Washington stared intently into mirrors and practiced saying "Hi, Mr. Clooney!" in advance of tomorrow's dinner. Paul Ryan is distancing himself from tea party favorite Ayn Rand (something he should've done after that godawful "Atlas Shrugged" movie, if you ask us). And the White House would greatly appreciate it if you turned your attention from that "Child Labor Regulations" article to their high-budget "WE KILLED OSAMA!!! WOOO!!! GET SOOOOMMEEE!!!" campaign video. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 27th, 2012:
Wanna crash some correspondents' dinner parties? Check out Christina Wilkie's extensive weekend preview in On Tap below.
PAUL RYAN NO LONGER CURIOUS WHO JOHN GALT IS - Jen Bendery: "Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tried to send the message this week that, contrary to 'urban legend,' he is not obsessed with philosopher and author Ayn Rand. 'I reject her philosophy,' Ryan told National Review on Thursday. 'It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. Don't give me Ayn Rand.'...Ryan, whose name has been floated as a possible running mate for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, appeared to be distancing himself from Rand in response to a public letter he received this week from nearly 90 faculty and administrators at Georgetown University. In their letter, they criticize him for misusing Catholic social teaching in defending his budget, which hurts the poor by proposing significant cuts to anti-hunger programs, slashing Pell Grants for low-income students and calling for a replacement of Medicare with a voucher-like system. They also invoke Rand's name." [HuffPost]
FCC DOES REPORTERS A KINDNESS - Paul Blumenthal: "The home stretch of the 2012 general election is set to be one of the most transparent in terms of public knowledge about political advertising buys. On Friday the Federal Communications Commission ruled to require television broadcasters to put online their file of political advertising buys for the first time. The ruling, which was supported by the two Democratic commissioners and opposed by the Republican commissioner, requires the major broadcasters -- CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC -- operating in the top 50 media markets to begin placing their file of political advertising buys online six months after the ruling is published. This would mean that at least some details of the record advertising spending expected for the 2012 election would be publicly disclosed online, making this information widely accessible for the first time." [HuffPost]
The single saddest slideshow in Huffington Post history, via Radley Balko and J. L. Greene: "Cop Shoots Dog: Untrained Officers Commit 'Puppycide' (PHOTOS)"
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The economic recovery is slowing down. "The Commerce Department estimated Friday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the January-March quarter, compared with a 3 percent rate in the final quarter of 2011," the Associated Press reported today. "But growth is expected to rebound to around 3 percent for all of 2012 as stronger job growth spurs more consumer spending." Wow, great. Enjoy your weekend and look forward to 3 percent growth someday. [AP]
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
WHITE HOUSE SCRAPS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS... OH, HEY, IT'S THE WEEKEND!!! - Nothing to see here! Keep laughing at that Jimmy Fallon student loan thing and and/or tending to your children who AREN'T YET in the labor force... Dave Jamieson: "Facing political pressure from Republicans and farming groups, the White House has decided to scrap rules proposed last year that would have prevented minors from performing certain agricultural work deemed too dangerous for children. The Labor Department announced the decision late Thursday, saying it was withdrawing the rules due to concern from the public over how they could affect family farms. 'The Obama administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations,' the department said in a statement." [HuffPost]
BOMBS NOT FOOD - The latest Republican plan to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession. Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation's debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget...Republicans want to swap the defense cuts for cuts to other programs, mainly food stamps. [HuffPost's Delaney and Mike McAuliff]
PELOSI: I WAS WAY MORE WILLING TO THROW GRAMMA OFF THE CLIFF THAN THAT GUY Because Nancy Pelosi won't stop chest-thumping about how ready she was to accept a debt deal that runs counter to pretty much everything she stands for, we made a little mashup of her very anti-Pelosi-sounding comments. Funny thing is, Pelosi thinks she's being clever here, embracing this terrible plan in order to make the uncompromising Republicans look that much more uncompromising. But the jokes on her: Nobody outside Washington and Wall Street gives a danghoot about Bowles-Simpson, and when the dust settles, she'll be on record supporting this awful plan, which Republicans will negotiate to make awful-er. [HuffPost]
HOUSES PASSES REPUBLICAN STUDENT LOAN PACKAGE, PEOPLE ACCUSE ONE ANOTHER OF HOLDING AMERICA'S YOUTH HOSTAGE - Mike McAuliff: "The House of Representatives advanced a bill Friday that funds cheaper student loans by cutting a preventive health care program -- sparking a heated battle in which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accused Democrats of manufacturing a war on women. The House passed the bill by a vote of 215 to 195, with 30 Republicans bucking their party to oppose the bill, and 13 Democrats voting in favor... The interest rate for federally subsidized student loans is scheduled to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent for some 7.4 million students on July 1 if Congress does not act....Republicans had voted earlier in the week for a budget that allowed the rate to go up, but under public pressure offered a plan Wednesday to preserve the rate by cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund created in President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Republicans say the move would save $6 billion dollars." [HuffPost]
The White House didn't so much as strain a muscle recasting the vote as an attack against American women. Laura Bassett: "The White House is threatening to veto a plan put forth by House Republicans to reduce student loan interest rates by pulling money from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a funding stream set aside by the Affordable Care Act to support preventative health initiatives across the country: '...Women, in particular, will benefit from this Prevention Fund, which would provide for hundreds of thousands of screenings for breast and cervical cancer. This is a politically-motivated proposal and not the serious response that the problem facing America's college students deserves. If the President is presented with H.R. 4628, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.'" [HuffPost]
BOEHNER LISTS VEEP PICKS, JOE THE PLUMBER SURPRISINGLY LEFT OUT - CNN: "House Speaker John Boehner named three Republicans as potential vice presidential picks for Mitt Romney, but said there is a "long list" of qualified candidates. The top Republican in Congress said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana fit his criteria that the pick be capable of serving as president.'There are a lot of people that I like. But this is a personal choice for Gov. Romney, and I'm confident that he'll have a running mate that will be helpful to the ticket,' Boehner told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley in an interview set to air Sunday." [CNN]
WHITE HOUSE DRAWS WATER FROM THE EVER-BOUNTIFUL 'WE KILLED OSAMA' WELL - WaPo: "President Obama's campaign has launched an interesting new line of attack on Mitt Romney -- questioning whether the former Massachusetts governor would have killed Osama bin Laden. In a Web video released Friday morning called 'One Chance,' former president Bill Clinton praises the 'decider-in-chief' for ordering the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden's compound. The ad then asks, 'Which path would Mitt Romney had taken?' During the 2008 campaign, the video notes, Romney criticized Obama for promising to consider drone strikes in Pakistan and said of bin Laden, 'it's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars to catch one person.'" [WaPo]
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN ATTACKS OBAMA FOR SLOW JAMMING THE NEWS - Really? Yeah, sure, the guy was a little off-key but still. Sam Stein: "On Friday morning, Mitt Romney's campaign released a memo that played off of the attack line offered the day before by American Crossroads, accusing President Barack Obama of being a popularity-obsessed, absentee president: '...Governor Romney's speech Tuesday night in New Hampshire contained a crisp and specific critique of President Obama's policy failures and his own positive vision for a better America... President Obama, on the other hand, spent the week slow-jamming the news, striking a Heisman pose, and trying to pick a fight over student loans to help the one-in-two recent college graduates who are either jobless or underemployed as a result of his policies." [HuffPost]
Heh: "Mitt Romney is set to campaign at Otterbein College on Friday for an event that his campaign is describing as a roundtable with graduating students. And in a bit of pre-framing for the event, a Democratic source has emailed, noting that the school is the recipient of a $80,000-plus grant from the federal government, as part of the President Barack Obama's Recovery Act." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
Also, the Romney camp appears to have completely given up on ever having someone under the age of 30 vote for their guy. From the same Romney campaign memo: "This election will be decided by adults casting ballots in their precincts, not teenagers texting votes from in front of their television sets. That apparently frightens the President and his advisors right now." Yikes. Looks like someone is going to lose the Nickelodeon kid vote. [The Hill]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Buster learns to box.
SPORTS? UPDATE - HuffPost DC: The younger brother of San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was arrested Thursday night, found with what is being described as a "bloody claw hammer" that police say was likely used to attack a woman in D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood. [HuffPost]
- Doggy working out those hip flexers. [http://bit.ly/IeNaVh]
- Tweet a lot? You might be a klouchebag. Find out here. [http://bit.ly/IeMFdS]
- Can you spot the health code violation? [http://bit.ly/IeMlMn]
- "45 Reasons Why We Can't Have Nice Things" [http://bit.ly/IeMvDs]
- There is nothing "routine" about this gymnastics performance. [http://bit.ly/IeMW0D]
- Foto Friday: Things getting blown up. [http://bit.ly/IegyxU]
- Foto Friday: Cats and their fortunes. [http://cashcats.biz/]
@mollyesque: Why are Republicans ceding the "cool" argument to Obama? The guy wears mom jeans and can't dance, hellooo
@pourmecoffee: I still believe America is a place where we can pull together regardless of political party and stop using the awful word "veepstakes."
@indecision: Rick Perry withdrew his Newt Gingrich endorsement to back Mitt Romney. Now Newt knows how all his wives must feel.
ON TAP's White House Correspondents' Dinner Weekend At-A-Glance
Friday night: Four dueling cocktail parties all within a block of the White House, each with its own vibe. No actual dinners, so we recommend you eat all the gourmet cupcakes/sushi/tiny glasses of soup you can find, or else you'll be too belligerent for the big Funny-or-Die late night par-tay.
Cocktail Party #1: People and Time Magazine
Snarls Up Traffic At: The St. Regis Hotel
Vibe: If you love People Magazine and the talented performers who grace its pages, you'll love this party.
Cocktail Party #2: The New Yorker
Causes a line at the rooftop elevator of: The W Hotel
You'll see: Lots of
self-important important writers, but on the flip side, a bunch of real live White House officials.
Cocktail Party #3: Diversity in Media
Guests Will Shiver: On the rooftop of the Hay Adams Hotel
Unique Because: It's the only Friday event that's not sponsored by a glossy mag, and it's our bet for the least fussy, best all-around time.
Cocktail Party #4: Google and The Hollywood Reporter
That Huge, Cavernous Room At: The W Hotel
Maiden Voyage: This party's a newcomer this year to an already-crowded field. But hell, it's Google, so gobbling up market share isn't likely to be a problem.
Late-Night Throw-Down: The Funny or Die Party
Everyone Meets Up: After 10pm at the old Borders on 18th and L
"Untz-Untz" Factor: High. The room's dark, the DJ is booming, and LA people (stars included) are tucked into all the dark corners.
Saturday:The key to Saturday is pacing, because it's basically 15 straight hours of boozing, from brunch at 11am to last call at the after-parties, around 2am. If you stick to one stiff drink per hour, you should be fine.
Tammy Haddad's Brunch: It's not at Tammy's house anymore, and it's got lots of other co-hosts now, but this staple of the weekend is your best shot at actually having conversations with celebs, if you're into that sort of thing.
Show Up: At the huge house at the intersection of
Defeated Senator Street and Lobbyist Lane, NW 30th St and R St after 11:00am and before 12:30pm; stay till they start breaking down the buffet and giving you dirty looks.
The Pre-Parties: The Hinckley Hilton is a well-dressed stampede - There's only one tiny escalator and metal detectors and one driveway. Have the cab let you out a few blocks away on the dot of 6pm. You won't regret it.
Mingle: Awkwardly in the ante-rooms outside the ballroom, and avoid the red carpet at all costs, lest you encounter non-dinner-going hotel guests going berserk over the stars from vampire shows.
Le Diner: Save for POTUS's stand-up routine, the main event is actually kind of a downer. As a rule, the super-famous comedian emcee never quite reads the crowd right, and no one gets to sit with who they want to (@ariannahuff notwithstanding...ahem). Thankfully, presidents have really good writers.
Don't Drink: The wine. It's rotgut. Instead, bring a hefty cocktail in with you from the pre-party and nurse that baby for a whole hour.
Afterparty #1: MSNBC
Get stuck in traffic outside: The swanky Embassy of Italy
What's fun to see: Dems letting their hair down, because, who are we kidding? It's their party. Inexplicably, Newt Gingrich rarely misses this one, but he always sticks out like some exotic animal in one of the zoos he's so fond of.
Afterparty #2: Bloomberg Vanity Fair
For heaven's sake don't drive to: The French Ambassador's Residence, a block from the Hilton.
Pretend you're not psyched to be: At the most exclusive party of the whole weekend. Also pretend you don't see those actors doing blow and making out in the garden.
Afterparty #3: Capitol File
Avoid the hoopla of the other two parties at: The Newseum
This is a major party: For a little magazine that's up against VF and MSNBC. CapFile is owned by playboy Jason Binn, the same guy who owns Hamptons and Gotham, so the party's like a society rag come to life, daahling.
Sunday: Only hardcore partygoers need apply for Sunday festivities. There are two brunches, and while a lot of people say on Saturday night that they're going to be at one of them, only the truly committed and battle-weary actually make it.
Brunch #1: The Mclaughlin Brunch
Rub Elbows with Old-School DC Journos at: The Hay Adams, between 10:30am and 3pm.
Brush Up On: 1) Your manners, because John McLaughlin's an elegant host, despite what you've seen on TV, and 2) Your Nixon and Reagan Administration Cabinets, because those dudes will all be there.
Brunch #2: The Albritton Brunch
Behold the Politico Empire at: Publisher Robert Albritton's mansion overlooking the Potomac.
Give Props to: This ambitious little upstart of a brunch, which quickly eclipsed the McLaughlins' brunch thanks to its frenetic energy, shameless self-promotion, and currying of administration VIPs.
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