Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Washington Loses War On Christmas

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Instead of tweeting about politics all Christmas day, reporters might be forced to *write* about politics all Christmas day (stupid fiscal cliff!). A bill that removes all mentions of the word "lunatic" from federal law passed the House, however a bill that removes lunacy from the House is stalled in committee. And Harry Reid will host a screening of "Lincoln" in the Senate chamber. The House has yet to settle on a date for its screening of the "Red Dawn" remake. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, December 5th, 2012:

GEITHNER: WHITE HOUSE READY TO GO OVER CLIFF - Which conjures images of a "Monty Python"-style animation in which the White Houseliterally goes over a cliff and is eaten by a discolored cut-out of Queen Elizabeth's face. CNBC: "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither told CNBC Wednesday that Republicans are 'making a little bit of progress' in "fiscal cliff" talks but said the Obama administration was 'absolutely' ready to go over the cliff if the GOP doesn't agree to raise tax rates on the wealthy. 'I think they're making a little bit of progress,' Geithner said. 'They're clearly moving and figuring out how to try to move further.' But Geithner said the White House would "absolutely" go over the fiscal cliff -- triggering over $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases -- unless tax rates increase on the top 2 percent of wage earners." [CNBC]

EXCHANGE OF WORDS UPDATE - "President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone Wednesday afternoon, a source familiar with the conversation told CNN. In recent days, each had rejected the other's proposal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and insiders said negotiations had come to a standstill." [CNN]

Don't go soberly into that good night: What remains of Brad Miller's staff is convening at Top of the Hill at 7:00 pm tonight for a happy hour celebrating the outgoing North Carolina Democrat. Per the invite: "Because Miller Time isn't just code for a staff meeting." [Top of the Hill, 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE]

SENATE TO SCREEN 'LINCOLN' - Daily Beast: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has invited Steven Spielberg to screen his new film Lincoln at the U.S. Senate on Dec. 12. Deadline reports that, while many films have screened at the White House, this may be the first time that one has played in the actual Senate chambers." Henceforth, we will refer to this event as "the time the kid from "Third Rock From The Sun" was projected in the world's greatest deliberative body." [Daily Beast]

FORMER ABRAMOFF LOBBYIST PISSED AT THINGS WORRIED ABOUT THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP - News that Vogue Editor Anna Wintour might be named ambassador to the United Kingdom or France has the Former Abramoff Lobbyist Pissed At Things more worked up than the time Equinox stopped serving braised boar gnocchi. "Even though I am a card carrying, 47 percenter leftist now, I still can't get on board with Anna Wintour being considered for the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K," FALPAT writes. "Seriously, are we going to let the world's most renowned snob and Bashir Assad apologist go and get her ambass-on for us?" A fair point, FALPAT!

HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist weighs in on President Obama's cabinet. "Unsolicited advice to the Senate Republican Conference: Confirm Susan Rice," writes PSLGOPL, who gets into the holiday spirit by constructing a gingerbread model of his panic room. "She's Obama's version of Harriet Miers." Thanks, PSLGOPL!

PSLGOPL PRONUNCIATION GUIDE: puh-SOY-guh-pull.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless: "Twice in the last year, I was laid off when my position was eliminated. Once in February. I was receiving unemployment benefits until I found a job in May. Again, I was laid off at the beginning of November. I have incurred over $6000 in medical bills this year alone. My unemployment benefits will run out at the end of the year and without them I fear I will become homeless. I have no savings any longer as I needed them to stay afloat during my unemployed periods." [Hang in there!]

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

HO! HO! HO! MERRRRRRY CHRISTM--- - If Congress were a person, it'd be Gary Cole's character from "Office Space" (Hello, America, whaaaats? happening? Uhhhmmmmm, I'm going to need you to come in tomorrow...). "The House will not adjourn the 112th Congress until a credible solution to the fiscal cliff has been announced," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said on Twitter, potentially jeopardizing many a Christmas celebration in the Washington area. You better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why, Santa Claus filed a motion to reeeeeecooomiiiiiit. [HuffPost]

SENATE PASSES LANDMARK MILITARY ABORTION MEASURE - But if the Republican Party has issues with this amendment in conference committee, it has ways of shutting it down. Laura Bassett: "In a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of the defense bill, military servicewomen who have become pregnant from rape will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an abortion procedure for the first time since 1981...Because the House version of the NDAA does not have a similar amendment attached, a bipartisan conference committee will be charged with deciding whether to include the measure in the final version of the bill. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) both support Shaheen's amendment, and Shaheen said that House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has indicated that he would support it as well." [HuffPost]

MARCO RUBIO IS NOW A SCIENTIST, MAN - Last month GQ published an interview with the freshman Florida senator in which he implied that human beings once rode bareback on stegosauruses and had to reschedule their holiday travel plans after Pangaea split apart. "I'm not a scientist, man," he replied when asked about the Earth's age. This morning, Rubio -- perhaps having completing the world's speediest Ph.D program -- revised his position. "Science says (the Earth) is about 4.5 billion years old. My faith teaches that's not inconsistent," he said at a Playbook breakfast. "God created the heavens and the earth, and science has given us insight into when he did it and how he did it." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]

Asked about a possible Ashley Judd Senate bid, Rand Paul pulled a Jimmy McMillan: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doesn't want actress, activist and potential Democratic candidate Ashley Judd as his fellow Kentucky senator, but he doesn't expect her to get there anyway, he said Wednesday. 'She's way damn too liberal for our country, for our state,' he told radio station WMAL. 'She hates our biggest industry, which is coal. I say, good luck bringing the 'I hate coal' message to Kentucky.' Judd is reportedly considering a run for U.S. Senate in either 2014 or 2016. If she ran in 2014, she would be challenging the top Republican in the upper chamber: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). If she waited until 2016, though, she would be up against Paul." [HuffPost]

The Ashley Judd is Too. Damn. Liberal.

PERIELLO WON'T RUN FOR GOVERNOR - "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of PCCC staffers suddenly cried out in terror..." Amanda Terkel: "Former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello has announced he will not be running for Virginia governor in 2013. 'I have considered a run for Governor, and am genuinely touched by the outpouring of support. I do not feel called to serve in elected office at this time, but I do not need to have my name on the ballot to be part of the fight,' he said in a statement posted by Blue Virginia on Wednesday. Perriello is a favorite within the progressive community and hit the campaign trail in the 2012 election as a surrogate for President Barack Obama. He is currently president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the progressive think tank in Washington, D.C... The Virginia gubernatorial race is shaping up to be a showdown between Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe. On Wednesday, Perriello threw his support between McAuliffe." [HuffPost]

RAY LAHOOD OPEN TO RETURNING - Is it just us or does LaHood give off the impression that he's the fifth-year senior of the cabinet (in the best way possible)? "He and I are going to continue our discussions," LaHood said during an interview with Politico today. "We had a meeting a week or so after the election and we agreed to continue talking... I think the president will get back to some of these discussions after some kind of a deal is reached on the fiscal matters." LaHood added that his future won't be certain until after the fiscal cliff is resolved. "They're dealing 24-7 now with how to get a deal with Congress," he said. "So I'm waiting..." [Politico]

Dear sweet Jesus why did Alan Simpson doing the "Gangnam Style" dance have to crawl out of the recesses of the internet's subconscious? We would have much preferred Erskine Bowles planking or Lloyd Blankfein Tebowing or Grover Norquist being iced or ANYTHING THAT IS NOT ALAN SIMPSON DANCING TO "GANGNAM STYLE" WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY ::sob:: [YouTube]

THAT TIME ONLY ONE CONGRESSMAN VOTED AGAINST REMOVING THE WORD 'LUNATIC' FROM THE U.S. CODE - Jen Bendery: "The House voted on Wednesday to strike the word "lunatic" from all federal laws and only one lawmaker voted against the measure: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). It was unclear initially why the Tea Party favorite opposed the change, and a Gohmert spokeswoman did not return a request for comment. The point of the bill, which cleared the Senate in May with no opposition, is to strike language from current law that contributes to the stigmatization of mental health conditions. But during a rant on the House floor later in the day, about the need for a flat tax, Gohmert shed some light on why the word needs to stay. 'To keep spending and not pay the price, that is immoral,' Gohmert said. 'That's why we shouldn't eliminate the word 'lunatic.' It really has application around this town.'" [HuffPost]

@anamariecox: Best WH transcript correction ever. #stylish pic.twitter.com/oYx4J64g

GLENN BECK IS ODD - Politico: "Glenn Beck on Wednesday announced that he is teaming up with actor Vince Vaughn to produce a new reality show set to debut next year on Beck's TheBlaze TV. 'Pursuit of Truth' will pit 20 documentary filmmakers in a competition for financing and distribution for their film. Beck's TheBlaze TV, Vaughn and Peter Billingsley's Wild West Productions and Gary Auerbach's Go Go Luckey Entertainment are behind the nine episode series, which will launch on TheBlaze TV in spring 2013." [Politico]

We're holding out for a Jeremy Piven/Neil Cavuto-produced reality show.

@ethanklapper: The history of AOL as told through New York Times crossword clues qz.com/34213

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - "Two Corgis Two Swings" wins the internet today.

LIVINGSOCIAL OFFERS ODDEST DEAL YET: - HuffPost DC "LivingSocial has got what you need. The company, most recently in the news for its massive layoffs, is now offering what might be the oddest, most intriguing deal yet: Rapper and DJ Biz Markie, best known for the song 'Just A Friend,' will be teaching a two-hour class on healthy cooking at LivingSocial's downtown event space on F Street NW." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Jay-Z takes a ride on the subway alongside an elderly woman who has no idea who he is. [http://bit.ly/SGcUAq]

- Mr. Burns explains the fiscal cliff. [http://huff.to/SG8GJ3]

- You know what's awesome? The planet Earth. A lot going on there. [http://bit.ly/XqoaUV]

- DJ cat breathes new life into the Bob Marley cannon. [http://bit.ly/SG1Tz4]

- Ping pong cat breathes new life into ping pong. [http://bit.ly/Vk5aBl]

- Twelve minutes of why you should be glad you're not a driver in Russia. [http://bit.ly/VBZyVk]

- What happens when the internet vomits? Taylor Swift gets mashuped with Korn. [http://bit.ly/RzlSRB]

TWITTERAMA

@ryanjreilly: Alright flacks, you get one day of Holiday-themed press releases on the fiscal cliff. Make it count.

@mollyesque: I don't get the appeal of the Twitter checkmark. Destroys the mystery. I want people always to wonder if I'm really a parody

@MarkLeibovich: And he looks great! Saw him yesterday at Palm /@GOPWhip: Happy 230th Birthday to our 8th President Martin Van Buren

ON TAP

TONIGHT

7:00 pm: Saxby Chambliss, the Senate's most Saxbiest member, would really appreciate his colleague's support when he's primaried in a year. He raises money for his leadership PAC, Republican Majority Fund. [Ruth's Chris Steak House, 724 9th Street NW]

TOMORROW

6:00 pm: An "Idaho Potato Fest" is either the most earnest or most hipster party imaginable. In the case of Mike Crapo's upcoming fundraiser, it's probably safe to assume it's the former. [Diageo Townhouse, 310 Sixth Street SE]

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