Most of the turkeys pardoned by President Obama have died during his term, making us wonder if things are getting weird on the Kill List. A sad-looking Mitt Romney was spotted filling up his car with gas, proving that eating Subway isn't the only thing he can do while appearing completely dejected. And Chris Christie has been reportedly hurt by all the criticism he's received from his fellow Republicans. So if you see him curled up on a couch devouring a pint of ice cream and wearing a "CHRIS CHRISTIE: GOVERNOR" Snuggie, leave him be. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 20th, 2012:
MARK WARNER WON'T RUN FOR GOVERNOR - The Senate's most dentist-y member (and it's not just the teeth -- can't you just picture him running commercials before movies?), who is immensely popular in his home state, announced today that he won't run for governor. This means A. he will likely run for Senate and B. We get two (six?) more years of Terry McAuliffe word-puking all over the news cycle. It'll be great. "Over the last year, a lot of Virginians -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents -- have approached me and asked that I consider running for Governor a second time," he said in statement. "I loved being governor, but I have a different job now -- and it's here in the United States Senate." [Roll Call]
MILLIONAIRES RECEIVE HOSTILE RECEPTION FROM REPUBLICANS, HELL NOT FROZEN OVER - Amanda Terkel sends word: "On Thursday, the Patriotic Millionaires -- a group of rich people who believe the government should raise their taxes -- went to Capitol Hill for a series of meetings. The highlight of the day came with Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) aides, when tax counsel James Lyons walked out in disgust after 5-7 minutes, according to one of the PMs who was there. 'He was snarky from the very beginning,' the PM told HuffPost Hill of Lyons, who reportedly was frustrated that the millionaires weren't properly answering his questions. When another staffer asked them if they would accept the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission, Lyons reportedly jumped in and said they were a 'mouthpiece for Democrats' and demanded that they answer his questions about how a few millionaires paying extra in taxes would affect the national deficit. When the PMs tried to answer the Simpson-Bowles question, Lyons said, 'If you're going to blow me off, why am I here?' He then walked out, leaving a surprised group of PMs who promised to take the incident public. The rest of Hatch's staffers met with the PMs for another 20 minutes. 'Poor little millionaires who had a hard time listening to anything or anyone who doesn't want to raise taxes,' replied Hatch spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier. 'In the spirit of Thanksgiving, they could easily and generously cut a check to the U.S. Treasury.'"
Looks like Newark Mayor Booker will be eating a lot of Chef Boyardee and drinking a lot of ShopRite-brand soda: "Not content to simply rescue neighbors from burning buildings and invite cold Hurricane Sandy victims into his home, Cory Booker has a new plan to connect with his constituency. He's going to live on food stamps." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The traditional of presidential turkey pardons not only insults the huge backlog of people seeking actual pardons -- it is also pointless and hopeless. Katy Hall: "One of the two turkeys President Barack Obama pardoned last November didn't live to see his second Thanksgiving. Peace had served as the understudy to first bird Liberty, in case illness prevented Liberty from participating in last year's White House ceremony. Obama spared both birds, joking that this was one executive action that didn't require congressional approval. They retired to the Mount Vernon estate in Virginia, where Peace died Monday. 'We had to humanely euthanize Peace yesterday afternoon after he became extremely ill over the weekend,' Rebecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at Mount Vernon, said Tuesday. She added that Liberty still 'attacks his food bowl with enthusiasm.' Peace's death is untimely but not unusual. The two turkeys Obama pardoned in 2010, Apple and Cider, were both dead by the next Thanksgiving." [HuffPost]
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YES WE CAN... ACHIEVE A MEANINGFUL REDUCTION IN OUR NATION'S LONGTERM DEFICIT - Sam Stein: "President Barack Obama is preparing to expand the fiscal cliff fight beyond the confines of Washington, travelling the country and leaning on Democratic activist groups to help apply political pressure. The goal, organizers said, is to keep engaged the activists and followers who have stood with Obama through two campaigns, and to begin applying external pressure to the president's negotiations with congressional Republicans. And so, top Obama operatives are gaming out ways to squeeze political capital out of the 2012 elections, aiming to affect the lame-duck session in Congress. Obama previewed the strategy in a conference call with activists after the election, saying that a second term that will include some barnstorming across the country." This is what Sam Stein and HuffPost Hill told the president he should do, which makes us highly doubt that it'll work. Apologies in advance. [HuffPost]
Happy birthday to Joe Biden, who turns 70 today. He will be 82 when his second presidential term ends in 2024.
This photo of Mitt Romney pumping his own gas answers two questions: 1. He is alive. 2. His car elevator doesn't have its own gas station.
PRESIDENT RAND PAUL IS GOING TO GET YOU HIGH - ABC News: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) says he may follow in his father's footsteps and run for president in 2016. 'I'm not going to deny that I'm interested,' Sen. Paul tells ABC's Jonathan Karl about his presidential aspirations. While Paul is quick to add that he isn't ready to make a decision about a presidential bid yet, he is not hesitant to say that the Republican Party needs a new message...Paul says there are ways the GOP can become more competitive in regions of the country that typically swing blue in national races, such as the West Coast and New England, while expanding its appeal among different groups of people, like Hispanics and young people... Paul emphasizes that border security is still his top priority but adds that he wouldn't 'rule out' a conditional path to citizenship for those who have been living in the United States illegally for an extended period of time. The legalization of marijuana is another issue that Paul points to as a way for the GOP to reach more young voters. Paul himself does not favor legalizing marijuana, but he says individual states -- such as Washington and Colorado, which both voted to legalize in November -- should be allowed to make marijuana legal." [ABC News]
BARNEY FRANK WON'T RUN FOR SENATE - Just as well, because we're pretty sure that the Constitution mandates that a Barney Frank/Elizabeth Warren Senate delegation would immediately be transformed into a talkshow on Current. Luke Johnson: "Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Monday that he would not run for Senate if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is appointed to a position in President Barack Obama's cabinet. 'If I wanted to stay in Congress, why wouldn't I prefer being a senior member of the House rather than the most junior member of the Senate?' he said in an interview with The Boston Globe...Kerry is viewed as a top contender for the role of secretary of state in Obama's second term, but senior administration officials told the Washington Post that the nomination will "almost certainly" go to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice. Kerry is also seen as a contender for defense secretary, though it's unclear if he would leave the Senate to take the job." [HuffPost]
Michael Capuano, meanwhile, is very much open to a chamber upgrade: "U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano says he would seriously consider running in a special election for the U.S. Senate should Sen. John Kerry be named to a cabinet post. But Capuano, a Somerville Democrat who easily won re-election to an eighth term in the House Nov. 6, told reporters he was not losing any sleep over the question and would make a decision in consultation with his family when -- and if -- the time came." [AP]
CHRIS CHRISTIE HAS A SAD - The Times reports that underneath New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's gruff, fleeced exterior lies the wounded heart of a Republican whose fellow party members have violated Reagan's Eleventh Commandment like there's no tomorrow. NYT: "Mr. Christie has been explaining himself to Republicans ever since. His lavish praise for Mr. Obama's response to the storm, delivered in the last days of the presidential race, represented the most dramatic development in the campaign's final stretch. Right or wrong, conventional wisdom in the party holds that it influenced the outcome. But behind the scenes, the intensity of the reaction from those in Mr. Christie's party caught him by surprise, interviews show, requiring a rising Republican star to try to contain a tempest that left him feeling deeply misunderstood and wounded... in the days after the storm, Mr. Christie and his advisers were startled to hear from out-of-state donors to Mr. Romney, who had little interest in the hurricane and viewed him solely as a campaign surrogate, demanding to know why he had stood so close to the president on a tarmac. One of them questioned why he had boarded Mr. Obama's helicopter, according to people briefed on the conversations." [NYT]
@daveweigel: Obama now has 50.73% of the overall vote, identical to the 50.73% Bush won in 2004. Obama running 1.6m overall votes ahead of Bush.
GOLDMAN'S LLOYD BLANKFEIN THINKS OLD PEOPLE HAVE IT TOO GOOD - Angry that Jamie Dimon has been hogging all the public scorn lately, Lloyd Blankfein, head of a company that only exists thanks to a taxpayer bailout, decided to share his opinion on Social Security and Medicare. CBS has the indescribably infuriating transcript: "BLANKFEIN: You're going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people's expectations -- the entitlements and what people think that they're going to get, because it's not going to -- they're not going to get it. PELLEY: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid? BLANKFEIN: You can look at history of these things, and Social Security wasn't devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. ... So there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised. But in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained. PELLEY: Because we can't afford them going forward? BLANKFEIN: Because we can't afford them." Thanks, Lloyd! [AMERICABlog]
ALLEN WEST CONCEDES... IN THE LEAST 'NO LABELS' WAY POSSIBLE - If the Democratic Party feels slightly less Nazi-ish today, this is likely why. "While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results, and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and this past weekend's recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election," West said in a statement conceding the race for Florida's 18th Congressional District to Patrick Murphy. "I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new Congressman from the 18th Congressional District. I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own." [Miami Herald]
HOW THE LGBT MOVEMENT EXPEDITED THE DOWNFALL OF SOCIETY - Have you been feeling slightly less... heterosexual lately? Has your husband suddenly taken a keen interest in key parties? Are your children dating their pets? BuzzFeed breaks down how gay marriage activists hastened Western Civilization's demise: "The surprise sweep for marriage equality efforts at the polls in 2012 came after a dramatic shift in the television ads their backers ran -- a change that came about after a yearlong research effort to crack the code of previously successful ads run by marriage-equality opponents that focused on 'gay marriage' being taught in schools. Among the key changes were a shift away from talk of 'rights' to a focus on committed relationships; a decision to address 'values' directly as being learned at home; and an attempt to give voters 'permission' to change their minds, according to elements of the research shared with BuzzFeed. The research was 'instrumental in helping us figure out our path,' said Zach Silk, who served as the campaign manager to approve Washington's Referendum 74." [BuzzFeed]
MSNBC FORGETS ABOUT THAT WHOLE INCIPIENT WAR IN THE HOLY LAND THING - The network last night was so busy leaning forward that it chose to basically ignore the Israel-Gaza conflict, which is so backward. The Nation: "[I]n the five hours of programming (or seven, if you count the re-runs), a little less than 15 minutes was devoted to the hot air war in Gaza and Israel--which not only has American fingerprints all over it but also will immeasurably influence--and not in a good way--our interests and actions and threats against us abroad. Five programs and exactly two brief segments on this crisis, even as a building in Gaza housing MSNBC's fellow journalists is struck twice with Israeli's missiles, and as President Obama suddenly dispatches Secretary of State Clinton to the region." [The Nation]
The New York Times is the Lars Ulrich of social media: "The 'Times Is On It' Twitter account, which parodies New York Times stories, announced on Facebook that its account had been suspended after the newspaper complained... Benjamin Kabak has identified himself as the writer behind @nytonit. Kabak says the Times objected to his use of a modified version of their logo." [Poynter]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dogs dressed up in Thanksgiving garb.
YOU'RE SO VAIN, YOU PROBABLY THINK THIS MEAL IS ABOUT YOU - HuffPost DC: "Gobbler and Cobbler will be spared. The most famous turkeys of 2012 are spending a few days in the lap of luxury at the W Hotel near the White House before a meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, during which the birds are expected to be pardoned. According to the Virginia farmers who raised the lucky turkeys, they are fans of Carly Simon and fiddle music, but apparently dislike country music." [HuffPost]
- Having a mustache does not make you creepy, this Movember video notes. Being creepy makes you creepy. [http://bit.ly/TcS0Zt]
- A lot of people in Austin were drinking recently, as this friendly news photobomber clealry demonstrates. [http://chzb.gr/UDujWZ]
- China is going to build the world's tallest building in 90 days. Don't expect a positive review from the Times. [http://bit.ly/Q79YN9]
- A short feature about the thorough sound work that went into "Lincoln." [http://bit.ly/USQYVn]
- Although the crisis might have been averted for now, here's how to make your own Twinkies. [http://bit.ly/UevGgQ]
- What happens when you repeatedly make copies of copies of VHS tapes. It's like an acid trip with really terrible resolution. [http://chzb.gr/RPEKZp]
- Dog trolls an Hungarian army procession. [http://bit.ly/T1n0sK]
@aseitzwald: Happy birthday to Joe Biden, who turns 70 today! I'm got him a gaffe basket.
@elisefoley: If Obama can't stand up to a turkey, how will he stand up to Ahmadinejad?
@delrayser: By going after @NYTOnIt, the NY Times is clearly trying to impose "Living Without Irony" on us all.
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