Newt Gingrich *might* drop out of the presidential race tonight and Rick Santorum *might* overshadow his concession speech with his curiously timed Piers Morgan appearance. Chuck Grassley is concerned that the White House is hiding crucial facts about the Secret Service prostitution scandal (it's unclear whether Bo will be subpoenaed). And President Obama continued his aggressive pandering to youth voters by slow jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon. YAWN. We won't be impressed until he and Jay Leno make fun of average folk during a "Jaywalking" segment. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, April 24th, 2012:
PRESIDENT TAKES WAR ON OLDS TO JIMMY FALLON'S SHOW - Which was filmed at UNC, a school that just happens to be in a crucial swing state and just happens to be filled with would-be Obama voters and canvassers. Pool report, via Washington Times' David Boyer: "After Fallon said he wanted to 'slow-jam the news,' Obama came out from behind a curtain at 2:28 p.m., to wild cheers from the crowd. 'I'm president Barack Obama, and I, too, want to slow-jam the news,' the president said. Mr. Obama then held a microphone and described the importance of keeping student loan interest rates low, while the band behind him played a moody, bluesy background music. Fallon came in with his own alternating riffs about Stafford loans. Background singers serenaded Obama as 'the POTUS with the most-est.' When he came out to be interviewed, the president commented on the 'Tar-Heel blue chairs' on the set...Obama then did a reiteration of his UNC speech, talking about the importance of college education and the need to avoid falling into 'massive debt.' Talked about the issue pending before Congress."
WHITE HOUSE AND SENATE DEMOCRATS AGREE THAT GETTING OUT THE YOUTH VOTE IS IMPORTANT - National Journal: "Senate Democrats and the White House have agreed to pay for a bill to freeze student loan interest rates for a year by raising payroll taxes on so-called S Corporations, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa., said on Tuesday. 'We've got it worked out,' Harkin said. Harkin spoke minutes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will introduce within the next day a bill to prevent interest rates from doubling to 6.8 percent on July 1. That sets up Senate action on the bill next month after senators return May 7 from a one-week recess." [National Journal]
On message: @pfeiffer44: Tune into @jimmyfallon tonight to watch President Obama Slow Jam the News on student loan interest rates
GOP Primaries tonight! "The 5 Best Lists of Things to Watch in Tonight's Primaries," via the Atlantic.
@ethanklapper: RT @DanTheDaily: Inbox: RICK & KAREN SANTORUM TO APPEAR ON PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
REPUBLICAN ANTI-UNION MEASURE FAILS IN SENATE - Now if Senate Republicans introduced the bill in an odd numbered year, they maybe could've mustered a few more votes! Dave Jamieson: "In a modest victory for labor groups, a rare measure that would have blocked new federal rules considered favorable to unions failed Tuesday in the Senate, with Republican lawmakers and business groups unable to bring Democrats on board. The defeated measure was an unusual legislative strategy, known as a 'resolution of disapproval.' Pushed by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), it would have scuttled rules proposed last year by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that streamline the union election process, likely making it easier for workers to join unions and harder for businesses to convince them not to. Strongly opposed by business groups and many conservative lawmakers, the new rules are set to go into effect later this month." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The golden parachute CEO of a giant media company is battling the construction of a new mansion in his wealthy Washington, D.C. suburb. The Washington Post reported Tuesday morning that Craig Dubow, who stepped down as CEO of Gannett Co. last fall, has sued to stop a new neighbor from building a "25,424-square-foot mansion modeled on the Palace of Versailles." The Dubows alleged in court this month that the chateau would ruin the "sylvan character" of their Great Falls, Va. neighborhood. Dubow, 57, resigned from Gannett with a $37 million severance package despite the company's terrible performance during his tenure. Robert Annis, a reporter who lost his job at the Indianapolis Star when Gannett cut 700 jobs to save money last year, said he is outraged on Dubow's behalf. "As Gannett CEO, he laid off me and thousands of journalists in order to pay for his palatial estate, and now it's going to be ruined by someone building an even larger mansion next door," Annis, 38, said in an email. "How are you supposed to enjoy the benefits of destroying the careers and dreams of so many hard-working professionals, not to mention crippling the local news coverage of hundreds of communities across the country, when there's hammering going on past the acres of trees and streams separating the two properties?" [HuffPost]
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GINGRICH WILL 'REASSESS' CAMPAIGN AFTER DELAWARE PRIMARY TONIGHT - As Delaware goes, so goes... well, Newt Gingrich, we guess. AP: "Newt Gingrich's daughter said Tuesday that the former House speaker will 'reassess' his campaign after the vote in Delaware, potentially setting the stage for his exit from the Republican presidential race. Jackie Gingrich Cushman said her father's campaign is slimmer but still winning over voters who aren't yet sold on likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who was expected to win contests Tuesday in Delaware and four other states. Gingrich has hung his comeback hopes on a strong showing in Delaware and has spent considerable time there in recent weeks. He has not won a presidential primary since finishing first in his home state of Georgia on March 6." [AP]
VEEP SPECULATION UPDATE! BOB MCDONNELL REMINDS MITT ROMNEY HE CAN CARRY VIRGINIA - Sam Stein: "A political action committee affiliated with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has reserved television ad time in key Virginia markets for the upcoming two weeks, several Democratic sources have confirmed to The Huffington Post...McDonnell is term-limited and cannot run for governor again. His decision to take out an ad at this juncture suggests he is either worried about his current standing in the state, is gearing up for a potential vice presidential run alongside likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, or both. The majority of the cost of the ad buy, approximately $275,000, will be spent in the D.C. market -- which is both more expensive and reaches more political insiders and media pundits." [HuffPost]
CHK GRSLY WNTS U 2 PY ATTN 2 HIM - Iowa's senior senator and America's most incoherent tweeter Chuck Grassley is going after President Obama over the Secret Service Colombia prostitution scandal. Fox News: "Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told Fox News on Tuesday that he wants an inspector general or some other third party to retrace the White House review, questioning the 'credibility' of the assessment conducted by the White House counsel. Press Secretary Jay Carney announced a day earlier that the counsel had determined the White House advance team was not engaged in 'any inappropriate conduct' in Colombia. Carney announced the results of the review after initially claiming Friday it would not be necessary. 'Maybe they had a chance to talk to everybody, but it seems to me they came to that conclusion very quickly' Grassley said Tuesday." [Fox News]
Dear Darrell Issa, superlative inflation is NOT A JOKE! Mike McAuliff: " Rep. Darrell Issa retracted his statement that President Barack Obama was one of the most corrupt presidents in modern history last year, saying he should have parsed his words more carefully. Tuesday, the California Republican's more careful parsing apparently included declaring Obama's government the most corrupt in history. 'We are busy in Washington with a corrupt government, with a government that I said more than a year ago was perhaps -- because of the money, because of the amount of TARP and stimulus funds -- was going to be the most corrupt government in history, and it is proving to be that, just exactly that,' Issa said in a Bloomberg television interview." [HuffPost]
SUPER RICH AND WIDELY DISLIKED GOVERNOR INSISTS HE WON'T PAY FOR HIS OWN REELECTION - Florida Governor Rick Scott is confident that he won't have to foot his own bill. He's probably right. Some Super PAC with a creepily ambiguous name ("Floridians for Florida," "Prosperity Tomorrow, Security Today," "Hamsters") will probably end up paying. Miami Herald: "Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday that not only will he seek a second-term in 2014, but he predicted that he won't have to reach into his own pocket to pay for a re-election campaign like he did the first time. Scott... spent more than $73 million of his own money to win in 2010...Scott's political fund-raising 527 organization, Let's Get to Work, collected $910,000 in the first quarter of this year. Four donors kicked in $100,000 each: Miami investor Miguel Fernandez, The Villages, Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Group Underwriters, a Miami Gardens insurance firm. Asked how much a 2014 race would cost, Scott said: "I don't know what it will cost, but we'll have the money to win." [Miami Herald]
Rob Blagojevich is enjoying prison. McClatchy: As the door to the visiting room at the Federal Correctional Institution-Englewood opened and Rod Blagojevich stepped in, one thing was clear to his awaiting visitors. Even in dull prison khakis, he still has political charisma...As the toned -- and not yet grayed -- Blagojevich walked across the roughly 40-by-60 foot room where other inmates visited on rows of plastic chairs with loved ones, he was greeted over and over... For now, the former governor washes dishes in the prison kitchen -- a task that all new inmates are handed, Adam said. He has requested to teach Shakespeare or Greek mythology and philosophy in the library." [McClatchy]
America's bellwether state being tragically bellwether-y. John Celock: "Republican lawmakers in Missouri are defending their controversial bill to ban the teaching of sexual orientation in schools as a way to prevent students from learning about the 'homosexual agenda,' the 'heterosexual agenda' and bestiality. A group of 20 Republican state representatives introduced the so-called 'don't say gay' bill last week to prevent the teaching of sexual orientation in public schools, with the exception of classes relating to human reproduction. The group includes some of the most powerful Republicans in the Missouri legislature -- House Speaker Steve Tilley (R-Perryville), Majority Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka) and the chairs of the Rules and the Ways and Means committees. Tennessee legislators have been debating a similar proposal." [HuffPost]
AFGHANISTAN UPDATE: PEOPLE VERY FRUSTRATED BY PAKISTAN - Our broheem in Kabul: "A spokesman for the international coalition of forces in Afghanistan sought to create some distance on Tuesday from the remarks of a departing American general, who sternly criticized Pakistan for failing to cooperate on border security earlier in the week. 'ISAF is very pleased that talks and negotiations in the tripartite setup between Afghanistan, Pakistan...' the spokesman, German Army Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, told reporters at a weekly press conference at the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul."... The spokesman's remarks come one day after Maj. Gen. John Toolan, who until last month was the top commander of international forces in Afghanistan's violent southwestern Helmand Province, faulted Pakistan for failing to take any action to stop the flow of drugs and militants across the border." [HuffPost's Josh Hersh]
KONY REACHES CONGRESS - We get it, NGO employees, this is a complicated issue. Please spare us your emails (and your condescending remarks about how "you haven't had pho until you've been to [pho place x in out-of-the-way location y]"... God, NGO employees are the worst). AP: "A former abductee of a ruthless African guerrilla group is telling Congress about his capture, escape and how his life has been transformed. Jacob Acaye was seized by the Lord's Resistance Army when he was 12 from his village in northern Uganda. He managed to escape in the middle of the night and eventually returned to his village. Today, Acaye, 21, is the star of the popular video Kony 2012 by the group Invisible Children. He testified Tuesday before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee focused on the brutal warlord Joseph Kony and his 26-year campaign of terror." [AP]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - English bulldog puppy tries to eat small child.
MARION BARRY IS SICK OF REPORTERS - HuffPost DC: Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, recently in the hot seat over comments made about Asian business owners, is now facing trouble over comments about nurses from the Philippines and reporters." [HuffPost]
- This flashmob brought to you by Carlton Banks. [http://bit.ly/I3DvyL]
- Herman Cain has great faith in humanity, may destroy yours. [http://bit.ly/I3DJFS]
- NYC, a hundred years ago. [http://bit.ly/I3CQgD]
- Here is a woman sliding around on butter to the tune of Adele's "Someone Like You." Thanks, internet? [http://bit.ly/JE3hgh]
- World's first weed vending machine now operating in CA. Note to CA: You're a bunch of jerks. [http://bit.ly/I3DsTB]
- Pixar's "Brave" hits theaters June 22. [http://chzb.gr/JE3tfB]
- Here is a piece of Brooke Gladstone's graphic novel "The Influencing Machine" in video form, narrated by the author, herself. [http://bit.ly/I3Ei2B]
@KagroX: Am I just missing all the RomneyGirl videos?
@shani_o: HATERS. RT @SaraLibby: Audible office-wide groans at Obama's shoutout to DMB.
@dceiver: I know John Edwards has a 3% approval rating. All I'm saying is if he expressed an interest in coaching the Red Sox, people would listen.
12:00 pm: John Barrasso raises campaign cash at a
Bungee Cord Industry Tea "Oil & Gas Industry Lunch." [The Monocle, 107 D Street NE]
6:30 pm: David Vitter, chairman of the Still-in-Congress??? Caucus, is the guest of honor at a fundraiser at B Smith's. Ron Johnson is scheduled to make an appearance. [B Smith's, 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE]
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