President Obama's inaugural committee will receive significant corporate backing, meaning the invocation might well feature a preview of NBC's midseason replacements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Barack Hussein's Chicago cronies can't stop tampering with jobs figures (leave it alone, guys!). And what happens when Joe Manchin stops being polite and starts getting real? MTV gets a strongly-worded letter. That's about it. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, December 7th, 2012:
SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON GAY MARRIAGE - We're here! We're litigious! Get used to it! NYT: "The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it would enter the national debate over same-sex marriage, agreeing to hear a pair of cases challenging state and federal laws that define marriage to include only unions of a man and a woman. One of the cases, from California, could establish or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Another case, from New York, challenges a federal law that requires the federal government to deny benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions...The court's docket is now crowded with cases about the meaning of equality, with the new cases joining ones on affirmative action in higher education and the future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Decisions in all of those cases are expected by June." [NYT]
CASH COWS ARE PEOPLE, MY FRIEND - Filings reveal that MItt Romney's staffers reaped tremendous profits from their boss' campaign as they ran it into the ground. They should work for Bain. No word on whether they gave anyone's wife terminal cancer. Sam Stein: "With the Federal Election Commission posting the most recent 2012 campaign finance reports, a clearer picture has emerged as to how the Republican presidential nominee spent the hundreds of millions of dollars he raised. It quite literally paid to be part of the Romney universe. American Rambler, a media firm run by Stuart Stevens, Russ Schriefer and Eric Fehrnstrom (all media strategists for Romney), received more than $234 million in payments from the campaign...Spencer Zwick, Romney's finance chairman, saw two of his companies accumulate hefty checks during the election. SJZ LLC took in a total of $9.76 million from the Romney campaign and the Romney Victory Fund, and Victory Group 2012 received $19.25 million from the Romney Victory Fund for fundraising consulting...Another big winner was Targeted Victory, an Internet strategy firm co-founded by Zac Moffatt, an adviser to the Romney campaign. The firm was paid just under $94 million from the Romney Victory Fund for "digital consulting" and "web development" (the total likely includes the cost of placing online ads). [HuffPost]
"Hey guys, how do we squeeze more money out of Mitt?" "Let's tell him we're winning!"
THE PRESIDENT'S INAUGURATION, BROUGHT TO YOU BY BUD LIGHT LIME - The inaugural committee is opening the proceedings up to unlimited corporate donations, so instead of the purple tunnel of doom, we'll have the Chevy Silverado Underground Passage of Sorrow. Christina Wilkie: "The decision marks a reversal of the self-imposed ban that Obama's inaugural team placed on corporate donations in 2008 -- and opens the floodgates to massive amounts of corporate cash funding official balls and other public events. It also likely reflects lessons learned with this summer's Democratic National Convention, for which Democrats initially banned corporate money but then devised a loophole through their own ban when funds came up short for the four-day event. In 2008, Obama's inaugural team limited individual contributions to $50,000 per person and barred all corporate contributions. This year, they will impose no limits on either individual or corporate contributions. Contrary to earlier reports that federal law caps inaugural contributions at $250,000, there are no such federal limits, said another PIC spokeswoman... lobbyists and political action committees will be banned from contributing, as they were the last time." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - John Lorefice, 49, lost his job as a Long Island restaurant chain's sales and marketing director in October. Though he's only been unemployed six weeks, the small-time offers he's received so far have him worried he'll need more than six months to find a decent job. Lorefice said he's been watching Congress to find out what happens with long-term unemployment insurance. "I do have some time, but it is a concern being that you hear the horror stories of people out of work a year, people out of work three years," said Lorefice, who lives in East Moriches, N.Y. "I'm getting offers in the $20,000 range. That's insane. Someone else offered $30,000. It's pathetic." It's also pathetically common. Much of the job growth in the past few years has occurred in low-wage occupations, according to an earlier analysis by the National Employment Law Project. Retailers, temp companies, and the hospitality industry accounted for 94,000 of the 146,000 jobs added to the economy in November. Lorefice said he's not enjoying the online-only work search. "What makes it daunting searching for the job, there's no contact," he said. "You can't get in touch with anyone. It's all done through the Internet. No way to stand out. No way to get an edge." [HuffPost]
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JERBS REPORT: MORE JERBS - Good news, America's web editors: You can put away the stock photo of downcast dudes in sport jackets queueing up and clutching their resumes and replace it with the smiling African-American woman in a pantsuit in front of a computer. The jobs report is solid(-ish)! AP: "The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures. The Labor Department's report on Friday offered a mixed picture for the economy. Hiring remained steady during the storm and in the face of looming tax increases. But the government said employers added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than initially estimated. And the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November from 7.9 percent in October mostly because more people stopped looking for work and weren't counted as unemployed. There were signs that the storm disrupted economic activity. Construction employment dropped 20,000. And weather prevented 369,000 people from getting to work - the most in almost two years. They were still counted as employed." [AP]
RUT ROH - The declining jobless rate could give ammunition to Republicans wary of the $30 billion it would cost to keep federal extended benefits through next year. But Democrats have said repeatedly that Congress has never dropped federal benefits when the unemployment rate is above 7.2 percent. It's on. [HuffPost]
BOEHNER: GET YOUR PARACHUTES READY - Or just grab someone you don't like and use them as padding as we Wile E. Coyote ourselves off the fiscal cliff (or Jamaican bobsled team ourselves down the fiscal slope). NBC News: "House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, emerged Friday to say that 'no progress' had been made on resolving the impending 'fiscal cliff.' Capitol Hill's top Republican said that talks with President Barack Obama toward resolving the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for the beginning of next year continued to stall; Boehner renewed his demand that Obama submit a new plan for evaluation by lawmakers. 'This isn't a progress report because there's no progress to report,' the speaker said at a brief press conference Friday morning on Capitol Hill...'It's time for the president, if he's serious, to come back to us with a counter-offer,' said Boehner, asking at a later point: 'When is he [Obama] going to take a step toward us?'" [NBC News]
Boehner didn't say "Where are the jobs?" like he usually does after an unemployment report. Guess he sees some jobs.
NRSC SECRETLY SPENT $760K ON TODD AKIN AFTER RAPE COMMENTS - Story circulating about the National Republican Senatorial Committee funneling money to a candidate it disavowed? They have a way of shutting that down. Hahahaha! But seriously, this is tremendously unethical. News-Leader: "After vowing not to spend any money on behalf of Todd Akin's U.S. Senate bid, national Republicans pumped $760,000 into the Show-Me State just a few days before voters went to the polls. New campaign finance filings show that the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $360,000 to the Missouri Republican Party's federal campaign committee on Nov. 1. And the NRSC... sent another $400,000 on Nov. 2. The state party reported paying almost exactly that amount -- $756,000 -- to Strategic Media Placement, an Ohio firm that Akin had used to buy his TV ad time, on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. The state party's FEC report shows the funds were for 'W. Todd Akin.' That cash infusion came despite a complete disavowal of Akin by top party leaders -- including Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and NRSC Chairman John Cornyn, of Texas. 'We have no plans' to devote any money to the Missouri race, Cornyn said in a September interview. 'I just think that this is not a winnable race,' he added." [News-Leader]
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will not appoint herself senator. [Insert some sort of regurgitated political wisdom about 2016 and her vice presidential prospects here]. "Appointing a new member of the U.S. Senate is a solemn duty, and I take this responsibility with utmost seriousness. I will make this decision in a manner that is thoughtful and dignified, but also quickly," she said in a statement. "I want to make two things clear from the outset. Number one, I will not take the appointment myself. Number two, I will appoint a person who has the same philosophy of government that Jim DeMint and I share." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
POLL: AMERICANS DON'T WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO HARSH COLORADO AND WASHINGTON'S BUZZ - Emily Swanson: "Fifty-one percent of Americans in the new HuffPost/YouGov poll said that in the two states that have legalized marijuana use for adults, the federal government should exempt any adults following state laws from federal drug law enforcement. Only 30 percent said the federal government should enforce its drug laws in those states in the same way it does in any other state." [HuffPost]
Obama for America was so rich it could've sent its children away to boarding school in Europe and never have to see them. Paul Blumenthal: "It's official. For any future White House aspirant to become the greatest fundraiser of all-time, they're going to have to pass the current holder of that title, President Barack Obama, and his record of $1.4 billion raised by his personal campaign committee during his two successful runs for the White House. The president's campaign, Obama for America, filed its final campaign finance report on Thursday covering the last two and a half weeks of the 2012 election. The report revealed that from Oct. 18 until the Election Day on Nov. 6 the president raised $88 million and spent $176 million. That far exceeded the $66 million raised by his rival Mitt Romney and the $107 million spent by the Republican presidential nominee during the same period." [HuffPost]
YO! JOE MANCHIN COMPLAINS - The West Virginia senator is deeply upset by a forthcoming MTV reality show set in the Mountain State that follows the antics of a bunch of rowdy Appalachian kids. The show, "Buckwild," is being billed as the Jersey Shore of Appalachia. "As a U.S. Senator, I am repulsed at this business venture, where some Americans are making money off of the poor decisions of our youth," Manchin wrote in a letter to MTV executives. "I cannot imagine that anyone who loves this country would feel proud profiting off of 'Buckwild.'" He continued, "This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia... Let me tell you: People have given their all for this great country. They've done the heavy lifting to produce the energy that is needed to produce the steel that builds our factories and cities." We're still hoping this won't deter Jay Rockefeller from making a surprise guest appearance toting a 12-pack of Smirnoff Ice and wearing with a ski cap pulled over an Abercrombie hat. [WaPo]
GUY WHO YELLS AT BUTTS A POLITICAL LIABILITY: REPORT - America simply can't be deprived the inevitable "Santa Style" remake. BuzzFeed: "The First Family will attend a 'Christmas in Washington' concert where South Korean rapper Psy will perform, a White House spokesman said, despite the artist's Iraq War-era anti-American remarks that have surfaced...Psy, whose smash hit 'Gangnam Style' is the most-watched YouTube video ever, is scheduled to be one of the performers that night. On Friday, a performance of his from 2004 came to light in which he smashed a model U.S. tank at an Iraq War protest concert and rapped about killing 'those fucking Yankees' 'slowly and painfully.'" [BuzzFeed]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat helps baby learn Spanish.
FOLLICLE FAREWELL: AX AXES 'STACHE - Call us, Daily News! AP: "President Barack Obama's strategist David Axelrod had his trademark moustache shaved Friday on MSNBC after the hosts of 'Morning Joe' helped raise $1 million for his epilepsy charity. Axelrod, and his facial hair, appear frequently on news shows. He had said on 'Morning Joe' he would shave the moustache he'd worn for 40 years on live TV if Obama lost Pennsylvania, Minnesota or Michigan in the Nov. 6 election. Host Joe Scarborough had agreed to grow a mustache if Obama won either Florida or North Carolina. Obama won Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Florida, but Axelrod said he would still shave his moustache if his charity, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, raised $1 million by Nov. 30. His daughter, Lauren, has epilepsy, and his wife, Susan, helped create the group." [AP]
- The perfect menorah app for people who love both technology and super effective oil. [http://bit.ly/YRTlcf]
- A blind person discusses his idea and impressions of color. [http://bit.ly/RclEAf]
- Photographs of bizzarely designed keybaords of yesteryear. [http://slate.me/XxOIDF]
- Walking around and staring at people for uncomfortable intervals does not a popular person make. [http://chzb.gr/WMFXRb]
- If golden retriever puppies playing in the snow doesn't warm your heart you are....... a terrible person. [http://huff.to/TMidMt]
- An oral history of the much-beloved -- and tragically cut short -- "Freaks and Geeks." [http://vnty.fr/TzMa1T]
@benjysarlin: Remember, when you're passing around pot referendums, no one can exhale until every state does it #intercepted
@delrayser: "Heyyyyyy! Look at us! We're IMPORTANT!" Ugh, the Supreme Court. Such drama queens.
@LOLGOP: When do the Republicans start taking turns sitting on Sheldon Adelson's lap to tell him what they want for Christmas?
Today - Sunday: John Barrasso and Frank Lucas get bicameral at their weekend "Dust Off Your Boots" retreat in Las Vegas. Cue the debaucherous montage set to "The Best Is Yet To Come" with Barrasso flanked by strippers and Lucas tossing bones surrounded by cheering onlookers. [Vegas, Baby]
Today - Sunday: Because there's nowhere to ski in Alaska, Lisa Murkowski takes her benefactors on a ski retreat weekend in Deer Valley. Thing we would pay good money to see: Lisa Murkowski on a snowboard. [Deer Valley, UT]
Today - Tomorrow: Carolyn Maloney makes her way up the I-95 for a NYC fundraising weekend. HuffPost Hill will be there (in New York, not at the congresswoman's campaign function). [NYC]
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