Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man In The World is taking a break from playing Jai alai on a speedboat to host a fundraiser for Barack Obama. Paul Ryan's return to Washington highlighted the upsetting similarities between members of Congress and Justin Bieber fans. And the Obama administration thinks Egypt is great and a really nice country but thinks it's best if the two just remain friends for now. It's not Egypt, it's us. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 13th, 2012:
PAUL RYAN RETURNS TO CONGRESS!!!!!!!! --- ALSO HOUSE VOTES TO FUND GOVERNMENT - The Republican vice presidential candidate returned to the Capitol today to vote on the continuing resolution to fund the government through the new year. He made a beeline for John Boehner's office where Republican House members waited patiently outside to have their photo taken with the Young Gun, Elise Foley reports. After heading to the chamber for the vote, members asked for his autograph. The continuing resolution is expected to pass and be taken up by the Senate after the Rosh Hashanah holiday next week.
New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett announced his intention to seek Ryan's Budget Committee chairmanship if the Wisconsin lawmaker is elected vice president. BuzzFeed: "Garrett, one of the most fiscally conservative members of the House, is the first member to enter what is expected to be a packed race to replace Ryan at the helm of the Budget Committee... Garrett is likely to face stiff competition for the budget slot, most notably from RSC Chairman Jim Jordan, Rep. John Campbell and Rep. Jason Chaffetz -- a key surrogate for Mitt Romney in Congress and one of the party's biggest rising stars." [BuzzFeed]
@ChadPergram: Source says @PaulRyanVP may go do P90X with his old workout group tomorrow morning in the House gym.
SORRY, KIDS: SCHOOL'S PROBABLY STARTING MONDAY - Joy Resmovits and Sam Stein: "A standoff between Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city's teacher's union appears to be close to resolution, sources close to the situation tell The Huffington Post. Neither side, as of Thursday evening, was willing to declare victory, both because negotiations remained unsettled and because any triumphalism had the potential to alienate the opposition. But a source in the room in Chicago said that the thorny issue of teacher evaluation was settled Thursday evening, though four issues remain outstanding. According to both political and education policy officials, Emanuel is under pressure to resolve the standoff in a timely manner. Two sources close to negotiations tell The Huffington Post that the Obama campaign is concerned that a prolonged strike would depress enthusiasm among teachers -- a key Democratic constituency -- in the weeks leading up to the election." Full story on HuffPost in a bit.
OUCH: GET RAHM OFF THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB - Firedoglake is launching a campaign that's gotta sting a little bit: They want Rahm Emanuel kicked off the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago. Jane Hamsher: "Rahm is still the Honorary Chairman of the The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, an organization with a mission 'to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.' The Boys and Girls Club has a brand name and a reputation that goes all the way back to 1860. The members of the Board of Directors have a responsibility not to sell it to Rahm Emanuel so he can burnish his image while his actions are completely antithetical to its mission." [FDL]
Charlie Crist is a poseur.
RIDE ON HAIR FORCE ONE - Mitt Romney sent this email to supporters today: "Ann likes to joke that the campaign plane should be called 'Hair Force One.'...I'm excited to invite two of my supporters to come on board the plane, and join me for a day on this important journey." It's a strange offer considering Romney's hatred of interacting with people on airplanes, other than to awkwardly offer them sweets.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - President Barack Obama said in 2009 that a new program to fight foreclosures would help as many as 4 million struggling homeowners obtain mortgage modifications that would reduce their monthly payments. The administration will not reach that goal, but data released Thursday show that it has achieved a much sadder statistic: More than 1 million homeowners have been bounced out of the program. [HuffPost]
DOUBLE DOWNER - Craptastic: "In the week ending September 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 382,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000. The 4-week moving average was 375,000, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 371,750." [Labor Department]
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FED TO MAKE IT RAIN ON ITSELF - Mark Gongloff: "The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced a new round of bond buying, with the new wrinkle of basically leaving the program open-ended. It also stretched out its promise to keep short-term interest rates near zero by a year, 'at least through mid-2015.' The moves will be controversial, particularly coming less than two months ahead of a heated presidential election. The Fed is already being accused of risking runaway inflation with its previous stimulus programs. And now it will likely come under fire for trying to boost the economy, which could benefit President Obama's re-election chances. But the Fed apparently felt it had no choice but to act in response to stubbornly high unemployment, sluggish economic growth and the risk of a fiscal-cliff recession at the turn of the year. "I don't think it's a panacea. I don't think it's going to solve the problem," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said of the Fed's decision, in a press conference following the announcement. "But I do think it's going to have enough force to move the economy in the right direction." [HuffPost]
ROMNEY ASKED FOR TEN YEARS OF RYAN'S TAX RETURNS - Even though Mitt Romney persists in his stubborn refusal to disclose his tax history -- no doubt because of his heavy investments in Olestra, blood diamonds and whaling -- a new report indicates his campaign asked to see ten years of Paul Ryan's tax returns during his vetting process. Daily Beast: "As part of its vetting, the Romney campaign required at least some of the candidates on the short list--including the eventual winner of the GOP veepstakes, Ryan--to submit fully 10 years of tax returns, according to a knowledgeable source...But the revelation that Romney aides demanded that its veep candidates be more forthcoming with their own campaign than with the American public drew predictable scorn from Team Obama. 'Mitt Romney needs to answer one question: if he needed ten years of returns to decide on a vice presidential candidate, don't the American people need the same to make their choice for president?' asked Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign." [Daily Beast]
SENATE DEMS BEING OUTSPENT BY GOP THIRD PARTY GROUPS - If you live in Ohio, watch a lot of TV and have developed a nagging suspicion that Sherrod Brown is doing everything he can to get you fired and drive your family from its home to an abandoned rail yard where they'll subsist on ferrets cooked over a lit oil drum and the occasional stray bit of American cheese stuck to a Burger King wrapper blown in by the wind, you're not alone. Paul Blumenthal: "Since the beginning of last year, these conservative groups have poured more than $50 million into ads -- both those reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and so-called 'issue' ads that are not -- targeting seven of the closest Senate races in the country, according to sources in Democratic campaigns, other ad-watching sources, and a series of publicly-reported figures and those collected from news reports and press releases. This compares to the slightly more than $20 million spent by liberal-allied groups on ads in these seven races. The seven Senate races surveyed include Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin." [HuffPost]
EGYPT WANTS AMERICA TO DTR, AMERICA [IS TYPING...HAS ENTERED TEXT] - Yesterday, President Obama said that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy of the United States and Egypt was like "OH MY GOD I THOUGHT WE WERE SERIOUS I ALREADY BOOKED US A VIRGINIA WINERY TOUR AND TOLD ALL MY FRIENDS!!!" Today Obama administration spokesman Tommy Vietor said America wants to take it slow. "'Ally' is a legal term of art," he said. "We don't have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the President has said, Egypt is long-standing and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt's transition to democracy and working with the new government. Just last night the President spoke with President [Mohamed] Morsi to review the strategic partnership between the Unites States and Egypt, while making clear our mutual obligations - including the protection of diplomats and diplomatic facilities." [HuffPost's Sam Stein and Jen Bendery]
THREE PAUL ELECTORS THREATENING TO RELOVEUTION-UP SOME TROUBLE - After today's QE3 announcement, it's entirely possible that they will cast their votes for "End The Fed." AP: "At least three Republican electors say they may not support their party's presidential ticket when the Electoral College meets in December to formally elect the next president, escalating tensions within the GOP and adding a fresh layer of intrigue to the final weeks of the White House race. The electors -- all supporters of former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul -- told The Associated Press they are exploring options should Mitt Romney win their states. They expressed frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul's conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters." [WaPo]
LIBYA: TODD AKIN SIDES WITH THE CRAZY - The ostracized congressman and Missouri Senate candidate has joined in the chorus of Republicans who have falsely claimed the Obama administration apologized for America. "First of all, apologizing to all people, [to] a lot of countries who are enemies, and apologizing to them and everything. You know, if we did something wrong, that's one thing. But he's just apologizing because he didn't like America? I think that's the wrong thing to do," he told KMBC-TV. Given the intense nature of his now infamous "legitimate rape" his comments on Libya seem tame by comparison. He might as well have put his hands on his hip, cocked his head and said, "Fantastic weather we're having, huh?" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
HOUSE DEMS: UM, WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT SIMPSON-BOWLES AGAIN? - It still sucks. Mike Lillis: "House liberals have amplified their opposition this week to any budget grand bargain that closely resembles the sweeping proposal crafted by President Obama's 2010 fiscal commission. Many policymakers are pointing to the two-year-old Simpson-Bowles plan as a template for Congress's efforts to avoid the "fiscal cliff" at year's end. But members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are warning that they'll fight to kill any budget package that would cut Medicare coverage, Social Security benefits and safety net programs for the poor -- all elements of the Simpson-Bowles plan. "Somehow it's gotten this patina of balance and continues to be held up as a framework for a grand bargain," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission, said Wednesday during a CPC forum on budget issues. "That notion is misguided." [The Hill]
KANSAS IS THE MATTER WITH KANSAS - If only Truman Capote could resurrect himself and profile this guy and his hearing. John Celock: "Kansas officials plan to hold a hearing Thursday afternoon to weigh whether President Barack Obama is a citizen and should appear on the state's November ballot. The Kansas Objections Board will be considering a challenge filed by Joe Montgomery, a Manhattan resident, who Monday objected to Obama being on the ballot. He claims the president is not an American citizen since his father was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Kenya. The all-Republican board -- which consists of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt -- has the power to remove Obama from the ballot in his mother's home state." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dupstep and slow-mo kittens.
"The most interesting man in the world," that ruggedly handsome latin-ish dude from the Dos Equis commercials, will host a fundraiser for the president next week. Jonathan Goldsmith (really?!?) will welcome donors to a restaurant in Burlington, Vermont. Vermont's House Speaker Shap Smith will be on hand. It's unclear when the elephant polo match will occur. [Sunlight Foundation]
- One-day-old Alpaca is precious, a future source of clothing you'll never wear. [http://bit.ly/PdWfRU]
- A clip of what might be the oldest color film on Earth. [http://bit.ly/O1tBGE]
- An inquisitive gentleman asks the question that has intrigued scholars for centuries: which president would win in a knife fight? [http://bit.ly/PnBa65]
- Remember K'nex? This guy turned his entire room into a giant K'nex system. [http://bit.ly/TWywYY]
- Via @mbrownerhamlin, a rabbit romps around with a balloon. [http://bit.ly/RgIRu0]
- Video of of F-15, shot from the cockpits. [http://bit.ly/JzAgUJ]
- This radio hat from 1949 was the iPod nano of its day. [http://bit.ly/Pvq5mE]
@GlennThrush: we are one organism. Like a volvox. MT @jonlovett: I feel like the press has a hangover after yesterday. Waking up, looking around...
@delrayser: The economy has a car elevator? RT @mollyesque: Romney: "I actually lived in the economy for 25 years."
@dceiver: FOX is gonna compare the current demonstrations to the Iranian hostage crisis. One key contrast that sticks out: hostages.
5:00 pm: Mitt Romney heads to Lawn-guy-land for cocktails (presumably he'll be drinking sparkling cider) and a reception with some local luminaries. Al D'Amato and Rick Lazio will be among the attendees. [Old Brookville, NY]
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm: The Republican nominee for Senate from Texas, Ted Cruz, is the toast of the Republican conference. Mitch McConnell, Mike Crapo, , John Cornyn and John Barrasso make appearances. [Caucus Room, 401 9th Street NW]
5:30 - 7:00 pm: Bill Pascrell invites donors to an "Italian Style Reception," which doesn't sound like it's an Italian-themed reception but at reception that is a half-hearted attempt at an "Italian Reception."
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Congress is in session for a precious few two weeks, so it's a good thing John Boehner is taking time out to MC a dinner in Mark Amodei's honor. Donors will want to hang out in the back alley to catch the speaker during his smoking breaks. [Cava Mezze Restaurant, 527 8th Street SE]
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: American politics' frattiest frat boy, George Allen beers himself some campaign funds for his Senate bid against Tim Kaine. [Vienna, VA]
8:00 am: There's something about a "seated breakfast" that is so aggressively dainty and high-falutin that it is a natural fit for Mitt Romney. The presidential candidate heads to the Big Apple to sit down. [New York, NY]
6:00 pm: Sherrod Brown mines the Bay Area for money with a fundraiser in Silicon Valley. [Portola Valley, CA]
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: The body attached to George Allen's hair attends a fundraiser that benefits the body. It's [Alexandria, VA]
7:30 pm: Diana DeGette has the best kind of fundraiser: she and her donors will attend the Bruce Springsteen concert at Nationals Park. Unless proven otherwise, we assume all politicians' favorite Boss album is "Tunnel of Love." [Nationals Park]
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