said Monday that Obama's statements are encouraging lobbyists to deregister themselves. 'For some time, the American League of Lobbyists (ALL) has been extremely critical of your words and policies affecting lobbyists,' the letter reads. 'You have attacked lobbyist as being a primary source of political dysfunction, yet you have embraced those lobbyists who choose to call themselves consultants, advisors, or any other name besides a lobbyist.' Marlowe also called on Obama to meet with lobbyists to discuss the attacks." [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The Arizona legislature is on drugs. Lawmakers want to make unemployed people pass drug tests, but they're doing it wrong. If they follow through with their proposal as is, Arizona businesses could be in for a major tax hike. Here's why: If a state's unemployment laws do not gel with federal unemployment laws, then the federal government won't send administrative funding for the state's unemployment insurance programs, and state businesses can lose out out on federal unemployment tax credits. In every state, employers receive a tax credit that limits their obligations under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. In Arizona, the credit reduces business' obligations tenfold, from 6 percent to 0.6 percent of the first $7,000 in wages paid to each employee every year. The average business would go from paying $48 per worker each year to $480 per worker. [HuffPost]

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

RICK SANTORUM WAS AGAINST SUGAR DADDIES BEFORE HE WAS FOR THEM - Sam Stein: "In a radio interview with WHJB 620 AM, during the height of his bid to unseat Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.), Santorum blamed a political culture that relied on PACs for producing unbalanced elections. The transcript of the interview was included in a file of documents, obtained by The Huffington Post, that the Wofford campaign kept on Santorum during the course of the race. 'The thing that disturbs [me] more than anything else about political action committees is they tend to give to incumbents more than they do to challengers,' Santorum said in the interview, which took place Sept. 26, 1994. 'They [do] not give to people who support their positions; they end up giving because they think the person is going to win. They give them the money which insures them that they are going to win. I don't think you have that proper balance, which you would with an individual who is more likely to support someone because they are philosophically in line with the direction of the country that that person would like the country to go.'" [HuffPost]

A new poll finds indicates most Americans are totally jealous of Sheldon Adelson want super PACs to be outlawed

RICK SANTORUM JUST KILLING TIME UNTIL NEWT GINGRICH HOPEFULLY, MAYBE DROPS OUT - Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Rick Santorum is disputing Mitt Rommey's statement that Santorum is less conservative on economic issues. 'I didn't back Romneycare, which is a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy,' Santorum told conservative radio host Mark Levin on Monday night, pointing to his own work with Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on health savings accounts during the Clinton administration. 'When Mitt Romney's solution to a healthcare problem is to take over one-sixth of the economy, you can't call yourself a conservative,' Santorum said. 'You can call yourself a socialist, but you can't call yourself a conservative.'" [HuffPost]

Rick REALLY wants Newt out: "Rick Santorum told Glenn Beck that it would be 'great' if Newt Gingrich exited the race Tuesday. 'Congressman Gingrich has really shown no ability to get votes outside of the State of Georgia and, you know, those primaries are all over,' Santorum said. 'All the states that border Georgia are now, as of today, will have had their primaries.'" [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]

@aterkel: Santorum press release: MEDIA ADVISORY: SANTORUM PUBIC SCHEDULE -- hahahahahaha

Newt Gingrich canceled an event at the Birmingham zoo, which is a shame because nothing boosts a struggling campaign quite like a photo op with an ostrich. Amanda Terkel: "A particularly sad press release was sent out by the Newt Gingrich campaign on Tuesday morning: 'Weather Report Leads to Zoo Trip Cancellation.' Gingrich was scheduled to visit the zoo in Birmingham, Ala. at 2:15 p.m., as he campaigns in the state ahead of Tuesday's primary election. According to the campaign's press release, the outing was cancelled 'as a precaution after reviewing weather reports.' (Weather.com, however, predicts Birmingham will be 74 degrees with a 10 percent chance of precipitation at 2:00.)" [HuffPost]

Catholic bishops are conflicted about politics. Also, it's Tuesday. Running in tomorrow's Roll Call from Eliza Newlin Carney: "Some three-dozen Catholic Bishops who gathered in Washington, D.C. for a high-level meeting this week face a tough question in their ongoing standoff with President Barack Obama over contraception and health care: What's next? Both are on the table. Catholic leaders are weighing legal action, said a spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Additional meetings with the administration also remain possible, but the fight over contraception mandates in the new health care law has become acrimonious and politically charged."

A DREAM DEFERRED: AMERICA'S WAR ON MEN RAGES ON - The matriarchy continues to impose itself on America's long-oppressed men -- or, to use the less offensive term, "the y-chromosome-abled" (or, to use the term popular in America's men studies departments, "myn"). Laura Bassett: "[F]emale legislators across the country [are] countering anti-abortion and anti-contraception legislation with men's health-focused measures that come with conditions... Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democrat, proposed a 'spilled semen' amendment to her state's 'feel personhood' bill that would declare it an act against unborn children for men to waste sperm. Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, another Democrat, introduced an amendment to a state mandatory ultrasound bill that would require men to watch a graphic video about Viagra's side effects before being able to receive a prescription for it. A bill filed by Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell (D), would require men to obtain a rectal exam before obtaining such a prescription. In Wilmington, Del., City Councilwoman Loretta Walsh authored a resolution that declares 'each 'egg person' and each 'sperm person' ... equal in the eyes of the government.'" [HuffPost]

JOHN MCCAIN FORGETS ABOUT PERSON HE USED AS A CARTOON-ISH CAMPAIGN PROP IN 2008 (NO, NOT HER) - Mike McAuliff: "Sen. John McCain elevated Sam 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher to minor celebrity status during McCain's 2008 presidential campaign -- a status that the one-time anti-Obama prop traded on last week to win a GOP congressional primary in Ohio. McCain hasn't had a chance to speak to Wurzelbacher since he took that first key step on the road to challenging Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the fall. So the Arizona Republican asked The Huffington Post to do the honors for him. 'No, I haven't talked to him,' said McCain on Tuesday, smiling and appearing genuinely pleased about the idea of Joe the Plumber winning a primary. 'Send my congratulations,' said McCain, before heading to his caucus lunch in the Capitol. Wurzelbacher caught the attention of the McCain campaign after he got into a debate with then-Sen. Barack Obama at a stop in the Buckeye State. Wurzelbacher asked about tax policy, and Obama famously answered that 'when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.'" [HuffPost]

JOE BIDEN THROWS ERIC CANTOR UNDER THE MALARKEY BUS - The Malarkey Bus, if you're not familiar, runs an express route between "Big Fucking Deal" Street and "Stand Up, Chuck, Let 'Em See You" Lane. Jen Bendery: "Vice President Joe Biden trashed congressional Republican leaders on Monday night for their failure to deliver on a debt deal last summer, saying that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) even shook hands with him on an agreement only to later back off because he said he would lose his leadership position over it. Aides to GOP leaders are refuting Biden's recollection of events, however. During a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., Biden recalled his negotiations with House and Senate Republican leaders last summer over raising the debt ceiling. 'There's nobody in charge,' Biden told attendees at the fundraiser, according to a White House pool report. He said he 'made three deals' on a way to raise the debt ceiling -- one with Cantor, one with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and one with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- but none came to fruition. The vice president said he first went to Cantor and the two shook hands on an agreement. But then, Cantor called him later and said, 'I can't do it. I'll lose my position.'" [HuffPost]

IF PRESIDENT OBAMA WON'T DISCLOSE HIS WINES' VINTAGES, HOW CAN HE TAKE ON AHMADINEJAD? - Bloomberg: "When British Prime Minister David Cameron visits President Barack Obama this week, one detail may stay bottled up: the labels on the wines the White House pours at the state dinner tomorrow night. For Obama's first three state dinners, honoring the leaders of India, Mexico and China, the White House released the name, year and appellation of wines -- all-American -- paired with each course. Part of a tradition observed by previous presidents, including George W. Bush, that disclosure stopped after Obama's dinner last year for Chinese President Hu Jintao. One of the wines served on Jan. 19, 2011, was a top-rated 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington state that originally sold for $115 a bottle and went for as much as $399 by the time of the dinner. The price the White House paid per bottle was not made public...Tyler Colman, who writes the Dr. Vino wine blog and teaches at New York University, said in an interview that the shift in menu protocol may reflect political considerations given the sluggish U.S. economy." [Bloomberg]

GRASSLEY STICKS UP FOR OLD FOLKS - A bipartisan Senate bill introduced on Tuesday would restore older workers' rights in the wake of a 2009 Supreme Court decision that made age discrimination claims more difficult to pursue. The legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would undo the Supreme Court's decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Group. Legal experts said the decision made it harder for older workers than for other protected groups to win discrimination claims because it effectively required workers to provide direct evidence they had suffered discrimination. [HuffPost]

CHUCK GRASSLEY TWEETS ABOUT THE HISTORY CHANNEL'S LESS THAN SATISFACTORY AMOUNT OF HISTORY - Naturally, it was hilarious. We can't wait for for him to tweet about how TLC doesn't have enough shows about families that live in tract homes. Examiner: "Something has been eating at Chuck Grassley. It started back in February, when the Iowa senator and history lover turned on the History Channel and didn't like what he saw. More precisely, he didn't see what he liked: history. 'No history,' Grassley tweeted on Feb. 19. 'I used to get history. Why do we h[a]v[e] such a channel when it doesn't do history.' A week later, the senator turned to the History Channel and found, not black and white footage of Nazis, but "Mud Cats." Again Grassley took to Twitter to express his displeasure. "When wi[ll] they put history back on the channel," he tweeted...The senator replied by email to Yeas & Nays to clarify his position. 'I love history,' Grassley wrote. 'A better understanding is going to strengthen our country. It's going to strengthen patriotism.'" [Examiner]

Dick Cheney is worried aboot getting hurt by angry Canadians. "Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous. 'He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high,' said Ryan Ruppert, president of promotions company Spectre Live Corp., which had booked Mr. Cheney for an April 24 appearance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre." By "violent protest," does he mean "getting arrested for war crimes"? Because that would be a form of violent protest, we guess. [National Post]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Doggy duet on piano. Keyboard cat did not immediately respond to HuffPost Hill's request for a comment.

HOW EARLY? HuffPost DC: The cherry blossoms are definitely going to bloom early. But they could bloom even earlier than expected.

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- A cartoon documentary about Kim Jong Un. [http://bit.ly/z7pMZh]

- Google's new privacy policy, or "Friends that you just haven't met yet." [http://bit.ly/xi6ZNw]

- It's okay, everybody. Jay-walking is safe now. [http://bit.ly/y3wy0K]

- Kitty likes dubstep. (TRIGGER WARNING: Dubstep) [http://bit.ly/wEbfvx]

- This guy invented video games 40 years ago. [http://bit.ly/ABrScl]

- Chick lulled into false sense of security. [http://bit.ly/xo2xjq]

- Pot bellied pigs prance with puppy. [http://bit.ly/yFBYho]

- Real Time with Bill Maher either hired a whole bunch of women overnight, or just decided their work deserves mention. Curious. [http://wapo.st/zu4hp7]

TWITTERAMA

@indecision: Matt Romney calls Obama, "great." So there's at least one young person left who's not disillusioned with Obama. on.cc.com/x0FJca

@BylineBrandon: Newt's trip to the Birmingham Zoo has been canceled due to weather. So if the turnout among cockatoos is low tonight, you'll know why

@ByronTau: Q: Do you forgive the British for burning the White House? Carney: "Almost"

ON TAP
By @christinawilkie

TONIGHT

6:00pm - 12:00am: Politico's Trivia night promises to take loud, competitive factoids to a whole new level. [401 Seventh St, NW]

8:00pm: Newt Gingrich hosts a boring history lecture victory party in Alabama at a hotel inside a shopping mall. Double yech. [1000 Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham]

TOMORROW

6:00pm - 7:30pm: There's going to be a NASCAR guy downstairs in Rayburn signing autographs. So now you know. [Rayburn B340]

7:00pm - 9:00pm: Bipartisan speed dating at Cap Lounge, just in case you'd like a more organized setting for people you work with to hit on you. [231 Pennsylvania Ave, SE]

6:30pm: Crumpets and mincemeat and Colin Firth and bad teeth are coming!! No, not really, but Obama is hosting a state dinner for visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron. Cheerio. [The White House]

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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