The March jobs report confirmed that fewer Americans regularly watched The Ellen DeGeneres Show than they did in February. Former Congressman Chris Lee gave one lucky food bank everything but the shirt off his back (heh). And Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker bravely signed a bill making it harder for victims of wage discrimination to sue, giving Wisconsin's overburdened and beleaguered courts more time to do the people's work... like convicting labor organizers. Passover? I barely know her! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 6th, 2012:
ERIC CANTOR GAVE TO AN ANTI-INCUMBENT PAC - Somewhere, sometime, John Boehner heard about this, took an extra long drag on his cigarette and sighed deeply. Roll Call: "In the waning days of a bruising primary between Illinois GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor donated $25,000 to an anti-incumbent super PAC for use against Manzullo -- a move that may have helped swing the contest in favor of Kinzinger. The Virginia Republican had previously endorsed Kinzinger and donated directly to his campaign, which was unusual in and of itself and which drew the ire of Manzullo and some older members of the GOP Conference. Cantor has previously defended his backing of Kinzinger, arguing that he had promised to support him before the freshman decided to run in the same district as Manzullo. Cantor's overt backing of Kinzinger did not directly target Manzullo, but YG Action Fund, a super PAC run by a former Cantor aide, spent $52,000 on a radio ad buy supporting Kinzinger...Cantor campaign spokesman Ray Allen told Roll Call that Cantor made the donation at the request of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) for use only in the Kinzinger-Manzullo race." [Roll Call]
Remember Congressman Chris Lee? One lucky food bank sure does! HuffPost: "Former Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.), who abruptly stepped down last year after posting a shirtless photo on Craigslist, surprised a local food bank with the remainder of his campaign cash. Make that really surprised. Politico reported Thursday that Lee plans to donate the $14,041 left in his campaign account to the Food Bank of Western New York, but says the food bank hadn't heard about the gift until being asked for comment. 'We have not officially heard about this donation from former Rep. Chris Lee but we are extremely pleased to be the beneficiary of his generosity,' Marylou Borowiak, president and chief executive officer of the Food Bank of Western New York, told Politico. 'His donation will allow the Food Bank of WNY to distribute 77,148 meals to the less fortunate in the four counties it serves in western New York.'" [HuffPost]
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST CHECKS IN - HuffPost Hill's favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist sent us an update that we didn't particularly enjoy (don't despair, it will be included in our forthcoming Graydon Carter-edited coffee table book, "HuffPost Hill: Deep Cuts"). "Ok, I'll try to get my groove back," PSLGOPL wrote apologetically. "Maybe Melanie Sloane did something annoying today." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
Jesus is back! And he's in Washington!!! In front of the White House!!!!!!!!!! Happy Good Friday!
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The unemployment rate keeps getting better, but some things still suck. Last March there were 1.8 million people who had been out of work for 99 weeks or longer. This March there were 1.9 million people who'd been unemployed that long. Womp womp.
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JOBS REPORT: EH - The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today that fewer people are dressing up for work and kissing their children goodbye before driving to the nearest public park where they proceed to cry all day long. So that's... good. The problem is that a number of those people stopped dressing up for work altogether and have now opted for shorts. AP: "The U.S. job market slowed in March as companies hit the brakes on hiring amid uncertainty about the economy's growth prospects. The unemployment rate dipped, but mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work. The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, down from more than 200,000 in each of the previous three months. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent. The rate has dropped nearly a full percentage point since August and is now at its lowest level since January 2009." [HuffPost]
The White House spin machine spit out Alan Krueger: "There is more work to be done, but today's employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue to make smart investments that strengthen our economy and lay a foundation for long-term middle class job growth so we can continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007." [White House]
Romney: "This is a weak and very troubling jobs report that shows the employment market remains stagnant. Millions of Americans are paying a high price for President Obama's economic policies, and more and more people are growing so discouraged that they are dropping out of the labor force altogether. It is increasingly clear the Obama economy is not working and that after three years in office the president's excuses have run out." [HuffPost]
LIKELY NOMINEE MITT ROMNEYBOT DOWNLOADING 'GENERAL ELECTION.EXE' PATCH - And his campaign staff is making extra sure to rapidly hit F8 during the former Massachusetts governor's reboot so he enters safe mode. AP: "Mitt Romney is sharpening his focus on President Barack Obama and broadening his pitch to independents and Democrats. He has more security around him, his campaign team is growing and his crowds appear more excited to see him. It's a different world for Romney now that he's the almost-certain Republican presidential nominee. The transition from the primary season is well underway for Romney and his team as the former Massachusetts governor campaigns this week across Pennsylvania, which is sure to be a general election battleground state. 'It isn't about one person or about even one party,' Romney told a cheering crowd Thursday at his state headquarters in Harrisburg. Working to appeal not just to his party any more but to the country at large, he said, 'We're Republicans and Democrats in this campaign, but we're all connected with one destiny for America.' With a broad appeal like that, it's easy to forget that the GOP primary season is still under way and that Romney still faces a Republican challenge -- though a weak one -- from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum." [HuffPost]
Now that he's his party's putative nominee, Mitt Romney is... trying less. Sam Stein: "Under renewed pressure from the Obama campaign to release additional tax information, Mitt Romney's campaign showed no signs of buckling Friday morning. The former Massachusetts governor's top spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, told MSNBC that the campaign considered the material put out so far to be 'sufficient.' Romney had, he noted, complied with 'all of the disclosure that is required by law.' In addition, he had 'voluntarily put forward hundreds of pages in tax returns.'" [HuffPost]
DEMOCRAT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR WOMEN, PEOPLE HAVING MONEY - We could be wrong, but if President Obama simply screams "WOMEN!......ECONOMY!!!!" ad nauseum from now until the general election, he'll probably win. Jen Bendery and Laura Bassett: "President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to continue making economic security for women a priority and touted a new report that showcases the ways his policies have benefited them and, in turn, the entire country. 'Women are not some monolithic block,' Obama said during remarks at a White House forum on women and the economy. 'Women are not an interest group. You shouldn't be treated that way.' 'Women are over half this country and its workforce, not to mention 80 percent of my household, if you count my mother-in-law,' the president said during the all-day affair arranged by the White House Council on Women and Girls. 'And I always count my mother-in-law.'" What a charmer! [HuffPost]
GSA 'MINDREADER' CRAZINESS STARTED UNDER BUSH - Darrell Issa can't catch a break. The oversight czar's job of turning the administration's own outing of GSA conference overspending into evidence that we're under the thumb of the most corrupt White House in American history (his words) was made harder by news that it started under George Bush. Byron Tau: "A review of budgets for the past four conferences, provided by a government source, shows that the pattern of excessive costs began in planning the 2006 conference -- where costs soared from $93,000 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006. That represents a 248 percent increase between 2004 and 2006. Spending doubled again between 2006 and 2008, with the conference cost soaring to more than $655,000 in 2008." [Politico]
SCOTT WALKER DOES THING THAT PROBABLY WON'T MAKE LIBERALS HAPPY - Amanda Terkel: "A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill. The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which 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, which rolled back this provision. On February, the Assembly did the same. Both were party-line votes in Republican-controlled chambers. SB 202 was sent to Walker on March 29. He had, according to the state constitution, six days to act on the bill. The deadline was 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. The governor quietly signed the bill into law on Thursday, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau, and it is now called Act 219. Walker's office did not return repeated requests for comment." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Baby red panda chases spot of light.
- Hippo just wants to be friends :C. [http://bit.ly/HnXJnV]
- Baseball is boring enough without rain delays. [http://bit.ly/HnYkWF]
- Bone Pugs-n-Harmony. [http://bit.ly/HnXoBH]
- Foto Friday: Peeps factory slideshow. [http://nyti.ms/HnZe5M]
- Foto Friday: Project Gemini. [http://bit.ly/HnZilY]
- This guy needs to join our livestream crew. [http://bit.ly/HnXB7Z]
- Socially awkward teen magician. [http://bit.ly/HnZ8uH]
- Here is a baby panda climbing, kind of. [http://bit.ly/HmpPEp]
@EveryTweet_Ever: #FF Total hacks who have more followers than I do, but I need all the help I can get.
@meredithshiner: There's a Nolan Ryan joke here somewhere. RT @whitesox Robin and Jack with former President Bush #letsgosox twitpic.com/96fxnd
@mileskahn: In Hollywood, Easter is called "Untitled Jesus Reboot Project." (Christopher Nolan to direct).
Thurs. - Sun.: Paul Broun, the only congressman we know of who compared Obama to both Hitler and Stalin, is holding his annual Augusta National golf tourney weekend. Needless to say, no girls allowed. [Augusta, Ga.]
Friday 6:30pm: Local band made-good Honor By August plays a free show in the shadow of the Washington Monument. [Independence Avenue & Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW]
Saturday 1:00pm - 9:00pm: It's the 100th anniversary of the cherry blossoms' arrival in DC, so if you're into this sort of thing, there'll be bands, booths and beers on the Southwest Waterfront.
Saturday 8:30pm: Fireworks over the waterfront, so expect to see pets cowering under beds and people inexplicably leaving restaurant tables to go outside and look.
Monday all day: The White House Easter Egg Roll always sounds so sweet and quaint. Don't be fooled. It's a cluster-f*** of 35,000 people that completely blocks downtown traffic. [The White House]
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