A very conservative southern Republican talked to the godless, socialist New York Times but insisted that she "would say no" to the vice presidential spot (r-i-i-i-ght). Fans of news items involving Midwestern state treasurers, Twitter and 14-year-old girls had a good day today. And Maine's governor has a message for all the special-needs children in his state. If you guessed that the message has something to do with financial restructuring, you're correct. This is HUFFPOST HILL April 4th, 2012:
THE WHITE HOUSE LIKES RICH PEOPLE AND OTHER LESSONS - Jen Bendery: "President Barack Obama threw an extravagant White House party packed with Hollywood celebrities, key members of his Cabinet and, yes, scores of the president's biggest donors. More than 40 of his most prolific contributors -- many of whom have already bundled a minimum of $500,000 each for his 2012 campaign -- were guests at the March 14 state dinner that was, coincidentally, honoring [British Prime Minister David] Cameron's visit to the United States. All combined, donors who landed invites to the White House party have already bundled at least $10.9 million for Obama's 2012 campaign, according to a review of data on the Center for Responsive Politics." [HuffPost]
SILICON VALLEY GETS ITS MAKEUP CALL TODAY - Zach Carter and HuffPost Hill: "After both parties angered the tech industry and its venture capital allies with that SOPA abomination, politicians were in need of something to mollify the unrest. They found it in the JOBS Act, which President Obama plans to sign on Thursday, enacting a deregulation bill that swiftly sailed through Congress with bipartisan support. 'What happened coming out of the SOPA fight is people in Washington and Congress really sat up and took notice and said, "There is actually work to be done here. This is not just kids in t-shirts running around Palo Alto on skateboards. This really is a community looking to create the next wave of businesses that will jumpstart the American economy,'" says Michael McGeary, a partner in the venture capital firm Hattery, based in San Francisco. "And Congress is very opportunistic this way. They saw there was this community that was very engaged . . . And we would like to say thank you to them." Backing the JOBS Act meant kicking Big Labor in the shins, yet somehow Democrats found the strength to do it.
DON'T PANIC: STRANGE MILITARY AIRCRAFT WILL DESCEND ON THE NATION'S CAPITAL TOMORROW - Don't panic! HuffPost: "Two T-38 jets will be flying over the nation's capital on Thursday morning as part of NASA training and image-capturing mission to photograph the city from 1,500 feet. According to a release from NASA, the flights, being coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration, 'are intended to capture photographic imagery.' The flights will be seen over the city between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m." [HuffPost]
PCCC does thing, this time for Medicare.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The decades-long trend toward lowering taxes on low-income families has stalled and may reverse, warns the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive D.C. think tank, in a new policy brief. Most states are way nicer to the working poor than they used to be, but eight states currently levy big taxes on families with below-poverty incomes. "A two-parent family of four with annual income at the poverty line (which is $23,018 for a family of that size) owed $548 in Alabama, $509 in Illinois, $331 in Hawaii, $274 in Oregon, and $273 in Georgia," CBPP says. "Other states levying taxes of more than $200 on families with poverty-level incomes were Indiana, Iowa, and Montana. Such amounts can make a big difference to a family struggling to escape poverty." [CBPP]
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NANCY PELOSI TO SUPREME COURT: PLEEEEEAAAAASSSEEEEE - Jen Bendery: "It was just last week that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she had "no idea" how the Supreme Court would come down on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law. But on Tuesday, she said she expected the high court to overwhelmingly rule that the law is constitutional. 'Me, I'm predicting 6-3 in favor,' Pelosi said during remarks at a luncheon at The Paley Center for Media in New York. 'We shall see. It's a lesson in civics and I respect it. I respect the court and the judicial review'... Pelosi said things could go a couple of ways in the event that the Supreme Court finds the individual mandate -- the core component of the law, which requires people to have health insurance -- unconstitutional. 'You could have one piece of it taken out and then you address it one way. That's called 'severability,'' she said. 'Or they could say, since this is in here, we're declaring the whole thing unconstitutional.'" [HuffPost]
Kristin Lee has been hired as Microsoft's new DC flack. Please direct all questions about your copy of Windows crashing to her.
'I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE!' DARELL ISSA EDITION - Darrell Issa's comm shop pulls a new media switcharoo! It failed. Dave Jamieson: "Union activists generally don't consider House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to be an ally in labor struggles, so many were surprised Wednesday morning to see that Issa's GOP-led committee had launched a new website to promote workers' rights. Upon closer inspection, however, labor activists came to see what they considered a distinct anti-union flavor of the website, ProtectingOurWorkers.com. Pitched as a platform to listen 'directly to rank-and-file union workers,' the site includes three stories told in workers' own words, and all of the workers are critical of their own unions: the National Education Association (NEA), the United Auto Workers and the Service Employees International Union. The site was apparently built off of a February oversight hearing on required union dues -- a pet peeve of many anti-union conservatives, who claim the money is used for left-leaning political ends." [HuffPost]
MITT ROMNEY GIVES NONPARTISAN SPEECH IN A VERY PARTISAN WAY - Renowned free-press crusader Mitt Romney -- who loves the press so much he rarely actually appears in front of it (if you love something, um, set it free?) -- spoke to the press today. Jon Ward: "Mitt Romney took some pot shots at the press and today's 'instantaneous' age of Twitter and new media Wednesday afternoon, in a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Newspaper Association of America. Romney began by talking about the "striking" changes to the media industry, comparing his first time running for president in 2008 to his current candidacy. 'Back then I would look on Drudge or FOX or CNN online to see how the stories were developing. And only hours after a speech, it was being dissected on the Internet,' Romney said. 'Now, of course we go to Twitter. It's instantaneous.'" [HuffPost]
MORE VEEP SPECULATION (YAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!) - This time it involves super-conservative and super-Tea-Party-friendly South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley just randomly talking about her ethnicity!... to the New York Times! Why would she do that? So she could introduce herself as a palatable number-two to all the reporters and members of the "media elite" who read the Times? Maybe! Was it because her press person randomly decided to have Haley promote her randomly-timed memoir 'Can't Is Not an Option'? Who knows?! But here's Haley on not wanting to be the number-two: "I would say no. How could I do that to the people of the state? They took such a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to show them what work I can do. It is my responsibility to finish the job that I've been given. It would be wrong to leave it... I've never been a planner. I didn't know I was going to run for the State House. I didn't know I was going to run for governor. I don't know what's next, and I love not thinking about it because the doors open at a certain time. If you had told us [Michael and I] 10 years ago that elected office would be in our life, we would have both laughed. I don't think past today." Sure, whatever! [NYT]
The. Greatest. Chyron. Ever.
ICYMI, last night's final tally: "Mitt Romney has won 86 delegates for sweeping Republican presidential primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, adding to a lead that appears insurmountable. Romney won all 37 delegates in Maryland and all 16 delegates in the District of Columbia. Romney won 33 delegates in Wisconsin, where his chief rival, Rick Santorum, got the other nine. Romney now has 658 delegates, putting him on pace to reach the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by early June." [AP]
"Why does a 62-year-old man want to follow a 14-year-old girl on Twitter?" Amanda Terkel: "The GOP primary contest for Nebraska's U.S. Senate seat turned personal on Tuesday, when one of the candidates accused the other of being 'creepy' for requesting to follow his 14-year-old daughter on Twitter. The fireworks began when State Treasurer Don Stenberg (R) went after Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) for supporting President Barack Obama's nomination of Eric Holder to the office of U.S. attorney general. 'Let me ask you this, Don. This Sunday, my daughter walks in, and she says, 'Don Stenberg's trying to follow me on Twitter.' My daughter's 14 years old. Now you tell me -- I'd like to know, why does a 62-year-old man want to follow a 14-year-old girl on Twitter? I'd really like to know. She said, 'Dad, that's kind of creepy.'" [HuffPost]
MAINE'S GOVERNOR IS... AN INTERESTING PERSON, PT 2,711 - You might not have realized it, but Governor Paul LePage was working on what quite possibly might be the most depressing iron-horse record in history. Portland Press Herald: "Gov. Paul LePage's streak of 16 consecutive vetoes with no overrides ended today, as Maine lawmakers voted to restore MaineCare services to special-needs children in the state's schools. The 35-0 vote Wednesday in the Senate came without debate and a day after a House vote of 124-16. The measure directs the state education and health departments to develop a plan to reinstitute a program that provides medically necessary services to children in Maine schools...Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in handing the GOP governor a rebuke on the bill, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Peter Edgecomb of Caribou and encountered virtually no opposition as it worked its way through the Legislature." [Portland Press Herald]
"Establishment v. Not-As-Much-Establishment" update from Arizona: "Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has sided with Rep. David Schweikert over Rep. Ben Quayle in their Republican primary fight in Arizona...The Toomey nod comes two days after another voice for fiscal conservatism, the Citizens United PAC, endorsed Schweikert. In March, the Club for Growth PAC circulated a letter it had sent to the House GOP leadership warning them against supporting Quayle and threatening to intervene to help Schweikert. Toomey is a former president of the Club." [The Hill]
"Running to the center" update from Florida: "Republican Congressman and Senate candidate Connie Mack recently called the budget plan, drafted by fellow Rep. Paul Ryan, a 'joke' during a weekend Orlando Tea Party forum. Mack, who missed the Ryan plan vote in Washington last week while he was fundraising in Florida, later said through a spokesman that he would have voted for it anyway. Mack spokesman David James also sought to clarify that Mack didn't mean to criticize the conservative plan itself -- which President Obama roundly bashed Tuesday in a campaign-style speech...Mack also chided then-Senate candidate and state Senate President Mike Haridopolos last year for waffling over the Ryan plan at the time. Haridopolos ultimately withdrew from the race for other reasons and has endorsed Mack. Mack, Ryan and Haridopolos have all endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who has praised Ryan's budget plans." [Tampa Bay Times]
"Rahm Emanuel" update from Illinois: "Emanuel was doing a photo shoot for Michigan Avenue magazine when he overheard a New Yorker extolling the virtues of her hometown. As the Daily News reports, Emanuel said, 'That's the thing about New Yorkers. Always talking about how much you love your city. Here in Chicago, we just do.'" [NY Mag]
EDITOR'S NOTE: Chicago sucks.
WHY ISN'T THERE A BLOG THAT... - ... compiles the most cliche-ridden, comically masculine and most business school-y press releases from CEOs announcing massive layoffs? Because there should be. NYT on downsizing at Yahoo: "The layoffs are part of a reorganization under Scott Thompson, Yahoo's new chief executive, who joined the company from PayPal in January. The company said the job cuts would not be across the board, and that it would double down in crucial areas. 'We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities,' Mr. Thompson said in a news release. 'Our goal is to get back to our core purpose -- putting our users and advertisers first -- and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal.'" [NYT]
Also: We like how the Times employed the term "news release." Heh. "News release.". Heh.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Is the dog looking at us? Or are we actually looking at ourselves?!?
MARION BARRY WINS WARD 8 NOMINATION WHILE 'TWAGGIN': HuffPost DC: "In what was a fairly sedate election night in the District of Columbia, Marion Barry helped shake up the evening with a massive post-victory Twitter burst as it became certain Tuesday night that the former mayor would secure another four-year term representing Ward 8 on the D.C. Council." [HuffPost DC]
- "Where Are They Now?" nomination. [http://bit.ly/H9oFr8]
- This is why we never clean. [http://bit.ly/HWxxDY]
- If you're going to listen to that awful music, at least get some work done. [http://bit.ly/H9nw2J]
- Meet Anori, baby polar bear extraordinaire. [http://bit.ly/H9o1K8]
- "A towel... is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." [http://bit.ly/H9mmo6]
- The End Is Near, part 29483: Robots with muscles, tendons, urge to kill. [http://bit.ly/H9nPdU]
- Time-lapse Stratocaster guitar birthing. [http://bit.ly/H9nqsa]
@KagroX: 50% of electorate found important. RT @thehill: Female vote crucial for Obama, Romney bit.ly/HKYrym
@pourmecoffee: Santorum isn't going to win. My dream prank of replacing convention balloons with inflated condoms isn't going to happen.
@brianbeutler: BREAKING: Water main. At the White House. It's all over the TV.
5:30pm - 7:30pm: Republican Frank Antenori, running for Gabby Giffords' seat, holds a steakhouse Red Meat Fundraiser. His campaign slogan, "Right Here, Right Now!" makes us gag a little, though. [N. Swan Road, Tucson, Ariz.]
6:00pm - 9:00pm: The Lupus is Lame fundraiser offers a helpful reminder that there are some things you shouldn't trivialize with alliterative slogans. [201 Mass. NE]
5:00pm: If you're in the business of scoring photos of yourself with presidents for your bragging wall, swing by the Mandarin tonight. Bring $10,000. Obama's boilerplate fundraiser was made for this. [1330 Maryland Ave SW]
6:00pm: CQ/Roll Call staffer Clayton Hanson's second novel, Ms. Remorse, is feted at the perfect book party for a Hill reporter: a boozy free-for-all in a dark corner of Lounge 201. Bottoms up! [201 Mass Ave, NE]
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