Having declared victory over his "Google problem," Rick Santorum's just going through the motions now. Arlen Specter really enjoys searing images into your mind. The city is about to be filled with atheists this weekend, more so than usual. And the death of our freedoms celebrated its second birthday today. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, March 23, 2012:
OBAMA: FINE, CALL IT OBAMACARE - Two years after he signed the "big f***ing deal" Affordable Care Act, Obama has reclaimed the term normally used by conservatives who hate it. From a campaign email: "Happy birthday, Obamacare. Here's to two years of making the lives of millions of Americans better every single day. If you're tired of the other side throwing around that word like it's an insult, then join me in sending a message that we're proud of it." They're also asking people to use #ILikeObamacare to tell stories about how it's helped them. [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE HAS NO PLAN B - Sam Stein: "While briefing reporters just days before the court begins oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked whether accommodations were being made should the justices rule that the individual mandate, which penalizes people for not purchasing insurance, is unconstitutional. 'I would refer you to [the Department of Health and Human Services],' Carney replied, 'but not that I'm aware of. The Huffington Post reached out to another administration official for further clarification. Asked whether legislative stopgaps were being crafted to replace the mandate, the official replied: 'No.'" [HuffPost]
ARLEN SPECTER NAKED - Enjoy that mental image. Amanda Terkel compiled some of the most titillating moments of the former senator's new book, many of them involving the Senate gym and nudity. Terkel: "Working Out With John Thune: '[Sen.] John Thune, who looked like a movie star in or out of clothes, was constantly stretching. His lanky body seemed to have some kinks to iron out.' (p. 226) Thune's office did not respond to a request for comment on that passage." Speaking of kinks. [HuffPost]
RAIN V. CHERRY BLOSSOMS HuffPost DC: A massive rainstorm "will ruin your brunch plans and may spell doom to the cherry blossoms. (Hopefully it will also ruin ShamrockFest).
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Brian Perry, long-term unemployed in Rumford, R.I., sent DDD a note about the state's latest unemployment rate of 10.9 percent. "I would be grateful if you would consider an article on this subject. The title could be What Is Wrong With Rhode Island." You got it, Brian. Hang in there!
CREDIT UNIONS LEAVING TOWN AS ATHEISTS ARRIVE - Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), two of the most liked members on the Hill, are teaming up to back the credit union lobby in a fight against community banks. That's why you saw more than 4,000 credit union people crawling the Capitol complex this week. CU Times: "Over the last couple of years, a small coalition of credit unions has built up the background and the foot soldiers to help maneuver supplemental capital legislation through Congress. One can see where this could have been viewed by the trade associations as predatory to their business, but it's absolutely not, according to The Coalition for Credit Union Access...Building consensus around supplemental capital has taken some doing, as the trades (at one time) and individual credit unions had different views on what form it should take. "It's tricky. We were pleased the planets aligned," explained BECU Senior Vice President Parker Cann." When the small-enough-to-fail banks and the credit unions get going at each other, it gets really, really fun. [Credit Union Times]
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BAD TIMING - Next time we'd recommend making a possible ethical violation after winning the senate seat. It's what everyone else does. Shane Goldmacher: "Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., faces an ethics investigation in the midst of her bid for U.S. Senate this year, as she hopes to knock off incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. ... Last fall, the Nevada Republican Party filed an ethics complaint against Berkley after New York Times detailed five years of Berkley actions 'in which she pushed legislation or twisted the arms of federal regulators to pursue an agenda that is aligned with the business interests of her husband.' ... In a joint statement, Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner, R-Ala., and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said the panel would review the matter until July 9 before announcing if it would proceed." [National Journal]
'IF I HAD A SON' - Sam Stein: "For the first time since the controversy erupted on the national scene, President Barack Obama weighed in on the killing of Trayvon Martin, calling it a tragedy, urging cooperation among law enforcement and declaring that 'some soul searching' was needed throughout the country. 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon,' Obama said, underscoring how the issue affected him on a personal, and not just a political or legal, level. 'I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.'" [HuffPost]
@jbendery: McConnell says Trevyon Martin shooting is "an incredible tragedy of huge proportions." Says he's glad it's being investigated.
Geraldo Rivera, professional mustache: "Trayvon killed by a jerk w a gun but black & Latino parents have to drill into kids heads: a hoodie is like a sign: shoot or stop & frisk me ... His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman. ... My own son just wrote to say he's ashamed of my position re hoodies-still I feel parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe ... Its not blaming the victim Its common sense-look like a gangsta&some armed schmuck will take you at your word" [Twitter]
@Crewof42: Hoodies on the Hill. Going on now #congress #trayvon pic.twitter.com/324gHtL0
LOOK OUT, ARIZONA, GINGRICH FAN HAS A MANIFESTO HE'S GONNA DROP ON YOUR ASS - Jon Ward: "Katon Dawson, a Gingrich supporter from South Carolina and a former state party chairman, pointed to language in Arizona's rules as one example of a state whose 29 delegates are currently with Mitt Romney, but could move to another candidate at the national convention in Tampa if there was a contested convention and the vote went to multiple ballots. 'The way I read Arizona's rules, they're not really bound,' Dawson said. 'I've got an 86-page manifesto that shows how to take over a convention,' he added." [HuffPost]
LET THE FLIRTATIONS CONTINUE HuffPost DC: Mayor Vincent Gray and some D.C. councilmembers "tried to sell Capitol Hill residents on the idea that a Redskins training facility near RFK is a good idea.
WHY WON'T JON CORZINE TAKE OUR GOOD ADVICE AND FLEE TO A CARIBBEAN ISLAND? - If a two-bit lawyer did this with a few grand in client money, he'd be in real trouble. This isn't looking good for the Democratic rainmaker: "Jon S. Corzine, MF Global Holding Ltd. (MFGLQ)'s chief executive officer, gave 'direct instructions' to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in one of the brokerage's JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) accounts in London, according to an e-mail sent by a firm executive. Edith O'Brien, a treasurer for the firm, said in an e-mail sent the afternoon of Oct. 28, three days before the company collapsed, that the transfer of the funds was 'Per JC's direct instructions,' according to a copy of a memo drafted by congressional investigators and obtained by Bloomberg News." Yeah. You can't do that. [Market Watch]
OBAMA SWITCHES IT UP, PICKS IVY LEAGUER FOR SOMETHING - Obama nominated Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank. What a snob. Annie Lowrey: "That makes Dr. Kim the front-runner to take the helm of the multinational development institution on June 30, when its current president, Robert B. Zoellick, will step down at the end of his five-year term. Tradition has held that Washington selects the head of the bank and Europe its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, since their founding during World War II. ... Dr. Kim, highly respected among aid experts, is an anthropologist and a physician who co-founded Partners in Health, a nonprofit that provides health care for the poor, and a former director of the Department of H.I.V./AIDS at the World Health Organization." Kim's the first non-banker in forever to run the World Bank, so there's that. [NYT]
Lowrey's other (worser?) half on why it's a good pick. [Ezra Klein]
HUFFPOST HILL SEAMUS UPDATE - Today is National Puppy Day and Romney hasn't mentioned it once.
EVERYBODY FORGOT YOUR BIRTHDAY - Almost half of Americans either think Obamacare was repealed already or don't know. Stephanie Condon: "Twenty-two percent of Americans said the reform package has been repealed, the new Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows. Another 26 percent say they don't know enough to say whether it's still law. Roughly half of Americans, 52 percent, correctly responded that the reforms are still in place." [CBS News]
WELL, SOME PEOPLE REMEMBERED - Mike McAuliff: "Sen. Mitch McConnell mocked the health care reform law and the president on Friday, suggesting that if it had been as good as Democrats promised, there would have been a big party over at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to tout its success. 'I saw the president down at the White House,' McConnell said during a Capitol Hill news conference. 'I'm a little surprised but there wasn't a birthday cake to celebrate the second anniversary of Obamacare.'" [HuffPost]
People are already camped out for next week's Supreme Court health care hearing, some of them for pay. [ABC News]
SANTORUM SUPPORTER SAYS OFFENSIVE THING - While Santorum was at a shooting range, a woman watching yelled "Pretend it's Obama," per reporters on the scene. Santorum said afterward that it was "a very terrible and horrible remark" and he was glad he didn't hear it. [@AndrewNBCNews, @ArletteSaenz]
GINGRICH SAYS OFFENSIVE THING ALL BY HIMSELF - Newt Gingrich isn't saying Obama is lying about his religious faith to hide that he's a Muslim. He's just saying, c'mon, look at the guy, he might be. Ginger Gibson: "Gingrich said in Louisiana that he takes Obama 'at his word' that he believes in Christianity. Then he launched into a riff on how Obama's policies are excessively sensitive to non-Christian, non-Jewish faiths, suggesting it could raise doubts for some about where the president's impulses come from. 'Why does the president behave the way that people would think that [he's Muslim]?' Gingrich said. 'You have to ask, why would they believe that? It's not cause they're stupid. It's because they watch the kind of things I just described to you.'" [Politico]
BLOOD ON THE DRIVEWAY: THE DAVE JAMIESON STORY - HuffPost's own Dave Jamieson shares some personal history in an epic, epic story on violence in the repo industry. "I was working as a freelance writer at the time, and I figured repo work could give me some insight into a little-seen facet of the finance industry. I also badly needed money. My bank account empty, I hadn't had an interview for a journalism job in months. Unlike the many editors I'd emailed seeking employment, the repo guy responded to my query almost immediately. I met with him the following day." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Will Ferrell is an amateur dog trainer. [http://bit.ly/GLDEcQ]
TOOMEY -- TOOMEY? -- DEFENDS ROMNEY'S CONSERVATIVE CREDENTIALS - Sen. Pat Toomey forgot he was a Tea Partier briefly and defended Mitt Romney. Colby Itkowitz: "Toomey -- who made his mark in Washington hunting down Republican moderates to replace them in Congress with conservatives when he was president of the Club for Growth -- rejected critiques of Romney from his challengers that he's not right enough on the political spectrum. 'I think Mitt Romney is a conservative and if he's president he'll govern as a conservative,' Toomey told reporters after a speech to the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, a gathering of the state's conservative foot soldiers, in Harrisburg on Friday afternoon." [The Morning Call]
VISUAL SPECTACLE HuffPost DC: You should really sketch out some time to hang out at the Hirshhorn Museum after dark to watch "the building's exterior wrapped in a mindblowing multimedia display.
ROMMNEY: DODD-FRANK SUCKS, Y'ALL - The regulatory changes on capital investment are not the right height. Peter Hamby: "Speaking about the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, Romney pointed out that it 'affects everybody on, y'all, you all, on a direct basis" -- a verbal slip that drew laughs. 'You all,' he clarified. 'I'm not trying to pretend I am from Louisiana.'" [CNN]
SANTORUM: I WIN - Here's Politico's paste of some other publication: "Via the Daily Caller, Rick Santorum's campaign has declared victory over Dan Savage and the candidate's so-called 'Google problem': 'Until recently, the top result for users who typed Santorum's name in the search engine was a crude sexual term devised by gay columnist Dan Savage to attack Santorum. Peter Pasi, a digital consultant to the Santorum campaign, said that they were finally able to overcome this problem as Santorum has risen in the presidential race.'" According to Google, the filthy version of Santorum is sitting pretty on the first page of results. [Politico]
- Hunger Games midnight showings are ripe for trolling. [http://bit.ly/GI7ZHb]
- The end is near, part 3825. [http://bit.ly/GI8qkx]
- Nature show mashed up with pop music, saving stoners everywhere from having to find the 'mute' button on their TV remote. [http://bit.ly/GLzmCa]
- Give these toys some privacy, sheesh. [http://chzb.gr/GI8W1Y]
- 39-minute piano cover of Mastadon's Leviathan album. [http://chzb.gr/GLCRc0]
Foto Friday: National Puppy Day! (It's also National Chip and Dip Day, World Water Day, and World Meteorological Day) [http://huff.to/GLANk8]
@JennyJohnsonHi5: Please stop making fun of what Geraldo said, I lost my grandmother to hoodies :(
@pourmecoffee: If the founding fathers had meant for there to be hoodies, they wouldn't have worn high poofy powdered wigs.
@gingrichideas: Take notes when I go see The Hunger Games.
7:00pm - HuffPost DC will be partying to mark another year of Dear Leader's benevolent dictatorship. We love you, man. [331 Pennsylvania Ave SE]
7:00pm - 12:00am: Sacrebleu! The French Embassy allows members of the dirty, smelly, American publique inside the gates for one night, for a French tasting sort of thing. [4101 Reservoir Rd. NW]
10:00am - 6:00pm: 30,000
heretics! atheists will rally for the rights on non-believers, as God's wrath rains down on them from above. Haha. Seriously though, it'll be pouring, so bring an umbrella. [National Mall]
1:00pm - 9:00 pm: ShamROCK Fest takes over RFK stadium for an 8 hour-long Irish mosh pit, an ideal way to lose your wallet and sprain your ankle, if you're into that sort of thing. [2400 E. Capitol St. SE]
8:00pm - 12:00am: There are so many snide jokes we could make about The Wheel: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia, but truth is we're Deadheads and we fully plan to be there. [600 14th Street, NW]
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